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    ichabod @ichabod

    @texasferrets   Of course they made sure to never show a single person who wasn’t a backwoods racist bigot.

    Judging by the newsreel footage at the time of the Montgomery bus strike and the sit-ins, anyone in those hotbed-of-hatred cities who wasn’t a racist bigot mostly kept their mouths shut and helped if they saw a way to do that quietly, for fear of being branded a “n—– lover” and treated accordingly.  And that’s something worth a whole story in and of itself, not a diversion from the story of Rosa Parks’s protest.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @bluesqueakpip  while Yaz would have experienced socialprejudice in Alabama, the ‘Jim Crow’ laws largely didn’t apply to her.

    Thanks for checking that out; Yas’s relative invisibiliy in general, in that setting, seemed odd.

    Anduril @anduril

    I know this may seem trivial.  But … cosplay; and Halloween is almost here.    Did anyone else notice that the doctor’s shirt changed from blue to red?

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @ichabod: quite. ‘The road to the holocaust was paved, not with good intentions but indifference’ (I’m not sure who the quote is from but I have a feeling Sasaha Baron Cohen wrote his dissertation on it, or maybe coined it himself).

    In fact the episode showed fairly few white people close up, and only four, I think, with speaking roles. So we don’t know, for example, that everyone sitting in silence in the bar personally supported the bigotry ideologically, we just know that they were uncomfortable when the group walked in and sat down, and didn’t make a fuss when the staff exerted their legal right to throw them out.

    You can always look back in time and find people who went against the grain in society regarding racism, sexism, homophobia etc, but these are always the exceptions. And it’s tempting and more pleasant to sit here in the 21st century and believe we’d be one of these people if we’d been born and brought up in the past, but it’s statistically unlikely. We are products of our environment. Increasingly, in the modern world, these kinds of opinions are a matter of choice, so much information is out there and available. And still people chose to be racist, either chose not to question it, or wholeheartedly subscribe to the ideology.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @miapatrick  You can always look back in time and find people who went against the grain in society regarding racism, sexism, homophobia etc, but these are always the exceptions. And it’s tempting and more pleasant to sit here in the 21st century and believe we’d be one of these people if we’d been born and brought up in the past, but it’s statistically unlikely.

    Yes, it is.  I can’t help but think of how suddenly, after Watergate, it became really hard in many places to find anyone who would admit to having voted for Richard Nixon; a young relative of mine, who at the time of that election, told me that he agreed with his mom, that it was “time for a change”, so he’d voted for Nixon. About a decade later, her stoutly denied that he had done any such thing.  Most people — not all, but most — go along to get along, and then lie about it later to be able to still claim membership in the new majority they live among.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @anduril Yes, I noticed that  – maybe the Tardis can replicate her charity shop outfit in different shades?  If so I want one, never mind the time travel, just the convenience of clothing cloning.  Will have to watch out for any further developments on that front.  As for significance – some of the longer-serving members of this Forum will recall the bow tie bonkerising of the SmithDoc era…



    Oh my word – well spotted.

    That was a really well stocked charity shop!

    janetteB @janetteb

    @ichabod and @miapatrick My research has indicated that there are always a minority of people who see what is happening, care about it and protest. They are usually ignored, dismissed as cranks etc then when popular opinion swings there way they are entirely forgotten. In the 1930s there was a very vocal anti war and fascism organisation in Australia. Left wing of course They protested about the annexations of Czechoslovakia and Manchuria. The Australian government banned anti fascist speakers from entering the country and also banned the staging of an anti fascist play by Clifford Odets. When War began and it became status quo to be anti fascist nobody turned around and said, “oh you were right, we are sorry for not having listened.”

    In the scope of the episode those who did not support the overriding racism were not relevant. The story was about institutionalised and socially ingrained racism and it showed that very well. At least to young people from outside the U.S. with no real knowledge of “what it was like back then.” It put current issues around the resurgence of racism into context. Also this episode is told from Rosa’s pov. I read an interesting comment recently regarding racism in Melbourne. If ten people are friendly and one is offensive it is the one who you remember. Unfortunately abuse sticks, no matter how unjust or unfounded it is. It is the same with artists, writers, etc. One bad review is far more memorable than all the positive ones.

    @cathannabel Quite possibly the Tardis can clone clothing. I do prefer the red coloured jumper. I am wondering if the Tardis will produce some kind of historical slant on the costume when she visits a previous time period on earth when attitudes to attire were somewhat less relaxed than they are today.





    janetteB @janetteb

    @ichabod true the Deep South is a very different place to anything I can really imagine and not at all like Melbourne in the 30s. I think the treatment of anyone who protested is hinted at in the episode by the way the Doctor and Graeme are spoken to. Anyone who objected would have been cowed if not beaten into submission. (I think some people want their “civil rights” stories to be told from the “white” side only.)

