In Doctor Who 10×02, the Doctor and Bill took a trip to the future, where they found a dazzlingly beautiful city that had everything. Everything, that is, except for the human civilization for which it was obviously intended. Even though the planet held a certain charm, what with its adorable Emojibots and all, something was just a bit off. As it turned out, those Emojibots weren’t cute at all. The city was alive with micro robots, and the Emojibots had become sentient beings with their own ideas of how things should work. In Doctor Who 10×02, robots decided when humans were simply too unhappy to live. You’d better smile, people, because if you don’t? You’re dead.
Smile or die: the “Bloke Utopia” of it all in Doctor Who 10×02.
Time to piss off the entire male gender here. Regardless of where the story wound up going — the Doctor turned the city off and on again to reset it? — perhaps the most important moment in Doctor Who 10×02 was when Bill Potts asked if she and the Doctor had stumbled upon “Bloke Utopia.” The Emojibots measured people’s very worth based on their smiles. If someone didn’t smile enough, they didn’t deserve to live.
Raise your hands ladies: How many times have men told you you’ll look prettier if you smile? How many times have you been accused of having “resting bitchface” and therefore being a terrible, unworthy person for it? Lots? Same.
Men are always telling women to smile more, regardless of what’s going on in their lives or whether or not smiling is a remotely appropriate response. So, while it might have been intended as a joke, Bill hit the nail on the head. Those Emojibots were totally created by the patriarchy. The entire situation smacked of a man’s plan for forced happiness gone horribly wrong. Consider the very idea of having to plaster a fake smile on one’s face to survive Exhibit A.
For Exhibit B, let’s take a look at the colonists’ leaders who, at the end of Doctor Who 10×02 were reluctant to even listen to the Doctor’s advice. They were men. And those two female victims at the beginning of the episode? Well. They were just the embodiment of everything women have repeatedly suffered at the hands of men telling us to smile more.
Smile, smile, smile!
…even though everyone you know is dead.
You can’t say things like that grinning like an idiot.
But if you’re not smiling, no matter how miserable everything is, you’re just not worthy. Sorry! Hide your grief. And whatever you do, don’t cry. The second the Emojibot registers tears, a swarm of black death is going to come upon you and turn you into fertilizer.
They’re going to leave the ship and find their friends and family mulched in the garden. And if they don’t smile about that? It’s going to be the end of the human race.
Actual reasons to smile with the Doctor and Bill in Doctor Who 10×02.
- In spite of being murderous, the Emojibots were adorable. The Doctor’s resting emoji, complete with those eyebrows, was probably the best part.
- “What do we do? Do I have to sit somewhere? Are there seatbelts?” Don’t ever change, Bill. We continue to love the way your practicality and sense of wonder blend together.
- “I’m not Scottish. I’m just cross.” Must be why the Doctor’s fake smile was so creeptastic.
- “I’ll hear you…through the…thingamabob.”
- Emojibots with dollar (ok pound) signs for eyes after being asked about discussing rent. Aces.
- “Are we there yet?” It’s good to know that kids don’t change, even across so much time and space.
…but, of course, Doctor Who 10×02 wasn’t all fun and games.
Grief was a plague. Humans were turned into fertilizer, and the Doctor found all of those skulls just laying around. (Side note: Not only was it disturbing to see the Doctor caressing that skull, but I also feel like he may as well have gone ahead and auditioned for Macbeth while he was at it.) Bill saw humanity’s entire bloody history on the iPad 2398473 — or whatever tablet it was. There was the whole 180 with the bit about slave races rising up.
If all of that wasn’t enough, Doctor Who 10×02 also made reference to some of the Doctor’s issues.
A thing happened. As the result of the thing, I made a promise. As a result of the promise, I have to stay on Earth.
The Doctor may have left Earth, but he didn’t leave his baggage behind. He tried leaving Bill to safety on the TARDIS and taking on the threat-of-the-week on his own. Even if Bill wound up joining him, saying she wouldn’t leave the Doctor since he hadn’t left her serving chips, the attempt to go it alone certainly showed where his mindset was. This is a Doctor who has been hurt too much, grieved too often, and not completely recovered from his most recent loss.
Then, there were all of Bill’s questions about why the Doctor had stolen the TARDIS, why he’d chosen the police call box as its specific disguise, and why he had to be the one to save the day. Imagine being over 2000 years old and constantly having to drag up your bad memories every time you made a new friend.
Rather than returning home in time for Nardole’s tea with everything as they left it, Bill and the Doctor left Bloke Utopia for…a blizzard and a giant elephant. Maybe they should’ve clicked their heels together three times and said, “there’s no place like home” instead of relying on the TARDIS.
Make sure to catch the next episode of Doctor Who to see what that was all about.1 of 1