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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 4 2014, 02:02 AM   #1
starsuperion
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The Most controversial Question

Okay, first, before I ask this, the title says it all, and before we get into the weeds, please think about what you want to say, and please, please..

We are all enlightened and intelligent 21st century individuals. We all share our own quirks, and biases on any subject. We all have an opinion, and I would like to not see this thread deleted or shut down by the mods, so for the love of intellectual sharing, please respect each others opinion, politely disagree but no flaming.. This is a touchy subject..

So..

To the Question..

Would a transgender, or Openly Gay Doctor work, or would it be the death nail in the series? it's not to say, is it acceptable, but rather, would that aspect have a direct effect on the ratings, making the show become a thing tuned out by viewers? I'm not talking hidden overtones, I am talking like say, the Birdcage type acting.. quirky funny companion, gay doctor, but serious?

I am not gay myself, nor do I feel it could be a hit if it went that way, however.. the Bird cage is one of my favorite movies dealing with that subject, and as comedy is something in Doctor who, and attitudes being what they are in the UK..

I ask simply from the perspective of the show, and it's success.. what I am curious is to know my fellow Whovians, are the various philosophical points on this subject from like minded fans.

As for the Transgender aspect.. Yes, we know a Timelord can switch their gender, but if you accept the premise that being gay is not simply about being born one gender and preferring to be another, that maybe a woman, simply likes another woman, and is not wanting to be a man, then it would be something like that in the show, and not the changing of the sex..
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Old June 4 2014, 03:57 AM   #2
BlastHardcheese
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Re: The Most controversial Question

The Doctor isn't openly straight. Therefore, he shouldn't be openly gay either. The fact that he embraces all life whether it be straight or gay or pansexual is enough.

I wouldn't mind the Doctor being played by a transgender or female actor, however I would say that making the character of the Doctor identify as female or transgender and make a big thing about it would turn Doctor Who into a loudhailer for promoting feminist or transgender issues.

I'm going to have to elaborate a little, though I'm going beyond the scope of your question here:

One thing I cannot agree with is the desire by activist groups to mold the Doctor into the gender/race/whatever they identify with on the grounds that gender equality must be recognised by the show. I would say this even if the Doctor had been a woman from the beginning and "men's rights" activists demanded the Doctor be a man for once. I'd tell them to shut up. Doctor Who has strong female and gay characters who save the day and the Doctor's life all the time. I'd be happy to see more characters like that. I'd be happy for a spinoff where Romana or Jenny or River Song is the Time Lady hero in a Tardis out saving the universe. And I certainly would be happy to see transgender actors on the show playing transgender (or any gender, human or alien) characters. I'd be happy with a transgender or female Doctor. It's the content of the actor's character that makes a good Doctor, not their gender.

But I've heard claims that the Doctor should change gender or whatever because female fans think a constantly male Doctor oppresses them or ignores their rights. I see this as an asinine claim.

Last edited by BlastHardcheese; June 4 2014 at 02:11 PM.
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Old June 4 2014, 04:16 AM   #3
Mr. Adventure
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Re: The Most controversial Question

I've recently started watching Orphan Black and a couple of times I've thought that (way gay) Felix would make a pretty good Doctor. As to whether the audience at large would accept it I couldn't say. Then again, Torchwood didn't suffer for ratings on BBC America...
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Old June 4 2014, 04:23 AM   #4
Doctorwhovian
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Re: The Most controversial Question

Wasn't a gay actor considered for the new Doctor (Ben Daniels)?
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Old June 4 2014, 09:21 AM   #5
Starkers
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Re: The Most controversial Question

Re Orphan Black I’m not sure about the guy who plays Felix as the Doctor, but I’d love to see him as a companion because he’s great in OB!

An openly gay or transgender Doctor? Well as others have said are we talking the actor or the character? For all we know a gay man already has played the Doctor (although I suspect it would have come out, pardon the pun, by now) and gay actors play straight roles the same as straight actors play gay roles, so even if the actor were gay this might not impact on the character. As has been said, the Doctor often seems above such things anyway, but even if we did consider him ‘straight’ given the changes in his personality that come with each regeneration there’s no reason to suggest his sexual preferences would always shift in the same way. If he was then I think it would come down to execution, if he suddenly turns into Captain Jack it might be a bit jarring (whether he was chasing every man or woman in sight!) but if it’s just part of who he is I doubt I’d have a major problem with it.

Transgender though? Well, again it’s something that would make perfect sense. If his body and personality shift during regeneration then it’s perfectly possible that they wouldn’t shift in sync. The only reason I’d be against it is that I think you could be onto a no win situation unless you get your casting spot on. You only have to look at how Jared Lito’s performance in Dallas Buyers Club was criticised by some TG groups who felt a transgender actor should have been cast.

Obviously transgender relates to a very specific set of criteria, the Doctor could be transvestite (and look how many times Eddie Izzard’s been mooted as a potential Doctor over the years) and, from a certain perspective, you could argue that the Doctor has always been on the cusp of this. Let’s be honest here, with a few exceptions the Doctor has very often dressed extravagantly, he’s often flamboyant and ostentatious and he really just doesn’t care a fig what people think about how he dresses.

