The New Doctor is a Wo*DINNNNG*n!

Day 113. 107 pages, 48,428 words.

This is apparently a big deal, and I can’t say I’m even remotely surprised by any of the responses I’ve seen. The people who generally get excited about male domination in entertainment being overturned are excited. The people who (let’s be extremely generous and put it this way) prefer consistency are unsatisfied.

Jodie Whittaker. Alright, she’ll do. It’s just a shame the Likes vs. Dislikes are so evenly matched there, and the comments … actually the comments I saw were okay, the rest were predictable.

Now, I’ve basically said all of this in numerous threads and comments sections here on the blog over and over again, so it really doesn’t bear repeating.

But this is my blog, so strap in.

This is fine. My concerns are essentially the same as my concerns every time a new Doctor is announced. The only exception in reboot memory[1] being when Capaldi was announced. I had no concerns and loved him from the start. But that’s very much a subjective thing. All the rest, they needed to prove themselves for a couple of episodes.

[1] I don’t remember having an opinion about the pre-reboot Doctors, because this sort of hype didn’t happen and we found out who the new Doctor was when he regenerated, and the new Doctor was the Doctor, it wasn’t some actor from some TV show – before Eccleston, yes, actors who played the Doctor might have been in other shows. But they were defined by their casting as the Doctor. I don’t give a fuck if Sylvester McCoy played Radagast the Brown later on, he was the Doctor and always will be. Even when, like Pex, he is unalive.

The issue with a female Doctor is basically the same as any other actor choice. You need to make sure, in the writing, that it all checks out and you haven’t just cast some unsuitable person for a crappy reason. And I’m not about to stand here and argue that “because casting more women and having more female characters” is a crappy reason, so don’t worry about that. This is also fine. It’s enough all on its own as far as I’m concerned – although I obviously hope Whittaker doesn’t suck at the job.

As far as I’m concerned, the writers have already done their due diligence by putting Missy in the show a couple of years ago. She already talked about their childhoods and the changes they went through.

To me, this is a perfect opportunity to confront, in fiction, a very real and interesting series of issues that we have, as viewers. Doing it without being preachy is (as I have learned from my own writing) well-nigh impossible, but I don’t think we need to avoid being preachy. Humans need preaching to.

So let’s get over this, and just hope the new Doctor does a good job. She has big old Capaldi boots to fill, but she was excellent in Broadchurch so I think it’ll work out.

In the meantime, of course, Twitterstorms.

Things got amusingly heated with one dude who objected to the regenderation on continuity grounds. There might have been an interesting argument about the malleability of a story to suit an evolving social context, or even the more cynical “canon is a lesser priority than profit / happy viewers” argument regarding the decisions of television executives to pander to … I don’t know, the interesting argument never happened because the two main pundits here were Matt Broady, who didn’t seem to have the attention span for it; and Ilya, who doesn’t have the attention span for anything.

Anyway, that’s it for today. It was interesting but more or less inevitable after Missy. Let’s get on with it.

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10 Responses to The New Doctor is a Wo*DINNNNG*n!

  1. thelinza says:

    I’m not a fan of the show, so I don’t have any opinion about the casting. But I am pretty annoyed at how Moffat writes female characters and am glad he’s not in charge of this anymore.

    • stchucky says:

      Ah yes, that was among the links I threw onto the pile. This one.

    • stchucky says:

      Also, you’re allowed to have an opinion without being a fan. There’s no test you need to pass. Now if you weren’t a watcher of the show I’d have to wonder why you were even bothering to have an opinion, but that’s clearly not the case.

      I mean, I don’t think I’m a fan of Doctor Who. “Fan” isn’t big enough.

      • thelinza says:

        I’ve seen about five episodes in random order from various seasons. I don’t even qualify as a watcher. The concept is neat but the writing makes me want to hang myself and I didn’t develop enough of an attachment to any one character to give a shit about what happens to them, so I’m completely comfortable not having an opinion on the show. It’s just not for me.

        I will categorize all the people who don’t watch it in the same group as the people who didn’t have an opinion about Marvel comics until Jane got Thor’s hammer, Dr Strange became a skinny Jewish guy, and Iron Man passed the torch to a black woman. There’s a ton of people who seem to think their one purpose in life is to hate everything. I don’t care to be one of those people, and for that reason have relinquished my opinion.

        Your point in the linked post seems correct (I’m no expert but), the Dr Who series has been Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor for awhile and it’s not all Moffat’s fault. I just don’t like watching characters be tools for the development of other characters, and it seems like his female characters fall into this trap at a much higher per capita rate than his male characters.

      • stchucky says:

        Fair. I remember only a few episodes for their writing. The spirit of the show has always been more important for me, and for that reason I should probably relinquish my right to an opinion as well.

        But I’m not gonna. Because then I would have no opinion and no arsehole, and at that point I’m concerned that I might just cease to exist altogether.

      • stchucky says:

        Also, fixed your typo because a) it was one of those ones that really mess up the flow of the post, and b) I can, and c) you pointed it out in a separate comment and I will occasionally provide that service in those circumstances.

  2. brknwntr says:

    So the explanation for Capaldi being the face was that they come from the Doctor’s memory. So this means that the Doctor is Alec Hardy.

  3. brknwntr says:

    I didn’t bother looking at that

    • stchucky says:

      Then I give you points for arriving at the same joke independently of me, but deduct all but one of them for not appreciating me.

      *hands BRKN a point*

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