The Faces of the Doctor
2 September 2018 at 06:26 #63963
@mudlark I’ve seen this before, this classification of Basque as unique and apparently unconnected (by way of origins) to any other language family. Is it mainly the vocabulary that’s unique, or is Basque grammatical structure alone among all recorded languages in the world?
Writers of SF and fantasy sometimes construct languages for their imagined peoples, usually (these days at least) by having a bunch of words made up by a computer program, complete with structure imitating some known language. I’m wondering whether anybody has adapted Basque for that purpose, and how difficult that might be to do . . . But you’d start with, what makes it unique? Sounds, tones, lack of certain very common words in other languages (“no” for example), an unusual —
Oh, sorry; never mind. This is the kind of thing I can go look up for myself! Lazy me.2 September 2018 at 11:01 #63964Mudlark @mudlark
Basque is, I gather, difficult for a non-native speaker to learn and does not resemble any Indo-European language in grammatical structure or vocabulary. It is generally supposed to be an isolated survival of an earlier language or group of languages predating the arrival of languages of the Indo-European group in Western Europe, though there do not appear to be any significant differences, genetically, between the Basque people and the surrounding population.2 September 2018 at 16:51 #63968Anonymous @
Basque it is, in fact, so difficult that not even many of the native Basque people spek it so well. It almost disappeared here during the Spanish Civil War due Franco’s prohibition to use any other languages other than Spanish.6 September 2018 at 04:06 #64037
@janetteb I also loved his lack of social niceties. He is honest and naive. He was the most alien of all the new Doctors but the most “humanist”.
That’s what I meant janette, you simply put it much better. I remember Nadole saying to Bill:
“He never sees the tears.”
Yes he did, but kept it to himself.
Missy11 November 2018 at 04:46 #65539gamergirlavatar @gamergirlavatar
Alright, I finally got done moving! Oh I missed this, I’ve been wanting to write for awhile but I couldn’t. Just got the internet and I’ve been taking care of my dog. First week in a new house and he had to be taken to the vet. He has cancer and I’ve been taken care of him, spending most of my time with him. I really need this right now. Feels good to be back. I haven’t commented on Jodie or the new season yet, so let me say I really like it. Everything is so great. This Doctor is just what I thought she would be, same with her companions. That being said, I wanted a challenge with this season, and haven’t gotten it yet. I watch Doctor Who because I love stories. I like to look at them as stories and see if I can figure out what will happen next. I like to place myself in the action, strategize and think what would I do in this situation. I also like looking at the morals of stories, find out what I agree or disagree with and why. A good example of this is the episode Kill The Moon. I was for saving it by the way, but it’s moments like that in all stories I love and this is why I love Doctor Who so much. This season so far has been really familiar, in that I see what is going to happen next, I can see the moral very clearly and actions can easily be laid out. I want this season to push it’s boundaries more and I think it can do this by exploring the characters more. I say that knowing we just had a great turning point for our characters. The companions have choose The Doctor now and she knows what will happen to them in the long term. I think these companions will be different from the rest, I think that they might be able to walk away from this and learn from what they will see but there will still be some damage. As I’m typing this I’m thinking nothing has gone wrong this season so far and I don’t think anything will. Every episode has been great, I’m not a shame to admit every episode so far has brought me to tears for different reasons. This season has been great and I haven’t gotten to the new Doctor yet. She is so great. My favorite moment with her is her jumping across cranes because it was heroic but also because I was so swept up in the show my thoughts were “Doctor, you might have have to jump.” This is when she is telling someone else to jump and my thoughts go straight to “He might not jump, he’s really likely to get caught. Than you’re going to jump.” What I love about this moment is she just does it, only with a hint of panic, she just does it. The best moment to me was the four humans who couldn’t believe her actions as they were witnessing this scene. To me, if I had any doubts about this new Doctor that would have made them disappear. I get caught up in the show and I forget what the normal reaction to this universe should be. The companions know do know this however, they can’t believe this alien and her actions and I think that makes this show what it has always been. A crazy been, ready for anything and normal people not quite understanding her or her reasoning. I love this and I love Jodie’s Doctor. Now I’m going to recap my thoughts real quick, I don’t to spend too much time on this. Need to get back to my dog. So let just say, I know everyone working on the show right now are going to be looking back at this season and they are going to know what they will want to change, wether they feel there was a mistake, just want to try something different or push their luck. I write a lot and I know that the worse thing someone can do is just criticise without really caring about what was offered. I am loving everything so far. That’s why I want to see more, more episodes and trying to expand what they can offer. So I want to leave off with a proposal knowing that no one from the show is going to read this. This is for the