On The Sofa (9)

Home Forums General On The Sofa (9)

This topic contains 1,124 replies, has 73 voices, and was last updated by  Craig 7 months ago.

Viewing 50 posts - 251 through 300 (of 1,125 total)
  • Author
  • #63738
    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @pedant  I am salivating now. I’d really like the Silurian Nest.

    gif wire

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Wow! That looks great. A bit of a bummer that I am resident off the west coast of Canada, and it would be a trifle expensive to go over for dinner. But on the other hand, who needs retirement savings anyway?

    syzygy @thane16


    Young Amy has grown up!

    I like the painting very much. The plating not so much.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @pedant I suddenly feel the urge to go to the U.S. (most unusual) That place looks great. Funny to watch Caitlin eating fish fingers and custard. she is remarkably like her cousin.



    Whisht @whisht

    @pedant – thanks for the link to that restaurant – it sounds amazing and some of the dishes made me laugh out loud (which I kinda needed)


    (do you think there’s another one themed at the end of the universe? If so it’d better have a good lightshow…)

    ichabod @ichabod

    @craig  Thanks so much for the whole set of interviews with Moffat — I’d not seen the third installment before.  With  Moffat, there’s always something fresh or new — to me, at least.  Always a pleasure.

    @thane16  @blenkinsopthebrave  I try to see “Close Encounters” about once every 5 yrs or so; love the optimism, the lack of paranoia and general mean-mindedness that infuses so much SF now (just came off watching a series called “Altered Carbon” on Netflix, full of characters who hate each other even when they’re supposed to be friends or lovers, where the best character in terms of somebody halfway decent is a computer constructed personification of a hotel).  The cynicism now is just soul-killing (for very good reason, I realize, but still), the violence disgusting — most SF now seems to be stories that include at least ONE extended scene of torture, gloating, and mutual loathing, which expresses where we are now, all right — in that sense, “Close Encounters” feels to me like SF *made in* a future, future in which we’ve somehow made it past the hideousness of our current wars of mutual hatred and distrust and into a stage of not actually *needing* an alien invasion to pull us together, because we’ve learned to work together because we’ve already had to.  So yeah, optimism.

    And I *love* Truffaut’s grumpy muttering re the (very mild) commanding officer’s attempt to keep the “invitees” away from the landing site: “They were invited,” he snaps, and turns away, “tete de merde.”  I’m eternally grateful that that hasn’t been edited out for TV (maybe because nobody expected “Shit head” so nobody in American TV noticed it?) .

    @winston  Watching Star Trek — they just ran one of my favorite episodes from NG, “Darmok”, on TV here; I was on the phone, only caught the last 15 minutes, and now I think, sheesh, there was so much more they could have done with that — but it was still moving, and, for a language nut like me, as thrilling in concept as it had been when I first saw it, back in whenever-that-was.

    @pedant  The Pandorica Opens in Beacon, NY, and I’m out here in New Mexico!  I suppose I could go visit my youngest sister, who lives and paints in the Hudson River Valley (right outside the town of Hudson, in fact).  Hmm.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Oh my, “Darmok” holds a very special place for me. I am sure you know all this already, there is something strangely satisfying about simply speaking these lines:

    “Darmok and Jilad at Tanagra”

    “Darmok and Jilad on the ocean”

    “Temba, his arms open”

    “Shaka, when the walls fell”

    “Picard and Dathon at El Adrel”

    and so much more.

    What a fabulous episode. But…not my absolute favourite. That shall have to wait for another moment.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @blenkinsopthebrave  Oh ho — I await the revelation of your favorite favorite with bated breath — and hope that when you do name it, I can actually remember it!  I find the original series ludicrously tacky now, as well as astonishingly ambitious in its politics, but still enjoy some of NG, if Deanna Troy isn’t in it.  Okay, it was good of them to make room for more major female characters in NG (the Doctor + the Empath), but their jobs are still pit jobs — repairs and maintenance — while it’s the lads who get to drive the formula cars.

    Still — “Darmok”.  An ep like that (*are* there other eps like that, though?) counter-balances a multitude of casually sexist sins . . .

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Well, the episode I am referring to was “Identity Crisis”, or, as I fondly refer to it: “Geordie turns blue”–which will only make sense if you have seen it.

    It isn’t rated particularly highly on fan lists of best episodes, but there is something about it that I love. The premise is unusual for the show–an event experienced by a group of Starfleet personnel (including Geordie) on a distant planet in the days before Geordie joined the Enterprise is starting to affect all the members of that scientific team.

    It has perhaps the best use of the holodeck in any episode, where it is used to unlock the puzzle, and it has a really touching study of a relationship between Geordie and a former colleague.

    If you can access it, watch it. You might enjoy it, particularly since it was one of the few episodes that the Counsellor, Deanna Troi, did not appear in!


    ichabod @ichabod

    @blenkinsopthebrave  Thanks so much!  I never saw that one, I’m sure — and I’ll look for it.

