In The God Complex (Doctor Who, new series 6) the dying Minotaur is speaking its last words. Amy Pond asks: Whats it saying?
The Doctor answers:
An ancient creature, drenched in the blood of the innocent, drifting in space through an endless, shifting maze for such a creature, death would be a gift.
Then accept it, and sleep well.
I wasnt talking about myself.
Today I came across a post that interprets these lines very differently from the way I do. Rebecca Kulik writes:
This line comes at the end of the Doctor explaining to his companions why a creature once worshipped as a god would see death as a gift. The sacrifices the creature took to keep itself alive had soaked it in the blood of innocents.
Sound a bit familiar? The Doctor thought so, because he felt the need to clarify to his companions that it wasnt about him.
The look of shock and a bit of sorrow on his face as he delivers the line says it all. The Doctor realizes that the words could apply to himself too.
So Kulik and I apparently disagree about which lines are the Doctors translation of the Minotaur and which are the Doctor speaking in propria voce. As I read it, An ancient creature, drenched in the blood of the innocent, drifting in space through an endless, shifting maze for such a creature, death would be a gift is the Doctor translating the Minotaur, while Then accept it, and sleep well is the Doctors own response. But then the final line I wasnt talking about myself is on my interpretation not the Doctors own remark, but rather his translation of the Minotaurs counter-response. Indeed, no other interpretation initially occurred to me.
And I think my interpretation makes more sense: why would he need to tell Amy and Rory that hes not talking about himself, when theyve just heard him tell the Minotaur to accept death, and so have no reason to interpret the first speech as anything but the Doctors translation of the Minotaur? And the Doctors shock makes more sense too. Or so it seems to me. Comments?
Phil Sandifer comments.
I initially took that comment in the sense that you did. However, in either case, the purpose remains the same: as a commentary on the Doctor’s own existence. I could see how he might try to convince Amy and Rory that he is not talking about himself, though; 11 particularly seems to be in some denial about his effect on those close to him at first, slowly coming to grips with it by the time he loses the Ponds.