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    Cath Annabel @replies

    @mudlark We had Mischievous Night in Nottinghamshire in the early 70s – I’m pretty sure it was on 31 October rather than 4 November?  No dressing up, just ringing people’s doorbells and running away, that sort of thing.  Or at least that was as much as we ever got up to – I dare say others were bolder/less scared of getting caught!  We never did anything for Halloween that I can recall – I’m not sure when that started to be a thing over here – certainly by the time my children were growing up (20 years ago) it was a pretty big deal.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @thane16 You’re not wrong, this is a bloody brilliant place.  Love it.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    Re Brexit.  I hesitate to chip in, not because I don’t have strong views about it, but because the very word fills me with such weariness and foreboding.  There are two parts to this – the first is obviously the simple binary vote (in or out) that took place over two years ago, and which went (fairly narrowly) against what I believe is in the interests of this country and our neighbours.  I would have lived with that, however reluctantly, but the second element is the dishonesty, arrogance and incompetence of those who have been entrusted with delivering ‘the will of the people’.  It was clear that they did not expect the outcome to be Leave, but that doesn’t let them off the hook – any sensible, responsible government would have got some of its best minds together before the Ref to discuss how they would go about things if the vote went that way.  Failing that, immediately after the outcome was known.  But it seems that even now, with very little time remaining before our departure date, they are bumbling along without ever sounding remotely competent or as if they even understand the issues.  No wonder the EU are pushing us – if they weren’t, I doubt that anything at all would be happening.  What the consequences of this dereliction of duty will be, we don’t know.  A hugely messy ‘no deal’ or a bad deal?  What will it mean for trade, for NI, for migration, for staffing in the NHS and other major employers, for EU citizens whose homes are here, and for British citizens whose homes are in Europe?  The will of the people who voted was narrowly to leave, I accept that.  But it didn’t specify what that meant, and who knows what those individuals actually thought it meant.  Many appear to have thought it meant that all foreigners would forthwith disappear from the UK to whence they came.  Some appear to think we can have an Empire again now we are free from the shackles of the EU.  Of course many took a much more nuanced and informed view and voted Leave for reasons other than xenophobia or nostalgia – but it’s very hard to find clear, concrete examples of how we will benefit, as most of the claims made pre-Ref have either been shown to be false or those claiming them have rowed back vigorously.  It’s all still incredibly vague, to say it’s supposed to be happening so soon.  Even if Leave was the right result, even if I’d voted for it, I’d be furious about the arrogance, ignorance and incompetence, and I wouldn’t trust the powers that be to deliver anything resembling the promised land.  I am, as I said, incredibly weary of this, and fearful of the future – more for my children and their children than for anything that will immediately affect us.  It’s more than the fear of another economic crash – it’s about the kind of country we will be living in after we leave.  Because if it’s the country that Farage and Johnson and Rees-Mogg want us to be living in, I’d rather be very much elsewhere…

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @juniperfish I’m almost sure the t-shirt started off blue, was red for a bit, then back to blue.  Would have to rewatch to be sure…

    Plot-wise I felt it left a bit too much dangling, as it were.  The mummy spider was dead, and the other hotel spiders were in Not Donald Trump’s panic room, but what about all the others?  There was the one that killed the Uni admin person who worked on the spider project, there was one at Graham’s place, and the implication that there were or could be more…

    But I agree that the heart of the narrative was the homecoming – shortlived as it turned out – of Team Tardis.  Graham made me tear up, again.  That I did not expect when I saw that Bradley Walsh was in the cast.