    My aversion to Troi is based on the irritating lack of anything real for this character to *do* in the series except state the obvious; but beyond that, the problem of the creators and writers seemingly assuming that a female character is *only* good for soft, nurture-y things like medicine (Dr. Crusher) and reading people’s feelings like Troi, for cripes’ sakes, at a level that any smart goldfish might attain — as if being an unusually high-level “empath” could be an actual function and reason for being a crew member on a star ship.

    Oh, crap; do I have to write that one too?!  No, no, please, somebody must have done it by now — extreme empathy as a) the “gift” that makes everybody hate you for exposing exactly the feelings that they’re hiding in order to be socially and professionally functional, and b) a crippling vulnerability that would leave you a howling mess a good deal of the time and not much good or anything.  Great job; I’m applying immediately.

    Did either of these characters, or Uhuru for that matter, *ever* get to be on an Away Team?  Ever?  If not, Q.E.D.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I stopped watching NG after about two series, but Troi usually got included on ‘diplomatic’ away teams. NG was much better at picking their away teams for a sensible reason than the original Star Trek, which usually seemed to go on the principle of ‘We’re paying William Shatner leading character wages and he’s damn well going to be in as many scenes as possible.’ 🙂

    Likewise, I think Dr Crusher was on the away team if there was a reason they needed a Doctor rather than a first-aider.

    Uhura had a different problem; they had to sell the original Star Trek in the Southern States, and I have heard that it was the network rather than the producers or writers who kept her firmly on the bridge. There was supposed to be an episode where she took command; didn’t happen because the network wouldn’t have even a temporary black captain, especially if she was also a woman.

    The kiss between Kirk and Uhura was originally supposed to have a choice of scenes – kiss/no kiss – for the network to make the final choice. Didn’t work because, legend goes, William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols deliberately screwed up in every one of the ‘no kiss’ takes.



    (sorry – just replied in wrong thread |)

    You are Truckles AICM£5.

    There is literally no change in DW viewing figures that are not reflected in *every* genre of TV viewing, including the soaps, other than those with a live voting element (in fact DW has very slightly outperformed, although I doubt it is statistically significant).

    ichabod @ichabod

    @bluesqueakpip  Ah, thanks; yes, that makes sense.  Love the kiss story!

    @pedant   I’ll go find your post — this recurrent issue drove me nuts back when it was hot and dripping vitriol.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Yes, that’s why I mentioned the other programmes. They’ve dropped by an average of 5%, but Series 9 and 10 dropped by more than 5%. Blogtor Who has a rather nice graph in which you can actually see the difference between the averages. What’s noticeable to me is that Peter Capaldi’s first series was fine. The ‘fall’ for that was exactly what you’d expect with the general fall in TV viewing.

    I took Blogtor Who’s figures because they used the 28 day ratings. Arithmetic mean for Series 10 was 5.9 million. Arithmetic mean for Peter Capaldi’s first series (on L+7, which should be smaller) was 8.4 million. By the second series it was down to 6.8 million.

    Or in other words, when other popular programmes were dropping 5% of their audience, Doctor Who lost nearly 19% between Series 8 and 9, then a further 13% between 9 and 10. The overall drop between Series 8 and Series 10 was something like 30% of the audience.

    Now, these are not bad figures by any stretch of the imagination. 5.9 million puts you comfortably into a BBC1 top ten programme. But the point is that 8.4 million puts you at no. 2, but 5.9 million puts you at No. 8. That’s what happens between Series 8 and Series 9 and 10 – in 2014 you can see Doctor Who hitting the top 5 quite often. By Series 10 Doctor Who is in position 8, or even not in the top 10.

    So, sorry. To say it’s outperformed is not accurate. It was outperforming, back in the days when I was posting on The Other Place’s BTL comments, explaining why overnight ratings are dropping everywhere. But Series 9 and 10 lost that non-core audience; people were perfectly happy to give Capaldi’s Doctor an entire series to see if they liked him, but not more than one.

    syzygy @thane16

    @bluesqueakpip @pedant

    But was it that they didn’t like Capaldi or was it because they didn’t like (what some saw as) “depressing” stories without escapism in Series 8, 9 or even 10?  Was it a left-over annoyance at Clara -the actress? Could it be there was an issue in this 30% to do with Pearl Mackie?

    To keep this Who-oriented, there’s a big bang of idiocy going on mixed with a complete lack of perfectionism in the area of statistics when perfectionism and obsessive perfectionism, would, at times, be helpful.

    Viewing figures may’ve dropped but the why is illusory, I guess. It’s political and social arithmetic or slack hacks lack facts when flacks stack the stats   😉

    The results of which purport to support the Dumbing Down of Television.  And there’s how people think about what they’re watching: a little quirk, at first, unleashes a cascade of consequences that make a particular future not only desirable but inevitable and so you get a possible 30% which might actually be 20% or 15%.

    We need to probe -mum would say!

    Thank you.



    syzygy @thane16


    Sorry Miss Ichi I forgto to tag you in the conversation.