    I believe that segregation in South Africa was also selective. A friend of mine whose parents were Malay, grew up in South Africa. They were not subject to the segregation laws but still experienced a lot of racism. I imagine her position would have been a lot like that of Yaz, there but not there.




    Anonymous @

    Was anyone else thrilled when the Doctor confronted Krasko and said (I think it was with this line–need a rewatch), “Don’t threaten me”?

    The first two episodes, she’d argue with people and they didn’t always listen.  13 seems much more laid-back than the last few, and let them.  But she was genuinely menacing in the confrontation, and I was glad to see it.  The Doctor’s got to be able to do that, for me. 🙂



    Yep – as noted upthread, on the axis of steely resolve and matter-of-fact truthiness.

    Anonymous @

    I did see that part of the thread, but thought this went one step further.  Anyway, I liked it.

    geoffers @geoffers


    it may seem trivial to some, but not to the bonkers-izing peeps on this forum! well spotted! i still haven’t had time for my normal re-watch (or two), and i was so focused on catching the dialogue and following the story that i completely didn’t see it… even when she was running around without the coat. i feel like a total failure… :/


    i remember the bow ties! would it be too much to ask of chibbers to elevate his first series to that level? 😀

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Offered without comment but another take on Rosa…

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    Thanks for that – I enjoyed watching the above human give their take (not sure what pronouns they prefer).

    They seem like a thinking person and I empathize enormously with the upset felt by trans/ non-binary people in the US right now, as the Trump administration seeks to trample on their rights to “feed” the festival of reactionary hate Trump continues to whip up amongst his “base”.

    However, I disagree with the above take for the following reasons.

    Malorie Blackman knew what she was doing. She was making use of negative space in her narrative. Meaning, you create a big jigsaw puzzle shaped hole in your narrative in order to invite your viewers to fill in the blank. It’s a great technique.

    The reaction this reviewer is having is the reaction Blackman wanted viewers to have.

    She wanted viewers to go away and think about this episode in the context of the contemporary present, i.e. a present in which white ethno-nationalism (neo-fascism) is on the rise in the US and across Europe. That’s why Krasko, the villain, was a white racist from the future.

    She wanted viewers to say to themselves and one another:

    a) Hang on a sec – yes, the US elected its first (and one and only) black President, but now look what’s happening! Look at the racist backlash! The fight isn’t over!

    b) That was so painful, watching the Doctor and her companions have to stand by and NOT actively help Rosa! We empathised so much with their agony at having to be bystanders!

    Re a), That’s why Blackman tells us, in our distant future, there are still people like Krasko. We can’t be complacent. The fight to overcome the “othering” of others is never over. It requires active work to prevent re-trenchment.

    Re b) That was Blackman’s message – Did you hate watching people be bystanders? Did you empathise with Graham’s agony about not being able to help? Well, the Doctor and her companions had to protect time, but WE don’t, ergo, we don’t have to be bystanders now!

    So, I think the above reviewer emotionally connected with Blackman’s story in just the way she was hoping viewers would connect, but wasn’t able to step back, look at the narrative structure and think – oooh there’s deliberately wrought negative space here, consciously setting up this cry for action, for solidarity, just the solidarity the reviewer longs for, for themselves, as a minority also under attack in the US at the moment.

    So – in conclusion – I defend Rosa from the charges above and posit that Blackman’s story precisely invites us NOT to be complacent and not to be bystanders, right here and right now.


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    I absolutely agree. I think that’s totally what Blackman was going for and managed it brilliantly. Here was my own take on the video:

    I totally understand your sentiments but I do have a couple of reservations. On the Obama thing, I wasn’t crazy about the little coda either but I think it was there because the episode as a whole had been constantly reiterating that this was not a problem that had been solved, that it was and was going to remain an ongoing issue. So I don’t think it really did end on a note of complacency — but more of one of an awareness of not to end the episode (of a kids’ show, after all) on a total downer but rather a note of hope.

    I’d also argue that Graham’s realisation that he was going to be the one that was the catalyst for Rosa’s protest was key in circumventing your helplessness argument. Yes, there was no way of showing the time travellers being in any way actively involved in that moment but that very passivity was rendered with such emotion that I think most viewers would feel themselves impelled to action in similar situations. It was, for me anyway, a rallying call to action, rather than the opposite.

