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

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | August 5, 2013 | Comments ()


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Over the weekend the BBC announced, with much fanfare, that the actor who would play the 12th Doctor is "The Thick Of It" star Peter Capaldi.
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Fans of the series who had all their hopes pinned on something seeing something new, gender or race-wise, in the 12th Doctor were rather disappointed by the reveal. Alternatively, those who prefer their Doctors younger and "sexier" were also a bit put out by the Capaldi choice. But those of us with our heads screwed on tight were over the moon because Capaldi is amazing in everything he's done. And it's my hope that with a slightly older (though certainly not unfoxy) Doctor, we'll be done with the lovey-dovey Doctor nonsense for a bit.

Now, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have minded a bit of racial diversity. The previous showrunner, Russell T. Davies, was always much better at presenting this massive time/space saga in varying shades. But did I want the 12th Doctor to be a woman? I did not. Why not? Well because Steven Moffat, "Doctor Who" showruiner extraordinaire is absolutely crap at writing women. We talked about this issue last week on The Station Agents podcast, but it's my pet theory that the reason "Sherlock" works so well and Moffat-era "Doctor Who" doesn't is Moffat's inability to write a well-rounded and compelling female. And it all comes down to Moffat having a fundamentally laddish attitude. One that worked in his favor on "Coupling" and with the bromance of "Sherlock" and works against him on "Who."

Listen, I know the following quote was taken out context, but go ahead and show me the context where the following ideas don't make you uneasy:

"There's this issue you're not allowed to discuss: that women are needy. Men can go for longer, more happily, without women. That's the truth. We don't, as little boys, play at being married - we try to avoid it for as long as possible. Meanwhile women are out there hunting for husbands. The world is vastly counted in favour of men at every level - except if you live in a civilised country and you're sort of educated and middle-class, because then you're almost certainly junior in your relationship and in a state of permanent, crippled apology. Your preferences are routinely mocked. There's a huge, unfortunate lack of respect for anything male."

Irritatingly, in the same 2004 interview (found here), Moffat proclaimed about "Doctor Who": "You can't be thinking about lovey-dovey stuff when there's that level of jeopardy involved." Yes, obviously, there has been zero lovey-dovey stuff during his "Doctor Who" run. Anyway, you don't have to take that 9-year-old out-of-context quote's word for it. Moffat's Woman Problem can be seen all up and down Matt Smith's tenure as The Doctor. They're most eloquently and succinctly outlined in this fabulous Tiger Beatdown article, but here are a few visuals to remind you how lucky we are the the first female Doctor will not be written by Steven Moffat.

