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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Doctor Who

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old June 5 2014, 11:02 AM   #16
BlastHardcheese
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Re: The Most controversial Question

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
The hero of the show is the Doctor. It's called Doctor Who, not The Companions and some bloke.
What's in a title, eh?

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
They did the work. She was just the muse. So, that's what the girls get, to just be the muse?
Oh so you mean that all the Doctor's incarnations doing some technobabbly stuff is a stronger more emotionally empowering scene thing than one human female changing the Doctor's mind for the better by using truth and compassion and hope? Clara changed the universe with an idea when the Doctor was ready to give up on it. All the legwork the Doctor does is incidental.

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
I'll use Batman and Robin... What if you had said, "Girls and young women already have their role models in Robin." Does that make it more clear? Who would you rather be? Who would you want as your role model?
I don't know about you, but I think it's unhealthy for little boys or girls to have Batman as a role model. Batman for all his escapist fantasy awesome, is a psychopath. Ever read The Dark Knight Returns? I would rather be Robin than Batman in that comic series.

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
So, they don't get to have the hero as their role model, but the sidekick, the companion, the one who comes and goes. Sure, they might save the world from time to time, or inspire the Doctor with a new way of thinking about something, but it's the Doctor who (lol) does the actual work. He's the genius. The human companions are the idiot savants.
The Doctor is also the mass murderer. He is also the disgusting prick who killed Solomon the Trader. He destroyed an entire Cyberman fleet just to find the whereabouts of Amelia Pond. He wiped out an entire population of Weeping Angels that were just trying to survive. He burned Gallifrey. Even if he saved it the second time, he still burned it the first time. Sure, I'd be happy if a female character could say they did all that and had to live with the shame of being a both a good person and complete monster. But you seem to enjoy idolizing his character and devaluing his companions.

I'm going to admit something you probably won't believe. I don't watch Dr Who for the Doctor's antics. I haven't done so since Tennant's time. I've watched Dr Who because I'm a fan of all his companions and I love to watch how they handle the situations he throws at them and how they rise to the challenge. One of my favorite episodes is The God Complex, where it's Amy and Rory who save the day by abandoning their faith in the Doctor. It's the one episode that deconstructs the whole theme of the series: "The Doctor is the perfect shiny hero and he will always save the day and the companions are idiot savants who may or may not help. The episode will always turn out right in the end because: the Doctor."

If you want to go on saying the companions are secondary characters who don't share the limelight equally with the Doctor and they don't do much of the work, etc etc, go ahead. I still think you're wrong and I think they are awesome, and I think the show is about them as much as the "mad man with a box". And I'll not complain if it becomes a "mad woman with a box".

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
I realized the reason I'm having a hard time taking BlastHardcheese's argument seriously... Because it's basically, "Why can't they be satisfied with what they have? Don't they realize they have enough?"
I freely admitted I was trolling before I made that outlandish statement about castration and the feminist agenda. Like I said before, I would be happy with a female Doctor. I would know that the actor chosen to be the Doctor would have been chosen for their acting ability and character and general awesomeness and not because they are a woman. It's the "Doctor Who should be a woman so that women are given their fair share!" attitude that I find unpleasant.

If you want to reduce the Doctor's companions to meagre disempowered "sidekicks", that's your belief and not necessarily what the show intends or what other people take away at all.
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Old June 5 2014, 02:44 PM   #17
Mr. Adventure
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Re: The Most controversial Question

The thing is the companion only goes where the Doctor takes them.

I think saying that the companion is as important or more so than the Doctor doesn't answer why the Doctor shouldn't be female. If anything, that just makes it even less sensible that the Doctor must be male.

BlastHardcheese wrote: View Post
It's the "Doctor Who should be a woman so that women are given their fair share!" attitude that I find unpleasant.
As far as I can tell you're the only one making that argument.

You argued that it is important that the Doctor be male because little boys need a role model in the Doctor. I countered that perhaps little girls could use that role model even more.

I think the sticking point is the idea that girls can get their role models from the companion but boys apparently can not. I think expounding on that would be more productive than defending the role of companion.
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Old June 5 2014, 04:50 PM   #18
Professor Zoom
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Re: The Most controversial Question

BlastHardcheese wrote: View Post
I freely admitted I was trolling before I made that outlandish statement about castration and the feminist agenda.
You also said this regarding the castration statement....

