Death in Heaven

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    @pedant @janetteb @arbutus @jimthefish

    centuries have passed. Have they?

    I think it was 400 years between War Doc and Day of… (the screwdriver door unlocking programme).

    Between God Complex and Closing Time 11 went on a 200 year walkabout.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion et al–

    @pedant is right that Doc 11’s tenure has lasted centuries. It’s suggested in a few stories but most explicitly in Time and the Doctor.

    With regards to being able to mention or allude to old companions in the series, Pip is probably the one to ask, but I’m pretty sure there’s no legal of financial issue. Copyright of a character remains with the show. I’m not sure what the situation would be with actual flashbacks and use of previous footage and stills. I don’t think payment or a credit is required in such a situation, as it’s work already covered by a previous contract. For instance, Baker’s companion flashbacks in Logopolis didn’t require credits for all the actors shown and I don’t imagine they had to be paid for their likeness being used either. I could be wrong about that though.

    I think it’s probably a more creatively proprietorial. A showrunner or producer will be wanting to make their own mark on the show and to constantly be alluding back to the glories of their predecessor might be considered self-defeating. RTD’s placing of Rose on a lofty pedestal essentially handicapped all of Tennant’s later companions.

    In terms of how it works in the show, maybe each Doctor does consider himself compartmentalised in some way. He undoubtedly still has the memories but perhaps the ones outside of his immediate experience are hazier, like fragments remembered from a dream almost. 1,000-odd years of memories must be a lot to retain so there must be some kind of coping mechanism — much the same as ours. We don’t retain everything at our fingertips. Some memories are more vivid because they’re reinforced by association, some become hazy or forgotten altogether until triggered by a random association. Maybe the Doctor is even able to download old regenerations into a TARDIS databank somewhere too.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant @jimthefish and @ichabod thank you.

    Ah so it’s a creative proprietary situation rather than a legal issue. And yes, Tennant’s run was handicapped. I still see on various internet blurbs people slurring their love for Tenn and Rose -ignoring, or even hating, Martha, Donna and the other wonderful guest spots. I happened to like Bernard Cribbins myself.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @Purofilion. Just re watched “Turn Left” the other day and was thinking about just how wonderful Bernard Cribbins is. Donna’s character was well supported by excellent family characters. Her mother was not necessarily likeable but she was a well rounded, interesting character. Unfortunately Martha was let down by an uninteresting family. Her character would have worked better as a lone person or with just the sister and brother whose roles were not intrusive but helped give her an emotional grounding and investment in the fate of earth.

    I think the real reason that former companions are not continually referenced is that the writers like to create their own narrative arcs with companions and to evoke former companions is to take something of another artist’s creative vision. Moffat did so in the 50th, which was understandable, but he did so with RTD’s blessing and input and Rose was not Rose but Bad Wolf, so not really a product of RTD’s writing, more a by product.

    To translate that to Real Life, the Doctor does not forget his former companions, he stores away the memories. Doing so as @ichabod points out would be the only way to emotionally survive a 1,000 year + life journey. He has often intimated that forming relationships with short lived humans is too painful for him. I think that is why he always keeps the brakes on, or mostly. TennantDoc appeared to have forgotten that survival rule. Cap’Doc is I think acutely aware of it.




    @jimthefish @purofilion

    Ah so it’s a creative proprietary situation rather than a legal issue.

    It depends on the contract, and the assorted Equity/ Writers Guild/Musicians Union have powerful sway. The Nation estate owns the Daleks and permission was required to use them. Similarly, in Star Trek: Enterprise, T’Pol was to be called T’Pau (Spock’s grandmother), but the writer who came up with her in the 60s owned the character and would have been due royalties, so the ST:E character was changed.

    Actors get residuals if footage is reused, I believe.

    Even incidental music needs careful thought. A client of my brother once asked if he had seen a Simpsons episode call Lisa Goes To Washington. The client had never seen it, but a snippet of his music being used in it was paying his mortgage (and it took nearly 20 years to sort out the rights to all the music on The Wonder Years before it could come out on DVD, since nobody anticipated the need to tie it down – still only in the US).

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @pedant — yes, I’m aware of the issue with residuals and the often labrynthine nature of contracts. I’d be interested to know if just having a clip of Liz Sladen etc gasping ‘Doctor’ in Logopolis would have been enough to trigger a residual payment or whether clips under a certain length are exempt, much like the ‘fair use’ policy for quotes in book reviews etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.

    The complexity of contracts was, I believe, the reason the Beeb shied away from out-of-Doctor reruns for a long while because of the costs involved. It’s also the reason why the likes of Netflix are stymied from putting as many classic movies and TV shows available for streaming as they’d like because the rights issues across the various territories are so nightmarishly complicated.

    I’m sure I also read somewhere that one of the reasons it took the show so long to get back on the air was the necessary unweaving of the tangled web of rights issues that had developed around the show. Although I think the Beeb had learned its lessons in the 70s and any writer lost all rights to anything written in a Who script unless otherwise agreed because of all the bun-fights with Nation, Lincoln and Haisman in the 60s.




    much like the ‘fair use’ policy for quotes in book reviews etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.

    Fair Dealing – fair use is something different and has no equivalent in English law.

    I doubt the writers lose all rights, but I imagine the compensation is more effectively managed and covers all media, rather than first serial use + syndication.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @pedant — yeah, I was just roughly paraphrasing but thanks.

    After Nation making a mint out of the Daleks and Lincoln and Haisman causing all kinds of chaos with the Yeti and also the Quarks the rights to any monsters created during a serial stay with the Beeb and I’m sure, as you say, the writers got an extra payment as compensation. Haisman and Lincoln had grand plans for a Yeti TV series in the US, which always struck me as bizarre and I think the Quark’s appearances in TV Comic had to negotiated with them, rather than solely the Beeb. They also kicked up a storm about a Yeti appearing on the back of an annual of the time. After that, the Beeb made sure they had any new monsters ‘locked in’ to them. But, no, it wouldn’t have affected their other standard rights to residuals and what have you. Just prevented them from causing mayhem by taking their creaations elsewhere.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant @jimthefish @janetteb

    Are you all lawyers? Or  solicitors? (you have astounding knowledge of these details associated with creative policy and its law)

    Interesting discussion: I recall, on some commentary, in Tennant’s day that RTD mentioned the 10 second rule. So you could have a shot of Liz Sladen or of a previous character in a flashback but only under 10 seconds. That sounds a bit suspect -I just can’t imagine some legal document using ’10 seconds’, but who knows.

    Of course, incidental music and themes. I know this. I should have applied that to the other question. I didn’t know Fair Dealing (Fair Deal) and Fair Use were two different things, either.

    Thank you for enlightening me.

    Kindest, puro.

    DenValdron @denvaldron

    It’s both more and less complicated than that.

    There are a number of rights issues regarding the BBC, which derived from its practice of contracting out to writers.

    Part of it was that the impact and fluidity of mediums like television was not understood at the time.   And of course no one at all expected or understood the impact of forms of electronic rights which didn’t exist.

    To give you the very short and simplified version (perhaps excessively so):

    1)  Television evolved initially as a licensing agency.  Television in England and America, when it started up, was not creating new content.  Rather, the custom was to buy intellectual property – novels, plays, songs, etc., which were already owned by someone and already in use and producing or potentially producing revenue.   Sherlock Holmes, 1984,  the Beatles….  etc.   The owners of these properties were not prepared to sell the whole thing to television for a one time fee, or even a royalty.   Rather, the custom was that they simply sold a ‘license’ a limited right to use the property in a television broadcast.   It’s important to understand this, because that establishes the playing field, it set the ground rules for people who came in later, and for other situations that evolved.

    2)  Initially, because of this, the BBC basically had a policy of very limited rights and useage.  You bought a script, you paid actors, it wasn’t forever, it was for a license of one or two uses.  That was it.   That’s what lead to the destruction of so much of the early seasons – it wasn’t seen as valuable or reuseable properties.  It was just taking up space.  Doctor Who had already had its two showings.  If they wanted more showings, they would have had to pay more.  If they wanted all rights in perpetuity, they would have had to pay a lot more.

    3)  In Copyright Law, there is this thing called  ‘Work For Hire’ – that’s how Corporations get to be copyright holders.   A corporation or an employer hires someone on as an employee with the task of producing the work – that work and the copyright is owned by the corporation or the employer.

    4)  Now, apply this to the BBC.  When the BBC puts on a production of Sherlock Holmes or 1984, it doesn’t own the copyright in those works.  It gets a license to use those works.

    5)  But if the BBC as an employer or corporation creates a work ‘in house’ – ie, its employees and underlings, its staff, producers, executives, technicians etc. create something – that’s owned by the BBC:    Doctor Who, the Tardis, Timelords, Gallifrey, Regeneration, the Master, etc.

    6)  Here’s the thing though – the BBC is hiring outside creative talent – actors, singers, music and musicians, artists, and of course writers.  They aren’t employees.  They’re contractors.  Contractors own their own copyright in their creation.  So in contracting these people on, they don’t own the rights, they license them.  The ownership of copyright remains with the contractor.

