Russell T. Davies Dismisses ‘Big Political Strategy’ Behind Jodie Whittaker’s Casting

Russell T. Davies has refuted claims that the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor was motivated by a ‘big political strategy’.

When the news broke that Whittaker was to become the next Doctor, some sections of fandom decried the move as an attempt to tick boxes or be more politically correct rather than any storytelling motivation.

However, one person not buying that argument is former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies.

He told Doctor Who Magazine (via Radio Times) that there was no such conspiracy:

“This isn’t some big political strategy by the BBC. This is one man, Chris, moving into the big chair and deciding that’s what he wants to do.”

Imagining the impact the change will have on younger viewers when Peter Capaldi changes into Jodie Whittaker, he added:

“There will be some kids sitting down on Christmas Day who don’t follow the news – and the Doctor will change into a woman and they won’t know.

“For those kids it will be as mysterious and as exciting as it was in 1966 when William Hartnell changed into Patrick Troughton. The programme has never been that original since.”

Speaking of originality, Davies went on to praise Chibnall for taking the show in a direction that he hadn’t even considered back when he was in charge:

“I simply didn’t think of it 

“We did a very, very good job in 2005 but it was a different world back then.

“What Chris Chibnall is brilliantly doing is making me and Steven Moffat look old-fashioned. We look like the past. And that’s exactly what we are – we are the past.” 

Looking towards the future, Davies added that he was positive about the show’s bright new future.

“I don’t know Jodie, but whenever I’ve seen her interviewed on breakfast TV or whatever, she’s been really funny and vivid, not just spouting PR lines. And that’s rare. That excited me.

“Someone who’s got an incredibly strong self is going to fit the Doctor perfectly.”

Doctor Who Magazine #516 is available to buy now. 

  • Liam

    I think RTD is selling himself short. He cast a northen Doctor, then a sexy Doctor. Moffat cast the youngest actor followed by the oldest. They both made bold moves….. Jodie might just be bolder though.

  • Mark Evans

    Hm, I wonder how many of those hypothetical children’s christmas, will be ruined by it. Children are usually VERY conservative. Why is why Mrs Claus has not happened.

    • Peter Rabytt

      In my experience children are usually very accepting of change and difference, they are like sponges, soaking up new experiences with relish. I find as long as something is fun, they generally don’t care how different it is………i think its probably adults who tend struggle more with change…..

      • Mark Evans

        Btw, I recall my cousins kids going into a screaming fit over some part of “peppa pigs” costume being wrong at the theme park. Conservative, no?

        • Peter Rabytt

          I never said kids don’t have tantrums! Ha ha. They do sometimes go ballistic over seemingly irrelevant things I’ll give you that Mark! I can recall many a time when one of mine has gone into meltdown because they have the ‘wrong’ spoon……which is exactly the same as the one they have…..

          • Mark Evans

            *smiles* fine fine, but we really need to drop the concept a female doctor is going to be business as usual. If it were going to be, they would not have bothered going to the trouble in the first place. I’m taking that from your last sentence.

          • Peter Rabytt

            Oh I see what you mean……I wasn’t actually being that clever!….I was literally describing what the kids do. I wasn’t suggesting that the Doctor being played by a woman has no significance

    • James Lomond

      Mrs Claus hasn’t happened because of the conserative adults who control the world children live in.

      • The Lazy Womble

        Mrs Claus has happened in at least two films. Call Me Claus starring Whoopi Goldberg and Mrs Santa Claus starring Angela Lansbury.

      • Christian Cawley

        Mrs Claus hasn’t happened because St Nicholas, not St Nicola. Actual historic figure. “Progressive” revisionism also hasn’t brought us Winifred Churchill or Julia Caesar, but I’m sure that train will be along soon…

        • Mark Evans

          Give them time…give them time. It might be difficult though cause I’m fairly sure the alt population has already culturally appropriated every smart person in history. I’m fairly sure they claimed Caesar already. Kinda like pokemon collecting or something…..

        • FrancoPabloDiablo

          At least we got Winifred Bambera who WAS progressive! A black female Brigadier leading UNIT way back in 1989! And wasn’t she amazing! Would love to see her back again. And shock horror – she was an original character! Replacing our old brig right enough but he retired and she was the new leader. Just like Kathryn Janeway in no way hijacked or replaced Kirk, Pickard or Sisko in the Star Trek franchise! And as for a Julia Caesar – well, wasn’t Cleopatra kick-ass enough on her own!

          • James Lomond

            The Doctor can go back to being portrayed by a male actor – why is a female actor “hijacking” or “replacement”? Why isn’t it just a continuation?

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            And sooner the better! It’s not a continuation – it’s either a hiatus or an end! there is no need for it except that phrase that some love “it CAN happen”! Why is it happening? No more talented male actors out there? Chib and the new production team so low on ideas that the only thing they can think of to generate short-term publicity is to have this gimmick casting? It is so more progressive than creating original female characters? Because all the female companions are scum and could never be positive female role models? It is ridiculous. We’ve been down this road before, you wanna dance the dance again? Always used to love the pro-sides continual argument of casting the right PERSON for the role but now that Chib has come out as saying he never had any intention of casting a male – where are all your outraged comments now about that???

          • Christian Cawley

            Chib is being economical. There was a well known actor with a previous link to DW at the top of the list.

            I’m not naming names, but you’ll find it by flicking back through the past few weeks of news.

            All I will say on the matter.

          • James Lomond

            I’m not outraged because it was 1) an artistic decision he’d made whaterver else it may have been at the same time (as has been the case every time they only considered men) and 2) because I think it could be really positive in terms of a) countering negative female stereotypes that girls are often exposed to (though that remains to be seen) and b) challenging gender binary obsessions.

            He wants to write for a female actor – so the best female actor is the best person for the role. No different except the gender has changed.

            Does there *have* to be a reason? Why did he become younger etc etc. The problem here seems to be that some people can accept a character being the “same” across a gender divide and some people can’t. I think that’s an amazing opportunity to look at how we all perceive gender and consider alternatives. Obviously some people really don’t feel like that which is fine – it’s just a massive shame that this is going to get in the way of their enjoyment.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            You say it was an artistic decision, I’ll choose to disagree. And you are right, the show desparately needs to counter all the negativity of recent female characters like Bill, Clara, Amy, River, Martha, Rose etc…
            A large number of thoe that were previously pro-female Doctor would often use that phrase: “best PERSON for the role”. Funny how the goalposts have moved now that you’ve got one and a male wasn’t even considered! Different story now eh? It’s artistic. we wants to write for a female etc…
            Yes, when considering the past reasoning was merely because it CAN happen. What is the reasoning behind it? … oh, sorry, I forgot it’s artistic!