BlastHardcheese wrote: View Post
It would also contain a grain of truth.
You don't get to have it both ways.
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Old June 6 2014, 06:02 AM   #19
BlastHardcheese
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Re: The Most controversial Question

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
You don't get to have it both ways.
Of course not, because it was a troll statement. I want to bring out perspectives that are in stark opposition to that statement. See, I want people to convince me that the viewpoint that the Doctor should be a woman for once is not motivated by a desire for special treatment or a desire to make Dr Who about empowering women instead of awesome space adventures and being kind to your fellow life-form as its primary focus.
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Old June 6 2014, 06:33 AM   #20
M.A.C.O.
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Re: The Most controversial Question

#Bring Back Romana!

I adored her in Classic Who and hoped we would make an appearance in the revived series. Enough time has past to make that a possibility.
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Old June 6 2014, 08:33 AM   #21
MacLeod
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Re: The Most controversial Question

Well we did have the Time Lady Romana in the Fourth Doctor's era, if memory serves she was smarter than The Doctor.
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Old June 6 2014, 08:43 AM   #22
Captaindemotion
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Re: The Most controversial Question

I don't think the Doctor is defined by his sexuality, so it's hard for me to adopt a firm position either way on this argument. Despite the existence of a granddaughter, I've long viewed him as an asexual character; I never really imagined him having a wife and kids.

That has been undermined by the dynamic between The Doctor and River, which clearly has a sexual undertone. To a lesser extent, one could also look at the kiss Nine gave Captain Jack. But then again, while Nine and Ten clearly loved Rose, I'm not sure it was in the way we view love between a man and a woman. Some of you may well disagree, of course.

I think I'd probably now say that the Doctor is as omnisexual as he is asexual. He's not like Jack, who'd pretty much stick it in anything but IIRC he also showed some attraction to alien species during the RTD era. So I think that the Doctor could well be attracted to a man - if species isn't a barrier to him, why should gender? At any rate, it's a family programme and the Doctor's sex life is hardly a major part of the show or his character. It's not like it will turn into Game of Thrones, whichever way he swings.

I don't think it matters a rattling frig what sexuality the actor playing the role is and I think Ben Daniels would've been fine, as would someone like Tim Curry, back in the day. As for gender, well, I don't think they ought to cast a woman just for the sake of being different. But it's now established that time lords can change gender during regeneration. So if an actress is given a chance and comes in and gives the best audition, well, give her the role. It will be controversial as hell and she will be subjected to infinitely more scrutiny and discussion than any man will be. But if she's good enough to prove naysayers wrong, then she'll have the last laugh.

The same would apply to a transgender actor, though as I can't think of too many, I suspect that's an argument that will remain academic for now.
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Old June 6 2014, 12:26 PM   #23
BlastHardcheese
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Re: The Most controversial Question

Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
So if an actress is given a chance and comes in and gives the best audition, well, give her the role. It will be controversial as hell and she will be subjected to infinitely more scrutiny and discussion than any man will be.
That got me to thinking: While the Doctor is a very "human" character who believes in doing the right thing and loving his alien neighbor, he can also be a despicable bastard as I've previously said. A female Doctor would have to be portrayed the same way - attention will have to be payed to the fact that we are still watching the same Gallifreyan who loves to be clever and impress his/her companions and hungers for the limelight. Not only that, but a character who has killed millions and can be a very cold and devious chess-master. Would feminist groups be upset at seeing a female Doctor portrayed that way and cry foul? Would they claim that the female Doctor is being painted as a narcissistic showoff at the least and a nasty unlikeable bitch at the worst, and that this harms the image of strong female characters?

I offer up Maleficent as an example. I just saw the new film and it surprised me at how the titular character is portrayed. The film tries to paint her as a morally ambiguous character with a lot of darkness around her and who is capable of awful evil acts. But at no point does she directly kill anyone in an act of deliberate murder. It's as if we as a society can't quite handle the idea of a female protagonist who is a good person and a cold blooded killer when it's often celebrated about many male protagonists, or if it's a ridiculous action schlock movie that should under no circumstances be taken seriously (see Resident Evil). In a perfect would, a hero who is also a killer should never be celebrated. The character of the Doctor certainly isn't intended to be celebrated for the sentient beings he has killed. But since he is a male, most fans don't demonize him. The show even goes out of its way to scold the Doctor on one occasion - Agatha Christie calls the Doctor out for being excited to solve a murder mystery as if it were a game, when real human beings were being killed. Would fans demonize a woman for doing the same things? Or would they see such a character as empowering for women? Because that would absolutely be the wrong message.

