so you’re telling me there’s an alien who regenerates into a completely random form, that he cannot control or determine himself, and who understandably could take millions of different appearances, but who all 13 times just turned into a different skinny white guy
I really, genuinely feel awful for all of the old Doctors now.
And the way Moffat explained it was soooo condescending:
“They’re all brilliant, they’re all terrific, but time has passed. I think it would be beyond the dignity of all those very fine actors to want to force themselves back into a costume from 20 or 30 years ago.” (SFX Magazine)
I saw Peter Davison speak yesterday at Hal Con, and his take on the issue was much the same. He said that he feels the 50th is celebrating the 50th Anniversary itself rather than 50 years of the program. He said that Moffat had basically penned something that celebrates his own work rather than something than something that celebrates the show as a whole. Peter Davison said that he felt let down to be part of a group excluded from the anniversary despite his role in its history, which is really very sad.
He said that Moffat had basically penned something that celebrates his own work rather than something than something that celebrates the show as a whole.
I know I’ve reblogged this before, but the added Davidson quote just makes me terribly sad. I got into who properly in the Eccleston years, but I’ve always been aware of it. It’s a huge part of the TV culture of the UK and the wider sci fi community. People who have no interest in the show now remember hiding behind the sofa when they saw the Daleks. And some people have been watching the show since the beginning and still love it now. The fiftieth should not be about one man and his ego. It should be about the fans, all the doctors, all the companions and all the stories that have been loved and lived. And we’re not going to get that.
Can people see now that’s it’s not just some people on tumblr who are upset about this? It’s the actual actors from the show you all claim to love, being shunted aside for Moffat’s wank fest.
I really really can’t wait till Moffat gets shoved out. I just wish it had happened before the 50th anniversary, for these reasons. :/
The issue is NOT that Moffat didn’t cast a woman (or a non-caucasian of either gender). It’s that the thought of casting one NEVER SEEMED TO ENTER INTO THE EQUATION. It’s as ludicrous to him that a woman would be the Doctor as a man would portray The Queen. Both represent a type of drag performance that might be amusing but certainly not authentic. And given that science fiction/fantasy is a place where “what if” and “why not” have their safest homes, it’s disheartening to see limitations put on a show that is, by its design, utter limitless […]
Had I not heard these rumblings before today’s special, Moffat’s comment about The Queen probably wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow. Had Moffat’s companions been strong, independent figures that weren’t ignorant of their own origins, Moffat’s comments would have gone unnoticed. Instead, his comments formed a triptych along with the other two elements that suggest a large, systemic problem that has absolutely no bearing on Capaldi’s capacity to play the Doctor but everything to do with Moffat’s ability to steer that ship.
Instead of focus on the new Doctor, maybe we should be focused on getting a new showrunner. The TARDIS can go anywhere in time and space. But Moffat seems stuck on the same patch of antiquated soil.
Sometimes you find an article that’s so incredible you just want to copy-paste the entire thing into a post and put giant flashing neon signs on it that scream:
This is one of those posts.Seriously, go read the whole thing.
Yeah, there are about six different bits of this I want to copy out, but it would be the majority of the post. I’ll just say: If you’re still unsure about the basis of this unhappiness with Moffat’s Who, read this. And I’ll limit myself to just this one piece:
To be clear, as my colleague Linda Holmes noted on Twitter: “questioning exclusion” and “demanding entry” are two different things. Those that choose to believe that anger over casting choices today boil down to, “You only would have been happy with a woman,” are missing the point so badly that engaging with such an argument is pointless.
Go read this.
hey instead of a female doctor how about a female writer
reblogging forever cos he’s such a fucking pratt
this doesnt even make sense
but it reveals what a sexist piece of shit moffat is. At the risk of stating the obvious
Queen is a gendered title
so Moffat thinks that the Dr is an inherently male character. There will never be a woman Dr with Moffat, and probably not a MoC either.
STFU STEVEN MOFFAT
Do I need more reasons to dislike this man? No, but he KEEPS ON GIVING THEM TO ME
River Song is my favorite character. River Song is also my least favorite character. Welcome to the wibbly-wobbly, I-will-write-an-awesome-character-and-then-completely-undermine-all-her-strengths, timey-wimeyness of Doctor Who.
For context: this post is part of my series analyzing the Evil Demon Seductress and Femme Fatale Tropes. Recently, I examined a number of ways in which Doctor Who fulfills or attempts to subvert the Evil Demon Seductress Trope. The Femme Fatale trope is similar, with slight variations. The Femme Fatale, forever immortalized in the Film Noir genre, is that sexy woman who strolls into our protagonist’s lives, clearly trouble, yet clearly irresistible. Her sexuality is her primary weapon, and she has no scruples using it to manipulate the men around her. Is her love for the protagonist genuine or put-on to manipulate him? We can’t be sure, but the protagonist will usually try to “reform” her.
There have been more recent attempts to reinvent this trope as feminist, evolving from “She’s sexy and that’s dangerous” to “She’s dangerous, and she’s sexy.” So when I say that River Song is a femme fatale, many fans won’t see a problem with this. It’s a quality many people find interesting and exciting about her character. I’ll explain later why I’m suspicious of a “feminist” version of the femme fatale, but for the purposes of analysis, let’s examine River as two separate femme fatales, one “feminist” and one not.