"You Embarrass Me": River Song, who was such a fantastic character in her Davies-era two-parter (written, of course, by Steven Moffat), became increasingly problematic as a more prominent player in the Moffat-era. Every aspect of her life became tied to the Doctor (raised to kill him, obsessed and infatuated by him, incarcerated because of him, married to him). Let's not forget those three little words he said to her on their wedding day. Swoonworthy.
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"The Girl Who Waited": I hated this episode for a lot of reason and chief among them is the fact that Old Amy had to die so Young Amy could live. Old Amy, by the way, was a complete badass. How much more interesting would this story have been if the robot re-wiring, hand-to-hand combat proficient Amy had survived? Sure, Karen Gillan didn't look quite as cute in that aged make-up, but the amount of drama that could have been wrung from that scenario would have made for a much better yarn. And because Moffat-era Who is pretty terrible at explaining paradoxes, it just felt like Old Amy died so Young Amy could continue to rock mini-skirts.
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The Doctor's Wife: This is the exception that proves the rule. Episode writer Neil Gaiman did a fabulous job with Idris. So much so that I'm constantly wishing for her return. Gaiman cleverly flipped the whole Who concept of the TARDIS on its head. Idris doesn't exist so the Doctor can roam all of Time and Space, she stole him so that she could have an adventure.
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This Is The Night Before Her Wedding To Her "Soulmate": I never liked the way Amy played both sides with Rory and The Doctor. The narrative somewhat supported the idea that Rory was being paranoid in his jealousies of The Doctor. Looking at this? I have to disagree.
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Uterus In A Box: As I mentioned before, that Tiger Beatdown article makes this case much better than I could, but it's not inaccurate to say that Amy Pond spends basically an entire season in a box making a baby. It's also not inaccurate to say her entire arc revolves around "her boys" and an antiquated definition of femininity. She went from the Girl Who Waited to The Bride Who Remembers to River Songs Mother to (briefly) A Model and finally The Woman Who Followed Her Husband. Don't get me wrong. I cried my eyes out when Rory and Amy left the show. That was some potent and emotional storytelling. I also don't want to imply that the story of a woman as a wife or a mother or (I guess) a model is unimportant. These are things that women do. For sure. Is it the most interesting thing a woman can do in the context of massive time and space adventure? I'd argue, no. But your mileage may vary.
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The Impossible Girl: Then we come to Clara. Someone I quite like. She's spunky and in at least one incarnation, smart as a whip. But, say it with me now, "she was born to save The Doctor." That's...I'm just getting tired of it. I hope with Capaldi at the console we'll see something new. I just don't hold out any hopes for it being something amazingly great for women. Until we get the right showrunner for that, I'm happy to be the girl who waits.
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Joanna Robinson is aware that there are only supposed to be twelve doctors, but she highly doubts the BBC will let this ratings juggernaut slip through their fingers over something silly like "canon."


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Trick

    Don't forget what Moffat did to Irene Adler in Sherlock. I HATED that
    episode. Conan Doyle's version was at least a little intelligent, did
    what she did on her own rather than being Moriarty's puppet, Sherlock
    admired her as a PERSON rather than as a BODY, and wasn't a freaking dominatrix.

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    I was all set to trash yet another round of sexist "Wahhhh the Doctor must never be a woman" BS, but this article actually makes good points. Moffat's ability to write good strong women IS crap, and his female Doctor would probably obsess over her make-up.

  • Nazta

    Read up on the timelord "looms" and "the other". There will be more regenerations(not to mention that john hurt might be a "next generation").
    One of them will have to be a woman, there are several mentions and apperances of time ladys.
    It's already hinted at, in the last episode.

  • shelleybear

    "Hey you kids, get offa my TARDIS!

  • Mike Crilly

    The Doctor can't suddenly regenerate into a woman...Time Lords have genders! There are different rules for the males and females, so they should not be able to switch like amphibians. Males can only regenerate 13 times tops...females can have nearly unlimited (4th Doctor era Romana). You can't have a female Doctor, but you can have female Timelords. If you want a female lead, find someone to bring back Romana, or even The Rani (if you like the evil ones). Or if "Doctor Donna" came back somehow, they would be perfect!

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    Nice try but no, it's established canon, Time Lords can change sex when they regenerate. You're grasping at straws.

  • shelleybear

    What about the Corsair?

  • AJ

    Very well done piece. I agree that with Moffat at the helm, any female lead role would suffer as much as his female ancillary characters have. My problem, though, is a little more fundamental: there are precisely zero male role models in TV or movies who solve problems peacefully. Superman has to beat the tar out of bad guys before throwing them in jail and even Sherlock Holmes has become an action hero. Don't misunderstand, I love violent, gory movies, but young males need someone to look up to who outsmarts his enemies and doesn't use violence to solve problems (except that time he committed double-genocide, of course...).

  • Emm82

    Very well done. It really pisses me off that someone can be such a good writer - for 50% of the human race! Unfortunately, Moffatt cannot seem to write women as people at all. This is a reason I loved Donna. Absolutely and unconditionally. She was a person, not somebodys girlfriend, wife mother etc. Martha had real potential, and thankfully reached at least some of it when they left all the infantile crushing behind and made her own way after realising the Doctors feelings, like a grown up. This is why I'm thanking our lucky stars the Doctor is at least a fantastic actor regardless of race or gender. (still stings about Patterson Joseph though)

  • Eeeep

    As someone who has watched maybe three episodes of Doctor Who in their life, let me just comment that Steven Moffat is responsible for one of my favorite female fictional characters: Lynda Day. So he's definitely capable of writing compelling, independent women.

