Now as many of my regular readers are aware this blog used to almost be exclusively about Doctor Who. During that time I wrote many articles criticising what I felt were problems with the show, but I later deleted all of them. They were rambling (even by my standards) and often made the same point over and over again without really making it clearly as the articles were too ranty.
So now after a whole year of not writing any articles about the problems of New Who I have decided to present a proper analysis of where I feel the show is going wrong. Remember that this is just my opinion of course, though I will try and back up what I say with sources, but please feel free to disagree with me in the comments below.
Remember that I have tried to be positive with Doctor Who as it is my favourite show. I do not hate Moffat era Who in general. I praised the 11th Doctors era, I even after series 8 still tried to look at things in a fair way and wrote an article defending Moffat called “Has Steven Moffat Ruined Doctor Who” that looked at all the great things he has done for the show. Ultimately however I feel this problem has gotten too big and so I have to comment on it.
I have often commented on these problems on Doctor Who forums so I have decided rather than repeat the same things over and over again to state my points clearly here once and for all.
Note to many of my oldest readers you will have read a lot of this before, but those articles were all deleted hence why I am writing these points in a hopefully more clear way here.
Doctor Who’s History with Feminism
Feminism in general is not a problem for Doctor Who. I have no problems with First Wave or Second Wave feminism. They were genuinely worthy movements that did actually accomplish a lot for female suffrage.
Many people who would have identified with first and second wave feminism worked on Classic Who and even helped to create it.
Verity Lambert, the shows first producer was a feminist. She not only helped create the show itself, but she cast William Hartnell the first Doctor and championed the first ever Dalek story when the creator of the series Sydney Newman didn’t want to do it.
Terry Nation meanwhile who created the Daleks was also if not a feminist had very feminist leanings. He included strong roles for women in all of his Doctor Who stories, he planned to produce a Dalek spin off series that would have starred a woman, he did later produce the first ever British genre series to star a woman, Survivors in the 70’s. He later said that he was proud to have struck a blow for woman’s lib this way.
In his later series Blake’s 7 he created one of the most famous female characters of all time, the villainous Servalan.
Thus feminism in general is not bad for the show. Third Wave Feminism however has proven to be a cancer for it.
Third Wave feminism has often been criticised for being too middle class, focusing on first world problems in the west, instead of the still rampant sexism in the middle east, victimizing women and promoting strong anti men feeling among young women too.
An often cited example of the “trivial bullshit” third wave feminism focuses on.
Classic example of the vile anti men sentiment among third wave feminists
Many old school feminists such as Christina Hoff Sommers and Ayan Hirsi Ali have criticised aspects of third wave feminism. If you have time you should look at Christina Hoff Sommers video series “the factual feminist” which provides some very interesting critiques of third wave feminism.
Excellent video that sums up what is wrong with Third Wave Feminism compared to its predecessors in about 5 minutes.
Sadly whilst many feminists consider third wave feminism a joke, I feel that it has had a very negative influence on many aspects of our culture, particularly the entertainment industry.
Doctor Who has been one of many forms of entertainment to fall victim to third wave feminism along with Comic Books and Video Games.
Personally I think that the left in general these days are in a bad shape and I say that as a socialist. I think that they have been taken over by posers who don’t really know what they are talking about, and in some cases cynical lying opportunists such as Anita Sarkeesian and sadly though they are a minority they are a loud minority. Thus they are getting more attention than proper feminists like Hoff Sommers. We need a 4th Feminist movement in my opinion to rectify the mistakes of third wave feminism.
Now getting back to the point I think that Doctor Who began to pander to third wave Feminists from the start of the revival.
Russell T Davies I feel was something of a social justice warrior. For those of you who don’t know what that means Social Justice Warrior or SJW is an ironic term for someone who sees sexism and racism all over the place but does nothing to combat genuine prejudice.
SJW’s in a nutshell.
Now I don’t think Russell T Davies is one of the worst examples of a social justice warrior.
I think he is based on what I have read probably a decent guy. I mean I can’t say for sure as I don’t know him, but still I have never heard a bad word from anyone who worked with him.
Nevertheless having said that I do still think he is somewhat of an SJW. He once for instance blasted rival ITV science fiction series Primeval for having an all white cast stating that its lack of ethnicity was “shameful”.
I think it was very poor of him to say that.
Maybe the producers of Primeval didn’t care about the ethnicity of their actors and cast them solely because they thought they were the best actors for the role? Remember that white people do still make up the overwhelming majority of people in the United Kingdom.
2 percent of the population are black so its not surprising that we are going to see more tv series with white people as the leads. Yes I am happy to see things like Blade that do give black people strong roles but at the same time I am not going to call the makers of a British series that has an all white cast racist either. Again I think that the fact that Russell T Davies did shows he is at least sympathetic to SJW views.
Thus not surprisingly when Russell revived Doctor Who in 2005 I think he made it too SJW friendly.
The original Doctor Who series was often slated for being sexist, particularly during the wilderness years in the 90’s. Really I think this accusation stemmed simply from hack journalists who attacked Doctor Who because it was an easy target, an old, cheap, sci fi show, and the fact that it simply had a male lead.
I’m not saying that there wasn’t some sexism in Old Who, but by and large it was a show that was decades ahead of its time in its portrayal of women.
It had a string of incredibly strong, interesting and brave female characters throughout its entire run.
There was Barbara a middle aged, non sexualized strong woman who saved the day many times, Vicki a genius from the future, Sara Kingdom a Dalek resistance fighter, Zoe another genius and competent hand to hand combatant, and Liz yet another genius scientist.
Jo Grant has often been seen as a sexist character because she was less intelligent, but the reason for that was simply for practical reasons. The producers felt that a genius scientist like Liz would have no need to ask the Doctor what was going on, as she would have figured it out herself. Part of the role of the companion is to ask the Doctor questions so he can explain what is going on to the viewers.
Thus for practical reasons with Jo the companion was made more normal, but she was still brave and resourceful particularly in stories such as The Three Doctors, Frontier in Space and Planet of the Daleks.
Sarah meanwhile was a very strong character who later proved capable of holding her own series which lasted for 5 years, whist Leela who came after Sarah was a tough warrior woman who enjoyed killing things. Leela’s replacement Romana was actually shown to be the Doctors superior in terms of technical knowledge. She had less experience than him and thus the two balanced each other out quite well and the Doctor wasn’t undermined. Still at the end of her time in the series she leaves for adventures of her own in E-Space and K9 the Doctors pet joins her instead of him.
We also have Teegan, a gobby Australian and Nyssa another scientist and finally Ace a badass weapons expert who blows up Daleks, beats them up with baseball bats and kills Cybermen with sling shots!
Yes there were some damsels in distress in Classic Who, but by the way there were plenty of cowardly, weak male characters too.
Adric wasn’t exactly Bruce Lee was he? Turlough similarly was at times a miserable coward who in Warriors of the Deep is happy to leave the Doctor to die whilst Teegan is desperate to still try and save him.
Then there is Harry Sullivan who though brave is a total buffoon and the butt of many jokes throughout his brief time on the show.
If anything I think that Classic Who had the perfect balance of strong male and female characters. It wasn’t a case of the men were all perfect, dashing, men’s men and the women were all screaming damsels. At the same time however it wasn’t just a case of the men were all mangina’s and bumbling idiots compared to the always wise and wonderful women.
You have a healthy mix of strong and brave men and women, and plenty of normal men and women, and plenty of scared and weak men and women throughout the series. You have plenty of non sexualized male and female characters with Barbara and the Brig being non sexualized and obviously Jamie and Leela being the sexualized examples.
I’ve noticed however that people only tend to pick out the negative female examples. They’ll bring up Leela as proof the show sexualized all of its female leads but not Jamie. They’ll bring up Victoria a scared female character as proof that all women were weak in the show whilst ignoring the likes of Barbara and again weak male characters like Adric and Turlough.
Personally I don’t think there was anything sexist about weaker female characters like Victoria anyway. After all how would you expect a pampered, teenage, rich Victorian girl to react when she is menaced by a monster from outer space? It would be silly if she instantly Xena’d the monster. Similarly how would you expect a skinny, nerdy guy like Adric to react when being menaced by a monster? You wouldn’t expect him to Bruce Lee the monster either.
Leela meanwhile who is a warrior does kick the monsters ass. She knifes Sontarans to death, Romana and the Rani meanwhile who are time lords are in some ways smarter than the Doctor and the Master. Thus its not a question of men are always stronger and smarter than women in Classic Who. Men and women who are from backgrounds where they will naturally be stronger, like Leela who is a warrior, and the Brig who is a soldier are as strong as each other. And men and women who come from backgrounds where they won’t be great fighters like Victoria and Adric aren’t.
Sadly despite this the show was often attacked for being sexist simply because it had man as the leading character. Take a look at this article here which states that Doctor Who is structurally sexist simply for having a male hero and a female sidekick.
I find that television series with male leads can’t escape being called sexist by SJW’s. If its a male lead with a female sidekick then its sexist, but if its two male leads like Supernatural then its still sexist because there are no roles for women in it.
So it seems third wave feminists will only like a show if its leads look like this.
Though even then I’m sure that would be accused of being an example of “male gaze” but still you get my point that essentially Doctor Who was condemned for nothing more than simply having a male leading character.
It is true that third wave feminists not only have an anti men sentiment, (the Goldsmiths University feminist society have said that it is impossible to be sexist and racist against white men) but they also actively want any sub culture or any form of entertainment that men might enjoy more than women to become feminized or die completely.
The fact is there are certain interests that men and women may be more drawn too more than the other sex. There are differences between men and women. It doesn’t mean we aren’t equal, but the differences do exist and certain activities may appeal to certain genders more. It doesn’t mean that either men or women are excluded from one, though over time the industries may cater more towards a certain demographic that they know is more likely to buy their product.
Video Games for example, whilst I am not saying there are no women who like them, there are definitely more male gamers. Meanwhile there are more women interested in fashion than men and the fashion industry is more female dominated as a result. Ironically there is a wage gap between male and female models but no-one ever wants to talk about that.
Yet third wave feminists will often complain if there is anything that men might like more as being a horrible little boys club and do all they can to change it. Here’s Paul Cornell, an outspoken feminist’s attempt to try and get more women to be interested in comic books using his 50/50 policy wherein he will demand that every comic book panel be made up of half men and women.
Funny how no one is doing the same for the fashion industry and trying to get more men interested in it.
The most famous example of third wave feminism’s attack on a male sub culture is the feminists like Anita Sarkeesian’s war on video games. You should watch this excellent video Christina Hoff Sommers did on the feminist war on games and how people like Anita Sarkeesian essentially just want video game culture to die and sadly are succeeding.
Now I actually don’t think sci fi is something that only men are interested in. Doctor Who in particular at one point in the mid 80’s even had a larger female fanbase in the USA (where its audience was bigger, 9 million viewers vs 7 million in the UK, plus the American Doctor Who fan club was seen as the largest in the world).
Still it was often seen by hack journalists (many of whom never watched it) as being something that only little boys would like simply again because it had a male hero. Thus it endured the same fate as video games of having feminists wanting it to be more female oriented. Like many prominent figures in the video game industry, the people behind Doctor Who started listening to them (or were already that way inclined like RTD) and the result in some ways was a disaster.
When Doctor Who came back Russell T Davies was adamant that the revival wasn’t going to be sexist like the original. He insisted that the female companion would be every bit as strong as the Doctor.
Take a look at this video with Christopher Eccelston where he talks about getting rid of the sexism from Old Doctor Who. Funny how he also admitted he never watched Doctor Who but again this is someone just going on received wisdom.
The result of this was the Doctor being completely immasculated during the RTD era.
He saves the day in just two stories in Christopher Eccelston’s series and he saves the day in less than half of his stories in the David Tennant era. Most of the time its his companions or guest characters that save the day. In 4 season finale’s produced during the RTD era the Doctor saves the day in just 1.
That’s bad for any work of fiction to have the main hero constantly get saved by their companion. Imagine if Robin solved every one of Batman’s cases. You’d not only start to think “why isn’t this thing called Robin” but you’d also think that the main character was incompetent and weak too.
Its not just that the Doctor fails to save the day however he is completely humiliated and even insulted by his female companions regularly. In the first episode, whilst he stands at the side completely helpless, she swings down and kicks the Auton into the Nestene Consciousness, which destroys the Auton invasion.She later tells the Doctor that he was useless compared to her and he meekly agrees.
In The Unquiet Dead the Doctor causes the problem which Rose warns him against. In the season 1 finale meanwhile, Rose turns herself into a goddess and blasts all the Daleks to dust.
Despite his big macho “I’M GONNA WIPE EVERY SINGLE DALEK OUT OF THE SKY!” the Doctor actually doesn’t kill a single Dalek in that episode. In fact the 9th Doctor is the only Doctor barring the 8th (who never met them on tv), never to kill a Dalek on screen.
In season 3 meanwhile they make out that that the Doctor without Rose there to help him, is insane as seen when he drowns the Racnoss. Is in series 4 however the Doctor suffers the worst humiliation of his entire career.
Donna Noble his female companion gains his powers and abilities and uses them better than he does. Worse better than two versions of him. The whole point of the story is that the Doctor would not have been able to stop the Daleks and Davros, so Dalek Caan a renegade Dalek manipulates events in order for Donna to gain his powers and use them in a much better way than he can.
Donna outright tells the Doctor that he has been useless all of these years, and that she can do things he would never have done and she’s shown to be right! Two Doctors trail behind her like losers.
See what I mean. That’s the biggest insult you can make towards a hero that they are only a hero because of their powers.
Most people will do a story that shows us why they are a hero because of who they are instead.
Take a look at Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It has two characters who have the same powers and abilities as Buffy, Kendra and Faith but both misuse their power.
In Smallville we similarly see episodes where Clark Kent’s powers are transmitted into other people and they abuse them. One episode even sees them transferred into Lana Lang, a character that has been accused of being a creators pet by fans of the show, and even then she is still shown to abuse Clark’s powers to the point where she goes mad, and has to have them removed.
Thus Clark much like Buffy is shown to be a hero because of who he is. Powers don’t completely make a hero having the discipline and inner strength to use them properly does.
Sadly however in the Doctors case it turns out he is only a hero because of his powers, his time lord intelligence. Take a random woman off the street and stick his powers in her and she will do a better job. She’ll be able to thrash villains he’s struggled with like the Daleks for centuries in a heart beat, she’ll think of things he never could, he’ll stand there and take being told by her that he’s been useless. Remember when Hartnell and Pertwee and Baker, either of the Bakers would get pissed when anyone said anything bad about the TARDIS?
Look at Tennant and Eccelston in comparison meekly being told they are useless.
However even worse than the Doctor being told he was a pussy and acting like a pussy, was the way the show became more of a soap opera.
Russell T Davies said that his greatest goal was to get women to like Doctor Who. Of course again the great irony of this was that women did like Doctor Who, but still he decided to make it more like a soap opera, and so he cut down on some of the sci fi elements. Many episodes revolved more around Rose’s private life and were set on the Powell estate.
Watch the Doctor Who confidential episode for Love and Monsters, where Russell T Davies and other members of the production team boast about how now they have got women liking it by putting a greater focus on Rose instead of the Doctor.
Now suppose it was true that the only way women could like Doctor Who was if it were a soap opera, then why bother changing the show to be something its not just to win them round?
There are plenty of series and forms of entertainment that are aimed at one gender more, video games, fashion aimed tv series such as America’s Next Top Model and Sex and the City, heavy metal music, soap opera’s such as Coronations Street, sports, all of which are massively popular. Again is anyone going to say “we need to get young men who like sci fi interested in Sex and the City that will broaden our demographic. Lets have a story where Carrie is abducted by aliens!”
If we need to change Doctor Who, so much to the point where the show is unrecognisable just to win people who didn’t like it the first time round, what is ultimately the point of bringing it back?
The changes RTD made to the series weren’t so great that it didn’t seem like Doctor Who at all, but I don’t think it can be denied that the revival did feel like more a sequel to the original or even a reboot at times rather than actually the same show.
Like the romantic Doctor for instance. The character of the Doctor was much more sensitive and romantic than his classic era predecessor in an effort to make him more appealing to the female audience. One of the Doctors defining characteristics was his asexuality. That ran right the way through from Hartnell to McCoy.
Now you might be thinking well the RTD era was one of the most popular so feminism didn’t exactly kill Doctor Who.
Still I think that whilst it was successful initially the format it established ultimately had a bad long term affect on the show.
To start with making the Doctor romantic I feel made it harder for audiences to accept another actor who wasn’t romantic in the role.
Peter Capaldi has been nowhere near as successful as David Tennant or Matt Smith in the role. This is not based on my opinion. I think he is an excellent Doctor, and I am not saying that people hate him, but I think that he just hasn’t connected with audiences as well.
After all he has been the only actor from the revival not to be nominated for a National Television Award, an award that is decided by the British public. The other three actors all won at least one NTA.
I think its simply down to the fact that he is a much older, grumpier, old school type of Doctor that the young audience can’t really relate to him in the same way. Young fangirls view David Tennant and Matt Smith as boyfriend Doctors.
I’m not saying that Peter Capaldi is bad looking or anything, but his characterisation of the Doctor obviously isn’t romantic. Meanwhile young fanboys in some ways I think liked to imagine that they were the Doctor. After all the Doctor was a geeky, skinny, brainy guy who still got the girl in the RTD era. Despite being an alien he was a slightly more accessible hero than say Rocky or the Terminator.
I’m not blaming the modern fans for thinking that way. Its to be expected. For them the Doctor has always been a romantic, more human and relatable hero. But that’s the point RTD should have when he brought the Doctor back, actually tried to make him like the Doctor.
He should have written him as the crazy old Uncle, Doc Brown from Back to the Future type of character that he is supposed to be. Had he done that then people would be completely accepting of Capaldi now.
At the same time its not like you would have had to jettison Tennant or Smith. The Doctor can still be the crazy old uncle figure and be played by a young man, provided he can do an old man in a young man’s body. Both Tennant and Smith were despite their youth ironically among the best at capturing the Doctors great age, so they could both still be the asexual, older Doctor just fine.
One could argue that they were at their best when they were written more like the older Doctors anyway such as during series 4 when Tennant had a completely platonic relationship with his companion. Or in series 5 when Smith was a completely asexual, professorial Doctor. Ironically those were certainly the two actors most popular series in terms of ratings, and critical and fan acclaim. Series 2 when Tennant was in love with Rose and series 7 when Matt was lusting after Clara meanwhile are both generally regarded as weaker series by fans at least.
The classic era model of the Doctor does allow him to be old and young, where as sadly the RTD era model really only allows him to be young and romantic, which is why whilst Capaldi isn’t by any stretch reviled. I don’t think that he is quite as accepted as the two who came before him.
At the same time the companion is also limited by the format RTD established.
To start with as he went for the soap opera audience then the companion always has to be from modern day earth so that we can see their everyday life. The soap opera audience is not going to want a companion like Leela who comes from a jungle planet, or a companion like Jamie who comes from the Scottish Highlands over 300 years ago.
Take a look at this quote from Sue Perryman most famous for being part of the blog “An Adventure with the Wife in Space”. She is exactly the type of woman that RTD was aiming New Who at IE someone who didn’t like Science Fiction. Sue not surprisingly vastly prefers New Who to the Old and says its because
I think it appealed to me more than it did Neil because it was grounded in reality. Neil wanted more spaceships and alien planets, whereas I was happy with the stories set on council estates. I could relate to the characters and situations a lot more.
When you aim the show at people like her, not that there is anything wrong with people like her of course, but still when that is your target audience then you are naturally more limited in terms of companions. All you can have is just ordinary 21st century women. No Leela’s, Romana’s, Jamie’s, even the likes of Liz who are genius scientists that work for a secret organisation designed to track down aliens.
Sadly RTD evidently felt that most women viewers were like Sue, which is why he made the show the way he did.
Also as he did make the companion such a prominent figure in the show, to the point where each series was their story rather than the Doctors. Then it made it hard to have a companion who was just an ordinary person.
The modern audience has again come to expect the companion as the main character rather than just the Watson which they should be. Also when you have each companion be the most important person in the universe, then a normal companion is obviously going to seem rather unspectacular by comparison. As the Master himself points out in The Last of the Time Lords “Years ago Doctor you had companions who could absorb the time vortex”
Thus each companion in New Who has essentially the same story arc.
There’s something odd about Rose, the way Bad Wolf keeps popping up everywhere and it turns out its because she will become a goddess, and blast a fleet of insane Daleks and save the universe.
Meanwhile there is something odd about Donna, the way she keeps meeting the Doctor, and the way everyone keeps telling her there is something on her back. It turns out its because she is the chosen one who saves every universe from Daleks after getting super powers.
Amy Pond meanwhile similarly there is something odd about her, with the crack in her bedroom wall, which later gives her powers which she uses to to save the entire universe at the end of the series.
Finally Clara similarly has a mystery about her, the way multiple versions of her keep popping up, that is revealed to be, because she is the most important person in the universe who saves the Doctor from the Great Intelligence.
Each companion has to be the most important person in order to compete with the last companion who was the most important person and worse each one has to be more important. Rose just blasts a group of Daleks, Donna has to destroy a whole Dalek empire and save EVERY universe. Oh dear how can we top that? I know Amy remembers him into existence. How are we going to top that? Clara is retconned into being the hero of every story ever made!
The companions aren’t so much characters anymore just ways of being more important than the last.
On top of that because Davies felt that he would have to make the relationship between the Doctor and his companion romantic in order to win round the female audience, then every companion’s relationship with the Doctor has to be romantic in New Who.
All of the companions in New Who have at least kissed the Doctor and all the female companions bar Donna have had feelings for him, whilst at least 4 have been in love with him.
Also the Doctor has to be dependent on every female companion to the point where he will go insane without them too. RTD established this format with characters like Rose, Martha and Donna all of whom are said to have held the Doctor back from being a monster.
This coupled with the often romantic ties his companions have to him means that they can never just leave the Doctor normally like in Classic Who, where companions like Nyssa and Jo leave the Doctor because they simply move on with their lives.
In New Who they all have to be ripped screaming from him and the Doctor has to have a complete mental breakdown if they leave him, and thus all of the companion departures, bar Martha are somewhat similar.
Rose and the Ponds are sent somewhere where the Doctor will never be able to see them again by an old enemy. They both go on to live happy lives but the Doctor will never see them again and afterwards the Doctor falls into a deep depression.
Donna and Clara meanwhile either the Doctor or his companion, has to have their memory wiped of all their adventures together in order to save one of them’s life.
Finally on top of that both Clara and Donna end up becoming another version of the Doctor, who is better than the Doctor too.
The RTD format as you can see in hindsight wasn’t the best formula to reintroduce the show with.
It has restricted it greatly to the point where the Doctor can’t really be anything but a romantic hero and the companion can’t be anything but the chosen one who is more important than anyone else in every universe; until next year when another most important woman comes along. She also has to have some romantic attachment to the Doctor, even if that’s just her wanting to bang him.
She also has to be the only thing preventing him from going insane, she has to be feisty, sassy, from 21st century London, we have to see her home life, her family, place of work, her boyfriend often has to be a jealous, clingy guy who is upset that she likes the Doctor more (Mickey, Rory, Danny) and she often has to be better at everything than the Doctor.
Viewers won’t accept anything different to that formula RTD established as its too deeply rooted now. Hence why Capaldi’s Doctor became a cuddly hipster in series 9. In series 8 he was a much darker, harder, alien character but again viewers weren’t as keen because young women are used to the Doctor being a lovable, geeky cute character, whilst men view him almost as being like Leonard Hoffstatter, the geeky guy who gets the girl they can relate too. So Capaldi had to be more tailored to fit the RTD template in series 9.
Thus the show is in a bad place where on the one hand if it tries to break out of a deeply rooted pattern then viewers will be unhappy because it isn’t Doctor Who to them whilst on the other people are getting bored of the pattern. It is stagnated but can’t escape the stagnation.
I do honestly think if RTD had made the show more like classic who then it would be in a better place now. Classic Who’s formula endured for close to 30 years because it was more basic. The Doctor is just a weird, asexual scientist, his companion is just his friend. You can vary that a lot more easily, than if the companion has to be the most important person who ever lived, and the Doctor has to be in love with her etc.
All of these restrictions came about from RTD’s feminist and SJW tendencies. Making the companion the most important person in the universe, because having the Doctor be the most important person in his own show is apparently sexist. Placing a greater emphasis on the soap opera elements and making the Doctor into a romantic sap, because we can’t have Doctor Who be a little boys club.
People like to paint a picture that before RTD came along Doctor Who was completely dead and no one was interested in bringing it back. Its true that the show was certainly no longer as popular as it had once been as it was no longer on the air.
Still its wasn’t quite the uphill struggle that RTD made out.
In 2002 just a few years before the new series came along the British public was asked which old British series they want to return and Doctor Who topped the poll with an overwhelming majority. It beat out the likes of Blackadder, Fawlty Towers and Dad’s Army.
Pretty incredible when you consider that the last series of Doctor Who in 1989 at one point got a mere 3 million viewers, whilst the last series of Blackadder in 1989 got 15 million viewers.
Added to that all of the Doctor Who videos that were released in the 90’s were big sellers. Many of them were in the top 10 video charts. Even docu’s like the Pertwee years. Its worth noting that Doctor Who was also released in its entirety on video too. The same was not true for many other cult series. Lost in Space was never released on video, Blake’s 7 was given a limited release unlike Doctor Who which was constantly being released until the advent of DVD (where it continued to be released with again many DVD’s such as Remembrance of the Daleks being best sellers).
Also anything Doctor Who related was always a big ratings hit. The charity skit Dimensions in Time released in 1993 pulled in over 13 million viewers. The tv movie in 1996 also pulled in over 9 million in the UK. Its also worth mentioning that until the 2007 Christmas special the first episode of series 4, Rose the first episode of New Who was the one with the highest viewing figures.
Remember that the RTD era series that was the most popular among fans and critics was series 4, which was the most like the classic era. It had far more stories set on other worlds, and a completely platonic relationship between the Doctor and his companion. Its true the finale the Stolen Earth/ Journey’s End had the Doctor get undermined, and involves a big cheesy love story between Rose and the Doctor, and it was the most successful episode of that year in the viewers. However that was down more to a publicity stunt.
At the end of the first part of that story the Doctor is wounded and begins to regenerate. It cuts off before we see what happens next. There were no preview tapes and so therefore audiences were genuinely unsure if Tennant was going to leave the series. So it naturally pulled in higher viewers than normal. In hindsight whilst I in spite of those faults actually like the story, its not exactly highly thought of.
I think had they had a more asexual Doctors, and normal companions, and stories set on far away planets or in the past more, it would have been at least a very popular show, and it would be in a better place now as the younger generation would be able to accept a Doctor like Capaldi. There would also be a greater variation of companions too.
Having said all of that I don’t think that the Davies era’s mistakes killed the show. I think that yes he did make it difficult for the show to break free from his template, but I think it could have, had Moffat his successor not gone even further down the feminist pandering route.
I don’t hate the Davies era at all. There is a lot I love about it and the feminist pandering didn’t get quite as out of control like it would later in Moffat’s time.
Its more of a minor annoyance in RTD’s time but still its important to mention the feminist pandering in the Davies era, as it was during his time that the SJW’s first began to get their claws around the show. Some of the mistakes he made in pandering to them like the all important female companion, set a bad precedent for future seasons. Still ultimately it would be in his successors time when third wave feminism really began to harm the show.
Steven Moffat Era
Steven Moffat’s attitude to producing Doctor Who for the last 3 years.
When Steven Moffat first took over Doctor Who in 2010 things in my opinion initially improved.
I don’t think he was a social justice warrior like RTD. I think he was probably like most people a decent, tolerant person and his first couple of series were of a very high quality overall. Among the greatest in the shows history.
Sadly however the SJW’s and third wave feminists trashed Moffat. I am not saying that every one who disliked the Moffat era was like this. Hell I had many problems with him too, but still there was a definite wave of feminist attacks against Moffat’s work that got a little too personal. Its one thing to trash a guys work, but to slander him as someone who promotes rape in his scripts goes beyond that.
Moffat was called everything from a sexist to a racist to homophobic. He was even accused of promoting hatred against the mentally ill for the story Asylum of the Daleks, which had the Doctor blow up an insane asylum of Daleks.
Here are examples of the third wave feminist smear campaign against Steven Moffat. They include everything from harmless quotes taken out of context, to people saying that the posters for series 8 of Doctor Who were sexist, because Peter Capaldi looked forward and Jenna Coleman looked to the side.
And there is plenty more where that came from. Some fans I’ve talked to will often just dismiss the STFU Moffat people as crazies online, but they aren’t. They are a large movement and they include many mainstream British papers. One of the sources above was from the Guardian one of the most popular British newspapers.
There was also a group of University students in 2013 who published a book that called Doctor Who “thunderingly racist and sexist”. See here.
Now you might think that Steven Moffat didn’t care about all this but evidently he did. There are many interviews where he complains about being called sexist. At one point he even refers to the criticisms as slander.
Take a look at this quote.
I think its one thing to criticise a programme and another to invent motives out of amateur psychology for the writer and then accuse him of having those feelings. I think that was beyond the pale and strayed from criticism to a defamation. I’m certainly not a sexist, a misogynist. It was wrong.
Also if you have the time take a look at these various interviews where he mentions how much the sexist accusations upset him.
Added to that here are interviews from the cast of Moffat era Who and the BBC themselves trying to refute the claims, showing that the STFU Moffat type of fans are not just seen as internet trolls by the makers of the show. If anything I’d argue that their criticisms are listened to the most, probably because they are political in nature and because they are more personal.
After all its one thing for an old school Doctor Who fan to say Moffat’s work is rubbish, or even to call him a hack, but accusations of sexism and racism can be more harmful to both Moffat and the show’s reputation. Particularly if they become received wisdom (like what happened with the original series)
Added to that the BBC prides itself on being very politically correct and progressive. Take a look at this article which states that the organisation plans to have at least 50 percent of its staff and stars be women by 2020
Thus Steven Moffat and the team behind the series in general began to pander to these critics. From about 2013 on we see the show begin to cater to the SJW’s more and more.
Doctor Who is not alone in doing this. Various other forms of entertainment that feminists have attacked have begun to pander too them such as video games.
In the past feminists have had legitimate concerns that were dismissed for sexist reasons and so naturally no one wants to be on the wrong side of history again.
However third wave feminism is in danger of undermining true sexism by literally calling everything sexist. I am not saying that sexism doesn’t still exist in our society, but there is hopefully a happy medium between refusing to admit that any sexism exists and calling air conditioning sexist. Christina Hoff Sommers is probably that happy medium.
You might be asking well were the accusations of sexism against Moffat true. Well personally I don’t think they were. The only problem I have ever had with Moffat’s female characters is that I feel that sometimes he relies on the femme fatale trope. I don’t think that makes him a sexist by any stretch of the imagination, but I personally am not that keen on the femme fatale trope. Then again I am not that keen on in love villains in general to be honest, so I am a little biased. I just find them to be a bit boring as to me a villain should be more than just a clingy ex.
Anyway other than that no I found all of the Steven Moffat is sexist accusations to be hollow and contradictory.
I think they stemmed firstly from the fact that Steven Moffat initially did not specifically pander to the SJW’s like Russell T Davies did.
He did not make the show revolve entirely around the companion in the early Matt Smith stories. He put the Doctor at the focus of the series, he set more stories away on other planets, and other time periods rather than on council estates and in modern London all the damn time.
Matt Smith’s Doctor in contrast to Eccelston’s Doctor, only didn’t save the day in two episodes of his first season. He also saved the day in the season finale too.
That’s not to say Amy Pond and Rory Williams were pushed to the background. The show did have a soap opera element in the 11th Doctors era but it didn’t get in the way of the science fiction. Moff rather cleverly wove the sci fi into the soap opera elements such as in the season finale, when he had Rory have to stand outside the box to protect Amy for 1000 years. That’s obviously a love story, but its still also a fairy tale, fantasy story too.
Moff ironically initially managed to find the perfect balance for the series. Enough sci fi, enough romance between the companions, not the Doctor who was a completely asexual, professorial, crazy old uncle character in Matt Smith’s first series (which is why he is my favourite New Who Doctor in that series)
The SJW’s however complained that not enough focus was put on the companions home life and that by travelling with the Doctor, the female companions entire life was revolving around the Doctor, unlike Davies’s female companions, which was sexist.
The thing is the sidekick’s life does usually tend to revolve around the hero. That’s why they are called you know sidekicks and not main protagonists. Davies’s version of Doctor Who was really not the norm in terms of the sidekicks relationship with the hero.
Take a look at Xena a female led series. Her sidekick Gabrielle trails along by her side, is in love with her, idolises her, trains to be like her, leaves her village so she can travel the world with the Warrior Princess. Look at Batman. Robin is Batman’s sidekick who trails by his side too. The only time he becomes truly independent of the Batman is when he becomes Nightwing and gets his own series so he won’t clash with the Batman.
Even in Buffy which I feel did undermine its hero a bit too much in the last couple of years it still basically always put Buffy at the forefront. Yes Willow does become more powerful than Buffy but its not until the last episode that she is able to fully master that power. Most of them time she can’t use it without a book in front of her and when she can it drives her mad and makes her a villain. Also all of Buffy’s supporting male characters lives basically revolve around her.
Lets see Angel only decides to seek redemption and become a hero when he falls in love with the Buffster. Spike starts out wanting to kill her, then falls in love with her, seeks his soul for her and ends up as a hero to save her. Giles starts out as a father figure for her and when she outgrows him he leaves the show. Hell he even sings a song about how she doesn’t need him anymore.
Xander meanwhile starts out in love with her for the first few series, and Riley well he is just her love interest and that’s that.
So with this in mind I fail to see how Moffat did anything wrong by making the supporting characters in Doctor Who’s lives revolve around the main character? Its no different than to what the writers of Xena, Buffy and Batman all did. RTD was the unusual one for undermining the main character so much.
Many of Moffat’s critics often used the Bechdel test against him, but personally I find it hard to take the Bechdel test seriously. The Bechdel Test measures how sexist something is by looking at how often women talk about something other than a male character, and obviously the more they talk about something other than men the better.
Now I am not saying that its okay to always have female characters talk about nothing but men, but the Bechdel test is just too flawed a way of measuring it. It fails to take so many other factors into account, such as the fact that the female characters may be the sidekicks in a show starring a male lead like Doctor Who, or that the female characters may be facing a male villain like Xena against Ares.
Alien does not pass the test as technically the monster in Alien is male (the female of the species is the Queen seen in the sequels) Lesbian porn meanwhile does as hey the women in lesbian porn probably most of the time won’t be talking about men. Granted they probably won’t be doing much talking anyway, but still according to the Bechdel test Hot Bitches 3 is very feminist, whilst Alien which features one of the greatest heroines of all time isn’t. I don’t think Moffat need worry with this in mind.
A lot of the feminist hate against Moffat stemmed from the fact that he is a white heterosexual man. I’m only saying that because its often brought up in articles smearing him as proof of why he can’t write women and minorities, and also because I have found that a lot of their criticisms against him are just as applicable to RTD who was a homosexual. But not only was he never subject to the same kind of hate, he was often praised by the SJW’s for his progressive stories.
The thing is all of RTD’s female companions with the exception of Donna are in love with the Doctor too. Even then whilst Donna isn’t romantically attached to him, she does think that her entire life until she met him was worthless, and that he made her a better person. Wilfred even says “she was better with you”.
One could argue that Amy Pond who only travels with the Doctor part time as opposed to Rose, who wants to give up ever seeing her mum again so she can be with him, is more independent of the Doctor.
Also the constant claims that Moffat promotes sexual assault are hypocritical too. They are based on two scenes where the 11th Doctor grabs another character and kisses them. One is Rory Williams, the other Jenny Flint. Both moments were simply meant as comedic scenes that highlight the Doctors lack of social skills. I’m not keen on them, but really its an old comedy trick to have someone kiss someone else when they have had an idea in a moment of excitement like this moment from Blackadder.
Baldrick you’ve got it!
Well if I’ve got it you have too sir.
Still the SJW’s often claimed that those scenes promoted sexual assault against women, as they would encourage the young boys who watched the show, and looked up to the Doctor, to emulate his behaviour and force themselves on girls they liked.
The thing is that RTD had many scenes where characters forced a kiss on someone else.
Captain Jack to Rose and the 9th Doctor in The Parting of the Ways, Rose to the Doctor in New Earth, The Doctor to Mickey in Doomsday and in The End of Time a woman sticks her hand up the Doctors arse whilst coming on to him.
So yes I think there was a double standard against Moffat, pretty much based on the fact that he was a heterosexual white man who are always viewed by SJW’s and third wave feminists as privileged shit lords.
Sadly however as we have seen both he and the rest of the production team took their criticisms to heart, and began to tailor the show to fit the SJW’s needs in a number of ways.
The Clara Oswald Show
Now I do not dislike the character of Clara. I have always liked Jenna Coleman as an actress and I adored her and Matt’s chemistry in series 7. Even though I dislike the idea of a romance between the Doctor and his companion, Matt and Jenna were so good together that I actually did ship 11 and Clara for a bit.
Still sadly Clara came to undermine the Doctor to a much greater extent than even any of the RTD era companions. Again this was all an attempt on Moffat’s part to please his feminist critics from about 2013 onward, when the feminist smear campaign against him really got out of hand. He deleted his twitter in 2012, and though he claimed it was just because he didn’t have the time for it, I suspect that much like Joss Whedon it was because he had been sent a barrage of abuse by feminists, and Social Justice Warriors online for his supposedly sexist content.
Feminists treatment of the man who created arguably the most famous female character in the history of television.
The character of Clara differs from Amy in that Amy was just an ordinary companion. Okay yes she did have the powers from the crack in her bedroom wall, but they were often just used as a plot device to get her and the Doctor out of a sticky situation, such as in the season 6 finale.
With Clara however it feels like Steven Moffat is desperate for her to be the most important person in the entire history of the show. Some have said this is because he loves the character of Clara, but to be honest I don’t think he likes her as much as he did Amy.
With Amy I felt he could relate to her a bit as she was a Scots person who was living in England and felt like she didn’t fit in. With Clara I feel he just saw her as another companion at least initially, but as the feminists complained that in comparison to the wonderful RTD, his companions were just sidekicks, and their lives revolved around the Doctor, he decided to beef up Clara’s role too much.
Its ridiculous how much Clara undermines the Doctor and it made Clara into a very unpopular companion which was a shame as I think Jenna could have been one of the greatest without the feminist baggage.
In her first series Clara is retconed into being the hero of every Doctor Who story ever made. In the story The Name of the Doctor, the Great Intelligence hurls himself into the Doctors timeline and rewrites every victory he has ever had to be a defeat. He says.
It will destroy you. I can rewrite your every living moment. I can turn every one of your victories into defeats. Poison every friendship. Deliver pain to your every breath.
Clara however then throws herself into the Doctors timeline and rewrites everything back to how it was. Thus she is now officially the hero of every Doctor Who story ever made.
Some fans have argued that Clara didn’t change anything, that all of the classic era stories are back the way they were, as she beat the Great Intelligence from behind the scenes.
Even if that were true then it doesn’t matter as Clara is still the hero of every story. In Pyramids of Mars whilst it may be happening off screen without the Doctors knowledge, the Great Intelligence is still trying to kill him, and if it were not for Clara then he would have succeeded.
On top of that it is revealed that it was also Clara that told the Doctor what TARDIS to steal. In the story The Doctors Wife it was said that the TARDIS, which is sentient often took the Doctor where he needed to be, rather than where he wanted. This explained why he always happens to land at the right moment.
Thus had it not been for Clara telling him which TARDIS to steal, then he may never have even gone on half the adventures he did in the first place.
In the 50th Anniversary meanwhile Clara managed to convince the Doctor to undo the ending of the time war where he killed his own people. Whilst again some might argue that he would never have done it anyway, in the latest Zygon two parter, the Doctor openly admitted that it was Clara who talked him out of it when he spoke with the Zygon Bonnie.
DOCTOR: Because I’ve been where you have. There was another box. I was going to press another button. I was going to wipe out all of my own kind, man, woman and child. I was so sure I was right.
Bonnie: What happened?
DOCTOR: The same thing that happened to you. I let Clara Oswald get inside my head. Trust me. She doesn’t leave.
In Matt Smith’s final story The Time of the Doctor meanwhile, Clara once again saves the day. The Doctor is on his last life and trapped on Trenzalore with the Daleks closing in on him. He is by a small portal to the universe where he teleported his own people the time lords to safety.
In 900 years by the portal he doesn’t think to ask them for help. Then when he is an old man and near death he goes to face the Daleks, and its Clara who has the bright idea to ask the time lords for some more regenerations. They instantly oblige which allows the Doctor to destroy the Daleks.
In series 8, Peter Capaldi’s first year as the Doctor, Clara continued to undermine the time lord.
To start with many of the stories that year focus on Clara, and are even set within her place of work too. Its back to how it was with Rose again except this time its even worse.
The Caretaker keeps the sci fi to its barest minimum. There is literally a Robot Wars style Robot tossed in at the end of the episode and that’s that. The rest of the story is more like a weird cross between Grange Hill and Mork and Mindy.
In the Forest of the Night meanwhile also revolves entirely around a group of children that she has to look after, whilst episodes like Listen, Into the Dalek and Deep Breath all have massive chunks of them set in her school.
On top of this there are more episodes that try and beef Clara’s role up in the series mythology to ridiculous proportions.
Kill the Moon, long regarded as one of the weakest Doctor Who stories ever made has Clara be responsible for the human race’s survival until the end of time.
It is revealed that the Moon is in fact an egg housing a giant Dragon like creature. As it is about to hatch, the Moon itself will be destroyed, and thus in order to save the Moon, a group of human astronauts decide to kill the Dragon before it can be born. They decide however at the last minute to vote on it and ask the population of earth to decide on the Dragons fate. The entire planet votes to kill it, but Clara at the last second decides to spare the Dragon and it turns out to be the right thing to do.
Not only does the Dragon hatching not destroy humanity as was feared, as the broken pieces of moon disintegrate, and the creature itself is harmless, but it lays a second moon (bigger than its entire body) in seconds. More importantly the sight of the space Dragon inspires humanity who were on the verge of giving up on space travel to continue to explore space, which ultimately leads to them surviving as a species until the end of the universe itself.
Thus Clara more than anyone else by saving the Dragon, when the entire population of earth wanted it dead, is responsible for humanity outlasting all the other species in the universe.
This was a long running story arc in Doctor Who’s history stretching back to the 4th Doctors era, that human beings always outlast other races. It also played a huge role in the 10th Doctors era in the three parter, Utopia, The Sound of Drums and The Last of the Time Lords. In the past it was always said to be because of the indomitable will of humanity that they persevered, but now it turns out to be because of this single action of Clara’s. Thus another part of the shows mythology can be traced to her.
Yep turns out it wasn’t our long history of great Art and Scientific achievement that inspired us to survive. It was all because Clara saved a Space Dragon.
In the episode Listen, it is revealed that it was Clara that inspired the Doctor to become the hero he was when she visited him as a boy. She gave him advice that helped him conquer his fear.
In the finale of the series Clara even took the Doctor’s place in the opening credits and was billed first instead of him.
On top of that throughout the 8th series Clara would regularly demean the Doctor and emasculate him. She slaps him across the face in two episodes and threatens to hit him so hard that he would regenerate in another.
The 9th series of Doctor Who was a bit better than the 8th, but the story arc of that series once again, not only had to have Clara undermine the Doctor, but also be inserted into the mythology of the series.
The story arc for series 9 revealed that the Doctor had fled Gallifrey because of a prophecy about a Hybrid said to be half Dalek and half Time Lord, that would destroy both races and eventually all of time and space itself.
Since the War Games in 1969, it had been thought that the reason the Doctor left Gallifrey was simply because he was bored. He wanted to see the universe, and time lords where forbidden to leave their home and interfere in the affairs of other planets. So the Doctor stole a TARDIS and went exploring.
It was a perfectly simple explanation and fitted the Doctors character perfectly. The Doctor is a scientist who is eager to discover new things and is also someone who doesn’t want tied down to one place. He’s really just an intergalactic drifter.
Changing it after 50 years that now he was fleeing from a prophecy just makes no sense. Not only does it change a fundamental part of his character, that he is the rebel who defied his own people (the most powerful race in the universe’s) rules and that he loves to explore. It doesn’t make sense that he left because he was scared of a prophecy that he didn’t even mention, never mind do anything about for 50 years?
It is later revealed in a twist that the Hybrid Prophecy referred to the Doctor and Clara. A time lord and a human being, who love each other so much that they would be willing to destroy all of reality for one another. We see this in the finale when the Doctor is willing to risk all of time and space itself to save Clara.
At the end of the season 9 finale Hellbent, Clara is made completely indestructible and she flies off in her own TARDIS. Once again we see the Doctor being undermined as now Clara can do anything he can. She can fly the TARDIS and she is unkillable. In a sticky situation who would you rather show up? The Doctor who can be killed or the completely unbeatable Clara? Added to that Clara’s companion Ashildir is an immortal who has lived to the end of the universe itself and has knowledge of everything, whilst the Doctors companions are just ordinary 21st century humans (most of the time).
I can’t honestly think of a supporting character who undermined the hero to the same extent. Scrappy Doo, Wesley Crusher. Clara is in a category of her own as just about every aspect of his life has been decided by her.
Naturally many Doctor Who fans hated these developments. We liked the character of the Doctor because he was adventurous, brave, and a hero that could look after himself. Now all of that has been reduced as had it not been for Clara, he would never have overcome his fear, he would never have picked the right TARDIS, he would never have even survived past “An Unearthly Child” had it not been for her.
At the same time mainstream viewers were put off, as in order to beef up Clara’s role, Moffat had to constantly revel in the shows mythology. One negative review of series 9 stated that you’d need a PHD in Doctor Who to watch the series. The only problem was the fans who got all of these continuity references, didn’t want to watch it because it kept changing the shows established lore and taking away everything that made the Doctor heroic and admirable, by saying that it now only happened because of Clara.
Also I personally think that the quality of the stories declined as the sci fi again became an after thought in favour of bigging Clara up.
Like look at Kill the Moon. The sci fi element is a poorly thought out idea that’s only real purpose is so that Clara can become the most important person in the history of mankind. In The Caretaker the Sci Fi element is a bland robot whose sole purpose is to get the Doctor into Clara’s school so that we can see a day in the life of Clara.
Worst of all though is in the season 9 finale. Here we have the return of Gallifrey which is a huge deal in the show’s mythology. Its been gone since the classic era and from the Doctors point of view he has not been home for over 1000 years.
Added to that there were so many unanswered questions about Gallifrey such as what happened after the Master faced Rassilon down in the climax of The End of Time when they both ended up there. Did Rassilon punish the Master? Why did the Master regenerate? How did he escape? How did Rassilon return from the dead in the first place and why did he go evil? Has Rassilon been deposed? Will the Doctor have to stop him from carrying out the final sanction again? How did Gallifrey escape from the pocket dimension the Doctor sent it too? Will he have to rescue it? The time lords said that they would be trapped and alone if the doctor sent them to another universe and they only barely agreed to it because they had no other choice. How did they struggle in that other universe? Did many of them die? Also how will the Daleks react when their greatest enemies return? Will the time war start a new? What about the Doctors loved ones like Susan? What became of them in the time war? Is Romana still on Gallifrey? What role did she play in the war?
Virtually none of these questions are answered and Rassilon, the most powerful of all time lords is dealt with in two minutes. The Doctor being home again for the first time in 1000 years is completely sidetracked, so that the Doctor can resurrect Clara, and the whole episode can then focus on how special Clara is again.
On top of that as the focus has been put on Clara’s school many boring and very unpopular characters have been introduced via Clara. These include the schoolgirl Courtney and Danny Pink, Clara’s boyfriend, who had very little character development and 0 chemistry with Jenna Coleman.
Its no surprise that the viewing figures have fallen every year since Clara was introduced to the point where they have reached record lows in season 9. I don’t think its entirely down to her to be fair. There are other factors, but certainly one of the biggest complaints about the show from fans and casual viewers alike is how much Clara is taking it over. Ultimately I think that has come about solely to appease the feminists who complained that it was sexist for the show to focus on the Doctor, the main character, simply because he was a man.
I think its interesting when you look at these reviews from fans of the most recent season finale Hellbent. Here are two from Mr Tardis and Who Addicts Reviews which are both absolutely scathing.
Meanwhile here is an overwhelmingly positive review from Whovian Feminism, who as her name would suggest wishes Doctor Who to be a more feminist friendly series. She LOVES Missy the female Master, has argued passionately for a female Doctor and has often criticised what she feels are entitled male Doctor Who fans.
Here are her tweets about the episode.
Another overwhelmingly positive review came from Vanity Fair which similarly praised the story for being a brilliant feminist episode.
I think that demonstrates the audience the new Who team are after better than anything else. I might add that Whovian Feminism’s review was posted on Rachel Talalay, the director of the series 8 and series 9 finale’s blog.
Mr Tardis and Who Addict Reviews are sci fi and fantasy fans. Mr Tardis is a Star Trek fan, loves comic book heroes (particularly Spider-Man) and is a devoted fan of the films of Sam Raimi and Tim Burton. He naturally thought Hellbent was shit. Whovian Feminism meanwhile is a third wave feminist, and like all third wave feminists she can’t like something unless its about feminism, so she thought it was great.
That’s the thing about third wave feminists they have to make everything about them. Doctor Who is not a feminist series. Its a fantasy series first and foremost that is supposed to tell imaginative and exciting sci fi stories.
Verity Lambert a feminist herself didn’t make the show about feminism. That’s not to say she didn’t include strong characters like Barbara, but still unlike third wave feminists she could enjoy the concept without having to change it to fit her own ideology.
Replacing Male Characters with Women
Missy the shows jump the shark, nay its jump the whale, jump the Megalodon, jump the Predator X moment.
Since the 1980’s one question has hung over the shows head like the sword of Damocles. Will the Doctor ever regenerate into a woman?
The idea was first proposed as a joke by Tom Baker during interview when he quipped (having already known that it was Peter Davison that would succeed him) good luck to the next Doctor whoever he or she may be.
Since then whenever any actor playing the role has left the series people have asked whether the next Doctor will be a woman or not?
Ultimately it was only from the early 2010’s on that feminists really began to push for a female Doctor. By 2013 it got so extreme that many people were angry that Peter Capaldi had been cast as the Doctor.
Here is a quote from Paul Cornell, a former Doctor Who writer and outspoken feminist on Peter Capaldi’s casting.
“I think he’s a great choice!” Cornell enthuses, “I would’ve preferred a woman though… I got really annoyed at lots of my friends in the Doctor Who fandom, I’d no idea they’d react so conservatively and negatively to [the idea of a female Doctor]. They seemed to think it was okay to say an awful lot of shit”
I’ve often wondered why Paul Cornell if he is so desperate for female representation doesn’t give up his own job as a writer for DC comics and insist a woman take his place? Well he is the one that is going around saying that he would rather women take other people’s jobs like Peter Capaldi’s? Lets see him put his money where his mouth is and give up his own job so a woman, who in his eyes could never get that job through her own merits because of the patriarchy, can get a chance?
Naturally Moffat began to pander to these people once again. He turned the Master another time lord into a woman, he has included constant references to the Doctor possibly changing gender, and has had other time lords changing gender when they regenerate.
Now the idea of a female Doctor is a truly terrible concept in my opinion. So many people I feel are only in favour of it because they feel that women are somehow being deprived by not being allowed to play the Doctor, hence why so many people who have never even seen the show are desperate for a female Doctor. Kay Adams for instance, a Scottish television presenter who openly admitted that she had never seen a single episode of Doctor Who, said her blood was boiling at the thought of people saying they didn’t want a female Doctor.
Of course its ridiculous to act as though women are being deprived of something by not being allowed to play the Doctor. By that logic then men are being deprived of not being allowed to audition for the role of Xena in that upcoming remake of that series.
The other reasons I hear for it are always so weak. The most common reason in my experience is “because it will be something different and all change in Doctor Who is good, as the show is all about change”.
The show is not contrary to popular belief all about change. It has a very flexible format that can allow it to change if it needs too, but its also all about tradition too. Hence why the TARDIS is still a blue box, hence why the Daleks, Cybermen, UNIT, The Master, Davros, and the Sontarans all appear with every or at least multiple Doctors, hence why we also still don’t know the Doctors name!
Still yes things like regeneration do allow you to change the format somewhat but that doesn’t mean that any change is okay. By that logic then Colin Baker choking Nicola Bryant in the Twin Dilemma was marvellous. Hey it was a change, so was his awful costume and the 7th Doctor acting like a clown during his first series.
A change has to have some justification. If any change can happen in the show then why not have the Daleks all become peace loving hippies, the Doctor change the TARDIS to looking like a chair, the Doctor tell us his name is Bob and the Cybermen start crying at sad movies.
People often use the fact that a lot changed during the first 4 Doctors era’s, but they miss the point that during those 4 era’s the show was still establishing itself.
In the Hartnell era we don’t know anything about the Doctor. Where he came from, his people, why he left, even the name of his home planet.
Thus the first four Doctors era’s simply filled all of these details in. By the end of Tom’s time we know why he left Gallifrey, how many times he can regenerate. After that its really the next generation of writers jobs to try and build on what has come before rather than say “actually no it went like this instead”.
That’s not to say that there weren’t a few contradictions in the old series but its to expected in a show that lasted 26 years. Sometimes a complete change can be great like Genesis of the Daleks, but again I can justify why Genesis was great without just saying “its different”.
Ultimately however people who want a female Doctor I find just simply say that it would be great because its a change which is not enough.
The other reasons I hear are often either attacks against the people who don’t want it as sexist, such as Paul Cornell’s infamous statement on twitter “anyone who doesn’t like their favourite character changing gender is exactly the type of person who would turn on their own family member for changing gender“.
Or they are that it will finally give women a chance to play the hero which is complete bullshit. Okay there might not be quite as many female heroes as male heroes but come on here we are past the point where a female hero particularly in a sci fi and fantasy series is a big deal.
You know what Gabby (the blonde in the video) is right. Its annoying the way women always have to imagine themselves as the sidekick. It boils my blood to think of women always being the meek, frightened damsel in distress in cult series. Sci Fi and Fantasy are such a disgusting little boys only club. All of its male fans heads would explode if they ever saw something with a woman as the lead. Their tiny patriarchal minds couldn’t cope with a female character who was strong clearly based on the history of the genre.
Such a shame that women are always such shrinking violets in sci fi and fantasy.
That’s what’s hilarious about these supposed feminists who repeat this myth about no strong roles for women like that. All they do is show how little interest they actually have in both popular sci fi and fantasy (despite claiming to be just as big a fan if not more so of the genre’s than any “entitled fanboy”) and more importantly in female heroes in general.
I hate accusing anyone of being a false fan, but the simple fact of the matter is there are dozens of wonderful female led action film and tv series out there. Alien film series, Xena, Buffy, Wonder Woman tv series, The Bionic Woman, The Bride with White Hair film series, The Dead and the Deadly, The Heroic Trio film series, A Chinese Ghost Story film and tv series series, Underworld film series, Terminator,Terminator 2, Terminator 3, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Earth 2, Star Trek Voyager, Once Upon A Time, The Survivors (both the original and the remake) Charmed, Relic Hunter, Charlies Angels, film and television series, Cleopatra 2525, Tru Calling, Dollhouse, Ghost Whisperer, Nikita, Dark Angel, Alias, Jessica Jones, and many more.
Thus how can you honestly say (given that many of these series such as Xena, Charmed and Buffy are among the most famous and successful genre series ever made). That you have a real interest in female heroes, and sci fi and fantasy and then say there are virtually no heroic roles for women in the genre.
I might add as well that in many male led sci fi and fantasy series women still have the strongest roles.
Look at Red Dwarf. The main protagonist is a man Dave Lister, but the most intelligent, competent and able character is a woman, Kristine Kochanski. She regularly saves him and he spends the whole series chasing after her and being rejected, even punched in the face at one point!
In Futurama Fry is the main character, but Leela is the one who is the strongest and most capable member of the crew.
In The Avengers series (not to be confused with the Marvel Comic Book series) the main character is John Steed but all of the female supporting characters from Cathy Gale to Mrs Emma Peel to Purdi, are all strong independent characters.
In Blake’s 7 another male led series the most intelligent and powerful character is a woman, Servalan. Servalan constantly outsmarts magnificent bastard Avon at every step of the way and consequently is the only character, despite being the most evil villain in the series, who definitely doesn’t die.
As we have explored there were also plenty of strong roles for women in Classic Doctor Who as well.as Star Trek and Babylon 5, even Lost in Spce. Penny Robinson is every bit as brave and resourceful as Will. The only character in the show who is a complete pansy, that faints at the sight of a monster and runs away screaming and leaves his friends to die is a male character Doctor Zachary Smith.
Thus with all of this in mind there is no reason to turn the Doctor into a woman just to simply give a woman a strong or leading role in science fiction. Really we have reached a point where female heroes are no longer a big ground breaking thing, and frankly anyone who still thinks they are is the one who is living in the 40’s.
Still I wonder what Gabby’s reaction would be if we had a female Doctor who was constantly saved by her male sidekick. Well that’s been the set up for the past few years in reverse and Gabby is unhappy with it.
So then lets have a female Doctor only save the day in 2 stories out of 13 like Eccelston, in 1 out of four series finale’s, lets do a story where she gets stuffed in a bird cage and then freed by Martin. Lets do a story where Donald gets the she Doctors powers and uses them better than her and tells her she is useless. Lets do one where Jamie Pond remembers him back into existence. Lets do one where Clarence is retconned into being the hero of every story of hers and takes her place in the opening credits.
Oh and on top of that lets have it that the she Doctors goes insane without a strong man like Rory,(who she never shuts up about), Martin and Clarence (who also slaps her across the face) to help her.
I used to think that you couldn’t have a female Doctor for this reason and Peter Davison who played the fifth Doctor expressed a similar opinion that a vulnerable dependent female Doctor wouldn’t work, but now I don’t think that is a reason against a female Doctor. I don’t like a male Doctor being so dependent on his companion, though I am still opposed to a female Doctor for other reasons.
Now you might be asking even if there is no need for a female Doctor what’s the problem with having one? Just audition the role to men and women and cast whoever is the best for the part right?
Well sorry but it doesn’t work that way. A man is always going to be the best for the role not because men are better than women, but because the character of the Doctor is a man.
There are differences between men and women. Its a denial of reality to say that there is not. It does not make you a sexist to acknowledge those differences. Its sexist to say that one gender is better because of those differences, but that’s not what I am saying.
Here’s a rather interesting video on the differences between men and women by Blair White a trans woman. PS its not transphobic to acknowledge the differences between men and women either. Trans people believe they exist more than anyone else hence why they change.
Next time someone says “well time lords change hair colour, height and weight so why not gender” point out this video to them. Gender is clearly a much bigger thing to change than any of those. Technically we all change our weight, height, hair colour and age as time goes on but very few of us change our gender because you have to really want to. Its not just a casual thing. Trans people like Blair White don’t decide on a spur the moment to change sex or for a laugh to go through a long and costly operation.
Now you might argue that with time lords this doesn’t matter as they are after all aliens so why can’t they be gender fluid.
Well based on what we have seen that clearly isn’t the case. Yes okay Steven Moffat started to make it canon from 2011 on, by dropping hints that time lords could change gender when they regenerate to pander to people like Whovian Feminism, but prior to that it was never even mentioned for 48 years!
We had seen dozens of time lords regenerate over the years, and not once did they ever even talk about the possibility that they might gender flip.
The Doctor has regenerated 12 times, the Master if you include spin off material 15 times and he also stole the body of two men. If time lords are really gender neutral why did the Master go for Tremas’s body when his daughter Nyssa was there and Nyssa was A/ younger and B/ had a closer connection to the Doctor and C/ would have been a better disguise?
Also on top of that time lords like Rassilon, The Master, Morbius and Azmahel have all burned out regeneration cycles as the one gender. If you includie spin off material we have also seen Romana regenerate 3 times, Borusa regenerate 3 times, River regenerate 2 times and K’Napo regenerate once too.
Are we really meant to believe that all of these regenerations were just flukes and that there was a 50/50 chance that they could have all been the opposite gender?
Also look at their attitudes to regeneration in the previous stories. In The War Games when the Time Lords offer the Doctor several options for his third face they are all men. If time lords are gender fluid then shouldn’t one of them have been a woman?
Also when the third Doctor was regenerating K’Napo says to Sarah “he will become a new man” again if there was a 50/50 chance he would become a woman wouldn’t it have been a new person?
Also when Romana was regenerating she chose several different faces before settling on one for her second face. Once again if she were gender fluid wouldn’t one of the faces she chose have been a man?
Also even little character traits like Susan calling the Doctor grandfather and the Masters rampant sexism don’t make sense if Time Lords have no gender. Wouldn’t Susan have called him grandparent? How could the Master possibly be a sexist in a society which had no gender identity? It would be pretty stupid of him to go on about how inferior women are to men when there was a 50/50 chance he could be a woman.
Just because Time Lords are shapeshifters does not mean they have no gender. Does the character of Mystique from the X-Men have no gender? Do the Martians in DC Comics have no gender?
Its unbelievable arrogance of Moffat to come along in 2011 after 48 years and add something this big to the lore that literally changes every time lord character and then say that its always been a part of it. Thanks to this change technically Susan could regenerate into Brian Blessed.
Aside from the fact that gender flipping time lords goes against time lord lore from Classic and even RTD era Who it also just doesn’t mesh with the Doctor’s character.
The Doctor contrary to popular belief can not turn into anyone. Again it baffles me that so many fans can say this. If you think the Doctor can be absolutely anyone then basically you have said that you don’t think the Doctor exists as a character. You think that he is a title that is passed on to 13 different characters who have nothing in common with each other at all except the name Doctor.
I don’t think that is the case at all and I hate to say this, but I think a lot of the time when fans say that there should be no similarity’s between the Doctor, they say it more out of fear of being labelled a crusty old Classic Who nerd who doesn’t like change.
Sadly there has always been something of a self loathing streak among Doctor Who fans. To be fair there has always been a self loathing streak among nerds in general, which is why SJW’s have been able to lock their talons around the sci fi genre.
When feminists call sci fi sexist, nerds are more likely to roll over and take it. They are afraid if they stand up for themselves and defend their geeky interests, they will look like sad gits whose whole life revolves around Star Trek or Doctor Who.
Added to that geeky interests such as sci fi tv programmes and video games are often seen as childish and sadly many nerds will often be embarrassed to say they like them. Even with the recent outbreak of trendy geeky culture, if you’re a hardcore nerd you are still seen as a sad manchild. Take a look at Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory who takes his passion for sci fi and fantasy the most seriously. He is portrayed as a crazy weirdo.
Thus sci fi fans will only be too happy to distance themselves from their love of the genre and never stick up for it if its under attack.
I think this is why third wave feminists go for Sci Fi and Fantasy above all else, because its an easy target. Notice how they don’t go after genre’s where women are genuinely under represented like Westerns or Crime thrillers or even Spy and Espionage stories. Sci Fi and Fantasy is the easiest one to to bully. Who is going to stand up for it? Not even its fans who will be guilted by third wave feminists and SJW’s into feeling that their genre is a little boys club, and so they are only too happy for feminists to walk all over it.
Many nerds are such self loathers that they will actively bully other nerds, labelling them sexists, racists, homophobes, virgins, perverts if they try and stick up for their genre against feminists. These nerds are comparable to the your friend at school who starts to bully you in order to keep in with the other bully’s.
The definition of a self loathing fanboy who strawmans his fellow nerds.
Sadly even among sci fi fans Whovians still manage to stand out as self loathers. I don’t know why this is, but go on line and you will see whole articles from Doctor Who fans about other Doctor Who fans being idiots, sad gits and frightened of change.
Look at this quote from Jon Blum a writer of Doctor Who Novels about why we should have a female Doctor
“Sudden realization in the shower: the part of the War Doctor should have gone to Helen Mirren.
Advantages? Singlehandedly settles the “could he be a woman” debate — not only can he, he already has, so suck it. Plays completely against type for what people think a woman Doctor would be. And introduces it in possibly the safest way possible for the more risk-averse folks in the BBC — in a story which is guaranteed to be huge, with return appearances by Tennant and Piper already on the board, with a big star name, but without having to even run the risk of committing to several years of letting a lady lead the series. (Yet.)
Plus? Fanboy heads asplodey, left right and centre.”
Imagine actually listing that it would annoy fans as a reason to bring about such a huge change in the shows dynamic.
But then sadly that’s typical behaviour among Doctor Who fans to hate anyone who doesn’t think that every single change is automatically brilliant. Of course its silly to think that every change will be bad, but that’s the point you need to take each change on a case by case basis.
A Female Doctor based on its own merits doesn’t work, hence why the pro Female Doctor camp have to try and appeal to the self loathing aspect of Doctor Who and Sci Fi fans “if you turn against this you are a sad git who can’t stand change, you’re the type who would have hated Tom Baker because he was a young actor” or “you are a sexist who can’t stand a women as the leading hero“.
There is an obvious pattern to the Doctors. They all have certain similarities that help link the different versions of the Doctor together as merely different aspects of the same character rather than just 13 different characters who share the same name.
Its a hard balance to find. Trying to get an actor who will have a big enough personality that they will bring something new to the role, yet at the same time not be so different that they will be utterly unbelievable as the same man.
It requires time and effort rather than just lazily saying “oh he can be anyone lets get Sue Perkins.” There is nothing wrong with a character having limits. Limits help to define a character more anything else.
Sherlock Holmes is defined by his limits, the fact that he is an asexual, arrogant detective. Batman similarly is defined by his limits which are, that he is motivated by the murder of his parents, the fact that he has no powers, the fact that he lives in Gotham City, the fact that he fights certain villains and colourful criminals etc.
You can do many things within these limits. Adam West is a comedy character, Michael Keaton, was a Gothic, almost fairy tale style hero, Christian Bale was a more down to earth, gritty, crime fighter. The point is however as different as all of those versions are, they still follow all of those limits, and therefore still feel like Batman.
Thus the Doctor similarly is defined regardless of what incarnation he is in by a number of limitations and things that we know the Doctor would never do.
The character of the Doctor is always mysterious. We have never found out his name in 50 plus years. Okay we have found out a little be more about his past than when he first appeared as William Hartnell, but still we don’t really know that much about him. We know nothing of his upbringing, his education (other than that he went to school with the Master) we know nothing about his family. What about his children? If he has a grand daughter surely he had a child, what became of them? Are they dead? Is that why Susan was travelling with him? Did he have a wife?
None of these questions have been answered and they most likely never will be as the air of mystery that surrounds the Doctors character is as defining an aspect of his character as Batman’s lack of super powers or tragic origin is his.
Thus in spite of all the differences between the Doctors they all have to be mysterious.
Similarly the Doctor is always more of a Holmesian hero who uses his mind to solve his problems. He’s not like say James Bond who has a gun holster on him and whips out a pistol at the first option, or Angel who has a massive weapons cabinet in his hotel filled with knives, axes, stakes, swords and even later shotguns.
The Doctor will use guns and weapons if need be. He’s not like Batman who never kills (in most versions at least), but he’s not someone whose way out of every situation is just to zap the badguy. He does tend to fall into the Sherlock Holmes type of hero more, IE, more cerebral, analytical.
He also is always someone who wants to explore the universe too. He hates just settling down somewhere and wants to see everything. We see this in Hartnell’s Doctor who leaves Susan when he realises that she wants to settle down somewhere, Troughton’s and Pertwee’s Doctor’s who hate the thought of being exiled to earth, Tom’s Doctor who hates having to go on mission’s for the time lords or the Brigadier, even Matt’s Doctor who can’t stand hanging around Amy and Rory’s flat for a week.
Sometimes his curiosity will put himself and others around him in danger such as in the first Dalek story, The Caves of Androzani and even Utopia.
In all instances he lands in somewhere that is clearly dangerous, but his own desire to explore an unknown planet ends badly for him.
Even physically as I have pointed out before the Doctor usually has to be somewhat Byronesque and more old fashioned looking.
He normally has long or big hair, a clean shaven face and wears flamboyant, Edwardian/Victorian era clothing, usually frock coats, scarfs and big hats.
You can see how all of the Doctors follow a template even in some ways physically. In order to get someone who is right for the Doctor you need to get someone who can fit that template, and thus be believable as the same character as his predecessors, yet has a big enough personality that he will be able to do something new with it.
I feel that all of the actors who have been cast in the role so far have been successful in not breaking the template and bringing something new to it.
Patrick Troughton brought a softer, more whimsical, light hearted, yet more manipulative edge to the character than Hartnell’s, Pertwee was a more physical, dashing version, Tom a more outrageous, bohemian version, Davison a younger, more vulnerable version, the second Baker an angrier, darker version, McCoy a more sly, crafty version, McGann a more romantic version, Eccelston a more conflicted, tormented, manic version, Tennant a more emotional, flawed version, Smith a more fun loving, crazy version and Capaldi a more grumpy, rock star version.
But the point was they all still followed the template that I described and thus they were all still the Doctor.
The only Doctor who didn’t follow the template was the one off War Doctor played by John Hurt who was meant to stand out as he had consumed a potion that literally made him not the Doctor. Though even then he still followed the template in some ways. Eccelston’s Doctor similarly looked more modern than the other Doctors but again he followed the template in most ways. He too was mysterious, he too preferred non violent means but would use them if need be, he too had a love for travelling etc.
Tom Baker himself even said in an interview collected in the 1976 docu Whose Doctor Who (which is included on the DVD release of The Talons of Weng Chiang) that the Doctor was the most limiting role he has ever played. He said there were so many things he couldn’t do as the character because if he did then he wouldn’t seem like the Doctor anymore.
With this in mind then its obvious that the Doctor can not be absolutely anyone. You couldn’t cast a big muscle bound actor like Sylvester Stallone who would play the character as a big gun toting action hero like Rambo. He would look out of place in every respect.
Now you might be thinking that a female Doctor could embody these characteristics that I have described, the Doctors love for travelling, the mystery around his origins and yes she could, but ultimately I think that another key part of the Doctors character that runs throughout all of his incarnations is his gender.
Really the Doctors gender has become a core part of his personality by default, simply because he has been a man for the past 50 years. To say the he is genderless is a lie.
All of his relationships have been from a male perspective. He was a grandfather to Susan, he was a grandfatherly, fatherly figure to most of his other female companions in Classic Who, he had a brotherly relationship with Jamie, a brothers in arms relationship with The Brigadier (though they also clashed as two alpha males at certain points). He has been a loving boyfriend to characters like Rose and a husband to River Song.
On top of that we identify with him as a man. Young boys look up to him as a role model, the image we have of the Doctor in our heads is of a British gentlemanly hero like Sherlock Holmes (which is probably why most people wouldn’t want an American Doctor either) and he has always been written as a man for better and for worse.
To suddenly turn him into a woman would seem jarring after 50 years, feel forced and look out of place, as much as if we had him reveal his true name or decide to stop travelling.
Look at this scene from the Docu Drama An Adventure in Space and Time where William Hartnell the first actor to play the Doctor, who is played here by David Bradley looks across from the TARDIS console and sees Matt Smith’s Doctor. This was of course meant to show how he knew that his character would endure for 50 years.
Now imagine if it were a woman looking back at William Hartnell like Emma Watson who has been touted as a potential female Doctor. It wouldn’t seem like the same character at all. The change would just be too drastic. As different to Hartnell as Matt Smith may seem he is still nevertheless believable as the same character. Matt and Hartnell are both quirky guys, one is young and one is older, so its not quite such a stretch to imagine Matt still being Hartnell underneath as it would be to imagine it still being William Hartnell underneath this young lady.
For me and most others that would be too much. Physically it would be too extreme a change alone, but as we have been over any type of relationships she would have with other characters, would be different to the first 13 as they would now be from a female perspective.
It would also break the very delicate image, that they have spent years building up of the Doctor being the same man underneath all his different faces, in much the same way a big Sylvester Stallone gun toting Doctor would, but a female Doctor would actually be more drastic as it would mean that the Doctor was never male.
He was just a genderless being that could have either been a man or a woman and all of his male incarnations were just flukes. Apparently there was a 50/50 chance of the Second Doctor turning into either Patrick Troughton or Beyonce.
To me that wrecks the Doctor as a character as now he isn’t a character, he is just a title as, he can literally be anyone.
Lets take a look as Missy the female version of the Master to see how well a female version of a male character meshed with the previous male versions.
To anyone who is being honest Missy was not even remotely believable as The Master.
Much like the Doctor, the Master’s character has a template that he must always follow or else he isn’t a character, he too is a title.
The Master’s template is as follows.
He must always want to conquer the universe. That is the Master’s basic motivation. He wants to take over planets like the earth as he believes that under his rule he can make them a better place. In some ways he sees his evil as being for a greater good, though at the same time he is a petty, hateful, bitter little man who is easily corruptable.
He is also a miserable pathetic coward who is willing to sacrifice billions of innocent lives to save his own too.
He is a highly manipulative character. He is always is able to twist people’s minds, prey on their weaknesses and strengths to his own advantage.
The Master in contrast to the Doctor will often be in a position of power as he will often have a forged alias and have lied, and greased and manipulated his way to the top of any society he is in. He will also often use this position to frame the Doctor or have him arrested.
He also despises the Doctor too. Initially he views the Doctor as a potential ally due to their friendship and also because the Doctor is another renegade time lord like him. The more the Doctor bests him the more he grows to despise him to the point where he is utterly consumed by his hatred for the Doctor. In the Deadly Assassin he remarks whilst in his burnt, emaciated body that his hatred of the Doctor is the only thing that keeps him alive in spite of the unimaginable agony he is in.
In fact there are only two things that can overcome the Masters overwhelming cowardice and fear of death, his burning hatred of the Doctor and his desire to rule the universe. In Survival the Master is happy to die in his final showdown with the Doctor if it means he can get him. . In the 96 movie when the Master is dangling over an abyss he refuses the Doctors offer of help and spits back in his face NEVER!
In Logopolis he gambles with the fate of the entire universe and thus his own life when he with holds the only thing that can save it unless its people bow down before him.In the Time Monster he tells the third Doctor that he is perfectly willing to risk his own life and all of time and space in order to rule the universe.
Finally the Master also physically generally tends to have shorter dark hair, dress in darker more toned down clothing and have thick facial hair.
The Master must always follow this template. If you don’t follow this template then you are not writing the character of the Master.
All of the original Masters followed this template as different as they were.
Roger Delgado the original Master followed this template, but he was more suave, and in control than those who came after. The Burned Master meanwhile followed this template as well, but he was bitter, hateful and vicious. Ainley followed it too, but he was more flamboyantly evil, dandyish and more of a lovable rogue. Roberts was more animalistic and savage, but he still followed the template.
