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    Craig @craig

    @texasferrets Oh, I love people who join up to complain. Rather than jump to the bait I’ve tried to let people make fools of themselves regarding a woman Doctor and now the Civil Rights movement.

    And you’ve done that. Good job. You’ve proved yourself to be quite unaware of the world around you. I could point out all the issues with your post but, really, you’re not worth my time.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Leaving aside the less coherent of your arguments, the idea that Ryan or Yas wouldn’t recieve police discrimination is just bollocks. This, pulled strictly at random from the top of Google….

    As to Irish being more victimised more than BAME citizens, I think I’d call nonsense on that too. Unless you’re talking about at the height of the bombing campaigns and that’s not yesterday….

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Oh dear God, @texasferrets, where does one even start?  And does one even bother?  Any young black man in the UK today will have been pulled over by the police far more often than his white counterparts. Of course it doesn’t compare to the ongoing risk of being lynched if you looked at a white woman, but no one pretended an equivalence – merely that racism hasn’t gone away, either in the US or here.  Of course not everyone in Alabama was a full-on racist but those who weren’t generally kept quiet – white people who expressed sympathy for blacks or opposition to racism were risking their lives too.

    And here in the UK, whilst racism against the Irish was pretty bad, an Irish person could change their accent and pass, not an option for blacks who used to be (legally) discriminated against by landlords and employers in the same time period as this episode is set, and a lot later than that too, as well as being subject to racist violence (which does still happen, and is on the increase).  Yaz’s family would have experienced plenty of racism too – ‘Paki-bashing’ was quite the hobby of choice for young thugs in the 1970s.

    BTW I’m from Sheffield – is that a city you know well?  Well enough to know how people from Sheffield act?  Cos they seem pretty Sheffield to me.

    It was inevitable that this episode would flush out some pretty unpleasant contributions.  Proves it’s doing its job, frankly, and that the education it provides is desperately needed .

    Craig @craig

    @jimthefish @cathannabel I’m back from a little break – thanks Jim for handling the odd guy on Saturday. I’ll be keeping a close watch now.

    I thought it might be a difficult week this week, what with a new, female Doctor and Civil Rights. It’s not been as bad as I thought. Still the odd idiot though.

    But I’m back, and my sonic is set to anti-troll mode.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @craig and @jimthefish

    I’m sure we used to have a better quality of trolls in the old days.

    Anyway, to quote one of my posts over at T’Other Place:

    “The other point that occurs to me is that it would have been the wrong power balance. Instead of this being a historically based story about a moment where a black woman protested systematic injustice, it becomes yet another story where Mighty Whitey swoops in to save the poor oppressed souls. That was certainly the impression I got from Whittaker’s performance – that the Doctor very quickly realised that her skin colour meant any help had to be ‘in the background’, rather than her normal front and centre style.”

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    No worries. That was the only one that I thought should go. The others provided useful context for the continuing idiocy of some people and the sheer timeliness and relevance of the story.


    Yeah, I saw that and thought you were dead right about it….

    Craig @craig

    @bluesqueakpip That’s the heart of it. The Doctor didn’t convince Rosa to keep her seat. She did it anyway. They just kept history the same as it was. Which was a very clever writers’ decision and didn’t take any agency from the real Rosa Parks.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Thanks @craig and @jimthefish for modding – appreciated.

    And although I often deplore pieces of journalism which are just collections of tweets, some of them, full of positive reactions to this episode, are quite welcome right now, such as this one in the Radio Times:

    and this one on (Irish media website):


    Craig @craig

    @jimthefish Many thanks anyway. And I meant Sunday, not Saturday – still getting used to it!