    7)  Apply that to a script – what it means is that the writer owns the script and has licensed his script to the BBC.  This means that the writer outright owns all the unique elements and characters in a script….  Say Robert Holmes Sontarans.  The BBC owns the Doctor, Tardis, etc. in the script.  You have this situation where the script represents divided rights – some owned outright by the BBC, some owned by the writer and licensed to the BBC.

    8)  Why did they Brits do it in that stupid cockeyed way?  Were they stupid?   No.  Partly it was the evolution of industry practice.   As I said, television started out by licensing everything,  they were working from previously owned or outside owned properties.  That set the templates and industry standards that followed.   Imagine you’re a writer – you sell your short story or novel to the BBC, its a license.  You deal with the BBC a year later, writing a script for a television program…. why would you agree to a worse contract, or give up more rights than you had to the last go round?  Industry standard, as I said.  Writers were not cattle – they were unionized, there were standard contracts, rates, collective agreements, etc.    The other part was economics:   Sure, the BBC could have bargained for and bought all rights, forever and ever and ever.  But in doing so, the writer would potentially forego revenue and opportunities… so if you wanted the whole enchilada, then you would have to pay whole enchilada rates.   If you were only going to broadcast a program twice….   why bother.  You had a budget to think of, and that budget didn’t include buying unnecessary lifetime rights worldwide.

    9)  This is why, if you look at all the old Doctor Who novel adaptations, it was usually the script writer who did the adaptation.   That’s because they owned the script.   They couldn’t do much with it normally, because it contained BBC property (the Doctor), but the paperback novel company, or comic strip company, already had its own license to use the Doctor.  So the script writer would do the paperback, as an added source of revenue, a nice pat on the pocketbook.   Of course, this made the writers even more insistent on retaining their rights and going with license…  because they knew they could cash a second paycheque with the novelisation.

    10)  As to who owns what, well that’s a matter of research.  I believe that the Master is BBC property.  The Monk?  He might be private.  Daleks, Yeti, the Great Intelligence and Sontarans are all private property…. sort of.  Jamie and the Brigadier, I think are BBC.

    11)  Let’s take a quick look at the Daleks and Sontarans.  They’re owned by Terry Nation and Robert Holmes (estates) respectively.  However, they’re not completely owned.   The ‘concept’ of the Daleks, and some of the design elements are directly from the script by Nation.   The physical design – the peppershaker look, those bumps, eye stalk, plunger, that was all in house design by the BBC.   The same with the Sontarans – owned by Robert Holmes, but the look is owned by the BBC.  That was why the Reeltime productions ‘Shakedown’ a non-BBC production which licensed the Sontarans for use from Holmes estate, had to tweak the design a bit.   Similarly, while Frankenstein is in public domain, Karloff’s particular flat headed-bolt necked look was owned by Universal Studios, so when Hammer did Frankenstein, they had to make the makeup very different.

    12)  Now, here’s the thing with the Daleks:   They were very hot!  Hot!  Hot! Hot!  Did I mention, they were hot!  Dalekmania, the crazy wave of success.  Christmas with a Dalek.  Two Peter Cushing Dalek Movies.   Appeared in eight serials in the first four years.   Daleks were viral before there was viral.   Daleks had been the make or break for the first season – transforming a mildly interesting show to a full fledged phenomenon.  After the first appearance of the Daleks, the BBC was crazy desperate to use them again and again.    Do you know what that is?  That’s leverage!  Terry Nation, and his agent, had unprecedented leverage in bargaining with the BBC.  He had them by the balls.  They wanted the Daleks…  all he had to do was say ‘no, I don’t think so…’   They’d say ‘well, what do you want?’   He’d say  ‘I want to do a stage play’,  ‘I want to try and sell it in the states’  ‘I want a solid gold toilet’  and they’d say ….’ done!’    Nation got to drive a fairly hard bargain on the BBC.

    13)  A lot of the confusion in terms of BBC rights in Doctor Who involved the Daleks, because they were so intrinsically bound with Doctor Who conceptually.  But really, there was no legal confusion.  The BBC owned all the Doctor Who properties and part of the Daleks, Nation owned the rest of the Daleks and he’d had a very good bargain, but it wasn’t more complex than that.  What happened was that the rights issues there turned into this whole BBC myth that would get trotted out when some ass in the BBC structure between 1989 and 2003 would start talking about re-launching the series.  Well, the way to shut him down and shut him up would be to go  ‘well…. hmmm….  good idea, all for it, hmmm, but, hum, the problem is the rights issues, hmm, you see, afraid nothing can be done…’

    14)  Now, after the Daleks, what the BBC wanted was ‘new Daleks’ –  the thing with viral is that it sputters out, people lose interest.  Dalekmania faded away.  The second Dalek movie flopped.  The American series never materialized.  After the first Troughton season, the Daleks disappeared until the third Pertwee season.  The BBC was looking for lightning to strike once again, something to catch the popular gestalt and go wild.   The Cybermen were a sort of success – did very well under Troughton, got used a lot.  But the wave wasn’t nearly as big.  The best candidates during the Troughton years were the Quarks, the Yeti and the Great Intelligence.  The BBC was actively trying or contemplating trying to turn them into the next Daleks, trying to catch the viral waive.  Except that when Lincoln and Haisman sit down to negotiate, they want the same gold plated toilet that Terry Nation got.  But they weren’t dealing with the same BBC, they were dealing with non-hysterical executives, who had a much firmer grasp on a mature show, and their own ideas about what to do with the ‘new daleks’ and what sort of agreement they were going to have.   Well, you’ve got two sets of parties with sky high ambitions and incompatible positions – you get ‘boom’ –  it got real ugly.  Eventually, Lincoln and Haisman went ‘FU’ picked up their toys and went home.

    15)  The basic underlying rules remained in place – indy writers still owned their properties.  At the 1994 Worldcon I got to talk to a fellow who had had a script that was cut from Trial of a Time Lord.  Nice guy.  He owned the rights to the script.  BBC paid him a kill fee for his work, but he owned it.  He could have taken it and sold it to a Doctor Who novel series.   And actually, I think some of the lost scripts from the hiatus got sold as novels.

    16)  Robert Holmes, as I said, owned the Sontarans.  They paid him and licensed them every time they brought them back.  (He might have volunteered them pro bono for ‘A Fix With Sontarans’ – it was charity sort of, and he was already being paid for them in The Two Doctors.) (Same thing with Dimensions in Time – charity.  Were they in that?).   The Sontarans got licensed outside the BBC to Reeltime and the BBV for Shakedown, Mindgames, Mindgames 2, Do You Have a License to Save This Planet, and possibly one or two other things – some Big Finish Audio, who knows.

    17)  Autons are another licensed property.   I think that the Cybermen are BBC, or maybe not.  Those rights are not easy to get.

    18) Now, in the last twenty or thirty years, there’s been a whole lot of new things that came up on the copyright-technology horizon that no one ever thought of or imagined –  Beta and VHS, cable television, video on demand, the 600 channel universe, online streaming, electronic rights, etc.  You couldn’t sell or license rights that didn’t exist.   So for a lot of intellectual property, there was a protracted period of negotiation, establishing industry standards, fighting between corporations, screenwriters guild, performing arts (some of the key cases came down from the son of Bela Lugosi, who was representing the three stooges) (I did not make that up), working out the deals, etc.   Keeps a whole forest of lawyers working away.  And some teams of them were working on the Doctor Who properties.  Mostly it’s sorted, somewhat.  But that’s a whole different set of clams.  Or worms.

    19)  As to what the ‘state of the art’ in television licensing and scripts right now…   I’d have to dig.  But keep in mind, there’d been fifty years of contract evolution, the marketplace is very different, the rights and expectations are different, the money is different.

    So anyway – short version.   I’ll caveat that in making things so succinct, I might have fudged a few things.  So don’t jump all over me.

    Anonymous @

    @denvaldron fascinating.

    So, what you’re saying, and what I didn’t know, is that not all of the ‘Daleks’ are owned by the Nation Estate as the creative bits attached to them -the design pieces, if you will -are BBC owned.

    And each writer owns their own script but may borrow from the cache of monsters belonging either to the original creative owners when that first monster was seen on TV -or to the BBC?

    OK. Great to know, thank you.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    All this copyright chat ended up reminding me of this, which I’ve included in its entirety because it’s really rather fun anyway….

    DenValdron @denvaldron

    @purofilion   Essentially correct on both counts.  David Whittaker, script editor, and Ray Cusick, production designer, actually both had a lot to do with the creation and design of the Daleks, but they were both BBC employees and their contributions belonged to the BBC as ‘Work For Hire.’

    Mostly, it comes down to practical issues though.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @purofilion – popping in briefly to answer your query: modern contracts have a ‘continuity’ clause. Producers are allowed to incorporate any part of an actor’s performance into more than one episode without further consent provided that reuse is a) no more than two minutes long b) is for Continuity, Recap or a Flashback/forward.

    They do have to pay, but the payment and right-to-reuse-short-clips is agreed at the time of the original contract. They only don’t pay when the clip is the ‘Previously on’ segment of the next episode.

    Who goes back far enough that some of the original actors had to negotiate the right to reuse – the BBC weren’t expecting to be reusing previous performances beyond maybe one repeat, and had a time limit in the contract. And while copyright of a character is with the writer, copyright of an individual performance is with the performer. That copyright is licensed to the BBC (hence the time limit of the original licences), not surrendered.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip thank you for that also. Sounds a bit confusing as performance of the character is connected with the first writer I assume. Mmm. But its more clear than it was 2 or 3 days ago.

    Thank you

    Anonymous @


    brilliant. I love a morning sock puppet display !

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @purofilion – think of it like a music recording. The music score may be by the composer Mozart (and was never copyright) – but the Vienna Phil is damn well going to insist that they hold the copyright to their 1991 performance. 🙂

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip “by George she’s got it” Thank you. I’ve got my “ah” moment.

    Anonymous @

    @denvaldron  a lot of people around ’bout think law is all fun and games: but contract and licensing law sounds very dry indeed. Same with realty law. But it’s extremely necessary as people’s lives, levies and income rely on it.

    DenValdron @denvaldron

    @purofilion  There’s an entire section of the entertainment industry based around rights and clearances.  Not just copyrights, there are moral rights, publicity rights, privacy rights, image rights, trademarks.  That’s not even speaking of Errors and Omissions Insurance, Title Insurance, the registrations, etc.   I’ve done some of this for local film and video makers, mostly the arts crowd, so I have some window into it.  But there’s people out there, that’s all they ever do.

    Anonymous @

    @denvaldron well, I’m not surprised now.

    On a different topic completely, some of the people I work with were gastroenterologists, but now some specialise in liminal or livers or diseases of the gastrointestinal tract like Crohns or Colitis only. You’d think no patients could be found -not true. They’re everywhere.

    So Errors and Omissions insurance. Goodness. of course I new about TM -some people confuse this with copyright?

    DenValdron @denvaldron

    Both are intellectual property rights, so that’s not irrational  In simple terms, here’s how it works:

    1)  Copyright is, very simply, the right to make copies.  It’s the recognition of the ownership of a creator in the creative work.  A creative work is deemed to be a unique product of skill, work and artistic impulse, which is embodied in a fixed (sculpture, novel, movie) or transient (dance, song) manner.  That creation has value.  The reproduction of that creation would potentially steal value from the creator, so it is protected.  Thus, the creator has a right to control the copying of his creation.

    2)  Trademarks are, also very simply,  marks in trade.  They’re not about being inherently creative.  Rather, they are marks which a producer uses to distinguish their particular wares, service or product from those of other producers.  Trademarks include words or names, logos, images, can include things like the shape of a coca cola or pepsi bottle, the name of a band, etc.  Trademarks say ‘this is the genuine article’.   Trademarks, unlike copyright, are not automatic with creation  – you have to register them.  And you have to defend and enforce them, or they can go public domain (Zipper – that used to be a trademarked product, now it applies to every locking metal fastener.)    It can be easy for the layman to get confused sometime – copyrights expire and when that happens, companies may lose potentially valuable intellectual property, so they will try and trademark them instead.   Mickey Mouse, for example, is now a trademark I believe.  I think the Mouse is 90 years old, copyright expired a long time ago – if not for trademarks, he’d be public domain.  Same with Sherlock Holmes and Superman.  The Doctor, although not necessarily his adventures may be public domain as far as copyright goes – but I know that the word Tardis, the Iconic blue box, etc. have all been trademarked.  Hmmm maybe not public domain yet, I believe that they upped the lifespan of copyrights for corporate owned products to 75 years from 50.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    You’ve made a good argument, but the matter simply isn’t definitive.

    I don’t think that @Burrunjor has made a good argument throughout his small tenure at the site. What we have is someone who doesn’t want the Doctor to eventually become a woman. He sees the transformation of The Master into a female form as a step on the way. He doesn’t like it. Proceeding from this basis we have a set of artificial barriers as to why this is wrong, the latest being “they should have been brothers”.

    In my small tribute to Delgado, to mark the 40th anniversary of his death, I said:

    Delgado had agreed to one more appearance in a cunning wheeze. He and Jon would leave together in The Final Game, a story which would see the Third Doctor regenerate. Many fan legends surround this – that it would be revealed that the Doctor and he were brothers, that they were Yin-Yang of the same person. All utter bullshit of course.

    The Final Game would have seen an alien incursion organised by the Master in which a time/dimesional portal was activated. To deactivate the portal whoever ventured into it would be exposed to radiation. The Doctor tries, and collapses. The Master pushes him aside, saving him (he would regenerate) but leaving the question – did the Master seek to save the Doctor or merely possess the power source that created the rift. Both would die, but with the potential to return in another form. You can see elements of that scenario in End of Time, but it’s explored more thoroughly in the Mark Gatiss Third Doctor novel Last of the Gaderene.

    @jimthefish said, on the Subject of them being brothers:

    And I’m glad it never did too as it’s such a dull-wittedly prosaic interpretation of their relationship.

    Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts (the creators of The Master and the guys who guided Delgado) would fervently agree with this. They hated the sibling idea and have denied it many times. The main reason they disliked it is interesting. “You can choose your friends, you can’t choose your family.” They sought moral ambiguity in their relationship. Ultimately, if they were friends they must have shared some moral basis for that friendship at some point? Who changed? Who turned their back on the moral basis for their friendship? The Brothers idea is less engaging from that viewpoint.

    The next time the “they’re brothers” issue rears its ugly head was in the truly insipid backstory of the Eighth Doctor movie. Seagal commissioned a couple of “back stories” to help sell the series. The one they ended up going with was that the Doctor and Master were half brothers of the powerful Time Lord “Ulysses”, a direct descendant of Rasillon (yes – really). The Master had a Gallifreyan mother, the Doctor an Earth Mother.

    Shall we take a moment to silently praise the Time Lines that it was only the “half-human” thing that made it to screen?

    All of this is generally well recorded. Therefore, when Russell “The T” Davies wrote Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords, he included this dialogue, and no-one complained:

    Jack: So Doctor, who is he? How come the ancient society of Time Lords created a psychopath?
    Martha: And what is he to you? A colleague or—
    The Doctor: A friend, at first.
    Martha: I thought you were going to say he was your secret brother or something.
    The Doctor: You’ve been watching too much TV.

    So ends the idea that they were brothers. The implication that Missy “wanting to shag” the Doctor is indicative of some incestuous vice of Steven Moffatt that has ruined continuity is just another shit artificial barrier.

    So now – let’s take another look at the case for the prosecution (as @Burranjor has cast us as “Defenders”)

    He doesn’t see her in the line from Delgado. He thinks Osgood’s death was pointless. He thinks her plan with the Cyberman army was stupid, etc.

    Osgood’s death – I’d suggest that her death is the latest act in a line that goes back to Terror of the Autons. Whenever the Master is introduced to a new generation (and let us remember that in the time that has taken place since Moffat has taken over, a new generation who consider Tennant “the old re-run Doctor” has joined our viewship) he needs to be set up. To introduce the cruelty and horror of the Doctors “old friend”.

    In Terror of the Autons he kills Goodge leaving his shrunken corpse in a sandwich box for the Doctor to find. It’s not brilliant characterisation as it’s a pretty brief introduction, but we learn his colleagues think he’s boring and he’s a bit obsessive about sandwich contents. He’s harmless, and The Master kills him for simply being there , and to leave a “calling card”. In Logopolis the new Master kills Tegans Aunt Lavinia in a similar way. We’ve got to know her a little more. Harmless old lady, killed and left as a calling card.

    Simms Master doesn’t really have that moment, because it’s delegated to Jacobi, our AG introduction to the Master. He kills the harmless and likeable Chantho because he doesn’t like the way she talks. There isn’t that much made of her being any kind of “message” though. And so we see harmless, kind Osgood as the latest in a long line of characters killed by the Master because he can. Apparently disintegrated, but her glasses deliberately crushed and left for the Doctor to find. Just to prove to him that she is that cruel. It’s very Master in an “old school” way. The stakes have been raised though. Previous characters of this type were introduced in the story they were killed. Osgood had been around a little longer, raising the stakes.

    Missy’s plan – Apparently , Missy offering the Doctor a galaxy conquering force is a stupid idea. Not one the previous Masters would ever do that! Oh, no. Well, certainly not any after Delgado anyway, because this idea is where we suddenly go very Delgado specific. While everyone from Pratt to Simm wanted to humiliate, kill, steal his lives, Delgado was different. Back in Season 8 (how apt) the serial Colony in Space, The Master seeks the ultimate weapon. A star system killer:

    Doctor: so, you intend to hold the universe to ransom
    Master: Doctor, why don’t you come in with me? We’re both Time Lords, we’re both renegades. We could be masters of the galaxy! Think of it, Doctor, absolute power! Power for good. Why, you could reign benevolently, you could end wars, suffering, disease. We could save the universe.

    Sounds very similar to the offer Missy made doesn’t it? To lead an army of compassionless soldiers in a conquering battle to enforce “good”? Why? Because she wants her friend back. She’s seeking to re-ignite the shared values that once made them friends. I can summon other references if you wish, point out the amount of times The Master has called out the Doctor for his compassion, or his delight in the Claws of Axos as it looks like he and the Doctor are about to escape in his TARDIS and leave the humans to die. In writing the Missy storyline, SM has reintroduced the defining concept of The Master-Doctor relationship. A story of an old friend who is trying to tempt him to his philiosophy.