    I read what you wrote on the other thread about where people get their sources from which then shapes their opinion in a world of echo chambers where egregious errors have been made in the information processing part of our brains, perhaps.

    And I don’t see the Capaldi period as a bold but failed experiment @bluesqueakpip. The thunderous approval I read and heard was often by those who say the least and listen the most.

    It’s a conundrum 🙂


    ichabod @ichabod

    @thane16  Mmm; yup, statistics alone can be awfully shallow when it comes to viewership figures (well, not complicated for the bottom-line minders, but for viewers with a sense of the varieties of viewers and their, as it were, various views.

    I see the Capaldi/Moffat era as a bold experiment that yielded a bumpy ride, but the highs were indeed high, like the ambitions involved.  I’m still curious to see how these series rank when a couple more Doctors have gone by and more people have done more re-watching, since re-watching was claimed by many commenters who originally were put off to be what impressed them with these series’ many virtues.

    Time will tell; and then more time will tell something different; and then . . . So it goes.  I’m just very glad I was here for it all.

    And I hope to feel the same about S11.


    MissRori @missrori

    @thane16 I think those theories carry some weight.  From what I’ve gleaned in other, sometimes more disreputable parts of the ‘net, a lot of fans were let down by the latter two Matt Smith seasons, and Moffat in particular was getting a pretty big hatedom (especially regarding how he wrote female characters).  The 50th anniversary special and tie-ins were a brief reprieve, but then “Time of the Doctor” wasn’t a similar hit.

    With Capaldi the hook that the Tennant and Smith seasons had of a youthful-looking, magazine-cover-ready Doctor was gone, which hurt the show’s marketability.  Beyond Twelve not being “likable” enough in Series 8 — even though it’s clear that his challenging quest to understand himself and defrost is part of the season’s point — a lot of people felt that Clara hogged the spotlight for much of the season, giving rise to jokes that the show was now Clara Who (which may or may not have inspired the switched billing gag in “Death in Heaven”).  Combine that with anti-Moffat attitudes poisoning the well, and things started getting really tough.

    Also, with other, bigger-budgeted, flashier, often more “adult” sci-fi and fantasy TV shows coming along — the number is growing exponentially at this point — I think Who began to be taken for granted post-50th.  The Old Reliable is going to struggle to be noticed alongside The New Model.

    And yes, there are a fair deal of people who feel the show was too grim in the Capaldi seasons, compared to Tennant and especially Smith’s tenures.  I do wish he’d had a few more “breather” stories myself!  😉  Perhaps the saddest convention experience I have ever had was at WizardWorld Chicago 2016, after Series 9 had come and gone.  There was a “Doctor Who Ultimate Fan Panel” that drew a big crowd, and I and my new boyfriend were so looking forward to discussions of Series 9…but the hosts then took a poll of hands and only about half the crowd had even watched Series 9; this was followed by audience members agreeing that the show wasn’t “magical” anymore and that at some point in Capaldi’s tenure they’d tapped out.  Even one of the hosts hadn’t seen Series 9 at that point.  I recall trying to speak in its defense — sure there was a lot of sorrow laid at Twelve’s doorstep but think of the rich characterization and touching stories, it still had “magic”.  But it didn’t take.  The rest of the panel was mostly looking back on the tenures of Nine through Eleven.

    Since then most of the Who and general interest conventions I’ve visited have been much much kinder towards Twelve’s era, though RegenerationWho in Baltimore this past spring, when it got to Series 10-specific discussions, expressed a fair deal of frustration on such issues as Bill not getting a lot to do from “World Enough and Time” onward and her character development getting curtailed in the process, the Monks Trilogy falling apart, and the portrayal of One in “Twice Upon a Time”.   I think Bill was probably the most popular companion the show had in years, and they were really left wanting more and wishing she’d been kept for Series 11.

    I do notice that in general — there were some major exceptions, such as MaryAnn Johanson — professional critics even at the time were enjoying the Capaldi era as much as, or more than, the Tennant/Smith seasons, even as they acknowledged the bumps in the road.  They were sad to see him go, excited as they are for what’s to come.

    (Deposits $0.02)

    syzygy @thane16


    “I think those theories carry some weight. From what I’ve gleaned in other, sometimes more disreputable parts of the ‘net, a lot of fans were let down by the latter….”

    Exactly. Disreputable. So you may’ve your answer right there. And exactly how is the weight carried?

    It’s a question of who or what type of people attend panels, engage with ‘sources’ and simply forget things -selectively.

    The trilogy of Time, Name and Day was astonishingly good. The sources AT THAT time stated their thrill. A very good mate o’ mine watched all three back to back earlier in the year and remarked on how clever and nostalgic they were. I believe, unlike the Eccelston and Tennant eras, that all the Moffat stories and his era will be positively viewed by many critics in the future. Sometimes it takes that long. Look at Mozart, Vivaldi and Debussy.

