Season 1 Episode 4 "Dalek"
What can the conflict between alien races teach us about human nature? Can we fight through anger and hatred to find compassion and acceptance?
It becomes glaringly evident how much the Doctor needs Rose in the episode “Dalek”. They complement one another. Rose is the voice of compassion and reason in the face of the Doctor’s unwavering anger and hate for the dalek. Their friendship pulls him back from plunging into the darkness.
Anger leads to hate...
It may be a quote from a different movie, but it certainly fits Nine here. His anger toward the lone dalek is completely understandable, given their history, but the way he handles his feelings makes it clear he is heading down the dark path. In the past few episodes, we’ve seen him take a hard stand before, and he’s even let villains die. He showed no mercy to Cassandra in her weakened state. There’s something different about it this time, though, and even his enemy notices it.
The Doctor: All right then. If you want orders, follow this one.... Kill yourself.
Dalek: The Daleks must survive!
The Doctor: The Daleks have failed! Why don't you finish the job, and make the Daleks extinct? Rid the universe of your filth! Why don't you just *die*?
Dalek: You would make a good Dalek.
Compassion and empathy...
On the other side is Rose. She doesn’t have the background to know how dangerous and vile these creatures are. Yet the steps she takes toward trying to understand the dalek and give it a chance to change show humanity in the best possible light. As much as she cares for the Doctor, she pulls no punches when she tells him about his behavior.
The Doctor: Rose, get out of the way now!
Rose Tyler: No! Cause I won't let you do this.
The Doctor: That thing killed hundreds of people.
Rose Tyler: It's not the one pointing the gun at me.
In the end, the Doctor has a significant advantage over the dalek. The dalek only knows how to obey orders, and is unable to accept changes. If it can feel, it no longer can cope with its existence.
The Doctor, though... he is an individual. Friendship can save him from his loneliness. He can choose to change, and choose to love. Isn’t that what being human is all about?