Apropos of the stills thing… Gah. All Sherlock’s promotional stills with John+Sherlock have John on equal footing. Despite a similar power gap (compared to doctor+companion) in the way he’s portraying the characters. Ew, ew ew ew.
And compare that to the lovely promo image of Amy with Eleven, when he was carrying her unconscious (and possibly dead) body in his arms. If one of your characters is advertised as unconscious, that’s basically a neon sign that says, “BAD WRITING ALERT! I CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO WRITE WOMEN AS CHARACTERS THAT DO ANYTHING FOR THE PLOT EXCEPT TO MOTIVATE MEN!”
Which is true, but you’d think someone would realise before releasing these promos.
It’s also a huge contrast to Rose, Martha and Donna, who were all depicted as equally as involved as the Doctor (e.g. reacting to something), not just standing there and looking sexy.
What do you think of the portrayal of Donna Noble’s character in Doctor Who? (Sorry if this has been answered already)
asked by Anonymous
We actually haven’t talked about Donna explicitly yet. I’m planning a bigger post for her in the future, but I’ll try to give a brief rundown of her character.
In short - I love Donna. She’s an older woman who is unashamed of who she is, even though she struggles with personal relationships and trying to get by as an adult (which many of us can relate to). Donna isn’t afraid to stick up for herself or anybody she cares about and she has such a depth of emotion to back that up. I like how romance and marrying someone is one of her goals in life, but it’s on the backseat and doesn’t define her. She’s one of the few New Who Companions who never has a romantic attachment to the Doctor and it’s refreshing seeing a man and a woman in a platonic, friendly relationship.
That said, she does have her flaws. Her unrelenting forwardness with her first fiance was a bit uncomfortable and it came off very stalkerish (once again romanticising stalking). I also didn’t like the fact that her memory was taken away without her consent. Even if it was to save her life, it was forceful on the Doctor’s part to take that away from her. I didn’t get the same emotional connection from her as I got from Martha; I suppose because many of the episodes she was in, she wasn’t actually with the Doctor? The River Song episodes and Midnight had them separated for a period of time, as well as Turn Left. It felt like the constant separation made their friendship lacking in a certain aspect.
Nevertheless, I really do adore Donna and feel she’s an awesome character who shows there’s power in femininity, sticking up for yourself, along with proving an older woman can be in a non-romantic relationship with a main male character.
Hi! I was wondering what you thought of Moffat’s portrayal of Sally Sparrow in Blink? Was she a better example of a Moffat-created female character, or were there still problems?
asked by whataregritsanyway
[Note: The “Moffat in the RTD Era” is going to be an ongoing series of posts. Rather than addressing all of my problems with each of Moffat’s episodes under RTD in one massive post per episode, I’ll be focusing on specific issues in smaller posts. If you have questions about specific aspects of these episodes, feel free to send them our way and I’ll add them to the list of topics I want to cover.]
I’m going to let you guys in on a guilty secret. When I first watched Doctor Who, I thought Blink was brilliant. I thought it was clever and scary, and Sally Sparrow was my hero. It was my go-to episode for getting friends hooked on Who. Then everything changed
when the fire nation attacked when I started to look a bit closer. Beyond the fact that there were some weird holes concerning how the angels and the quantum-locking worked, and the fact that Moffat was basically encouraging stalking by having Sally’s friend marry the man who followed her despite her protests (this will be covered in a more in-depth post later, I promise), I found that I wasn’t thrilled with Sally Sparrow.
What are your thoughts on Moffat’s decision to “shake things up” with a “lesbian” character in Doctor Who series 6? (Madame Vastra x new companion.) Google “doctor-who-to-shake-things-up-with-a-lesbian-storyline” it’s at “The List” website (UK). Do I have some sort of right to be offended that he’s made the lesbian a lizard woman?! I feel offended.
asked by up17steps
I remember seeing the article it was in…
There are SO many things wrong with this article, it’s almost difficult to begin. In A Good Man Goes to War, we were introduced to Madame Vastra and her maid, Jenny. At first it was an interesting relationship despite the obvious power imbalance. However, as the episode went on, they were turned into, once again, a gay joke (‘I don’t know why you put up with me… *shows off the extensive length of her tongue and then shares a look with Jenny*). Personally, I had absolutely no issue with the fact that she was an alien, but I suppose I can see where you’re coming from? There have been interspecies relationships on Doctor Who in the past, and it shows that there are other sexualities in other species as well. I think the main issue is now she’s being made into the ‘token lesbian’ to flirt with other women. Why is she ‘getting the hots’ for the new Companion? What in the world happened to Jenny and their relationship?? Is this going to be another instance of ‘bisexuals are too busy having fun’ or whatever, but with lesbians this time? It makes no sense.
