Quotes: Protagonist-Centered Morality

It was so dark when I entered the Coach that I could not distinguish the Number of my Fellow-travellers; I could only perceive that they were Many...'What an illiterate villain must that Man be! (thought I to myself) What a total want of delicate refinement must he have, who can thus shock our senses by such a brutal Noise! He must, I am certain, be capable of every bad action! There is no crime too black for such a Character!' Thus reasoned I within myself, and doubtless such were the reflections of my fellow travelers.

The ultimate hypocrisy at the heart of the Doctor, which is fun to poke a stick at, is that he’s so nasty about soldiers and about people who carry guns, yet look at him — always in the middle of the fight, usually taking command, and I’m not so impressed at his refusal to pick up a gun when he’s inclined, occasionally, to blow up entire planets! ...I like that he’s the ultimate autocratic liberal — you know, the fascist liberal. It’s what I love about the Robin Hood thing because it reminds us that the Doctor never stops being a nobleman. He’s a high-born nobleman, used to wealth and privilege, who decided to come down among us lot and help out. He thinks he’s one of the guys, but never stops assuming he’s in charge and that people will make him tea. You love the Doctor but you do think, ‘You’re a bit of an arse and you really, really, do think everybody’s here to carry stuff for you.’ That’s true throughout the Doctors, however ‘men of the people’ they pretend to be. They’re really wonderful men trying to help everybody but the Doctor does, like Robin Hood, expect to be in charge. He doesn’t really tolerate being second in command. He’s helping out the people, so long as he can be the boss person with the best bow and arrow — and one day that will come back to haunt him.

Is it acceptable to kill people to save more people? The answer, of course, is that it depends on whether it’s the hero doing it or the villain....This is the sort of stuff Lawrence Miles was savaging back in Interference, pointing out that television ethics are really just aesthetics.
Dr. Phil Sandifer on Torchwood, "Reset"

Janeway: A long time ago, I made a decision that stranded this crew in the Delta Quadrant. I don't regret that decision.
Chuck: (as Janeway) Carey, Hagan, Jonas, and a few others might, but they're not here to complain.
SFDebris on Star Trek: Voyager, "Endgame"

Janeway really has nobody to blame but herself for Seven’s rogue behaviour in this episode...she was the one who insisted they try and re-assert her humanity. Now that isn’t quite working out and she is an embarrassment she sends her crew out to stop her by any force necessary. The message here seems to be act like us or we will destroy you. Janeway the Furher is back in business. Janeway’s other contradiction seems to be that she will try to negotiate with alien species for passage through their space but as soon as those relations break down she throws respect out the window and uses force to bully her way through. She’s an odd one, for sure. Sometimes I really admire her flawed behaviour (to err is human after all) and at others I think she is the work of writers who cannot consistently give her any kind of consistent characterisation. ‘You’ve left me choice!’ she barks ‘I don’t have time for this…target their weapons array!’ What a nutter.
Doc Oho on Star Trek: Voyager, "The Raven"

There is, of course, a massive irony here that Enterprise never bothers to address. Archer is horrified that Ryan would take a prisoner from the hostile alien pirates who have been attacking his freighter. “What gives you the right to take prisoners?” Archer demands, what seems like a particularly absurd question. Ryan’s decision to torture the prisoner is unconscionable, and his decision to launch a direct attack is foolhardy; but taking a hostage to defend his ship against a bunch of rampaging pirates is a perfectly justifiable act.

In Silent Enemy, Archer faces a similar crisis as his ship comes under siege from an unknown adversary. When democracy doesn’t work, Archer responds with force – he even tries to stun some intruders that have boarded the ship...Archer has spent a significant portion of the first season complaining that he doesn’t need to listen to the Vulcans. In Fight or Flight, he engaged the ship in combat with a superior enemy in order to prove a moral point — he was lucky to escape. In Strange New World, his decision to send away teams down to a planet without doing a proper survey first led his Chief Engineer to almost murder his Science Officer. In Breaking the Ice, he rather reluctantly accepted the assistance of the Vulcans during a major crisis.

So you would imagine that Archer would feel some measure of empathy and sympathy for Ryan. After all, Archer hasn’t completely gotten over the chip on his own shoulder. However, Fortunate Son never makes the connection explicit, never underscores what this story means in the larger context of Archer’s character arc. As such, Fortunate Son makes Archer seem like a racist hypocrite. He takes it upon himself to impose his own standards of human morality on Ryan, but with no acknowledgement that he may not be the best person to judge such things.
Darren Mooney on Star Trek: Enterprise, "Fortunate Son"

He was a hacker who did any work for hire and stole money from bank accounts, but then accidentally targeted someone powerful who killed his six-year-old niece, which gave him a little Spider-Man moment and he declared that from this day forth he would use his powers to—! ...continue working for hire and stealing money from bank accounts. But also fight crime! ...In-between. If he can be arsed. Not stealing-money crime, or property-damage crime, or murdering-policemen crime; just, you know, all the bad crimes, the ones committed by people other than himself.

Did you ever read Rick Veitch’s Question mini that was part of Superstorm? It had a lot of flaws, but there was this great bit where all Metropolis drug deals and stuff took place in bathrooms, since Superman is too good a guy to ever look. It’s like moral lead. This is not that Superman.
Chris Sims and David Uzumeri on Superman Returns

Ray testifies against Ned and gets him thrown out of the CIA, before resigning himself... it would seem he’s been making a living by taking gun-for-hire jobs over the web. You know, because that’s totally different from killing people for the government. He’ll grumble out an explanation for this later, but it’s still dumb.

'Cause not only will America go into your country and kill all your people, but what’s worse, I think, is they’ll come back twenty years later and make a movie about how killing your people made their soldiers feel sad. Oh boo hoo hoo. Americans making a movie about what Vietnam did to the soldiers is like a serial killer telling you what stopping suddenly for hitchhikers did to his clutch.
Frankie Boyle as part of a sketch on Scottish independence