    On the question of allegory, I see what you mean too, but unfortunately it also makes it easier for the whole argument to be dismissed by those who have a vested interest in doing so. They can just wave a hand and say ‘yeah, but this is just hokey kids’ stuff’. That’s harder to do if they’re faced with someone like Rosa Parks being represented onscreen.

    But your point that a 50-minute episode can’t hope to provide a completely nuanced representation of the civil rights movement is undoubtedly true but from my (admittedly limited) perspective it did manage to hit as many of the beats as it could possibly manage. The main problem for me is that it’s too aware of its own limitations in this regard and ends up coming across too tentative and earnest in places.

    But the nuance issue is one that affects any ‘historical’ Who. As you say, it’s the relative lack of distance that renders it more raw for people. But it’s entirely the same argument that you could hold up to, say, The Highlanders. Did that show present a nuanced view of the Jacobite uprisings? It really didn’t, but the distance is such that most don’t get quite as concerned by it (although, believe me, this is still very much a ‘hot button’ and emotive issue in my part of the world). The question though ‘is there any periods/issues that should be off limits to Who?’ is an interesting one. Could you do a story about, say, the Easter Rising. My initial instinct is ‘no’, but then again if you can more or less successfully do Rosa Parks I’m not sure there’s anything you can’t do.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    Yes, my fishy friend, we swim together.

    Understandably, however, the reviewer is feeling raw and vulnerable about their minority situation in the US right now, and therefore very anxious about not having active allies, hence their take on the ep.

    I too am very angry about the attack on trans rights, because it is a nasty and deliberate attempt to break-up the power of LGBTQ+ by atomising it, and the architects of the attack know exactly what they are doing, as trans-folk have reached less critical mass support amongst the “general populace” than lesbian and gay folk (bisexuals are still often just erased). “Love is love” has been such an effective and powerful piece of persuasion, whereas “my gender is different from the one I was assigned” is still breaking through in terms of public understanding (in a US/UK context).

    Mudlark @mudlark


    That was a very interesting take on the episode and thank you for drawing it to our attention. It is a point of view which I can understand but which is very personal and does not, I think, take into account the intention of those who created the show, to educate as well as entertain, or the basic premise that the past determines the future, not the other way around.  In today’s political climate the matters which Rosa addressed could hardly be more relevant, especially for those who never learnt, or who are in danger of forgetting, the lessons of the past.

    @juniperfish is right. This episode, whatever artistic flaws we may perceive,  went far beyond the didactic/educational/preachy in creating a space in which both those of us who were alive to witness these events and those for whom it is in the historical past can examine or re-examine the events portrayed and consider the repercussions and how far we have progressed or regressed since then. Given the amount of discussion which it has generated over the past few days on both sides of the pond and among people of all ages, there can scarcely be any episode of Doctor Who which has had more impact.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @jimthefish and @juniperfish

    In a sense, the revelation that Krasko was a racist from the future wasn’t a big deal for me; I’ve read other SF where there’s still racism in the future.

    But I think the big danger with racism is seeing it as an ‘alt-right’ thing, rather than an ‘othering’ and ‘stereotyping’ which can become toxic in pretty well any human grouping. That was one of the things the episode handled really well – racism as an institution which sucks everyone in. Graham did not want to be the unknown ‘white male’ who Rosa Parks was supposed to give up her seat to – but he had no choice.

    Just as, earlier in the episode, the Doctor sits next to Rosa on the bus – and is told that if she continues to sit there, Rosa will have to move. Neither the Doctor nor Graham want to be racist; the system both forces them to act as if they are racist and (the policeman who checks the motel room) punishes them if they don’t perform those actions.

    The episode had only fifty minutes, so understandably concentrated on Rosa’s fight against what you might call ‘othering’ – keeping a certain section of the population as legal second-class citizens. That tends to be the ethno-nationalist variety. But the stereotyping type of racism is found on both sides of the political spectrum. And that smugness you mentioned, that’s particularly prevalent in the UK because we’ve never had racist laws, can crop up on both sides of the political spectrum as well.

    What you can end up with is a toxic brew where people will simultaneously apply racist stereotypes, or use racist terms, while smugly thinking that they’re anti-racist. Because often, when we talk about the fight against racism in the UK, we talk about fighting that alt-right, nazi stuff.

    Using a couple of recent examples that I’ve seen – someone presuming a black MP must be a Labour MP, because black people can’t possibly be Tory, someone else responding to a British Jew’s worries about rising UK antisemitism by demanding to know their opinion on the Israel/Palestine conflict. I can think of quite a few other examples, and the people they came from were, to my definite knowledge, left-of-centre to left-wing.

    Racist violence of the type that we saw in Rosa? No. But using social pressure to force ethnic minority people to fit into a particular box, definitely.

    syzygy @thane16

    @pedant @kevinwho @lisa @missrori and @mudlark

    Yes, I felt that as Krasko had admitted, with great amusement to killing 2000 people, and referred to African Americans as “mongrels,” I felt there was no real need to ‘explore’ this particular gentleman’s character further.

    Within the dialogue we had all we needed. He lacked remorse; he wanted only what he could attain without one sorry concern for those around him and saying, “next time I see you, I will kill you” topped up his cowardice and lies: the kind who’s thrilled to admit the amount of innocents he’s killed but whose empty threats are readily discovered.

    It reminded me of a spectacular Forum discussion over a year ago about Capaldi’s final episode with Clara, ‘Hell Bent’. Here, the regular Gallifreyans gave the Doctor soup and time to rest after escaping the Confession Dial. We knew, immediately, the type of people they were and yet few words were exchanged.

    This gives me great confidence in CC: less is best. It’s a fine, necessary balance considering we have Chatty Doctor and so every alien from here to the year 50 000 may need to talk less. 🙂

    Also, I’ve been very interested in people’s awareness of ‘Rosa’ compared with NuWho’s ‘Rose’ and @bluesqueakpip‘s mention in the Daily Mash regarding how a mighty whitey alien swoops in to save the day when a) Rosa herself had to complete the coda and b) Graham, remembering the Spirit of Grace, had to sit so Rosa could stand on her principles. @cathannabel -I think b) was you?!

    It wasn’t just a standalone ep. Interesting how an arc can be created by research, careful dialogue -and yet not be an actual ‘arc.’ 🙂  Again: hats off to CC and MB for that nuance and absolutely, @juniperfish it was a different kind of nuance just as there are arcs….and.. arcs.

    @lisa halloo there. Rough on pedant: “your the low information one here for me!!”  Bit of word sense disambiguation! Glad you’re still fighting the good fight.

    Looking forward to next week’s episode.

    Puro (if not T then P).

    syzygy @thane16



    Anonymous @

    @thane16: “Yes, I felt that as Krasko had admitted, with great amusement to killing 2000 people, and referred to African Americans as ‘mongrels’…”

    My initial post wasn’t adequately clear that I didn’t want this bit of dialog, and wanted to substitute something else.  But @margaret-blaine enlightened me on what I didn’t know about the “alt-right” (alt-wrong would be better), and I have withdrawn my initial objection.  I get it now.



    I am deeply disappointed that you haven’t yet come up with an elaborate and metatextual theory as to why the Doctors top changed colour.

    Are you even trying anymore 😉 ?

    Anonymous @


    I mustn’t take credit where none is due. I don’t think it can have been me who enlightened you about the alt-right, largely because I’d never heard the term before coming on this thread. Also, because of problems with my sight, I was reading it as “all-right” for quite a while!

    Anonymous @

    @margaret-blaine: You’re right! Man, am I a noob here! It was @juniperfish – #64917 Apologies to both of you.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @pedant and @anduril Have I been summoned by costume bonkerising!?

    (@anduril – my icon is an old reference to the red/blue bow-ties of SmithDoc and the elaborate, some might say obsessive, theorising thereof, in our former home on Dan Martin’s recaps at The Guardian, before @craig created the Better Place).

    In face I’ve been chewing my tail trying to find the link to an interview given by one of the costume or set designers towards the end of the SmithDoc era, about the red/ blue colour scheme and its significance.

    @phaseshift posted the link originally, I remember, but sadly he hasn’t joined us for WhitDoc’s run as yet.

    I’ll have to re-watch the episode for the shirt change and remember to keep my eye on set dressing for narrative content. Arwel, the new set designer, loaded the Sherlock sets with narrative meaning, so hopefully that will feature in Who too.


    I’ve just realised what my issue with the coda was.

    I think it was absolutely necessary for the younger viewers – but it was played like a segment of a Blue Peter(1) broadcast. Now I would never dream of dissing Blue Peter, and I really think Whittaker earned her Silver Badge for that scene, and would have been an awesome presenter. But it didn’t fit the mood here.

    @juniperfish – excellent.



    (1) For our colonial(2) cousins, a very long running (60 years) children’s magazine programme notable for is gushing enthusiasm for everything (apart from Richard Bacon’s cocaine abuse and Janet Ellis’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy).

