In Dinosaurs on a spaceship he kills the bad guy (admittedly a really, really bad guy), and then in Mercy he is initially keen to kill bad guy but then has a change of heart. Seems a bit out of character. Is the Doctor becoming callous in his old age or what? Or is this leading somewhere? Any thoughts? 

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That was badly scripted IMO.  But the general idea is that he isn't spending as much time with Amy and the Roman and so he's getting revengeful and angry again - because that's what happens when he has too much time on his own.....

That sounds about right. Amy in particular seems to ground him a bit. A previous episode implied he had aged a couple of centuries while away from Amy, seems like all that time alone left him bitter. 

Dr Who is a kids show, so we can't unravel it too much - because it starts unraveling very easily ... :)

Also, if you've watched the classics, the Doctor has had moments where he's almost killed someone, or he has, or whatever. This isn't a just new thing. It just depends on what's going on at the time, the story. He's not infallible. He's a madman in a box. :)

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