writers, can we explore a character trait of The Doctors hardly mentioned in the context of the show. I know The Doctor needs to have a lot of mystery to her, I love this, that’s why I never want to know her name. But if we could take something we all know about her and have her face it, I think this could be a situation that will show the core aspects of The Doctor’s character but would be handled by every Doctor differently, allowing for this Doctor to exemplify her own distinct characteristics. For example, part of The Doctor’s character I always been fascinated by is that she is a parent and a grandparent. That she has a family made of her own flesh and blood. This is hardly mentioned in the show though since Susan left. I’ve been reading a book, The 12 Doctors of Christmas. In it there is a chapter were The Doctor finds out Susan had a child, a son. I like to wonder how would The Doctor react to seeing her granddaughter again and meet her great grandson. This might not sound like a small part of The Doctor but again, we haven’t seen her family since Susan left in the second year of the show. Since than her family has been her companions. It has been that way to her for over 2,000 years now and she doesn’t talk about her Timelord family. If she thought about visiting Susan again or she just met a member of her family, what would this idea do to her. Now this is just an example I thought of and it’s something that I like about The Doctor’s character. It doesn’t have to be this. I just want to see the crew believe that they can explore anything and still have it resemble the show. It can be anything, something from The Doctor’s past, a character trait hardly scene, or the emotional and mental impact her actions and the universe’s actions have on her. This can really be anything! It is just a thought, however, this is not my show and I wouldn’t be watching if I didn’t trust what everyone was bringing to it. Everyone keep up the good work. Welcome Jodie specially, she is a symbol of hope and I haven’t been so happy with a Doctor in my time watching the program. Thank you Jodie!12 November 2018 at 17:55 #65584nerys @nerys
This is an interesting conversation, re: who is the most “alien” of all the Doctors. I’m most familiar with the post-gap Doctors, so for me it goes like this:
Chris Eccleston convinced me of his alien-ness. I found him to be a believable in his portrayal of an alien needing companionship and trying (but not always succeeding) to understand and bond with humans.
David Tennant was, for me, the most accessible of all the Doctors. Or at least he was until he got near the end of his tenure. Then he took a sharp, dark turn.
Matt Smith convinced me of how ancient the Doctor is. The compelling element of his performance was the youth of his exterior, contrasted with the ages upon ages of experience reflected in his eyes.
Peter Capaldi was an enigma to me, yet I loved him. Being an introvert, myself, I appreciate the comments others have made about why, on occasion, his Doctor could be so snarky and unapproachable. Does that make him more alien? I guess it depends on how we define it. If “alien” is more about the barriers that go up, preventing empathy, then that makes sense to me. But, because it’s something I understand so well, it becomes the opposite of alien and is more of a human trait. Yet, if we’re supposed to be highly social creatures … the pendulum swings back to “alien” again.
Based on what I’ve seen so far, Jodie Whittaker reminds me of David Tennant’s Doctor (but without the Rose angst). We’re in early days yet, so I think there is much character development yet to come. The Doctor and her companions are still bonding. Given what many suspect will happen with Graham, if it happens, the ramifications for this Doctor should be significant.13 November 2018 at 02:55 #65606
As you must know, I’m not interested in a female Doctor so won’t be seeing this series.
As for personalities, I remember Steven Moffat saying that Peter Capaldi’s Doctor was a churning mass of emotions (words to that affect.) In my opinion he was right. His Doctor was the most human of all the Doctors. His grumpiness, dry humour and pretended nonchalance, are all human traits. The very act of hiding them, is too.
Peter Capaldi himself, insisted that the Doctor was an alien – not human – and thought quite differently to human beings. He did however say that the Doctor would fabricate himself at times to make him seem human. Thing is, he didn’t have to fabricated anything.
All in all, he was a wonderful Doctor, and many of us will miss him greatly.
Missy13 November 2018 at 05:57 #65609
@missy Yes, many of us do . . . Funny, but it was always quite clear that Capaldi himself was not “his” Doctor (“He’s the Doctor, I’m just a guy”), and that the Doctor was separated from human by eons of not-human experience although electrifyingly connected to humanity at certain emotional points.
The thing with Whittaker that I’m finding is that she seems to be her Doctor — but that Doctor is no more alien than my cat is. A human with some enhanced abilities, brilliant tech, and a lot of odd experience, but — us. A good woman to have as your friend: sympathetic (mostly), reliable, scattery but capable, with — so far as I can see — a good heart. One good heart. She pretty Zen, in fact — in and of the moment, devoid of any impulse to reflect. She could just as easily be that adventurous aunt who zooms off to live with the nomads for a year, or gets asked to go help the space station solve a problem and ends up inventing a star-drive and punching through to Alpha Centauri — Victorian England produced a good handful of such women, lone explorers in exotic climes who just couldn’t be doing with Victorian/Edwardian “lady” ness and walked right out of it to do their own (Imperially protected) thing in Albania, Arabia, the Far East, etc..
But alien? No. More Indiana Jones than Starman, so far. Clearly, this is just fine for the current DW purpose. A bit dull for me, though, and I’m not seeing much potential in Whittacker for a blossoming of depths. But you never now . . .
I’ll stay on for stories, and wait to see if there’s more.13 November 2018 at 17:22 #65623nerys @nerys
@missy I understand your comments about Capaldi, and I do miss him. But then, I’ve said that about all the Doctors after their regenerations. It’s not enough to keep me from watching, so I do continue on and am finding a lot to enjoy with the current Doctor and her companions. Not without complaints, mind you … but that’s always been the case.
@ichabod I think I agree with you on Whittaker’s Doctor. I find her more accessible, somehow, in much the same way I found Tennant’s Doctor more accessible (till his final few episodes, that is).19 November 2018 at 04:32 #65752
That is where we are different, I didn’t mind them changing it was exciting, and of course, I didn’t have a favourite.
You know how I feel so I shall not labour the point. When they bring back a Male lead, I’ll start watching again.
But alien? No. More Indiana Jones than Starman, so far. Clearly, this is just fine for the current DW purpose. A bit dull for me, though, and I’m not seeing much potential in Whittacker for a blossoming of depths. But you never now . .
I’ve never seen any potential in JW, but most would not agree.
Oddly enough, I though PC’s Doctor was very approachable – depending on how you approached him. Although only fiction and an actor acting out that fiction, PC’s Doctor always made me feel safe. Strange isn’t it.
Missy20 November 2018 at 07:37 #65795
@missy Although only fiction and an actor acting out that fiction, PC’s Doctor always made me feel safe. Strange isn’t it.
I felt both the same, and the opposite — never knew, particularly in S8, which way he would jump, or how far he would go, but simultaneously there was no doubt whatever in my mind that this Doctor’s two hearts were positively molten with passion for decency, fairness, and kindness. That fixed the game in a way, because it would almost always bring him round in the end to a softer landing rather than a hard one.
Not when dealing with Cybermen, of course, because they themselves had no hearts at all (if I recall correctly).20 November 2018 at 13:35 #65799CedarBranchTardis @cedarbranchtardis
The Doctor isn’t a real person? OH NO! Seriously, I always enjoyed Capaldi’s guitar playing.6 December 2018 at 00:20 #66219
Something I’ve been thinking about, tangential to some recent conversations, is the Doctor being internally conflicted – or not.
The question is, if you were writing a Doctor Who or other story, what’s the benefit of having a conflicted protagonist, whether the Doctor or someone else?
Well, there are a couple. One is that a conflicted character is automatically not vanilla; having something that torments them inside promotes them from a minimum of one-dimensional to two. Of course there are other ways to deepen a characterization, but this is a viable one.
Another benefit of a conflicted protagonist is that conflict is the essence of storytelling. For a story to have an ending, and thus something approaching dramatic resolution, there has to be something to resolve, and that’s a conflict. Having a conflicted protagonist gives you a conflict, and thus a story.
Although it’s not that simple. The character’s internal conflict should fit with the central story conflict, both for unity of action, and to avoid plot incoherence. (Consider a nice, cliche-filled romance where the two protagonists are separated by being from differing social classes, and each is conflicted in addition: she’s a doctor tormented by the patient she lost that she’s sure she should not have, and he’s afraid he’s a physical coward. You can wind all those up in the third act, but each conflict distracts from the others, rather than going together.)
So, with Doctor Who, the Doctor should be conflicted, to deepen the characterization, right? And to build stronger stories through reinforcing conflicts. Right?
Well, not so fast. While I admit I much prefer a conflicted Doctor, that’s a matter of taste. Consider Doctors 9 through 12 plus War. They were all tormented by their memories of the Time War, by deaths on an astronomical scale, and by genocide.
For unity of action, the stories you tell have to have very weighty conflicts, about collateral damage and displaced persons and un-avoided deaths. Right?
After ten seasons sprinkled or more with those kinds of stories, isn’t it reasonable that the creative team wants a different direction? Isn’t that sufficient rationale to present a Doctor without internal conflict?
I think so. I’d like to see the Doctor start showing more lurking below her surface, not because she’s one-dimensional, but I like hidden depths.
But what I like is hardly a necessity. I’ll go along with this seemingly surface-only Doctor, and see some different stories compared to past seasons. “But times change, and so must I.” Fair enough.6 December 2018 at 13:48 #66233Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip
After ten seasons sprinkled or more with those kinds of stories, isn’t it reasonable that the creative team wants a different direction?
Okay, bonkers theory (TM) coming up:
The few hints that we have about the creative process for the Whittaker Doctor are that a) she discussed it with Chris Chibnall and b) she didn’t research by watching any of the others.
Which does suggest that this Doctor represents a different direction. She remembers her past, but she isn’t tormented by it; it no longer seems to have any emotional resonance for her and it certainly doesn’t bring up a massive angst attack.
The massive outward change of regenerating from an unbroken string of male bodies into a female body could be reflecting an inward change of regenerating her angst away. The Time War is over, s/he managed to rewrite the genocide of all those children, the Time Lords have survived. They’re still monsters – but really, that’s their problem. The Doctor’s problem is him/herself, and whether she’s a monster. And after an extensive battle with that during the Capaldi regeneration, s/he’s decided to make a change.
I think we’ve all spotted that inward change. We’re expressing it in different ways – she feels very ‘new’ is mine, but others are saying ‘lacks gravitas’, or ‘lacks inward conflict’. After ten seasons of angst upon angst, it’s quite a shock to have a Doctor who seems to have closed an emotional door on her memories. She remembers what happened, but has no emotions associated with those memories.
It’s very noticeable when she talks about her grannies (as a side-note, I wonder if ‘grannie’ means ‘surviving female ancestor with an active grandparenting role’ in Gallifreyan, and they don’t really distinguish whether the ‘grannie’ is their parent’s parent or grandparent or great-grandparent or …). As an acting note, Whittaker’s performance lacks any emotional resonance – there’s no sense that she’s remembering a person she loved.
But ’emotional resonance’ is usually a walk in the park for Jodie Whittaker, and a batty old gran who thinks your other gran is a spy isn’t exactly outside human experience. Given that creating a sense of ‘Granny Five’ should be pretty easy, why didn’t she do it?
Possibly because this regeneration has no emotional connection to her memories. She has all of them neatly stored, accessible when she needs to solve a problem. But they don’t make her feel anything any more. They’re almost time-locked – except it’s emotion-locked. A firm line has been drawn under the past, and a new start (symbolised by now being a woman) has been made.
It’s a different direction.6 December 2018 at 14:10 #66235
@bluesqueakpip I completely agree, and I can see a good reason for this, because I can see a good reason why the number of regenerations was capped at 12. It could simply be a fact that huge and powerful as Time Lord brains are, the memory of so many personalities, with all their loves still locked inside you, carrying on all those emotions is a lot. Twelve might have been the first Time Lord to carry twelve personalities in his memories in addition to his own (including the War Doctor), and he did – Twelves responses to River and Missy show us that. You could argue cracks were showing, and that he was becoming dangerous.
An emotional clean slate was probably needed for her sanity, memories without the strong emotional connection. Which means emotionally Thirteen is the youngest doctor we’ve ever seen, One was, after all, presumably quite old before he stole the Tardis, or at least before he stole the two school teachers and started hanging around with humans.6 December 2018 at 14:55 #66236Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip
Yeah. I think the desire of the creative team for a new direction could explain why we’ve had an entire series without any old favourites at all – but if the Doctor has made an emotional clean slate and the production team want to hide it, then that would also explain it.
Having no fear of the Daleks, for example, would be a dead giveaway, as would meeting Missy or River Song again. And that would be why the Solitract decided against the barn – not just honesty, but also a sense that the Doctor won’t feel any emotional pull. The Doctor can also, now, attend funerals again, because grieving properly for someone no longer has emotional connections to the war, to her past companions, to the grief of committing genocide.
And, of course, it explains why Whittaker’s bouncing around like an over-excited teenager on her Gap Year. Emotionally, that’s what she is. She’s kept the knowledge, but junked the emotional overlay, so when she sees something it’s as if she’s experiencing it for the first time.
Okay. Let’s see what comes up in the finale.6 December 2018 at 15:47 #66237
I think the desire of the creative team for a new direction could explain why we’ve had an entire series without any old favourites at all – but if the Doctor has made an emotional clean slate and the production team want to hide it, then that would also explain it.
Very good point.
Let’s see what comes up in the finale.
Agreed. Chibnall isn’t known for shallow characters with nothing under the surface, so we should expect something to happen to give this Doctor a more layered characterization. And between the finale and the special, what better time?
(A more layered characterization – good analysis or wishful thinking? Well, if this be wishful thinking, let us make the most of it!) 😉6 December 2018 at 16:20 #66238
@bluesqueakpip @kevinwho – something to do with the ‘Timeless Child’, something buried in her memories?6 December 2018 at 16:34 #662396 December 2018 at 20:15 #66241G Man @swankycriminal
Let the Doctor enjoy peace of mind.
After so long having the conflict of the time war eat away and control the reins of the doctors life the doctor is now able to take control back…live life in a new (and old) perspective of the universe is an amazingly beautiful place worth exploring and experiencing with wonder, joy and fear and everything else that life provides. I’m enjoying having a season not starting in a major conflict dictating direction right off the bat. Its nice to explore the galaxy with misadventures until the next big thing comes along the way…not every day has to be a conflict, the universe is big and doesnt have to just be conflict. We’re getting to see character development with companions that arent special in a galactic way (Rose,Amy, Clara) but as regular people with their own conflicts and issues to over come, Graham and his relationship with ryan and grief of losing Grace….Ryan with coping with dyspraxia, grief of also grace being gone and his father issues, i’ve heard many opinions on Yaz but i see her being developed too, just not as apparent as the others. Shes a junior p.o. who wants to do more and be in charge and shes now being mentored by the best and you see it developing in the episodes (in “It takes You Away” she suggested reversing the polarity…is already showing of learning from the doctor and i wouldnt be surprised if we get an episode where the Doctor gets in trouble and its up to the companions to save day with Yaz leading the way). Thats one of the things about the Doctor. Was always teaching and mentoring his companions, and didnt always need a conflict. In classic era the seasons didnt always have a season long conflict, the doctor wasnt always fighting the daleks or cybermen, in fact 10 seasons didn’t have either one. The last 10 seasons always had conflict, old enemeies(favourites)..always fast paced with running and fan service it started becoming the norm.
Bringing back old traits of the doctor and leaving room for new conflicts and enemies and disasters and continue exploring space and time to bring in new stories and concepts, waiting and wondering to find what else is out there i find rather brilliant. I don’t mind the slowing down to develop characters and stories. That development may be needed to overcome the next conflict, problem, mystery etc. There is conflict out there yet to be discovered, it doesnt have to be found immediately and acted upon. The Doctor is a new person freed stuck from living in the past and living what feels to be renewed life.
@bluesqueakpip said “And, of course, it explains why Whittaker’s bouncing around like an over-excited teenager on her Gap Year. Emotionally, that’s what she is. She’s kept the knowledge, but junked the emotional overlay, so when she sees something it’s as if she’s experiencing it for the first time”.
That is her character. It’s not lacking anything ATM. Eventually like her companions she too will have new challenges and conflicts to overcome that will be developed, throwing this personality directly into the next conflict will just bring about a new character. There will be room for old classics we love and enjoy…it doesnt need to be every other adventure.
Accept the characters for who they are, not who you want them to be.6 December 2018 at 21:33 #66242
Accept the characters for who they are, not who you want them to be.
You make a very valid point, but based on a) some comments here, b) some much stronger comments from my sweetie, and c) my own feelings, I would like to see a nod given to the fans who’ve watched and loved the last ten years. It’s not so much who I or anyone else want them to be, as much as that if the show doesn’t provide what people want, they won’t watch.
Of course, a ton more people are watching now than have in the last half-dozen years or so, but I’m sure the show would like to hold onto all those watching it, last ten years, last fifty, and last few months.6 December 2018 at 22:16 #66243IAmNotAFishIAmAFreeMan @pedant
@craig – This face could do with a facelift…
Or maybe Face/ Off works better.7 December 2018 at 10:02 #66250thane16 @thane16
“You could argue cracks were showing, and that he was becoming dangerous…”
I found 12 in his night-shirt quite distressing. Walking around London searching for the lost dinosaur? Bleating on the top of buildings? It was almost undignified! People complaining (and I get it, I really do) that the current Doctor lacks sufficient gravitas forget key scenes: the Doctor stumbling about (bad knees); talking to himself and others: “who frowns this face?” or “why is your face so big?” Talking for hours to the zygons and humans, pleading for their understanding, begging them to listen to his experiences -his retelling (a necessary thing and utterly convincing) of what it was like to consider killing all of Gallifrey.
Yes there was gravitas, but lots of other stuff too: some confidence problems mixed with occasional arrogance but underneath (with Bill), he’d made almost-peace with specific memories. I saw him as ‘teacher’ and with Bill it was fitting that he would do this -and that his classes would burst at the seams.
But in his very first episode, I remember his plaintive “you don’t see me” and then I wept. Isn’t that our own terrible nightmare? That the people to whom we’re attached will invalidate our experiences, fail to pass on our knowledge? To live without being aware of another’s existence was a powerful fear of the Greeks -one of their gravest fears, in fact, leading to over-confidence and a few burnt…..wings.
And I think a few people thought “the Doc, on a TANK wearing sunglasses and playing an electric guitar?” That’s not gravitas! That’s baloney!” Except we describe him like this: proud and noble, dignified, dutiful, lofty enough to shit marble when I don’t think 12 was like that much of the time. @ichabod -would you agree?
I thought of him as a trickster, more melancholy and internal than our current Doctor. And as @miapatrick said there’s “a good reason why the number of regenerations was capped at 12…. that huge and powerful as Time Lord brains are, the memory of so many personalities..” could turn you into …..12: jabbering at the sky; finding it had to lock onto other people; meditating on the Tardis in deep space (an image I loved) because his brain billowed with chance encounters, or tragedy and bright but confused memories. The new Doctor has to wall-off a space for them so she doesn’t come unglued. For Capaldi, not finding Gallifrey and his frenzied reaction was enough to scare any sane person. Thank God he found it, admonishing the High Council with silent derision and I don’t know if Whittaker’s Doctor would do that -necessarily. As Pip said, “They’re still monsters – but really, that’s their problem.”