    Darth Valaryn @troygorsline

    Speaking as a white man living in the Midwest in the US, I found the episode rather depressing. We have come along way from legal discrimination in this country, but systemic racism is alive an well. We seem to have chosen to focus on Latin Americans and Muslim Americans as well as continuing our oppression of African Americans at seemingly every turn (there remain plenty of Americans today that attribute the success of President Obama to his white mother and grandparents… not counting those who still believe he was born in Kenya). I spoke to a disabled vet on the streets of Milwaukee last month who confessed I was the first white person who acknowledged him all day

    My willing suspension of disbelief to the timing of Mrs. Parks bus ride was fine until the attitude of the South toward Yaz. The South would not have been at all tolerant – they would have ordered her to the back of the bus, too

    There hope I found in the episode. Yes – we have come a long way. Yes – there is still plenty of work to do. My hope is that found in the younger generation. My daughters don’t put up with bigotry in any form. They just don’t have it. If we can build on their acceptance and inclusiveness, we here have a shot.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Okay, more random thoughts.

    Re the one dimensional Krasko: There wasn’t a dramatic need to show us more about Krasko, as he was only technically the enemy. The real enemy was racism itself.

    @miapatrick, @juniperfish, and others discussing previous stories dealing with racism: Interesting that Ryan was better able to control himself when encountering that treatment than Martha was. Presumably Martha, from an educated middle class family, was even less prepared to face overt racism.

    I was struck that when Ryan got on talking about doing something that to the uninitiated could only have been interpreted as attacking someone, the bus driver’s sole focus was on which door he used!

    I think it was @miapatrick who said: This, I think, may have made us in the UK somewhat complacent, and this episode offers an important perspective. This applies equally in Canada. Many Canadians, and Canada as a nation, are only now coming to terms with our own racist history, which was mostly (but not entirely) less overt than slavery and Jim Crow. The treatment of our First Peoples remains a disgrace, and the people of colour who make up a large part of our population still aren’t properly represented among the ruling class. We tend to look at American history through a lens of “we didn’t do that” while ignoring all the things we did do (and continue to do!).

    I like this practical Doctor, who is able to accept the realities of history knowing that it is history, which cannot (or should not) fundamentally be changed. I’m reminded of the argument we see from time to time about the viewing of history through a modern lens, with Shakespeare’s plays and so on.

    I think it’s necessary that she have a pretty matter-of-fact relationship with her companions. With the gender change, the last thing I think anyone would be comfortable with is too much emotion. (And if that relationship is going to be less angsty for awhile, I for one will be pleased with the change). It hearkens back to a First Doctor kind of feel (maybe influenced by the Doctor’s encounter with his earliest self just prior to regen?)

    Anonymous @

    I’ve looked in at these forums for awhile now, and enjoyed doing so, though I never posted. Today I’m going to take a shot. I hope I come across as a rational, thinking person, not a troll or a sockpuppet or an idiot. (Gulp)

    I watched Rosa and liked it, thought it powerful and moving. And yet, the next day and today, I found myself liking it less in memory. I looked in here to see if anyone else had a similar reaction, and, if they did, they didn’t articulate it well.

    See, I realized this is what I was missing. (I was missing, not everyone. This is a matter of my story preferences, not everyone’s.) Imagine the following bit of dialog when the Doctor confronts Whatsisface the Villain on top of the ?oil? tanks:

    Doctor: Why are you doing this?
    WtV: Why? You ask why? You’ve got a TARDIS, you’ve been around more than I’ll ever be, I’ve just got this vortex manipulator I bartered for. I’m a Pac. Ever heard of them, TARDIS Lady?
    Doctor: The Pac? Wait–oh, of course. The humans who so admired pacifism, they genetically engineered violence and aggression out of themselves.
    WtV: That’s right, Lady, just like the people they so admired in history, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. So, you know so much, what happened to them when the Stenza found them? (disappears with vortex manipulator before she can reply)

    Add to that, when Ryan confronts WtV, WtV promptly surrenders:

    Ryan: You surrender?
    WtV: Of course I surrender. I can only override my own genes so far! I can’t be even this aggressive for long!

    See the difference? WtV now has actual motivation. Almost as if he’s a rational being. And he’s hampered by his choices, poor as they have been. Almost as if he can be empathized with. I’d vastly prefer something like that.

