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suggested by @resting-meme-face​

Rhodia’s whole thing with intent and morality is so fascinating.

For one thing, Charlie says that he’d have “tried to be a fair leader,” which means, in his own eyes, he was one. The fact that he never actually ruled is irrelevant to him, because he would have been different, so why is Quill so unpleasant to him? He didn’t put the arn in her head, no, he was different, because he intended to be. And because a wish is an action, in his own eyes, he was better, and thus free from blame.

Quill, meanwhile, has a totally different perspective – that of someone who’s constantly being told one thing by people who are constantly doing another. “We’re being reasonable and just,” say the Rhodians, as they put genetically-engineered telepathic monsters in the brains of her people. “This is not slavery,” the Rhodians add, as the monsters control their every waking moment. Say one thing, do another. She has no patience for words; as she says to Dorothea, “An enemy is decided by their actions, not their intentions.”
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tillthenexttimedoctor:

Class Appreciation Week, Day 7: Post whatever you want!

“… at the end of the day, they’re just children. They can’t cope with this.”

The Doctor’s appearance is a strange moment, really. Sweeping in with a few quick and supposedly easy lessons to teach before abandoning Coal Hill to the care of a few scared teenagers is a discordant note in a melody that will prove far more complex. Of course, in these brief moments, we are offered only a simplified version of this character, but it serves as an interesting counterpoint, contrasting the basic tenets of Class and Doctor Who..

In a Doctor Who setting, dangerous aliens are fun, words and clever ideas make for entertaining resolutions an putting four teenagers in mortal peril on a weekly basis could be just an adventure. As serious and as complicated as Doctor Who can get, in the end, the next story will likely start with a Doctor and a companion, happy encounter a new source of danger. Here, this is juxtaposed with the grittier, less fantastical reality of our five protagonists.

Keep reading
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evilqueenofgallifrey:

Now, technically my favourite alien is Quill (and her species in general), but I’ve written so much about her already. And doing her for favourite character and Charlie for favourite alien is fitting because it’s Charlie’s “alienness” that I find so fascinating. 

This will be part Charlie and part to do with the Rhodia in general because it’s impossible to understand him without understanding his culture. 

Charlie Smith. My boy. A source of never-ending frustration and inciter of very complex feelings. Where do I even start?

(His funny little moments of not understanding human culture are funny, but not particularly significant on the level I want to go into here, so I’ll acknowledge here that I love them, and leave it at that.) 

I think I’m going to start with his core trait, which is his good heart and intentions, and his genuine belief that he is always working in the best interest of the people around him. We’ve seen how kind he is from the beginning, when he refuses to sacrifice April even though it could mean killing Corakinus.

Now, kindness/goodness on this level on its own is nothing to be sniffed at, but it’s not exactly groundbreaking either.

The key is in his belief. He’s so completely sure of his own goodness (which does exist, certainly, Mr “I Don’t Like Knives” and “I Would Hesitate From Killing a Friend” and “You Are Lonely”). And, of the goodness of his own people, even though his people normalised slavery of another and “lesser” species as part of their justice system.

I tend to think that Charlie had a very rose tinted idea of what Rhodia was like. That his parents fed him all that “civilised” bs so that he would never stop and wonder things like “wait, but if it’s so civilised, why do we never use the arn on our people?” and other such things.

Because what’s one thing we know? Prejudice isn’t something we’re born with - it’s taught. And we know that Charlie indeed carries a racial prejudice in him against the Quill.

“You are heartless, like all Quill.”

This line confirms what had already been very strongly implied: that Charlie doesn’t see Quill as people on the same level that he does other Rhodia and humans. We know this because Charlie is so kind to everyone he meets, and cares about the people close to him so much that he never even thinks bad thoughts about them, ever. 

But not Quill. 

Quill can be in front of him, in tears, openly grieving, openly devastated, and he calls her heartless for wanting to get revenge for her people, the people she did everything for. He is stone. He doesn’t feel for her at all, just as he ignores the word ‘slavery’ every time that she says it, because he just doesn’t believe for even a second that she could be right and he/his people could be wrong. 

In the end, given how caring he is to literally every other person around him, you can only conclude that he just doesn’t quite see her as a person in the same way he does everyone else. 

I mentioned how he is intent on saving April, but remember what he says to Quill later in the episode in regards to getting April’s heart back - “Sacrifice yourself if you have to!” He’d sacrifice Quill over a human he barely knows in a heartbeat. 