          • James Lomond

            Didn’t say it was just an artistic decision, FPD- I said “whatever else it may have been at the same time” i.e. while it may (or may not) have been a political, cultural, economic, marketing etc etc decision, it was *also* an artistic decision BECAUSE the guy believes he can write the show with a female lead and pull it off. He’s clearly thought about what he’s going to write, how he’s going to play it, Whittaker’s performance and how he’s going to pull this together as a coherent series and avoid the obvious pitfalls. So whatever else it may have been it was also an artistic decision.

            There *really* is something to be said for the Doctor/ super-human alien = MAN and companion/ but full of development potential and lessons about emotions = WOMAN to be addressed. It is inherently sexist. You could equally stop it by making the companion male. But the model of brilliant yet emotionally flawed scientist MAN and super-attractive less intelligent but transformative WOMAN has very sexist origins however much RTD tried to update it. Yes Bill, Clara, Amy etc were confident, characterful and important etc but it’s actually not really the same for a child watching the show. You can’t imagine two kids arguing over who’s going to be the Doctor and who’s going to be the companion when playing?? One of them is ancient and forever and the other is being resuced from chips and cornflakes. One of them is doing the rescuing and has the cool time machine that (usually) only they can fly.

            Someone wrote on a fan site that perhaps Tennant had a london accent because of 9’s experience with Rose and perhaps Capaldi had a Scottish accent because of 11’s experience with Amy… sounds kinda nice. I’m not too bothered. But perhaps 13 is female because of 12’s experience with Missy. There you go – an in-Universe reason. Everything OK now? Great.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            “companion/ but full of development potential and lessons about emotions = WOMAN”?

            Ian, Steven, Ben, Jamie, The Brig, Yates, Benton, Harry, Adric, Turlough, Mickey, Adam, Jack, Wilf, Craig, Rory.

          • James Lomond

            Yup – though the recent model has primarily been 9+Billie, 10+Billie, 10+Martha, 10+Donna, 11+Amy, 11+Clara, 12+Clara, 12+Bill. Mickey, Jack, Rory etc have been less prominent/ add-on companions.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            Yeah, best just to ignore and disregard them then eh? If you don’t get what each and every one of them brought to the show then I feel for you. Mickey the tin dog who turned into a hero, Jack the reluctant immortal, and Rory who waited 2,000 years protecting a box for his love! You seriously think those things were less-prominent and they were add-on companions? Oh dear!

          • James Lomond

            Less prominent than the girl from a council estate who became a god, the temp who found everything she wanted then lost it, the bride who remembered the universe into being, the impossible girl who splintered throughout time, became the hybrid and then an immortal time traveller, the dinner lady who became a being of pure consciousness?

            I’m (obviously) not saying their stories should be valued or enjoyed by the audience more than those of the male compantions (or were by me, incidentially)… I’m saying that the format of the show, the air time (and heck, probably the salaries) of the female leads *clearly* lent them and their relationship with the Doctor greater prominence… even if that was, occasionally, a close call.

          • Christian Cawley

            I suspect that as soon as it that is mooted, the frothing cheerleaders of a female Doctor will be up in arms! What we’ve seen so far will be like a holiday in comparison. It won’t be pleasant.

            Incidentally, I believe one of the problems with this casting is that it feels more like a recast than a continuation. Having 12 meet 1, and the differences between Missy and the rest of the Masters (the BFF nonsense, for a start off) aren’t exactly helping. Doctor 13 is already being constricted by Moffat’s addiction to continuity, before an episode has even been shot.

          • James Lomond

            The BFF stuff wasn’t nonsense- it was rooted in the Master’s origins. Though I agree I didn’t find the moral conversion that convincing. Giving the Doctor an army was both very weird and very cruel thing to do to the Doctor. I agree it didn’t really hang together as a motivation but the portrayal of the character regardless of how it was written I thought was excellent- far better than Simm.
            Simms mad teenager portrayal bore no resemblance to the character of the master and Gomez was no more different from Delgado than Smith was from Hartnell.

            Yeah I know what you mean about the differences going on around this change0ver – but it’s a new showrunner too. Was always going to feel *very* different.

            I’m not sure they will be up in arms. Once it’s happened once it can happen again. Perhaps there’d be 2 female incarnations. Perhaps it’ll go from Whittaker direct to a non-white male. Who knows. It might be female from hereon. It’ll probably in part be a ratings/ popularity driven decision either way.

          • kwijino

            The Doctor could, but he won’t because it would be a “win” for the Deplorables who didn’t like the idea.

          • James Lomond

            I’m hoping the production team won’t care in the slightest.

          • Mark Evans

            Feminists never let go James, there will be no more male doctors. When they steal something, its for keeps.

          • James Lomond

            Hope that’s not the case. Would be a self-defeating move.

            Am curious why this feels like “stealing” for you/ why you don’t feel like you could have as much ownership of a female Doctor?

          • Mark Evans

            Because the show becoming even MORE female centric/and or gender fluid, is not something I want to watch.
            It’s not something the show has ever really been about.
            In short, I feel the show is going to be used against white men, maybe men in general.
            It no longer represents me, so its been stolen from me, hence the word theft.
            When the feminist hate was just coming from the companions, you can grit your teeth and ignore it. When its the main character? No, you cannot.
            Considering the first words from Whittaker were “as a woman and feminist” , I feel a unhealthy dose of feminist is implied.

          • James Lomond

            So if the show is used to attack men (or anyone) then I’d agree – not worth watching.

            I found the general antagonism that Moffat wrote into most heterosexual male-female relationships frustrating. Wasn’t helpful at all and just played out lots of tired and dated stereotypical humour. That’s not to say that e.g. Amy and Rory weren’t well realised and wonderfully engaging characters at the same time.

            Not really sure what you mean by feminist hate from the companions though… and surely, given the way women have been treated for millenia, you can expect a bit of vitriol??

            Personally I wonder whether you may be confusing the angry, vindictive SJWs with the show-runners. I’ll be really surprised if the casting is used to attack men- and I think it will signifiy an enormous failure. But then my suspicion is that Chibnall is smart enough to get on with writing a brilliant character and not dwell on any gender issues. The entire point (insofar as there is a point) is that this *shouldn’t* make a difference so if it is written with the same gender focus as Moffat it won’t work.

            So I have a question now – if the show is not written from an aggressively feminist perspective, but ignores gender as regards the lead casting and simply writes the character the same way it always has been and isn’t taken over by a feminist agenda – would you then be OK with Whittaker?

          • Mark Evans

            Women are allowed to abuse because they have been abused.
            Wonderful world your proposing there.
            Hate? “I will slap you so hard you will regenerate”. Please imagine if the Doctor had said that.

            Considering all the media being taken from men, for women,
            (two star wars movies, doc who, next series of star trek….anyone care to add more to this? seems fairly obvious they are deliberately picking programs they know men will most likely not be able to stop watching)
            Why should I NOT consider the show runners are playing to the SJW’s? Either through fear, cuckoldry, or being Quizlings.