    Don’t like that one? How about this instead:

    Doctor: Why are you doing this?
    WtV: Why? You ask why? You’ve got a TARDIS, you’ve been around more than I’ll ever be, I’ve just got this vortex manipulator I bartered for. Know what happened in the year 59,746, TARDIS Lady?
    Doctor: 59,746? Wait–
    WtV: The Sickle Cell Plague hit and wiped out the rest of my people. Know what it’s like to be the last one left? And it’s because of their kind? (Vortex manip’s out)

    Later, the Doctor confronts WtV instead of Ryan:

    Doctor: Wait–I did tell you to wait. Do you know what happened in the year 59,751?
    WtV: What?
    Doctor: Scientists proved the plague was engineered by the Stenza, using and using up people with the sickle cell gene. You’re not a victim of “their kind.” You and they are victims of the Stenza.
    WtV: I– They– (Stares in shock, then growing horror, before collapsing)

    Now, I made up the years, they may not fit with canon; but this version makes WtV not just a rational, thinking being (who made a terrible mistake), but one who can maybe learn better.

    All this, for me (maybe just me) is in contrast with Flatline, from Series 8. Remember how the Doctor tries and tries to communicate with the Boneless, to reason with them, before giving up and saying that they seem determined to play the role of monsters?

    In Rosa, the Doctor does communicate with WtV a little, but doesn’t try to reason with him much. Apparently that’s not necessary, at least in the writers’ eyes; he can just be relegated to the role of monster.

    Now, look: I’m acquainted with a couple of racists, they’re relatives of my sweetie. So I can’t just dismiss them as monsters. On the other hand, they never bring up their views on race with me. I’ve had an African-American roommate (he was great), and African-American coworkers (brilliant). I’m not putting up with that crap and they know it. I will reason with those relatives. Loudly. Although I doubt they’ll learn better.

    But they’re still people, still rational beings, even if they are profoundly wrong in that hurtful view. They’re not monsters, even if I have a hard time empathizing with them, and even if they give me violent impulses. But I can override those impulses. And I can keep from dismissing people as monsters.

    So that’s partly why I’m a bit disappointed with Rosa. The villain and the whites in Montgomery, in the episode, weren’t developed like I’d wish, even with just a few bits of dialog. To me (maybe only me), they’re barely–skin-deep.

    One final comment: I mentioned Flatline. I’m well aware millions more watched Rosa than Flatline. That’s the other part of my disappointment. I can’t blame the BBC or Chibnall and company for making more Rosas rather than Flatlines. They’re making the decision that’s rational for them. (Sigh)

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @troygorsline     It’s a bizarre irony that so many white people in North America feel that we own it, after having stolen it from non-whites in the first place! But that’s clearly the root of the problem. In Canada as well, there are those spouting the “they will take over our country, change our culture” nonsense. Like you, my hope lies with the young people. Like your daughters, my son has zero tolerance. His friends come from many cultures and races, they are lovely and smart and thoughtful, and I have more faith in them than in much of my own generation.

    (And btw, if “changing our culture” means I can get a banh mi, bao bun, empanada, or Cubano, instead of just burgers all the time, well, I’m down for that!  🙂 )

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    The South would not have been at all tolerant – they would have ordered her to the back of the bus, too

    Yes, I was a bit ‘suspension of disbelief’ about that too – so I checked. It seems that Malorie Blackman and Chris Chibnall got it pretty much correct in their research, because while Yaz would have experienced social prejudice in Alabama, the ‘Jim Crow’ laws largely didn’t apply to her. There weren’t enough Hispanics in the Alabama of that period for discrimination to be enshrined in the legal system the way it was for black people.

    She could legally have sat in the White section of the bus, because legally, she wasn’t classed as ‘colored’. So it was within reason that the bus driver wouldn’t bother – especially since she had a British accent, was talking to British accented white people and was probably going to be gone in a couple of days. But as we saw, anywhere privately owned could tell her ‘We don’t serve Mexicans’.

    lisa @lisa

    Just so everyone is aware, unlike how it was written in the episode Rosa’s protest WAS carefully

    planned and she was also very actively involved in raising funds for many other protests !!

