28 July 2017 at 12:27 #61501
Hi Thane. I like the flip in your argument 🙂 I don’t find either point of view is particularly valid argument from my point of view .
It seems to me that the essential argument boils down to “is that its ok, the original artistic endeavour (I hesitate to call it art) doesn’t have much value (as it is), so its ok to change it to something else which will have”.
I’m not talking about doing something like the Star Trek DS9 story (thanks @jimthefish @bluesqueakpip), where a new story in embedded in the old story (which doesn’t change), or plays off some unexplained things in the original story (“an outside force”) or takes the Doctor off on a new story using specific gaps in the original as a jump off point.
What Moff appears to be doing is changing the original story. Introducing the (first) Doctor as “not wanting to regenerate” – mirroring Capaldi (both being the first Doctor of their respective regeneration cycles) (new material from both trailers) and secondly adding at least 1 new scene to reinforce the Doctor not wanting to regenerate within existing Tenth Planet episode. This is not a minor change, but a wholesale rewrite of the regeneration premise.
I don’t doubt that the revised version will make sense, will be done sensitively, and I will enjoy watching it. None of these things change the premise of my argument though; I’m the (current) show runner I can change anything I like in the shows past, because I want to and I dont value the original piece of work, its flawed, so I’ll rewrite it.
Much of Who under Moffat has expected us to work out the little teasers on our own but as long as they don’t interfere with the ‘why’ or the story between people and how the people grow because of that meeting then it’s not a difficulty.
What about the section of the audience that don’t want to work out the teasers, or can’t work them out, that found their inclusion baffling or looked back from the end and saw things that seemed to be a big deal turn out to be minor details, unexplained or explained by throw away one-line comments from the Doctor that are easily missed (hardly show not tell). What happens if they concluded that this was poor writing and pretentious nonsense ?
Something along these lines is quite a common view and seems to be one source for the frequent complaints “Capaldi is great, shame about the writing” or “let’s hope Jodie gets better stories than Capaldi did”.
Thane and everyone else who’s interested in the nature of story telling in Moff’s Who:
There’s a great (in my opinion) discussion between several commentators starting with the earned/unearned elements of the Doctor Falls and following thata more general one on the nature of Moff’s storytelling on Philip Sandifer’s blog review of the Doctor Falls here :
[alternatively googling “philip sandifer doctor falls review” gets you to the same place]
(@craig – can you change this to a link ? )28 July 2017 at 13:01 #61507
Sorry I forgot one thing I wanted to say re Much of Who under Moffat has expected us to work out the little teasers on our own but as long as they don’t interfere with the ‘why’ or the story between people and how the people grow because of that meeting then it’s not a difficulty.
For me one great strength of Series 10 compared to series 7 say, was that the back story scenes and arc themes were there and formed the foundation of the series as a whole, but nothing was as cryptic and sometimes unexplained as it had been at some points previously. For me, the balance was much better, but perhaps there was less to interpret and speculate on for others.28 July 2017 at 14:38 #61508
But the First Doctor didn’t want to regenerate. Or, rather, the actor who played him didn’t. Nor did the producers really want to take that terrible risk of changing their leading man.
No Doctor has ever wanted to go; it’s always been a last-ditch effort to save their lives. Just as the very first regeneration was a last ditch attempt to save a very popular programme, when the equally popular leading actor didn’t understand just how ill he was.
What about the section of the audience…
Personally, I’m a section of the audience that rates the Capaldi Doctor as an experiment that failed. I don’t like his Doctor, and I think, myself, that dragging out that struggle to be the Doctor was a mistake. They should have kept it to one series, not extended it over his entire run.
However, I don’t confuse my dislike of Peter Capadi’s Doctor with either the quality of the acting or the quality of the writing. Nor am I so full of hubris that I look at a show runner with a string of highly successful shows and awards to his credit – and announce that my personal dislike of his most recent story arc and character choices for the leading role means he must be prey to “poor writing and pretentious nonsense”.
Moffat, let loose, has a very particular style. If your gut reaction is that you don’t like it that’s fine; just as my gut reaction was against the Capaldi Doctor. But my pain does not give me the right to dictate to the many millions who do like his Doctor.
Or to put it another way; given a choice between reading a Thomas Hardy novel and suffering a migraine, I’d seriously consider the migraine. But it doesn’t mean I think Hardy was a bad writer.28 July 2017 at 16:08 #61510
and announce that my personal dislike of his most recent story arc and character choices for the leading role means he must be prey to “poor writing and pretentious nonsense”.
Of course not, you’re far to intelligent to do that. However, there are a large number (it appears) of people who have done just that. No one individual viewer can dictate, but collectively that do indeed do just that. Whilst the statistics arent there (or at least easily found), broadly it does seem that total UK viewers (including iplayer) are down in 2017 (as is total broadcast TV audience), but more obviously significant is the degree of popular interest/hype as well as audience share % in the UK, does seem to be lower and on a declining trend.
This isnt obviously based on “quality”. The standard of writing, acting, producing etc is as high as its ever been and has been consistently of the highest standard since 2005. Is this show specific or general in nature ? Impossible to say. However, we do seem to be past peak “new Who’ currently. My impression would be to place peak Who coinciding with the period between Last David Tennant and first (or perhaps second) season featuring Matt Smith.
I’d love to see what market research the BBC has done (assume it has), as I think there are quite a few individual factors at play, but the overall picture does seem to suggest that RTD’s overall style appeals to a slightly larger audience than Moff’s. Which is a shame for me as I broadly prefer Moff’s style over RTD’s.
What I was trying to highlight, by the comment I made and the subsequent point to Sandifer’s blog comments, debating Moff’s style of writing, is that his style of writing appeals to some types of audience members than others and that in particular (for me at least) is one primary source of general discontent/content. In addition, I think a valuable commentary on the extent to which his style differs from the typical style we see most of the time. At least that was the major things I have taken out of that debate on earned/unearned and “close reading” on that blog.28 July 2017 at 17:55 #61511Craig @craigEmperor
@nick Unfortunately the current BBC Annual Report covers last year, but we should get more commentary next year, but it does say:
In addition to the outstanding performance of Planet Earth II around the world and the continued success of Dancing with the Stars, the company saw a return to strength of Top Gear and a Doctor Who Christmas Special, which was the top-performing title for BBC AMERICA over the period.
That’s not bad! 🙂28 July 2017 at 18:19 #61512
It’s great. Personally I find the its all gone to pot argument very very much over done. That said, Capaldi era hasnt seen any of the viewer choice style awards that David and Matt routinely got (hopefully that might change given series 10.These are the sort of little things that make me think Who is post peak right now, but in a very strong position to, if you like, bounce upwards again.
Although its impossible to say, I wonder if the “Capaldi’s great but the writing sucks” line isnt due to a misunderstanding of what Capaldi is portraying in his characterisation of the Doctor.28 July 2017 at 18:49 #61513
I must admit that this persistent meme that Capaldi has suffered from ‘poor’ writing really grinds my gears. He hasn’t. No more than Smith or Tennant did. In fact, I’d argue that he’s suffered from far fewer obviously rushed or ‘filler’ stories than any of his predecessors. There’s no Love and Monsters or Fear Her lurking in Capaldi’s era.
What these commentators really mean (thanks for the link btw, @nick. An interesting read) is that they personally don’t like Moffat’s writing and preoccupations. And that’s fair enough but it’s arrogant presumption to dismiss it as lacking in craft or ability. (It also gets right on my goat in my own line when BTL comments decry a piece as ‘bad journalism’. It’s not. Structurally, it’s fine. It just happens to be telling you something you don’t want to hear or agree with.) I happen to prefer SM’s approach over RTD’s but I’d never say he’s a bad writer. He’s clearly not. He’s just making different choices to the ones I perhaps would have preferred. And really that’s about as much as SM’s critics can say about his work too.
This criticism of SM’s, particularly later, era annoy me for two reasons. Firstly, it suggests that they’re not engaging with the piece at hand, instead just offering up a ‘Moffat Baaaaad’ kneejerk reaction. Secondly, it seems to be a deliberate attempt to create a false narrative — that they last couple of years have been ‘failures’ of some kind, that SM is going out on a low. I don’t see that as being the case either.
With regards to the ratings — first of all, the show’s been on-air for a decade now. That it’s holding up as well as it is puts it well ahead of the curve of pretty much any other show you could care to name. Who fans live in perpetual fear of cancellation but to my mind it’s pretty much inevitable that it’s going to happen at some point. It seems safe for the next five years or so but I fully expect it to be rested not long after that, maybe with a movie or a few specials easing the way. And I’m pretty comfortable with that happening. Because it will endure. It always does.
But, no, there’s not as many people watching the show as there was five years ago. Possibly not as many watching it on iPlayer either, although I’d like to see some firm figures on that because most arguments point to the contrary. But the fact is people are not doing as much of any of the stuff they used in terms of media consumption. They go to the cinema less, they buy less music, read fewer newspapers. There are just so many more demands on their time, so they’re doing more stuff, spreading their consumption out over multiple channels and multiple media. We’re living through a fundamental change in cultural consumption and the old models are still in the process of being ripped up. Streaming services are eating into the Beeb’s traditional model and will continue to do so and their attempts to get a slice of the action have so far failed. I strongly suspect that if it does survive more than five years, Who will be a streaming-only property, perhaps a joint production with the likes of Netflix or Amazon.
I’d dispute we’ve hit peak Who, except maybe in terms of media perception. The late Tennant/early Smith era was probably the last time that mainstream old-school media had true cultural saturation and until two weeks ago Who just wasn’t that newsworthy anymore. That centre is now starting to fall away from them — they no longer get to define success in the same way that they used to (any more than they can successfully reflect political opinion, it seems). I’m not sure that that translates into a clear-cut ‘decline’ of the show, although it’s certainly true that the Capaldi years have been more ‘difficult’ viewing than the kinetic sugar rush of the Tennant/Smith years.28 July 2017 at 22:24 #61515
I shouldn’t worry too much about the ratings – the problem with a ‘streaming’ model is that people are getting more and more used to the idea of binge watching. For example, I’ve watched every episode of Series 10, but wouldn’t be in either the overnights or the consolidated ratings, because I often watched the two and three parters as one story, when all the parts had been broadcast. Not only are the overnight ratings becoming increasingly inaccurate, the consolidateds are becoming inaccurate as well.
Furthermore, if you check out the ratings of all the stories, you find that Who has always had these ratings/cultural peaks and troughs. In addition, as @jimthefish says, the old ‘mainstream media’ is dying on its feet; instead of getting to define popular culture they seem to be running to catch up as a growing cultural shift gathers momentum.
It’s easier to try something new when you’re starting a new show. Sherlock was incredibly experimental, but didn’t have any previous fans to piss off. On the other hand, if you try something different and experimental with Capaldi’s Doctor you are going to get a bunch of people who preferred the Shakespearean comedy crossed with philosophical paradoxes that was the Smith era, or the action-adventure of the RTD/Tennant run.
That’s the way it works; ask any long standing professional SF writer and they’ll tell you that a lot of their fans aren’t fans of them as a writer – they’re fans of a particular series. Step outside the straitjacket of that series to try something new, and a lot of readers would rather you’d stuck to the old. The problem is when they then confuse their personal taste with the writer’s (or actor’s) ability, and scream loudly about it on the Internet.29 July 2017 at 10:07 #61529Anonymous @
…or can’t work them out, that found their inclusion baffling or looked back from the end and saw things that seemed to be a big deal turn out to be minor details, unexplained or explained by throw away one-line comments from the Doctor that are easily missed (hardly show not tell). What happens if they concluded that this was poor writing ….
Then they’re twits 🙂
But seriously. Everything bar one or two issues were explained either in story or via metaphor or throwaway one liners -because some things are written in sentences not paragraphs. If they conclude that the writing is lazy they’re probably the same people who think that the show is ‘suffering’ (and that makes them feel better) and point to ratings when, never, in the last 5 years, have I watched the show at the 7.30 Sunday time slot and none of the ‘folk’ I know who love it, do either. So there’s that.
If someone predicts something is a “big deal” and it turns out not to be in-story and is explained pretty thoroughly (even a one line is enough for ‘thorough’ in many cases where spoon feeding is something Moffat avoids and even RTD tried to occasionally) then the problem could be with the person who interprets it? Maybe that show isn’t for them. Maybe it does need a rest or maybe a reboot on Netflix for a particular market? Maybe it needs to change into something for a mature audience but I personally think a really great PG show is how it should stay.
This “show not tell” thing is another issue which ‘bites’ frankly -Moffat shows and doesn’t tell except I think some younger people who may know very little about story telling bring up that herring & start to argue over what they perceive this ‘means’ and ….so I go back to this ‘bites’ 😉
Moffat’s vision of this show since 2005 when he co-wrote eps with RTD has been utterly compelling, to me, bar Season 10 which (to me) was OK-ish but I prefer the long arcs. The Imposs Girl Arc as Mum pointed out from a friend was very short indeed but there’s the Name of…The Day of and the Other Of which is all part of that complex and particular arc and I personally loved those three-fers. I doubt with any one else we would have had that much fantasy, mystery, thrills and pure gorgeous characters like Vastra, River, Amy and Rory etc.
Sorry @nick but I find the repeated ideas of ratings, lazy rating, so called non-comprehensible story arcs wearing a but thin -a bit like “this old body” from the Doctor! I’m not suggesting you’re a person who’s a twit -or anyone who doesn’t like bits of this show is -it’s just that I’m puzzled because BG Who always had longer plots I believe? There were long stories over 6 episodes (25 mins/p/ep -though I could be way off!) To me, that’s great and preferable to the ‘happy’ doctor who was taking Bill on an introduction tour of the Whoniverse with a monster a week. I liked it but I as thrilled by Series 9 the most as Missy fully acknowledged and Clara was struggling with her approaching Doctor-ishness.
I can totally understand the POV you have and of @bluesqueakpip and my dad who just didn’t take to this Doctor or maybe the ‘forged’ Doctor where this happened over more than a series -and perhaps should have been tied up in under six episodes? Having said that, looking at the wonderful BBC America sum-up of PC’s Doctor reminded me of how powerful he was -where he says to Clara “you look at me but you don’t see me” -how SPOOKY! It was PC as Mat Smith’s Doctor! The same head tilt, the same self-deprecation. So well transitioned. And I think transition is the key to this show after nearly 55 years.
Anyway @missy halloo!! there from me and mum. Happy Birthday! Mum is 50 today so I need to log off and get back to guests!
Thank you, Thane.29 July 2017 at 11:02 #61533Anonymous @
Not sure what you meant about the “flip in” the argument. Was I being flippant?
Sorry if I was! It’s just that if you create an addition -as you might with an 80% of a symphony gone -then you still have the original part. And if the bit you started with was poorly left, or aged then it means someone can repeat it, or change it a bit but it doesn’t change the original which is still there to appreciate w/o even comparing one with another.
You mentioned before about how Moffat changed things such as Clara pointing out the Doctor’s Tardis. This doesn’t take anything away from the way it was before though?
He wasn’t the best pilot (ever); he escaped Gallifrey via a Tardis which needed ongoing repair -and it still does so I don’t think Moffat did anything except to leave further clues as to why the Doctor was convinced to take this other Tardis. Also from a nostalgic point of view having the Arc with Clara fitted right in with the 50-th Anniversary: by having her inserted into the time stream and responding acutely to what the GI was doing she could meet all the Doctors and we could be reminded of them and ruminate on their iteration. Also, it could show definitively how the companion or Clara was “more than just as assistant” which I liked as fa eminist (I think I can be a boy and be a feminist?)
–Thane29 July 2017 at 14:44 #61534Mudlark @mudlark
To the best of my recollection, all I have ever seen of The Tenth Planet are one or two clips, so my knowledge is based almost entirely on the transcripts and the synopsis on the BBC official website, but the discussion above has prompted me to go back to these sources, and the first thing that strikes me now in the transcripts is how very rushed and low-key the lead up to the regeneration scene is. When Ben comes to release the Doctor and Polly from the cybermens’ space ship the Doctor is apparently unconscious or asleep, and what he says on waking is cryptic, to say the least.
‘What did you say, my boy? ‘It’s all over’. That’s what you said. No … but it isn’t all over. It’s far from being all over’
Without further explanation, he than announces that he must get back to the Tardis immediately and rushes out.
Given that sequence as a starting point, I agree with @jimthefish that it is perfectly possible, with only minor tweaks and a bit of timey-wimey juggling, to insert a whole new adventure without material alteration to the original narrative. The trailer for the Christmas Special points to how this will probably be done, when Capaldi Doctor says, (from memory) ‘Something has gone very wrong with time. We’re trapped inside a single moment’. The first Doctor can meet the twelfth on his way from the Antarctic base, experience whatever the episode has in store, and still be back before Polly and Ben reach the Tardis. Furthermore, there seems to me to be no harm and even some merit in reworking the actual regeneration scene or scenes a little to create a more impressive and fitting send-off for the first Doctor, more in keeping with the regenerations of his successors.
One further thing to note is a discrepancy between the synopsis on the BBC site and the transcripts. According to the former the Doctor says, just before he regenerates ‘No, I can’t go through with it! I can’t! I will not give in.’ This line of dialogue isn’t in the transcripts, so unless it was in the original script and dropped from the episode, there has evidently been some slight retconning of the synopsis to conform with the predicted theme equating the attitude of the two Doctors to their approaching regeneration29 July 2017 at 15:04 #61535
Thane – I was amused that your original argument (80 % of the tenth Planet is missing so its ok) changed (flipped) to 90 % of it is here, but its still ok to rewrite a bit 🙂
I have no problem if you (or anyone else, including Moff) doesn’t care (or care significantly enough) about past Doctor stories, that they are happy to rewrite and change parts, thereby changing the story conclusion (and yes it does seem Moff is doing exactly that by changing the nature of the regeneration and the circumstances around it) to suit a later story. Explanations like, its ok the story has plot holes and unexplained things that need fixing, there are inconsistencies that need fixing etc are usually referred to as fanwank. Are retcon’s ever appropriate ? I guess sometimes, but in this case, not for me ?
I don’t think there’s any middle ground to meet on with the conclusion of the Impossible Girl arc. From what Moff wrote and showed on screen every past (and probably continuing) Who story ever written has scenes where the Great Intelligence interferes to change the existing story (time line if you prefer) to the detriment of the Doctor and companions, followed by a Claraicle interfering to negate that change, alter the circumstances to allow the Doctor to win out.
The question of how and why Clara, a perfectly ordinary Human is able to beat the Great Intelligence each and every time, when its shown that the Intelligence has no problem controlling and defeating Humans remains an mystery. I think it’s also very likely that the GI and Claraicle would counter-each other’s changes. Its likely that there are multiple changes in each individual story. Of course, the Doctor, never notices either the Great Intelligence or Clara, despite coming across their involvement hundreds or times.
So far as I can see, each past story either has missing scenes and we are presented with an highly edited story with multiple missing scenes, or that each existing story was changed and is now different from what was originally shown. Either option is possible in canon as Moff didnt suggest what his view was.
Of course, since we saw the Doctor’s entire time line in his “grave”, the effect must still be going on today and into the future (since D13 wasn’t the last Doctor), or perhaps the new regeneration cycle retconned everything into non-existence, changing the Doctor’s past by giving him a different future, one where his grave/death didn’t occur on Trenzalore and Clara and the Great Intelligence never visited his grave and were never able to jump into the timeline in the first instance.
Whether any of this is a a problem to you or not, is obviously a personal thing. I think it depends on whether you’re (at heart) a fan of AG Who in particular or all Who and the extent to which you care about”canon” and history of the show or not. I watched 20 of the 26 years of BG Who “live” and I know I was watching it before I can actually remember. I was also one of the 20,000 or so (according to @craig) who bought and read the Virgin New Adventures, where RTD, Gatiss, Paul Cornell got their first start as professional writers, where the creative origins of AG Who were born. The past matters to me as much as the present and future does,
Clara as “feminist icon” is a different discussion and is a thread on its own, although the arguments has probably been done to death already. I wont restart it 🙂
Nick29 July 2017 at 15:10 #61536
I have the DVD release and saw several different reconstructions of the final episode before the BBC did one with the animation.
As you suggest, this:
‘No, I can’t go through with it! I can’t! I will not give in.’ This line of dialogue isn’t in the transcripts, so unless it was in the original script and dropped from the episode, there has evidently been some slight retconning of the synopsis to conform with the predicted theme equating the attitude of the two Doctors to their approaching regeneration
isnt in the original episode or any of the reconstructions. It must be a new addition. I am (or would be) very happy to watch a new story embedded within the Tenth Planet, using the gaps as you point out. If this gave a new reason for the regeneration, I wouldnt be bothered either. What I dislike is changing the original story, as broadcast 50 years ago, to suit Moff’s conception of capaldi’s regeneration.29 July 2017 at 15:38 #61537
I do “worry” about ratings, but only because audience related statistics (whether ratings or AI or awards) are the only measures where a public broadcaster funded by a £147 annual poll tax can justify its existence.
If most people watch by download/streaming, the BBC licence fee will go and the BBC will be part advertising based (free to air element) and subscription fee based (for everything else) following the market. Since there there will be fewer sign-up to a subscription service than for the licence fee, BBC income will most probably fall leading to a very different service, where “ratings” become king and experimental and low audience programmes are cut. I don’t think Who would be the same as today. It would need to be a please everyone, maximum audience style programme (or a pretty cheap niche cult programme), although there is always a chance that it could become a Game of Throne style event TV, with £10 million per episode budgets 🙂 .
I’m not entirely convinced that the streaming service economic model will win out as viable in the long run (as someone who pays more than the BBC licence for Sky access (without sport and movies) and slightly more than half as much for Netflix and Amazon Prime, given what my wife and I watch. Netflix/Amazon only seem good value when compared to new DVD/itunes download prices.
I may be wrong, but with the advent of Britbox paid streaming service in the US (and probably elsewhere) its only a matter of time before all new British TV ends up behind a global pay wall anyway.29 July 2017 at 18:58 #61538
I’ve been struggling to respond to your larger post thoughts. A couple of things I suppose. One, yes I’m a Twit and I don’t mind admitting it 🙂 I may be in a minority on this site, but possibly not across the entire audience. Unlike most of the twits, who probably just shrugged their shoulders (assuming they caught every episode) or were jusr bemused, I was able to come here and find out what wiser minds than mine thought was going on and what the opaque stuff might just mean.
In my opinion, I think there’s a difference between hiding cookies for specially diligent fans to get a deeper meaning from and writing something that a more general fan won’t make sense of. I think Moff got the balance about about right in series 10, but not in series 5 or 6. My opinion. Clearly, the opposite is true for you. Great 🙂 Where does the balance sit though ? That’s the big question that matters. Peak Who, ratings, awards, complaints about poor story telling tend to suggest Moff hasn’t got that right for the overall audience (in my opinion). There arent many of us here who think Capaldi has been anything but an outstanding Doctor, or that Moff has done a poor job as show runner or isnt a very talented author. But we are not the core audience.
Two. You might well be tired by different points of view than your own, but don’t doubt the opposite is also true. You could also be accused of being a bit patronising to suggest that it’s their fault they’re twits (essentially = they aren’t clever enough or interested enough to view every episode multiple times to work out what’s going on) and concluding that perhaps the show isn’t for them. I might even suggest that smacks of elitism. I don’t think you actually meant to do either, but .. 🙂
The thing I find worse on the internet, and occasionally on here as well is the lack of respect for other people’s point of view. The Jodie W thread is a prime example. Not everyone who doesn’t want a female Doctor, is a misogynist. Treating them like they are and dismissing their point of view without engaging with them is reprehensible. Next thing you know, the “right minded” will be accusing them of thought crimes ? We all know where that can end up.
On a lighter topic, I think you should watch some (or watch some more) BG Who 🙂 I’d love to have a discussion with you about just how different BG and AG Who actually are:
just that I’m puzzled because BG Who always had longer plots I believe? There were long stories over 6 episodes (25 mins/p/ep -though I could be way off!)
The longest was 13 episodes (although that had a one episode prologue separated by another adventure). The Web Planet might be a good choice (it gets panned quite a lot for trying – and failing for some – to do something different). Seeds of Death ? (that drags on a lot). Any of the long episodes in Pertwee’s first two season shown in 1970 and 1971 (they had big cash problems – long episodes maximised the budget by having fewer sets). As @jimthefish suggested on a different post above, there are actually some very very good stories, perhaps even more imaginative that today, hidden in there, but I’m not sure you’d find them very subtle.29 July 2017 at 22:54 #61540
I think it’s always worth bearing in mind that we’re pretty much all twits here. (What other word describes (mostly) grown adults spending a not insignificant part of their time discussing a 50-year-old British children’s TV show?)
I think, @nick, that we’re probably going to have to agree to disagree on The Tenth Planet and the TUAT (however it treats it). I understand your misgivings but really I just consider the show’s back catalogue as raw material for the current writers to use as they see fit.
On SM in general, I think there is a danger (as with the canon itself) that to defend him against some unfair criticism can lead into defending him against everything. His tenure as a writer and showrunner has been far from perfect — no one’s has. He’s had more than his share of clunkers and not all his choices have been brilliant ones and we shouldn’t find be afraid to be critical of him (or anyone else for that matter).
@nick — on ratings. I think it’s fairly clear these days that the licence fee is not going to last much longer (although personally I think it’s pretty excellent value for money). But I don’t think that Who placed in a streaming/subscription would necessarily become a cheap crowd-pleaser. Mostly because these days those two things seldom go together. The big streaming outfits seem to have learned from the mistakes of 80s/90s cable channels and realised that churning out cheap content is ultimately self-defeating and that it’s better to produce prestige content. I think that Who, whoever ends up producing it, would definitely be considered ‘prestige’ content.
But the streaming vs terrestrial model is a misleading one to pin any hopes on, I think. Ultimately I think even making any assumptions about a similar broadcast landscape to now with streaming firms instead of old-school broadcasters is misleading too. I think we’re going through a cultural change that is going to be far more fundamental. The concept of the big distributors (in any media — the publishers, the studios, the broadcasters) will eventually be swept away as there becomes less and less need for them. A few will survive and they will hoover up the big, successful content but it’s going to be so much more fragmented, with so much more ‘self published’ content of various levels of proficiency and backing. Creativity will become less and less of an industry or a career and more of a general human activity, I think. What that means for something like Who is open to question. Perhaps it will be owned by one of the few remaining big distributing channels. Or maybe different aspects of the IP will be licensed out like franchises to various bidders, with the line between fan fictions and professional productions far, far less delineated.29 July 2017 at 23:47 #61541
Hi Jim. If we agreed on everything, life would be very quiet and dull. I agree with you. I like the vast majority of Moff’s stories and have loved both Matt and Peter’s version of the Doctor under him. I still find parts that could have been done better. The discussion does seem to be all or nothing sometimes, even on here.
The problem with streaming (or subscription such as sky atlantic) is that they are pretty expensive and have quite limited new material. Just how many times has sky atlantic shown the entire run of GoThrones back to back now to fill up its schedule ?
Whilst they can afford to pay for a few new, very high quality programmes, the vast majority of their catalog, is old material and films that they have bought relatively cheap because they are old. This isnt a model that can replace the very significant output that BBC and ITV (or their equivalents in the US, Germany, France etc) produce based on advertising and licence fees.
Producing 7 hours of premium GoT at a cost of about £80 million (or House of Cards, American Gods etc) each year looks much more like a movie studio style model, but with a different payment mechanism for home rather than cinema viewing. Look at something like the new Twin Peaks series with its 18 episodes. Globally there’s probably enough of an audience to make it pay/profit, but its probably not enough to generate revenue several times its cost. Without that level of cash/profits there isn’t a way to fund much other new material let alone pay shareholders and financiers. For every game of thrones, there will be several times as many, very expensive flops.
I suggest that, what we will see happen over the next 5 years or so, is that the big global TV producers (BBC, ITV in this country) will sell there material directly via their own subscription channels (britbox ?) before they sell it on to third party distributors like Netflix or Amazon prime. With less new material on subscription sites, at what point does it become cheaper for the user to buy/rent new Netflix material from itunes (a bit later) rather than pay the annual subscription ? They might then become more like production companies.
Longer term, I agree all bets are off for now. However, I rather suspect things will change less than you think, at least for the forseeable future. Radio is still going strong even though it is technically obsolete and will probably continue to succeed (even if the medium switches entirely to the internet rather than radio waves). DJ’s (or TV channel schedulers) still have a big part to play.30 July 2017 at 04:12 #61542Anonymous @
yes we are all twits. That’s what I meant. I even put a smiley face there. 😀
OK. Twisted up and confused. I was referring to a symphony. I’ll blame mum for this again because she points it out all the time. It used to be her job to point out exactly what parts of what symphonies weren’t written by the composer as stated. So a Beethoven or a Mozart piece -a long work or even a short work because Mozart was a jobbing composer or worker (mum’s word not sure what jobbing composer means: Google isn’t telling me!) and had students and others re-work middle bits and ends of larger and smaller works. I think the Requiem (Mosart) is a point which is relevant.
So we never really know what is finished or what is ‘canon’ or imperfect or not.
I specifically meant 80% of the symphony as an example not the 10th Planet by any means because I know nothing of the 10th Planet sir (sorry that has reminded me of something for school I had to watch: Jane Eyre where she says in a haughty way because Rochester had spoken to Miss Eyre that way so she says: “I know nothing of Love, Sir.”).
Also as a 15 year old I don’t want to come across as rude or condescending to an older and wiser gentleman so I definitely apologise for doing that. If I come across as elitist to a load of super-fans (those who believe it’s one way or else type of thing) or the general haters with very little evidence for their moaning and bitching then I’m happy to! 😀
No, seriously, calling people who don’t like a female Doctor as misogynist is really wrong and I agree those people who say that should be told instead: “have a go at watching this show again. Maybe there’ll be things in it you like as the stories will be interesting and your ideas of the show might still be incorporated?”
Asking it as a question, framing it politely is important and I think if anyone on this Forum said, outright “you’re a misogynist ” without hearing out their full comments then they may have reacted to this person on an emotional level which is difficult to avoid, I think. I’m not embarrassed to say I have been thinking those things b ut then changed my way of commenting to people at school about that and they heard me out and me them?
Anyway, Mum’s birthday guests are about to leave back to the airport must dash!!
Thank you, Thane30 July 2017 at 11:13 #61546
@nick — well, I am talking decades rather than immediately, of course, but the signs are definitely there that the very infrastructure of our cultural consumption is going undergo a radical change at some point. Rising global populations with more and more automated jobs mean that something’s going to give at some point and something economic mechanisms like Universal Basic Income (or something like it) will ultimately come into play. That will fundamentally change what we think of as ‘work, career and industry’ as well as how and why we consume culture.
But you’re right that in the short term things will continue much as they are, or a variation of it anyway. I think you’re right that subscription channels will continue to be a thing. I don’t agree that schedules will survive in the medium to long term though and that ultimately you’ll switch to BBC 1 and find something like a Netflix-stylee carousel. The only things I can see that will be scheduled for a particular date and time will be the talent shows.
But I really don’t see Who going anywhere. There’s next to no chance that the Beeb will kill what is pretty much it’s last remaining global brand. In fact, I suspect what will continue to happen is what’s happening now — stronger pushes into the Asian markets, emulating Hollywood. How that will actually affect the show is anyone’s guess. But from what I can gather from the peeps in broadcasting is that ratings are less and less a decider of a show’s worthiness to survive. There are lots of other metrics at play too. Who fans do, I think, sometimes obsess a bit too much about ratings maybe because the hiatus/cancellation was such a traumatic experience for them. 😉30 July 2017 at 11:40 #61547Anonymous @
I don’t think the discussion even here has been “all or nothing” ? Also, for me, I didn’t have to watch an episode twice to work out “what’s going on” -maybe others do (which is great) and maybe that’s why Moffat and authors encouraged ‘puzzle play” It would be a shame to hear people say “oh he’s too clever for his own good” which is a pretty foul thing to suggest. When has clever been a bad thing?
If he’s condescending that would be different.
And I don’t think Steven Moffat has been like that either. Series 5, which I think you said you didn’t really like a lot (?) was probably ‘my’ best season: magic, mystery, the Scottish companion who “fries things” and lives in a house with a crack in the wall that has far too many rooms was set up so elegantly (I think that’s the word I like) that I was blown away.
When Mat Smith said: “man comes out of box, eats fish custard….you know what I think? It must be a hell of a scary crack in your wall….” his delivery was perfect. I would think better than some of the other Doctors in their incarnation(S) -I’ve seen the first part of each Doctor: the first 30 mins or so and this took me into an unique world. The story unfolded in the background until the Doctor asks: “does it concern you that nothing in your life makes any sense, Amy?” It was tricky & delivered what it promised.
In the following season there were more creepy stories mixed with more cool ‘things’ to work out but I think you could enjoy these tales without thinking it was like working up a level on a Play Station? 🙂
I think that any negative comments about any season if explained well rather than “oh I’m glad to see Moffat go” is fine. But many people who liked the showrunner don’t bother to get into often circular debates. Some forget that some episodes under RTD weren’t all terrific. But then even in Season 5 I wasn’t thrilled by The Hungry Earth but prior to that loved The Time of Angels (yet I’ve seen the webs really despising that two-parter).
As for core audience -I would think we are? I wonder whether worrying about awards, or not, necessarily tells the story of a really good show, though?
“Lack of respect for other people’s opinion”?
Just re-read that which you wrote. Well, I’m not sure what to make of that. If you read most of all the posts in different threads you will see the majority of people completely respecting others’ opinions. I won’t tag most due to Spoiler’s section but Mudlark, arbutus, jimthefish, @craig, miapatrick, Ichabod, Bluesqueakpip, ScaryB, soundworld and whisht (and that’s only off the top of my head) are always respectful to everyone.
Mum blew up twice -month or so ago and 12 months before that and I can categorically say that in both instances she wasn’t well –not that this is an excuse. Dad says “there is no excuse for bad manners.”
But anyway, I wonder if you may’ve meant people may not like a particular idea rather than disrespecting an opinion? On this though:
The question of how and why Clara, a perfectly ordinary Human is able to beat the Great Intelligence each and every time, when its shown that the Intelligence has no problem controlling and defeating Humans remains an mystery. I think it’s also very likely that the GI and Claraicle would counter-each other’s changes.
I think Clara wasn’t just a perfectly normal human -she jumped in and survived due to her love for the Doctor. This demonstrated her courage/ devotion and yes the GI and the claricles cancelled out the damage of the former (?). Clara was doing a ‘good’ thing & the Doctors, other than 12, didn’t recognise the claricles but why would he? He doesn’t view faces the way we do at all? The GI could control people very well but in this aging alien’s time stream he was scattered.
Thank you for your patience! I think this conversation has cycled around again & is probably not for the Spoiler’s page anymore.
Also I’ve been hogging the Forum with too many posts in the last two days or so… 🙂
Thane.30 July 2017 at 13:17 #61548
Longer term, I agree things will certainly change. The problem with automation is the unemployment that it will create. Some form of universal income might off set that financially (although I do wonder if those bit of the economy which become very automated will generate enough tax revenue given competition from equally automated industries located next door). Given enough “wealth”, a move to something akin to bank’s Culture might well be plausible. But in the near future, the universal income will not be set at a level that provides something much more than a basic life.
The problem I often detect with a lot of current economic thinking, is that consumers have to be wealthy enough to consume, our your consumer orientated economy ceases to work. On a mild scale, what else has the period 2008/9 to 2017 shown in Great Britain ? Without significant income, we have millions of people in the UK who live at subsistence level using pay day loans to get buy or credit card debt for the wealthier. Debt is rising and personal savings levels have hit another low. Many dont save for pensions; an impoverished retirement awaits surely ? I am cynical enough not to believe universal income will be sufficient to change this. Will they be able to afford to consume culture. It seems more like creating fertile ground for revolution to me.30 July 2017 at 14:22 #61551
Older yes, wiser ? perhaps not 🙂 All or nothing -because there isnt an obvious middle ground when debating subjective things of this nature. The things that make the Impossible Girl story line impossible for me to like are the things that either dont bother you or you found enhanced the story. This makes it a circular, endless debate, but it also allows each of us into the other person’s eyes and lets us see from their perspective. Understanding other peoples perspectives is extremely important in life. Just look at how poor many politicians are in practice as they expound policies that work for just a small section of society, when they (at least in the UK) are meant to represent everyone in their constituency, whether they voted for them or not. Impossible to do, of course, but it is a noble aim at least.
Lack of respect – No its not about individual responses between users here (which is rarely less than extremely polite), but the general attitude. If anyone dismissed other people’s point of view out of hand then how can you consider it anything but a lack of respect for other people. There have been comments made on here, (let alone on twitter or other forums) that are unaddressed, which definitely show no respect towards the “traditionalists” who view the Doctor as a male character and don’t want to see that changed, by badging their opinion as misogynist.
As for core audience -I would think we are?
No we’re not. The average consolidated ratings for most of AG Who in the UK have been about 7 million people (depending on the measure) based on these figures:
we’re a tiny % of that audience. That’s why we’re twits 🙂30 July 2017 at 16:58 #61552
There have been comments made on here, (let alone on twitter or other forums) that are unaddressed, which definitely show no respect towards the “traditionalists” who view the Doctor as a male character and don’t want to see that changed, by badging their opinion as misogynist.
That’s because the traditionalists have a very tricky line to walk. They have to explain what, exactly, is so gender-specific about the role of the Doctor that a female actor can’t possibly play the role. If they can’t explain it, they do lay themselves open to charges of misogyny – even though they might just not want their childhood hero to change sex. 🙂
I think Peter Davison had a fairly good stab at it when he pointed out that boys have just lost a male role model who sorts stuff out with his brain, not his fists. And little boys in our society are, true, trained to look for male role models; it’s the girls who have learnt to look for role models from both genders.
But you have to realise, Nick, that if you’re a woman you’ve probably been here before. It’s difficult to ‘show respect’ when the back of your mind is muttering that the last time you heard this was when women couldn’t possibly be bishops/front line soldiers/priests/serve on board ships (except as stewards)/do the same police work as men/be paid the same as men/be a TV presenter into their eighties. Except they could.
I am sympathetic to people struggling with their childhood hero changing quite this much; I am sympathetic towards those with thoughtful arguments. But sometimes the problem really is just plain old misogyny.30 July 2017 at 19:01 #6155331 July 2017 at 09:46 #61557Anonymous @
1st, thank you Nick, I will do with Mum -yes, the Big 5 0. I don’t know why people call it that but they do….
and to @missy as well who shares a birthday and another lovely person with the initials C. A . as well 😀
Now on to the feminism or misogynist thing. Interesting. I’m changing my mind back again. I think, actually, that’s what’s so good about this place for me. Ultimately most places -youtube, articles and editorials have people with their minds totally made up. For ever after.
I thought “yep they’re misogynist and no, no, they’re not.”
Except now, I see the point Blue is making. If you don’t want a female Doctor because you’ve always had a male one and that’s your only excuse then those people are showing hints of possible misogynist behaviour. It’s like my grandma usually saying: “I had a lady doctor today but she was good.”
My mother would go spare in the car hearing that! A bit like my grandpa who used to believe in a Head of the House! -which also drove my mum nuts.
So, yes if a man or a woman says that you just can’t have a female doctor because they’ve been male, or because the boys need role models or because only a male TL can drive a Tardis or park a Tardis and we know that River Song dumped that one because she said “Oh, bless, you leave the brakes on” (and there was lots of media crap about her and how people really hated her personality and please, please let her stay dead” etc) then the reasons aren’t there and so those groups are open to charges of misogyny. I asked Mum again today and she said “son, this is a topic which is vexing so I don’t want to talk about it now.” except I have literally NO idea what “vex’ing” even is! But I think it’s bad?
Oh and helloo to @zeyra -we thought you’d gone! Good to see you back and I love that song and have never heard that band so that’s great to hear. 🙂31 July 2017 at 12:37 #61558
‘Vexing’ is anything likely to make you annoyed. A vexing topic is one where you know you’re likely to be annoyed in the first minute, be gritting your teeth within five and will have steam coming out of your ears after ten. 😈 Not because of the people you’re discussing it with, because the topic itself is so … vexing.
Mysogyny is definitely a vexing topic – and not one to discuss on a birthday. 🙂 Belated best wishes to your Mum, Thane. I hope she had a great day.31 July 2017 at 13:12 #61559Anonymous @
@bluesqueakpip Thank you for defining that. I sort of worked it out by the steam increasing eventually 🙂
Thank you for the wishes -yes, she had a great time.
On the point of the going back and changing things I was reading something said by BluePip ages ago (like 3 years or more!) that “Who is about time travel and within that there’s going to be, [or can incorporate] changes”. So, going back and actually changing what we know to have happened shouldn’t be too surprising -that last bit is all my words, btw, it’s that the first part of the sentence in quotes which paraphrases Bluesqueakpip -but from memory so if I got that wrong feel free to fling chalk dusters at me (this happens in Maths).
Anyway, I understand we may or may not disagree -but always happily about these issues and ideas.
I wonder what the original writers and producers would have thought about this Christmas special (I can never bring myself to type xmas and my uncle thought this was hilarious)?
Thane.31 July 2017 at 13:42 #61560
Send your mum my best wishes. Hope she had a great day. She’s very much missed on the site.
No, not everyone opposed to JW’s casting could be dismissed as a misogynist. But many clearly were, or at the very least guilty of sexism and unexamined prejudice — including, sad to say, a few of the posts we got on here in the initial wave after the announcement. The debate did initally generate rather more heat than light but I think thanks to discussion and debate that seems to have softened a bit. I’m sympathetic to the arguments of resistance to the idea, but at the same time there were some clearly unacceptably prejudiced attitudes riding on the coat-tails of the more reasonable arguments.
I am cynical enough not to believe universal income will be sufficient to change this. Will they be able to afford to consume culture. It seems more like creating fertile ground for revolution to me.
I agree that UBI as its proposed at the moment probably isn’t going to be the full answer or anything like sufficient. It’s more the starting point for a debate that we’re going to have to have at some point, a solution that’s going to have to be found. Because at some point the current system just isn’t going to work any longer. It’s the start of the conversation, not the end. As to the affording of culture — not culture as it functions under the current economic paradigm, no. But there’s never been such a thing as human community that didn’t have some kind of culture. (Punk, for example, was borne out of necessity in dole-queue Britain. Hip-hop for similar reasons in the US.) If people are economically denied culture, they’ll create their own.
And if we are facing a future of less employment — and let’s face it, we are — then people will have more time not just to consume culture, but create it too. I suspect the future will be far more culturally fragmented, but more diverse, and quite probably less economically lucrative. But really the only people who will ultimately lose out will be the monolithic corporations who until now could control the channels of distribution. A few will survive but many won’t as it becomes easier and easier to bypass them.31 July 2017 at 14:10 #61562
The debate did initially generate rather more heat than light but I think thanks to discussion and debate that seems to have softened a bit.
In essence, this is what I’m suggesting is the right thing to do, even if/when the tone/arguments to the opposite are racist or misogynist (and I appreciate how difficult this is to do) or even how small the probability of changing minds actually is in practice. Using the same sort of language or argument back to will certainly achieve nothing, whereas the opposite at least has a chance. It also descalates the conflict.31 July 2017 at 14:33 #61563
But really the only people who will ultimately lose out will be the monolithic corporations who until now could control the channels of distribution. A few will survive but many won’t as it becomes easier and easier to bypass them.
That’s certainly possible for music and writing, but I don’t think it ever be the case for films and much TV as a whole (as well as other cultural pursuits, which require significant training to become skilled). You really do need the $ to generate a “product” which reaches a mass audience. (fake) Newspaper outrage spread Punk across the country and created and unleashed the creativity of the new wave in 77/78 which fueled everything that came after it for about 20 years. The internet really hasn’t unleashed a new wave of musical creativity, things are as stagnant as they were in the light entertainment orientated 40’s and most of the 50’s, at least in terms of the mainstream, which is what most of us get to see.
I am quite open minded when it becomes to automation and the future in terms of employment. New technology has always increased employment in the long term. We need a new thread for that discussion though !31 July 2017 at 19:47 #615651 August 2017 at 00:30 #61568ichabod @ichabod
@thane15 Mum’s birthday
Happy birthday to your mum! And to you too, @missy!
@bluesqueakpip the traditionalists have a very tricky line to walk. They have to explain what, exactly, is so gender-specific about the role of the Doctor that a female actor can’t possibly play the role. If they can’t explain it, they do lay themselves open to charges of misogyny – even though they might just not want their childhood hero to change sex. 🙂
Agreed; and so far, maybe there have been intelligently grounded arguments for “why the Doctor can’t be female”, in-universe or out of it, but I have yet to see any (“It’s always been that way” isn’t, IMO, an intelligently grounded argument). As for “role models”, it seems to me that not only can boys be expected to look up to female role models as well as male ones (as girls have had to do for decades if they wanted to be other than Angels of the Hearth), but it would greatly *benefit* boys and men in general for that to happen. I see that as a positive development, not a negative. And it seems to be taking, too, with young male children in households that are liberal in such matters, and maybe eventually in other contexts as well.1 August 2017 at 19:22 #61575
Capaldi, Capaldi, Capaldi!1 August 2017 at 22:14 #61576
Using the same sort of language or argument back to will certainly achieve nothing, whereas the opposite at least has a chance. It also descalates the conflict.
In principle, I agree. But at the same time, there’s a danger here. Richard Dawkins said that he stopped debating with Creationists because by doing so he was on some level legitimising their arguments, even if they were successfully debunked. The mere fact that he was sharing a platform with them was enough to appear to give their arguments credence.
I think the same applies here. It seems there is a majority who’ve happily accepted JW as a putative Doctor. There’s a smaller group who have understandable reservations and an even smaller percentage whose arguments against a female Doctor are just sexism, and sometimes outright misogyny dressed up in arguments that are easily debunked. But to engage with them is to give these frankly attitudes a veneer of legitimacy. Rather, they should be being dismissed. They should be condemned and called out as unacceptable. Because in the last few weeks they’ve been having the effect of toxifying fandom as a whole.1 August 2017 at 23:51 #61579
Prof. Dawkins is a bad example, Jim, because he’s actually employing ‘silencing’ as a debate tactic. That is, he’s defining ‘Creationist’ in such a way that it includes almost any Jew, Christian or Muslim – then refusing to ‘legitimise their arguments’ by even discussing them. This allows him to imply that such arguments are utterly worthless without the boring necessity of actual debate.
It’s a particularly bad example because women have been routinely subjected to the same ‘silencing’ tactics. In women’s case it tends to be of the ‘don’t worry your pretty little head’ variety, but it’s the same shutting off, refusal to accept that a certain segment of the population may have a valid point of view.
Basically, the question to be asked is whether your opponent respects your right to hold and express a point of view. They may think your point of view is wrong, but that’s quite different. As has been said up above, there’s been an increasing tendency to define those with different political or religious views to us as having NO legitimate arguments. That’s not a good direction for a democracy.
The point at which you worry about ‘legitimising their arguments’ is when you realise that their argument is in fact simply that you, or people you know, do not have a right to an argument. Because you (or people you know)are the wrong gender, or the wrong race, or hold the religious belief that God (or a god, or goddess) scheduled the Big Bang.
And that being any or all of those things means that there is nothing, absolutely nothing you can say that has any worth whatsoever.2 August 2017 at 01:03 #61581
Well, these days Dawkins is pretty much a bad example of everything and the last thing I really want to be doing is defending the sanctimonious old git but I think you’re doing him a bit of a disservice. It’s not that RD has refused to discuss Creationist arguments — he’s spent a large part of his career doing just that but more, as I understand it anyway, that he realised that his opponents were not actually interested in the debates but merely in being to headline advertise that the debate took place. They weren’t interested in talking to someone but talking at them from an intractable unreasoning position. Not unlike a politician taking broadcast time, not in a spirit of debate, but for an opportunity to parrot ‘strong and stable’ over and over again. That’s not democracy either.
I don’t think conflating that with ‘silencing’ techniques, especially in terms of gender politics, is particularly helpful. It’s not the same thing at all. Nor is it ‘no platforming’ of any kind — which is something I’m vehemently against, by the way. Interestingly, RD himself was no-platformed recently but I think it’s unfair to suggest that he’s been guilty of doing it himself. It’s more that the arguments have been gone over. They’re there as a matter of record. It’s more that rather than debate the whole process has been reduced to a piece of theatre or a marketing opportunity. It’s not that an assumption is being made that the opposing side has NO legitimate arguments, merely a recognition that they no longer have any interest in actually making them.
In terms of ‘legitimising arguments’ let me throw a RL example into the mix. There was a story covered recently here in Scotland about a Halloween Party at an Orange Lodge halls in which members were photographed as a) child-abusing Catholic priests, b) Popes with nooses around their necks and c) Nazis complete with children dressed as concentration camp victims. Leaving aside the mind-boggling crassness of this, the Orange Lodge issued a statement defending this as ‘part of their culture and beliefs’. Now personally, I don’t accept that. I don’t accept that such behaviour should be tolerated in any civilised society and I don’t accept that there is a need to enter into a sustained dialogue to explain that point of view. The same way I don’t accept that ‘freedom of speech’ can be used as a defence for hate speech against any group of people, whether that be on the grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, whatever.2 August 2017 at 06:23 #61582blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave
It is very late here in western Canada, and I was idly checking things before I retired for the night, and then I read your post. Specifically, the last paragraph. I was gobsmacked. It is hard to know how to respond. Is there an internet link to it?
One comes across unacceptable behaviour all the time, both on the national/international stage, and at a more personal and immediate level, but your story is just, well…appalling.
I am still trying to get my head around it. Could this still be happening in the 21st century? And rather than denying it, could it still be being justified? It is the latter I am most appalled, mystified and angry about.2 August 2017 at 08:57 #61583Craig @craigEmperor
Growing up in Scotland, the only consolation I draw from religious bigotry is that there is very little racism in Scotland compared to England, where I live now. While in both countries most people are wonderful and have no hate in their hearts, in Scotland those who do want to hate aim it at a religion and not at a race or people of colour.2 August 2017 at 12:58 #61584
I agree with you that its difficult and that it could be seen to be legitimising arguments and points of view that reprehensible, but what else can we do ? If you ignore it, then you leave them inside a bubble of silence, where they actually grow stronger and, if the circumstances are right, start to influence public policy (as in the US) in local areas or more generally as we see with politicians like Trump playing up to them in order to gain their votes.
I think the best (of a bunch of bad possibilities) is to vocally engage with them, whenever possible, if only to demonstrate that the arguments are ridiculous in a very public way. It may change the minds of those who are already believers (and I expect the probably of that may be very small), but it ought to negate their influence with the general population. However, the engagement has to be to dome with a degree of respect, because otherwise it comes across as bullying, which will negate what you are trying to achieve in the first place, by employing the same sort of methods as they do.
Religion is a particularly difficult area though. Both Christianity and Islam were codified a very long time ago (300’s and 700’s ad) in times which were very different from out society today. How do you combine respect for people’s belief (and their right to believe), recognise all the positive elements within those religions, but also deal with the elements that make homosexuality a sin, which must be punished, and other elements that we find unwelcome today. The underlying Doctrine is frozen or has become so, by the element who have been taught to believe that the Bible/Qur’an are the actual word of God – so must be believed as literal truth – as opposed to written by Man applying what they understand to be God’s message to the times they lived in.2 August 2017 at 12:59 #61585Anonymous @
Not sure if you meant to PM me or someone else? I can’t for some reason get into that platform at the moment -computer is probably playing up.
I never said that if you dislike a female doctor you’re misogynist. Your comment was [along the lines of pretty exactly this] “your wrong if you think a person disliking a woman as The Doctor makes you misogynist.”
And whole lot more….. 🙂
Having scanned my entire posts above I have never said anything remotely like that. I referred to the hints of possible misogyny. And also said they could be open to the charges of same.” [ a term I totally thieved from @bluesqueakpip ]
Which is what I think. To assume I’d scream “misogyny” at the slightest protest is, well, not to have read what I actually ever wrote on the matter but that’s OK.
A person can change minds but one’s own mind needs to be open to change too, otherwise “what’s a heaven for?” [and that’s a bit of naughty fiddling with an excellent poet but changing the words a tad].
Thane. G’night all. And oops….this should be on the other Thread of Thought.2 August 2017 at 13:06 #61586
The point at which you worry about ‘legitimising their arguments’ is when you realise that their argument is in fact simply that you, or people you know, do not have a right to an argument. Because you (or people you know)are the wrong gender, or the wrong race, or hold the religious belief that God (or a god, or goddess) scheduled the Big Bang.
And that being any or all of those things means that there is nothing, absolutely nothing you can say that has any worth whatsoever.
You’re right of course, but I would say that whilst you (I chose not to use “one” a la the Royal family) will probably never be able to influence the people who;s belief or opinions deny your right to have an argument, you’re not necessarily addressing them as the audience, but the wider elements of society. By engaging you might actually be validating their argument, which should not be validated, but that is probably a price worth paying.
In any case, you may well actually achieve something positive within the close minded group, by forcing them to make a response and thus finding a way to let members here alternative points of view that they never otherwise hear, within the close bubble that they live and are brought up in.2 August 2017 at 13:23 #61587
Apologies if I was being too definitive, it is a fault of mine, but
Except now, I see the point Blue is making. If you don’t want a female Doctor because you’ve always had a male one and that’s your only excuse then those people are showing hints of possible misogynist behaviour.
No, I don’t believe there is any reason to suggest that there is even a hint of possible misogynist behaviour in that belief, although, of course, this isn’t true of everybody.2 August 2017 at 13:24 #61588Anonymous @
I was at a fellowship group of teens last night where we actually played dodgeball in the back of the ‘chapel’ -not actually a chapel which would bring down lighting strikes (or so people think)
I have no problem being acquainted with, or known as ‘that kid’ who is ‘religious’. I’m interested in your post above where you speak of “us” and “them”.
Of whom do you speak? 😉
I’m a lefty (also I work with my LH!); a feminist; a believer in brilliant telly; in democracy and big government and high taxes. I believe in equal rights. And I’m a person with a strong faith in God.
Yet I’m not part of the ‘them’ group. I can see the link though and it was awful! Generally by certain groups there’s a need to diminish scientists (for some reason) because they don’t ‘have a faith’ -and yet if they do it’s an entirely private thing.
I guess if they (I’m doing it now!) make a point about religion in order to diminish other people’s scientific beliefs (which are not beliefs but are either facts, theories or laws in any case) then they’re not great exemplars of religious thinking or behaviour -reminds me of the pilot of The West Wing. My favourite character in that show is a Jewish guy who visits synagogue every Saturday and who regularly chats with his Rabbi.
Thane (my spell check turned rabbi into rabbit I should add)2 August 2017 at 13:36 #61589Anonymous @
@nick (I should be in bed! argh!).
I said: if the argument is (1) “the Doctor should be male because he’s always been” then yes, I would say that indicates a
1. Hint ….of
So if no other argument comes about except the above (1) then I’ve got strong evidence to say “charges of misogyny should and could be laid” because why on earth can a statement such as (1) be argument enough for continuing on in the same manner with a male Doctor: he’s been male therefore he must continue to be male. I only bring this up again because of the large letter…but as said upthread we move on happily knowing where we stand or fall and converse with open mind.2 August 2017 at 13:44 #61590
English is really a rather poor language sometimes. can one talk about a particular group of people within a larger group of people without sounding wrong (its venn diagram’s in words).
There is a group of Christians (and Muslims) who do literally believe that the bible is the word of god, and everything it is is absolutely true (a 100 % fact) even when the whole sum of human knowledge, whether science, history, archaeology, textural analysis etc shows that it really can not be 100 % true. The problem, for me anyway, is that is finding any common language to debate in.
The problem with evolution verses creationism, is that to espouse creationism, you have to close your eyes to human history. The hundreds and thousands of years of selective breeding to change natural things (aurochs, cereals grains wolves etc) into the domesticate animals and food stuffs we have today. That we have, as a species, spent the last 15,000 years using the methods of unnatural selection (if you like) to do what natural selection does in terms of evolution seems to get lost somewhere. Once you close your mind to evolution, you also must close your mind to everything that exists to make evolution possible (DNA if you like) and the medical and scientific developments that arise from the study of genetics.
In that context, how can one (I would right you) not be appalled by those who demand that creationism be taught in schools (or universities) on the same basis with the same degree of credence as evolution ?2 August 2017 at 14:00 #61591
because Doctor should be male because he’s always been can be a shorthand statement for everything else that an an individual may value about this character. The history of the programme, the stories, your emotional attachment to the character, your dislike for change for sake of change etc.