John Simm’s Master has often been slated by classic era fans for being too wild and crazy but personally I didn’t mind that as he still followed the basic template for the character.
Simm’s Master sought to gain control of the entire universe like the others. His plan in Last of the Time Lords is to create a new time lord empire that in The Master’s twisted mind will create a new universal order, whilst in the End of Time he turns all of humanity into clones of himself in order to have an army that can sweep across the universe (he also later attempts to do the same to the time lords)
The Simm Master was manipulative too. He seduced Lucy Saxon, he tricked Martha’s family, he managed to get the entire United Kingdom to vote him in as Prime Minister, he tricked Joshua Naismith. He also established himself in a position of power as the Prime Minister and used this position to frame the Doctor as a terrorist.
He also hated the Doctor with a vengeance too. He held him prisoner and tortured him for an entire year.
Also much like the other Master’s whilst he was a miserable cringing coward who was afraid of death, he was still willing to die just to spite the Doctor as seen at the end of The Last of the Time Lords, when he willingly kills himself just to hurt the Doctor by making him the last of his kind once again. Also in The End of Time he risks freeing the Time Lords, the Daleks and all the other horrors of the time war in order to gain control of them.
Finally even physically he resembled the other Masters in that he too dressed in dark sharp suits and had a more normal, toned down appearance.
Thus I think Simm’s Master fit in perfectly with the other Masters. The fact that he was more of a hysterical maniac than Delgado or Ainley didn’t bother me at all. Simm and Davies managed to work that change to within the template of the character, and it made sense in a way as the Master at that point after everything that had happened to him would be more insane. Also it was always hinted that he was underneath his steely exterior a vicious psychopath.
Whilst he claimed that he never killed unless he had too and that once he ruled planets like the earth he would make them a better place there were many occasions in stories like The Sea Devils and The Deadly Assassin where he killed people for no reason other than seemingly his own sadistic cruelty. Thus to me the Simm Master was merely this side of the Master brought to the fore by a combination of the time war and possibly his own regeneration.
Missy meanwhile does not fit in with the template in any way. In fact she contradicts it.
To start with she is in love with the Doctor. So many fans deny that she was meant to be in love with him. Fans will often say “she was just messing with him when she kissed him”.
Well even if that were true that would still be crap. Basically the Master and the Doctor are now like Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd when Bugs Bunny dresses up as a woman and seduces Elmer Fudd. Gee remember when they were more like Holmes and Moriarty in Pertwee’s time or even Batman and the Joker in Simm’s time.
Now they are literally this.
The Master’s way of messing with the Doctor used to be things like, framing him for the murder of the president of the time lords, stirring up a war between his two favourite races the Sea Devils and humanity, luring him to a dying planet of cheetah people, framing him as a terrorist. Now its regenerating into a woman and forcing a kiss on him to make him sexually confused!
I’d say that’s a come down for a once great villain.
Still its not true anyway, Missy was not simply messing with the Doctor. She was meant to have at least some romantic feelings for him, and you can tell this just by what she says and does.
To start with she calls him her boyfriend when he isn’t around to other characters like the Half face man who has no idea who they are. If she is just messing with him why would she say that when he isn’t around?
Also he later kisses her and she smiles as he does it, and kisses him back. If she was just kissing him to mess with him then why did she let him kiss her and enjoy it?
She tells the Doctor not long after French kissing him that her hearts are maintained by him. She even mentions being jealous of Clara and just about everything she says to him throughout Death in Heaven is a flirtation of some kind “its our Paris”, “show a bad girl how its done”.
On top of that her entire plan that covered all of season 8 was to win him back as a “Friend”.
Now its true that in her next appearance she denies having any romantic feelings for him, but its presented very much in a the lady does protest too much kind of a way and later she says that traps are her way flirting. Who is it she always lays traps for? Then there is the fact that she blushes when he plays Pretty woman in her direction, and the fact that she goes out of her way to save him from the Daleks.
Still not convinced? Michelle Gomez who played Missy says in this very interview that it was hell for Missy having to pull back from snogging the Doctor, as she wanted to fuck him there and then in front of Clara.
Steven Moffat also refers to Missy as the Doctors Ex in this interview here
So in the show Missy kisses the Doctor 5 times (more times on screen than Rose and as many as River), she almost outright says she loves him, her plan is to win him back and the actress who played her and the person who wrote the episodes she was in both say that she was in love with him. Yet some fans still deny that there was ANY romantic aspect to 12 and Missy’s relationship. I guess though that just goes to show that they view it as being crap like me, but where as I say that its shit, they literally deny reality.
Some fans have argued that there was always a gay aspect to the Doctor and the Master’s relationship but this is as big a denial of reality as saying that there was no romantic aspect to Missy and 12’s relationship.
Originally it was intended for the Master and the Doctor to be brothers. Jon Pertwee conforms as much on an interview included on the Planet of the Spiders DVD as does Barry Letts. Thus Pertwee and Delgado always played it as such and it was planned in Delgado’s last adventure as the Master, called The Final Game to reveal that the two time lords were brothers.
Sadly Roger Delgado was killed in a car accident before this could happen. Still whilst it was never canonized that they were brothers, its obvious that Delgado and Pertwee who still intended them to be brothers, didn’t play them as secret gay lovers. Unless you think they intended the main hero in a family show to want to shag his brother?
In the Burned Master’s time the character was depicted as a burned zombie so again unless you think they wanted the Doctor to be a necrophilliac, I think its safe to say that there wasn’t any sexual tension between the Doctor and the Master.
In Ainley’s time there was once again no sexual tension. In fact JNT the producer of the show during the time Anthony Ainley played the character said that he considered them to be brothers, and came close to revealing it in Planet of Fire but ultimately decided to leave it open.
During John Simm’s time Russell T Davies to be fair did add a gay subtext to the Doctor and the Master’s relationship but even then it was only a subtext. The Simm Master didn’t actually want to shag the Doctor. If he wanted to he could have done as he held him prisoner for a whole year.
Thus Missy being in love with him, no matter how hard you try and rewrite the past to add a gay subtext between Pertwee and Delgado, jars with the previous Doctor/Master dynamics.
Some fans have even tried to say that the Master’s sexuality changed when he regenerated into a woman. To me this is possibly the most ridiculous explanation. The idea that time lords sexualities change when they regenerate turns it into a parody.
So then the 9th Doctor was in love with Rose, but suppose he had regenerated into a woman instead of David Tennant and then had fallen in love with Mickey but then a few years down the line he had regenerated back into a man and fell in love with Rose again.
Its a silly idea, but even worse is the idea that the Master can go from hating the Doctor to the point where his hatred for him keeps him alive, when he has no skin, to wanting to jump his bones because he has now become a woman.
It is similar to an actual parody of the show written by Moffat in 1999 called The Curse of Fatal Death. In this story the Master first of all gets Dalek spheres grafted onto his chest which look like tits. There are subsequently many jokes about his breasts and new girly nature. At the end of the story the Doctor actually regenerates into a woman and the Master falls in love with her and the lady Doctor suddenly finds him a great deal more attractive than she remembered before.
Its funny that Moffat has now done both things in the actual show. Things that he himself viewed as a joke in the 90’s!
“They’re not breasts okay. They’re Dalek bumps. They are also incredibly firm.”
Doctor Who is now a parody of a parody of itself.
No matter what way you try and explain Missy’s interactions with the Doctor they are silly. Either she is Bugs Bunny, either the Master has now gone from a sociopath with a burning hatred for the Doctor, to his jealous ex lover, or the Master is now literally the Curse of Fatal Death Master made canon.
Also Missy’s motivation is at odds with the previous male Masters too.
As we have been over the Master’s entire motivation is to rule over the entire universe at any cost. Missy meanwhile in her first appearance actually gives up an army of nearly indestructible Cybermen in order to win back the Doctor, telling him that she doesn’t need an army.
Can you imagine ANY of the previous Masters giving up the perfect army to be with the Doctor? John Simm who risked bringing the full fury of the time lords AND the Daleks on his head in the hopes of gaining control of them both? The Burned Master who declared that he will become the master of all matter? Anthony Ainley who gambled with the fate of the entire universe itself in Logopolis by withholding the only thing that could save it? Roger Delgado who was perfectly willing to risk the destruction of all of time and space in the chance that he might rule it?
No, none of these characters would ever have done that and furthermore the fact that Missy does is not only literally the polar opposite of every Master from Delgado to Simm, but its also a huge come down for the character. He used to be someone who tried to change the entire history of the universe to his liking even in Simm’s time. Now his goal is to win his boyfriend back?
Furthermore as Missy literally hands over her Cyber army to the Doctor as a present, with no fail safe, she is beaten by a no thanks.
She has an army that could conquer billions of worlds, that the Doctor would have no way of beating. Think of what Delgado or Simm would have done with that army. Hell look at what Simm did with his army of Toclafane, and the struggle the Tenth Doctor had to go through, which included an entire year of physical and mental torture, to stop him.
With Missy it was literally “sorry I don’t want your Cyber army” and that was that. She was easier to beat than The Curse of Fatal Death Master.
How can anyone not view that as being a come down for the Master? From a criminal mastermind to an oversexed Mary Poppins.
The whole romantic aspect of the Doctor and the Master’s relationship was only possible because of the Masters sex change. As the Doctor and the Master, have never really been established as homosexual or even bisexual, it would have looked more out of character to have had John Simm shove the Doctor against a wall and French kiss him.
Also Peter Capaldi and Michelle Gomez had a strong sexual chemistry with one another, which again wouldn’t have been there if it had been a man like John Simm as the Master.
To be fair Steven Moffat didn’t have to have Missy be in love with the Doctor because she was a woman, but it was far more likely to happen because of her gender change and that’s the thing, because gender is such a huge part of our personality, when you change gender there are all sorts of differences that can happen as a result, that you might not have taken into account.
Another example of this with Missy is the fact that the physical aspect of the Doctor and the Master’s relationship is gone. No not THAT physical aspect which never existed until Missy, but the Doctor and the Master would often fight with each other in brutal physical fights. It was kind of a Holmes/Moriarty type of relationship where you had two men who were normally very gentlemanly, calm and respectful towards each other, but who deep down despised each other so much that they would just explode with rage and try and kill each other.
This has now gone from the Doctor and the Master’s relationship. Obviously the Doctor can’t beat the crap out of the Master, now that the Master is a woman.
Imagine if Peter Capaldi slugged Michelle Gomez across the jaw and sent her crashing down an entire flight of stairs. Imagine if Peter Capaldi kicked Michelle Gomez in the ribs and sent her crashing head first through some chairs.
There’s no way viewers would accept that. I am not saying that you can never have women villains fighting male heroes, but it needs to be in a more adult show like Angel or Buffy.
Doctor Who is not a children’s show, but it is a family show. It has to find the right balance of being mature and intelligent enough to be interesting to adults, but not too dark for the little kids watching.
Thus having the Doctor a hero to little boys and a role model, beat the absolute shit out of a woman is probably something that parents would object too.
The Doctor is therefore undermined since he can no longer fight his archenemy. There is a scene from Death in Heaven Missy’s first appearance, where she murders Osgood a cute young friend of the Doctor.
Missy kills Osgood just to hurt the Doctor (though it is also strongly hinted that she is jealous as the Doctor had just asked Osgood to join him). The Doctor later finds Osgood’s remains and Missy taunts him and laughs at him . The Doctor in response does? NOTHING!
If it were a male Master the Doctor could have at least shoved him against a wall by the throat and threatened to kill him. But because the Master is a woman the Doctor can’t lay a finger on her which makes him look like a pansy. A villain can literally murder his innocent, cute, defenceless, little friend in cold blood, right in front of him and he won’t even get a little bit angry at her.
In fact worse, he kisses her later in the episode!
Compare that to this scene from a Batman animated movie called Batman Beyond Return of the Joker. Here the Joker similarly captures Batman’s little friend Robin and tortures him. He then plays footage of his torture to Batman whilst taunting him and Batman explodes with rage, and beats the Joker almost to death declaring at one point “I’LL BREAK YOU IN TWO!”
Now compare the Joker’s confrontation with Batman to Missy’s with the Doctor and tell me which makes the hero look better?
Batman comes across a lot better I think its safe to say. You hurt his little friend he will at least knock your teeth out and smash you through a window. The Doctor will do bugger all and give you a big sloppy wet kiss later.
Of course once again this only happened because of the Master’s sex change. If the Joker had been a woman then Batman would not have been able to smash her across the jaw and send her crashing through a window, as that Batman film was aimed at a family audience.
Some have argued that the Doctor always spared the Master, but again when you watch Classic Who back you can see this isn’t the case.
To be fair in Delgado’s proposed last story it was going to be revealed that the two had trouble killing each other because they were brothers, but since this was never revealed in the finished show itself, then it doesn’t really matter.
In the actual show the Doctor tries to kill the Master in his second appearance The Mind of Evil. In fact he goes out of his way to kill the Master, even when The Master agrees to flee, as he thinks he doesn’t have the right to let him go into the universe, and hurt other people.
In the Deadly Assassin the fourth Doctor kicks the Master into a bottomless pit and says that the Master is the one person in the entire universe that he would wish death on. In Castrovalva he leaves the Master to die in his own death trap and says he hopes he is gone for good. In The Five Doctors he leaves him to die on two separate occasions.
First Jon Pertwee leaves him in the Death Zone (even when Sarah pleads to help him) whilst Peter Davison steals his only method of escape from the Cybermen and jokes to the time lords “well if he survived I’ll say sorry”.
In Planet of Fire, the Doctor burns the Master to death! In Trial of a Time Lord the Doctor tells the time lords who are not only known to execute people, but actually erase them from existence, to do whatever they want with the Master and only makes a case for Glitz.
In Survival he comes close to smashing his head in with a rock and only relents because if he does then the Cheetah virus will take him over.
In the Tennant era it is true that the Doctor was more reluctant to kill the Master and personally I despised this take on their relationship as it did greatly undermine the Doctor as a hero. However even then there was more of a reason behind it, as the Doctor and the Master were the last two time lords left in existence. The Doctor does not want to be alone again, and therefore it is more understandable that he might not be so desperate to kill him.
With Missy however the Doctor knows that Gallifrey survived the war. This coupled with the fact that the 12th Doctor is supposed to be a more callous, kick up the arse, harder Doctor who wants to make up for the mistakes of the past, means that if anything he should be harder on the Master.
Instead 12 is the easiest on her. He actually borderline colludes in her crimes, such as keeping the knowledge of her survival a secret from Clara and UNIT.
The reason for that is all to do with her gender change. He can’t attack her physically when she does horrible things in front of him, and he, it is strongly implied has romantic feelings for her too (why else would he kiss her, particularly when its said that the 12th Doctor doesn’t like physical contact with anyone). Thus he gives her a free pass for things. like killing Osgood.
Thus the Doctor and the Master are completely undermined this way. The Master is undermined as before he always managed to escape the Doctor when the Doctor did genuinely try and kill him, whilst now, the Doctor lets him go because he likes him or rather her. At the end of Death in Heaven, though it appears he is going to shoot her, he later says he knows she would have survived to Clara, and he didn’t tell Clara!
