(gifs by tillthenexttimedoctor)
It really annoys me that this quote is used for Moffat hate, because if I remember rightly, what Davies is talking about here in the complete interview is pushing the Doctor into new territory.
Davies is talking about the Doctor lying to Martha, not as an out-of-character moment, but as a development. It’s absolutely enormous because in New Who, we haven’t seen the Doctor lie so openly to his companion yet, but in this scene, he does. He does so because Rose leaving changed him, because this regeneration changed him and not only for the better, because being with Martha is changing him, because the Time War is still changing him and will continue to do so for a very long time.
Over the next few series, Davies is going to make the Doctor a whole lot less trustworthy. In Series 2 he was humanity’s best friend, but in Series 3 he starts to betray them, piece by piece, until in Series 4 it’s almost antagonistic. He’s not going to treat his companions as well as he has been, either… every companion from this point on has to fight the Doctor for their agency in some way or another. He stops trusting humanity and starts lying to them. Ten is four episodes into a long spiral into darkness, and this moment is enormous because it’s setting up the groundwork of that.
And it’s this Time Lord Victorious spiral into darkness that a lot of Eleven’s character develops out of: “the Doctor lies” and plays games with his companions, the Doctor being aware of how dangerous he can be without rules, the realisation that he’ll never recover from the genocide and probably doesn’t deserve to. All stuff that wasn’t there in his character in Series 3, but out of time and experience is there in Series 6/7. And that’s exactly the challenge Davies is talking about in this interview, how do you keep the Doctor’s character changing and growing.
So if you’re going to criticise Moffat for making the Series 6/7 Doctor different to the Series 2/3 Doctor, please don’t choose a quote that’s about this difference being a good thing.
a magician asks you to pick a card - any card, in fact. you do. they ask you to put the card back in the pack - anywhere in the pack, in fact. you do. they walk away. ten years later, your wife gives birth to the six of clubs. “is this your card?” the midwife asks, in a familiar voice.