In terms of acting (which is a form of make believe) unless you’re restaging history in as realistic a way as you can achieve, any character is capable of changing gender or race for the purposes of putting on a play or making TV or a film. Jodie W can act and provide us (the audience) with her interpretation of Churchill or Blair (say). Are all the people, who would probably say that shouldn’t happen, misogynist ?3 August 2017 at 00:36 #61593
Well, these days Dawkins is pretty much a bad example of everything
Definitely something we can agree on. 🙂
They weren’t interested in talking to someone but talking at them from an intractable unreasoning position
Sounds like a case of pot, meet kettle. 😈 Seriously, you don’t think it’s worrying that a prominent apologist for a particular point of view can announce that his opponents aren’t really interested in ‘proper’ debates – when the said opponents are actively requesting debates? Who was the person who decided what a ‘proper’ debate was?
I realise that you think it’s not the same as being silenced, but it follows the same kind of sequence as some of the women’s suffrage debates. That is, Dawkin’s side is presented as ‘sensible’, the other as ‘irregular’, because they’re not following the rules, – even though the ‘rules’ have been set up by Dawkins.
I don’t accept that such behaviour should be tolerated in any civilised society and I don’t accept that there is a need to enter into a sustained dialogue to explain that point of view.
Well, there is a need. Because if you think you don’t need to explain and justify your liberal and tolerant values you’ll discover that those values are being walked all over by people who don’t believe in them. Paraphrasing Nick, you might never convince those Orangemen, but you might convince someone else.3 August 2017 at 01:58 #61594
I really don’t think that there’s any group of Muslims who think that the Bible is the literal word of God. 🙂
One problem with talking about a particular group of people (such as Biblical literalists) within a much larger group of people is that you often end up implying that the particular group of people represent the larger group. Another problem with lacking a ‘common language’ is that it’s quite possible to make a statement that you believe to be accurate – but which is false, because you’ve misunderstood the technical language being used.
For example, up above you say that the underlying doctrine is ‘frozen’. Nope. Also that Christianity was ‘codified’ in the 300’s. Definitely nope, in the sense that you appear to be using ‘codified’. And that Islam was ‘codified’ in the 700’s. Seriously nope. Both religions have gone severe upheaval (and splits) – Christianity in the 11th Century, 15th and 16th Century, and the rise of ‘fundamentalism’ dates from the 20th Century. Far from ‘frozen’ or even ‘finally codified’, there’s a debate on about changing the Nicene Creed (which currently exists in at least two versions) at the moment.
‘Codified’, in the sense of ‘what they did at the various Councils’ (like Nicea) actually means ‘agreed a consensus’. The bishops attending managed to just about decide on what Christians from all areas agreed on – and Christian theology has been been developing from that basis ever since.
There is a group of Christians (and Muslims) who do literally believe that the bible is the word of god, and everything it is is absolutely true (a 100 % fact) even when the whole sum of human knowledge, whether science, history, archaeology, textural analysis etc shows that it really can not be 100 % true.
To be precise, if a Christian Fundamentalist/Biblical Literalist sees a conflict between what’s in the Bible and the scientific view, their presumption will be that the science is wrong.
It’s a very popular view in the US, but isn’t generally mainstream elsewhere – because it goes against two thousand years of Biblical criticism. The usual mainstream view is more along the lines of ‘if there’s a conflict between the Bible and the ‘whole sum of human knowledge’, we’ve obviously misread the Bible.’ Given that the Bible is full to bursting of poetry, allegory and what we’d now call ‘religious novels’, that’s been the view from St Augustine and earlier. My knowledge of Islam is of the ‘comparative religions’ variety, but I know that Islam is very diverse. Mainstream Muslims believe the Qu’ran to be the Word of God. They also believe that God developed Islam as events progressed, and that the Qu’ran includes poetry, metaphor and parable.
The majority of Christians (and Muslims) are quite happy with evolution, thanks. The theory of the expanding universe (the Big Bang Theory) was proposed (with maths) by a Catholic priest who was also a mathematical physicist.
The kind of literalist reading of scripture that you find in Fundamentalist Christianity and and some sections of Islam is often a misapplication of the scientific worldview. Going back to your ‘common language’ thing, people learn that ‘true’ = ‘fact’ and then treat the Bible or the Qu’ran as if they were an engineering textbook. There’s certainly no simple relationship between ‘rejecting scientific knowledge’ and ‘literalist reading of a scripture’ – quite the opposite, in fact. One of the weird things about religious terrorism is the number of engineers involved…3 August 2017 at 03:34 #61595
I suppose it depends on how you look at the variety of opinion within each religion. In my, no doubt simplistic way looking from the outside, I see all three as a tree with a trunk (ie the basic common doctrine that defines you as a Christian say) and then branches which reflect the various stems of thought. Each religion (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) are three separate trees which are joined together via roots, which in the case of Judaism itself has roots into earlier religions, essentially in pre-history, which are little known.
I used codified for the point at which the consensus as you put it evolved into the trunk – the core common beliefs of each religion. Is codified the correct word ? It seemed reasonable to me, but I’m happy to be corrected. As you say, the consensus for what defined Christianity was agreed at the first council of Nicea, at least as I understood it.
The usual mainstream view is more along the lines of ‘if there’s a conflict between the Bible and the ‘whole sum of human knowledge’, we’ve obviously misread the Bible.’
Ok, I can’t say it was ever explained like that to me, but since I’m only a christian by baptism as a baby, plus school from 5 to 13, I certainly wouldn’t know. (I think technically that isn’t enough to make a Christian as I haven’t been confirmed). It has certainly never seemed that simple to me with the ordination of women or when dealing with homosexuality.
I don’t believe I have commented on what the majority of Christians believe in respect of creationism and evolution and certainly not regarding Islam, where I have absolutely no idea.3 August 2017 at 14:16 #61596Anonymous @
…even when the whole sum of human knowledge, whether science, history, archaeology, textural analysis etc shows that it really can not be 100 % true….To be precise, if a Christian Fundamentalist/Biblical Literalist sees a conflict between what’s in the Bible and the scientific view, their presumption will be that the science is wrong.
As you mentioned Nick, in #61595 it’s generally correct that most people within the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition respect that it is complex and that the scriptures are subject to interpretation neither being written** by one individual, nor received by one** (some sectors in America, the UK and a fringe in outlying Brisbane and NSW take the ** or latter view) and, consist as Ms Blue has stated, of a group of allegories, poems and songs showing people how to live their life.
Creationists to which to you referred, Nick, aren’t always the ‘same’ either. I remember Toby Ziegler from The West Wing being asked about whether the OT was true or not and he said: “yes, but we don’t understand it all yet” and that’s where I stand, at least. Believers in the Qur’an are even more unstructured in their ideas about how the world ‘came to be’ -it’s a much smaller work than the OT and NT which allows for scholarly persistence.
The amount of people who think a “day” in Genesis equals 24 hours are reducing in number: ask the Anglicans, the Catholics and the Muslims. The concept of ‘creation’ can be expressed through words associated with faith but it does not have to mean two areas of thinking prejudice each other. I think there’s room enough to support ideas of change; and evolution has to be included because it’s how we view the world right now.
I remember Mum talking about Nicea and writing a paper on this during a theological study at one point. The debate focused on which group believed in wearing buttons on robes -buttons too frivolous and lacking the simplicity of Christ’s essential existence -amongst many other issues which helped codify what priests would communicate to their flock. I’m probably using the word ‘codify’ wrongly myself?
Often people will discuss how the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition despises homosexuals or women when anyone who hates members of the LGBTI community are not acting kindly/ respectfully -the same as those who think women should be subject to their husbands when St Peter probably needs interpretation and I’m one of those who think that interpretation and translation is an ongoing living thing which isn’t static.
in the case of Judaism itself has roots into earlier religions, essentially in pre-history, which are little known.
Moreover, women are poorly rendered by non-Christians too who find pronoun creep hard to avoid and call, during the “is the Doctor a man?” discussion the actress Jodie Whitakker merely “Jodie” and yet frame the debate about Capaldi using his full name -which might be a cosmetic concern but is part of on-going equality issues.
Studying theology is actually helpful in working through the different philosophical movements? As is studying Aramaic which is my ‘project’; extremely difficult -not actually spoken a word out loud yet 😀
Also, we are going to be modded off this thread………..>
Thank you for your patience,
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