'Doctor Who' Jack Robertson: Chris Noth's Character Is Trump, but Scarier
Somehow, giant spiders aren't the spookiest thing in this episode.
In “Arachnids in the UK,” Doctor Who delivers something much more frightening than Donald Trump’s potential 2020 re-election, and it’s even scarier than the giant spiders in the same episode. His name is Jack Robertson (Chris Noth) and he might just be our future president — at least in the world of Doctor Who.
If Donald Trump and Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin’s 30 Rock character) had a competent baby, he might grow up to be something like the Doctor Who character introduced in Sunday night’s Doctor Who episode. In “Arachnids in the UK,” the Doctor finally gets her three best friends home after wrapping things up in 1955 Montgomery, Alabama with “Rosa”. But they quickly realize things are amiss as giant spiders plague the city, all focused on a fancy new massive hotel about to open in the very center.
Enter Jack Robertson, a business magnate who’s ruthlessly efficient but utterly corrupt. He’ll stop at nothing to further his personal gain, doing so with total disregard for anyone else. He also despises Donald Trump and has plans to beat the current president in the 2020 U.S. election.
Robertson is a bulldog in an expensive suit, brutish and uncaring about the impact his unsavory business practices have on the world. Perhaps worst of all is his inability to assume responsibility for his failures.
In the opening to the episode, Robertson berates his niece’s wife (his employee) for bringing him bad news. “This could destroy me for 2020!” he says. “Make it disappear.”
We later learn that the big scandal involves his purchase of defunct coal mines, which he filled them with all manner of garbage and toxic waste (including genetically modified spiders) before building a luxury hotel right on top. He later calls this layered approach “smart business planning” and “perfect vertical integration.”
Throughout the episode, most characters that encounter Robertson seem starstruck. Yasmin’s mother Najia is to be the general manager of his new hotel, and when she sees him there, she simply says, “Wow.” But Jack flippantly fires Najia for being in the wrong place at the wrong time for no reason other than that he’s annoyed.
Graham has a similar reaction when seeing him for the first time: “You’re that bloke.” It’s as if these people are meeting a celebrity that everyone in the world would know, but once they actually get to know him they’re only disappointed.
Robertson boasts, “I’m not a politician. I’m a businessman and I know how to run things.” Another character says, “I’ve heard you’re only running because you’ve hated Trump for decades.” His response is to just say, “Please don’t mention that name.”
Peterson later shows little remorse when his bodyguard and his niece’s wife wind up killed by spiders. Everyone learns that they shouldn’t trust or respect this guy. He even has a panic room in every single one of his hotels with enough food and water for him to last six months, plus an entertainment center and a single book. He hates reading!
“I am the future President of the United States,” he says as he rushes up to the massive queen spider with a gun. “How’s this for fire and fury?”
Then he kills her in what he calls a “mercy killing.”
“God help us all,” is all anybody says.
Robertson’s behavior patterns and even vernacular are meant to remind us closely of Donald Trump, but rather than come off as anything like a womanizer and occasional bumbling fool, he’s ruthless and assertive. Perhaps most frightening of all, he’s efficient and produces results. But as a human being he’s nothing short of deplorable.
For many viewers, he might be an even worse version of Donald Trump.
Doctor Who airs Sundays on BBC America at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Here’s an extra look at what happens at the start of the episode: