Going back in time

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:47 pm
duffy: (dirtyarchaeologist)
[personal profile] duffy
Spent evening watching Stargate SG1 and Atlantis. Nostalgia- I'm soaking in it!

A couple of requests?

Jul. 21st, 2017 01:22 pm
selenay: (Default)
[personal profile] selenay
It's Friday and Jodie Whittaker is still playing Thirteen. I TOLD YOU I WOULDN'T BE OVER THIS SOON.

Anyway, my requests are teeny tiny ones. Apparently now that I've given up on LJ entirely, I've lost the good icon sources.

Can anyone point me to some Thirteen icons? I know ya'll have them, because I've seen some, so point me that way?

And if anyone has some good Bill icon sources?

Actually, if anyone knows where the Doctor Who icon makers are posting to on DW that would help *so much*.

I have posts I need to write. Posts about England/Worldcon trip plan (less than two weeks, OMG!) and arranging meets, an AMA post, probably MORE Doctor Who thoughts. But right now it's hot and humid and my ridiculous big fluffy cat keeps sitting on me and so my brain is too fuzzed out to make them.
selenay: (Default)
[personal profile] selenay
It's possible I will never reach the point of "enough" with her :-D I've even written a fic. More of an alternate ending to the next Christmas episode, but you know. I have written Thirteen. And One. And Bill. So much fun :-D It'll be posted as soon as it's been edited.

Anyway.

Today I had a (very polite, yay) discussion with someone on Twitter about the potential companion choice. It was sparked by a thing I quoted and RT'd about getting a female companion (and the fact that I want it so much), and the person on Twitter (we'll call him Dave) pushed back about why a male companion is important. I don't think he's entirely right, but he had some reasoned arguments and I can understand his view point.

He's concerned that young boys will be put off by an all-female cast (I disagree there--they're only put off if they're told they should be) and that young boys need a male role model to identify with. I disagree with that, too, but that's coming from a position of always being told that I should be able to identify perfectly well with an opposite-gender hero, thank you, so there's no need for a woman Doctor (or a woman Jedi, or a woman Star Trek captain, or...). Of course, my feelings on this can be easily dismissed as a bit of tit-for-tat going on, which is why I didn't use that argument.

My big concern with casting a male companion as the only companion (note, I have no issue with this in a mixed-gender multiple companions team) is that it would very easy for the companion to end up being seen as the hero/leader/authority figure just because of gender. Ask any woman who has had their less experienced/less senior colleague viewed as "the authority" (i.e. all of us, particularly in technical fields) and you'll know how often it happens and how frustrating it is. I don't want to watch that onscreen every week.

Dave's big concern is that boys need to see a male companion respecting the Doctor and treating her well, but without making him weak or lose authority in front of the young boys. Because boys will turn off if he's a weakling. And...I kind of get where he's coming from, but I also rather gathered from his comments that he and I will never agree on what that looks like. He feels that the male non-Doctor regulars have been poorly-served and one-dimensional. I thought Rory was written well, with complexity, and I enjoyed his role in the TARDIS. Jack is...Jack. We haven't had any other prominent regulars. For Dave, Rory was written as weak and a bit subservient and, er, Jack is queer so he probably doesn't count.

Dave also wanted the male companion to be a little in love with the Doctor, maybe, and still able to show respect without ever being weak or allowing the Doctor to dominate him. As an example to give, Dave wanted to see a relationship like Ten and Rose but with their gender roles reversed.

Which, uh, no. That is definitely *not* a healthy example to give. And something like that would be the opposite of what I think would be good for anyone. I have a feeling Dave and I were watching with very different glasses on. If he wanted to use any example of that dynamic, Nine and Rose might have been better, IMO. But still no.

Having a man as the only companion is a potential mine-field. It would have to be cast very, very carefully (which is why this morning's touting of Kris Marshall as the main contender made me scream and shudder) and the writing would also have to be done very carefully. Frankly, I think it's a balancing act they're going to fail on no matter what they do.

If they write the usual Doctor-companion dynamic, with the Doctor given lead hero/authority status and companion asking questions/pushing plot forward by interacting with aliens-of-the-week/being the cipher for the Doctor's solutions, then a certain group of fans are going to complain because the male companion seems "weak". He's not a good role model for the young boys. Etc.