    I think @Ichobod used the word seduction. It’s a good word if you think of Star Wars, where people are “seduced by the Dark Side”. Now being a woman that seduction can take a different form, perhaps. The Master (as Delgado) was never above using his magnetic attraction to seduce. For example Queen Galleia in The Time Monster. He presumably seduced Lucy Saxon at one point.

    On any critical level, there is actually far more of the idea of the Delgado Master as conceived back in the 70s in Missy than many of the others in between. Mixed with the madness and obsession of Pratt to Simm. It’s a successful Master redux, in the same way that the Series 4 Davros was a successful Davros redux, mixing the chilling original Davros of Genesis to the screechy hysterical madness of later iterations. As the writers/performers, Moffat/Gomez and Davies/Bleach deserve an enormous amount of credit for doing it in the way they did.

    But Gomez has Ladyparts, and therefore some think this is evil. Takes all sorts.

    The Defence awaits the prosecution to make more substantive points, or will rest.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Basically, what @phaseshift said. First class post.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @phaseshift and @jimthefish I’ll second the latter’s assessment…



    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion (and others)  Of course, there are good real-life reasons for why the Doctor isn’t constantly harking back to old companions (the legal discussion has been quite interesting!). But even if we stay in-story, I think the idea can be supported that the Doctor changes enough during regeneration that the nature of previous relationships might also change.

    @ichabod has a good point about the compartmentalization of the Doctor’s memories. I also like the “mayfly” comparison, because as it seems that relatively few Time Lords actually leave Gallifrey for long, most relationships they have are with others like themselves. The Doctor is an anomaly, as his friendships are formed almost exclusively with shorter lived beings. (Ichi, I’m guessing you have read Robert Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love?)

    But with the Time Lords, it’s not just a question of long life, but of regeneration. @ichabod’s post says it perfectly, and even reminds us that the Doctor himself has referenced the fact that the change goes deeper than getting a new face. Of course, it’s complicated. Ten says “a new man goes sauntering off”, but Twelve says “I’m still me.” Both statements are true. But it’s clear that the essence, the “me” of the Doctor that remains unchanged, hides between the bits that are closer to the surface: is he patient or irritable, is he a hugging person or not, does he like wine or fish fingers and custard? And so on. And I think that these various characteristics would definitely influence the relationship he might have with different companions. Try imagining certain companions hanging out with different Doctors, and it doesn’t always work! I’m sure that, deep down, he remembers all of his friends with fondness. But you can imagine, for instance, Twelve thinking even for a moment that he might be in love with Rose? Or Eleven travelling with Donna? Or, to go further back, Four putting up with Tegan for one instant?   🙂

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @ichabod     Buddhism is definitely one of those belief systems that has the unfortunate fate of having been picked apart by those “spiritual but not religious” people (see @purofilion’s post from awhile back). We have loads of them on the west coast, and they tend to take all the bits that appeal from different faiths, and mash them together under a “Nature is my god” umbrella. I’m not sure what actual Buddhists make of all this, to be honest.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @phaseshift     Great post. I couldn’t agree more with Letts and Dicks that the “brothers” relationship would have been so boring. I read about that backstory for the Eighth Doctor movie long ago, and like you was relieved that it remained only a backstory, because while I didn’t love everything about the movie, what we got was better than that story would have been!

    And you make an excellent point about Osgood and all of the Master’s earlier victims. It’s probably true that the main reason Osgood’s demise hit us harder than some of those earlier deaths is that we had gotten to know her better.

    Isn’t it remarkable how you can talk through all the comparisons and connections between Missy’s behaviour and that of previous Masters, but with a simple gender change, suddenly it all boils down to “she wants to shag him”? Funny, really.

    DenValdron @denvaldron

    @phaseshift    Go watch ‘How To Stop a Timelord.’   Regarding the prior discussion, I have no particular wish to re-engage in it, it was moving onto an unpleasant threshold.

    I will make a general comment.  Recently I was in an argument over an American case.  Basically some numbskull jurisdiction fell under the sway of the NRA, and passed a law that said anyone who sues a firearms company and loses must pay the entire court costs.  There was one of those horrific mass shootings.  One of the families of one of the murder victims sued a gun store or gun company on grounds of negligence, that they had irresponsibly sold an arsenal to an obvious maniac.  They lost.  The gun company is now claiming $200,000 in court costs from the bereaved family – so not only did they contribute directly or indirectly to this family’s tragedy and loss, they now propose to take their house and life savings.

    I think that this is outrageous and reprehensible conduct.  But you’d be surprised at how many Americans defended the gun company and its conduct.  A repeated assertion was that they got what they deserved for bringing a frivolous suit.

    I kept having to explain that just because the family lost, did not mean the suit was frivolous.  There are frivolous suits and bad arguments out there.  They implode pretty much on the spot.  You don’t spend $200,000 in court costs defending a frivolous suit.  You spend twenty minutes drafting and filing a motion to have it thrown out, and bill your clients at hourly rate, or even do it free and chalk it up to good will.

    Just because an argument or case is unsuccessful does not mean that it is worthless.   It’s not an either/or proposition.   Every party in a lawsuit believes 100% in their position.   Every lawsuit will have both a winner and a loser.  That doesn’t mean that 50% of the people who go to court are frivolous, morally bankrupt, troll scumbags.   It simply means that their argument, their case, was tested, it was evaluated, the evidence was assessed, the evidence and arguments of the opposing case were assessed, and the other case was better.  Sometimes it’s clearly and definitively better.  Sometimes the differences can be as fine as the breadth of a hair.

    Burrorjar brought an argument based on extratextual content.  It was not a frivolous argument.  It was not crazy bananas, not collapsing instantly under its own weight.  It deserved to be taken seriously and deserved a response.  I considered and evaluated its merits.  There is in fact, a long history of extratextual content informing and media.  I considered the evidence and arguments against it, which are essentially the ‘soft’ of ‘fuzzy’ nature of extraxtual content and the inherent ambiguities.   I applied both to the situation.  The evidence and arguments against it, the opposing side was simply better.   It didn’t mean his argument was not legitimate, it only meant, that in my view, he was wrong.  The fact that he made this argument did not make him a troll – other things he said or did may have done that, but that’s not an issue I am canvassing.   But my point is that just because we can evaluate his argument and find it wrong or inferior to another argument, that doesn’t mean that his argument was worthless or frivolous or trolling, or that he was a troll for that reason.

    It’s childish to think that a person who disagrees with you is a fucking idiot, simply for disagreeing with you.  That will produce more heat than light.  And worse, it will guarantee we never learn anything.  We’re obliged to consider things that we disagree with and things that we don’t like.  Sometimes, we end acknowledging we were wrong after all, and we learn something.  Sometimes our positions are affirmed, but they have been affirmed through having been tested and challenged and come through, and in a sense, we learn something.  Sometimes we just learn new things through the process.

    Burrorjar  brought forth a number of other comments and arguments.  I’m not going to parse them all.  I certainly didn’t agree with all of them.  I’m quite in disagreement, for instance, with his views on a female Doctor.  But there wasn’t anything he said that I couldn’t look at and say ‘well, that’s interesting, but on the whole, considering all things, I disagree for these reasons.’

    He didn’t just bring comments and arguments.  He brought passion, which can be appreciated, and anger and bitterness, which are never helpful.  But he was not alone in this.  Whether he started it, or someone else did, doesn’t really matter.  He was at that level and he had company.

    Now, personally, I know anger.  I have a fiery temper.  Through the process of reflection and self knowledge, I have learned that I am not a good person, but I strive to be civil and I try to do good.  I can tell you something about anger – every single time I ever lost my temper, it did me no good, it did nobody around me any good, it usually caused harm, and I have regretted it.  I don’t think I’m singular in this, and I don’t think that other persons anger benefits them or anyone else, except in the most toxic ways.   I try not to go there.

    Now, perhaps you’ve found all of this maddeningly indirect, or not concise, or evasive in some way.   But if you want the short version from me, it is this:   I’m not going to engage that discussion further, because it was on the verge of becoming quite ugly, and I’d rather not.

    I’m not sure if I’ve made my position, and made my reasons and reasoning clear.  But courtesy requires me to make this effort.   I will not comment further.


    Anonymous @

    @denvaldron @phaseshift

    DV: You have said this at least 5 times: “I am not a good person”.

    Why? Why do you say that?

    In terms of @Burrunjor’s argument, I would agree with what you’re saying. He had some OK points but he got out of hand in the way he expressed them. The problem I had with @Burrunjor was that he arrived with an aggressive streak that ‘critiqued’ what he saw as “dumb, stupid”.

    The overall post was angry and lacking in civility right from the get-go. Much of what he said, factually, was incorrect, and therefore it easy to write, “nope. You’re wrong on that count because..”

    In response, another poster would simply say “OK, I see what you mean but what I was trying to say was….”. He didn’t do any of that. He immediately abused those who engaged with him and yet they had engaged meaningfully.

    This suggests to me that he was spoiling for a fight and thought this was the best forum to find one.

    I think that’s pretty childish.

    Also, he didn’t bother to respond after a number of members outlined, politely, particular arguments. He didn’t come back. Which implies he got the fight he wanted and could go and bitch elsewhere. In my little investigations, I’ve discovered he’s two other people on other sites saying the same type of thing and in these places he’s also been roundly condemned.