    There were many African American  women that were arrested for the same thing before and

    after her.  She  knew what she was doing.  She had guts !

    Really wish the episode hadn’t changed that part.  But it did manage to make a very important point.



    Arbutus @arbutus

    Welcome, @kevinwho!

    It’s a fair point. I loved Flatline, too. Chibnall et al were telling a different story, but it’s fine to say that you would have enjoyed a different one more. I think we need to compare our villain-of-the-week less to your family friends with the racist views, and more to the guy who takes those views out with a weapon and shoots up a grocery store. There are both kinds of people out there, and villain-of-the-week was obviously the more activist kind.

    Personally, I didn’t mind the more “bear witness to history” approach, and the storyteller’s desire to keep it simple. And a Black writer is likely to tell the story from a different point of reference than mine. Personally, I found plenty of interest in the reactions of the companions to being part of this history (believable reaction to me, since I found it hard enough just watching), and in what Yaz and Ryan learned from Rosa. The final scene on the bus had me in tears!

    Darth Valaryn @troygorsline

    Thanks, Bluesqueakpip,

    Sometimes it’s nice to be wrong. I am rather critical about my Southern countrymen (too much experience). Maybe I am guilty of stereo typing all conservatives. I guess they have let me down too many times that I get judgmental.

    Anonymous @

    Thanks, @arbutus.  I did enjoy the episode, and found it powerful too.  Just, as you can see, I wanted something more, or at least a little different.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @lisa    I haven’t had time for a second viewing, but did they actually change that or just not make it clear? Because they definitely showed her as part of an activist organization. The Doctor’s concern was to keep history exactly as it was, hence we couldn’t just have Graham drive the bus, for instance. So I don’t think it was actually stated that she couldn’t have just done her protest on some other occasion, only that the Doctor was concerned about the change to history. Possibly a desire not to dilute the urgency of their task made them keep things more vague.

    lisa @lisa


    She was chosen by the NAACP and she was a willing participant.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Yes, there is a danger in othering racists — we all surely know someone who holds views like this and the challenge is to change their mind through reason and engagement otherwise they just go and away and fester.

    I’m going to reserve judgement on Krasko until the end of the series though. At this point, I suspect we may be seeing him again and that could change the discussion considerably.

    @lisa and @arbutus

    I took the meeting at Ryan’s house to be illustrating Rosa’s involvement in civil rights activism, so would argue that the episode did address this aspect, even if it did not make it central to the narrative.

    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish, Good point about the end of the series.  Always a mistake with Doctor Who to conclude too much before they wrap it up!

    Mudlark @mudlark

    Yesterday I read a review of the episode and numerous comments (overwhelmingly laudatory) on a US site which is primarily political but which does occasionally feature references to Doctor Who. It seems that I was right in my recollection that Rosa Parks’ protest was planned beforehand, and according to one commenter, several people on the bus were part of that plan and there specifically to ensure that it was crowded. It would be good to think that the plan was discussed at the meeting where Ryan served coffee, except that he would then presumably have mentioned it the others and there would have been less tension in the plot.  An incidental detail mentioned by a couple of commenters  was the fact that there had been a previous incident which may have inspired the idea. A young girl had in similar circumstances refused to give up her seat, but since she was only fifteen and also pregnant it was thought best not to make her the cause celebre.


    … you wee young things …

    *cough, splutter*  Some of us, perhaps, because we in this community encompass a wide range of ages, nationalities, shapes and sizes, but there are quite a few of us who have been round the block a few times 😉  I was 13 years old in December 1955 and, living in the UK, I cannot swear that I heard or read of Rosa Parks and the bus boycott at the time – in fact I’m pretty certain that I didn’t,  but by the early to mid 1960s I certainly was aware of her and of the civil rights movement in the US and followed it quite closely, insofar as I was politically engaged at all in matters domestic or foreign.