    Cath Annabel @replies

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

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

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @whisht Yay, Steel Pulse!  Loved their Handsworth Revolution album.  Loads of passionate political pop around at that era, good times.  I’d say we need a resurgence of that kind of movement, but the singles charts don’t have the power they had back in the days when a song such as Ghost Town would be in the charts and everyone would know it and have seen the video and be talking about it.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @msrbahar  I am genuinely, very sorry for your loss.  And that’s a damn good excuse for grumpiness.  Nonetheless, I still cannot read your statement about Segun Akinola’s selection being anything to do with his race as anything other than racist.  You didn’t care for his score, fine.  But to jump from that to the assumption that he’s been given preferential treatment because he’s black??  I’m not saying you are a racist, but that is an assumption that is racist.  IMHO.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @msrbahar What you call your ‘humble’ opinion is actually staggeringly arrogant.  And obviously racist.  So I don’t think I’m alone in saying I’d rather you took your opinions elsewhere.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    Just re-watched The Sound of Drums and noted the similarities between the scene where TennDoc, Martha & Cap’n Jack in a random warehouse cannibalise bits of kit to make the perception filters, and the scene here where WhitDoc & her pals in a random warehouse cannibalise bits of kit to make the Sheffield Sonic (as it will hereinafter be known).  The lighting and everything was so close – def. an hommage, I think.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @thane16 Puro – lecture away!  I love reading your insights into the music – really revelatory.

    Cath Annabel @replies

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

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @swordwhale The reference to the green police box was to a very specific green police box which, as Yaz says, is situated by Sheffield Town Hall.  Here you go…



    Cath Annabel @replies

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

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

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

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

    Cath Annabel @replies

    The villain here was perhaps one-dimensional, but as @bluesqueakpip says, that’s because he revealed so little of his motivation, apart from that one remark directed at Ryan about his reasons for selecting this point in history.  I strongly suspect he will reappear at some point and we’ll find out more about whether he’s a ‘lone wolf’ or part of something bigger. @arch I’m also confident that Grace will be a presence throughout the series.

    Yes, at some point as the implications of time travel kick in I would be amazed if they don’t revisit that ‘Father’s Day’ conundrum but I think more generally Grace is already permeating the series in terms of her values, her qualities of courage and faith.  Grace = Spirit of Rosa – a thread running through WhitDoc’s tenure?

    Also @bluesqueakpip excellent point about the ordinary everydayness of this extreme racism.  No KKK outfits or burning crosses in sight, but it’s absolutely pervasive – on the streets, on public transport, in the cafes and motels, even down by the river, there’s no escape, and it’s this that’s overwhelming – we don’t need to see the murderous violence directly.

    So, no, I don’t think any of this is one-dimensional.  A teachy moment at the end where WhitDoc reminds us what the consequences were for Rosa, and how long it took for her to achieve recognition, but that’s OK, for me the drama worked as drama, and worked well.  Not sure that I could watch it without being conscious of the ‘racially charged’ setting, @dogboythecat, nor why I would feel the need to.


    Cath Annabel @replies

    From my Twitter feed.  ‘Difficult parent/child conversations’?  No, just the kind of conversations that parents and children should be having, and brilliant when they’re inspired by great drama on t’telly.

    I can’t stop thinking about <span class=”twitter-hashflag-container”><s>#</s><b>DoctorWho</b></span>. My sons (7 & 10) and I talked about it for an hour afterwards. They had so many questions. We ended up watching a 1995 interview with Rosa Parks on YouTube. What an inspiring piece of television. Its importance cannot be overstated.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @misterf55 Well, scifi and fantasy have always dealt with reality, obliquely and through analogy.  That’s kind of what they’re for, at least the more intelligent and thoughtful examples of the genres.   And as numerous contributors have pointed out, Who has always found ways of talking about reality, including racism, sexism, etc etc, throughout its history.  Difficult parent/child conversations following Rosa?  Excellent.  And the Doctor didn’t go back in time to change history but to prevent it being changed, to protect a key moment in history from being subverted.  Ah well, probably enough time spent on responding to this – ‘The BBCPC brigade’ is something of a giveaway that this isn’t a genuine, thought out contribution to the discussion.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    I thnk I’d been preconditioned to expect teachy/preachy from one or two comments in the press, and yes, there was an element of both, but in fact, on reflection and as I allowed myself to respond to the drama as it unfolded, it was splendidly done, and very moving.  Given its intended audience and time of broadcast, it could not ‘show’ the brutality as graphically as, say, Mississippi Burning, but it conveyed it in a different and subtler way without flinching from the reality.

    The expressions on the faces of the white couple of Ryan tries to give them back something the woman has dropped reminded me of John Howard Griffin’s book, Black like me.  He was a white journalist who artificially darkened his skin and lived as a black man in the South for a while in 1959 – so just  a few years after Rosa Parks made her protest, seeing it as the only way he could really know what it was like to be black.  I read this as a teenager (re-reading it recently I was more aware of the problems with the concept but nonetheless it was a dangerous and bold thing to do, and radical even to want to know what it was like not to be white…) and what stayed with me was the experience of the ‘hate stare’ that he noticed from so many white people, whether or not he interacted with them.

    I did  question why WhitDoc didn’t forewarn them before heading out into the mean streets of Montgomery in 1955.  An impetuous young black guy and a young woman of clearly non-white heritage, both of whom having had plenty of experiences of racism, but neither having ever experienced systematic, legal, official racism – they were bound to come a cropper within minutes.   But in a way it’s consistent with her approach – she doesn’t really really know these people but she believes in them, in their ability to handle the extraordinary and to be extraordinary.

    And as everyone has said, the most devastating moment in a way – because it wasn’t foreseen (well, not by us at any rate) – was Graham’s realisation that he would have to be a part of history, and not the part that Grace would have wanted, or that he could be proud of.

    @missrori We said ‘evil Cap’n Jack too!!


    Cath Annabel @replies

    @pedant @juniperfish @miapatrick and others commenting on naming.  I’m sure I’ve done the Jodie thing but it does jar for me, in conjunction with other Doctors, because I never naturally say Matt/David/Christopher/Peter.  I’m trying to either use the numbers (not in itself free of contention but still most of us get who we mean by Nine, Ten etc) or initials (quicker than spelling out the surnames).

    I noticed in the second ep that I was struggling to hear the Doctor’s voice as the authoritative one when there was a longer shot with several people talking.  When I could see her, I was fine.  Interesting…  Clearly any feminist credentials I may have don’t stop me from having absorbed the lessons of the patriarchy – authority speaks in a male voice.  Gravitas comes with that male voice.  Even those of us most passionately enthusiastic about the gender switch have some adjusting to do, but at least we’re willing to do it, and to give it time to work rather than expecting everything to be fixed by episode 2.  I’m NOT saying we shouldn’t be critiquing it from every perspective – narrative, character building, writing, AND how they deal with the change of gender – but we can’t shed 50+ years of hearing the Doctor as a male voice without a little bit of conscious adjustment of expectations, and I think we will gradually (if we’re open to the change) start hearing JW’s voice as the Doctor’s voice, regardless of pitch.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    Oh, like @kharis, I do like @bluesqueakpip‘s theories here.  I’d be surprised and disappointed if Ryan’s dad was that tired old stereotype of the Afro-Caribbean dead-beat absent father, so this opens up some much more interesting possibilities.  Ryan may well think that’s what his dad is but it would be great to have him proved wrong.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @pedant re the green police box – sorry, yes, I think all of us Sheffield/South Yorkshire Whovians are a bit over-excited at the moment about the local references and prone to miss the joke or the subtext!  We’ll settle down in a bit, honest.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @pedant  The one in town IS green!

    @geoffers Re the sunglasses, those definitely weren’t 12’s shades (sonic or otherwise), were they…  Judging by the style Audrey Hepburn was a more plausible previous owner – but how did they end up in 12’s pockets in that case (same goes for a hung-over Pythagoras!).  I think she was just having a laugh, and she actually picked them up in the charity shop when she was buying her outfit.  Perhaps.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @pedant Commiserations on your diagnosis.  My other half was diagnosed with Type 2 about 9 years ago and has been stable on Metformin and statins ever since.  We made various dietary changes, reducing fat and salt as much as sugar, given that he wasn’t actually overweight (funnily enough he was sent on a Diabetes day course to find out all about diet & medication & so forth, and every single damn person there assumed that I was the diabetic not him, as I am overweight…).   There’s none of this that isn’t manageable however, and we keep the associated risks of D2 at bay with diet, taking care of his feet (no wandering around barefoot any more in of a minor injury that he doesn’t feel because of the poor circulation and which therefore turns nasty).  He has a repeat blood test every year and a check up with the practice nurse at the GP, and gets his eyes checked for diabetic retinopathy.   And the heightened risk of stroke/heart problems – well, he should have stopped smoking but because he’s an idiot, he hasn’t done… So, commiserations but don’t be downhearted, do keep sharing your feelings about it, and any questions and so forth.  And yes, the NHS is bloody amazing.

    Cath Annabel @replies
    Cath Annabel @replies

    @teak @bluesqueakpip  The train was located quite precisely – it was between Hathersage and Grindleford, en route to Sheffield, when the Gathering Coil attacked.  Presumably the bike riding practice was in or near Hathersage (wherever it was actually filmed) and I agree, the location was chosen due to the low risk of Ryan being spotted by his peers and shamed.  I have been stuck on a train in that very spot, many years ago.  No alien attack, just a broken down train in midwinter but the lights went out and there was no heating so we were all seriously considering jumping down on to the tracks, health & safety be damned…  Locals were very chuffed at the name-check – one of my friends for whom Grindleford is the local station said that ‘previously the most exciting thing to happen there is them NOT serving mushrooms at the station cafe’.

    I think the idea of someone on the team who has already faced a potentially terminal illness and is ‘in remission’, ie not cured, not safe, but well – for now – is dramatically interesting and powerful.  That tension of being between the two states (@thane16 Puro I know you know) and how you personally respond to that – live life as if you’re immortal, live life as if you’re made of fine bone china that could shatter at any moment, live life moment to moment somehow holding both/all possibilities together…  On a personal level I kind of wish they hadn’t gone there, as my kid brother has recently had a diagnosis of inoperable cancer and I am hoping, really hoping, that if they write Graham out at some point, he gets to go out facing up to some alien terror – living up to Grace – rather than back on the onc. ward.  But either way, I hope he gets to have some awesome moments in between.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    <span class=”useratname”>@bluesqueakpip</span> Yeah Sheffieeeeeeld!  Re JW, yes, there was the whole regen confusion thing going on which will pass as it has done for all of them, but meantime there was more than enough there to make me hers.

    Funny you mention that ‘I’ve got a plan – well, I will have’ as being different cos I thought it echoed things that other Doctors have said (eg Matt Smith ‘Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan’, one of my favourite quotes). It was one of the things that chimed as Doctorly for me anyway.

    One thing that struck me was her confidence in the people she was working with to beat Tim Shaw – as if she could see their capabilities and their courage even when they couldn’t.  I don’t recall getting quite that feeling in previous New Doc/New Companions (sorry, Friends) encounters.

    I did rather like that the monster, whilst being brutal, was a bit crap. They tend to be invincible till suddenly they aren’t – as soon as she’d sussed that he was cheating, because he wasn’t up to the job, he was toast (or possibly a kebab with salad), but it gave him some character (not in the sense that he had any redeeming traits, obvs) – he had strength but nothing else, not even the collective purpose of a Cyberman or Dalek, as he was only out for himself, not his planet, his species or whatever.  That was interesting, I thought.

    Will have to watch again, to listen more intently so I can comment on the soundtrack!

    Once again it’s bloody brilliant to have all you lot back @arbutus @jimthefish @pedant @miapatrick @juniperfish et al…

    Cath Annabel @replies

    Well, my considered evaluation of last night’s episode is:

    Yes, oh yes, she is the Doctor.  It’ll be reight.

    Of course being from Sheffield I loved the setting, the Peaks, the aerial views of the city, including the Sheff United ground.  And the people – drunk guy chucking his salad at the nasty iceman was classic.  I wasn’t sure about Bradley Walsh having only seen him compering The Chase but there’s some depth hinted at even in the first episode, and some tensions between him and Ryan that could be interesting.  Yaz is just grand (I was trying to think where I knew her from and turns out it was Hollyoaks – don’t judge me, my daughter watched it obsessively in her teens and I may have accidentally caught the odd episode.  I think the character she played fell victim to one of Hollyoaks many roaming serial killers).  Also very taken with the fact that nasty iceman is billed as ‘Tim Shaw’ on IMDb and on the end credits.

    ‘Get a shift on’ sounds pretty Yorkshire to me.  It is basically allons-y.

    With all the stuff happening on the home front at the moment, I so needed this.  And I so wanted JW to BE the Doctor, from the off.  And she is, and she clearly brings the core of Doctorliness to the role but also, as each of her predecessors has done, something different and personal in her style and tone.  We’re very happy and very excited for the series.

    Also, Whovians Assemble! Lovely to see so many of you back now that we’ve new Doctoring to discuss.

    She’s the Doctor, and it’ll be reight.


    Cath Annabel @replies

    Have applied for two tickets – not sure who my plus one will be if I’m lucky, but I’ll post on here if so, in case any of you lovely lot can join me!

    Cath Annabel @replies

    Hello folks.  I have been negligent regarding my Whovian interests of late, though I have dropped in from time to time to see what you’re all up to.  I guess we’re all somewhat holding our breath for the new series/new Doctor…

    Meanwhile, I’ve got my big charity event, the 24 hour lecture marathon, coming up on 19-20 April, which at least partly explains my absence – if anyone is interested, the full details are here:

    24 Hour Inspire 2018

    I’ll be having a bit of a ramble about women on screen at 2.00 am, as part of which I may mention Who once or twice.  Possibly.

    If any of you are in the vicinity of Sheffield Uni do pop in for one or more lectures, or you can listen in on the day to our pop-up radio station .

    It’s all in aid of Rotherham Hospice (they run a hospice at home scheme which allowed my good friend Tim to spend his last days and hours in his own home,  as he’d wanted), and Impact Living, who support vulnerable young people with cancer.  I hope it’s not inordinately cheeky to post the link to our new fundraising page here:

    Cheers all



    Cath Annabel @replies

    Overall, I loved Twice upon a Time.  I was more tense than usual beforehand – there seemed so much riding on it, Twelve’s valedictory appearance, and Thirteen’s inauguration, swansongs for Moffatt, Gold, and Mackie.  But it gripped and moved me.  It not being an evil plot, the Captain being the Brig’s ancestor (OK I was saying under my breath for well ahead of the reveal, please be a Lethbridge Stewart, please be a Lethbridge Stewart…), Gatiss’s beautiful performance, the restoration of Twelve’s memories of Clara, and the Xmas Truce – no wonder I was in floods of tears for most of the programme.  Thanks to all of you who have commented here – @pedant‘s remarks struck me particularly forcefully.

    Am still processing and pondering some aspects – this may turn into a blog, not sure yet. Will post here if it does materialise.

    And JW will be, oh, brilliant.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @ichabod Very moved by your comments relating the whole theme of memory and identity to experience of dementia.  It’s something I think about a lot these days, as we spend time with mother-in-law with Alzheimers.  It’s obviously often very distressing but when one can distance oneself sufficiently, it’s fascinating. Someone on Twitter was protesting that a person with dementia is still absolutely themselves, not diminished, but we have this sense of MiL as being an echo of herself.  There are fragments of memories which randomly or arbitrarily surface, but can’t be retrieved at will, and barely any new memories have been formed for several years now.  When we try to encourage reminiscence she will often dismiss it as ‘all too long ago’, or just refuse to engage.   If her identity is ‘a bunch of memories’ that bunch is smaller than it was, and is fading…

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @jimthefish  I’m inclined to agree with you re the sexism of the First Doc.  I suspect Moffat was taking the piss out of the explosion of idiocy when JW was announced, and all of the comments about nurse/doctor, domestic roles and dodgy driving.  Certainly, apart from the smacked bottom comment to Susan (which is obv super cringy from our perspective) no one has cited examples of the first Doc expecting female companions to do the housework (tho I haven’t trawled through all available transcripts – life is simply too short).  It may be, as you suggest, slightly over-egged, and I’m not totally sure it works, but it was funny, nonetheless.  It could perhaps also be a bit meta, acknowledging that the Doctor is a creation of the time the series was written, and thus not immune to the prejudices and stereotypical assumptions of the day.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    Wishing everyone on this lovely Forum a splendid Xmas.  We will be taking Christmas to mother-in-law who has dementia and mobility problems – which means I’ll be cooking in her kitchen rather than my own, which is somewhat stressful.  I seem to recall last year saying to the kids ‘I’m never doing this again, you are my witnesses’ but of course I am doing it again!  We will be watching Who on the day but there will be disruptions, distractions and interruptions so may need to re-watch after Boxing Day (which is my Dad’s 90th birthday, so we will be with my family all day celebrating that event). Will look forward to sharing thoughts with you all once everyone has had the chance to watch.  It will, as @mudlark says, be happy/sad, and I anticipate that I will be a blubbering mess! Merry Xmas and all good wishes for 2018.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    Over on Twitter, there’s a virtual book group happening, as people all over the globe read or re-read Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising, which is set at Midwinter/Xmas, and comment, ask questions, share favourite bits, and even share their own artwork/music inspired by the book (and the series it’s actually book 2 of).  I love the book, and the series, and it’s truly a lovely thing to be part of.  If you’re on Twitter and want to join us, the hashtag is #TheDarkIsReading…

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @thane *waves hello to Puro*  Hmmm.  As regards the suspenders (or braces as we call them here – suspenders are to hold your stockings up!), the issue is, when one has breasts, whether they go straight down the front of the bosom area, which only works if you are of reasonably modest proportions, otherwise they tend to go one side or the other, which could look slightly odd.  Looks like JW can carry this off, but some cosplayers may find it trickier!  It’s def an androgynous look, which is fine, and largely practical.  @bluesqueakpip Yay, arse-kicking boots!

    Cath Annabel @replies

    I love it.  And I bet you anything it features useful pockets unlike so many lady-garments.   The colours in her stripes are close to 4’s scarf (and OK, yes, to Mork from Ork, a little tribute to RW perhaps).

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @missy @thane15  We will agree about some things and disagree about others, and we’re all going to have to wait and see how it all pans out!  I guess one of the biggest differences is that if I really don’t enjoy JW’s interpretation of the role (or the way it’s written), that wouldn’t confirm for me that it was wrong to have a woman doc, just that this particular woman doc didn’t work too well.  But the main thing is, we all love Who or we wouldn’t spend any of our precious time here, and we can all hope that there are things to love about the new Doc and the new showrunner, and the new series when it finally arrives!

    Cath Annabel @replies

    As mentioned on other threads I recently celebrated my 60th birthday – my sister in law mentioned to me that she’d heard of someone who on this auspicious occasion had decided to try to read 60 books in 60 days.  Since my default response to challenges that don’t involve physical activity is ‘challenge accepted’, I’m doing just that.  I’m now on day 25 and have completed 25 books (or 24.5 if one’s being picky and counting one rather short book I read as 0.5).  I’m doing fortnightly blogs about what I’ve read – hopefully spoiler free – the first of which you can find here:

    Anyone looking for new authors to explore or generally things to read might find something they like the look of!

    v best to all

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @blenkinsopthebrave @jimthefish I agree.  There’s little more any of us can add, pro or anti, until we can actually see JW in the role and see CC running the show.  I am sure there will be plenty to discuss then, but for now, we’re going round in circles somewhat I think.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    Nice one @craig.  We played Wichita Lineman last night when I saw the news.   A gorgeous song, gorgeously sung.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @missy In referring to Social Justice Warriors I was merely using @antaus term – not one I use myself, and one that’s intended as far as I can tell to disparage those of a leftist tendency who go on about issues of equality, sexism, racism etc.  In so far as that is what it means, I have to acknowledge that I am myself of a leftist tendency and tend (as those who read my blog will know) to go on about issues of equality, sexism, racism etc.  Guilty as charged, m’lud. The term ‘warrior’ is I am sure intended in a mocking way rather than in any literal sense to suggest that SJWs actually take up arms in support of their cause.