    Many people like to say Moffat can’t write for women. I find this a bleak and frankly stupid idea. I see the females in ALL of Moffat’s stories during Tennant’s time being ‘mouthy’ and quick thinking. See Clara who jumps in a timestream with no concern about her welfare or any “oh my Gard. I have to really DO this?” Think of  “the very stupid” lady [recall that she calls herself this and one is directly asked “why?”), Miss Evangelista, who, upon going thu the Library’s computer, suddenly becomes very smart. I think of how beautifully Donna was written by Moffat in those Silence in the Library episodes & the introduction of River. That two-episode set was considered by many critics as THE finest next to Blink- with the cliff-hanger (concerning Donna) – amongst the 10th greatest of the show. And hang on….there was the female lead in Blink who went onto multi-million dollar Hollywood.

    Then, there’s Amelia and Amy, Clara and Missy (not a Master, but a Master-ess), Rose as ‘the machine;’ Ashildr; Kate, Chief of Scientific Research; Osgood times 2 and the very strongly written Vastra and Jenny Flint.

    Those who berate the show as the “Clara Who Show” can’t then mumble “gee, the women aint too good after all and one of ’em is in it too often”  -when the latter point has been actually rebutted, using facts, like time.

    These people can’t have it both ways. As for Pearl Mackie, I really don’t know what to say beyond my personal feeling that it could’ve been the weakest of the Moffat seasons possibly because it was written, much like a Committee Camel, to satiate those who weren’t happy with a poorly defined ‘lack of brightness’ in the show.

    I thought the character herself was brilliant and certainly showed not just quick thinking; but comfort or the beginning of a sense of ease regarding her sexuality, her body and quite obviously her rapidly gaining scientific (primarily in physics) knowledge. Clara also demonstrated an ability to move through the world with great confidence. River piloted the TARDIS; Jenny and Vastra were so strong they’d probably shit marble and they were the bosses of Strax. Then we’ve the men -Amy’s husband, Mr Pond, who waits two thousand years. AND he’s a nurse -20 years ago that would’ve been a laugh. Strax is also a nurse and must play out that ‘punishment’ and in BLINK the male character didn’t fully solve the story so I’m back to River whose story is backwards and yes, she finishes her life so the Doctor can continue to “run with the stars. Don’t take that away from me. It’s my decision.” How rare: for 2008.

    I always believed, though, that the Doctor, with a whole new revolution of regenerations was going to struggle with life -with the questions we ALL ask of ourselves, every day, in some way or another. To me, the Doctor was humanised during Seasons 9 and 10.

    If people want jingle bells and comedy there are plenty of shows which offer this but my attraction to the programme at age 6-7 was the same as it still is: mystery; whispering characters hiding from an unnamed fear; corridors and corners, doom, dirt and disorder; shambling monsters and a very, very serious (occasionally grinning) Doctor.  🙂

    The ‘sources’ are THE key. I purchase, at considerable cost, 9 periodicals, arriving each month, which delve into science, epistemology; history; literature and also, film and television. These articles are well over 5000 words, they’re properly sourced and it takes many months for the finished product to be edited. I was lucky to read, back in 2009 and again in 2017 different authors persuading viewers to give Doctor Who -in its new formulation – a decent try. One author was Evan Williams and a second, I think was actually Robert Manne and his wife, also a writer.

    Panellists and so-called hosts don’t really mean much to me (though I understand the marketing imperative -but don’t buy into Who The Market God). Just recently I read a biography of Joss Whedon and found that until the third Buffy season the attitude towards the show was basically, “this is a joke.” By the end of Season 3, once it was up and running,  many red-faced people apologised for their initial sarcasm.

    So, sometimes I think, if people are THAT annoyed; feel the show is somehow ‘theirs’ [when it’s not] and they start aiming or shooting at you, then you know you’re doing the right thing. I think the small applause for Moffat -if that’s all it is – will eventually become a deafening roar, like that of the water drowning spiders in The Runaway Bride.

    It’s sad, in the end, that much of the stupidity was aimed at a Doctor who wasn’t considered young and fandom (oops: handsome). By placing an actor of great note, who, I believe, understood the Doctor as well as Tom Baker all those years ago, into such a role was IN ITSELF an act of feminism; a way of ensuring that older women matter; that we don’t all want pretty lads because what woman in her 30s 40s, 50s and onwards wouldn’t applaud Capaldi as handsome?

    There’s a line about this in The West Wing by Donna Moss towards Joe Quincy. I might search it out.


    syzygy @thane16

    I believe this is the one to do with Why People Need Differences. Hey ho!

    syzygy @thane16

    And watch that excerpt till the very end because it refers to “Friday” …..

    Missy @missy


    I think you said it all, there is noting I can add.


    Missy @missy

    A short story, simply because I want to tell it.

    In the middle of ‘car accidents’ was my birthday. The kids (and grand kids)took my OH and I to a Chinese restaurant.

    There I was regaled (if I may use the word) with gifts of potted flowers, two Dvd’s, two Doctor who T-shirts, a DW purse, a lottery ticket and an electric toothbrush.

    Then came the cake? An 18 inch Tardis! It was perfect in every detail even down to the St. John’s Ambulance sticker.