            I will keep repeating this point James, if gender did not matter in this, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE BOTHERED TO DO IT.
            Well, I can consider a few scenarios there,

            1: He does not care and goes in boots first on the anti male stuff.
            2: He takes the “water dripping on rock to wear it away” approach, much like feminism itself.
            3: He doesnt, he makes a decent show, whittaker plays the role with total ignorance to her gender.

            But you have to look at the dialogue and track record. Perhaps they will have a Damascus road experience, but I doubt it.
            Even in that unlikely situation, if its brilliant, well written, and so forth. Its still going to take a miracle for me to like this. Because MY doctor who is a bloke, I will not apologise for this.

            And I should not have to.

          • James Lomond

            Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Mark.

            No of course you shouldn’t have to apologise for that but I personally I think it’s worth getting to the bottom of what on Earth it is that you feel you are being asked to apologise for – what does that even mean “my Doctor Who is a bloke” – why can’t a character change gender and what does it do to your mind/ perception of the character when it does and how does that all work? Seems fascinating to me – but I get that the casting is deeply frustrating for some and this may just seem shitty rather than interesting. No worries if you’d prefer not to carry on the chat. I’ll waffle on below a bit more anyway.

            I wasn’t suggesting that anyone should be allowed to abuse because they’ve been abused. What I am suggesting is that vitriol from an oppressed group shouldn’t be surprising. I’m not saying it’s good or right or helpful. One of the biggest tragedies in social politics seems to me to be that oppressed groups only really get their oppresser to change through incredible restraint and grace – e.g. the civil rights movement in the US.

            Mark, “I will slap you so hard you will regenerate” was an APPALLING piece of misjudged and sexist writing. Surely you’ve read the blogs and articles on the troubling way that Moffat has written women not as people but as vampish, aggressive, sexually controlling and deceitful? It was a man writing a woman in an horrible way that perpetuates the image of a slappy woman – there was a load of concern online about how that was a terrible example to set for young girls and is a stereotyped female behaviour. By that stage Clara wasn’t a “strong” female character, she was a nasty, vindictive and arrogant parody of a positive female role model. Please don’t see that as feminist hate – that was Moffat (for all his brilliant storylines and writing) failing terribly at feminism. Women being allowed to slap men isn’t anything to do with feminism – it’s written into prevailing gender norms.

            Back to my first point and what you said about star wars etc – it sounds like it’s to do with seeing women as so *other* that people find female leads to be totally inaccessible. I get the disconnect – I had that too when the idea of a female doctor was first suggested to me. I immediately felt like I wouldn’t be able to relate to or feel as welcomed by the character. And then I asked myself why and ended up thinking that’s ridiculous – why on Earth should that get in the way. I may have to check myself now and then but I’m certainly not going to let it get in the way of me enjoying my favourite show. She’s still MY doctor because that’s who it is – ancient and forever whatever body he or she is in.

            Yes fair enough about the pandering to SJWs – I really hope you’re wrong.

          • Jack Ashcraft

            If there is another male, he certainly won’t be caucasian. Not that I care about his race, I’m merely pointing out that the BBC won’t allow for anyone that doesn’t meet the Cultural Marxist agenda.

        • James Lomond

          I don’t think it will Christian. The feminist concer around historiography is primarily around how history has mostly been written by men and about men with particular biases. ALso Churchill and Caesar haven’t been converted into magical children’s characters so that seems like a weird example – the current relationship between St Nicholas and Santa Claus is about as tenuous as the link between the commercialised version of Christmas and Christianity.

          It’s not revisionism – no one is trying to pretend that Churchill, St Nicholas, Father Christmas or the Doctor weren’t in male bodies. Whitakker doesn’t change the past 50+ years.

          And as Lazy Womble points out Mrs Claus has featured in a number of films (and books) – not a stretch to imagine a children’s book/ cartoon about Father Christmas having the flu and his wife having to take on the present-delivery challenge. Though I’m sure some would find that laughable – women drivers etc. Though my understanding is that the objection from people on this site about Whitakker’s casting is around the idea of a character/ consciousness spanning a gender divide rather than anythning more concretely anti-woman. I’m guessing that’s because it conflicts with entrenched cultural ideas about the differences/ boudaries between “male” and “female” and is to do with gender policing/ gender binaries – whether or not that’s sexist is complicated (I think it probably is though I haven’t managed to properly explain why yet).

          • Christian Cawley

            “I’m sure some would find that laughable – women drivers etc. ”

            You seriously think that?

          • James Lomond

            No it was more a dig at ppl making those kinds of jokes about Whittaker tbh.

            Though also yes- some people would make those kinds of jokes about a story about Mrs Claus – however harmlessly it was meant/ delivered. “Find it laughable” was an ott way of saying that.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            What, a dig at people having a sense of humour and making jokes? Surely not! Like that Whittaker’s first scene is going to be her decorating the TARDIS with scatter cushions? That the reason for her eventual regeneration might be the menopause? Can we not even make joke now?

            Why have women got small feet? … so they can get closer to the kitchen sink! Sue me!
            How can you tell a woman has used a computer? …there’s Tipp-Ex on the screen! Sue me again!
            Why don’t women get much excercise? …because there isn’t much walking between the kitchen and the bedroom! Sue me AGAIN!

            Besides, in the real world it is common knowledge women are statistically better drivers than men. Just look at their lower insurance premiums – especially between younger males and females (boy racers partially to thank for that though)! Having a “dig” at people for jokes though? Oh well.

          • James Lomond

            So what I meant was the people who were both against the casting and making jokes about the TARDIS being full of bras (though why that was supposed to be a joke I’m not sure) and not being able to save the universe when having a period etc. If you’ve read some of the awful things people wrote online after the announcement I’m sure you wouldn’t begrudge me that *dig*, clumsy as it was.

            Not really interested in taking this one further FPD. Anything I say seems to get twisted.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            No problem. No twists needed but I understand you’re not getting anywhere.

          • kwijino

            TARDIS being full of bras… wasn’t that the case with the fourth Doctor? I’m sure he had his share of lady fans.

          • Mark Evans

            Hm, can I add one about being worried seeing a woman with a screwdriver? oh…no, OK, I won’t.

          • bar

            You have a thing against cocktails now Mark? 😉

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            Give me a slippery nipple any day! 🙂

          • bar

            I wonder if there are any cocktail names more suited to Who?
            we could even play ‘match the cocktail to the story…’

          • The Lazy Womble

            a Manhattan. Have try to prise it out of Dalek “hands” though.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            OK, I’ll start…
            Pex On The Beach.
            Which story?

          • bar

            Lovely! Pex in teh swimming pool doesn’t quite sound the same does it? Personally I’d prefer the Hex, but can’t think off the top of my head of a water-related ep with him, so Paradise Towers it has to be.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            Well, Snakebite could have been the name of a sequel to Snakedance I suppose. It Kinda has a similar name (see what I did there?)

          • bar

            Moscow mule – Cold war
            White lady – Hide
            French 75 – City of Death – it has a certain… bouquet
            Jammie Dodger – sorry to draw attention to it, but there you are.
            Ace – though I can’t see her drinking pink gin!
            Bee Sting – not quite unicorn and the wasp, but close
            Army and Navy – Invasion and Sea Devils
            Fireball – 42, or Inferno
            Corpse Reviver – any regeneration story, possibly with a chaser of Agent Orange

            This is fun – do you have to take a drink for each one…?

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            Boy, you sure know your cocktails there. Have you got a drinking problem by any chance? haha 🙂

          • The Lazy Womble

            Cold War could also be a White Russian.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            Did anybody kick up f*ck about Sarah-Jane and her Sonic Lipstick?

          • James Lomond

            Yes, they did. It was sexist, perpetuated stereotypes and personally, I was surprised at RTD. But if you point out every way that gendered behaviours get reinforced to children on television you’d never reach the end, and the fact is we live in a sexist society so you can’t expect everything to change all at once.

          • kwijino

            What? “Perpetuated stereotypes”? Or was it just a cute way of giving her the same device? I’m going with the latter. It wasn’t about RTD secretly hating women. He doesn’t. To his credit, Russell doesn’t seem to have a hateful bone in his body. It’s something I admire about him.

          • James Lomond

            Yeah of course he doesn’t hate women – where on Earth did that come from?? I would have expected him to be more circumspect about the gender bias though – equally you could argue that given SJS was living in a sexist society, it was helpful to disguise her sonic as something that women are expected to carry.
            The problem is that women are expected/ people are not surprised that they do carry lipstick because of our cultural bias that women should be more interested in their appearance and (actually) should be valued more for their appearance than their brain or their character. Obviously there’s lots more in the SJAs that was pro-feminist and ant-gender biases but the problem with:
            MAN-> screwdriver sigil
            WOMAN-> lipstick sigil

            …is that it perpetuates the subtle and pervasive messages about behaviour that girls and boys have rammed down their throats all the time. Needlessly.

            The lipstic is a small(ish) point but is pretty illustrative.

            The TEDx talk I posted somewhere had a brilliant slide in it that said, “no one here is to blame for the problem but each of us are responsible for the solution”.

            This kind of stuff. There’s a longer interview with Webb on the Channel 4 youtube page that talks more about the problems with societal gender policing/ the patriarchy’s effects on men and boys.

            https://www.facebook.com/Channel4News/videos/10155187428901939/

          • kwijino

            My beliefs are more along the lines of what Terry Pratchett said on the subject of changing society:

            “Vimes had spent his life on the streets, and had met decent men and
            fools and people who’d steal a penny f om a blind beggar and people who
            performed silent miracles or desperate crimes every day behind the
            grubby windows of little houses, but he’d never met The People.

            People on the side of The People always ended up disappointed, in any case.
            They found that The People tended not to be grateful or appreciative or
            forward-thinking or obedient. The People tended to be small-minded and
            conservative and not very clever and were even distrustful of
            cleverness. And so the children of the revolution were faced with the
            age-old problem: it wasn’t that you had the wrong kind of government,
            which was obvious, but that you had the wrong kind of people.

            As soon as you saw people as things to be measured, they didn’t measure up.”

            I think those who are always finding ways to be offended by people being themselves, in things like the Sonic lipstick or that the Doctor is a male, they are the ones measuring people and we just won’t add up.

            IMO, Sexism is about hatred of women, hence what I said.

            Saying that men and women are not the same is not sexism. That’s simply reality. Not saying either is better, just that they are not the same.

            I also don’t think I have to police my speech, and not even because some guy said to in a TED talk. I know you said you think it’s not about that, but male and female molds have been around for millenia, and “correcting” that would require a lot of policing. Better to have kids see the real world as benign and gender roles being as natural as rain rather than the stuff the progressive left keeps pushing.

          • James Lomond

            Thanks for the reply Kwijino – love Terry Pratchett. He was wonderful.

            I don’t think I’ve every watched a TED talk where someone said we should police our speech. I do think that if we are enabled to see how our speech effects others we might, in light of that, chose what we say more carefully. Besides, our speech is already policed by people who think we must view men and women as fundamentally different etc.

            Male and female molds are wildly different in different cultures and change over time. The real world isn’t benign – at all. Having children believe that socially imposed gender roles is “natural” sounds dangerous to me. A lot of things have been argued as natural throughout history including some very dark things that were stopped and I’m sure you’d agree that that was needful intervention.

            These terms have been defined already for ease of use. Sexism is stereotyping and discrimination on the basis of sex (in either direction). Misogyny is women-hating.

            Saying that men and women are not the same is not *quite* sexism, but believing that “men” and “women” represent universally homogenous groups and asserting that there are fundamental differences and linking this to social practices (like writing and producing a television programme) is sexist. I suspect that a refusal to accept continuity of character/ consciousness across a gender-divide (in a fictional character) is rooted in a sexist mindset – but that’s getting a bit complicated.

            I’ve not been talking about misogyny.

          • kwijino

            At this point I would offer scripture. 1 Corinthians 3:18 (GWT): “Don’t deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise in the ways of this world, you should give up that wisdom in order to become really wise.”

            I have studied many cultures and have a degree in Literature. I know my storytelling and my archetypes. You call em stereotypes, I call em archetypes. Women raise the kids, men are hunter/gatherers. Can’t help it, that’s the way it is from Australian aborigines to Native Americans (I qualify as Iroquois) to Greece to white Anglos. Telling me some folk fall out of that of the archetypes? Okay, I’ll concede that. Every general statement is a lie, including this one. But it doesn’t mean there’s no truth in them at all, and no, I don’t think it’s “dangerous”.

            But… I’ve never said women can’t make tv shows. For six years I did a monthly newsletter for the Time Meddlers of Los Angeles about a show produced by Verity Lambert with lotsa articles written at the K (RIP).

            I have also never said a woman can’t be an action hero. My objection is to change genders of a 50 year existing character because of a political objective.

          • James Lomond

            OK, well if your only objection is a political agenda and you don’t mind the change in gender other than the perceived motivation then we don’t really disagree other than on the motivation which we’re not going to be able to work out here.

            Yeah that’s all good – I don’t think I suggested you did say a woman can’t be an action hero or make tv shoes. Don’t really understand why that came up.

