Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Circumcision Of The Daleks

Back when I was a college student, about seventeen years ago, I would get together with some friends for a "Whofest". This was a gathering of about a half-dozen 21 year olds who would spend a Saturday night watching Doctor Who on videotape in some guy's basement at his parents' house, and then going out for pizza and beer. Yes, it was even more fun than it sounds.

I had all but forgotten these gatherings until recently, when I obtained a DVD copy of the Doctor Who story "Genesis of the Daleks". On the night in which our merry band assembled for a Whofest to watch this story back in 1989, we found ourselves getting a little bored with the television and bantered amongst ourselves, barely acknowledging that the tape was still running. Suddenly, a guy named Rudy stood up and cried out:

"Wait! Did he just say 'foreskin'???"

Keeping in mind that twenty year olds are basically still adolescents in many ways (though the case can be made that men approaching forty are also), we all desperately wanted this to be true. Doctor Who uses the word "foreskin" in conversation with his hated nemesis Davros, creator of the Daleks! But in what context?

We replayed that segment a couple of times just to make sure we hadn't heard what we thought we heard. The Doctor was bound to a chair and forced to recount his personal history with the Daleks. He explained that he had been instrumental in many Dalek defeats because "I've fought against them". Well, that was certainly sobering.

Not wishing to let the evening's funniest moment die, I suggested that he perhaps was trying to say, "I've foreskinned them". How does the word "foreskin" work as a verb? When one "skins" an animal, he removes its skin. So if the Doctor foreskins a Dalek, he is circumcising it.
Circumcision of the Daleks? Why not? Biblical themes were used in titles of Dalek stories for a number of years in Doctor Who. They not only had a "Genesis", but also a "Resurrection" and a "Revelation". Circumcision would fit right in.

Now that I have had the opportunity to revisit the show on DVD, I can say that, although the captioning for the line says "I've fought against them", it sure sounds like the Doctor tells Davros that "I foreskins 'em". Yep. He catches 'em, foreskins 'em, and sets 'em free just so he can blows 'em all up. He's a regular Torquemada, that Doctor.

1 comment:

Inaldin said...

Sure the Daleks can be Jewish. See William Tenn's "On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi" (published in "Wandering Stars: An Anthology of Jewish Fantasy & Science Fiction") in which gray blob aliens claim to be Jewish. Why not gray blobs, they say? Are there blond Jews? How did they get blond? Why, rape by goyim of course! Same thing with us gray blobs, they say. And they've even got some kind of gland they cut for circumcision.