    So superb was it, that other diners came over to look at it. As you can imagine I didn’t want to cut it.


    syzygy @thane16


    Happy birthday! And also, you remembered mine. What an excellent memory you have.

    The Tardis cake sounds wonderful. Was it a fruit cake (like one would have in a wedding, sometimes) or a cream torte?

    And thank you, about the above (typically Puro-style very lengthy post). I know that younger people will claim that more advertising, marketing, leaking more ‘news’ about Nu Who & having lite, less -complicated episodes – that are standalone -form a majority opinion.

    I also recall, that whilst I liked the trilogy involving the Pyramid Peoples, editing and sorting was problematic due to a death in the Moffat-extended household. When everyone watches you and everything you do, having a death in the close family is just horrible. I would have no idea what that’s like. Everything becomes a tremendous burden and perhaps it did. But the episodes we had from River Song (& also the episodes with Chris and Rose: “Are you my Mummy?”) onto the last episode Once Upon a Time were, for me, pretty great. I didn’t come across any negativity  @missrori about that last Christmas episode?

    It’s a question of looking in the right or wrong place, perhaps.


    Missy @missy


    Hear, hear!




    Mudlark @mudlark


    Many people like to say Moffat can’t write for women. I find this a bleak and frankly stupid idea.

    Agreed, although with some very minor reservations.  All the major female characters in AG Who, whether or not  written by Moffat, are strongly delineated and well able to hold their own in the Doctor’s colourful and sometimes bewildering and frightening universe.

    If we focus on the companions, one recurring theme is the young woman – Rose, Donna and Bill in particular – who, until she is drawn into the Doctor’s orbit, has achieved  little in life and seems to have very limited horizons and ambitions, but who, through her association with the Doctor, realises her potential and achieves full agency. Amy is the same in some respects, except that her life from childhood onwards was shaped – and warped – by that brief  first encounter with  the Doctor. When she met him again as an adult she, too, had achieved very little in her life, but on the other hand she knew on some level what she was looking for.  Martha is different in that she clearly had a career and ambitions already, and her interaction with the Doctor actually inhibited her – although  that is probably not how RTD intended her to be seen. Clara, on the other hand,  is an anomaly, because we first encounter her as a super-competent claricle; and for the first season after she joins the Doctor in her primary persona she is presented as an enigma rather than a fully rounded person. I confess that I never fully warmed to her, not because she hogged the limelight – she didn’t, but because she never seemed to me to entirely add up to a real person; there were too many inconsistencies.

    Where I think the critics may have touched on something, is that I rarely got the sense that the writers had truly got inside the skin of those characters. They seemed for the most part to be observed from the outside, albeit very closely observed. For me, the most fully realised of the companions was Bill, and with her I did get some sense of her inner self. Missy and River were on another plane; techni-colourful and larger than life and to be judged accordingly, although I thought that the River of Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead was very sensitively drawn, and she certainly packed an emotional punch – and that was Moffat, of course.

    syzygy @thane16


    who, until she is drawn into the Doctor’s orbit, has achieved little in life and seems to have very limited horizons and ambitions, but who, through her association with the Doctor, realises her potential and achieves full agency. Amy is the same in some respects, except that her life from childhood onwards was shaped – and warped – by that brief first encounter with the Doctor

    At 19 I was pretty ‘unformed’ 🙂  And I hadn’t achieved much in life.

    I was at university. Though, to be honest, if that were now, with the insane fees for a basic Arts degree, I probably would’ve ended up teaching piano at home & writing a cook book.

    I think Rose was pretty unformed & then yes, becomes a well rounded character (out of our focus) as an employee of UNIT. Martha:  quite right -her devotion to the Doctor started with a pheromone attachment 😉

    I don’t really have any difficulty with a young woman like Amy being a walking police-telegram. Yep,  I actually wrote that. Her whole life “made no sense” (which I thought was a brilliant breaking- the- 4th- estate comment by Mat’s Doctor) & Pearl’s character was also serving chips like Rose (in 2006-7). I understand that Clara was probably seen as yet another good looking, quick talking, petite, pretty girl -rather than a woman. I know more than a few people saw her as sawdust for telly & I didn’t really agree. What I really enjoyed was her chatter time with Missy -there wasn’t a lot of verbal stoushes but what was there was important, & the lines weren’t repeated. One had to pay attention & work a bit. Her relationship with Danny was a good start though I had difficulties with the actor’s approach to the role. I enjoyed Clara’s ascension to Flying Diner with Ashildr & I don’t think anything like this had been done before. But it wasn’t a gilded cage by any means.

    I think Clara was subject to ageism & sexism from a few quarters & I get that many viewers preferred her partnership with Peter Capaldi, not Mat Smith & yet, the trio of stories, in which she starred from before the 50th anniversary into  Mat’s last episode were so engaging and complex; and Clara herself, when you compare her with characters back in the ’70s was sufficiently involved within the story as a well defined character who questioned the Doctors, demanded answers & provided potential pathways. Would the series have benefited from an older woman like Donna? Possibly. But if we admit this, what are we really asking, I wonder? I’m not sure the answer is particularly hopeful. Are we saying “yes! Let’s have more older women at the expense of pretty, younger, mouthy women” because in SO many programmes women in their 50s are just no-where? It’s true & they are but should we discount the young female leads we have because of their age or is it that they’re not “fully rounded” for a 13 episode 45 min show on the telly every 2nd year?