It’s hard to know whether it’s a prejudice he’s aware of or not, but I tend to lean towards him not really being aware of it because of his belief in himself. To him, the Quill being a violent, more primitive, and lesser people is just a fact. He never wanted them wiped out, he wouldn’t have wanted to see them hurt, he would have simply never seen anything wrong with turning the ones who broke serious laws into slaves “servants”. 

Next there’s the matter of that oh so fascinating Rhodian mentality of “a wish is the same as an action”. 

Consider his line: “I would have tried to be a fair leader!”  

This, as I saw someone point out, is really interesting when you consider the Rhodian mentality of a wish being the same as an action. Because Charlie wanted to be a fair leader, as far as he is concerned, he would have been and is one. 

Again, it all comes back to the possibility of not believing that he can be wrong, of Rhodia apparently having no room in their philosophy for personal error. They don’t make moral mistakes, because their wishes are the same as their actions. 

Except, you know, that’s not how it works. The Quill knew that, and no wonder they wanted a revolution if the Rhodia were (perhaps unintentionally/accidentally) taking all of their resources but claiming innocence because it was never their intention. 

But now consider all the stuff from episode six as well. Charlie, based on his own belief system considers himself: 

A fair leader

A person who is righteous and good

A mass murderer/committer of genocide

A possible hero

By the time the latter part becomes an action as opposed to a wish, we don’t see him feel guilty for it, because he’s been carrying the guilt with him the entire time. 

We only see his devastation at failing to bring his people back.

He had been so sure he would be a fair leader, he believed he could save his people which means he had to have thought he would. 

In other words, holy shit, what an awful shock for him in those final moments of the season.

Think about it. He hasn’t just lost his people, he’s lost his most fundamental belief, that wishing and intention is the same as an action - because he believed he could save his people, that if he intended to he would, and he was wrong. For the first time in this life, he is forced to confront the fact that he isn’t always right. That his people aren’t always right - perhaps that they never were. 

I really, really wish we could have gotten more of a look at how he acts immediately after this. Assuming we get a season 2, imagine how much of a change we’ll see? 

If I were to guess, I’d say that he’ll be a lot less confident in himself, he’ll be grieving and he’ll be uncertain of almost every aspect of his life. (I can only hope Matteusz will be around to help him with this, but it’s hard to know where their relationship sits at this point.) For the first time, we’re going to see Charlie when he is aware of the fact that he can do and has done wrong. 

I can’t wait. 

I also think, and hope, that we’ll see an immediate shift in how he treats Quill. That he’ll consider that maybe it was slavery, and listen if she tells him about how she got the arn out, and why she risked it (because her life as a slave, without being able to fight which is the foundation of her culture and identity, was so unbearable, and maybe if he listens he’ll actually understand why). That they can begin to move forward, sharing their loss, finally on equal ground and working through their differences. 

I just… I need more of this boy. 

A morally grey slave-master being portrayed as a sympathetic main character? Who is in pretty much all other respects a lovely person, one of the most openly kind and well-meaning characters in this show? Who also ends up committing genocide? And to top it off, is a gay alien prince? 

When I say he’s the character that fascinates me the most, I mean it. I’ve never been so torn between wanting to fiercely hug a character and wanting to slap them around the face, depending on the episode and scene. But that’s why I love him. It’s because I know how good he is capable of being that I get frustrated when he acts like a dick. I’m SO keen to see him grow and do the learning he so desperately needs to. 

So yeah, Charlie Smith, what a guy. What a complex, lovely, utterly frustrating boy. I love him. 

Thanks to Patrick Ness, for giving us such a fascinating character! 
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tillthenexttimedoctor:

Class Appreciation Week, Day 4: Favourite Relationship

“Too big. Feels like it’s going to consume you. Well, the trick is to keep on living while it does.”

So much about humans must be entirely alien to Quill, but Tanya’s loss is something she can relate to. We see how Quill turns hesitant, withdraws. She does not know how to soothe Tanya’s fears over her brother’s fate with words. But Tanya pulls her back in, over and over again. It’s surprise. “I want to use the Cabinet.”  “Show me how to fight.”  It’s recognition.

Tanya has proved herself to be smart, a creative thinker, full of bravery. In the face of grief, when the first tears have dried, she is strikingly calm. It is revealing now, to look back at her interactions with the Lankin, the anger she is capable of, the rage she could turn into a weapon, even as she kept steady. Now, she has lost a world - her home. There is desperation, there is violence in her need to to protect her brothers, to seek the destruction of those who murdered her mother and threaten her family. It is an echo of another story, of a freedom fighter who went to war for her people and who will have her revenge, even if it kills her.