  • googergieger

    Ugh.

  • A succinct, if somewhat opaque, contribution.

  • Professor Sara

    Man, woman, gender politics, blah blah. More importantly: Is that his official costume? Is it a new scarf? Is it? I AM A KNITTER I NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS.

  • Lauren_Lauren

    Ugh, that quote. Ugh. Apparently Moffat has his head so far up his own ass, he's discovered a new world where "maleness" is not the status quo.

  • alannaofdoom

    AMEN TO ALL OF THIS.

  • I cannot believe that we are still, today, hearing variations on, "Men are people and women are women."

  • Milly

    Is the view on this, and the view on his writing as a whole not gender influenced? Having a y chromosome I have not noticed/been aware of the issues you raise, but have noticed how poorly written many of the male characters are, and how weak they are (and this is relevant to nuWho as a whole).

    Not weak as in relative to the female characters but weak in general. They do not make decisions of their own volition, they seek to take the easier option and generally it's the women who are strong, who are the dominating party and push the story and the action along.

    You may dislike Amelia and Melody/River, but by all things that are holy they aren't Mickey, they aren't Adam effin Mitchell and they aren't any one of those eejits with testicles that have populated nu-Who.

  • Aaron

    Having a Y chromosome isn't a reason for not noticing these things. That said, I do agree with your comments about some of the "weak" male characters the show has used under Moffat. Rory was pretty much just tagging along with Amy, with little personalty/action of his own until he became the Last Centurion. That said the Doctor (thus far) provides a very strong male figure on the show.

  • Milly

    I've thought of the Doctor as being more or less asexual, gender neutral or all genders at once. I think that's as a result of growing up with Sylvester McCoy as 'my' Doctor and he was quite delightfully odd and didn't - from my recollection anyway - fall comfortably within any gender stereotypes that one may apply.

    With regards to the Y chromosome bit, I thought that all the female characters were very well written through RTD and SMs tenures and so I was unaware of the feeling of others. But then I don't spend that much time discussing the details of episodes and canon and just prefer to do what I have always done which is to enjoy the episodes as tea time fun.

  • $32857398

    Yeah, you don't really need to discuss episodes and canon to see how terribly Moffat portrays women. But it must be fun not have to worry about that.

  • Milly

    Way to be an arse about something that didn't scream "you're wrong" at the article, but queried something outloud.

    Well done, you.

  • $32857398

    I wasn't trying to be an arse. I was just pointing out that Moffat's writing is not sexist and offensive to women in a subtle way, so that would need to read his interviews to realize that he's pretty awful in this regard. If you've *never* noticed anything off about his depiction of women, it's probably because you were not really paying attention. Because it doesn't really affect you.

  • Gabriel Rincon

    Besides not being able to write for women, the biggest problem I have with the Moffat era is that the show has become Companion Who instead of Doctor Who. These companions have gone from people you could actually hope to be to having the focus put on them with these overwrought storylines that fall crumble because Moffat believes that he can pull everything out of his ass because of his God complex. I hated Amy's and Clara's little introductions before every episode telling us about "oh I'm the impossible girl" and "the crack in the wall that follows me everywhere". Then he had the balls to let Clara be the one to tell the Doctor "choose this tardis because thus ones better" when it had been established that the tardis chose the Doctor! I feel that I haven't gotten to KNOW Matt Smith's doctor because of moffat

  • Lauralyn

    Fucking THIS. When Clara said that about the tardis, I damn near chucked my laptop across the room in anger.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Those are all excellent points.

