So you’ve watched The Day of the Doctor countless times, you’ve read all there is to read about it, and just to switch things up, you’ve watched The Night of the Doctor a million times, too. No matter what you do, it’s still ages until the Doctor Who Christmas Special, and you’re sick of pointing your sonic screwdriver at your door only for nothing to happen. (Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.) What can a Whovian watch in the meantime? Fortunately, the BBC has got you covered.
Obviously, the Doctor Who fandom is still bathing in the afterglow that was Day of the Doctor. It is at this point that I want to bring up something that has been discussed by a couple people, but never by me.
I am of the opinion that, as long as Steven Moffat is the executive producer of Doctor Who, the show will not be able to grow as a series.
Pope Alexander recently wrote an article on Moffat’s inability to properly kill characters, so I’m going to avoid that. Instead, I’m going to focus on his inability use the full scope of the human condition. Specifically, the lack of LGBTQ+ relationships.
And this lack of LGBTQ+ relationship is not an LGBTQ+ or heterosexual issue. It’s both.
I could not be more pleased with Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary episode. It may not have been perfect, but it certainly was one of the most entertaining episodes of Doctor Who that we’ve seen in a very, very long time.
As such, I believe it is time to make some BOLD predictions concerning what will happen during the episode. BOLD predictions are defined by me as “predictions that make complete sense when thought about.” It’s irony. Just go with it.
So, this was released yesterday:
Watch this. Then hit the jump. There are spoilers ahead.
Lal: “I am gender neuter. Inadequate.”
Data: “That is why you must choose a gender, Lal, to complete your appearance.”
Oh, Star Trek, you are one of those shows that consistently disappoints me. This conversation from Star Trek: The Next Generation perfectly illustrates how our society tends to view gender in a strict gender binary. In the episode “The Offspring”, the robot Data creates his own android progeny named Lal. He decides to create Lal gender neutral, so that Lal can choose what gender to be. It seemed like a great idea, but it quickly turned problematic when Lal declared gender neutrality “inadequate” before promptly choosing a female gender. For people who don’t fit the gender binary, this statement is wildly offensive. The message seems to be if you aren’t male or female then you are… inadequate. How fucked up is that?!
I love me some good fan art. It is, in fact, the bomb-diggity. I have recently started using my Tumblr (post on that forthcoming) and the art below popped up on my news feed (Is it a news feed? My home page? Or is that the one that’s a dashboard?) Anyway, pretty things popped up and I thought that I would share.
Karen Hallion, or Khallion, is a professional artist/illustrator from Massachusetts. I personally love her art. The style is very Disney inspired with some clear influences from classical storybook art and tarot cards. And some steampunk things; you should all know I like steampunk things. Oh, and she draws nerdy and geeky things, which is why I’m featuring it at all.
What drew me in the most was her series of Disney princesses encountering the TARDIS. It was such a clever idea and I couldn’t help but like it. I like the idea of the Doctor replacing your typical prince charming (or actual as the case may be). Some of them just had the Disney princess staring at the TARDIS, but my favorite (the Sleeping Beauty one below) cleverly incorporated the TARDIS into the actual story, which is why it’s my favorite.
A lot of her art is crossovers of various kinds. The ones with clear Tarot-card inspirations weren’t my favorite, probably because I’m not a Tarot-card person. However, there seems to be two sides to her work, almost like two separate artists: the one who draws Tarot-card, steampunk-ish things and the one who does Disney crossovers of various kinds. If you didn’t guess, I prefer the Disney ones. And as much as I like steampunk in general, I think that if used in excess or used it on top of five other elements (I’ve seen this plenty of times in cosplay), it tends to overwhelm.
Even looking below, you can see a stark difference in style between the Sailor Moon picture and the Red Riding Hood picture. In many ways I suppose it’s commendable that Khallion can change her style that dramatically, but in other respects it’s rather jarring when looking at her entire body of work. I guess it’s a toss-up: either you like that she can work in two completely different veins or you don’t. And because I’m not very attracted to the work in her second, Tarot-card-steam-punk vein, I guess I fall in the latter category.
Anywho, here are my three fave pieces below!
Much of the internet has feels (this blog included) about the lack of female Doctor. I personally do not have such an opinion simply because Moffat has proven time and again that he is incapable of writing a decent female character, specifically his female companions.
Too frequently Moffat treats his female companions like an audience for the Doctor: that they should just smile, nod, and take everything that is given without question. It’s getting to a point where the Doctor is hero-worshipped by his companions as opposed to the companions balancing him out. I’ve discussed before how the companion’s job is to in a sense keep the Doctor from losing control of himself. Eleven, in my opinion, has had too much freedom and not enough checks. And it is the writers who didn’t give us strong female companions.
I also think that Clara and Amy are too similar when you get right down to it, and that I can most definitely attribute to poor writing. Our first female companion is Amy, a plucky Scottish girl with a supposedly impossible problem, a crack in her bedroom wall that keeps following her around. And then we have Clara, a plucky English girl with a supposedly impossible problem: multiple lives/existences. For me, they’re just way too similar in initial concept. I honestly don’t think that Amy had much of a personality while she was a companion and so far Clara hasn’t exhibited much of a personality either. Amy’s personality came out in her relationship with Rory. And when you need a male character to give your female character personality, that’s wrong. And I blame Moffat.
Now I know a lot of you are saying “What about River? She’s got a personality!” right about now, but Moffat hasn’t exactly done her justice either. First, he made her entire world revolve around the Doctor, just like the other companions. Then, Moffat couldn’t even figure out a way to work in her sexuality to the series for goodness’ sake. If that doesn’t demonstrate an inability to write, well then I don’t know what does. Not to mention if you’ve ever seen something else with Alex Kingston (the actress who plays River Song), such as her guest starring roles in NCIS and Upstairs Downstairs, you know she plays practically the same character every single time. So any personality River has I attribute more to Kingston as an actress than to Moffat’s writing ability.
So we have three female protagonists and three failures for decent character writing. One could say that Moffat is bad with characters in general, but Moffat can write a good male character. Take Rory for example. So many people liked Rory more than Amy simply because he had a stronger character that was much better written. So it’s only the ladies who are suffering from bad writing, not the gents.
Now imagine if Amy was the Doctor. Or Clara. How boring would Doctor Who be? It would be a snoozefest! I’d go so far to say a female Doctor under Moffat’s leadership would kill the show. For more information, check out this link to Saika’s Tumblr and a plethora of discussions on the topic.
What do you think? Am I spot on or losing my mind? Let me know in the comments!
When I started my Classic Who review series, I did warn/promise that I wouldn’t be going in chronological order by any means. True to that, let’s talk about Paul McGann’s contribution to the Doctor Who canon: that TV movie from the nineties titled only Doctor Who.
Let me start this post by saying that I LOVE fanfiction. Yes, the caps are necessary, because that’s how much I love fanfiction. I can safely say that most of my free time I’m either on Tumblr or reading some sort of fanfiction.
But recently I have been very frustrated with fanfic. After writing about both the lack of lesbian couples in pop culture and about queering straight characters in fanfiction I’ve started to realize something. Fanfiction, which has so often been hailed as a way that authors and readers could write/read about characters of varied genders, races, sexualities, and physical and mental abilities, is not actually an epitome of acceptance and diversity. In fact, in many ways fanfiction has the same sexist, racist, and homophobic issues that the mainstream media has.