    (2) Sorrynotsorry

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    OK, I have resisted entering the fray up till now, as I am cruelly deprived of easy access to Who in the wilds of Canada. But as one who has no problem with spoilers, I have enjoyed the weekly discussions, and am looking forward to my inevitable (if seemingly distant) viewings.

    But that is not what has warranted this post.


    (1) For our colonial(2) cousins

    As a colonial cousin who grew up in Australia but now lives in Canada, It may surprise you to learn that the cultural history of the colonies was not uniform. While Canadians may well have been deprived of Blue Peter (as they are of so much of British popular culture today (did I mention the lack of easy (free) access to Who?) Australians were (for the last 60 years and more) blessed (or inundated, depending on your point of view) with British popular culture. So, I for example, grew up with ready access to The Goons, to Who, and to…(what a surprise) Blue Peter. But Canadians of my age did not.

    The colonies are, in fact, a trifle more complex that might be appreciated.(1)

    (1) sorrynotsorry


    geoffers @geoffers

    wow, i’ve just finished a re-watch of the ep, and i’ve just figured out what it is about the series, so far, that has been nagging at me. it’s almost as if chibnall has committed to taking the show back, not just to the simpler davies era, but even further back… to its BG Who roots. the stories have been very stripped away of the moffat-era bombast, and the fast paced editing, that i had grown so used to (and fond of). this dialogue-heavy ep could have easily featured tom baker, or peter davison, as the doctor, so i’m wondering if chibbers directed/coached jodie (*ahem,* er, miss whittaker) on how to “be” a less action-star type of doctor? i mean, there’s really A LOT of standing around and talking to one another going on (sometimes to the point of repeating themselves about major plot points), and what little running there has been, has been of the jogging variety, and not necessarily the run like hell variety…

    i’m slowly warming to it (and the music is nowhere near as jarring as those 70’s and 80’s soundtracks), but i confess that i’d prefer the plots to be much more convoluted and information packed, if we’re going to get so much exposition per ep, and so much less buzzing around, just for the sake of the camera…

    (on a musical note, the rosa parks theme reminds me of pink floyd’s ‘the final cut,’ especially when it’s played on the horn. “when the tigers broke free,” from the movie of ‘the wall,’ also has that 40’s/50’s feel to it, which roger waters carried over to ‘the final cut,’ with that requiem-style sound throughout the album.)

    geoffers @geoffers

    also, it was very obvious that the doctor was coaching ryan on how to use krasko’s time weapon, fostering the idea that it might come in handy (she didn’t forget his brief call of duty moment from last ep)! so our beloved doctor is still a sly, nigh to manipulative, time lady of exceeding intelligence. (could just be my interpretation, though.) i just wish that it had over-heated on him, too, to drive home the counterpoint of how dangerous a weapon is, and that it should be used only in urgent need…

    Anduril @anduril

    @cathannabel and @juniperfish and @geoffers : I wasn’t online for the bow tie “bonkerising”, sounds like a mini adventure.

    @cathannabel This is the first episode since the doctor returned to the Tardis.  So, cloning could be standard protocol; the outfits do get a lot of wear.  Maybe the outfit was duplicated with self-cleaning fabrics and something went wrong.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @anduril – so possibly just a bit of a laundry mishap??  I rather like the idea that the Tardis might malfunction in those very prosaic ways as well as in its more cosmic functions!

    I joined in part-way through the Great Bow-Tie Adventures and am not sure I ever entirely grasped their complexity but it was fun, and a fab introduction to this lovely place.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @blenkinsopthebrave Sorry you are having to wait, friend, to watch along. I can recommend VPN . A reputable one is ExpressVPN but you do have to pay a monthly fee. You can cancel anytime though, so you could just have it for Doctor Who’s run.

    @anduril @pedant @cathannabel

    I’ve had a look at the Doctor’s T-shirt and she was wearing a blue one in The Ghost Monument like so:

    and a red (maroon) one throughout Rosa like so:

    Well spotted @anduril ! (I didn’t notice a change in-episode – although the lighting of the set makes it hard to see the colour sometimes especially during interior TARDIS shots).

    As The Ghost Monument was in the future (relative to the Doctor’s current companions) and Rosa was in the past (relative to the Doctor’s current companions) we could revive the red shift/ blue shift theory (which comes from the phenomenon of cosmological redshift used by astronomers to estimate the age of stars) see:

    Frontier Fields Q&A: Redshift and Looking Back in Time

    Red for (relative) past and blue for (relative) future. I will keep an eye on her T-shirt colours!

