Why Doctor Who is a MESS

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Shaka Zulu, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    That makes sense if male is default gender with no meaning. And that’s not true.

    You are confusing gender and sexuality. And I would agree, until Tennant, the Doctor wasn’t presented as a sexual character. A man, yes, and with some flirting with Jo aside, for the most part not a sexual character.

    I think they returned to that with Capaldi and Whitaker.

    Personally, I feel it’s there. She was strong, the stories could’ve been stronger.
     
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  2. jaime

    jaime Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sorry, I should have said I am not looking for them to explore the feminine in Jodie’s character (not that I mind if they do, to the same level as previous Doctors if they really must...) but I think you got that anyway.

    Yes, iish, kind of using gender in it’s old interchangeable with sex common usage.

    As to your first sentence in the reply...no, that’s not what went on at all. The Doctor was not dependent on his gender, or sex, or sexuality, for the absolute longest time. It was tertiary. It was of importance in the real world I think, particularly as time went on (I can hardly argue it was totally irrelevant whilst still standing by my previous comments that young boys lost an important role model when they genderflipped the character — and I’ve had that discussion.) but in universe? It almost never mattered. That was sort of the point a lot of the time. The Doctor was just The Doctor. Til SAN Francisco.
     
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  3. Spot261

    Spot261 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Would you maybe see some measure of sexualisation in Eccleston?
     
  4. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    Gender and sexuality have never been used interchangeably.

    You think the Brig In 1970 would’ve responded to the Doctor in the same way if she was she? You think a woman marching into all of those bases would have gotten the same reception in 1965?

    And I’m glad you brought up your own point. You can’t have it both ways, his gender isn’t important and it is as a role model for boys.
     
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  5. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    A bit. Especially once Jack comes onboard. But I don’t think there was the same sort of tension between him and Rose and Tennant and Rose. Rose certainly had sexual feelings towards 9, but I don’t feel they were reciprocated like 10.

    I do feel, though, with Eccelston there was an effort to make The Doctor more desirable and not some Uncle you travel around in a box with.

    I think with 10 they crossed the bridge and didnt look back.
     
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  6. Spot261

    Spot261 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Fair enough, the reason I raised it is I always felt that the Tennant/Rose relationship was building on the groundwork laid by Eccleston.

    There may not have been an overt romantic relationship but he certainly ticked a lot of boxes in terms of male sexuality and I think they ran with that, possibly too far in retrospect. There was a sense that the doctor had to become a more aesthetic and potent hero which the Smith era for me subverted by contrasting it with extremes of eccentricity and oddness.
     
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  7. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I see what you’re saying and maybe if Eccelston had stayed they may have explored it more with him.

    He, I feel, was more fantasy for Rose, a handsome man that swept her away for a life of adventure. But, I don’t think he himself portrayed it. Not like 10.
     
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  8. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    There seems to have been a shark like "feeding frenzy" of videos just in the last week proclaiming that Chibnall has been "sacked" along with Whittaker. I have not had the stamina to play any of these clips for fear of the vitriol they may contain. Are these just cases of perpetuating misinformation started by people simply wishing this might happen?
     
  9. jaime

    jaime Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I didn’t say sexuality. I said sex.

    And yes, the Brigadier would have done. In universe.

    And yes, I can have it both ways, because I clearly delineated the importance of gender to the character in universe, and the importance out of universe to the audience. In terms of role model to boys, there are basically no other Male characters, particularly aimed at a child audience, who are so inherently non-violent etc. In fact, in terms of gender/sex, the Doctor typically portrays characteristics more associated with the feminine archetypal characters.
    If gender is unimportant to be a role model, why is the argument made that now the character is a female, they can be a role model to girls now? With the implication this was not possible before? If those arguments are true, then indeed, little boys lost something. Since it apparently becomes about ownership of the character through associated gender/sex. If they aren’t true, then why was the character changed?

    Is it about representation? In which case..representation where? SF lead? Loads of women already doing and done that. Prime Time Weekend TV Drama? Again, not exactly short of those...it’s basically Keeley Hawes stock-in-trade these days (she would have been excellent.)

    So what is it about?
    All I can see left is political headline grabbing, or taking something away perhaps?

    Personally I think it was a bit gimmicky, and hopefully a creative choice. I am not anti-woma in any way, but I was/am a little bit anti-the-Doctor-gender-flipping, because of what the character meant to me and people like me, and even people not like me. Basically I am in the Peter Davison camp. But we know what happened there. Twitterati Hunt in packs.

    Now it’s happened, I would rather like it to be done well, and don’t feel that it is.
     
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  10. jaime

    jaime Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Possibly, probably, apparently. Who knows. There are rumours, that are then refuted by other rumours. Sources everywhere, all secret and inside, apart from HP, which is on the table.
     
  11. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    In universe, the Brig replaced Liz Shaw with Jo Grant. I think that speaks for itself.

    You really haven’t. You just said, “Yeah, they would!”

    And, how can one separate the world of the show from the world that it is being written in. The fictional world is being created within the context of ours. The politics. The society. It’s not walled off from the concerns and desires of the writers who live in our world.

    The Doctor’s gender matters. Or it wouldn’t have taken this long.

    *looks at the classic and new Doctors*

    Like?

    I never said gender was unimportant.

    This I’ve never understood. What have they lost? Are boys so fragile they can’t look up to female characters?

    The character has always been about change. And, because a show isn’t created in a vacuum, it’s changing to a more modern sensibility.

    Do you think there is parity between male and female roles in TV?

    What is being taken away?

    Everyone wants it done well.

    Every time the Doctor regenerates it’s a gimmick for attention. Who will be the new Doctor!?! Let’s bet, let’s discuss!

