Today’s rewatch-along was Listen! And I had to work and missed it, which sucks because it’s still my favourite, favourite episode. The speech which began with “Fear is a superpower” came along at just the right time for me, and ensured this episode would always have a place in my heart.
The little minisode released for the watchathon is named after those four words, and it’s a lovely tribute to Danny, who is still one of my favourite Doctor Who characters despite (or probably because of) all the flack he gets. Thank you, Danny Pink. And thank you, Doctor Who.
As much as we might like to hear that Peter Capaldi is returning to the role of the Doctor, so far as anyone knows he isn’t. This said, there is some great news that one of the regulars from his era will be featuring on an upcoming Big Finish release – Samuel Anderson – who…
I doubt coming “between” a popular ship in the fandom helps and that’s probably worth its own chapter in the book of how this whole thing went downhill.
But the short explanation for the hatred you often see for him would simply be: Racism. It’s not an accident that in spite of being an outwardly gentle person whose only crime is quietly asserting that he wanted honesty in a relationship (which? is a minimum requirement? to begin with?), people believe him to be aggressive and controlling. It’s not exactly subtle.
And the fact that people STILL call Danny a clone of Mickey seems to have very little do do with his actual character.
Bonus point for that being a complaint that started on the very day Danny Pink was announced as a character, with a picture of Samuel Anderson attached. Huh. I wonder why.
So I was curious about the meaning of Danny’s names and looked them up. What I discovered made my jaw drop.
Danny’s original name is Rupert. Rupert is derived from the Latin Rupertus, which is in turn derived from the Old German Hrodebert (from which we get the modern name ‘Robert’). This is derived from the Germanic components hrod ”fame” and beraht ”bright”, so Rupert means “bright fame”. Bright and shining – the meaning of ‘Clara’.
So Rupert certainly ties in with the naming themes of this series, but in Doctor Who, it’s the name we choose that is important. We know that Danny chose to be known as Danny (maybe because of Dan the Soldier Man, maybe because it was his middle name already). The name ‘Daniel’ is derived from the Hebrew דָּנִיֵּאל meaning “God is my judge”. Clara’s surname, Oswald, is derived from the Old English os ”god” and weald ”rule”, i.e. “divine ruler”. This ties in with Danny not caring about whether the Doctor likes him or not. He cares about whether Clara likes him or not. God/Clara is his judge, not the Doctor. (How far we’ve come from the Doctor as the Lonely God!)
And of course, when Clara confesses she doesn’t like her surname (which symbolises the ‘bossy control freak’ part of her that she feels the need to hide), Danny immediately says that he does! He has no problem with her being a divine ruler, he just wants her to ‘judge’ him and the Doctor correctly.
hmm it sure will be nice if Tosin Cole is playing a full-time companion and one who isn’t repeatedly berated and belittled by the Doctor, unlike the previous two black male “companions” (quotation marks because Danny was never really a companion at all)
I don’t want to rag on Doctor Who that much because it’s doing so well at the moment. But TWO young black men in New Who who are BOTH treated as inadequate for little good reason by the Doctor – I get so angrily stuck on that. And they were five years apart and had different writers so it’s like… *nobody* figured ‘this is a problem, let’s fix it for next time’ with Danny. :(