The “feminist” femme fatale would be River pre-Series 6. This is the River I fell in love with. She was capable, intelligent, brave, resourceful, fun, flirty, and witty as hell. River also reversed the traditional Doctor-companion dynamic. She knew more than the Doctor and was his intellectual equal, if not better. She was the calm, rational one who called out the Doctor for being too emotional. She was the mysterious and enigmatic time-traveller with the ability to pilot the TARDIS, and with dangerous fore knowledge, who actually lectured the Doctor about the perils of meddling with time. Much like his companions regard him, the Doctor could do little more than regard River with a mixture of suspicion and awe.
In her second two parter “The Time of Angles”/”Flesh and Stone,” the writers explicitly introduce her to us as a femme fatale. From her introduction, where she strides on screen in killer heels and a dress reminiscent of the film noir genre from which her trope gets its name, we see that River is a damn sexy woman. Her soon-to-be-trademark signature move of disabling a man with a kiss is a weapon for a femme fatale if ever I saw one. We also get a hint of her impending mystery. It’s already been implied that she could be the Doctor’s wife, but it is here that the Doctor learns she could also be his killer. But even at this point I did not yet dislike River’s characterization, because it was still clear that her power was not solely derived from her sexuality. It was a tool to be used if the situation called for it, but trade her dress and heels for boots and military gear and she’s just as intelligent, cunning, powerful, and dangerous as ever. Father Octavian didn’t call on River to help them fight the Angels because she was sexy, but because she was capable. This was River as a ‘feminist’ femme fatale. This River was “dangerous, and sexy.”
Unfortunately, the Series 6 River was “sexy, and that’s dangerous.” Straight off the bat in the opening episode of Series 6 the Doctor refers to her as “Mrs. Robinson,” which, for those of you who haven’t seen “The Graduate,” is a character which seduces and then blackmails a hapless younger man named Benjamin; quite literally, her sexuality is dangerous. Using the Mystical Pregnancy Trope to introduce her as the daughter of Amy and Rory was bad enough, but River’s characterization takes an even more shocking turn for the worse in “Let’s Kill Hitler” where she went full-blown femme fatale in all the worst ways. Post-regeneration into Alex Kingston, the focus is almost entirely on River’s sexuality as River explores her new body:
It’s all going on down here…I’m all sorts of mature!
This quote is immediately followed by this moment…
…which echoes the line from “The Impossible Astronaut,” except this time River’s deliberately taking on the role of the femme fatale. Because now she’s inhabiting the role of Mrs. Robinson, come to seduce and harm ‘Benjamin’. River then attempts to kill the Doctor several times, but those attempts are merely a ploy to make him think she’s been defeated, allowing her to seduce him and kiss him with lips painted with poison.
It just gets worse from here. Amy’s confused why one minute River says she’s in love with the Doctor and the next minute she’s trying to kill him, to which the Doctor replies (emphasis mine):
She’s been brainwashed, it probably makes sense to her. Plus, she’s a woman. Oh, shut up, I’m dying!
It’s an entirely unnecessary misogynist joke implying that women are irrational sirens who want to seduce men one minute and then kill them the next.
The Doctor then proceeds on his mission to “reform” River, yet despite everything that he does for her, such as ordering Amy and Rory to stop the Teselecta from torturing her and fighting to save her parent’s lives, the only thing that truly “reforms” her is the revelation that sometime in the future she’ll be the woman the Doctor loves. So, as if checking off all the characteristics from the “problematic aspects of the Femme Fatale Trope” checklist, a woman who aggressively uses her sexuality against men can only be saved through the love of a good man.
There are a number of disturbing layers to how River was set up to be a Femme Fatale. First and foremost, it reinforced the worst misogynist myths that have been fueled by this trope: a woman’s sexuality is dangerous, because obviously a woman only wants to be sexy to manipulate or harm a man, and women don’t need any actual power in society because they can get men to do anything with sex.
Second, River was forced into inhabiting the role of a femme fatale because she was brainwashed into doing so. So on top of reinforcing misogynist myths, the writers also completely deprived the character of any agency in her life. Even more disturbing was the way this was almost fetishized by the show. On an implicit level, the viewers are supposed to understand that brainwashing River to kill the Doctor through seduction was wrong, but over and over again the show presents this to the audience as if River’s sexiness and the way she uses it to manipulate others is a positive, even fun, aspect of her character. For example, in the specially released video where River Song narrates her timeline, we aren’t shown a disturbed and violated girl being forced to use her sexuality. Instead, sexy dance music plays over the scene of River killing the Doctor, as if this is a fun flirtation.
As a result of the way this trope was written, most of the qualities I admired about River Song before Series 6 are subsequently undermined. Her career as an archaeologist, which led to a number of fun jokes between the time traveller and the archaeologist, were merely a product of her obsession with the Doctor. Her love for the Doctor was now presented as the warped love of an obsessive psychopath, instead of the strong love of a deep friendship. Her use of the hallucinogenic lipstick seemed to be a warped reenactment of what her brainwashing compelled her to do to the Doctor.
Ultimately, I remain suspicious of attempts to reinterpret the femme fatale trope as “feminist” because it’s rooted in a very misogynist perception of women and their sexuality. And while writers may try to present a balanced version of that trope, where a woman can be “dangerous and sexy,” men are almost never presented as having to use their sexuality as a tool to manipulate others. Meanwhile, nearly all female action characters are forced, at some point, to use their sexuality as a tool against others.
Yet for some reason I continue to like River Song. I like the way she can call out the Doctor on some of his worst behaviors and still call him “pretty boy”. I like her wit and sass. I like Alex Kingston and her amazing acting. I like the potential her character had after “Forest of the Dead,” even if I don’t at all like the way that potential was squandered. So whenever I want to re-watch Series 4, I just sit back, pretend that Series 6 never happened, and wish that time could be rewritten.