During yesterday’s Midnight Monday tumblr event, a fellow user commented on the similarity between the Midnight entity and the Gelth of S1. They commented that in treating the Midnight entity as a benevolent, or at least harmless, new life form, the Doctor hadn’t learned his lesson from the Gelth. (I can’t find the original post now, or I would link it.)
I disagree. It’s not about not learning his lesson. It’s about refusing to let a bad experience make him cynical. No matter what happens, no matter what he’s been through – and it’s a lot! – the Doctor always chooses to see the best in everything. The Fourth Doctor made some comment along those lines; again, I can’t find the quote, but he has some exchange about always expecting the best, and always being proved wrong. And still, he approaches each new situation with optimism.
This is one of the traits I admire in the Doctor. He may have met a thousand aliens that looked good but turned out to be bad. An ordinary being would begin to expect every alien to be bad. A human certainly would. The Doctor would not. He will always see each new thing as a new thing to be discovered for itself, with no preconceived notions. He comes to every new encounter full of wonder, not fear. He doesn’t hold one creature’s acts against another. He doesn’t hold the past against the future.
I suspect humanity could learn a thing or two from that.