The Doctor and Guns

In the current episode “Crimson Horror” Mrs. Gillyflower pulls a gun and starts shooting. I was kind of shocked at my personal gut reaction to this, in my mind I immediately thot, “There aren’t guns in Doctor Who!” and was kind of angry that one appeared rather needlessly.

Without being a Whovian expert I can only speak to modern Who, and hardly with any expertise. Here are the instances off the top of my head where a gun was a major plot point (I assume there were guns in Victory of the Daleks for example, I just don’t believe there was a plot point that hinged on them, they were simply there as part of the context of the moment).
[li]Ninth Doctor: I can’t think of one gun instance[/li][li]Tenth Doctor: Only ep I can think of is “The Doctor’s Daughter” is the only one that comes to mind[/li][li]Eleventh Doctor: “Impossible Astronaut” River slings her gun (twice technically), A Town Called Mercy.[/li][/ul]That’s it. For all the content out there in the modern world that is remarkable. Of course British view of guns and American are different which may be a significant factor here, but it does beg the question:

[u]Should Guns have a presence in Doctor Who?

[/u]I’m not suggesting that guns be removed from Doctor Who, I am simply positing that when a gun appears it carries significant weight simply by the fact that we barely see them. I think that is why I was so shocked when Mrs. Gillyflower started waving one around, I felt a real fear for the Doctor knowing all it takes is one well placed bullet. This may explain why guns don’t show up more often, they pose a very real and immediate threat to the Doctor that a sonic screwdriver can’t save him from.

Anyway, I thot it would be an interesting subject to explore. Share your thots!

I think you could add “Let’s Kill Hitler” in there. Without Mels/Melody/spolier having one, the big plotty thing wouldn’t have happened.

I will say that when it comes to him facing off against the big-bad of an episode, I like that guns so rarely play a part. Maybe you’re right, and it’s because he could so easily be shot that the writers find inventive ways or reasons for the end-boss to not have or not need them. I hope that it’s more about the sensibility of the writers though; they aren’t writing stories about short, violent lives. Most of the bad guys he deals with are working out plans decades or centuries in the making, so of course they aren’t going to be working with something as quick and violent as a gun.
In that light, maybe it makes sense that Mrs. Gillyflower had a gun; she’d been working for such a short time that she hadn’t grown sure enough of herself and Mr. Sweet to forgo having one.

There’s also every time UNIT has EVER been on the screen.

I think in classic Who there were dozens of instances of someone taking out a gun, threatening someone, and then something happened to the gun holder. I was more concerned that The Doctor really didn’t seem too concerned when Gillyflower got shot at by Strax or when Strax came running down the corridor firing his blaster at the “Supermodels” (and missing all of them somehow)

Story-wise, what’s the difference between facing down a human with a gun or a Dalek with a built in weapon?

I’m always a little surprised when I see a gun. The Tenth Doctor had a very strong stance against guns and somehow that still sticks with me, even when the Eleventh picks one up. I don’t remember which episode but he had no qualms about it. I like the argument that sarahsdad made about the planning and confidence of the villains vs Mrs. Gillyflower’s relative newness on the evil scene.

I just finished a rewatch of the 10th and a gun takes a big role in The End of Time. He fights the need to use the gun but uses it to kill off the Time Lords or so we are to believe.

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