    Trying to do everything seems very difficult. The Doctor must be convincing straight-away; the show needs to have an arc; with non-feeble monsters; it must look like a $40 million film; the companion (& we have to call him/her something else & not that) has to be young, AND properly rounded but not too young or too mouthy. We have to have stories set on improbable galaxies but not filmed in obvious quarries. There has to be significant marketability so that even the sonic can be discussed, at great lengths by fans, & not look stupid.

    The Doctor’s costume must be easy for cosplay (a term I came to understand, unfortunately, on some fan-site) & the whole thing has to be lighter & funny so that we can escape from our morose, cold weather and our bills and our sausages and chips without getting too wacked out on our cheap wine.  😈

    Thank heavens I can have a glass of plonk & leave all this damn thinking about the show to other, better qualified people because, in the end, to use a phrase of Thane’s, I CBA.    🙂

    It turns out I’ve completely missed knowledge about an orchestral conductor which has no real relevance here except maybe it does…..



    @thane16 @missrori

    The point that cannot be emphasised enough is that the people who complain about Moffat, using his depiction of women, use exactly the same syntax ad those who style themselves mens rights activists or incels.

    That is, people who have never actually met any girls.

    They sit claiming to love the show, while the entire point of it flies over their heads.

    So there is Rose – a working class girl belittled by her own mum who takes wing when shown what’s over the horizon;

    Martha, RTDs only true misstep. Pheromones, indeed. Bit fixed later, elsewhere;

    Donna – a working class woman allowed to fly so close to the sun she had to have her wings clipped for her own protection. But sung about every night on a planet billions of light years away;

    Or Amy – as compelling a study in abandonment issues as you are likely to find, but so deeply in love that when her fiancé is removed from history she still weeps for him. And wishes the Doctor back to life. And literally jumps to her death on the gamble that it will save the world and herself.

    And Clara. A perfectly ordinary woman who, like many perfectly ordinary women (and men, for that matter) kept letting her compassion put off the great adventure. Who refused to be “saved” by Eleven, and indeed jumped without a moment of pause into the fire. And then accepted that “tomorrow is promised to no-one”, but insisting upon her past. A woman insisting. The shame of it.

    And Bill, who even when cyberised kept her identity and made sure the Doctor knew it. And then comforted two Doctors as they faced regeneration.

    And what they all have in common, but which Moffat pushed to the foreground? That they are women who had the brass-bound audacity to talk back to the Doctor.

    And that is what the Angry Virgins hate about him.


    [It can work the other way. Sometime ago I engaged with someone on the Graun, who asserted that Sorkin did not have any strong women in The West Wing. I very quickly rattled of a list of immensely powerful women in the show, include Ainsley Hayes (ref: above). “Yeah, but she’s a Republican”.

    For some, women are only strong is they fulfil your expectations.]


    Mudlark @mudlark


    And what they all have in common, but which Moffat pushed to the foreground? That they are women who had the brass-bound audacity to talk back to the Doctor.

    I hadn’t really considered it in that light. Because I don’t often have the patience to stick around the kind of fan site where this sort of push-back figures largely, I have tended to assume that it was women who were complaining about Moffat’s writing of female characters – which didn’t really make sense. If it is the nerdy ‘Doctor Who is for boys” contingent who are beefing about it, it makes more sense; and they certainly have never, from the first, cottoned on to what the show is really about.

    Rose, Donna, Amy and Bill  were limited by their circumstances; but when the Doctor offered them something more – much more,  they seized it with both hands – as did Clara, eventually.

    I did not start with their disadvantages and cannot claim to own even a fraction of their audacity and vision, but there was a moment in my life, aged 21, when I was offered an opportunity for which I knew I was neither qualified nor prepared. I was terrified but I accepted thinking, ‘if I fail, I fail, but who knows? ‘.  And that decision determined the whole of my future career. So on that level I have empathy.



    There are other sources of critique (of course) but too often they seem to boil down to “Well, that’s not how I would have written [her]” (see the West Wing caveat – same principle in action).

    But also, the thing with Moffat is that he absolutely refuses to spell things out for the (to be charitable) impatient or inattentive.

    Of course Clara’s story wasn’t finished on Trap Street. If the two previous iterations have ended with “Run you clever boy” then you really should know that is how you could tell when the Clara “Prime” story has ended. That’s how he rolls.

    RTD’s Rose reminded me of my friend Jane from LSE. Her mother constantly told her that she would be better off on a till in Tescos than going to university. The long British tradition of not getting above your station. Her (Irish) father, on the other hand, bought her a book of poetry (proper, grown-up poetry) for her 5th birthday and it was her most treasured possession. But her mum was also the queen of passive aggression, which fucked her up good and proper.

