Credulity of the Kaleds

Dear Johnny Fanboy,

In the otherwise classic Doctor Who serial Genesis of the Daleks, starring Tom Baker, the Doctor tells several Kaleds that he has travelled back in time because of future concerns about the development of the Dalek. AND THEY BELIEVE HIM! Why? Why don’t they just lock him away as a loony?

It’s fair enough that he manages to convince the scientist Ronson (who, after all, has scan results that show that the Doctor and Harry aren’t from round here), but then he takes his story to the Kaled government - and they all believe him too! Doesn’t anyone raise a hand and say, “Um, actually, this sounds a bit far-fetched...”

Is everyone on Skaro stupid, or just the Kaleds?

Don Stanley

Johnny Fanboy replies:

You are assuming that all humanoid species have the same opinions about what is scientifically plausible and what isn’t.

Bear in mind that, in the same story, it is established that current scientific thinking on Skaro holds that intelligent life on other planets is impossible. This contrasts with the present situation on our own planet, where many people believe in the possibility of sentient extraterrestrial life. Indeed, most scientists would tell you that intelligent life on other worlds is more likely than the possibility of us ever mastering time travel.

It may be that, though the people of Skaro don’t believe in life on other planets, many or all of them do believe that time travel will one day be achieved. UFOs and other inexplicable encounters could be attributed to time travellers from the planet’s future rather than to space travellers from other worlds.

Alternatively... yes, the Kaleds are stupid. After all, they put Davros in charge of their scientific elite, didn’t they? How mad is that!

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