            Again as far as I’m aware these terms have been defined for ease of use.
            A stereotype is a widly held, oversimplified view on any behaviour or trope – it could be about hairstyles, sporting choices or food preferences and how they relate to a perceived group.
            An archetype is a trope or set of traits that should be recogniseable by any human at any point in time or space (culture, subculture and point in history not making any difference) and was popularised by Jung with his sets of gendered archetypes like the maiden, mother, hero, sage etc.
            So they’re different and the archytypes are specific psychological/ literary tropes imagined and created at a particular point in time by people/ a person with very particular views on gender. And anyone, no matter their sex/gender can operate under any archetype in the Jungian sense – so Jodie Whittaker can portray a femal bodied person operating under the wile old man/ sage archetype.

            You introduced archetypes when referring to whether or not referring to things as “natural” is dangerous or not. Archetypes are an idea created by humans – they have nothing to do with whether or not something is “natural”. The problem with saying something is “natural” is that you no longer have to justify it when asserting that it should dictate other’s behaviourand rights. Similar to saying it’s what a god or gods wants, it seems to carry ultimate moral weight even if it’s clearly immoral. People have often used the idea that something is “matural” to mean that it’s what a god or gods wants and therefor can’t be opposed. Women not having access to education or the vote was said to be due to natural features of their brains at one stage in history. It’s very dangerous, Kwijino.

            Regarding your scripture reference, as an atheist I agree that intellectual humility is a virtue.

            Yes there seem to be statistical tendencies in terms of traditional gendered behaviour in many but not all cultures. The shape of pelvises meaning that men are generally better at running and women at giving birth supports that observation. But that doesn’t mean there’s any cosmic significance to differences between men and women nor that they should be enforced.

          • kwijino

            You didn’t understand the Scriptural reference.

            I mean, I sincerely think you are overthinking things.

            You had written about women making TV shows in a previous reply, and the whole conversation is about the decision to make the Doctor a female, hence my trying to not stray into the woods from those things. And I honestly do mind the gender change. I spent 12 years collecting every R1 episode of Doctor Who (including homemade discs of recons) but the show ended for me as of this decision.

            You can be atheist all you like, just so long as you let me be a Christian, because it really matters in terms of how I see the world.

            As a Christian, I think Social Justice is a labored attempt at replicating faith while trying to exclude the source of all things good, which is God. The two main commands Jesus gave us are “Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, strength, and soul” followed by “Love your neighbor as you would yourself.”

            Do those two things, and you will not need a large intellectual basis for people being nice to each other, which is not dangerous. It’s really not dangerous if you base your life on love.

          • James Lomond

            Hey-
            I didn’t put the bit about TV shows very clearly- I wasn’t referring to women making TV shows, I was talking about people who believe men and women can and should be seen as homogenous and coherent categories and different in ways that carry normative significance- and how those people may then use various media e.g. a television show (but equally laws about access to property, laws around rights to vote, novels, theatre etc etc) to project their binary view of how people *should* behave onto others. It was part of an argument for this kind of gender-policing being inherently sexist in principle.

            Anyway-

            Never said I was atheist. I completely and whole-heartedly agree with you about basing your life on love and that intellectual argument can’t determine how anyone should behave without some underlying value set. I suppose where we differ is that I don’t attach spiritual connection to a source of compassion to the Christian faith in particular. I think Christianity can achieve that like many other religions on a personal spiritual level but- like any other institution, frequently fails to achieve what it set out to originally. And I think that is one of the reasons why intellectual reasoning is important. When people use inconsistent argument and rhetoric to argue for things in the name of a religion that clearly don’t accord with that religion’s original teachings, clarity of thought and precision can point that out. I also think that intellectual work can be transformative and brings oppotunities for emotional and spiritual growth.

            I had said that your suggestion about informing children that gender-specific behaviours were “natural” was dangerous. That’s a world away from basing your life on love and I think the discussion had slipped a bit by that point.

            Am happy to leave it there- think I have a better understanding of your position and I get the feeling we’re at the point where we’ll just be talking cross-purposes. Thank you for your reflections and I hope that there’s positive stuff for you in the show’s future.

          • Philip

            I know, totally not the point, but what articles did you write on the K? Always interested in reading stuff I’ve missed from the past 🙂

          • kwijino

            No, I didn’t write for the K. I did the newsletter for Los Angeles DW fan club, and used articles from the K (with Christian’s permission) along with other sources. I also did reviews and stories there. Someday when I have time, I will put the archive up on the website.

          • Philip

            Ah I see. Yeah, let us know if you get time to put the archive online – would be interesting to read.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            Well, I was being rhetoric actually. But hey, of course you were offended. Have you not heard the HERteenth Doctor is going to have a Sonic Tampon?!?! If the lipstick didn’t sit well with you then you’re gonna lose your nut! 🙂

          • James Lomond

            Offended? Why do you keep thinking I’m offended by things rather than mildly concerned and rolling my eyes?

            Regarding the humour attempt- don’t give up your day job 😉 x

          • Christian Cawley

            “Some people would” — so at this stage, no one you’ve spoken to?

          • James Lomond

            You asking about the hypothetical childrens book/ programme about Father Christmas’s wife doing the present-run that I first thought about ever in the comment above? No – no one I’ve spoken to (…)
            Though I’m pretty confident that whether in such a book/ programme or in occasional audience responses that kind of joke would be made. Unsurprising, largely harmless and probably even warmly meant like a lot of gender/ sexist humour over time. I’m not personally offended by that or the list of jokes FPD made – I’m trying (and failing) tp point out that the use of that kind of humour (while largely pretty benign in the moment) is symptomatic of the gender divide and attitudes that on a larger scale facilitate sexism and misogyny.

            I don’t believe in policing language and I don’t believe in beating people over the head with progressive liberal demands. I also don’t agree with dismissing the underlying principles and concerns of progressives just because some of them take things too far.

            I suspect there is a relationship between policed gender binaries and why some have a difficulty with imagining that a character can be the *same* after changing gender. When I work out how to explain that without it turning into a load of work I haven’t got time to do I’ll get back to you.

          • kwijino

            Yup, I got a lot of this on another site…. disagree and you hate all wimmen folk. Nope. If Asians could get all upset about ScarJo in Ghost in the Shell, I can be unhappy about this without being a hater. I bought just about all the Rogue Angel books, love Tomb Raider, and like the Hunger Games. Strong women are fine.

            But… one more producer trying to tell me how the show that gave us Barbara Wright, Polly, Zoe, Liz Shaw, Sarah Jane, Tegan, Ace, Rose, Donna, Amy and Clara trying to explain how it’s a Lads show and the women need this? Scuse me while I barf. Taking the reigns of the show to make a political point (which Chibbers did in cahoots with the Beeb, no matter what Rusty says) means they can go on without me.

          • Jack Ashcraft

            Spot on!

