THE SHOW: Doctor Who
THE PAIRING: Professor Alec Palmer and Emma Grayling
THE EPISODE: “Hide” (aired April 20, 2013)
THE WRITER: Neil Cross
THE MOMENT: The Professor reads Emma’s mind.
I took some time to catch up with Doctor Who this week and came across a rather touching moment to share with everyone. Before I begin, I should probably make a few of my preferences clear: I am not a fan of the Doctor and River Song pairing. Indeed, I find them odd and their relationship quite disturbing. And while I don’t dislike Amy and Rory, I don’t find their story particularly exciting either. So, don’t expect anything involving any major Doctor Who characters from season seven this week. No, I have decided to focus on the guest supporting characters today. They might only make an appearance for one episode, but they certainly manage to make an impression every now and then. Today those on the sidelines get a chance to bask in the spotlight.
The Doctor and Rose VS. “Hide”
For this week’s Romantic Moment I am looking at the Doctor, oops…I mean the Professor and his companion in episode nine, titled “Hide,” of season seven. Okay, I admit that wasn’t a mistake on my part. Has anyone noticed how similar Professor Alec Palmer and his companion Emma Grayling’s relationship and story are to that of the Doctor and Rose?
RELATED Read Last Week’s Romantic Moment between Linden and Holder here.
We have a tortured war hero doing his damnedest to escape the memories of his gruesome past by chasing other fantastical mysteries. The parallels the writer, Neil Cross, continuously draws between the Doctor and the Professor are hard to miss. When Clara mentions humans being ghosts to the Doctor, and he replies that they are “the only mystery worth solving,” I don’t know that a clearer comparison could be drawn, as we are dealing with a man literally chasing ghosts in this episode.
So, if the Professor is the Doctor, then who is the companion? I argue that she can be none other than Rose Tyler. Emma, like Rose, is in love with the Professor, whose love for her is as clear as day to everyone else watching him. She tries to get a confession of his feelings for her from him, but he resists in answering, much like the Doctor continually does to Rose. All of season two, for instance, is all about the Doctor’s inability to say “I love you,” even though that’s clearly how he feels.
Rose is also the companion who brought The Doctor “back from the dead.” On an even more technical level, Rose is literally the companion who brought the Doctor back to television. She was the first companion to travel with the Doctor and reawaken his character in the revival of the Doctor Who series. Not to mention, she also brought him back from almost being dead at the beginning of season two which led into the era of the Tenth Doctor.
I also feel it’s important to note when the Doctor talks about the monster and its companion. He speaks of them longing for each other across time and space, across different dimensions. I would say that this is also a clear reference to the Doctor and Rose, who are stuck in the same situation (being separated in parallel universes). Yet it is another marker which draws the audience’s attention back to the parallel in the relationship between the Professor and Emma, whom he advised to hold hands with and never let go of each other. I don’t think it’s merely a coincidence that he realizes the monster’s interesting relationship seconds after he says this. So, there you have it, the Professor and Emma, and the Doctor and Rose.
The Romantic Moment
Now, for the specific moment I would like to highlight. I chose the scene when Emma asks the Professor to look at her and read her mind. One thing I appreciated about this episode was the subtlety in the romance, and all the little moments really coming together to make one romantic whole. So, for me, I guess I liked all of their moments put together, but I’ve picked this one because it is when the Professor sort of wakes up and recognizes Emma’s love for him and admits his for her.
The silent communication between the two through their gazes at each other is a truly beautiful example of great chemistry, acting, and the art of demonstrating a romance without the need for a flashy kiss. The pair conveys their love for each other perfectly through one simple look. That one moment works better than any heated romance scene or long monologue could. It is true artistry. Beautifully done!
What romantic moment stood out to you this week? What did you think of “Hide?” Sound off below…
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