  • There'll Be Pancakes

    I will forever love Russell T. Davies for writing one of the best female characters in the history of the show: Adelaide Brooke. She was simply stunning. What a force of a woman. I still maintain no one, not Donna, not Sarah Jane, NO ONE got the Doctor and got one over on the Doctor like she did.

  • Truth.

  • AngelenoEwok

    "I cried my eyes out when Rory and Amy left the show. That was some potent and emotional storytelling."

    Why? How is it potent or emotional? I feel like a real idiot here, but I've watched 9 and 10 and 11, and all the episodes that people go on and on about crying over leave me cold. There's so many "fake" deaths, or, oopsie, this character dies, but only sorta, not really, we will use this barely explained, zany fantasy or sci fi plot device to cushion the blow. I don't see any reason to get emotional over any of those. I'm way to busy getting verklempt about other shows where characters actually die and stay dead, so there's real emotional stakes. The most emotion I can muster for Doctor Who is my outrage/horror at the forced pregnancy thing.

  • Three_nineteen

    Forced pregnancy? If you are talking about Amy, she was already pregnant when she was kidnapped. The baby was hers and Rory's, and she wanted it. The kidnappers just kept Amy until the baby was born and then took it. Amy wasn't forced to carry the pregnancy to term.

    If you aren't talking about Amy, then what?

  • AngelenoEwok

    I am talking about Amy. This pretty much echos what I think of Amy's pregnancy storyline:

    http://whovianfeminism.tumblr....

  • Three_nineteen

    OK.

    I think there's so much wrong with Amy's storyline that people don't have to reach to find problems. And "it's not unreasonable to suspect that she may have wanted to wait awhile before having kids" has enough weasel words in it to have a really long reach.

  • AngelenoEwok

    "Remember in “The Impossible Astronaut" that when Amy tells the Doctor that she suspects she’s pregnant; her expression is panicked, not excited"

    That's what it comes down to for me. I could be blanking on a moment when Amy clearly indicates her desire for children or motherhood before the Melody/River reveal, but I don't recall any. And then later, in Asylum of the Daleks, she tells Rory, "*You've* always wanted kids." The whole arc is written in such a way as to remove all agency from Amy.

  • $32857398

    ... she was kept in a TUBE for nine months, how was she not forced to carry the pregnancy? That's not saying she wouldn't have the baby if they hadn't kidnapped her, but I think we can agree that she did not choose that situation.

  • Three_nineteen

    I agree that she didn't want to be in a tube. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have wanted to be there if she wasn't pregnant and they put her in a tube for some other reason.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    Amy was the worst. There, I said it.

  • Afferbeck

    I would love to see Pratchett write for Who. Especially for a female Doctor. Pratchett is excellent at writing for women, and just people in general with fantastic stories occuring around them.

  • BiblioGlow

    I'd like to upvote you twice. I'd also like to see Terry Pratchett do everything. Even with Alzheimer's, he's still ten times the writer Moffat could ever dream of being.
    OOH. Gaimen/Pratchett episode! Neil could talk him into it, right? This could happen. This could absolutely happen.

  • NateMan

    I'd like to upvote you for the awesomeness of that idea, and downvote you for putting in my head when I know it'll never happen. Maybe before the Alzheimer's, but definitely not now. But you deserve the upvote more!

  • cicatricella

    srsly :(

  • Tinkerville

    Great article, Joanna. You articulated my feelings much better than I usually do when we're talking about Moffat's problem with writing women, probably because I tend to get very stabby when the subject comes up.

    After the awfulness of Amy and how far River Song fell as a character, I had such high hopes for Clara and loved her first episode. Then she turned into a MPDG with no ability to decide her own fate. Moffat's incredibly overwrought plots and obvious god complex aside, it's his complete inability to write women that grates on me the most and makes me increasingly disappointed in this show that I love so much.