    The quote which you attributed to @miapatrick was mine, not that the attribution really matters.  Because  segregation and racial discrimination were never encoded in law in Britain, and never so ubiquitously overt or violently expressed as in some southern states of the USA, there has, I think, always been a tendency here to feel smug and to overlook the more low-level but nevertheless fairly widespread and pervasive racism here.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Dramatic license, I think. They wanted to skate over the ‘planned’ aspect of Rosa Parks’ protest. Mainly because if they had explained that the strategy meeting was to discuss such a protest, poor Jodie Whittaker would have been landed with an incredibly long speech explaining why they still had to stick with the exact history.

    Because if the audience had known (or been reminded) that Rosa Parks and her allies were determined to make such a protest at the first opportunity, then the plot starts to fall into a deep, dark, hole. Unless Krasko’s going to buy Rosa Parks a car or something, there’s realistically no way he can continually stop her refusing to give up her seat.

    So the plot went with the emotional truth, showed that there was a strategy meeting that night, and had Ryan there to hear the planning. Those who know the history in detail are left to presume that the Whittaker Doctor did her incredibly long speech explaining why every little detail had to be right off camera. 😀

    Mudlark @mudlark

    Whilst I was compiling the above ( I touch type fast but paradoxically write very slowly) I see that I was forestalled by others commenting on the planning of the protest. Coincidence or serendipity, but not plagiarism.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    And no wonder Toisin Cole played the moment where he got to stay for the meeting with such a huge grin. Ryan actually got to hear Rosa Parks and Dr Martin Luther King Jr. plan the beginnings of the Montgomery Bus Boycott! How historic is that?


    @kevinwho @jimthefish

    While examining the methods and means of those who promote terrorism, do the radicalisation – whether the Bin Ladens or the Brezhnevs or the Prabhakarans- and indeed of those on the cusp of being radicalised, is fertile ground, the front line goons have gone past the point interest. In Krasko’s case as soon as he used the term “mongrel”. I don’t care what his motivation is, or what twisted rationale he wants to spew, any more than I am interest in Andreas Breveiks warped diatribes, since he crossed the point of no return when he blew up 2000 people.

    I’m not much interested in Hug A Terrorist. Or fanfic, but that’s another story.

    And no, it wasn’t carefully planned.

    Parks had not initially realised that the driver was the same one who had left her in the rain in 1943 (as depicted in the episode). The dialogue used is as reported by her, and the NAACP (for which she was, indeed, a secretary) bailed her out and put the boycott plan they had been developing in action. It was a pretext they had been looking for, but her specific protest was not planned:

    People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”( Parks, Rosa; James Haskins (1992). Rosa Parks: My Story. Dial Books. p. 116. ISBN 0-8037-0673-1.)

    It’s almost as if the writers had done their research (even the bus was an exact replica of the actual bus, which is in the Ford museum).

    (Oh, @kevinwho – you could usefully track down Asimov’s comments on writing SF detective fiction, since it rather illustrates what a terrible solution the one you propose is)

    lisa @lisa


    Rosa was entirely aware of the NAACP’s plan for a boycott and as you say

    she said that “I was tired of giving in! ”   So  indeed knew what she was doing

    in the moment.

    I’m giving her  that credit.   She deserves it !

    Darth Valaryn @troygorsline

    It is also important to keep in mind getting arrested was no walk in the park in those days – especially for the Black population. Yes there was a lot of media on her, but she had no idea what would actually happen to her in police custody once she was behind closed doors.

    It was entirely possible very terrible things could have happened to her during the process. Remember the peaceful protests were met with firehoses, dogs and nightsticks.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant: I’m afraid my google-fu has failed me. Can you sum up, or provide a link?

    All I was proposing was making the antagonist multidimensional. At least that’s what I was trying to do!

    Anonymous @

    @pedant: And I should have made clear, I was giving him alternate backgrounds to the one in the episode.



    Asimov’s comments


    It is extremely bad writing form to deploy backstory for declamatory, exculpatory or (in Asimov’s example) revelatory purposes that has not been properly established or foreshadowed. It’s just rank bad writing, although a lot of shows (including on occasion, Dr Who) use it as a shortcut. It’s a sort of corollary to Chekhov’s Gun.