    I hear you, you have a lot of personal attachment to the Doctor of your youth. However, the kids of today, both boys and girls, will have this Doctor as the one of their youth. They will have a different experience from you, as they should. And it’s ok.
     
  12. Spot261

    Spot261 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It feels to me the answer is right there in your question. If you are asserting that there is no significant benefit to gender swapping a character who in many ways represents the values a female archetype then surely you are dismissing the case that those values can be shown as universal and independent of biology?

    I disagree that the doctor has been alone in representing a male who values pacifism but by maintaining those values across iterations the implication becomes that they can hold true for everyone. It isn't just about female empowerment and representation (although I do approve of those things), it's about establishing a commonality in values which have tended to delineate.
     
  13. jaime

    jaime Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It’s OT for the discussion here, and it’s been discussed to death (by me alone probably) but I believe the Doctor had value in the real world as the Male character he was, to real people. That has been lost.

    In universe?
    Wasn’t important.
     
  14. jaime

    jaime Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-22820829

    That is why a few good positive role models for little boys would be quite useful.
    They are getting harder to find in the real world. Same is true of Male teachers at a primary school level.

    In terms of UK TV?
    I think we are pretty close to parity, or even a pendulum swing past it depending on how you look at it. If you were to decide, on non-paid TV (freeview, the old terrestrial channels in terms of new content) then for every Poirot there is a Miss Marple. There’s arguably more programming aimed specifically at a nominal female audience than male audience (though goodness know who decided what was what...I mean..sports?) unless we go down the path of deciding all news is for men.
    Again, if we assume Who prior to now was nominally for little boys (it wasn’t, it was family viewing, but you know what I mean) it’s probably the only show on terrestrial TV that was. There’s more soap operas than I can shake a stick at mind you. And I would. Grr. Stick. Shake.

    I think trying to turn it around into a borderline gendered insult (are boys so fragile) about who they look up to is...pointless. I already think boys can look up to female characters. There are plenty they can do so with. There are very few (as in, of this moment) none that don’t reinforce what many would call ‘toxic masculinity’. There’s no role model for being a boy, that is particularly positive. Especially not suitable for younger or family viewing (which was already a problem because of grim drift in Who.)

    Now, for the record, I do not care about American TV. It’s different world.

    *shrug*
     
  15. starsuperion

    starsuperion Commodore Commodore

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    A female Doctor Concept that didn't change canon..Assuming the reference first made in the Doctor's wife had not been introduced by Moffat...

    The Doctor Goes missing, but his TARDIS is the only thing found. abandoned.. Lonely. The Doctor's Daughter Jenny returns Looking for her father. IF the universe knew he was missing then all chaos would ensue. So to keep the universe thinking the Doctor Was around, Jenny assumes his title, and portrays herself the Doctor in female regeneration format. show kicks off with the 1st season being a mystery arc, looking for clues to where to find the last place her father was.
    Sets up season 2 story arc. (at any point, Jenny could regenerate into a new female lead, keeping the show going and see how the public likes the new focus. Totally in canon and without changing anything, thus still having a female Doc. Everyone wins, and we have a mystery that involves the main character, and making the show irresistible. I mean, they even could have done a whole, The Doctor's missing campaign! Complete with posters all over London or Cardiff and promo it with the local media.
    [​IMG]
    Instead of all this gender politics, we could have had a focus on a good story.
    [​IMG]
    As a Davison fan, that fact Jenny is actually played by his daughter and married to Tenant just makes it all the more perplexing this wasn't thought of as a good way to break the glass ceiling.. without taking away anything.. only adding to it, and in an interesting way. At least that is how I would have done it.
     
  16. starsuperion

    starsuperion Commodore Commodore

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    In fairness, the Doctor/Whittaker Was hardly the lead in her own show.. Think about how most every episode went. She was a little less the focus then anything else. The Aliens weren't usually the enemy, mostly human men were. That got annoying. Bad father tropes, White future racist, who is just racist, no real motivation beyond that. stuff like that got old after awhile, as the themes seemed to be repeated.
     
  17. Jinn

    Jinn Mistress of the Chaotic Energies Premium Member

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    Look, as a woman called Jenny I love the concept. But as someone who's seen how people reacted when a female 007 (not a female James Bond, a female agent 007) was announced I have a hard time believing that there'd be significantly less backlash.
     
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  18. jaime

    jaime Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He may be right...it’s an established character, and not an outright replacement. People would always be whinging about waiting for the Doctor to be found however, and it’s a bit...fanwankery, to pull the Doctors daughter back in after she’s been absent.
    They would have been better off pulling back Clara and her Diner, it’s more recent.

    It certainly would be a novel approach.

    Jenny? Genial.
     
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  19. Spot261

    Spot261 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is exactly the argument I was going to make.

    Bond has tried a way of doing something very similar (almost identical in fact) and pulled all the criticism anyway.
     
  20. jaime

    jaime Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Most of that Bond stuff was stirred up...the vast majority of people who are actually interested know (a) it’s not Bond, just a code and (b) it’s highly likely to be reverted before the end of the film, because of how they own the copyright. Or there will be ‘female character name if it’s been announced I forget it’ 007, possibly with a spin off, but I wouldn’t put money on it.
    The controversy is people too ready to fight political screaming each other ‘oh noes Bond is a black woman!’ ‘Oh yes! We gots Bond! He’s a she’s now!’ And all at ramming speed. Because they love the fight. Love it. Can’t get enough of it. People that thrive on the battle and patting on the back from their respective angles.

    As usual there’s a chunk in the middle performing the other famous Picard manoeuvre and sidling towards the bar.
     
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