  • Berry

    This might be silly, but it was so utterly disappointing for me to learn that Clara/Oswin's mad computer skills actually had nothing to do with her, were not something she learned and worked for. She's not a computer genius because she's intelligent in her own right, the crazy wifi-people just inserted all that knowledge into her.

  • Tinkerville

    It's not silly at all and I completely agree. She kicked ass in her first episode largely because she seemed to have developed those skills herself and could hack into the Dalek's hive through sheer talent. Then we find out that it was all knowledge that wasn't even hers, and it took away some of what made her interesting in the first place. He actually gave a woman on the show a self-learned talent that impressed the Doctor and then went HAHA NOPE!

  • He was SO good at it in Coupling. Then in Jeckyll, Gina Bellman is all sad then sad/horny says "fancy a fuck" like that's not the worst line of dialogue ever written within five minutes of introducing the character. AWFUL.

    Also, Moff said at Comin Con a couple years ago that he's writing his way out of the limited regeneration loophole.

  • LucyKlein

    Irene Adler was supposed to be a 'new, daring, interesting' take. They made her a dominatrix, femme fatale, who needs to be rescued.

    As much as Moffat complained about Elementary (despite not creating or owning Sherlock Holmes) and for all it's faults... Elementary had *the best* take on Irene Adler. If you haven't seen Elementary, just watch the final two episode of this last season. It brilliant.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    And Jonny Lee Miller is not only better looking, he doesn't play Sherlock as a cartoon character.

  • Olivet

    AND! much more colorful with his shirt off.

    My priorities are skewed.

  • BWeaves

    Here's the thing about a female doctor. You don't have to write the Doctor as a woman. Just write the Doctor as the Doctor. Anyone can play the part.

    Also, I'm tired of the companions being someone really special who has a problem that has to be solved. I like the companions when they are the stand in for ME, and they are just along for the ride.

  • Olivet

    I think that may actually be the problem with Moffat's Doctor in general - the Doctor is the stand in for the writer/audience more than the companions. The companions are puzzles to be solved, or lifestyle accessories.

  • LucyKlein

    It reminds me of Ripley from Aliens, originally a male partner that ended up going to Sigourney Weaver. That seems to be an issue writers have when it comes to women, they figure they have to write the character different and ends up being slightly or blatantly stereotypical.

  • waterytart

    Agreed, now the female companions are the Manic Pixie Mysteries that sweep the Doctor down the rabbit hole, instead of vice versa. Moffat's relatable audience proxies were Rory and his dad.

    Amy, River, Clara, the Lizbian and (other Moffat darling) Irene Adler are all cut from the same cardboard. A few real people would be nice.

  • BWeaves

    OK, the Lizbian is my new favorite word.

  • That's why I liked Donna. She wasn't a special Mary Sue of a snowflake. She was just ordinary then became extraordinary.

  • AshBookworm

    Yes, this. Donna is still my favourite companion, followed by Captain Jack. Why can't we have them back for the 50th anniversary instead of goddamn Rose? I would pay so much money to see Eleven's interactions with them.

  • I'm just generally in favor of more Captain Jack. The world needs more John Barrowman.

  • PaddyDog

    My sentiments exactly, and not just based on the Moffat problem. Remember what they did to the first female Enterprise captain? Turned her into a whiny, annoying character who made decisions based on whether or not she felt snubbed. I'd love to see a female Doctor but only when the writing is ready to make her fabulous.

  • Jakesalterego

    There have been no female captains of the Enterprise. You are thinking of Voyager.

  • Odnon

    "Enterprise C" had a female captain.
    And she rocked! Geek bomb!

  • Fabius_Maximus

    "Turned her into a whiny, annoying character who made decisions based on whether or not she felt snubbed."

    Or, even worse, whether or not she had had coffee.

  • NateMan

    I can agree with you, mostly. I think a lot of the things I loved about Amy Pond were because of Karen Gillan and less to do on the writing. However, I loved "The Girl Who Waited". I thought it was a brillant episode and Gillan did a remarkable job showing the bitterness of her character being abandoned by the men she loved.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I really liked Amy (at first) too and I resent how they ruined the character by making her into a petty, jealous shrew.