On accessing emotions, I remember Kill The Moon where the Doctor, answering questions about the moon and space-science, physically attempted a ‘trance,’ of some sort. As if he had to deliberately unlock memories (of the future) because he, personally, didn’t need them or couldn’t survive without junking ‘irrelevant’ stuff. As he reiterated future events, he lacked full consciousness for several seconds.
Puro.8 December 2018 at 02:24 #66337
@thane16 I also see the 12th as a trickster or even “the great pretender”. He has a different face for every occasion, but inside he is sad and tired and a little bored. He has learned over a very long time that his control of the universe is limited and although that is scary it is also freeing. Letting other people look after themselves and make their own decisions even if you think they are wrong can be hard on someone who is used to being in control. I feel the 13th Doctor has learned that lesson finally and can let go and stop trying to stop everything bad and save everyone. She has learned that everyone has a right to be the author of their own story. The 12th Doctor and Clara and Bill taught her that sometimes terrible things happen to the ones we love and even if we can’t stop it doesn’t mean it is your fault.
As I get older and suffer the losses that come with life and the “grown up problems” my grown up kids have and frankly the political climate we live in, I have had to learn these lessons also,sometimes the hard way and I have become better at letting go. You can’t fix it all so fix what you can and always try to be a better person. Fight the good fight but get used to losing cause it happens. The 13th Doctor is just finally learning the lessons the only age and experience and loss can give you. We Grandmas have some hard earned wisdom if only someone would listen.8 December 2018 at 02:28 #66338thane16 @thane16
Right on. Letting go aint easy and with Thane ‘n’ all: letting him solve his problems is the hardest thing I’ve ever done (including Crohns surgery and that’s sayin’ something!). Your particular political climate IS very difficult. We’re all here in Aus watching with horror as the next statement by The Orange Creature is blasted thru time and chaos.
Puro8 December 2018 at 02:41 #66341
@thane16 The pumpkin headed Trump guy doesn’t seem to care for Canada and seems intent on hurting our economy anyway he can.He doesn’t hurt our feelings though, we just shudder and cringe and hope it is over soon. Nothing we can do to change how the States votes but we have to fight that nationalism and populism in our own country. We cannot let that happen here in Canada.8 December 2018 at 06:41 #66343janetteB @janetteb
@winston sadly I fear that nationalism and popularism are on the rise worldwide. I used to think Australia and Canada were alike but these days I fear we are swinging more towards that country to the south of you. Our current national government is certainly trying to tap into those “Trumpish” scourges though thankfully the party got an absolute drubbing in a recent state election where they campaigned on a strong anti immigrant basis. Hopefully we will see that carry through to the next federal election but that is still about six months away and the electorate have short memories. There are some days when I despair of democracy but I will still be out there at a polling station handing out “how to votes” for hours next year because we have yet to think of a better way to manage our societies.
Janette9 December 2018 at 02:50 #66361
@janetteb I feel your political pain and share your fear for the future. Our lovely( I like him) PM Trudeau is fighting the surge but I fear it is a losing battle. My province of Ontario just elected a Conservative govt. that ran on a platform of anti-immigration and anti-environment and soon cut programs like the cap and trade carbon tax and social programs a plenty. It really makes me anxious to see my country try so hard to go backwards after all the fighting it took old activists like me to get these protections and rights. Always shoot for the highest ideals and as you say , vote.
That is what the Doctor more than anything represents for me , the idea of fighting for fairness and equality and safety and a caring society, even if it seems impossible, because it might just happen and we may get there some day.13 December 2018 at 03:24 #66579
@ichabod Good grief, has I been away that long? Your post below.
I felt both the same, and the opposite — never knew, particularly in S8, which way he would jump, or how far he would go, but simultaneously there was no doubt whatever in my mind that this Doctor’s two hearts were positively molten with passion for decency, fairness, and kindness. That fixed the game in a way, because it would almost always bring him round in the end to a softer landing rather than a hard one.
Exactly, and you didn’t feel that you were being lectured and preached at either, which, I’ve been told, is how some viewers feel with this series.
Not my words.
Missy13 December 2018 at 07:25 #66584
@thane16 Puro . . . a few people thought “the Doc, on a TANK wearing sunglasses and playing an electric guitar?” That’s not gravitas! That’s baloney!” Except we describe him like this: proud and noble, dignified, dutiful, lofty enough to shit marble when I don’t think 12 was like that much of the time. @ichabod -would you agree?