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            “his wife having to take on the present-delivery challenge”. Exactly, if he was ill as you say she would be covering for him, she wouldn’t BE him! I don’t understand what female drivers have got to do with anything either though.

          • James Lomond

            Not sure what you’re talking about – choosing to have a sex change is to bring bodily sex (a biological fact) in line (at lease aesthetically) with their internal experience of gender.

            Transgender isn’t directly relevant to reactions to the casting but gender binaries/ gender-policing are and that’s what I was referring to above.

  • ColeBox

    “I simply didn’t think of it”

    In my befuddled memory, I vaguely recall reading an article, during RTD’s tenure, where he said that he wouldn’t cast a female Doctor as he wouldn’t want to explain the changes (actually, it was a little more explicit) to the younger audience.

    Yes, the world is a very different place than it was when RTD was the show-runner, and whether my memory is correct on that article or not, I find it hard to believe that he hadn’t even thought about a female Doctor, as the subject has come up during every new actor’s casting since Peter Davison.

  • DonnaWho?

    This is a comment I have felt the need to make in the weeks since Jolie Whittaker”s announcement as the next Doctor Who.
    During this time Doctor Who Companion has attracted a more negative leaning (towards the announcement) segment of the Who fan community as commenters.
    I am NOT saying they should not comment. I defend their right to their own opinions even if I don’t agree with them. BUT it does have the regrettable result of making Doctor Who Companion a less enjoyable site to read comments on because of the increased negative atmosphere.
    I really wish the commenting community would be fair enough to give Jodie Whittaker a chance to prove herself one way or another first before jumping at the chance to condemn her.

    • The Lazy Womble

      Isn’t that what we are saying? Yes, there are some commenters who won;t watch and that is their right and I support and understand that. But there are commenters who are holding back until Jodie starts before passing judgement.

    • Peter Rabytt

      I think its fair to say that the reaction has been mixed among commentors and DWC writers……ranging from great enthusiasm, to refusing to watch the programme with a woman playing the Doctor. Personally, I think we should be positive and give everyone who plays the Doctor the chance to be good in the role and every new show runner the chance to demonstrate that they have some good ideas. That’s not to say that we should sycophantically love and agree with everything. Stagnation and the law of diminishing returns is in my view always the greatest risk to a long running show. Don’t think everyone is negative about the next series, there are plenty of us who look forward to it with the same nervous excitement that we do every time the lead actor or the show runner changes ☺

      • daft

        I’m also looking forward to what Jodie can bring to the role, quite frankly I less than enthused at the time about the front runners, so it came as a pleasant surprise. 🙂 Given that we are more than likely a year away from any significant demonstration of her abilities, opinions either positive or negative are likely to remain intact. Secondly, it WILL happen, it’s going to happen, so those unsure about the change will be confronted with their fears. Hopefully, many will find their fears totally unfounded. Others will have to console themselves with the ever expanding range of BF releases, and there’s not too many sci-fi fans as well served as that. 😀

        • Mark Evans

          *sighs* until the feminists hear about BF, then they really will be up diarreah creek without a paddle.

          • Peter Rabytt

            I agree with Christian that DWC is in some ways reflecting the diversity of views. Where I do get frustrated is the use of the word feminist as if it were single thing and a dirty word. Feminism is like any other analysis in that it has numerous strands and interpretations and has evolved through time. The way it’s used sometimes as a pejorative term, is like if I branded all religious people as having the same interpretations of what it means to be religious and then went on about ‘those religious’ eg wanting to force me to live a certain way or being terrorists. I would object to that and I object to the use of the word Feminist as a simple term as though all feminists want women to dominate and appropriate everything. Its equally unfair and inaccurate, and perpetuates misunderstanding.

          • Mark Evans

            Your right, I agree i used that term too lightly, these days it does actually have too many meanings. So, I will change that to “Third Wave Feminists”.

          • Peter Rabytt

            Thanks Mark. I appreciate your acknowledgement

    • Christian Cawley

      From where I’m sitting, it looks like DWC represents exactly what is happening in fandom: some for, some against, some sensibly “wait and see”. Hardly negative: realistic.

    • DonnaM

      I appreciate your sentiments, and believe me I’ve felt the same in certain periods. I’m concerned about the show’ s current direction, and for a fan of over 40 years that’s never a comfortable place to be.

      The essence of my anxiety can be summed up in two words, and they may not be the obvious ones given the nature of this debate. They are: Chris Chibnall.

      I’m not a fan of his Doctor Who writing. I’m uneasy that his decision to cast a woman hasn’t been expressed as anything but a biological choice. If he’d gone down the route because he considered Jodie Whittaker the best *person* he auditioned, or had come out with a comment about some narrative reason for the gender switch, I might feel more comfortable about it. Instead we’ve had dismissive press releases from the BBC effectively smearing any doubters as nasty sexist dinosaur types. Add in his off-putting “had to be wooed” quote…

      As I say – I hate feeling so sceptical. Hopefully the next announcements will include Jamie Mathieson or Sarah Dollard as members of the writing staff: or I’ll be really excited by the companion casting. I want to be positive again, truly!

      • DonnaWho?

        I must admit to some trepidation as concerns Chris Chiball myself but Doctor Who, the show and the character has lived through more change successfully than any other show that has every existed so I am hopeful it will succeed again.

    • Philip

      Sorry to hear you feel like this, DonnaWho. I’ve not been commenting so much lately because I fear my opinions would be too negative so that’d bring down the site. But yeah, I hope we can all find equal grounds, that the DWC can represent everyone. I think part of the problem is that the positivity and the negativity will only heighten because we have to wait so long to actually see her in action. Stupid decision by the BBC and/or Chibbers. I feel very restless without knowing whether DW is for me anymore, and it looks like I’ll feel like that for another year at least.

    • FrancoPabloDiablo

      DonnaWho? – Surely you are saying you’d only be happy if people’s views, comments and opinions were the same as your own? The result of a site that only lets ‘pro’ and ‘positive’ views to come across would be detrimental as a sizeable faction don’t feel or agree with that feeling. We’ve already lost Dr. Moo – a very highly regarded and respectd commenter in my opinion because he couldn’t deal with anyone speaking against his beliefs – to the point unexpected name-calling and nastiness was what he resorted to while at the same time accusing the site and commenters of creating a toxic atmosphere (hypocrisy at its finest). That was such a shame. While you are feeling dejected by other’s opinions at the moment don’t do the same as Moo and jump ship because of other’s opinions. Stay and debate, discuss, have differences of opinion – they are nothing worth running away from. And at least you have always been one of the most respectful people I can think of on this site!

      • DonnaWho?