And so they fall into a dynamic that is as strange as it is natural. Mentor and student. The leader of an army and her only soldier. Fellow warriors, who do not merely share the same fight, but who look out for each other in battle. Companions on what might be, in some way, the same journey. With strength to give. And legacies to shape.
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tillthenexttimedoctor:

Class Appreciation Week, Day 3: Favourite Villain or Alien

“My army. I’ve sent them into shadow.”

Appearances are tricky. Creatures of spring can be full of danger. Flowers can have teeth. April is far from nice - she chooses to be kind, to prevent the darkness from festering in her, to keep from being broken by a world which hasn’t been kind to her. Through the impossible, through the violence they have witnessed, she had so much strength to give. Pieces of serenity, that she earned on her path till there.

It takes a pair of scimitars to bring her off-balance. Corakinus’ rage is theatrical but projected through April the effect is striking. How much does this anger reveal about herself? How much anger has she hidden within herself, against her father and what happened to her and her mother? Does Corakinus’ temper tantrum against supposed cowardice resemble April’s own resentment of being perceieved as weak and breakable? The scariest villains can sit inside ourselves, in our own hearts, shared or not. Old injuries are healed, but only through darkness, no consent asked or given. The world is saved, but only through genocide committed by a dark army, ordered by their new King. A day filled with of short-lived, flawed triumphs.

Watch out for pretty things. They might be more complicated than you think. And they might bite.
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scriptscribbles:

“My dad’s in the Army. He didn’t sign up to die, he signed up so other people wouldn’t die.” (insp.)

I love how this shows how different Quill (and by extension, the Quill race) is from the Shadowkin. They are both warriors, but they think completely differently about what makes a good soldier.
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onehopefuldreamer:

lookforastar:

Whoniverse: Class - “If there is any trouble, the gun is set for you.”

#they’re not a team by choice #they are a team because she’s forced to be #the glare she gives him when she holds out the gun #she hates this #not being able to use it herself #she loathes having to hand it over to the prince #but there’s no reluctance #she knows that he will use it #just look at them #wearing the same look of determination #because whether they chose it or not #they are the last survivors of rhodia #and this is their battle (via @lookforastar)

Have I mentioned that I love reading your rags lately? Consider this making up for not having done that.
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moffatappreciationlife:

tillthenexttimedoctor:

“Too big. Feels like it’s gonna consume you. Well, the trick is to keep on living while it does.“

#for a Quill there is no shame or weakness in fear or loss   #she knows that the same things will eat Charlie alive   #there’s no doubt in that   #but to keep on living is her central philosophy   #as long as she is a warrior   #and however involuntarily   #Charlie has become the leader of two armies   #and led them to their deaths like she led hers into death and slavery   #she looks at him with such indescribable emotions and makes that choice for him   #to face the future instead of being extinguished by the fire he started   #and how could she possibly justify that decision to save the last of her enemies   #if not with the spite and defiance she preaches?   #but her actions speak louder than words   #‘no - you have to live’ she tells him   #her hand cradling the belly   #with the child that should be a death sentence   #we have to live   (via @tillthenexttimedoctor)
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luxurybananabunker:

scriptscribbles:

The more I think about yesterday’s episode, the more I love it. Finally, the show delivers on the title. The whole episode is a payoff to the thematic arc of the show, what happens when some kids are left with a traumatic task, a WMD, and the Doctor’s impossible liberal amazingness to live up to in his absence. And the whole episode divides the debate by contexts of privilege. It’s just the most white, privileged, and liberal two who oppose it, plus the outlier of Matteusz who comes from a background of active genocide and forms the most interesting opposition. Meanwhile, the actively oppressed Quill, Ram, and Tanya get to argue that yes, killing a force that exists just to oppress and hurt to save more lives really is the best option. And ultimately it hinges on April and Matteusz as the ones who finally have to listen and make that sacrifice of ideals because it really is their best choice, and Tanya, Quill, Ram are right. Killing isn’t desirable, but in context of danger the solution to such a trolley problem is straightforward, and so the episode does something that Doctor Who would usually argue against, it rejects the pacifist ideal for genocide to save more.