Gravitas in response to grave events, the scars of old conflicts and defeats, yes — but also continual break-outs from that state into snark, clowning, grandstanding, childishness (“What about me?!”) and even a larger perspective (“I am — an idiot! In a box! Passing by — “). All those things — and that occasional distancing, the chill detachment of the alien observer. I do think we got all that in 12 right along with the arrogance and the nobility, which is just what made him such a rich creation.
I do hear you on “Please — just, see me!” A heart-breaker, on such a personal level . . . but on a social level too. I don’t think even the Ancient Greeks were as fixated on visibility as westerners are today with our “celebrity” addictions and our shooters writing “SEE ME, mo’fo’s!” in the blood of their schoolmates. The resonances were everywhere and dense with echoes, many of them dark. Which doesn’t suit everyone, nor should it. (Interesting take on that late bit of KtM, by the way — future Time running through him, once he opened that mental door?)
So yes, stepping away now from her own private Akashic plane is a reasonable move for 13, even a necessary one for sanity’s sake, even at the cost of an initial emotional shallowness as so many here have pointed out (that complete emotional disconnect with the past bothers me, but it does make sense as folks here explain it).
And @swankycriminal is right, IMO, that new, darker tones will accumulate as time goes on and stories about accepting limitations (as opposed to defying them, per 12) and working within them for what can be accomplished there roll on.
@winston The 13th Doctor is just finally learning the lessons the only age and experience and loss can give you.
She’s learned them, I think, and that’s what we’re seeing. My problem with this is that when the lessons are learned, the story is done. Unless lessons learned are also freshly tested, struggled with, maybe lost, maybe found, maybe reinterpreted or something . . .
@missy and you didn’t feel that you were being lectured and preached at either, which, I’ve been told, is how some viewers feel with this series.
It’s funny — viewers who aren’t there yet, who’re still a shade (or more than a shade) uneasy and even resentful of the appearance on the scene of supporting players who aren’t white, the elevation of female characters to levels of importance *not* primarily about their sexuality, and so on, are going to feel preached at simply if the contentious issues are touched on, let alone central, because their “this is normal” setting is a bit, shall we say, dated. I think they sense that there’s no going back now (heck, we’re on the verge of a booming, vastly lucrative, legalized pot industry here in the US, just ask this morning’s New York Times!), but they can’t give up the more rigid and restrictive comfort zone they’re so used to taking for granted. They feel left behind (and they are, unless they make the effort to catch up), and they resent it like hell. So any acknowledgment that these shifts will happen/are happening/have already happened (like the Doctor is female, for starters) will upset them. Well, they’re spitting into the wind, which bloweth where it listeth, whatever direction some of us might prefer. So for them, everything forward-looking is a lecture or a preachment.
And yet — when 12 gave a speech against war and for negotiation, it *was* a lecture, and it *was* a preachment, but it was thrilling and up lifting (you can see it in the comments on “best Doctor moments”). Because he spoke about what still doesn’t seem to prevail, a hope rather than a fact? Because he was an authoritative older male figure speaking it? Chibnal should be praised for showing as well as telling — Yaz is a cop, Ryan is an unsure by upright young black man grown well even in the absence of his parents, and Graham is an old guy running through corridors instead of sitting in a rocking chair and grumbling about kids these days — and what we’re shown is already true in the “Real World”. Maybe that’s the problem of DW now for the anti social justice crowd? Talk can be grand and stirring, but mirroring the reality is too close for comfort?
@janetteb @winston For what it’s worth, my astrologer friend tells me that we (as a planetary population) have fallen under the influence now of Capricorn, which means among other things conservatisim, materialism, stubbornness, and (hard-headed) pragmatism. It (the backwards drag of reactionary politics) is basically a desperate fight by the rich and powerful against big social and economic shifts (automation, the existential necessity of spending lots of money on adapting to Climate Change instead of on this rich guy’s private submarine and that one’s mansions in four different countries, the rise of educated and fed up women against social oppression that favors men, etc.). That’s got to be a big fight (already is in the US as well as elsewhere).13 December 2018 at 08:46 #66585
@ichabod that’s a good point, and after all, in his final season, 12 was a professor. And what did we call people with that job at Polytechnics before they got turned into universities? Lecturers.
I think sex/gender is affecting how some people respond to theDoctor. I’ve seen her accused of ‘hectoring’ a grieving father (for telling his blind daughter there was a monster in the woods then leaving her alone for days not knowing what happened to him.) As though any other version of the Doctor would have just patted him on the back, said ‘ah, well, grief is a tricky thing. When you feel really ready how about going back and looking after her.’ And as though, had 13 taken this approach, people wouldn’t have been saying ‘the Doctor has no authority or strong principles’.