        Hello FrancoPabloDiablo!
        I have been reading some of the comments that you and some others have been having between each other and they have been fascinating.
        I am an older Whovian as well, as I was a teenager in the late ’70”s watching the fourth Doctor and Leela running around. My dad was always a big sci-fi fan and I watched it with him. Though I think he watched it to see Leela in her leather outfit! But anyway, at that time, I didn’t know that there had been 3 other Doctorside or that the Doctor could regenerate. So I have been a Whovian for decades.
        I don’t expect people to agree with me at all but these days real life (versus fictional life) is SO chaotic and uncertain and there is so much negativity in everyday life that of course, I’d rather not have to face more negativity. You might say I too want and need a safe place away from the extreme negativity in the world.
        I do understand reality though and …

        • DonnaWho?

          That that is unlikely to happen. I think it’s all the continual, ongoing devisiveness that gets hard to take but as I said in my original comment, I defend everyone”s right to their own opinions.
          The more measured, calmer discussions that I have read here today do give me some hope.

          • bar

            It gives me hope too DonnaWho? Franco’s stuck it out with as much good humour as he can muster, and James keeps the rational philosophical arguments parallel with the genuinely deep emotions people on both sides feel. I can’t say I enjoy reading these difficult exchanges, but I appreciate them. I’d rather have this than no more Who discussions, no more DWC, no more valuable community here.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            Laughter beats everything. Laugh and the one thing you will do to your detractors is p*ss them off more than you can imagine!

    • reTARDISed

      I think there are/will be at least four main reactions to news of Chibnall’s
      appointment and Whittaker’s casting: (1) unfettered delight and excitement, (2)
      happiness at the initial news, followed by disappointment when
      broadcasting of series 11 starts, (3) unhappiness with the initial news,
      followed by approval when broadcasting starts, and (4) disappointment at the initial news and during broadcast. I suspect that few people fall firmly into one of those main categories, and feelings may fluctuate, as we wait and wait. Being borderline facetious, if Chibnall were so committed to a feminist agenda,
      perhaps he should resign in favour of a female showrunner?…

  • Mark Evans

    *shrugs* Not my intention to upset, after all, its going to happen. But the idea that its OK to upset boy children, well, perhaps the world has moved too far in one direction?. Now not to get too political here, but you understand there is NO science behind gender fluidity? While your welcome to believe in it, I was not under the impression we taught myths at school, packaged as science. Nor use TV to reinforce it. Oh dear gods the shaky sand were being forced to stand on.

    • James Lomond

      There doesn’t need to be science behind gender fluidity. There does need to be a recognition from people who have bullied, belittled and murdered to preserve their petty notions of “male” and “female” behaviour that they have no right to dictate how others behave or dress based on ideas of “naturalness” or “normalness” or whatever they think it is that science (or “god”) provides.

      Millenials, like any youthful generation will latch on to counter-cultural/ counter-establishment notions and take them to the nth degree. That’s standard teens/ 20-somethings railing against the boundaries of their parents’ generation and there’s no more need to involved the “dear gods” than there was in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s etc etc etc. The fact that young people are running with non-traditional gender perspectives and taking them to extremes also does not mean there is no truth or no value in those non-traditional perspectives.

      • Mark Evans

        Do you think bullying is a problem just for the alt people? Some of us were bullied at school, by girls, for watching Doctor Who 🙂 Yeah sure, rebel psychology, pretty standard, no problem there.

        Sure, in my experience people tend to mock the non conformist, again, pretty standard.
        Please don’t compare normal rebellion against the current crop of students, the SJW’s scare the hell out of me, because their behaviour marks them as cultists. That’s truly the nicest way i can describe them.
        Your welcome to your opinion on gender fludity, feels over fact. Naturally watching Doctor Who, we have learned to put no weight into rationality or the scientific method.
        Wait a minute….

        • daft

          Seriously, the majority of people here have been marginalized and bullied because of their love of nerdy things. Why is it necessary to conflate the issue to the transgender experience? Why does an entire third party need to be belittled because you don’t like a TV show choice? If a change of gender of a TV character threatens your sexual orientation there’s not much an online discussion can achieve.

          • Mark Evans

            Its not me that made it about gender daft, that’s the whole problem. Because now, doctor who is going to be TOTALLY about gender. Me posting about it, is a reaction that. And yeah sure, the doctor was MY role model, I learned how to be an englishman from Peter Davison (I think). That’s my ID. Do not screw with my ID, thank you. And no, I do NOT have to widen my mind to accept gender fluidity when it is an entirely fictional concept being portrayed as reality.
            That’s a very, very, dangerous thing to do.

            Oh, yes, ok, the doc aint transgender…YET, surely you have seen the posts that just changing to a white female aggressor is not progressive enough?

          • daft

            Whose ‘screwing with your ID’, then? Chibnall? The BBC? Jodie Whittaker? The LGBT community? As it happens, I couldn’t stand TOM, and got on board when Davison walked through the door, my ID isn’t threatened in the slightest. And yes, straight, white, middle-aged Anglo Saxon before you ask. I dare suggest that both Chibnall and Moffat would have been very uncomfortable back in the 1980s when the tabloids livened up a slow news day with cheeky speculation that the next Doctor *might* be female. But its 2017, females regularly get opportunities to take lead roles in dramas. You can go back over my posts and find I haven’t agreed with the way the BBC have handled the change or been sensitive to those struggling with it. It’s sad to lose a non-violent role model, but it’s not lost, it’s on hold, likely until such time Jodie gets sick of sitting around waiting for technical issues to be sorted on location in the middle of winter, I’d suggest that’s the usual 3 years, then. Moffat’s reign couldn’t have been more divisive to me if he was actually trying, I’ve vowed not to watch after S6, sometimes waiting 10 months before inevitably caving in and watching the then (thankfully) spoiled plot arcs. I haven’t trolled forums, I’ve just accepted it wasn’t for me. In many respects, I acknowledge that Moffat was been the best thing for NuHu, given that he introduced a number of Americanizations that have helped sell it globally. All I say is I took ownership of it, it was fundamentally my response not the fault of the producers. If you can’t live with that I’d suggest set up an online petition to boycott Doctor Who merchandise for 12 months. I’d suggest if you could get 10,000 signatures parts of the BBC would sit up and listen.

          • Peter Rabytt

            If you really had no other positive role models in your life growing up, I am sorry you had that experience.

          • Mark Evans

            Of course I had others, but for nerdy me, Doctor Who was central. Its who I wanted to be….kinda

          • Peter Rabytt

            You wanted to be a huge serpent like creature?! 😉

          • Mark Evans

            Don’t be anti-snakist! Snakes are people too! oh..wait…um…
            I cant take that episode seriously….not since kinda eggs came out.

          • Peter Rabytt

            I couldn’t take that story seriously even before Kinda eggs…..has to be some of the most over the top acting by a supporting cast ever! That soldier type who goes mad and takes over, really takes ham acting to new levels.
            They should bring out a range of kinda eggs with characters from the story though! A bit of a niche market admittedly……..

