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Dr. Who

Which Who?  

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  1. 1. Which Who?

    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%201.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg2.html]William Hartnell 1963-66[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%202.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg3.html]Patrick Troughton 1966-69[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%203.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg4.html]Jon Pertwee 1970-74[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%204.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg5.html]Tom Baker 1974-81[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%205.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg6.html]Peter Davison 1981-84[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%206.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg7.html]Colin Baker 1984-86[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%207.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg8.html]Sylvester McCoy 1987-89[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc8.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg9.htm]Paul McGann 1996[/URL]
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Tyler   

The next Doctor will be announced in a prime time (in England--airs this afternoon in the states) special. Peter Capaldi is apparently the favorite; he's 55, which is roughly as old as Tennant and Smith were--combined--when they took over.

Edited by Tyler

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NBooth   

The next Doctor will be announced in a prime time (in England--airs this afternoon in the states) special. Peter Capaldi is apparently the favorite; he's 55, which is roughly as old as Tennant and Smith were--combined--when they took over.

 

Here's hoping. As much as I like Smith, I'm eager for an older Doctor.

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NBooth   

Capaldi has already played a major character in the Whoniverse: John Frobisher on Torchwood: Children of Earth.

He was also in "The Fires of Pompeii". And, outside the Whoniverse, he was Sid's father in "Skins".

My memory of all those performances is too vague to make a definite pronouncement, but I certainly like his look. "Different from Matt Smith," indeed.

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NBooth   

Apparently, Capaldi is the same age Hartnell was when he started playing the Doctor.

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Tyler   

Apparently, Capaldi is the same age Hartnell was when he started playing the Doctor.

 

I had to check the math on this, because Hartnell looked super old even in his first episode (and one of the characters is "the Doctor's granddaughter"), but the numbers are right: Hartnell was born in 1908 and Who started in 1963.

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BethR   

NBooth:
 

 

My memory of all those performances is too vague to make a definite pronouncement, but I certainly like his look. "Different from Matt Smith," indeed.

 


He's a versatile actor and I expect I'll get used to him, but in terms of "difference," I was really hoping for Chiwetel Ejiofor. Oh well!

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Tyler   

His character on The Thick of It is really caustic and intimidating, but his Torchwood character is kind of nebbish and ineffectual, so he can at least play a range of bureaucrats. Not sure how much of that will transfer to his Doctor, though.

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NBooth   

Five Reasons Why You Should Thank Your Lucky Stars The New Doctor Is Not A Woman

 

--though, really, it boils down to one: MOFFAT!

 

To which I say (eloquently) phui. I know, I know: the River Song arc was problematic in the extreme, and Moffat himself has espoused some really troubling ideas w/r/t gender, but the whole "Moffat writes terrible women" meme is really over-played.The Tiger Beatdown article the author links is the epitome of over-reading:

 

[Amy] does occasionally save the universe, as all the Doctor’s companions are contractually obligated to do at least once per season.  Her biggest universe-saving moment, however, came about in the most passive way possible—she just had to remember the Doctor really hard. And she had to do it by focusing on the words “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” At her wedding reception.  Because if you want a lady to remember something, you need to make it relevant to her wedding. Am I right?

 

 Which--no, for a couple of reasons:

 

1. Moffat's Who is concerned with the nature of the show itself; every one of his finales is, ultimately, an interaction with Doctor Who on a meta-level. And if (as I've seen argued elsewhere) the finale to "The Big Bang" is intended to allude to the show's return after the Wilderness Years (with Amy Pond standing-in for the fandom), then remembering is precisely the action she should take. Of course,

 

2. Even if the episode wasn't a meta-reflection, it still ties in themes that concern Moffat: "We're all stories in the end." I'd argue that, as much as it's a self-reflexive text, Moffat's Who is primarily concerned with the question of dying, of what a life means if it can be snuffed out, can fall out of the universe. And his answer (see the Van Gogh episode) is to treasure the moments of happiness (see also: "Because, of course, they'll be sad later")

 

3. There's no suggestion in the episode that the climax is tied to Amy's wedding because that's the only way she'll remember. It's the pay-off to clues laid earlier, and it happens to involve her wedding, but that's it. The author's line is a good zinger, but it's apropos of nothing.

 

And that's SOP for all of the "Moffat writes terrible women" stuff: ignore the thematic concerns, ignore the meta-commentary, make broad generalizations, and there you are. Lost in the mix are (for instance) Madam Vastra and Jenny, Lorna Buckett, Sally Sparrow, etc. Lost is the fact that characters like Amy and Mme Pompador act as sympathetic stand-ins for Who fandom.