    The worse sin, however, is that it is redundant. It wouldn’t tell us anything we need to know, not when the single phrase “your kind”, aimed at Ryan, has already done so. None of his other dimensions (if there are any) are relevant to this story, which was about Rosa Parks’s act of moral and physical courage, and what it enabled. Economy is the biggest single virtue in writing. Also, dropping sickle cell in there was just tasteless.

    If you want to explore this further there is a fan creativity section, although I’d recommend coming up with your own characters in your own universe to develop properly. I do however, charge for my editorial services.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant: Thank you!

    syzygy @thane16

    remember how Puro would get pissed off?

    This is happening to me now.  Every few posts there’s a person saying “Britain was never segregated” or “even though Alabama back then was easily the most racist place in America,  not everyone felt that way.”

    1. Don’t forget Mississippi @texasferrets  (Texas? Mmm)

    2. Most people DID feel that way in those states: please look carefully at interpretations of the Mason Dixon Line.

    3. Months =6 on Medgar Evers, Rosa Parks, MLK…..

    Some of you new members (welcome): I’m 16 how can you NOT know the things you are saying are “off” or like the “Britain” comment, just plain screwed up? Ghettos? Estates?

    @georgecotty what @jimthefish and @bluesqueakpip said.  I don’t necessarily think those who write “this is preachy” will be back, Jim. To me, if they don’t know the show’s history with The Aztecs (I watched it 2 days ago) or The Empty Child, even, then they are here, possibly, to troll. But maybe not. Maybe they’ve been watching since PC. Except hang on, the entire 2-parter on the Zygons was about EXACTLY THIS SITUATION!

    I guess this has been a forum for people to explain things. Not to write: “this is plain rubbish.” That’s a world of youtube, and we don’t need that. I did actually post above, nicely,  before I decided to get a bit angry here. I think it’s important to sometimes be angry? And sometimes even stay that way. But I understand this is a haven where staying angry is a ‘bad thing.’ When people are pissed off they don’t learn. Mind you, Evers was seriously pissed off. So was MLK and Diane Nash, Mildred Bond Roxborough ….So….

    I’ll have lunch.

    @troygorsline Agreed.

    Grgh! (for Puro).

    T16 (I will smile!  Through some tears). xx00

    syzygy @thane16

    @pedant I do however, charge for my editorial services.

    Everything I do, I do because of you….there’s a song like that…..Not quite the right words.

    Flippin heck, Mr P, where do you find your patience? In fact, you are patient.

    Somehow the world’s flipped over-night. We’re in Upside- down World.  Exactly, Parks’ ‘plan’ wasn’t planned. The work by Manning Marable makes that clear.

    I’m still on “not everybody thought that way” suggestive of Nazi Germany: “not everyone wanted the Jews, the Gays, the Catholics, the physically handicapped, dead.”


    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @kevinwho I do think as a rule, it’s best to keep alternative scripts to the fanfic area. But regarding what you wrote, the fact you feel something like this is needed reminds me of times in writers workshops when people discussed the opening chapter of a novel by, every time a question was raised within it, asking what it was referring to, what it meant.

    I’m convinced this character will return, and we will learn more about his motivations, and limiting his comment to ‘your kind’ isn’t sloppiness or bad writing, but a deliberate dramatic choice. It’s a bit like demanding to know who Missy was in the first episode she appeared in. I think we’re supposed to wonder and think about it a bit.

    This site being this site there is a possibility, as we’re all aware, that we might be speculating more than is intended. We’ve all been told ‘no arc’, but we’ve been told a lot of things by Who show runners. But even if there really is no arc, if none of the big bads we’ve encountered so far link up into an overall story, I still don’t think the exact motivation here is entirely necessary. There might be no justification, even an unreasonable one, for his racism/actions.  There is no reasonable justification for racism.

    Anonymous @

    @miapatrick – Good point that this might be a tease! And I’m certainly willing to hold my doubts back till the season finale.

    I just like to talk about Doctor Who, and that’s what was on my mind. 🙂

    Anonymous @

    I think I know what you mean @kevinwho. Racism is bad. Full stop. But not all racists are completely bad, only the racist part is perhaps.