Also, the title of that article. ‘Lesbian shocker’??? LESBIANS ARE NOT SHOCKING. They’re non-heterosexual people, but that’s just what they are. People. This is coming off as another way of fetishising women and a leary form of the male gaze. A lesbian storyline?? NO. That wasn’t what fans wanted when they wanted a Vastra/Jenny spinoff. We wanted to see a positively portrayed lesbian couple who kick ass and take names. We didn’t want the focus to be solely on their sexuality, just women being women and THEN lesbians. And now Moffat’s taken that in his mind to mean ‘MORE LESBIANS!!’ and that alone.
Moffat always tries to ‘shake things up’ using gay characters, which is why I could never see him as an advocate for LGBT rights. The way I see it, he uses them as punchlines, ways to gain favour, and as a self-esteem booster. Moffat is not gay himself and he doesn’t have the right to keep doing that, especially if he continually refuses to listen and respect the opinions and criticisms of actual non-heterosexual people.
And that last sentence of the article. ‘Starred as a lesbian…’? No. Just no.
Hope everyone had a good Father’s Day last weekend! Now here’s a post comparing the mothers and fathers in New Who.
As it has been said before, Moffat tends to turn his main female characters into mothers. He’s done it with Amy Pond several times in Amy’s Choice and the entire River Song arc. He’s done it with River herself at the end of Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. Time and again, we see him forcing the female stereotypes of motherhood and nurturing upon the women he writes. However, this quote claims that the ‘theme’ of the last season of Doctor Who was about families:
If this series does have an overarching theme then it’s parental love, or parental acceptance. There was the pirate Captain Avery mending his ways. There was Ganger Jimmy accepting his own humanity by being a proper Dad. There was Alex saving the day by accepting his alien son George. And now here’s Craig, blowing the Cybermen up with love. This can’t be a coincidence, since there’s another parent-child relationship out there in dire need of some resolution…
All of the examples listed here are, strangely enough, paternal relationships. Moffat has a bad habit of forcing female characters into motherhood, so why do series five and six have such a lack of maternal figures? Furthermore, when they do appear, why don’t they go beyond the emotional stereotype of motherhood?
I think you’ve written about how a big part of Amy’s character revolves around her being a mother, but have you said anything about Nancy from “The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances”? I personally think she’s written much better than Amy is, but do you have anything to say about her character?
asked by anonymous
By looking back at the episodes of Who that Moffat wrote under RTD, it’s really interesting to see the ways that the same ideas that he expands upon as the head writer for the series are present in his earliest forays into writing for the Doctor. The way that motherhood and sexuality are addressed in The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances are so closely tied to the way they’re addressed in series five and six that’s it’s almost surprising that they haven’t progressed any. That said, it’s pretty obvious that Moffat doesn’t feel the need to explore these topics in a nuanced way, so I really shouldn’t be surprised at this point…Anyway, speaking more closely to the question at hand, yes, I have a LOT to say about Nancy.
Like many of Moffat’s female characters, at first glance, Nancy seems pretty great. She’s clever and snarky when it comes to the Doctor, she has a good head on her shoulders and clearly knows how to get around in the world, and she’s dedicated to helping those who don’t have anyone else. What’s not to like? I’ll readily admit that Nancy used to be one of my favorite one-off characters just because she was fun and interesting. But when you look more closely at her story, the problems seem almost endless.
On the most basic level, it’s necessary to address the way that motherhood is portrayed in these two episodes. As we’ve pointed out time and again, Moffat has a tendency to force women into the role of “mother” whether they want it or not, and this is certainly no exception. In fact, much of the conflict in this episode comes about because of Nancy’s rejection of motherhood. While she is not to blame for the initial conflict - the crash of the alien ship that killed and then created “the empty child” - she is the reason that it is walking the streets asking for its mummy. The episode ends with a tearful confession concerning teenage pregnancy, and the world is then saved because Nancy is willing to take on the title of “mummy.” This is problematic for a number of reasons.
Hi, I’ve been scanning for a bit now and I was wondering if you could explain or link me to why everyone thinks Martha isn’t a very feminist character? […] Anyways, I always considered her one of my favorites, and I’m still learning about feminism, and I can only guess it’s because of her weird obsession with making The Doctor attracted to her? […]
Hey there, and thanks for the ask. Unfortunately, I had to split your questions into separate posts since there are different points of foci here. I’m afraid this is going to be rather lengthy, so I’m posting it under a cut. I just have a lot of Martha feels, ok?