    Having a closer look at WhitDoc’s costume made me notice the lovely rainbow piping she also has on her coat.  I am SO in love (as I may have mentioned once or twice already) with the rainbow theme for WhitDoc, both for gender-fluid alien LGBTQ+ reasons and for the Doctor as refraction-of-light reasons:

    Craig @craig

    @juniperfish I know it probably isn’t so, but in my head-canon I like to think they’re giving a little nod to you.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    I’ve just realised what my issue with the coda was.

    Yes, it did have a flavour of ‘Now, children, sit up and pay attention’.

    On first viewing I was inclined to excuse it on the grounds that you stated; that it was information necessary for most young viewers, and perhaps some older ones unaware of the historical details, and that it was justified by the overall importance of the events addressed in the episode. On second viewing, when there had been more time to digest the episode as a whole, the jarring effect was less easy to overlook. The same information could surely have been conveyed by much subtler means, with equal economy.

    Like @geoffers I have at times had the feeling that Chibnall is harking back to BG Who, though I think even in that context this blatant piece of exposition would have seemed clumsy.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Many, many thanks indeed. Not for anything you said, you understand, as I seem to have found my way to Doctor Who by, well, magic…But many thanks.

    So, that was my first experience of Chibnall ‘s Who and Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor. It was brilliant. As @jimthefish said, it is an instant classic.

    I don’t think there was anything about it that I could fault.

    Could it be the best historical Who ever? (And that is from someone whose views on this site about The Aztecs are well known.)

    More later.

    Well, before I go…the reference to Stormcage. Excellent.

    syzygy @thane16

    “when you break an egg and scramble it you are doing cosmology.”

    @juniperfish @pedant @anduril (Halloo! if you are a new member: welcome -yes, indeed it was around the red and blue tie/ balloon that I found this site with its super-clever bonkerising)

    Red Shift:  and the Doctor’s, “let’s get a shift on!”

    Is it all related?

    @geoffers. I thought I saw you! It was that lovely time-piece that made me think “geoffers is back.”  Interesting re: The Final Cut.  Niiice. Roger explains how he felt his father was treated:  how Waters Snr died serving in the Second World War….I sense a musical/historical connection more and more with these episodes…. 🙂


    In the 1930s there was a very vocal anti war and fascism organisation in Australia. Left wing of course …They protested about the annexations of Czechoslovakia 

    Indeed. I wasn’t sure whether to mention this but it’s something to share as my mother died on October 28, ’74 and was posthumously awarded The Meritorious Cross (or correctly, The Cross of Merit), on the same date in the 1990s (I don’t have access to the correct year but I think it was 1997).  My father was also awarded The Linden Decoration after his death. Strikingly, I knew almost nothing about this for many years but both awards were bestowed for valiant duty in war-time. Both were military awards from World War Two and significantly, both people carried out their duties at the age of sixteen.  Some years later, in order to prevent capture by Soviets, both fled with absolutely nothing.

    “With the clothes on their backs, they came through a storm. And those that didn’t die want a better life. And they want it here (The West Wing, Pilot).”

    It’s significant that all of us, in some small way, have contributed to a better life for others or have been recipients of a struggle won by others:  small acts of courage; a word of compassion; a letter to a Member of Parliament; sitting on a bus and not standing; by entering a university from which others were initially banned; by turning to someone, and not away. I think this episode helped some people realise that history hasn’t forgotten them, and that new stories can be told differently over the backdrop of historical events.


    Craig @craig

    @blenkinsopthebrave Can I just say “Yay!”

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Thanks, @craig! It is good to know I am no longer Who-deprived.

    After sleeping on my first viewing, I still think this was a thoroughly brilliant historical, that in many respects took Who to a new level. Unlike others, I did not have any problems with the coda, as many (most?) viewers would not have been aware of Rosa Parks’ subsequent life, and bringing it up to 2009 and Obama’s presidency was particularly poignant in light of the words and deeds witnessed in America over the last few days.

    But now that I reflect on the episode, I do feel that the notional villain was a bit lacklustre. I say notional, as I agree with the insight expressed upstream that the real villain was racism itself. For that reason, I wonder if the portrayal of Krasko should have been of someone who was not simply older but, in a sense, ancient. Something (racism) represented by someone (an older, ancient, Krasko) that has infected humanity through time.

    But still, what a great episode.


    alexanderbarnstaple @alexanderbarnstaple

    I am always wary of any “historical” programme as the style will be tailored to suit the target audience.