 

To take the problematic example of River Song: yes, on one level she's an independent woman who, through the workings of the plot, is gradually stripped of her independence. Yes, she's in many ways a fetish-object for Moffat (and for the viewers, presumably). On the other hand, she's also a woman who, finding herself imprisoned, manages--frequently!--to escape and have her own adventures. She's one of the few characters who can control her interactions with the Doctor--up until "The Wedding of River Song" (and even after that) she has the upper hand any time they come in contact. She calls him. If you view their relationship backwards, then (or, rather, forwards from her perspective) it's one in which she gradually takes to herself the independence denied her in her early life, even managing to haunt the Doctor after her death--although see my point about thematic concerns above.

 

Heck, this "Moffat can't write women" meme loses sight of the fact that Moffat deals with gender-issues in his sitcom Coupling--and deals with them, as Philip Sandifer points out, in a way that is at once problematic and fairly nuanced:

 

Moffat writes better women than his peers do. He represents real progress in straight dudes writing television. He’s imperfect, yes. So is the status of feminism in contemporary society. Flawed isn’t equivalent to “not progress.” At the end of the day, there’s more to celebrate here than there is to condemn.

If nothing else, the narrative of straight blokes being redeemed by strong women with their own distinct desires and both the will and capability to achieve them is, in fact, exactly what most sane models of feminism want to happen. The line between the story Moffat writes in Coupling and the story of men learning to check their privilege from feminists is a thin one at best.

 

 

 

--none of which is to say that Moffat isn't problematic. But the "Moffat writes terrible women" thing gets bandied about like it's a profound insight into the woes of contemporary Who, when it's at best a surface-level observation about a dynamic that is, deeper down, much more interesting.

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NBooth   

--none of which is to say that Moffat isn't problematic. But the "Moffat writes terrible women" thing gets bandied about like it's a profound insight into the woes of contemporary Who, when it's at best a surface-level observation about a dynamic that is, deeper down, much more interesting.

 

And now Philip Sandifer weighs in with what I think is my favorite piece on the tired, tired subject:

 

Now, I’m certainly not going to suggest that the Moffat era has no problems whatsoever with sexism and that it gets everything right. It doesn’t, any more than Joss Whedon gets everything right with feminism. A misogynistic culture is going to produce misogynistic cultural artifacts. There’s always a background radiation of misogyny. And what we treat as feminist is usually more accurately described as works that manage to rise above that background radiation.

 

[snip]

 

Moffat starts with what looks like a faithful imitation of the Davies approach. But five episodes in he shifts the game, with the Doctor actively refusing Amy’s interest in him (after a story in which the Doctor confronts his seeming wife) and Amy thereafter focusing her attention on her life with Rory. Which is how she remains for the next two seasons - a woman with her own life that travels with the Doctor sometimes. As does River. As does Clara. This is unheard of in Doctor Who - the idea that the companion might have a life outside the Doctor. For all that Moffat gets stick for defining female characters in terms of the Doctor, we shouldn’t forget that he’s the one who finally came up with a credible response to the problems posed by Sarah Jane’s anguished “you were my life” in School Reunion. The Doctor isn't the life of any of his companions under Moffat.

And often this is the point of the exercise. The entire resolution of The Name of the Doctor hinges on the fact that Clara never has been the solution to the textual problem of Jenna Louise-Coleman’s appearances as other characters, but has in fact been a character in her own right with her own story. That the audience misses this is the point and the trap; the audience is invited to think of Clara as a mystery, when in fact she's been a character all along. The Name of the Doctor is, in fact, a story in which huge amounts of the plot are given to the female characters - has there ever been a Doctor Who story so dominated by female characters? Well, yes - but it was The Crimson Horror a few episodes later.

 

 

The comments--both agreeing and disagreeing--are just about as interesting as the post itself--and several of them say what I was trying to get at in my stumbling rant above (and far better, and with textual/theoretical evidence, which is always nice).

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opus   

FYI, Christ and Pop Culture is doing a series of articles on Doctor Who in preparation for the 50th anniversary. My own contribution, which considers how the series portrays the Doctor's struggle with evil (both within and without), will be posted a few weeks.

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opus   

And here it is... "Doctor Who’s Doctrine, Part 3: Exterminating Evil":

 

When you first meet the Doctor, in any of his incarnations, he seems like a walking bag of eccentricities, from his fashion sense to his mannerisms. But what has been part of the revival’s brilliance is its revelations that the Doctor, for all his brilliance and derring-do, is a shell of an alien. All his eccentricities actually conceal a demi-god who verges on breakdown, and he’s certainly more than the benevolent-yet-eccentric savior we may think. He’s a “mad man with a box” — and the emphasis is on mad.

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NBooth   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hRy2N2CMhQ&feature=share

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NBooth   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z6FMCqYrBo

Edited by NBooth

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NBooth   

Is that Capaldi's voice at the end?

 

I thought it was Hurt.

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NBooth   

But Hurt looks to see who it was.

 

I assumed it was a piece of dialogue pulled out of context. But I've not heard Capaldi speak in a while, so I dunno.

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NBooth   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U3jrS-uhuo

Edited by NBooth

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