The thing about the Master is that he needs to have some kind of victory over the Doctor. He obviously can’t succeed in ruling the universe, but he can succeed in escaping the Doctors plan to kill him. Whilst he may never win against the Doctor, the Doctor will never win against him either as he will always go free and kill more people.
Sadly that aspect has now been taken away by the Doctor becoming a complete pussy, who snogs the Master after she kills his friends, whilst the Doctors morality has been undermined as now he lets mass murderers go, and he doesn’t even have the excuse of her being the last of his kind this time. Hell even then Tennant was prepared to kill Simm in the End of Time and wasn’t happy for him to go free at the end of The Last of the Time Lords.
With this in mind then can anyone say that Missy fits in perfectly with the other Masters? So many people actually say she channels Roger Delgado the first actor to play the Master, which is sheer insanity!
Missy as we have seen is the opposite to all of her male predecessors. They wanted supreme power, Missy gives it up to be with the Doctor who she is in love with, whilst the previous Masters despised him and wanted to kill him! On top of that even physically Missy dresses in bright red colours. She’s a sexy Mary Poppins!
Yeah she is really like Delgado. I have despite my dislike for Missy from the start tried to make her fit in with the previous male versions of the Master when I have written about the character but I can’t.
She just stands out like a sore thumb and in the worst way possible as she demeans him. She either rewrites it so that the Master has always been gay for the Doctor and in love with him which turns the character into a joke. When you watch the Deadly Assassin and see the Master go on about, how much he hates the Doctor, and its his hatred for the Doctor that gives him strength, you laugh. Now you think “yeah sure you HATE him”
Or she makes it that the Master could have at any point in Old Who have turned into a woman, who would have found her male archenemy a lot more attractive than she remembered before and tried to fuck him instead.
With this in mind, it doesn’t give me high hopes for a female Doctor. Missy was clearly a dummy run for a female Doctor, and it just conformed all my worst fears about how badly a female incarnation of a male time lord would stand out.
Michelle Gomez who played the female Master is a very good actress. Initially I thought her performance was terrible, but then I realised that actually it was the entire character that was terrible. The actress really didn’t matter.
Still Gomez is a really good actress normally and its a shame that she was cast as the Master as she would have been excellent as The Rani, a female time lord adversary of the Doctors from the classic era.
The Rani was played by Kate O’Mara who even looks a little bit like Gomez. The two also have a similar, dry, cutting, sarcastic sense of humour and delivery too, plus even the costume they gave Missy is more how the Rani would dress too.
Its sheer madness that they had an actress that would be as perfect for The Rani as Gomez and they cast her as the Master. It would have been like if Tim Burton had cast Michelle Pfieffer as the Joker instead of Catwoman.
Lets do a little role play here. Imagine you are the casting director for Doctor Who and you are told that you need to cast the Master and the Rani. Now you are sent the CV’s of two very talented actors. Charles Dance and Michelle Gomez.
Here’s the Master and the Rani.
Now try and match the right actor to the right role. It really isn’t hard.
Is there anyone out there who if they actually wanted to portray those characters properly would even for 5 seconds consider casting Gomez as the Master over Dance and instead of as the Rani?
There are plenty of other men who could have been great as the Master. Robert Carlyle would have been an excellent Master opposite Capaldi’s Doctor. Both older, known for playing mad, bad and dangerous to know characters, both are Scottish etc. Carlyle would have brought a darker edge to the character than any previous actor. Simon Templeman meanwhile would have been a perfect charming, arrogant, suave Master, whilst Jason Watkins would also have been a suitably creepy Master too.
I am sure at least one of those actors would have been available. Carlyle and Templeman are both Doctor Who fans, whilst Watkins has already been in Doctor Who.
Sadly none of them were considered because they were men
NO ONE can say why Michelle Gomez should have been cast as the Master other than “well its something new so that’s automatically better” or abuse of people who don”t like her casting like in this article here which actually breaks the privacy and anti bullying rules on Outpost Gallifrey.
Look at the comments below the article. I think that shows you how the Social Justice Warriors get their own way. They bully people with all the usual insults like virgin, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, they outright lie, they do things that are unacceptable but think that its justified because they have right on their side. Yet none of them can supply a reason as to why Michelle Gomez is a good choice for the Master.
I think this better than anything else how feminism has crippled the show. Nowadays in Doctor Who, people are not cast because they are right for the role, but just for Moff to virtue signal.
Michelle Gomez is cast as the Master rather than as the Rani a role she would have been perfect for so that Moffat can say “LOOK LOOK EVERYONE I CAST A WOMAN AS THE MASTER! SEE I AM NOT SEXIST!”
I might like to add that there have been plenty of examples of male characters turning into women in other sci fi shows that I and no one else has a problem with.
In Smallville, the Superman villain Brainiac technically goes from being played by a man to being played by a woman. In Smallville, Brainiac is an android created by the Kryptonians to serve them, but he goes rogue when the renegade Zod reprogrames him. When Brainiac shows up in series 5 and 7 he assumes the form of a man, played by James Marsters. However at the end of series 7 Clark Kent destroys Brainiac, but we later discover that he survived by implanting a tiny piece of his mind into Chloe Sullivan, Clark Kent’s childhood friend.
In Series 8 Brainiac completely takes control of Chloe and goes on the rampage across Metropolis. Thus for these episodes, Brainiac is played by Allison Mack.
The funny thing with this gender change is, no one even noticed! Unlike with Gomez and ALL of her male predecessors, you genuinely could imagine James doing any of Allison’s scenes and Allison doing any of James scenes and there wouldn’t be any difference.
You might think that’s a contradiction to my earlier points but its not. The reason that it works in Brainiac’s case is because it makes sense with his character.
Brainiac is established as being a genderless character unlike the Doctor or the Master. He is a machine creature with no true gender. His James Marsters form wasn’t his true form, he simply assumed it to blend in with humanity, and manipulate Clark and later Lex.
James never played him as a male character either. He always played Brainiac as a completely emotionless creature. Furthermore Brainiac was established as being capable of changing into any form, man or woman he wanted. He had already taken the form of Kara Kent in Season 7 to manipulate Lex. Finally he was also established as being a body snatcher too as he already tried to take over Kara Kent in season 7.
So with this in mind, yes there is no reason that Brainiac couldn’t have changed into a female form. Again there had to be a proper reason for it to happen in the show itself, and there was, as his original form had been destroyed and he needed a new body.
Thus with Brainiac the change over was completely smooth and worked fine. Granted the writers of Smallville didn’t do anything stupid, like have the female Brainiac suddenly notice what a big hunk Tom Welling was, but still even without that it worked better than it would with the Doctor and the Master as Brainiac was a genuinely gender neutral role.
So Paul Cornell you can drop the “anyone who doesn’t like a female Master or Doctor is transphobic”. Nobody had any problems with the female Brainiac. Hell I actually really like that story arc and I think Allison Mack did an excellent job as Brainiac.
If it makes sense with that character, and if there is a good reason for it to happen within the story, then fine.
There are many other examples of characters changing gender in the sci fi and fantasy series such as the Demons and Angels in Supernatural who possess both male and female bodies, and even in Doctor Who itself, the ancient alien Eldrad which changes from a female to male form.
Again in both cases it makes sense within the story. The Demons are established as being gender neutral, as they are basically big black clouds of smoke who have forgotten who they were in life, and have no desire other than to maim and mangle. Granted some of them still do have gendered names, but ultimately they are at least more flexible than the time lords have been shown to be. In Eldrads case there was once again a proper reason within the story.
Ironically no one has any problems, even with a character changing from a man to a woman, never mind just with a strong female hero, or villain as people like Whovian Feminism claim.
As long as it doesn’t jar with what came before then its fine, but sadly in the case of the Doctor and the Master, as they are clearly NOT gender neutral characters like Brainiac then it does feel out of place and evidently a lot of people share that opinion, hence why the idea of a female Doctor or Master has always been met with such resistance, whilst the female Brainiac passed unnoticed.
“We need to have a female Doctor and Master, and anyone who is opposed to it clearly hates transexuals (rather than you because they might think its a bad idea, and because Missy was terribly written) They clearly could never accept a male character turning into a woman, because of inbuilt conservatism and bigotry.”
Another example of Moffat replacing male roles with female characters is the new UNIT family who are all women. The two regulars Kate and Osgood are women and in the Zygon two parter all of the generals and commanders in UNIT are women.
UNIT is a military organisation designed to track down alien threats and throughout its history its naturally been more male dominated, as there are more men in the military than women.
A military that is made up of 95 percent women like UNIT in Moffat era Who is completely unrealistic.
Now personally I don’t actually mind the new all female UNIT on its own. I LOVE Osgood. UNIT’s leading scientist. She is just so cute its not true and the actress who plays her Ingrid Oliver is easily one of the UK’s best actresses right now.
I also don’t care that its unrealistic to have so many women in the military. Doctor Who is unrealistic anyway and in these types of things men and women regularly perform feats that no one could anyway.
So no I don’t HATE the new female UNIT, its just the principle of the thing I hate. This idea that all of the male roles in the series have to be replaced with women.
The Brigadier and Benton roles are replaced by women, the Master has been replaced by a woman, and possibly by 2018 the Doctor could be a woman. And the companion will still be a woman and so there will be no male roles left in the show at all.
It will be feminized from top to bottom. Now tell me is that fair?
For this upcoming remake of Xena the Warrior Princess are we going to have to recast ALL the roles with men? Xena, Gabrielle, Callisto and the Amazons all played by big burly men?
Furthermore in Buffy the Vampire Slayer all of the Slayers, the one person gifted with the strength and skill to hunt the Vampires in every generation are always women. There is no reason why they have to all be women, as unlike the Doctor and the Master, the Slayer is not one character, but a title. Yet they are always women, and the reason they actually give on at least two occasions in Buffy are “cause girls are better”, granted its total tongue in cheek (I don’t think there was anything sexist against men in Buffy at all.) But again why do I feel there is a bit of a double stand here from feminist fans? Its okay to have all the Slayers be women, because? But its not okay to have all the different versions of a male character remain male?
I wouldn’t want any Slayers to be men by the way. I’d also HATE it if in the remake of Xena, Callisto was played by a man and rewritten as someone whose plan was to stick his head between Xena’s tits and jiggle it about a bit.
Somehow I don’t think the feminists would be bullying anyone who rightfully said that was a shit version of Callisto that made a mockery of her character. And that wouldn’t even be as bad as Missy. At least the sex crazed male Callisto with a thing for Xena’s breasts wouldn’t actually be connected to the original version played by Hudson Leick. Sadly Missy IS actually meant to be Roger Delgado!
Again no one can say why Doctor Who needs to be feminizsd? Simply because people like Whovian Feminism can’t stand a show that has male leads? Its funny how those of us who don’t want a female Doctor always have to say “I’m not a sexist but I don’t want a female Doctor because”. Actually the people who should explain why their point of view is not sexist, are the people like Whovian Feminism, who evidently have a problem with characters like The Doctor and The Master staying men.
I have no problems with Xena and Callisto staying women in the remake of Xena. I’m not going to write an article like “The disappointing femaleness of Xena the Warrior Princess” Think of how sexist that would look, someone saying “if only Xena starred a man think of how much better it would be”.
These things like Doctor Who and Xena are what they are. Yes any new version of them can’t be completely the same, but they do still have to recognisable as the same character and trying to rewrite so many of the main characters in Doctor Who to be women after so long feels forced and out of place, and in the case of the Master and the Doctor in my opinion it would wreck their characters.
Anti Men Jokes
In addition to emasculating the central male character of the Doctor and replacing almost every male role in the show bar the Doctor with women (which will probably happen in 2018 if Capaldi decides to leave with Moffat.) Moff has also stuck in many anti men jokes throughout the series.
In the season 9 finale the time lord character known as The General regenerates from a white man into a black woman, and the first thing she says is.
“Back to normal am I? Only time I’ve been a man that last body. Dear lord how do you cope with all that ego”
Now this joke did not offend me. I find it tedious and boring, but what really annoyed me was Whovian Feminism’s response to this line.
She actually tried to justify it by saying that as the general had just seen two egotistical men Rassilon and the Doctor, then it wasn’t sexist for her to assume that all men are egotists.
Here is her post on it. Comments on The General’s Ego Line
What a load of bullshit. I’d love to see her defend a moment where a male character describes all women as stuck up bitches and refers to being a man as normal, simply because he had met two women who were a bit full of themselves? Her head would explode with manufactured offence if such a thing ever happened.
This is a woman who said she was personally offended when Steven Moffat made a joke about the Doctor only being played by a woman, when the Queen is played by a man.
Feminists get offended over literally NOTHING. Steven Moffat, saying the Doctor would fall in love with a beautiful, classy woman, and posters, yet men are just meant to suck it up when there are jokes about them being inferior within the show itself!
Whilst I am not offended at the joke unlike with the feminists complaints, I can understand someone else finding it a bit off putting to suggest that all men are egotists.
The leading cause of death for young men in Britain is suicide.
Yeah men how do you cope with all that ego.
There are many other anti men jokes throughout series 9 such as Clara’s comments about toxic masculinity and Missy referring to her gender change as an upgrade.
The latest Doctor Who Spin off Class has similarly been full of nasty, spiteful SJW themed jokes against white men and white people in general, who SJW’s believe are the only people on earth it is still acceptable to be racist too.
The black female character in Class, named Tanya Adeola in a couple of episodes makes remarks about white privilege, and how she is fed up with everything always going right for white people, and how white people always get their happy endings. These are racist remarks, plain and simple. Replace white with black and the SJW’s would go insane at a white person coming out with something like that.
Personally I also don’t think having black characters always go on about white people in a spiteful way is exactly a positive representation of black people either. Again would we view a male character who always whined about how women have it so easy, women live off of men’s hard work as being a sympathetic or likable character?
White privilege is a harmful and poisonous myth.
That said I wouldn’t mind some of the jokes about men if it weren’t for the sentiment behind them and the brazen double standard from the Doctor Who production team.
On top of the lead character being emasculated because he is a man, male roles being replaced almost entirely with women (by 2018 Davros could very well be the only male role left in the series.) We also have to endure constant jokes about men all being pigs, egotists, and characters constantly saying its better to be a woman, all the while Rachel Talalay has to apologise to Whovian Feminism, on Steven Moffat’s behalf for his supposedly sexist remarks about the Queen? All of this has naturally created a very unpleasant anti men sentiment around the show which has driven away many young men from the series.
I am sure Whovian Feminism and her ilk will pat themselves on the back for driving away all of the supposedly sexist Doctor Who fans, Take a look at this video from a feminist and Doctor Who fan called Claudia Boleyn calling basically everyone who doesn’t like Missy a sexist.
Now Claudia is actually a very nice person. I know her very, very, very fleetingly through twitter, but she is dead wrong here.
Nobody has a problem with female led series. I adore Xena (you may have noticed) and Xena was completely female dominated. The two main heroes were women, most of her supporting characters were women such as the Amazons, Ephiny, Varia, Xena’s mother and daughter Eve, the most famous villains meanwhile are all women. Callisto,Alti and Hope.