    Brits have an “American” perspective which we all know by heart and this episode

    was cliched to the max with regards Britt  steryotyping the deep south 1950’s USA.

    All we needed was U2’s 1988 “rattle and hum cliche of the USA but Adele filled in at the end

    and I just kicked back and enjoyed the scenery and the banter.

    The Krasco James Dean character, the sweet (too sweet really) Rosa character

    and the tough, ingenious quirky Doctor character really made this episode.

    A tad heavy with the stereotyping and warm fuzzy ending but hey overall a good watch.

    9.7 /10 🙂

    ichabod @ichabod

    The coda; yes.  Absolutely necessary for modern moderns who weren’t there, or anywhere near it in terms of time, to be reminded that this was one of many starts on a path that keeps branching both upward and downward toward a goal that may not be achievable in a hundred years or more (even lots more), but is nevertheless worth fighting for all along the way to offset the inevitable setbacks (see: Right Now).

    But — I see that coda in my head a bit differently.  I see CapDoc delivering it — and a dry, quiet comment following, or just a cast of expression, a glance away, signaling that a 2,000 year old alien with a Time Ship knows that there’s  a big back-step coming in the early 21st c, because that’s how we do things; we don’t get actual, lasting *victories* — we get fragile advances, and furious backlashes, and all the rest of of the balancing and rebalancing.  Both messages — the “hurray, President Obama!” victory, and the sometimes futile-seeming struggles that must be constantly pressed for their own sake because no victory is ever secure — could have been sent: one for the children, one for the actual adults in the viewership.  And a reminder to all that the Doctor *is* an ancient alien, no matter how chipper and energetic, who *has* seen so much of the dark side of history that an awareness of the transitory nature and inevitable costs of achievement must linger in the background . . . we could have had a glimpse of the gravitas that some of us miss so much.  Though so far, for me, WhitDoc has no background to speak of, no memory at all, no larger awareness; which may change — “the Timeless Child” sounds promising; and it could be a grand move to play up her rather child-like shallowness for a while and then show her slowly maturing to a full awareness of all that tumultuous and often stark back-story . . .

    Anyway, I think Moffat might have done “my” coda, and Capaldi sure as hell *could* have done it with one slow blink and no words at all.  So, thankfully, it’s done for me, at any rate, inside my head, a nice call-back to that reaction shot to Clara’s “I’m not going anywhere!”  I sure could have used that call-back, to anchor this new Doctor to the one she was only a little while ago.

    The review by the rainbow gent — well done, but I disagree.  They did *not* stand by and do nothing; the visitors from the future *did* help, just not in the immediate climactic scene which they had in fact helped by preserving from sabotage.  Very clever, to make the SF element of the story a completely fictional side-story — time-traveling bad guy trying to f**k with history, but they work to make sure it keeps being shunted back onto its proper track — so that they *can* help without stealing the agency of Rosa Parks’ heroic act.  Brilliant stratagem, actually: create a parallel fictional anti-story that fictional time travelers act (also fictionally) to cancel out in the end, thus “helping” by clearing a fictional part of the path to the historic moment.  [I really don’t think Moffat would have come up with that.]

    So, the message really isn’t “Don’t help”.  The message, IMO, is pay attention so that you know *when* and *how* to help — don’t just gallop in like the sainted cavalry — and know when and in what ways your help is *not* needed.  In other words, *think* about what you’re doing, instead of exploding into action powered by righteous emotion.  This also works to cement the ensemble nature of the main characters, doing their bits.

    My hat is off to the writers on this one.


    geoffers @geoffers

    @thane16 – I thought I saw you! It was that lovely time-piece that made me think “geoffers is back.” 

    hello, puro and thane. i am, indeed, somewhat back. life has reduced me to once more lurking about in forums, instead of being overly active in them. i started out as a lurker here, searching for deeper meaning and understanding, way back in the beginning of the smith era, (and i’m still searching!) but i don’t chime in nearly as much as i used to, because all the better-informed members here are so quick (and eloquent) with their responses. i don’t feel i’m needed much for input, but i still like to follow along as best i can…

    and there’s so much collective knowledge here, about so many things. i appreciated your shout out to ELP in the aaron copland/orchestration discussion, and the revelation that greg had worked with stray dog. i’m not an ELP expert, but i know a little, and i had never heard of that band, or snuffy walden! i love that now there’s a (tenuous) cool link from doctor who to one of my all-time fave bombastic prog bands! we got some pink floyd in ‘the caretaker,’ now we just need some yes or king crimson (moff missed a golden opportunity with ‘the crimson horror!’)…