  • Kate at June

    I feel like the reason I still love Amy is because what happened with Amy just feels like what Moffat DOES with his female characters. There's no hope for any of them. I don't exactly dislike Clara, but I was so done with how he writes women by the time she came around that I didn't try to excuse the flaws.

    Rose on the other hand....I've seen what RTD does with Donna and Martha, so I blame the character and storyline for the issues I have more than the writing.

  • FrayedMachine

    I feel like it always gets really tricky trying to explain to people who I loved the companions during Davis' run and really can't bloody stand any of the companions under Moffats. I think it's just that... Under Davis, even though their lives revolved around the Doctor, it still felt like they had an active -CHOICE- in that. They all CHOSE to have their lives revolve around the Doctor. Rose made that decision when she ran off again and left Micky Behind. Martha made that same decision, and Donna outright sought after him. But they all become such bigger people. People who accomplished so much, even if one of their growths turned out to be negated in the end. They had wonderful story arcs and it made me love them even more (especially Martha who I started off HATING because she was so hopelessly in love with the Doctor and then finally came into her own at the end).

    The Companions under Moffat are just... their lives just are. Their arcs are so fixed and pinned to the Doctor that it leaves no growth. Their growth is the revelation that their lives revolve around this one single man and I... there's just nothing appealing about that.

  • chanohack

    They all became bigger people unless they had their BRAINS ERASED OH GOD RTD WHY.

  • FrayedMachine

    Well, I did say

    > even if one of their growths turned out to be negated in the end.

  • Kate at June

    Not to mention that literally every romantic interest (River, Amy, Clara, Madame du Pompadour) that Moffat has written for the Doctor has met him as a CHILD and then grows up to fall in love with/throw themselves at the Doctor. (Ok, Clara didn't know she had met the Doctor as a little girl, but I think the creepiness factor still stands.) Ick, Moffat. Ick.

    --Ok, this next bit is long.--

    And I think that is why I have such sympathy for Amy and feel so compelled to defend her. The Doctor literally appeared as an answer to her PRAYERS when she was a kid, promised to whisk her away to a better life, and then disappeared. Then she grows up with Rory, making her best friend pretend to be this man that no one else believes exists and is dragged to therapists because of an "imaginary friend." Then alright, she begins to date Rory, whose feelings for her are admittedly much stronger than hers are for him. Her relationship with Rory is tied up in her feelings for the Doctor, always have been, because it seems like he's the only one who believed her, even a little bit.

    And she is still waiting for this mystery man to show back up meanwhile questioning her own sanity if he is real or not, which I think is why she's so suspicious of him in The Eleventh Hour. So he shows back up, this savior figure in her life, saves her, saves the world, and promises again to take her away with him.

    Disappears again. Her life, or rather--emotional agency--is again on hold until he returns, two years later, on her wedding night, and finally makes good on his promise. She's been waiting for this for 14 years. She goes. Of course she goes. Of course she's scared of the commitment she made to Rory. She never really allowed herself to fully love Rory because she was always waiting for the Doctor.

    yada yada yada, she throws herself at him, she's rejected, she travels with him--see's that he's not perfect, that he has flaws, and and then I think, finally allows herself to see Rory as separate from The Doctor. She finally realizes that Rory is the man she loves, who truly loves her, who she can depend on.

    (And then Moffat decides to capitalize on the chemistry between Gillan and Smith to constantly hint at a relationship between Amy and The Doctor which makes me furious, but again, not Amy's fault.) The thing that probably made me the most furious about Amy's characterization--aside from how all Moffat's females just kinda are forced to go with it--is it put her own self worth in baby making. (And yes, that line about her loving Rory more because she let him go will always bug.)

    So.
    Ahem.
    I will never dislike Amy Pond. But I can hate the fuck out of what Moffat does to his companions.