    I know a nice old lady of 95 who recently gave vent to an outburst of racist abuse about her doctor. When I (politely) told her that I really didn’t want to listen to that as, apart from anything else, my grandchildren are of dual heritage, she shut up. Sadly the prejudice thing works both ways as I now find myself struggling to like her!

    I think the problem is, that in a show like Dr Who, less than an hour in length and with other points to make, giving a more complete study of the racist could seem to imply sympathy with racism itself. Better to keep the message crystal clear I think.

    I think the villain was the weakest part of an otherwise remarkable show this week and it might have been better to let racism itself be the ‘monster’ of the week. (I’m not so sure we will be seeing him again by the way. He seems to have served his purpose.)

    It’s a longstanding problem isn’t it – how to show the good parts of someone who does evil without making them too sympathetic. After all I suppose even Hitler had his good points but to dwell on them would be hugely disrespectful (to say the least) to the millions who died. A problem they neatly sidestepped in ‘Let’s kill Hitler’ by locking him in a cupboard and forgetting about him.

    I’m glad you’ve joined the forum. Liking talking about Dr Who is what it’s all about (although I must admit in my case I mostly just lurk!)

    Anonymous @

    Yes, indeed @Darth Valaryn, getting deliberately arrested was, for a black person, a very brave act indeed.

    I’ll never forget, as a teenager in the sixties, the horror and revulsion I felt seeing the newsreel footage of the peaceful demonstrators having the hoses turned on them (with huge force.) Other images stay with me. Black children being bussed to school through a mob of baying adults. The window of a church with the face of Christ blown out by a bomb lobbed into a Sunday school class.

    In my home town there was only one black person (that I knew of) and he kept the local sweet shop so he was alright by me! What I mean is I had almost no first hand experience of racial conflict or, indeed,harmony, other than what I read or saw and what I saw then had a profound and lifelong effect on me. Here’s hoping that this moving episode of Dr Who will do the same for another generation.

    (Goodness, I seem to have found my tongue tonight!)

    Darth Valaryn @troygorsline

    The more I think about it, the more I am wondering if the villain this week was racism. The time traveler was just the embodiment of racism… inflexible ideologue that really doesn’t make any sense – but there it is; super dangerous an making everything more difficult than it needs to be.

    Anonymous @

    @troygorsline  Good point. (Sorry, got your name wrong before.)

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @Kevinwho  @Margaret-Blaine  @troygorsline

    Complaints that the character and motivation of Krasko weren’t explored in any detail are, I think, beside the point because, as Darth Valaryn suggests, the real monster of the episode is racism itself. Krasko is not all that important beyond the fact that, in the context, his interference is the reason that the Doctor and her team become actively involved in Rosa Parks’ protest rather than remaining passive observers, and what we see is all that his function within the plot requires.  He was given enough personality and background to avoid him seeming a two-dimensional cypher, and that was sufficient.

    If the Doctor were to encounter him again in a future episode, there remains plenty of scope for the writers to explore him, his background and his purposes further.

    Anonymous @

    @mudlark: Well, sure, but as usual on questions like this, it’s a matter of taste.  I’m used to my Who being a little more nuanced.  For example, in Vincent and the Doctor, the Kraffayis was a rubbish villain who was just there to give the Doctor something to do.  Even then, though, the scriptwriter chose to demonstrate that the creature might have been a monster, but it was still alone and frightened.

    Which is to say, I’m having a hard time adjusting to the new regime.  I suppose I’ll get used to it, but stories so simple…  Oh well.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @troygorsline and @mudlark and @kevinwho and @margaretblaine

    Krasko was also, with his “bad boy” smirk and haircut, very like some of the current alt-right leaders, like Richard Spencer, for instance.

    So I don’t think he was lacking in nuance @kevinwho , just written with a different kind of nuance.