    Amy reminds me of, well pretty much my entire recent ancestry, a catalogue of abandonment (most recently indicated by some previously unknown 1st cousins and half-uncles, but that’s a whole nother yarn). Season 5 of Who is one of very few series of any show fit to stand alongside Season 5 of Buffy.

    We forget that Amy got every bit the hate that Clara did.

    Clara was her own woman, who travelled on her own terms (that was established with Oswin). She chose to go on the adventure with eyes open,  though probably not quite aware enough of the risks (also foreshadowed by Oswin – and imbeciles call Moffat lazy). Even though that cost her, she did not regret it for a moment. She died where she stood, and it was beautiful.

    And the Angry Virgins hate that.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    This is a great discussion and the only thing I could really add to it is ‘what @pedant said’….

    syzygy @thane16

    @jimthefish @mudlark @missrori @pedant

    I wish I had the prosaic and elegiac qualities of Mr P.

    Donna a working class woman allowed to fly so close to the sun she had to have her wings clipped for her own protection. But sung about every night on a planet billions of light years away….And Clara…Who refused to be “saved” by Eleven, and indeed jumped without a moment of pause into the fire. And then accepted that “tomorrow is promised to no-one”, but insisting upon her past. A woman insisting. The shame of it.

    I was listening to 63 year old Dee Snider’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” & thinking about young female actors everywhere standing up, singing those words: in different decades or contexts they mean different things.

    Mr P, I’ve read a lot of your prose across the years.  Those above brought the hand to my heart which caught the tears.


    Mudlark @mudlark

    Somewhat against my better judgement I ventured BTL after reading the piece in today’s Guardian about the women in Doctor Who. There was some rational discussion, a fairly large dollop of nostalgia, and the usual disproportionately noisy contingent of whingers wittering on about how the show has not been the same since …. , and about the feminist/SJW agenda of the BBC and the Guardian, with patronising asides to anyone who ventured to challenge their views.

    Amongst it all was a rather charming anecdote which was new to me – though perhaps not to some here – to the effect that the character of Leela was introduced after Peter Hinchcliffe had observed some children playing and noticed that none of the girls wanted to be the screamy, subordinate companion; they all wanted to play the Doctor, every bit as much as the boys.

    And if those girls, now adults,  are still watching, their day would appear to have arrived 🙂

    Anonymous @


    I’m new here. I’m Spanish so please forgive any spelling mistakes. I have been a fan of Doctor Who since 2012, I was looking a series about time travel and I got hooked since I saw Rose. I’ve just watched the Classic series on Twitch this summer. Everybody says your Doctor is your first one but as much as I love Eccleston, my Doctor is Peter Capaldi. I love the 12th Doctor so much I was very sad to see him go. I’m excited for Jodie but I miss Twelve a lot. Well so here I am. I didn’t see a place for new introductions so I try this.

    Edit to add: I have read some messages before decide to register because I’m frankly sick and tired of the mysoginy messages on other DW forums, on YouTube comments and Twitter (I don’t have Twitter but sometimes I read) and I saw this is a civilized and nice forum

    janetteB @janetteb

    @mudlark you beat me too it. Not surprising as the article went up in the “wee early hours” here. It is an excellent article and so nice to see an acknowledgement that there were some strong females on Dr Who in the “good old days”, especially during the tenure of Verity Lambert.

    @tempusfugit Welcome. I hope you enjoy it here. Most of us here are Capaldi fans too. He is in many ways the “ultimate” Doctor because he as able to play every aspect of the Doctor’s character. I could see aspects of every previous regeneration in him.



    Anonymous @

    @janetteb thank you very much! I’m glad to find fellow 12th Doctor fans since he’s not well liked in the DW Fandom. I enjoy absolutely everything about him

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Michael Pickwoad, who did really amazing work as production designer in the Matt Smith/Peter Capaldi eras, including a pretty stunning console room, has passed away.






    If you trace any fan site back to its beginnings you will nearly always find that they began as perfectly reasonable places where many views could be expressed in an open a collegiate way.

    But then, as is the way with many online spaces, the loudmouths and blowhards have a horrible tendency to butt in with their “Capadli SUX!!” or “CLARA? UGH!!” or “This is SJW bullshit” and MOFFAT IS SOOOOOOO LAZY” and on and on and on…. What happens is that reasonable people get fed up and wander off, giving the false impression that the cynics are a majority.

    They aren’t, and never have been. It’s just that decent people have better things to do with their time than argue with halfwits. They are the same empty-head muppets who would see Idris Elba being the next James Bond as a betrayal of all things British (I appreciate that may not resonate with you, but blimey, you’re English-as-a-second language is better than a lot of ours as a native language).

    That is what happened on The Guardian (newspaper) discussion board and led directly to this place being formed.

    So, yeah – you will find much robust discussion hear, but on the whole a low tolerance of fuckwittery.


    Moffat’s tribute is wonderful. Not just about the professional, but the person.