Like, that’s amazingly heavy stuff and I like the pacifist idealism in the main show so I’m glad it was kept to the spinoff, but damn, that’s sophisticated and intelligent TV.

#the part that’s really important   #is that Tanya and Ram are not advocating for genocide out of nowhere   #they are facing circumstances where the survival of their family is threatened   #actively in danger by a genocidal army   #and they answer the question   #‘are you allowed to defend yourself?’   #‘are you allowed to set the world around you on fire when people are burning you?’   #with a resounding YES (via @tillthenexttimedoctor)
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tillthenexttimedoctor:

tillthenexttimedoctor:

I think April should get a bit of a break when it comes to being sceptical of committing genocide and fearing what that choice would make them, since she is the only one in the group who has been the king of a genocidal army and has actually ordered them to kill an entire species before.

#i think there’s something here #april’s bond with the shadowkin makes prominent a kind of divided personality in her #is april capable of committing genocide? absolutely #as capable as ram and tanya are #(who have similar personalities but theirs are quite different from april’s) #but while she’s free of direct influence of corakinus’s #she still retains the traditional pacifist moral code that she’s probably been raised with #but under the influence (ugh this sounds like a drug trip or something) #she kind of loses hold on her old morality #and flips to her shadow (!) self #her fighting to stick to the goal of proving to be better morally than The Enemy while still under the influence #is her trying to retain to her humanity and her true self as she considers it #it connects to her saying that she’s ‘not made of glass’ #every step she takes is a very conscious one in this regard #when she ordered the shadowkin to wipe out the carnivorous flowers #she had just been out of a fight with her evil twin - so to speak - #and she hasn’t had time to stabilise #so it becomes easier for her to take the step that’s much more ruthless and less grey #and flowers can’t speak #anything that doesn’t speak isn’t counted in the same level by a lot of people as things that can speak #also the sentience of carnivorous flowers aren’t apparently the same thing as the sentience of shadows #shadows have a much more intimate connection (via @impossiblyeclecticduck)
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onehopefuldreamer:

tillthenexttimedoctor:

“I will suffer no more.”

#there is more to freedom than regaining one’s free will #Miss Quill starts the episode with her jewellery constraining her like shackles #it is only the very first step in reclaiming oneself #the choker around her neck like a collar #the bracelets circling her wrists like manacles #and one choice at a time she transforms herself #chooses another necklace when she decides to go to war #puts on a jacket that fits her like an armour #and finally loses one of her bracelets #when she decides - of her own free will - #to save Tanya’s brothers from Corakinus #for Charlie to find her shed chains #when she fights side by side with Tanya (together - till their last breaths) #only the hand which holds her gun is covered by her last remaining bracelet #the one which protectively holds back Tanya is free #like she is now #to make her choices #to forms new bonds #to decide how to leave her legacy #Quill has been frozen and held in place for so long #it is time to decide who she can be when she is able to move (via @tillthenexttimedoctor)

This is simply beautiful!
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lookforastar:

evilqueenofgallifrey:

evilqueenofgallifrey:

…..stop putting Quill in Slytherin pls I know she has some tendencies but she’s Hufflepuff or Gryffindor just cos she’s morally grey and salty doesn’t mean she’s a Slytherin

#when tanya called her kind#my first thought was#quill your hufflepuff is showing (via @lookforastar)

#HONESTLY SAME SHE IS SUCH A PUFF, #just a very very angry one who is very selective about who she is kind to, #but her loyalty is fiercer than anyone’s, #Tanya is one of hers now, #you can bet she’ll protect that girl with every breath left in her body (via @evilqueenofgallifrey)
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evilqueenofgallifrey:

Some discussions on the Class characters and their Hogwarts houses came up last week, and one of the things that quite a few of us agreed on is that pre-ep 7 it was more or less impossible to place Quill in a house because we still just didn’t know enough about her or what she valued.

Now that we have had a bit more of an insight, I’m going to propose something that a lot of people might not agree with, but that I firmly believe now:

Quill is a Hufflepuff. (Though one that might have been a brief hatstall with Slytherin bc pride and cunning.)

Now seriously, hear me out. If episodes 5 and 7 have confirmed anything, it’s that her defining characteristic is loyalty. Problem is that since she has no loyalty to any of the other characters in the show (until episode 7), we’d not seen her display any. But this part of Joyride shows how much value she puts on it. 

“Everything I did, everything, was for my people!” 