This season is seen as particularly close to the bone, partly I think because of a return to the older historical format – because the historical format is more human based. I’ve listened to Who episodes on the radio where Tom Baker Doc and Leela meet Bodiccia. Understandably Leela wants to join her. So this isn’t unprecedented. And I think it makes a nice change from ‘Victorian London but with Cybermen’ ‘Victorian London with a weird parasitic worm’ ‘Victorian London with The Great Intelligence’. I liked those episodes. But the change is nice. The problem with putting alien consciousnesses at the root of the conflict is, however much humans are involved, it makes the problem appear external. It makes humans collaborators, often dupes, but not the source of the problem. The Doctor protecting us from external threats.
And yet… What about Harriett Jones? Didn’t she get a bit of a lecture? And then taken down by a line that I could see echoing around the UK right now: ‘Doesn’t she look tired?’13 December 2018 at 14:14 #66599
@ichabod – Where the “lecturing” is concerned, the difference that I see is that, for example, in the Zygon Invasion/Inversion, 12’s speech was designed to show Bonnie the lesson that 12 had learned, and spare her the pain of learning it. He did his best to show her where she was headed. Whereas in this last season I’ve sometimes felt that whole episodes aren’t showing me a life lesson, they’re telling me what to think. There’s a difference there, and a big one.
Now, most of the time this last season it wasn’t too heavy-handed, and it was always what I already thought, so I put up with it. I just hope next season dials it down a little.13 December 2018 at 14:24 #66601
Let me add that, in my last entry, the key words are in the first sentence: the difference that I see. Perceptions always vary, and not everyone will be struck the same way (obviously, given the range of views already). I’m just trying to clarify that I don’t think everyone else should have gotten the same impression I got…although I suspect some did, hence some of the complaints.13 December 2018 at 15:45 #66607IAmNotAFishIAmAFreeMan @pedant
Whereas in this last season I’ve sometimes felt that whole episodes aren’t showing me a life lesson, they’re telling me what to think.
Well, no. It is a distinction without a difference.
Distinction: addressing antagonist or address newbie travellers.
Difference: either of the above vs addressing the audience.
And remember, I’ve stated my concerns about the “Blue Peter segment” tone of some of the exposition.
And, as I have said elsewhere, I suspect some of these tonal intrusions are coming from above Chibnall (Broadchurch was hardly known of its preachiness, which is what got Chibbers into so much trouble with season 2: spelling out what he was doing wouldn’t have solved the fundamental flaw, but at least it would got people onto the right page).13 December 2018 at 17:48 #66609
@pedant – I just finished deleting a long answer about the distinction I see, even if others don’t. But I decided it sucked, so it’s gone. If I can come up with a good response, I’ll come back and make it.13 December 2018 at 18:10 #66611
Okay, I’ll try.
I can give any young person what I can hope are life lessons about sex and relationships by recounting some of the incredibly foolish things I did when I was young. By including why I made a particular mistake, maybe they can avoid that one and make some other one instead.
Whereas with Rosa, at least, why any of the people in it have made the mistake of adopting or maintaining racist attitudes is not explored. I understand why – others explained it to me in that episode’s forum topic – but I still see the episode as heavier-handed than necessary, and less of a life lesson than I’d prefer, because of that.
But. For one thing, that’s my perception. And, for another, the people this was aimed at, people who may have had no idea what the Jim Crow American South was like, may have gotten a non-heavy-handed life lesson out of it.
So I can see why some see the season as heavy-handed, and others see it as valuable and tackling appropriate subjects.
And as you pointed out elsewhere, @pedant – it ain’t about us anymore. The show is growing a new generation of fans, as it should, and if they’re benefiting, well, I’ll just sit in this dark corner over here and mutter to myself. I’ve always wanted to be an old crank anyway. 😉13 December 2018 at 20:10 #66612
@kevinwho . . . in this last season I’ve sometimes felt that whole episodes aren’t showing me a life lesson, they’re telling me what to think.
Yes, sometimes — because she’s telling her companions, our stand-ins, what to think, but with no detectable (to me) emotion and personally-felt experience behind it. Good grief, maybe my feeling about this is partly just me, as a teacher myself, being critical of WhitDoc’s teaching style!
Seriously, though — I feel it’s a case of, Don’t just tell them how to behave — back it up with why. And “. . . Or you’ll be no better than he is” just doesn’t cut it, for me. It’s an easy, but false, equality — Tim Shaw has shown himself to be willfully aggressive, killing for fun and status; Graham is being actively threatened by him and has already lost a beloved partner to Tim Shaw’s aggression. Killing Shaw would not make Graham “as bad as” Shaw because circumstances and motivations of Shaw’s death at Graham’s hands would be entirely different from any of Shaw’s murders that we’ve seen.
But yes, if it’s more didactic school-marming for the sake of the younger set, I’ll share your muttering corner, Kevin, one old crank to another, remembering that it’s not the oldies they’re eager to please this time out.17 December 2018 at 09:36 #66692
I’m with both of you.
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