    I’m a nice person but in this case I really want to say (because I put work into my posts addressing him) that he’s a “total nutjob;  an uneducated twit and a raging idiot”.

    Now, I feel better.

    Kindest, puro (and I’m not regretting it. Mainly because I rarely say such things or lose my temper!)

    Anonymous @

    @denvaldron I have to add that sometimes losing your temper, staying your ground, standing up for what is right and raging about it is essential. Sometimes it does magical things! If we skulk in the corner saying “please don’t hurt me, don’t say anything to me,” others don’t receive the benefit of change.

    To tell a little story (and some of us are real story tellers here) many years ago, when Prime Minister Gough Whitlam was unconstitutionally ousted from The Lodge, he stood on the steps of Parliament and said (amongst other more famous statements): “Maintain the Rage.”

    Sometimes you just have to.

    Avoiding a righteous argument and tamping down a temper doesn’t necessarily help in the long run.

    I think that @phaseshift ‘s responses and @jimthefish and indeed my own makes it clear to new members and those on a fly buy trolling exercise, that it’s unwise to come here gloating about a personal hatred. It isn’t helpful to be bitchy in a first post and just so it’s really clear, the Etiquette page, which most members are reminded to read from the outset, outlines just what ‘being rude’ actually means.

    I don’t think @Burrunjor had any confidence he would return: he didn’t have any real arguments. Just a cynical, hating proclamation of “this is stupid and Missy as a Woman is just dumb. Go on tell me where I said……Go on, give me some proof I said…..!!” None of this particularly endears itself to this audience. In fact, if I was mod, I’d have banned the first post.

    Best not to let the horse out of the starting post to begin with. As for temper, I maintain that in small doses it can be medicinal and thus helpful: a clearing out of toxins, as it were 😉

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Hear, hear, @purofilion.

    @denvaldron — there’s no doubt in my mind that @burronjor was engaged in a trolling exercise and merely sock-puppetting the same crappy views that he’d been espousing on other sites.I believe @phaseshift and others were 100% correct in the way they treated them and I certainly make no apology for any of my posts on this thread. Indeed, it’s part of our role as Mods on this site to police it. If anything, we’ve probably erred in not being firm enough at the outset.

    burronjor was clearly intending to sow discord and start arguments because that’s what trolls do and by dragging this on and on, we’ve all been ensuring he succeeded.

    Anonymous @

    Okay purofilion go on tell me where are the occasions where I was being abusive to other users.

    I am not being aggressive here but this is very unfair that I am getting a reputation as being a troll when I have not made abusive messages to anyone here.

    The only thing I said that was even remotely aggressive was “you don’t know anything about storytelling” to I Am Not A Fish I Am A Free Man and that was it and as I have pointed out that was simply repeating what he had said to another user word for word. He said to someone who didn’t like Osgood’s death “you don’t know anything about storytelling” and then I said ” no you don’t know anything about storytelling” back as a bloody joke! Yet for that I get the reputation as the abusive one?

    And to add insult to injury I then I had to deal with abusive messages from users like Phase shift where I was called a moron and told I have a problem with shagging? Look through the old messages if you don’t believe me.

    Go on tell me where were the big abusive messages I sent to other people? And don’t use the one I sent to Phaseshift, because that was only after he called me a moron and made insulting remarks about my sexuality and insinuated that I had a problem with transgender people because I don’t like Missy. Even then I think I dealt with a message like that that would have caused most people to get angry in a civil way as I am doing now despite having been called a troll and a total nutjob by you, a raging idiot and troll by other people too.

    And Jimthefish far from being a troll who wanted to keep you all arguing I believe I raised a point that was howled down right away and then decided to walk away from it all and I only returned after another series of abusive messages from you and Phaseshift like “you got your ass kicked, no one will miss you, you’ve been told now, you’re a moron, coy tart”. Who the hell would accept messages like that and just walk away? And even then I responded with well thought out arguments.

    “He immediately abused those who engaged with him and yet they had engaged meaningfully.”

    Ehm when was this? I recall debating perfectly fine with Ichabod who DID engage with me meaningfully. The only people I said anything bad to was Phaseshift and that was after he called me a moron, made remarks about my sexuality etc. Check the previous posts.

    “Go on tell me where I said……Go on, give me some proof I said…..!!” None of this particularly endears itself to this audience. In fact, if I was mod, I’d have banned the first post.”

    Well go on tell me where did I say these big abusive and bullying things to people? What is saying what one user said word for word back to him so abusive?

    “Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts (the creators of The Master and the guys who guided Delgado) would fervently agree with this. They hated the sibling idea and have denied it many times” Barry letts said they were going to do it on The Planet of the Spiders DVD.

    Ps I am not such a huge fan of the Brothers idea myself.

    I think its better to leave the relationship open (something Moffat’s pal Mark Gatiss himself says on the documentary on Planet of the Spiders too)

    A part of me wishes in hindsight they had done it now however as it would have stopped this foe yay rubbish, but its not that bad an idea in itself. People say the brother idea is a cliche what and the idea of friends who become enemies and villains fancying heroes isn’t?

    Yeah we never see any villains lust after the hero particularly if there is a gay subtext cough Catwoman, The Joker, Poison Ivy, Callisto, Spike from Buffy, Darla from Angel, Maxima, endless supply of Bond villains, Irene Adler, Moriarty in Sherlock cough and we never see any villains who were the heroes friends cough Lex Luthor, Faith, Magneto cough. The brothers idea is no bigger a cliche than either of those and it makes more sense in some respects.

    Do you really think that the Master and the Doctor would still care about a friendship they had when they were children. Would you still care about the man you played football with at the age of 8 if he was now a serial killer and had murdered your friends? At times the way the Doctor cares for the Master seems unrealistic for a friend he only had at school.

    That’s the problem with the Master and the Doctor is that because they both work as mysterious characters you can’t go into the details of their relationship as friends at all, so all we have is “we used to play” and that’s that. Its not enough to justify the Doctor crying if he dies. However if they are brothers then it does and you don’t have to reveal anything about their past. It in itself is enough.

    And do you really honestly think that the Master and the Doctor would have romantic feelings for one another. I am sorry but that completely contradicts the point of the character and it seems like a parody. I mean it is like a teenagers joke “oooh why are you so obsessed with him is he your boyfriend”. Is the Doctor a masochist that likes getting tortured by the Master?

    “On any critical level, there is actually far more of the idea of the Delgado Master as conceived back in the 70s in Missy than many of the others in between. Mixed with the madness and obsession of Pratt to Simm. It’s a successful Master redux, in the same way that the Series 4 Davros was a successful Davros redux, mixing the chilling original Davros of Genesis to the screechy hysterical madness of later iterations. As the writers/performers, Moffat/Gomez and Davies/Bleach deserve an enormous amount of credit for doing it in the way they did.”

    The scene in Colony in Space is the Master trying to convince the Doctor to work with him. That’s fine, the Master believes in bringing order to the universe and he hates the time lords for not using their great power to rule. Hence why he views the Doctor as a kindred spirit in some ways as he is almost on the same wavelength as him in that he is not content to sit back like they are and is a renegade. However there is a big difference between that and giving him an entire army he can’t take back.

    The Delgado Master doesn’t hand him complete control of that weapon. He makes him an offer and then decides to go ahead when the Doctor doesn’t accept it. Missy creates an army of Cybermen and gives it to the Doctor without a failsafe. All the Doctor has to do to beat her is just say “Nah sorry I don’t want your army” and that’s that! He didn’t have to outwit her he just turned down her offer and that was that. Can you imagine Delgado having a whole army of monsters and then handing control of it over to the Doctor. That’s beyond Bond villain stupidity.

    Also a big difference between Delgado and Gomez is that Delgado is at the very beginning. Delgado would have every reason to think that the Doctor might accept his offer. He doesn’t know him that well at this point, he knows he is a renegade, he knows he has been imprisoned on the earth by the Time Lords so he has every reason to think he might be able to sway him. Missy however should know damn well by now that there is no way the Doctor would accept an army of Cybernetic zombies! Also Delgado played on his desire to help people, the way he had been mistreated by the Time lords all things that sound reasonable. Missy killed his friends right before him for no reason. How is that gonna sway him? Maybe if the Master wanted to tempt him he could have you know not killed millions of people and then just handed him a superweapon made from the corpses of all his friends like the Brig and presumably the Ponds and Sarah Jane and Barbara and Jamie? Also Missy’s plan makes no sense considering just two minutes earlier she tossed him out of a plane. Explain that? Why did she go to all the effort of building him an army, and then toss him out of a plane. She even gets angry when she sees he has survived.

    Also Delgado may have looked on the Doctor as an ally to start with, but he hated him by the end of his tenure. In The Sea Devils he is willing to provoke a war between two whole races just to spite the Doctor.

    “Isn’t it remarkable how you can talk through all the comparisons and connections between Missy’s behaviour and that of previous Masters, but with a simple gender change, suddenly it all boils down to “she wants to shag him”? Funny, really.”

    I do not think its because she is a woman that she wants to shag him.

    Believe it or not I am not that opposed to a female Master. I don’t want a female Doctor and I’ll get into that in a moment, but a female Master is not so bad.

