Reply to post: Re: It's Dr Who

Doctor Who becomes an illogical, unscientific, silly soap opera in Kill The Moon


Re: It's Dr Who

>>"Sorry, that rebuttal doesn't work. What part of "basic, secondary school level physics" allows for - well, any of the points in the post you replied to?"

It does work, actually. There's this recurrent and flawed attack on anyone who criticizes science flaws in a show like Doctor Who which goes something like: "It contains Time Travel and a box that's larger on the inside, so why criticize something like a solid gold arrow being shot hundreds of metres..." or so forth (drawing my example from the last episode I watched). Essentially the position is that it's already demonstrated it's not realistic so what does it matter?

It matters because Suspension of Belief is not a binary thing that you invest in utterly or turn off completely. Time travel is something that we've never encountered and doesn't contradict "basic secondary school physics". It may contradict very advanced physics but even Stephen Hawking didn't think so for a time so we can state that its presence is not going to clash with most people's understanding of science. It's a conceit that is allowable. But moons multiplying rapidly in mass, creatures laying eggs bigger than themselves a few minutes after being born... These things DO clash with our everyday knowledge. And thus more greatly damage our suspension of disbelief.

Generally in Science Fiction you're able to have one or two "impossible" things in your "what if", and get away with it. So Arthur C. Clarke can throw in Faster Than Light travel, or Peter Watts can have his alternate strain of hominids that passed undiscovered, and you can otherwise get away with it as "hard" sci-fi. But when the "What If" becomes "Why not?" it begins to pile up to levels that turn off ever more people.

And that's what's happening to Doctor Who. The writers aren't having the moon multiply rapidly in mass because they have a good grasp of science and an idea or conceit as to why it's not applying in this case. They're doing so because either they have such poor understanding of science that they don't know better or because they have simply ceased caring in their rush to produce whatever character moment pops into their head. Whether it's ignorance or laziness, neither is a positive quality.

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