  • alwaysanswerb

    Agree with all of this. I've never hated Amy as a person (how could I? see seems fun and lovely,) but the development around her character is just awful. Gross, icky, problematic, awful.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Oh god, you're right about the child companions. That's so very disturbing.

    I think the point when I started to dislike Amy was when they made her a model (That's the most unlikely job I can think of for her) and she tried to push Rory away. The baby plotline was disgusting but she wasn't to blame... the whole bitch on wheels act was. Seriously, a fucking model? She helped save the world and she ends up posing for a department store ad. Gawd.

  • Kate at June

    I KNOW. Super creepy.

  • FrayedMachine

    > And yes, that line about her loving Rory more because she let him go will always bug.

    OH MY GOD. I was RAGING when that whole bit happened. I was so livid that I'm pretty sure that was when I threw my towel in with the whole mess.

    Also ew ew EW EW EW I never realized the connection between them all having met him when they were kids. oh GOD that's a whole new level of shady

  • Kate at June

    I was raging at that whole mess of an episode, or at least, the part of it that made a mess of fucking up Amy/Rory for 20 minutes to cause unnecessary relationship drama because apparently its a soap opera now.

    That line was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard. Amy would have known better than that.

  • IngridToday

    Also:

    *She didn't tell Rory she found out she was infertile
    *She didn't consider adoption
    *She didn't decide to wait for the Doctor to take her to a future she could receive medical treat.

    Also, Amy and Rory fair indifference to River. The Doctor does this whole "oh it's fine because *eventually* their daughter will be okay" y'know when she's not in prison for murder. Amy should have devastated at waking up pregnant and then immediately losing her child? Her child they know will grow up in an awful, abusive, controlling home.

    Moffat doesn't know how to write real independent woman who have a normal reactions to the things around them. Instead "I can't have babies so I'm ending this marriage to set you free!" bwah

  • alwaysanswerb

    This is so dead-on.

  • Kate at June

    Neil Gaiman on a female Doctor:

    "if I were show-running (I’m not) I wouldn’t cast a woman as the Doctor yet, and it would absolutely be on my list of things to do in the following regeneration. (I was the one who wrote the line about the Corsair changing gender on regeneration, in “The Doctor’s Wife" after all, and made it canon that Time Lords can absolutely change gender when they regenerate.)

    Some of that is stuff I’d find hard to articulate, mostly having to
    do with what kind of Doctor you follow Matt Smith’s Doctor with: someone
    harder and much older and more dangerous and, yes, male feels right to
    me, as a storyteller. Where you go after that, ah, that’s a whole new game…"

    As much as I wanted a female Doctor, I would be terrified of that in Moffat's hands. And as much as I wanted a person of color cast, the popular choice (Elba) would not have made the whole "companions throwing themselves at the doctor problem" less of an issue.

  • Milly

    Plus, Mr Elba declined to take the role on, thereby preventing any offer being made.

  • cgthegeek

    True. he's aware of the effect he has on women...

  • chanohack

    I love you Joanna. (Off to Tiger Beatdown.)

  • Haystacks

    Mad props for explaining the problem with Moffat's writing is in such a clear and concise way. I often feel a sense of loss around Moffat's female characters, as if they don't exist for their own sake, but to flesh out his main (male) characters.

  • Luke

    I'd like to point out that Dr Who was a woman once....its near the end but worth the full 20min

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  • Fabius_Maximus

    That was a Red Nose Day special.

  • Written by Moffat.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Doesn't make it anything else than something done for laughs.

  • True. It's the thing that a lot of Who fans have held up as the hint that Moffat might be willing to cast a female doctor since he took over. I like Moffat more than Joanna but I agree that there is nothing in his track record as showrunner that suggests that he should be the one to write for a female Doctor. I am perfectly content with the Capaldi casting.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    Sorry, I can't take you seriously if you refer to him as "Dr. Who".

  • TCH

    A well done article.

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