1. notleia says:

    It’s still hard not to make jokes about Doctor-deus ex TARDIS-machina, but honestly, if there weren’t a separate trope for objects that can solve everything convenient to the plot (except when it’s convenient to the plot), the sonic screwdriver would be a deus ex machina. But the show’s pretty good at keeping him only NEAR infallible, especially in the later seasons. You know they do it to manipulate your feels, but you like these characters enough that it works. (**** you, Moffat!)

  2. Lady Arin says:

    Honestly, i find the “Doctor ex machina” device more irritating than a “companion ex machina”. I can’t put my finger on what, exactly, it is that bugs me about it. Maybe it’s that while on the one hand the Doctor is supposed to be this brilliant, ancient, member of a race that is beyond the comprehension of us mere humans, and yet on the other hand he screws up a *lot*, and we’re constantly asked to empathize with him, identify with his actions, etc. I can’t evaluate in my head a character that isn’t supposed to fit in my head. Or maybe the writers just don’t successfully portray him as being this brilliant, ancient, beyond-my-comprehension being.

    And i don’t like Moffat as a showrunner. But that’s a separate topic, i guess.

  3. Galadriel says:

    Yes, let’s keep producer debates out of this. Stephen had mentioned this in his post “Deus ex machinas and the Doctor”, and it’ll be interesting to see how your opinion differs from his.

  4. Timothy Stone says:

    To be fair, it wasn’t her plan to harness the power of the TARDIS. The idea was supposed to be that since the TARDIS is living, if Rose can “contact” it by opening up the panel, she could convince it to take her to help the Doctor. Of course, then the TARDIS decided to take over her body, but….

    My point is that it isn’t quite as bad as it seems to be.

    • Galadriel says:

      Timothy has a point. Not that Rose is my favorite companion, but after seeing The Doctor’s Wife, I have no problem believing that the TARDIS, not Rose, initiated most of the action there.

  5. G K Werner says:

    Enjoying your deus ex machina musings. Check out my story by that name originally published in Fear and Trembling, October 2007 issue. It was rejected once by a publisher who thought it was too, well, deus ex machina.



What do you think?