The difference between Xena and the current Doctor Who (as well as the 2016 Ghostbusters) is that its not anti men. To start with Xena was an original creation (something which must seem completely alien in this day and age of endless reboots and remakes), so it wasn’t simply a case of taking something people loved and making it revolve around feminism, and then abusing the fans who don’t like these changes as sexists and virgins. Also Xena gave these strong roles to women and just got on with it. We didn’t have to have her boast about being a woman and insult men around her every two minutes.
As a result of that the makers of Xena were able to create female characters who weren’t defined by their gender. Ironically these female versions of male characters like Missy and the Ghostbusters, that are meant to show how there are no differences between men and women, are defined by their gender more than original female characters ever are.
Look at Missy. Her NAME is a pun on her gender, her dialogue is mostly based around her gender change whether that’s her calling herself the Queen of Evil, remarking that she is so much happier as a woman, about how men are crap, making jokes about female golfers, her and Osgood having a little girl plan, pointing out that she is now a time lady, going on about how jealous she is of Osgood and Clara and even her constant flirting with the Doctor (and his occasional flirting with her) is also to highlight how she is the female Master now.
Similarly the new Ghostbusters movie has to draw attention to the fact that they are women every 4 seconds, it even has to give them a straw man sexist nerd to fight.
Xena and Callisto meanwhile have characters that go beyond their gender. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying that their gender is unimportant. Again as with the Doctor their gender is a part of their character by default, the same way everyone’s gender plays a part in who they are. Yet at the same time, every piece of dialogue that comes out of their mouth doesn’t have to be related to the fact that they are women. Callisto is a fantastic, complex villain who was genuinely wronged by Xena, when Xena accidentally whilst raiding her village caused a fire that killed Callisto’s family. Missy meanwhile is literally just the female Master who goes on about how crap men are and that’s that.
Compare Missy’s dialogue to Callisto’s to see what I mean.
Callisto/ I dream every night of my mother and sisters screams coming from my burning home. Tell me Xena do you sleep at night? Just the sight of Xena Warrior Princess arguing on my behalf amuses me so let me answer your question of what I would do if you let me go? I will dedicate my life to killing everything you’ve ever loved. Your friends, your family, your reputation, even your horse. You see I am being honest with you because the idea of your pity is worse than death to me. You created a monster with integrity Xena. Scary isn’t it? Now take me to the mob.
Missy/ Oh Clara, Clara, Clara I might shoot you in a jealous rage. Now wouldn’t that be sexy.
Callisto/ You’re about to watch the friendship of your life go up in smoke. I envy her in a way. She gets to leave the earth so pure. I wonder if I could have been like her? Burn her!
Missy/ Its short for Mistress. Well I couldn’t very well keep calling myself THE MASTER now could I?
Callisto/ You don’t seem to get it do you? You’ve won. All these years I’ve spent living to destroy you? Thinking that only if I could give you the same pain you gave me I’d be rid of it and life would go on. And then I do and nothing changes. I don’t feel any better just empty. So you let me go Xena. You can’t win this battle, but you have already won the war.
Missy/ The Doctor said that did he? You should never believe a man about a vehicle.
Callisto/ I long to see you wail over the body of your dead friend.
Missy/ Time lady my dear not everyone can afford the upgrade.
Of course that’s why Xena ultimately ran for 6 seasons, and is scheduled for a remake 20 years on, whilst the Ghostbusters remake was a huge flop and Doctor Who’s viewers are dwindling too.
I do think there is a certain self loathing element to the feminist fans who want a female Doctor. Again I am not saying this is the case for all feminist fans, or even all fans who want a female Doctor. There are many people who want a female Doctor because they think it would be a good idea on its own.
Also when I say self loathing I also obviously don’t mean that they loathe themselves in general. I don’t know any of these people and I am sure they are happy, well adjusted and decent people all around. I simply mean that among the hardcore feminist fans that perhaps there may be a certain sense of guilt that they prefer Doctor Who, a show about a male character over any starring a female character.
It is quite odd the way almost all of the most hardcore female Doctor advocates have zero interest in any series starring a female hero. Claudia Boleyn tells people who don’t like Missy that they need to get used to shows starring women. Thing is Claudia I have grown up on nothing but shows starring women! Xena, Buffy and Charmed were the three shows I watched almost religiously as a child, and I’ve maintained my love for them ever since. I’ve written a 10 thousand word article on Callisto, Xena’s archenemy.
Ironically the majority of the series Claudia talks about on her youtube series star men. Doctor Who, Supernatural, Torchwood, Class, Merlin, and Sherlock.! Now again I am not singling Claudia out here as she really is a lovely person, but that’s the point so many of the strongest female Doctor advocates all seem to prefer male led series ironically.
Look at STFU Moffat.Com, the two shows they review the most are Doctor Who and Sherlock. Whovian Feminism has devoted her blog to looking at feminist themes in Doctor Who, why? Why pick a show that isn’t about feminism if you want to look at feminist themes in a show? Doctor Who is not sexist, but at the same time it isn’t about feminism, and it stars a male hero? Why not look at a show like Xena or Buffy that focuses on a female empowerment instead? Even Gabby, the woman in the video arguing for a female Doctor. Her whole thing is that she is a cute nerd girl, but again its only male led series she watches by and large.
The simple reason is because these people do prefer Doctor Who as show to any of the classic female led series like Xena or Buffy. Now obviously that is fine, but again I don’t believe they think its fine that they prefer a male led series. In fact I’d argue that they actually feel guilty for that.
Thus they want Doctor Who to become a feminist series to ease their guilt. Furthermore they want the whole show to be rewritten, so that the Doctor was never a male character, but a non binary character instead. That way they will never have been guilty of, in their minds, internalised misogyny.
You might think that’s an absurd thing to believe, but consider this video from Sargon of Akkad. Here he looks at the male feminist Steve Shives and his extreme feminist wife who calls him a sexist because he prefers Angel, a male led series, over Buffy, a female led series. She also says he is a sexist because he has more men in his music collection than women.
As you can see being considered a sexist because you prefer a show that stars a man is actually something that feminists think!
Thus with this in mind I think its fair to say that many, I’m not saying all, but many of the most strident female Doctor supporters feel the same way as Mrs Shives, and actually believed that they are being sexist by preferring a show about a cis, white, straight male character like the Doctor to any starring a woman.
The Effect This Has Had on Doctor Who’s Popularity
Doctor Who’s viewers have gone down every year since 2013. Now in all fairness I am sure some of this can be attributed to franchise fatigue, but still lets not forget than in 2013 Doctor Who was more popular than it had ever been before. There was a lot of good will towards the show from the general public, and the critics and the entertainment industry.
Its also worth noting that viewers for live tv are down in general nowadays due to things like I Player but still even with that Doctor Who’s viewers are down overall.
They have dropped by over 2 million between series 8 (the series the real feminist pandering began) and series 9.
Here are some articles on the shows declining viewers. Remember that one of the sources is from the BBC itself.
Doctor Who is shown in the United Kingdom after a show called Strictly Come Dancing. Now Strictly still pulls in over 11 million viewers, which is a brilliant lead in for Doctor Who. In spite of this Doctor Who’s viewers fell to 3 million at various points throughout series 9, meaning that close to 8 million people switched off after Strictly Come Dancing. Spin that any way you want, but that’s a show in decline. I might add that some of those 8 million who left returned for the show that was on afterwards, Casualty.
One episode featuring Missy, The Witch’s Familiar got the lowest viewing figures for any episode of New Who and among the lowest for any episode in the show’s 50 plus year history.
In addition to the falling ratings, the shows A I score is down. One episode of series 9 saw it drop to the lowest ever figure for the revival.
It also has been snubbed by almost every major award ceremony. As I already mentioned Peter Capaldi is so far the only Doctor to not even be nominated for a National Television Award.
Rachel Talalay the director of many Peter Capaldi episodes expressed anger over the show being snubbed at so many awards ceremonies.
Here it is meanwhile winning a BAFTA in 2006 for best Drama.
Face facts Rachel its not, not getting awards because its sci fi, but because its shit.
Finally in 2016 it was announced that Doctor Who would be taken off the air for an entire year. The official reason was very weak. They don’t want it to compete with the Olympics and that they want two big events spread out over two years. Moffat’s last season next year, and the Olympics this year.
Thing is they don’t need to put it opposite the Olympics. Doctor Who has never been on at the same time as the Olympics anyway? Also Steven Moffat’s last series isn’t until next year anyway. So why can he not do one this year. It will still be a big event next year when he leaves?
Simple, because the BBC are scared that if he does do another series this year, that’s similar to series 8 and series 9, the shows viewers will down at 1 million by the time he leaves in 2017.
Furthermore the new Doctor Who spin off Class has been a dismal failure in the ratings too.
Clearly they are giving Doctor Who a rest in order to give people a chance to miss it. Then they will hype the 2017 series as being the end of an era, to see them through the end of Moff’s contract before Chibnall can take over. After which they clearly hope it can improve.
Thing is whilst I do think Moff has run completely out of ideas, the basic problem is that the show is pandering to PC culture. Its no coincidence that the two lowest rated episodes of series 9 were the two featuring Missy. The fans have also made it clear that they despised Clara too, and many of them stopped watching because of her. Now think why was Clara so universally reviled? Was it perhaps because she ended up taking over every inch of the shows history from Hartnell to the time war?
Unless the show stops trying to please the tiny, Whovian Feminism demographic its dead. To be honest I’d rather it was cancelled than ended up destroying itself anymore in a futile attempt to please people, who will always find a way to be offended. Its the same as SJW friendly 2016 version of Ghostbusters that was similarly a huge flop.
The comic book industry has also begun to pander to feminists and SJW’s. Thor, Wolverine and Iron Man have all been replaced by female versions (who have all battled strawman anti feminists too.)
Much like Doctor Who, the comic book industry has experienced record lows in popularity since it started pandering to this audience. See here
Even more incredible when you consider the record breaking popularity of the Marvel films, both the X-Men film series and the MCU. Yet even with that, the SJW friendly version of Marvel is still chasing readers away!
Again though please don’t think that SJW friendly is the same as having non white, non male heroes as one of those articles seems to suggest.
Dozens of genre tv and film series starring now white’s and non males, again such as Xena, Alien and Buffy, were all massive global hits! Big difference between a female led story like Alien and and SJW movie like Ghostbusters 2016.
In my opinion Doctor Who needs to do the following things to survive.
1/ Delete the idea of a female Doctor from canon. Write the likes of The General and The Corsair off as time lords, who willingly changed gender through some kind of operation. The female Doctor debate is killing the show. The majority of viewers don’t want a female Doctor and truth be told they are scared at the prospect. Look at this article which shows that the majority of people against it ironically are women! Most People Against A Female Doctor Are Women
Thus it has no value. It polarises the fandom, turns away mainstream viewers and has overshadowed Peter Capaldi’s time in the role, as all anyone ever asks him in interviews is will his successor be a woman.
2/ No more Anti Men crap. Or if you still want to have anti men jokes then stick in as many anti women jokes. Either its all okay or none of its okay. Stop favouring one tiny section of the audience, the feminist fans by apologising to them for making a joke about the Doctor being played by a woman, when the Queen is played by a man, whilst insulting the male audience.
3/ Missy needs to be wiped from the Master’s chronology.
That’s easier said than done, but I have thought of a way to write her out that might work.
Sadly this way would have to write out the John Simm Master too. I liked the Simm Master, I felt he worked fine with the other Masters, but I am willing to wipe him from The Master’s time line in order to get rid of Missy.
My idea is this. During the Time War the time lords started to bring back many of their worst criminals to fight the Daleks. The only one they did not bring back was the Master, who died during the events of the 1996 movie. He was the most evil and twisted renegade and so even during the darkest days of the war he was off limits.
A group of insane, degenerate time lords however began to worship the Master during the war. They come to believe that he was right. If the time Lords had followed his way of life, and conquered all other races then they would not be in this position now.
These time lords come to refer to themselves as The Masters. They include the Simm Master and Missy. These time lords are dedicated to fulfilling his vision of bringing about a new universal time lord empire. Some even try and claim that they are the Master himself reborn (such as Simm’s Master)
This would actually explain some of the discrepancies between the Simm Master and the originals. The Simm Master is said to have been driven mad by a constant drum beat in his head, which he first heard as a child. Only problem is this makes no sense as The Master never mentioned the drumming in his head in the classic era. Also Tennant’s attitude towards the Simm Master is very different to the classic era Doctors attitude towards the Master.
Not only is he more merciful but at various points, he tells the Master that he doesn’t really want to do this. What could make him think that?
In this explanation however Simm was not really the Master. He was a friend of the Doctors who became a renegade and who later joined the Masters and was so insane he believed he was the Master (explaining why we heard Delgado’s voice in the fob watch as he was so insane he actually believed he was the Master).
Missy meanwhile can be the Doctors former lover from his youth who later went insane during the time war. This would also explain why the 12th Doctor similarly seems surprised when she kills Osgood and asks her “why are you doing this?” That makes no sense if Missy is the Master, since the Master has been doing things like that for thousands of years.
Thus Missy and Simm would be nothing but imitators. You would reveal this in an episode that would see the return of the REAL Master played by Charles Dance. We would discover that the Masters managed to find a way to bring the original Master back to life. The original Master would then have betrayed the time lords by giving the Daleks the secrets they needed to breach their defences (as seen in Day of the Doctor) Whilst the Daleks and the time lords were trying to destroy each other the Master tried to steal the moment in the hopes of using it to destroy both of them and rule the universe.
The Doctor however managed to swipe it before he could.
After the war the real Master who kept a low profile (with no one apart from the Daleks, not even the time lords or the Doctor being aware he was brought back whilst the Daleks meanwhile believed he died) The real Master searched for the Moment in the hopes of using its power to rule the universe.
Once he finds it the real Master summons all of the Masters, his followers who will be his army. He intends to use the Moment to destroy the Daleks, the time lords and rule the entire universe with his followers the Masters being his new order of time lords. The moment however is able to resist his control being sentient, and summons the Doctor for help.
Here we would see Missy and the Simm Master among those the original Master summons as his army. We could even have Simm return or someone else play the role if Simm were reluctant.
At the end of the story we could have Missy or the Simm Master sacrifice themselves to stop the real Master. Depending on who wants to leave the series at that point. If not Missy could become the original Masters partner in crime.
This story would be perfect in my opinion as it would remove Missy from the Master’s chronology, bring the original Master back who would be played by an actor who was right for the role and we wouldn’t even need to lose Gomez from the show if we didn’t want to.
Only if Doctor Who does these three things can it survive. As long as it still panders to the SJW’s then its slow and painful decline will continue.
This song by Chris Ray Gun demonstrates how feminism destroyed both the new Atheist Movement and the Video Game industry. Though Doctor Who is not mentioned, its pretty much exactly the same way they destroyed it too.
This is exactly what happened to Doctor Who. Feminist, puritanical bullies slated the show and its fans and makers as sexists, and sadly the people at the top, pandered to them and in doing so drove it into the ground.
Think on Chris Chibnall. Do you really want to make the same mistakes as Steven Moffat in pandering to these whiny cry babies who will never be satisfied?
Thanks for reading, here are some other videos by disgruntled fans that voice similar complaints about the show’s feminist pandering.