    I’m a bit puzzled about the ‘organisations’ that @antaus mentions (as per your quote) – any examples as to which organisations are being referred to?  As for the ‘sisterhood’, I’m not sure what you mean by that either.  In my experience those who call themselves feminists (both female and male) vary enormously in their views on specific issues, and in their politics generally.  There’s no specific creed to which we pledge allegiance, and what unites us is really very simple, the belief that no one should be treated detrimentally because of their gender and that society (ours and most others) historically (and in many places and situations currently) does just that.

    Re the use of ‘actors’ – this is not in my view sexism.  The word originally means someone who undertakes the profession of actor.  Actors (eg on the Shakespearian stage) were all male, and so the word was assumed to mean only men who undertake that profession, but it’s doesn’t have to, and many female actors prefer to just use the term for the profession (see also author, sculptor, and many others) rather than one that defines them by their gender.  Guys – well, that’s just a slang term which may have started off meaning men but is now used to mean people generally.  Where’s the problem with that?  After all, feminists have been told for generations that we should not feel excluded by the use of the term ‘men’, ‘mankind’ etc to mean human beings as the term includes women (except of course when it doesn’t….)

    It’s disappointing to read that you don’t want the show to do well with a female doctor.  That seems harsh on JW (whatever you think of her abilities), on CC who’s launching his term as showrunner with her in the role – and on the rest of us, some of whom welcome JW, others of whom at least are willing to keep open minds and see how it goes, but all of whom (I assume) want the show to go on.  I can’t understand why anyone who cares about Who would want it to fail.  Perhaps I misunderstood you, I hope so.



    Cath Annabel @replies

    @antaus Fair enough, I don’t know to which organisations you refer, and I don’t feel it’s particularly pertinent to the Who conversation.  But if not all feminists/SJWs are bad, perhaps we can agree to work on the assumption that Forum members who identify as either are likely to be amongst the good guys, and focus on the programme?  I, for one, am very much hoping that JW gives us a proper Yorkshire Doctor.   Shame we’ve got so long to wait to see how any of this pans out!

    Be reight, pal.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @antaus  I’m with @jimthefish on the use of SJW as a pejorative.   I’ve only started seeing this relatively recently, and I would suggest it is not really reasonable to take for granted (a) that people will know what it stands for and (b) that people will accept that it is a Bad Thing.  Political Correctness I guess most people will have come across, but it is a highly disputed term, so many news stories about things being banned because somebody thought somebody might be offended, which turned out on fairly perfunctory investigation to be entirely untrue.  And as with SJW, if there is a core of meaning to it, when we strip away the myth, isn’t it about not using language, not reinforcing and perpetuating stereotypes and myths about people that insult and diminish them, giving a damn about other people’s values and feelings, just being kind?  As a feminist I’m used to ‘feminist’ being assumed to be a bad thing.  It’s tiresome and depressing but hey.  I don’t agree with every single one of the women and men who identify as feminist, but the core of it is of course about equality and fairness and not about reverse sexism, or silencing men.

    We’re on this Forum because we care about Doctor Who.  Some of us are feminists, SJWs even, some aren’t.  Surely all of us want  the show to be successful, to continue to capture the imaginations of children and adults, to retain the loyalties of long-standing fans (I’m one of those, I go back to the Troughton era) and to attract new fans.  If the change makes some fearful about the future success of the show, I genuinely sympathise even if I don’t share that view, but surely all we can do is to wait and see.


    Cath Annabel @replies

    @juniperfish I’m just in the process of writing a blog piece about the new Doctor and wondered if you would be ok with me quoting you:

    A plethora of girls and women have regarded the Doctor as a role model, and identified with him, over Doctor Who’s 50 year span, whilst he’s regenerated, repeatedly, as a man. The Doctor is still, no doubt, going to be the Doctor as portrayed by Jodie Whittaker – alien, two hearts, both of gold, funny, witty, snarky, capricious, kind, adventurous.

    Happy to send you the full draft so you can be sure I’m not doing you any injustice in terms of context etc.  Also if you are OK with me quoting you (and do feel free to say no if you’d rather I didn’t), shall I credit you with your Forum avatar?