At the end of the day the Doctor is an outsider, whether it’s in 18th Century London, 25th Century Gazzxxploxal IV, or even amongst his own people, and that’s what’s great about him, and what draws fans from across all spectrums to him, and as long as the basic essence of the Doctor didn’t change, and as long as, as BlastHardcheese says, the show didn’t just become a loud hailer for specific issues and nothing else, then I think the show would still succeed whether the Doctor was Eddie Izzard, Tim Curry, Tilda Swinton, Olivia Colman, John Barrowman, Daniel Craig, Sir Ian McKellan, or Jason Statham.
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Old June 4 2014, 01:59 PM   #6
BlastHardcheese
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Re: The Most controversial Question

Starkers wrote: View Post
I think the show would still succeed whether the Doctor was Eddie Izzard, Tim Curry, Tilda Swinton, Olivia Colman, John Barrowman, Daniel Craig, Sir Ian McKellan, or Jason Statham.
I would love to see Tilda Swinton as the Doctor.

But there is one other issue that I think is important about the Doctor staying male. He is one of the few male characters that boys and young men can look up to who doesn't use violence to solve problems like every male scifi action hero ever. The Doctor always does what's right. He is physically sick at the thought of taking life. He always listens to his human companions (most of them women) and openly acknowledges that they are better than him. He tries to see the value in everyone he meets unless they are downright cruel and heartless and evil. And he never ever acts rashly without stopping to question his motives and choices. He is a flawed character and acknowledges that he can be a nasty piece of work, even though he has fought for his entire life to be good. He is a male character that boys and young men can admire and aspire to. Girls and young women already have their role models in the Doctor's companions. Making the Doctor transgender or a woman would take away something that the male viewership of Doctor Who really need.

Last edited by BlastHardcheese; June 4 2014 at 02:12 PM.
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Old June 4 2014, 04:12 PM   #7
Mr. Adventure
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Re: The Most controversial Question

BlastHardcheese wrote: View Post
I would love to see Tilda Swinton as the Doctor.
Agreed.

Girls and young women already have their role models in the Doctor's companions.
That seems a bit too pat and convenient. I think it could be argued that girls could use great role model heroes at least as much as boys and probably moreso. And unlike boys they are rarely cast as the lead.
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Old June 4 2014, 05:05 PM   #8
starsuperion
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Re: The Most controversial Question

well in another post they were asking for American Doctor's and tho this is about the "question" at hand, I think if they ever did one, and even though people seem to think he's one dimensional and not indicative of the Gay community, I still feel as an actor he has such a high range of talents, and is literally a comic Genius! I mean timing and his ability to convey stark emotions.. So my vote if they ever did a Gay Doctor, with an American Actor would be Will Turner.. Of Will and Grace.
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Old June 4 2014, 08:26 PM   #9
Iamnotspock
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Re: The Most controversial Question

BlastHardcheese wrote: View Post
Starkers wrote: View Post
I think the show would still succeed whether the Doctor was Eddie Izzard, Tim Curry, Tilda Swinton, Olivia Colman, John Barrowman, Daniel Craig, Sir Ian McKellan, or Jason Statham.
I would love to see Tilda Swinton as the Doctor.

But there is one other issue that I think is important about the Doctor staying male. He is one of the few male characters that boys and young men can look up to who doesn't use violence to solve problems like every male scifi action hero ever. The Doctor always does what's right. He is physically sick at the thought of taking life. He always listens to his human companions (most of them women) and openly acknowledges that they are better than him. He tries to see the value in everyone he meets unless they are downright cruel and heartless and evil. And he never ever acts rashly without stopping to question his motives and choices. He is a flawed character and acknowledges that he can be a nasty piece of work, even though he has fought for his entire life to be good. He is a male character that boys and young men can admire and aspire to. Girls and young women already have their role models in the Doctor's companions. Making the Doctor transgender or a woman would take away something that the male viewership of Doctor Who really need.
This identifies my feeling on the subject. I don't think there are nearly enough strong role models for young girls, but making the Doctor female with that in mind would seem to be a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. I'd love to see more female lead roles on TV, but new ones.
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Old June 4 2014, 09:37 PM   #10
Professor Zoom
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Re: The Most controversial Question

BlastHardcheese wrote: View Post
Girls and young women already have their role models in the Doctor's companions.
So they should be content with looking up to the Doctor's SIDEKICKS?

What's the companion's job in most of the episodes: "Doctor, what's going on?" "Doctor, tell me what you are doing?"

You really think THAT is a role model you would want for your sister or your daughter?
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Old June 4 2014, 10:30 PM   #11
Starkers
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Re: The Most controversial Question

starsuperion wrote: View Post
well in another post they were asking for American Doctor's and tho this is about the "question" at hand, I think if they ever did one, and even though people seem to think he's one dimensional and not indicative of the Gay community, I still feel as an actor he has such a high range of talents, and is literally a comic Genius! I mean timing and his ability to convey stark emotions.. So my vote if they ever did a Gay Doctor, with an American Actor would be Will Turner.. Of Will and Grace.
Do you mean Eric McCormack who played Will Truman and who is, ironically given John Barrowman was apparently up for the role of Will, straight!
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Old June 4 2014, 10:58 PM   #12
MacLeod
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Re: The Most controversial Question

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
BlastHardcheese wrote: View Post
Girls and young women already have their role models in the Doctor's companions.
So they should be content with looking up to the Doctor's SIDEKICKS?