They'll claim Doctor is an aggressive and over-assertive you know what, even though she's doing exactly what she's always done.

If the writers make those roles close to what that group of fans think of as 'equal', all the women watching will cringe at the way the Doctor is overruled, spoken over, and not listened to until her male companion reframes her plan in his words. We'll be questioning why the Doctor suddenly isn't the hero solving everything with her brain, why it's the companion's solution that saves the day 70% of the time. She won't be the Doctor we recognise.

If the writing is amazing and incredibly clever, they could highlight the way women's contributions are dismissed and their male colleagues are automatically assumed to be in charge. It could challenge that. But it would require some very careful writing and I suspect it would make that first group of fans so uncomfortable that they would make very loud ructions.

Making the solo companion a woman would get past a big chunk of that problem and still give some of the writers a chance to throw shade at the way women are treated in these situations. I loved the way they pointed and poked at racism and white-washing and so on through Bill. I'd love to see them do the same with gender assumptions.

(But as with season ten, it's a theme best used carefully and not every episode, or it gets wearing for everyone.)

(It might also be able to do a bit of heterosexual assumptions highlighting, because I can easily see people moaning about the lack of possibility for companion/Doctor shipping and...dude, femslash exists, okay?)

(Is it shallow that I'd kind of love to see a companion/Doctor combination that I could throw my heart into shipping, for the very first time? I'm slightly confused about this whole thing where the Doctor is suddenly attractive to me. Is this what my friends went through with David Tenant?)

Ahem.

Giving us a TARDIS team of one man and one woman would give us the benefits of both options and, I think, negate a lot of the potential downsides of a solo male companions. Are there still going to be fans crying out because the women are "dominating" the narrative? Absolutely. No matter what happens, they'll shout about that. But the combination would give fans like Dave a male role model to look up to, and it would give the rest of us a hope for a dynamic we can watch and enjoy, without bracing ourselves for something cringe-worthy.

Of course, it all comes down to casting and writing. It always comes down to that. They could cast the perfect combination and kill it with bad writing. They could make casting choices that we all loathe at first and then the writing could prove us wrong.

But I am feeling very wary about the possibility of a solo male companion, and Dave's comments have actually made me more worried about that. For me, it's the one option I really hope they don't go with.

(I'll still watch it if they do, of course. And judge loudly if they get that wrong. And possibly write fic of how the episodes should have gone, if Bill had continued as companion. Doctor Who is the one show I can never stop following.)
ximeria: (Default)
[personal profile] ximeria
On Monday, because we don't know how to slow down ;) - we went out to Paignton Zoo - and zoo trips ALWAYS mean a ton of pictures to get through afterwards *g*

Under the cut are some of the pictures and at the bottom of the post is the link to the full album on flickr.com - I have to admit, that I managed to cook it all down to 136 pictures in the album, where I came back from the trip with a good 600-700 pictures. It's what always happens - I get carried away ;)

We drove from just outside Tavistock, across Dartmoor to Paignton - along the way hoping to see Dartmoor ponies (wild ponies) and we got more than we'd bargained for - ended up behind a car with one of the ponies trotting along the road, not really able to get off it, but not really giving a toss about there being several cars behind it.

Dartmoor

Read more... )

Click here for full album om Flickr.com

MORE Doctor Who thoughts

Jul. 17th, 2017 02:30 pm
selenay: (Default)
[personal profile] selenay
I've now had twenty-four hours to digest and my brain is still a bit stuck on squee and joy and squee and joy.

I mean, I woke up this morning and a night had passed and IT'S STILL TRUE. JODI WHITTAKER IS STILL THE DOCTOR. IT WASN'T A DREAM.

There was a teeny tiny bit of me that was half-expecting to find out that it had somehow all gone wrong and Kris Marshall was the Doctor after all.

But I also have more thoughts. Some of them I am going to end up ficcing. I've got a Bill and Thirteen plot bunny nibbling my ankles that I'm going to need to play with.

Other thoughts, I just need to noodle through. The first is related to some discussion I saw yesterday about how this should have happened sooner and Moffat should have done it, and I have feelings about this.