Last edited by BlastHardcheese; June 6 2014 at 01:40 PM.
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Old June 6 2014, 01:16 PM   #24
Captaindemotion
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Re: The Most controversial Question

I was thinking more of how the actress's performance would be scrutinised, but yes, you raise an interesting point.
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Old June 6 2014, 02:12 PM   #25
Starkers
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Re: The Most controversial Question

At the end of the day it will come down to the actress chosen, and the reasons why she was chosen. Gender aside a good enough actor can overcome most hurdles, at the risk of hijacking another thread this is, IMO, one of the reasons Colin Baker failed, he wasn’t a good enough actor to portray that chosen incarnation of the Doctor’s personality. So if they get some actress who’s ok but nothing more, she might fail. On the other hand if they get someone like Olivia Colman, and have the courage of their convictions, I think such a change will succeed. Yes her portrayal will be scrutinised, but a lot of people had a problem with Smith’s youth, and though not everyone liked him, I suspect he won an awful lot of people round just in the time it took him to clamber out of a Tardis and demand fish fingers and custard.

It won’t be easy, and whether they cast Colman, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Toni Collette or Judi Dench people would claim they were only being cast because they were a woman, and even if they were successful the controversies wouldn’t end, because what happens when it’s time for them to regenerate? Do you replace them with another woman (cue complaints) or with a man (cue complaints).

A female Doctor isn’t a route I want them to go down, but I’ve always been very clear on this, so long as the person who plays the Doctor is the best (wo)man for the job then that’s good enough for me, whether it was Capaldi or Paterson Joseph, Olivia Colman, or Peter Dinklage (now there’s an idea!)
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Old June 6 2014, 03:14 PM   #26
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Re: The Most controversial Question

Why wouldn't they chose the best person for the job? Do you think they would just go "meh, you're good enough?"
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Old June 6 2014, 03:20 PM   #27
Captaindemotion
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Re: The Most controversial Question

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
Why wouldn't they chose the best person for the job? Do you think they would just go "meh, you're good enough?"
I can only speak for myself, but really what I was driving at was that they merely keep an open mind in casting the role.

For example, I recently read that when casting the Eleventh Doctor, Moffatt really wanted an older actor for the role. However, he was bowled over by Matt Smith's audition and, as we know, gave him the part. Had he told casting agents 'I don't want to see anyone under the age of 50 for the role, period', that wouldn't have happened.

So what I'm saying is, I don't want the next person casting the Doctor to go 'I only want to see men for the role' or 'I only want to see women for the role.' I'd like them to say 'Send me anyone who you think will be a good fit for the part, regardless of gender' - albeit with some parameters, obviously - I don't think the Doctor should be played by a classic handsome leading man or classic glamorous leading lady type.

If they were to say 'I only want to see women for the auditions', then they might end up casting the best female for the part, but one who might not be as good as a male who never got to audition. The reverse would apply, obviously.
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Old June 6 2014, 03:46 PM   #28
Starkers
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Re: The Most controversial Question

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
Why wouldn't they chose the best person for the job? Do you think they would just go "meh, you're good enough?"
Actually I think in some cases they would (I'm not just talking Who here I'm talking across the board in tv and film). It might be down to laziness, it might be down to sheer logistics (you can't audition 25,000 people for a role after all) it might be down to salary requirements, scheduling conflicts, personality conflicts, nepotism... a whole heap of reasons. Plus of course the best person might turn you down!
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Old June 6 2014, 03:50 PM   #29
Starkers
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Re: The Most controversial Question

Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
Why wouldn't they chose the best person for the job? Do you think they would just go "meh, you're good enough?"
I can only speak for myself, but really what I was driving at was that they merely keep an open mind in casting the role.

For example, I recently read that when casting the Eleventh Doctor, Moffatt really wanted an older actor for the role. However, he was bowled over by Matt Smith's audition and, as we know, gave him the part. Had he told casting agents 'I don't want to see anyone under the age of 50 for the role, period', that wouldn't have happened.

So what I'm saying is, I don't want the next person casting the Doctor to go 'I only want to see men for the role' or 'I only want to see women for the role.' I'd like them to say 'Send me anyone who you think will be a good fit for the part, regardless of gender' - albeit with some parameters, obviously - I don't think the Doctor should be played by a classic handsome leading man or classic glamorous leading lady type.

If they were to say 'I only want to see women for the auditions', then they might end up casting the best female for the part, but one who might not be as good as a male who never got to audition. The reverse would apply, obviously.
That's the important bit, after all Avery Brooks didn't get the role of Sisko because he was the best black man auditioned, he got the role because he was the best man auditioned. You'd just have to be really cagey about the job spec. "We're looking for a man or a woman to play an older mentor figure, a wizard, someone with great wisom and gravitas but who is also quirky and can be childish sometimes. Age and ethnicity imaterial."

Of course it might be pretty obvious who they're looking for...
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Old June 6 2014, 05:44 PM   #30
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Re: The Most controversial Question

And the producers of Voyager wanted an elderly man to play Tuvok but the much younger Tim Russ gave the best audition.
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