What's the companion's job in most of the episodes: "Doctor, what's going on?" "Doctor, tell me what you are doing?"

You really think THAT is a role model you would want for your sister or your daughter?
We have had several male companions over the years off the top of my head.


Micky
Jack
Adam
Adric
Rory
Turlough
Harry
The Brigadier
Cpt. Yates
Sgt. Benton
Jamie
Ian


And of course I believe we are going to have a new male companion for 12th Doctor.

Part of the role of the companion male or female is to ask those questions for exposition purposes, someone asking those questions is not unique to Doctor Who.
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Old June 5 2014, 12:54 AM   #13
BlastHardcheese
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Re: The Most controversial Question

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
BlastHardcheese wrote: View Post
Girls and young women already have their role models in the Doctor's companions.
So they should be content with looking up to the Doctor's SIDEKICKS?

What's the companion's job in most of the episodes: "Doctor, what's going on?" "Doctor, tell me what you are doing?"

You really think THAT is a role model you would want for your sister or your daughter?
You must have missed all the episodes where the Doctor's companions save his life and/or the universe, and where the Doctor tells them that they are the best damn people ever who he respects, admires and looks up to. Which means you've never watched anything other than Pertwee's run with Jo Grant and Colin Baker's run with Nicola Bryant.

Yes it's a fact that the Doctor's companions often have to ask what's going on, because they are avatars for the audience. They are also just as heroic and just as important as the Doctor and they are what makes an episode work. Who saved Gallifrey from the Doctor's choice? Clara fricking Oswald. Her words saved the Time Lords.

The person devaluing the Doctor's companions here is you, Professor Zoom.

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
I think it could be argued that girls could use great role model heroes at least as much as boys and probably moreso. And unlike boys they are rarely cast as the lead.
I agree completely with this statement, however Doctor Who casts the companions as equally important leads as the Doctor himself. Sure the Doctor is considered "the lead", but the audience should see Clara, and Amy and Rory and Martha and Donna and Rose as the lead as well during their eras. They get just as much hero-time if not more.

I think it's a case of women who say the Doctor should swap genders want the mysterious magical being who takes the companions (and the audience by proxy) on all those wild and grand adventures, to be a woman also. Because feminism.

I could go on to argue that feminists really just want to castrate a British pop culture icon in order to strike a blow against the patriarchy instead of pushing for new original strong female pop culture icons and embracing the existing ones, but that would be ridiculous trolling on my part. It would also contain a grain of truth.

I don't necessarily think the Doctor should always be a male character, but I question the motives of the people who are pushing for him to become female.

Last edited by BlastHardcheese; June 5 2014 at 01:07 AM.
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Old June 5 2014, 01:38 AM   #14
Melakon
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Re: The Most controversial Question

I think a more controversial question is why is Doctor Who always white?
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Old June 5 2014, 01:59 AM   #15
Professor Zoom
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Re: The Most controversial Question

BlastHardcheese wrote: View Post
Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
BlastHardcheese wrote: View Post
Girls and young women already have their role models in the Doctor's companions.
So they should be content with looking up to the Doctor's SIDEKICKS?

What's the companion's job in most of the episodes: "Doctor, what's going on?" "Doctor, tell me what you are doing?"

You really think THAT is a role model you would want for your sister or your daughter?
You must have missed all the episodes where the Doctor's companions save his life and/or the universe, and where the Doctor tells them that they are the best damn people ever who he respects, admires and looks up to.
And you must have missed the other 90% where the Doctor does all the work.

The hero of the show is the Doctor. It's called Doctor Who, not The Companions and some bloke.



Which means you've never watched anything other than Pertwee's run with Jo Grant and Colin Baker's run with Nicola Bryant.
Sigh.


Yes it's a fact that the Doctor's companions often have to ask what's going on, because they are avatars for the audience. They are also just as heroic and just as important as the Doctor and they are what makes an episode work. Who saved Gallifrey from the Doctor's choice? Clara fricking Oswald. Her words saved the Time Lords.


They did the work. She was just the muse. So, that's what the girls get, to just be the muse?


The person devaluing the Doctor's companions here is you, Professor Zoom.
No, I'm trying to offer you a different point of view, which I see you stubbornly won't see. But, I'll try it another way....

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?

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.

I could go on to argue that feminists really just want to castrate a British pop culture icon in order to strike a blow against the patriarchy instead of pushing for new original strong female pop culture icons and embracing the existing ones, but that would be ridiculous trolling on my part. It would also contain a grain of truth.
Seriously? Never mind.


Edited to add:

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?"
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Last edited by Professor Zoom; June 5 2014 at 03:13 AM.
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