    I like the idea of the Master being a parasite that takes over other people’s bodies like in The Keeper of Traken and the 96 movie. Now since he has taken over different species like Trakenites and human beings bodies I see no problem with him taking over a woman. It would probably happen sooner or later that he would need a new body and the only one there would be a woman and he would take her over or maybe it would be a woman in a position of power and he’d take her over. That could be quite interesting and there are a number of actresses who could play a she Master perfectly fine.

    It would be like in Supernatural when Raphael a male Archangel takes over the body of a woman or when Crowley a Demon takes over the body of Kevin Tran’s mother to stop the Winchesters. That was fine.

    However Missy wasn’t like that! Missy was a bloody joke. I mean she called herself Missy to start with and she DID want to shag the Doctor and the reason I am saying that is because

    Steven Moffat referred to the Master as the Doctors ex

    Michelle Gomez said this about her (a quick google search will support this) “It was hell for Missy kissing the Doctor and I mean hell only because she had to pull back and she wanted to go the full way there and then”.

    Then there is the fact that yes she did kiss him and stick her tongue down his throat and nibble on his nose.

    Then she put his hand over her tits and said “my hearts are maintained by the Doctor”.

    Then she said “Oh I might shoot Clara in a jealous rage don’t you find that sexy”

    Then there is the fact that virtually everything she said to him was a flirtation of some kind like saying it was their Paris, telling him to show a bad girl how its done, singing happy birthday mr president like Marilyn Monroe to him and suggesting they go to Gallifrey in a suggestive tone.

    Then she killed Osgood because she was jealous the Doctor liked her more (both Moffat and Gomez have conformed this)

    Then she let the Doctor gently kiss her in the graveyard and enjoyed it.

    WOW how could I get it that she wants to shag him from all of that? Yeah it must be because of a gender change.

    Except its not because I don’t get that from Raphael in Supernatural when he is in a female body as the writers of that show still write her as Raphael. They don’t have Raphael suddenly want to sleep with Castiel because he is now a woman. The female Raphael and Cas have EXACTLY the same dynamic as the male Raphael and Cas did. The female Raphael doesn’t call herself Raphaelina either and she doesn’t constantly make jokes about sleeping with all the male characters and killing their girlfriends in a jealous rage. If she did then I would say that the female Raphael was a joke too and she would be.

    Likewise if Moffat had written Missy as The Master IE a cold, calculating, scheming, manipulative sociopath who hated the Doctor and wanted him dead and called herself the Master I wouldn’t have had a problem with it in fact I might have found it quite interesting looking at how she was still the same villain as Delgado. However he essentially turned Missy into River Song from Lets Kill Hitler, or a fembot from bloody Austin Powers!

    “But Gomez has Ladyparts, and therefore some think this is evil. Takes all sorts.”

    Nope already been over why that is rubbish and again I would appreciate it if you didn’t just label someone who doesn’t like the gender change of a bloody alien in a tv show transophobic.

    Time Lords changing gender is not even remotely comparable to human beings changing gender. Human beings who change gender do so because they have a misplaced gender identity. They identify more with the opposing gender so they change and they feel more comfortable with the opposing gender they are in. It is also a long and costly operation and a very big and important even in their lives. I know a transgender person by the way who said that he finally felt like himself when he changed gender.

    Time lords however to start with according to Moffat have no gender identity. Even though I find that to be contradictory to everything we have seen before, that’s how he is trying to sell time lord gender bending in interviews. Also time lords change gender in a flash and that’s that.

    So if anything a gender bending time lord is the opposite of a transexual human. Transexual human does it because they identify with the opposite gender more, gender bending time lord doesn’t identify with either gender according to Moffat. Transexual human has to go through a long and costly operation. Gender bending Time Lord does it for free in a flash. So no there are no comparisons between a transexual human and an alien and people who don’t want a female Doctor or a Master are not automatically transophobic.

    I have no problem with the Angels and Demons occupying male and female bodies in Supernatural like Raphael who has been in the bodies of men and women or Meg who has possessed men and women or even Crowley who has had female and male hosts.

    The fact is it doesn’t work with time lords and the Doctor for many reasons.

    Regeneration IMO has to be treated delicately. I realize some people might look on this as being a bit limiting for the show but hear me out. I think that the Doctor changes but merely into a different version into himself. All of the Doctors are different, but the differences are only really superficial. None of the Doctors for instance carry weapons on them. They use them sure, but its not like the Doctor has a weapons cabinet in the TARDIS. All the Doctors are scientists first and foremost, they all seek a peaceful solution first and foremost. All of them also have an air of mystery about them too. We still don’t know his real name.

    Thus they are not entirely different people. Even in terms of appearance they all have a similar look. All the classic era Doctors all had long or at least really big hair, old fashioned Victorian and Edwardian era clothes, and a shaved face. Similarly 8 had that look as did 11 and even 12 and 10 did too. 9 and War didn’t but they were meant to stand out as War was remember NOT the Doctor and 9 was still traumatized by the war so he wasn’t quite himself either. That’s why War had a beard, mustache, short hair and scruffier clothes and carried a gun everywhere he went. It was to show instantly to viewers how he was different to all of the others.

    Thus yes there does have to be some consistency from incarnation to incarnation. The same applies to other Time Lords too. Look at Ainley and Delgado. They have the same look as one another, dark clothes, darker looks, thick beard, thick mustache. That’s the Master’s look the same way the long hair, clean shaven face and more old fashioned clothes are the Doctors look. Barry Letts even cast Ainely partly because he felt he resembled Delgado.

    Romana meanwhile I think has to be more fine featured and be a bit more refined and posh too.

    I mean forget the gender change there are many men who I don’t think would be a good fit for the Doctor or the Master and plenty of women who I don’t think would be a good fit for Romana. I mean I wouldn’t cast say Michelle Rodriguez as Romana as she would be too rough and jar too much with the first two and I wouldn’t say cast Johnny Depp as the Doctor even though he is a fine actor he just wouldn’t gell with the previous Doctors.  PS I think this is why Michelle Gomez who is normally an amazing, engaging performer would have been an excellent choice for the Rani as she looks a bit like Kate O’Mara. She is stunningly gorgeous and has the same piercing eyes as O’Mara and darker exotic looks and the Rani dresses in red too which fits with Missy’s looks. Also added to that the Rani would have been a better fit for the Cybermen as the Rani and the Cybermen are both science gone wrong villains. The Cybermen are the result of an amoral experiment the Rani is an amoral scientist they are a perfect match. Missy should have been the Rani. Having the Rani back would also have been the perfect tribute to the dearly departed Kate O’Mara who passed away that year.

    Anyway back onto a female Doctor, a woman IMO would stick out too much from the other actors to play the role. I am sorry its not that I think women can’t play the hero. Again two of my fave shows are Buffy and Xena, but really it just feels too artifical and forced and TBH after this long it would feel like a parody.

    I mean he’s been a man for 100000’s of years and then suddenly he wakes up as a woman. You have the 13 faces of Doctor Who and then suddenly Joanna Lumley flashes up at the very end. Its one thing to say have an old guy like Hartnell and then a young guy like Davison with a similar look IE long hair, old fashioned clothes a bit odd, but to have Hartnell change into Shakira is just too far!

    I mean look at it this way. Lets try my take on regeneration compared to those who think the Doctor can be anyone.

    Lets have a new time lady character played by say Ingrid Oliver. Now when she dies and regenerates in my take you’d need to find someone with a similar look, but different in other ways. Both the differences and the similarities would need to be subtle. You’d get somebody like Katey Sagal to play Ingrid mark 2. Katey is similar in that she is tall, dark, has a strong voice, but obviously she looks nothing like Ingrid, she is older and would have a different personality in other ways whilst maintaining the core personalities of whatever Ingrid’s personality was.

    In someone who thinks time lords can be anybody’s take we would have Ingrid Oliver change into George Galloway! Why not if they can be anybody? And then we would have George Galloway change into Beyonce and then Beyonce change into Christopher Lee and then Chirstopher Lee change into Lily Allen!

    See what I mean about how one looks quite cool and works whilst the other on screen would look stupid and ridiculous? Having Ingrid change into Katey Sagel would look weird and spooky. You’d have a woman changing into someone with a similar look, but who was completely different like Hartnell to Troughton. However Having Ingrid morph into Galloway would look funny. It would be like in Family Guy when Peter changes into Britney Spears and then into a sandwhich.

    Again I am not completely opposed to a female Doctor. I just think that it would look out of place and seem silly TBH. I also don’t think it would give women better representation or transgender people better representation either.

    People not saying here, but in other places say it does, but it doesn’t. As I have already been over it doesn’t represent transgender people any more than the Demons in Supernatural do. And as for women it wouldn’t be a female character. Either it would be a man trapped in a woman’s body or a genderless alien that is briefly in the form of a woman.

    IMO its better to create new female characters anyway rather than either give us distaff female counterparts of male ones or turn male ones into women for a short while. That’s lazy and it never works. Look at Buffy, Xena, Wonder Woman, Ripley all original creations. Yes Xena began in Hercules but she wasn’t like him at all! The likes of the female Watson, Batgirl, Supergirl etc are never as popular.