There was, predictably, outcry over the casting. There always would be. But you know what none of the butthurt fanboys (and girls, sadly) could do? They couldn't claim it broke canon.

That's huge. HUGE. If Moffat had done it for Twelve, people would have thrown a wobbly *and* yelled about canon. Until that point, we'd had a vague hint about the Corsair and a possible hint about the Doctor being a little girl once (or that might have been something Missy said about the Doctor, I get confused). Someone had to establish, without a shadow of a doubt, that Time Lords can change gender when they regenerate. Someone had to do it with another established Time Lord, so Moffat created Missy. Someone had to show a regeneration onscreen that included a gender and race change. Moffat wrote the General's regeneration in Hell Bent. Someone had to push it in our faces, in ways that couldn't be ignored, that Time Lords are flexible around gender and it's not a big deal for them, so that when we finally had a woman cast as our Doctor, the fans who complained couldn't use canon as a reason to whine.

That's what Moffat did. All that work, which took years, paved the way. He shepherded this in as much as Chibnall, and all that work guaranteed the complainers would look incredibly foolish to anyone with a brain. It was important. Is Moffat perfect? Hell, no. Nobody is. But what he's done over the last few years was important and shouldn't be forgotten or overlooked.

The other thing is that I've seen talk about is the way this casting leaves out fans of colour, because Jodi is a white woman. Someone posted a tweet along the lines of "I cam simultaneously be overjoyed at the casting we have *and* critical that it's another white actor" and that's very, very true. I don't want to harsh anyone's squee. Heck, I don't want to harsh my own squee, because it's so wonderful to feel this squeeful.

I'm also aware that I have the inbuilt privilege of being a white woman, so I'm not feeling left behind.

(Although one critique I saw that totally forgot we've just had a season with a prominent WOC, who was centred a lot *and* got to be a queer black woman in a major role, which is still rare...well, I was glad to see that (white) writer get corrected.)

Honestly, when I was thinking about this, I knew we wouldn't get a WOC. We'd get either a (male) POC *or* a woman. The BBC had to go outside the white male box this time, but it was inevitable that they wouldn't be able to smash it into too many pieces. One of those identities had to be challenged, but not both at once.

And out of the two options, I really thought they'd go with a black or Asian male actor, because casting a woman felt too daring. Too far. A line they haven't crossed yet. It's part of why I was so surprised, so overjoyed, because at no stage did I ever think they'd do this. Not this time. Not yet. For Fourteen? Yes. I had hope. But I expected them to push through the race barrier first, not gender, particularly after everything they've done in the last season to highlight and talk about race and privilege in the text.

And trust me, I would have been every bit as overjoyed right now if that's what they'd done. The only way I was going to be unhappy was if we had another white man in the role, because we've had thirteen of them and if a character can change skin and gender, and it doesn't signify to them, then why would they only ever look like a small section of human society?

I hope they'll cast a WOC for Fourteen. I really do. It's the next logical step. And it really sucks groups of fans feel like they're always being told to wait, that change has to be incremental, because in an ideal world it wouldn't. In an ideal world, the Doctor would have been played by Archie Panjabi or Shelley Conn after Tennant regenerated. I wish we lived in that ideal world.

In the meantime, I hope the TARDIS team won't be overwhelmingly white. I know that I'm not getting Bill back (although my dream is a whole season of Bill and Thirteen travelling together, sometimes flirting, while Bill boggles at her old grandpa figure having turned into a hot woman she can't keep her eyes off), but let's not mess up the progress that's been made so far.

Cast the first Asian actor as a companion. I mean, if the BBC is committed to diversity and reflecting British society as it truly is, then someone with South-East Asian heritage is long overdue. This goes double if they cast a male companion, to ensure "gender balance" in the TARDIS, because we do not need a white dude in the TARDIS right now.

We've had thirteen* male Doctors, let's have thirteen women as the Doctor and have them as diverse as possible. All colours. All shapes. All presentations. No Doctors who are identified as male. No cishet white male companions unless they're part of a big multi-companion TARDIS team.

I think the fandom is ready.

* including the War Doctor.
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