i can 100% see where you're coming from with the doc scratch thing. like, don't get me wrong the whole Reveal® was a great plot twist, very chessmaster. But I still feel like we lost a fantastically creepy, manipulative, amazing character for the sake of said plot twist.
OKAY SO HERE’S HE FUCKING THING ABOUT DOC SCRATCH THAT I ABSOLUTELY LOVE AND WHY I MISS HIM SO MUCH.
BUCKLE UP I’M TURNING THIS INTO A CHARACTER ANALYSIS
Okay let me esplain u a thign. When it comes to making a character dimensional, you have to consider what type of character they are. If the character is the primary protagonist or antagonist, they must have at LEAST two dimensions.
What is a dimension? A dimension is a contrast. A combination of traits or values that cannot coexist but somehow do in this one particular character. One dimension is just one trait or quality or value that the character embodies entirely. These characters are called flat characters, and they’re meant to be characters who don’t get a lot of attention. Side characters we don’t have to care too much about because we can understand them quickly and understand how they will react to certain situations.
Doc Scratch is a three dimensional character and it REALLY grinds my gears that he was destroyed to create Lord English, who we discover is a static and pure evil character who KNOWS he is static and insists on being so. Lord English is a poor antagonist compared to Doc Scratch because we already get Lord English at first glance. He’s Evil with a capital E. That’s it. There’s nothing more to him at all, he just wants power and… that’s it.
Doc Scratch was so much more. He had everything Lord English is, but that wasn’t the ONLY part of his character. Doc Scratch was a being of pure evil who behaved like a good guy. He had a gentlemanly demeanor that was fascinating to watch. He never swore. He wore pristine clothing that never got dirty. He was decidedly not a pedophile, for he had no biological means of reproduction and was as a result completely asexual.
There’s his dimension. The horrible contrast between a man so smooth and elegant and gentlemanly who was so polite that he let you know upfront that he was evil. He let you know that he was going to beat you the fuck up and force you to do what he wanted by sprinkling insects of manipulation all over your skin. He had an idea of the future in his mind and he would twist and prod and pull and tear at everyone around him until they did what he told them.
And he has little quirks too. Bits and pieces of a personality that makes him even more complex, even more bizarre, even more interesting. Like how the Terminator checked his hair in the mirror after poking his own eye out, or how WALL-E couldn’t figure out whether the spork would go with his collection of spoons or his collection of forks, or when Chihiro from Spirited Away held her breath again when crossing the bridge in the spirit world because she thought it would make her invisible. Hints and bits and pieces of humanity and realism that just make it more believable that this living puppet man with a giant cue ball for a head could conceivably exist.
Doc Scratch talks too much. He likes to play chess. He is conceited and thinks he knows everything when it is very possible that he does not. He pushed Vriska to kill her friends, created an angel of death out of Damara, sent Rose on the path to grimdark, he even tried to convince Slick that there was nothing left for him to live for (I’ll talk more about this later probably). He has an unsettling laugh and tells jokes sometimes. He never has anyone’s best interests in mind.
He was an infinitely more fascinating villain. I miss him a lot.