    To me gender blind casting is a gimmick. That’s why Missy IMO is crap compared to Callisto an original female villain. Callisto is an actual character. Missy is just “I know in order to get in the papers lets make the Master a woman”.

    To me a female Doctor is a pointless endeavour and not one person has given me a reason as to why it should happen. Its all “why not” or insulting people who don’t want it like JimTheFish saying that the people who don’t want it should just grow up. Tell me why do you people WANT a female Doctor?

    “In Logopolis the new Master kills Tegans Aunt Lavinia in a similar way. We’ve got to know her a little more. Harmless old lady, killed and left as a calling card.”

    Well this is just me but personally I hated Logopolis. I found it to be a story that makes the Master into a laughably bad, cartoon character. Its not Ainley’s fault he is great, but the way its written is stupid. He does evil things for no reason and that makes him boring.

    IMO a villain should have proper motivation. Even if they are a psychopath we should learn why they are a psychopath like Callisto and The Joker both of whom we see being driven down the path of lunacy. The Master however again you can’t do that as you can’t go into his past in quite the same way as say Callisto so you have to give him a proper motivation IMO.

    He has to kill in order to gain power, for revenge, to survive etc. That’s why he is at his best in stories like Survival, The Deadly Assassin, Frontier in Space etc as he has proper motivations in all of those stories.

    In most of his appearances there is a reason for The Master to do what he does. In “Light At The End Of The Tunnel” the 5th Doctor is shocked when he murders a family seemingly for no reason (in actual fact its part of his plan against the Doctor) and says “Why have you murdered that poor man’s family? That’s such senseless cruelty even for you” and the Master’s response is “nothing I ever do is senseless” which makes him IMO seem more menacing that he can actually justify his sadism and ruthless actions.

    In Logopolis however he just seems ridiculous murdering old grannies for no reason and don’t even get me started on his endgame where he threatens the universe from that little tower that he would have had to have spent the rest of his life in if his plan had worked. Anyway it seems ridiculous to argue about this as Osgood is coming back. I said Osgood’s death was a bad mistake as I liked Ingrid Oliver as an actress and I felt the character had potential, but I can hardly bitch about it now that Moffat has brought her back for two episodes next year so there is no point in continuing this argument anymore. Moffat clearly would agree that it would have been wrong to waste Ingrid Oliver whom he described as wonderful like that hence why she will be in two episodes next year.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @Burrunjor  The thing is, I don’t remember having much sense that the Doctor cared at all for the Master or his survival, prior to his AG return in the Tennant era. And at that point, it was clearly a case of “Gallifrey is gone and we are the only ones left”. The Doctor wept for the loss of another of his people, not for the Master as such. In the old series, the Doctor frequently thought he had destroyed the Master and never seemed especially distraught about it. And it remains to be seen whether Twelve (who knows now that Gallifrey has survived, somewhere) has the same softened view of the Master, or whether he will return to his more unambiguous, pre Time War views. He did try to kill her, before the Brig showed up to do the job for him.

    And I still dispute the idea that Missy/Master is lusting after the Doctor. I don’t believe for one minute that she is. This is just a new kind of intimidation game that she is playing, IMO. Jealousy, yes, I can buy that, but not of a sexual nature, I don’t think. Several people here have talked about the use of sexuality as a weapon, and that is what I think has been happening here.

    I agree with much of what you say about regeneration, but I would argue that the various Doctors stand apart more than you suggest. Yes, the BG era Doctors tended to dress on the old-fashioned side and often had long hair (although Seven’s hair was quite short), and there are certain underlying traits that are consistent. A lot has been written about that on this forum. But I think that there are very strong personality differences between many of the incarnations, and we’ve seen that in spades with Capaldi. I don’t feel that either the look or personal style of the Doctor has been consistent between regens. I agree that not everyone could play the Doctor, and for the record, I am not too keen on the idea of a female Doctor myself. But if they chose the right actress, I think it could work. I think Michelle Gomez has done well, although her Master will never be my favourite as I am not on the whole keen on “femme fatale” characters, and I find overly flirtatious behaviour irritating (something that annoyed me in River Song from time to time as well).

    I don’t think that anything from the show during Moffat’s or any other era suggests that Time Lords are born gender neutral. All that has been stated is that it is possible for a Time Lord to change gender during regen. I have already written that, in my view, this is probably not something that happens commonly.

    As to the Doctor beating Missy simply by refusing her army, I don’t agree. It took something that Missy hadn’t predicted, the unexpected survival of the soul (or whatever) of Danny Pink, to defeat her. Just turning down the army wouldn’t have done it. And Missy attempted to convince the Doctor to accept the army by telling him that he could use it to do good, like defeating the Daleks. A similar trick was used on the Doctor in School Reunion, trying to convince him to accept power by appealing to his desire to help people; I seem to remember that he was almost caught by it that time, and only Sarah Jane’s intervention pulled him back from temptation. (That scene, incidentally, stands out for me as one of Tennant’s best.)

    Anonymous @

    Hey Arbutus.

    I agree that the femme fatale idea is bad. That’s the only problem I have with Moffat’s female characters. I don’t think the man is a sexist at all and I think it is unfair that he gets called one. IMO he was the first one to get the type of treatment that Joss Whedon is now getting (funny both guys got chased off of twitter!).

    Still I think he falls back on the femme fatale model too much when it comes to writing villains. His Irene Adler similarly bored me as she was just the same.

    I think Gomez was a fab actress, but she isn’t really right for the Master. I still say she should have been the Rani. She has a better look for The Rani and is quite a good villain. Having said that Moffat probably would write the Rani as a femme fatale so maybe its for the best she didn’t show up in series 8. Gomez probably would have played EXACTLY the same character just called Rani instead.

    TBH I don’t think Moffat is ever very good at writing single villains. He’s a good writer and can write the Doctor really well and is a genius for coming up with scary monsters, but his single villains suck. Madame Kovarian UGH. His Moriarty also I found to be a bit dull TBH. I think his problem is he has two villain types. Psychopath or big flirty dominatrix. Missy sadly combines both.

    As to the Doctor beating Missy simply by refusing her army, I don’t agree. It took something that Missy hadn’t predicted, the unexpected survival of the soul (or whatever) of Danny Pink, to defeat her. Just turning down the army wouldn’t have done it. And Missy attempted to convince the Doctor to accept the army by telling him that he could use it to do good, like defeating the Daleks. A similar trick was used on the Doctor in School Reunion, trying to convince him to accept power by appealing to his desire to help people; I seem to remember that he was almost caught by it that time, and only Sarah Jane’s intervention pulled him back from temptation. (That scene, incidentally, stands out for me as one of Tennant’s best.)

    Hmm well I can see why you would think that but I don’t look at it that way. The way I see it the Doctor could easily have given them the order to blow themselves up. He just let Danny do it. That was the point Missy gave him the army with no way to take it back.

    In School Reunion’s case then K9 needed to sacrifice himself to destroy the villain. The villain just tried to sway the Doctor, he didn’t hand him the controls of his entire super weapon.

    And I still dispute the idea that Missy/Master is lusting after the Doctor. I don’t believe for one minute that she is. This is just a new kind of intimidation game that she is playing, IMO. Jealousy, yes, I can buy that, but not of a sexual nature, I don’t think. Several people here have talked about the use of sexuality as a weapon, and that is what I think has been happening here.

    Well again I see no evidence of this. I hate to say this because it might sound a bit arrogant, but I find that to just be a way of fans saying that the Master wasn’t trying to shag the Doctor as clearly NO ONE likes that idea so some just outright hate the episode whilst others try and say that it was just a way of messing with him.

    I mean what is there to suggest that she doesn’t want to shag him?  Okay it might be that, but lets look at the evidence that she does.

    She kisses him when she has absolutely no reason to. In what way is she messing with him there? Plus Michelle Gomez as I have already pointed out says that she wanted to shag his brains out there and then. Then there is the fact that she says that her hearts are maintained by him. The way she says that its meant to clearly be that that is what she wants to tell him.

    Also Steven Moffat has always “shipped” The Master and The Doctor. UGH I hate that term. Anyway that plus the fact that the Doctor kisses her and she enjoys it and smiles after he kisses her shows that she likes it.

    Also even if that was what she was doing I find that a bit lame personally tbh that that is the only way that the she Master could mess with a male Doctor.

    I don’t think that anything from the show during Moffat’s or any other era suggests that Time Lords are born gender neutral. All that has been stated is that it is possible for a Time Lord to change gender during regen. I have already written that, in my view, this is probably not something that happens commonly.

    That is what he has said in interviews, though to be fair it hasn’t been addressed in the show itself. Maybe he is keeping his options open? Still again the idea of a female Doctor just doesn’t work for me.

    The consistency from regen to regen is important to me and to stick a woman in after 13 men and then have another few me after that it would just ruin that and look out of place.

    DenValdron @denvaldron

    @Burrunjor   It looks like the html or formatting is coming through.  You might want to fix that for readability.

    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish can we do something about the text above?

    @Burrunjor will you read this, or not?

    The statement “go on go on, prove it!” sounds nuts.

    You said (& I haven’t read most of it -nearly all of this last post, in fact) but you said to Jim, “go on go on prove it”. This is nuts.