    Alt-right ideology wants to turn back time. White male supremacy is their credo. I am reading a book by a political scientist on the rise of the alt-right at the moment, and if you ever want to gaze upon the absolute cesspool they are promulgating, then look up The Daily Stormer. Yes, deliberately a homage to the Nazi era Der Stürmer. Serious content warning though – it is vile.

    So, alt-right ideology wants to turn back time – it is white ethno-nationalist, virulently anti-trans, anti-semitic, anti-feminist, anti-black etc.

    And here is Krasko, a time-travelling alt-right style criminal escapee, literally travelling back in time to “undo” the trajectory of progress Rosa Parks and her fellow activists helped spark.

    Now that’s funny, and clever, and a sharp piece of commentary on the contemporary alt-right in the US.

    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish: Thank you for that. I have intentionally avoided paying any attention at all to the alt-right (I don’t even like their euphemistic name), so I missed all that resonance. I stand–not corrected, but enlightened.

    lisa @lisa


    Not just the USA .   Hungary, Poland, Italy,  and its very active in Russia, look who is probably being

    elected President in Brazil.    I’m reasonably active in politics.  I’ve been stumping for my local candidates.

    In some local districts we have a excellent chance of removing  republican Trump supporting congressmen.

    A few years ago I shared that I supported  Brexit  because I saw how incompetently the EU was handling

    all these political shifts.  They’re also quite incompetent when it comes to a lot of other things.  The UK

    had a opportunity to leave and do things better without them.

    I’ve read lots of right wing stuff.  It’s always an education.  They don’t respect decency.

    They do have a perverted reverence for fear.  Wrong but very effective with folks that feel politics left them aside.

    That’s what we have now.  The EU is having no success to redirect  this.  In fact they seem astonishingly

    incompetent!  It may not  have happened this way if the EU gave the member countries real power instead of

    Brussels trying to centralize everything.   The history of Europe is too different from the US to successfully

    copy a system like what we have. ( I know there are lots of remainers on this forum and refuse re-litigation on this!)

    Apologies for being off topic on the Rosa thread but I’m so disappointed yet not at all one bit surprised

    about how all the current politics in the world is shaking out.

    Its not enough to condemn. That’s only the least  of what anyone can do.

    If Krasko is a commentary on our future then that says to me that this addiction to alt right impulses will

    always continue and that’s a more disturbing  message that the Rosa episode has delivered to us.



    @lisa – yes, massively off-topic and completely ignorant about what the EU is and how it operates. You have actually fallen, hook, like and sinker for the fascist version of history (I don’t use the term alt-right since I am not inclinded todo their PR for them), but that is your choice and off-topic.

    Anyhoo, as @juniperfish notes, Krasko’s character was not about the backstory but the cautionary tale from today. As someone (Bradbury? Sturgeon? both, quoting each other?) once said “science fiction does not aim to predict the future but to prevent it.” A corollary of that is “Stop doing the stupid things you are doing now” so echoing the slick smugness of the neo-fascists strutting around now is a long way from accidental, and far more interesting than any redundant future history made up on the hoof. That’s also why we see Yaz and Ryan understanding things through their own lived experience not through the eyes of made up future Nazi and his paranoid fantasies.

    Like I said, it’s almost as if the writers did their research.

    lisa @lisa



    Expected this response from you.  Sorry but your the low information one here for me!!

    I’m struggling to understand why it is you think so highly about the EU but whatever.

    The only way for the remain camp to win is to do a Brexit.

    You cant make progress until you move beyond this and stop talking about it.

    In the USA we cant move beyond this until we take back our gov’t and you basically have

    the same problem .  So take back your gov’t   BYE

    Again apologies to the mods and I will not be saying anything more to ANYONE about this.


    swordwhale @swordwhale


    lol! Nice to know there’s some folks from my generation here!

    Points out how Doctor Who spans actual time and space (and culture and gender and…)

    Wish I had been able to watch it from the beginning! Now I have to catch up.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Feel free to wrangle the Brexit issue as much as you like but it’s just best to restrict it to the pub. (Maybe start with some examples of how the EU has actually robbed the UK parliament of any kind of meaningful control? 🙂 )

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