Why the Doctor Cannot Kill Young Davros
Guest contributor Rowan Wood explains how it would change the entire Whoniverse.
“If someone who knew the future pointed out a child to you and told you that that child would grow up totally evil, to be a ruthless dictator who would destroy millions of lives, could you then kill that child?”
This is the life-changing dilemma posed for the Fourth Doctor in 1975’s Genesis of the Daleks. At the end of last week’s season premiere, the Twelfth Doctor faced a similar decision.
At the conclusion of The Magician’s Apprentice, we received a brilliant cliffhanger as the Doctor is prepared to exterminate young Davros. But I have recently discovered that doing so would actually create a tremendous paradox.
While most of us know that the Doctor could never kill a child, even if it did turn out to be his “arch-enemy” (sorry, Missy!), what if he actually pulled the trigger? What if the child Davros died before the creation of TV’s most feared sci-fi monster? In this article, I will explore the possibility.
We know that the Doctor came from some point in the future to kill child Davros, armed with the gunstick of a Dalek. But if he pulled the trigger and killed Davros before the creation of the Daleks, a massive paradox would take place. The Daleks would never have been created, so the Time Lords would live on. The Thousand Year War would still continue on Skaro, but now no one would give the planet a second thought. The Time War would cease to exist, so most of the events from Rose onward would never have happened. Most of the Doctor’s life would be erased.
But the biggest paradox of all is this: Every event that happened since the beginning of The Magician’s Apprentice would never have happened. And, more importantly, since the Daleks were never created, the Doctor could never pick up a Dalek gun to travel back in time to kill Davros. It is a paradox that goes on infinitely within itself.
However, there are two ways that the Doctor can counteract this paradox.
a) Create Another Paradox Machine
It is extremely unlikely that the Doctor will recreate the paradox machine that was constructed from the TARDIS in The Sound of Drums. However, it is the most logical way to create the paradox and still keep time straight. On the downside, the Doctor might not be able to travel in the time machine anymore, and that wouldn’t be the best ending to the show.
b) Make the Right Decision
The Doctor could end up making the right decision (as he [almost] always does) and decide simply not to kill young Davros. And I’m sure every viewer is confident that the Doctor will figure out some way to defeat the Daleks in the ensuing battle…won’t he?
Whether the Doctor decides to destroy his arch-enemy in the past or not, there are consequences for both situations. You can make your choice here, and hope that the Doctor trusts his conscience tonight in The Witch’s Familiar…