    Then we have a multitude of other posts where you are rude to people: you are rude (and I’m being simple here) when you write “this is dumb”. Please read my post where I entreat you to write properly and use evidence.

    You are nuts when you say Missy is flirting with the Doctor. No, it’s not flirting, it is seduction using dominance. This is nothing like, say, high school flirting which doesn’t usually involve psychopathic behaviour. Missy is a sociopath. She uses her sexuality in a hateful way. Whatever Gomez said is part of her general comedic stance -it is not part of the character. It was said tongue in cheek.

    When you say, “go on, go on find proof” this is nutty and rude. You were rude to Jim, @phaseshift and @pedant. Putting cynical ideas out there and then coming back when people have argued with you and claiming “they are mean to me” is typical behaviour of trolls. This is  your pattern:

    1. You arrive on the site and complain bitterly

    2. People call you on it

    3. You then can’t believe all this ire is directed against you

    4. If you had read the etiquette page, it would have listed way to express opinions.

    5. This  is not like the other two sites you wrote on -here, we try to be civil unless goaded.

    6. You goaded us.


    Do I have your attention?



    Anonymous @


    I will assess the following according to our rules and the rules of writing:

    “but his single villains suck. Madame Kovarian UGH. His Moriarty also I found to be a bit dull TBH. I think his problem is he has two villain types. Psychopath or big flirty dominatrix. “

    1. No, something doesn’t suck: we say, ‘it isn’t good and this is because…..’

    2. Kovarian UGH. This is shouting. Saying “yuck” like a 2 year old is not the way we do things here. This is not opinion, it’s more a bodily movement or a vocal. It doesn’t progress the argument does it?

    3. Moriaty TBH. I don’t even know TBH. Please write using actual words. I understand these.

    4. With the 4th statement, you are getting somewhere. Here you say “I think his problem is”. See, you have done the right thing, there. Hooray.

    5. But. Flirty isn’t dominatrix. One could say Missy is the latter but I don’t think she has an equal in this particular world. But see? Here, we are discussing something tangible and I can at least argue effectively with you without resorting to “oh this is TBH or UGH”.


    Anonymous @


    What has Supernatural got to do with any of this?

    Should you be on a Supernatural Forum? There is nothing supernatural about the Doctor!

    Is there? Have I missed the writing of the runes somehow?

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    I’ve fixed all the stray and unbroken html in your above posts. It’s something to watch out for when you’re cutting and pasting from elsewhere.

    First of all, thank you for making your points in a less inflammatory and more thoughtful manner. It’s very much appreciated.

    Needless to say, I don’t really agree with them but there’s room for all schools of thought on this site provided they are expressed with care and consideration, which I think you have this time. And for what it’s worth, I do understand some of your objections in terms of tradition but in the end I think have to reject them.

    I won’t go through your two lengthy posts above but just to raise a couple of points:

    1. I honestly don’t see a problem with a female Doctor. I can understand your point about continuity and that it’s taken an entire new regeneration cycle for the Doctor to become human but I don’t see that as insurmountable. In fact, it could easily be explained. The Master has already been given a new regeneration cycle and now so has the Doctor too. Perhaps its a replication error that can sometimes creep in when this unusual step is taken, or possibly even a necessary requirement for it to even work.

    In RL terms, Who never had a long-term plan, or anything like a series bible. Regeneration was originally thought up on the hoof to solve a particular production problem. Then Robert Holmes threw a curveball into it with A Deadly Assassin because he honestly didn’t think it would matter. There is no plan to Who. It evolves rather like an overgrown, unwieldy garden but is no less the beautiful for it.To my mind, there’s no question that Holmes/Letts/Dicks wouldn’t have totally gone for a female Doctor if they had felt social mores would have supported in back in the 70s. The reason it didn’t happen then was that social mores might still have had something of a problem with it and there were still places for the narrative of a male Doctor to go. I think it’s increasingly obvious that this is no longer the case now. Having a continually male Doctor is looking more and more like an anachronism and it will help take the show in directions that it now needs to go.

    2. You make some interesting points about Time Lord gender. Again, there’s no reason why Time Lords can’t be born genderless. It would make an interesting angle to look at just how the Doctor views his companions. It could well be that it wasn’t until Ecclestone that he didn’t even recognise them as female or male, thanks to his prolonged exposure to them. It’s not unlike when we see pretty much any kind of other animal. We see the animal first and then once we’ve assimilated that information then we start assessing things like gender. But you’re right, that a Time Lord attitude and a human attitude to gender and gender change will likely be completely different. Which is also why we can’t make any assumptions at all how the Doctor might or might not feel about it.

    3. Your argument about the Doctor’s dress always following an Edwardian template only really holds up until Colin Baker, I think. Sylvester McCoy’s dress wasn’t really Edwardian, McGann’s was essentially of a well-heeled cowboy dandy, so not really English, and none of the AG Doctors were remotely Edwardian — all took their cues very much from later 20th century dress.

    4. RE. The Master. I also think you’re looking for logic and consistency in a character that just doesn’t have it. Never had. Look at The Terror of the Autons. A contrived — and successful — plan by the Master which is only foiled after 5 mins of talking round from the Doctor. Can it really be that the Master really hadn’t thought through the implications of the Nestene Invasion or is it not more likely that the chance of working again alongside his old friend was much more attractive to him? I think the latter and it lends credence to @phaseshift‘s whole take on the Master/Doctor relationship above.

    With regards to Death in Heaven and the failed plot points that you correctly bring up. I really don’t want to defend what I consider to be the weakest link in an otherwise strong and pretty audacious season. DiH was essentially Moffatt trying to do an RTD-style ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ epic and he thankfully is just not that kind of writer. Missy’s plan was incoherent and rubbish but, frankly, it wouldn’t be the Master’s most incoherent or rubbish plan ever (stealing Concorde back to the dawn of time anyone? Rewriting Magna Carta?)

    The Master has never made sense really. The only time I think the character has ever really worked was back in the 70s and that was because Delgado brought a real charm and panache to it. You’re possibly right that the lack of backstory helped him as a character then. But the show is 50 years old now and that’s just no longer an option.

    And I’d say that there’s a definite flirtatious aspect to the Pertwee and Delgado relationship. Davison and Ainley had a rather flat dynamic but there’s definitely a slightly unsettling animalistic, almost eroticism, to McCoy and Ainley’s tussles in Survival (or that’s possibly the Freud talking). I think it’s always been there and it’s certainly there in the Simm/Tennant and Capaldi/Gomez iterations too. And it doesn’t necessarily have to mean ‘want to shag each other’.  I’d say that it’s really rather common that we’ve  all had best friends over the years where there was a sublimated physical attraction, regardless of the gender of the parties involved.

    I think @phaseshift is right that the Missy character does follow a clearly recognisable through-line from Delgado through Pratt through Ainley through Simm, in a similar way that Julian Bleach’s Davros successfully integrated the various performances of the BG version of the character. And I think Gomez works far better as the Master than as the Rani (a character I’ve always thought was absolutely awful anyway. I don’t understand the appeal of wanting her back. Crap villainess in two of the crappest stories of the show’s original run). She great because she brings a long-simmering aspect of these two characters into sharp focus at last.

    Hey @purofilion — how’s Firefly coming along?

    Anonymous @


    I have taken a deep breath now. I really should have shut up above. Grr to me.

    Firefly. None, I’m afraid. Basically, I’m in and out of hospital. I get to come back a few hours a day (and I’m not in a locked ward with a particularly awful mental illness, it’s just that with my particular condition -Crohns -it’s healthy to be ‘allowed’ home occasionally).

    Consequently, I’m not up to watching much -I see the occasional ep of Father Brown because it’s 45 mins, have a chat with the family and then hop back to the Mater ‘Mirage’ – we call it that as it tends to eclipse modern hotels in design.

    Every year, at some point, this happens and this is one of those times. It may well cause me to have a temper tantrum…. (above).  I’ll hopefully get back into F’Fly in about 5 weeks. Right now, pain etc…can’t concentrate.

    Sorry, too much information!! But thank you.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — I’m very sorry to hear that. Do take care of yourself and be well. The ‘Verse will still be waiting for you.

    gamergirlavatar @gamergirlavatar

    @purofilion Sorry for your illness . Firefly is a great show . I hope you’ll like it .

    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish @gamergirlavatar

    Aw, thank you both. “I will survive” – a favourite tune.

    gamergirlavatar @gamergirlavatar

    @purofilion You’re welcome .

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion   I’m so sorry! Hang in there, get well, and get home soon.   xo

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus Ah, sorry there, I didn’t see your message. Thank you. The thing which really irked me this morning was the realisation that constantly calling in sick to work is embarrassing. They’re all very kind about it but I appear unreliable. So, I’ve had to postpone any work for 7 weeks or so. We’ll see what happens after that.

    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @Purofilion – you’ve reminded me how lucky I am for not having a long-standing illness.

    Truly hope you start feeling better soon.

    Anonymous @


    I’ve missed you. 🙂


    Dude: thank you. I’m off for night treatment at the Mater. Whoo-hee. Not too bad: I get Foxtel and therefore some UK telly.

    Also, jelly and custard.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @purofilion  So sorry about Crohns.  I’m glad to hear that you have good treatment available — feel better soon!


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