Her primary motivation (other than getting free, which is partly to help with this) has been to avenge her people, who still hold such a weight in her heart because she can’t let go of them, even a little, until all those who killed them are dead.

And then enter Ballon. A fellow soldier, someone she quickly realises is incredibly similar to herself. See this wonderful post about how great that connection was to see. It actually doesn’t take much at all for him to win her loyalty, they fight together a few times, and share stories and realise how similar they are. How easily they can understand the other. 

Quill is not a difficult person to win over, I don’t think. It’s just that no one, since Rhodia, has actually given her any reason to be loyal to them before Ballon. 

Her loyalty to Ballon, her capacity to care is so strong that she refuses to kill him even if it means she won’t be able to avenge her people. She forgives him for deciding to kill her. 

Loyalty. That’s the trait she values the most and the trait she displays most strongly when actually given the chance. 

(Don’t get me wrong - although I’m worried some people have said she’s a Slytherin just bc she’s mean, given Quill are very proud and she was a military leader of sorts, she places a lot of value on cunning, and so Slytherin isn’t an outlandish choice for her but it has nothing to do with her disposition, and it just isn’t quite right. It’s not so much a wrong choice as…not the right one.) 

I’ll point out that in addition to the fact that loyalty is the most important thing to her, that the other Hufflepuff traits are hard work, dedication, and fair play. The first two are easy enough to see when you think about her past (though she’s only a hard worker when she wants to be *cough* cat pictures when teaching *cough*) but the fair play part is more interesting. 

Quill believed her people were being treated unfairly (it’s hard to know how accurate this is, but I’m inclined to believe her because Charlie just seems to have less of a clue about what was going on back on Rhodia), and so fought to change that. For things to be fair. She didn’t want to take over, she just wanted her people to be treated fairly. Not to mention, Quill does have her own moral code, episode 7 proved that. It’s different from most human’s or Charlie’s, but it’s there. 

(Incidentally, I happen to believe that Charlie is also a Hufflepuff, which is kind of ironic since one of the strongest indicators other than how much he cares about his friends is his problematic belief that Quill’s enslavement is a fair punishment, but that’s a discussion for another time.)

So anyway. A week ago I had no idea what house she was in and wasn’t sure that I cared. But now I will fight y’all on this. 

Quill is a Hufflepuff. 
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onehopefuldreamer:

onehopefuldreamer:

tillthenexttimedoctor:

“It is punishment.” // “And I am the guiltiest.”

@tillthenexttimedoctor I had to reblog with your tags because they are absolutely wonderful and also strangely poetic which I totally love:

#a wish can be a crime on Rhodia #but what #when you have actual blood on your hands? #the potential of souls burning entire worlds until nothing is left #what is left of the arn splattered on your fingers #what is safe in a world #in which the terrorist saves a prince from punishment #in which the freedom fighter saves her enslaver

Reblogging again, this time because of @lookforastar‘s tags which are absolutely awesome as usual and I have to share:

#those tags are gorgeous #and what’s painful is that none of this crosses his mind #she saves him and he doesn’t blink an eye #because she always saves him #he’s in shock and can barely form words #but he questions the use of the gun #his question isn’t really a ‘why are you still alive’ #but a what does this mean for me #he fears her #a her that ‘he’ cannot control #the fear is to be expected #between how he was raised and how she cultivates that fear #but it’s chilling #even as he holds the arn in his hands #it’s clear that he’s not seeing the blood #he’s seeing 'his’ loss of control #'his’ fears #he sees her escaping punishment #he sees another crime #not freedom from oppression #a freedom that is used to save him
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onehopefuldreamer:

lookforastar:

Whoniverse: Class - 11/? times Miss Quill slays. (1x06)

Look, I love the Doctor as much as the next Whovian, but he’s not always right, nor is he flawless. Miss Quill being critical of him is quite refreshing to be honest. I might still be a little pissed at him for leaving her without properly addressing the arn situation. The fact that he never condemned the arn as punishment out right has given fuel to many people’s arguments that it’s not really slavery and “she deserves it if the Doctor is not stopping it”. To be fair, this is more Patrick Ness’s fault than the Doctor’s, but that doesn’t stop me from being a little upset over that oversight. Miss Quill is my everything, people.

Edited to add: It just struck me that she’s expressing my own frustration with the fans who are refusing to think for themselves and instead going with “The Doctor didn’t call it slavery, so it’s not” or “She deserves it, if the Doctor has not done anything about it”. In other words, of course, I’d like this scene!

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