    [as a (musical) side note, i read that mr akinola is a fan of snarky puppy, one of my favourite jazz ensembles for the past few years…]

    anyway, i hope the thane collective is doing well, and maybe i won’t be as much of a stranger in the future? this series is slowly revealing itself to me… and maybe i’ll be able to keep up, for a change? (fish) fingers crossed! 🙂

    tardigrade @tardigrade


    I didn’t mind the coda either- I think it was useful to make it clear that Rosa’s actions didn’t make things at all easy for her and there was still a lot more to be done. I did think that JW played the Doctor as a little too enthusiastic during that part though. The Doctor is not the sort to be impressed by Presidents and so on, so she seemed a little too breathless at the prospect of Rosa receiving presidential approval, as if that would make up for any negatives she’d experienced before that point.

    syzygy @thane16


    Ah! Yes, I mean the band: Yes. 🙂 Wakeman played the mellotron along with scores (pun not intended) of other instruments and thus David Bowie approached him for Space Oddity.

    Aaaand the mellotron (I know a lot of people despise this as much as peanut and jelly sandwiches) was utilised by King Crimson. It really is a very ‘close’ thing -6 degrees and all that.

    But please, chime in (after all, the word ‘chime’ begs you to!

    Puro x

    swordwhale @swordwhale


    omg I did not notice the color of the Doctor’s T-shirt changed!!! I had to look up stills from the episodes.

    Maybe she has not-empty pockets now…

    good username, anduril

    swordwhale @swordwhale

    Dear UK friends:

    Please translate “jumper” to us Americans.

    I thought it was “sweater” as in John Watson’s jumpers.

    The lovely @janetteb mentioned the Doctor’s T-shirt as a jumper.

    I usually think of jumpers like this…


    (me, back in the dark ages of the 80s, when I had knees)


    swordwhale @swordwhale

    I too am very angry about the attack on trans rights, because it is a nasty and deliberate attempt to break-up the power of LGBTQ+ by atomising it, and the architects of the attack know exactly what they are doing, as trans-folk have reached less critical mass support amongst the “general populace” than lesbian and gay folk (bisexuals are still often just erased). “Love is love” has been such an effective and powerful piece of persuasion, whereas “my gender is different from the one I was assigned” is still breaking through in terms of public understanding (in a US/UK context).


    I had a brief conversation with a middle aged woman a few months ago in a store… she went on about “men using women’s bathrooms…” All I could do (as a store employee) was say something like “The only ones using women’s bathrooms are women…” (whether they were born as such or not), and point out that your family is in danger from hetero men not trans people of any gender. Ugh. The attitude is embedded in our culture, and how to speak up is sometimes a conundrum…

    …and one of my male friends went through the transition to what she had always felt she was, female. Up to him telling me he was now she, I knew nothing about it. It took a wee bit to wrap my brain around it.

    So yeah, this conversation needs to happen more often, the mainstream needs to be educated.

    Craig @craig

    @juniperfish @swordwhale Now I’m going to get myself in even more trouble than my recent post about Brexit.

    I don’t doubt that there are real trans men and women and I feel they need everyone’s support. It must be very difficult. Unfortunately, in the UK at least, there are people hijacking the trans narrative and no one challenges it because they might be seen as politically uncorrect.

    For example, there are male sex offenders claiming to be trans so they can get sent to women’s prisons. There are trans women standing on all women shortlists for election (when they may have only a few years of knowledge of what it is like to be a woman) therefore taking a place of someone who has been a woman all their life. And the Labour Party made a trans woman their women’s spokesman (or something). There are also trans women competing in women’s sports – and beating everybody, sometimes breaking bones and ending careers, because they have a man’s body.

    Now, that may all be progressive. But part of me thinks we should pull on the brakes and maybe take a moment to consider how it effects women’s rights – especially as it seems men are invading women’s spaces much more than women are being allowed to invade men’s spaces.

    As you say – the conversation needs to happen.

    Darth Valaryn @troygorsline


    In the words of PC Principle from South Park, “… this kind of transphobic, bigoted hate speech isn’t going to fly around here, bro. I thought we were all on board Kaitlyn Jenner is an amazing, beautiful woman who had the exquisite bravery of a butterfly flying against the wind. AND THEN THIS SH!T COMES FLYING OUT OF PEOPLE’S MOUTH!!!”


    Craig @craig

    @troygorsline I didn’t see that episode, but hopefully you’re being nice. I’ll have to look it up. I tried to be measured in my comment as I know it’s a difficult subject.

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