Viewing posts tagged family of blood
The first in a new series of posts looking at the way Doctor Who has tackled World War One.
Looked at from a certain viewpoint, 'Human Nature' / 'The Family of Blood' makes all the right noises. All the proper sounds issue from it when it is tapped. It notices social hypocrisy about war, perhaps even moralising about it. For instance, while the young boys at the school are taught how to be good little soldiers, a veteran of the Crimean war is to be found begging outside the town hall.
There is also an acknowledgement that war is unpleasant. The boys tremble and cry when forced to actually point weapons at an approaching enemy, with even the odious Hutchinson is seemingly relieved at the realization that they've been shooting at empty scarecrows. Joan lost her husband at Spion Kop (a battle of the Second Boer War, which would've been a British victory but for the farcical incompetence of the British generals). The Headmaster has his speech in which he describes using his dead mates as sandbags.
There is an attempt at balance, at the dramatic demonstration of values rather than the elaboration of a didactic authorial point-of-view. Yet ...