    Cath Annabel @replies

    I am delighted with the news.  And there were no dissenting voices when it was announced at our party yesterday – plenty of comments along the lines of ‘at last’, and ‘about time’.  I wish I could say I understand why it makes people so unhappy but truly I don’t.  The doctor is not human.  There’s no reason why gender should work in the same way for a Time Lord as it does for a human, no reason why that should  not change in the same way that any aspect of physical appearance – as well as aspects of personality – change with regeneration.

    There is also no Holy Writ established in 1963 that sets out how it all works.  The many writers and showrunners have been making it up as they go along, paying all due respect to the original concept but developing it and building on it – if they had not done so, I doubt we would still be watching and talking about the show today.  So they are perfectly entitled to give the Doctor a crack at further regenerations, or to establish that Time Lords can change gender on regeneration, and whilst we can obviously judge them on the quality of the narrative in which they do so, no one can really say that it is fundamentally wrong.

    Whilst I personally don’t have a problem with gender swaps for iconic roles such as Bond and Holmes (if only because that inevitably shakes up and makes one look afresh at aspects of the role and context), I do kind of understand why people aren’t keen on it, or see it as arbitrary.  The Doctor is different, I would argue.

    Some of those upset by the change talk, I’m afraid, arrant, sexist nonsense.  [Perhaps my favourite from Twitter was a man saying – and I paraphrase slightly to avoid offence – that the Doctor should never be a figure for sexual fantasy, to which the response from a woman was ‘Mate, I’ve got terrible news for you…’.]   Talk of how the Tardis will now be full of bras or whatever is just silly  and doesn’t deserve debate.

    But where there are longstanding and valued members of this forum/family who are unhappy about it, all I would say to them is, give Jodie a chance, see what she can do with the role, and Who knows, you may end up loving this new incarnation.


    Cath Annabel @replies

    @thane15 @missy thanks both for your congrats and good wishes.  The party is this afternoon so will coincide with the announcement of the new Doctor!  We will be briefing the DJs (who are good friends and one of them is a real Whovian) to play the theme tune and then make the announcement as soon as it’s known.


    Cath Annabel @replies

    Thanks for good wishes, @jimthefish and @wolfweed.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    @blenkinsopthebrave Thank you!

    Cath Annabel @replies

    Oh blimey. I was kind of hoping the secret would remain a secret till the Xmas special but I guess that was naive.  On Sunday we will be celebrating my 60th birthday and our ruby wedding anniversary but I guess one or two of us [50% approx of the guests] will be checking our mobiles for news during the proceedings… Just hope it turns out to be another reason to be cheerful!

    Cath Annabel @replies

    Bill Potts. You’re a cyberman. You’re part of a neural net. Can you find her.

    @mudlark – I’ve just realised how ambiguous that is.  I heard it at the time as addressing an anonymous cyberman, giving Bill’s name and asking it to find her.  But it’s also possible to hear it as knowingly addressing Bill herself, who is a cyberman and thus part of the neural net – and asking her to find herself, to find the humanity that is still intact.  And the response, either way is the tear, which links us to Heather and to hope.

    Cath Annabel @replies

    Yay, we have a first sighting of DEM (Heather) on the Grauniad comments.  Don’t know why I look on there, really, when all the insightful, thoughtful comments are right here.

    I loved that finale.  I am so glad Bill got a kind of afterlife as Bill – and we’ve all been anticipating Heather reappearing, ever since The Pilot, what with the tears and all.  Delighted that we were right about that at least!  It was slightly messy – so much to resolve in such a short time – but intense and emotionally powerful, and each of the leads had a fitting resolution (if not necessarily a final one – who would want to put big money on that being the last we’ve seen of Missy/Master or Nardole or Bill…).

    Re Doc’s resistance to the regen – I am with @bluesqueakpip.  Losing who you are – which is what Bill was so afraid of – and the pain and stress of the change, which seemed particularly hard on this doctor, are enough reason to resist it.  Maybe we are being set up for an It’s a Wonderful Life Xmas special (I’m sure someone else has suggested that on here, but it came up in family convos too)…

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