    Anonymous @

    @pedant Thank you very much! Yeah that’s right, I have seen so much bullshit I got fed up with some sectors of the fandom. The only place I have to share my love for DW is the internet because in my country isn’t that well known (hell, Netflix hasn’t even broadcasted series 10 here, I had to get them on Amazon when I purchased all the DVDs), none of my friends or family know even about it, so I started to go to forums but theres just so much BS you can tolerate so I stick to polite and civil forums and avoid the comments sections of everywhere, specially now

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Yeah, I saw that. Moffat’s tribute is wonderful. Pickwoad totally made his mark on the show, which I imagine is not that easy to do after 50+ years.


    Welcome to the site.

    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish Thank you!

    syzygy @thane16


    Ah, a Virgil lover!

    It escapes, irretrievable time

    A perfect Handel (pun-ish intended except the composer’s name was occasionally listed as: ‘Handle’ ) for this site -and the Georgics no less; not as well known, by some, as the oft-quoted Aeneid. 🙂  I suspect @mudlark our resident knowledge brain on things from Latin to Archaeology to baking of German tortes may add their opinion.

    Don’t mind me….but welcome to the site. There is a lot of nonsense on many internet sites and youtube (youboob is my favourite name for it) is one of those places where people will write this:

    Oh I REALLY love this except from Doctor Who. But I’m SO glad that Moffat, the idiot, the lazy, the bad writer of women, the thief, the misogynist, the forgetful, the arc-heavy, the confused…..[and so on & so forth] is leaving. I really miss RTD.”

    Really, they could have stopped with the very first sentence but the typical whining is the thing that grabs that little like button & some people live by this …

    In any case I’m known, on the odd occasion, to have my own temper which I must keep in check  😈

    Enjoy the site. Not long to go….

    Kindest, Puro and Thane16

    PS: where are you from? If  you wish to ignore the question -for privacy, that’s fine.

    syzygy @thane16

    @pedant @mudlark



    Mudlark @mudlark


    SJW – Social Justice Warrior: a label applied as a pejorative by the Usual Suspects.

    As for your comment above, I fear you credit me with too much!  And the brain at the moment feels like mush; maybe because I have just been browsing the morning news and getting depressed in the process, or maybe I just need more caffeine. Perhaps tackling the Guardian cryptic crossword will kick-start some mental activity.


    My greetings and welcome to you, also.    You may already have discovered the archived threads, but if you haven’t and are interested in reading some of the discussions of past episodes while we wait for the start of the new season, they can be found by clicking on Forums at the head of the page.


    Anonymous @

    @thane16 Thanks! I didn’t get the name from Virgil, it’s a phrase I have always loved, because it’s so true. Time gots away and never returns

    Ugh the Youtube comments, I have read averything: that the 12th Doctor was crap, that the show went downhill when Tennant left, that now is taken over by SJW (Social Justice Warriors, apparently, casting a woman as the Doctor is because of that), that Moffat ruined Doctor Who, that Capaldi ruined Doctor Who *sigh* since Twelve is my favorite I got very quickly fed up with all this crap and ended up not reading any comments when I was watching a video, to preserve my sanity. I’ve got my temper too but I refuse to enter into keyboard wars with this kind of morons

    I’m from Spain


    @mudlark Thank you very much. Yes I see there’s a lot to read hehe.

    syzygy @thane16


    Ta for the reference. Someone else defined the term for me  -alas I forgot. – and the Usual Suspects are different from The Usual Suspects (being the Kevin Spacey film of that title)?

    No, not at all! Remember circa Series 8 where we discussed Romanov and Slavic churches and, on a different point, the name given to a cake tin -sometimes found in copper?

    Once, a long, long time ago, I used to work on the cryptic crossword -I was never particularly good. John, however, on train every day for 40 minutes, would complete one each day. He didn’t fill them in with pen (plenty of erasures necessary) but he was fairly confident.

    My skills lie elsewhere 🙂 Or is it “lay.” That particular word and its usage has always troubled me.


    Missy @missy


    Clara was her own woman, who travelled on her own terms (that was established with Oswin). She chose to go on the adventure with eyes open,  though probably not quite aware enough of the risks (also foreshadowed by Oswin – and imbeciles call Moffat lazy). Even though that cost her, she did not regret it for a moment. She died where she stood, and it was beautiful.

    And the Angry Virgins hate that.

    Ouch! But you could be right. If Moffat didn’t write about strong women, I must have missed something.


    Hello again. *grins*



    Love cryptic crosswords, not particularly good at them, but enjoy trying to be.  I also enjoy cryptograms.

    Missy @missy

    What a delightful tribute from Steven Moffat. Thank you for posting @jimthefish


    Anonymous @

    <span class=”useratname”>@pedant</span> I really love what you wrote about all the companions. Except I also have a warm place in my heart for Martha!

    Anonymous @

    @missy Hi :):)

    Agree about Clara

Viewing 50 posts - 251 through 300 (of 1,125 total)

The topic ‘On The Sofa (9)’ is closed to new replies.