          • Mark Evans

            Doctor Who “Kinda eggs”….PD era…..30 years too late but….that would be kinda awesome 🙂

          • Peter Rabytt

            Tis never too late to celebrate the PD era! 😄

          • James Lomond

            I think the non-fictional version of the argument might be that your only being able to identify with a positive *male* role model as a kid was not because of some biological imperative but because of how male vs female and boys/men vs girls/women were presented to you (and virtually every child) when you were little – the idea being that the problem is not that little boys cannot identify with a female Doctor but little boys are *told* they cannot identify with a female lead. That *may* be changing – don’t know. I personally think that reducing the stag vs hen stereotyped gender roles in society and having kids being able to identify with heroes of either gender being fine – not criticised or mocked because of it – is brilliant. I also don’t think it would bring about anarchy or the end of civilisation. I also agree that a lot of the “progressive” vitriol expressed around gender issues is overly aggressive and inappropriate. But then presumably that in part comes from the vitriol and bullying some of them were exposed to for not fitting the standard male vs female molds. And maybe from some unrelated experiences.

            If people are so integrated with cultural gender norms that changing the gender of the Doctor is completely unacceptable to them then I think that’s a real shame. But I also think it presents them with an incredible challenge and opportunity to examine how enculturation has changed and shaped them and to go through a process of change – of course some people aren’t into those kinds of challenges.

            It’d be nice if Whittaker knocks it out of the park and persuades everyone she’s the same ancient time traveller – hoping that happens but am sure there’ll be some people who just can’t get comfortable with it. Hoping though.

          • Mark Evans

            When you are in a situation where choice is removed, there is no challenge. There is conform, or die.
            I can imagine being raised without sex. I can imagine a situation where through controlling society you could make that happen. However reality tends to intrude, when you force a narrative that has no real realistic basis, reality ALWAYS breaks in, eventually.
            An example of this is that the suicide rate with men who have a sex change, is unchanged. From that you can extract that after having the change, its no magic bullet, and has solved nothing in their lives.
            It has made no difference.
            I keep thinking of the line in Mad Max
            “no matter where you go, there you are.”

            What I still cannot understand is why people think a sexless world is desirable, at all.

          • James Lomond

            Thanks for the reply, Mark.

            There’s a choice as to whether ppl watch the show and attempt internal reflection such that the gender change doesn’t prevent enjoyment of Doctor Who any longer – that’s what I was referring to. There seems to be a lot of panic about gender-norms being challenged. Gender isn’t going to disappear – even if the progressive voices are ultimately successdul it won’t disappear – vast swathes of culture and entertainment are profoundly gender-policed. Every Disney film (perhaps up until recently) firmly reinforces gender roles. Every fairytale, every story, every advert, every tradition up until very recently etc etc. Don’t engage with “conform or die” – that’s a desperate position and not representative of the positive parts of the movement.

            Reality “ALWAYS” breaks in – nope, afraid not. It is natural and real for a certain percentage of the population to be gay and lesbian but that hasn’t translated into humane treatment and fitting LGBT people into mainstream society – that’s had to be campaigned for. Similarly for race – differences in skin colour are real but that hasn’t translated into desirable or morally justifiable social practices. It is also real and natural/ normal or a “scientific fact” if you like, that people with different experiences of gendered behaviours exist and what is being asked for is acceptance and some realisation as to how profound and preposterous enforced gender behaviours have become over millenia. While rare, a varety of hermaphroditic states exist as scientific fact and some cultures have encorporated those people into positive roles in mainstream society and normalised them. Others viz. The West and others haven’t. Society is already controlled- only it won’t feel like that if you’re one of the ones that it’s been controlled to suit.

            Gender fluidity is not mean a “sexless” world. I think what you’re being asked to understand by the quieter and more reasonable voices is that the men who don’t conform to typical and celebrated macho behaviours and vice versa for women deserve not to have traditional gender roles forced on them. Gender fluidity (if I’ve understood what it is properly) is a standpoint where people sometimes feel and want to behave in more traditionally masculine modes and sometimes more feminine modes and in a way that is not dependent on their biological sex – and whereby no one throws bricks at their heads or demeans them for it. It’s not asking for a sexless world, it’s asking for accceptance. I understand that that is often not the reasonable message that comes across from some campaigners etc.

            I don’t think we necessarily disagree but there seems to be a lacuna that you’re passing over because of the aggressive and extreme voices out there.

          • James Lomond

            Assuming you can PM I’m going to PM you a reply to the suicide comment as I don’t think a public forum is appropriate.

          • James Lomond

            Ah- looks like you can’t? :/

          • Mark Evans

            Well hey, I want equal treatment for everyone, despite what i might think of their dodgy standing places. It seems equality is something of an old fashioned concept though.
            They have normalised a medical condition? Whom? I’m curious.

            And yes, society is controlled, but i dont believe you achieve parity by granting exceptional rights to minorities. True freedom is a myth, we all live under a social contract.
            To me, gender fluidity means this….Oh its monday, think i will be a lady today. Tuesdays..um…lady….Will go male on wed…..

            After watching quite alot of current politics though, far as i can see the whole purpose of gender fluidity is to state there is no difference between the two. Equality of ability. Which sadly is just , not, born out by the science. This is why i refer to it as sexless.

            Interestingly , if your description is the more accurate one, i will say this….THERE IS NO REASON TO GIVE THAT A NAME, as, frankly, thats the complete and total norm for everyone on the planet!

            We all have a inner woman or man, no? On the other hand if i have to put on a dress to access that inner woman…just….no.

          • James Lomond

            Yes but why is it any of your or my business whether anyone else pus on a dress or not. An yes it’s factually the norm but it’s suppressed- look at Bros/jock culture or around the world the murder of cross dressers, gay ppl any anyone who violates the behavioural codes societies set out.

            Clearly men and women as traditionally defined have statistically significant differences in their bodies and abilities. That’s not at issue – what’s at issue is whether someone should be pressured or forced into a certain behaviour or role because of the body they have.

            I don’t understand what you mean by exceptional rights for minorities? Who’s asking for anything like that?

            Guevedoces is the example I was thinking of- there are other examples regarding third genders and established societal roles around the world. You’ve probably heard of lady bous in Thailand. Bear in mind that while we generally agree on what requires medical intervention and what doesn’t, no one has managed a final overall definition of “medical condition” and there’s a societal value judgement wherever “medical condition” or “disease” is used.
            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34290981

          • Mark Evans

            I cant speak for Jock culture, no real idea about it..unless were talking about trainspotting..then i don’t want to go there. Funny thing here is considering cultural judgement, we all do that. You just don’t see people being killed for needing a shave and a haircut. Well..unless its a very posh restaurant 🙂
            As to pressuring people, as i understand it, its the current Feminist (Third wave?) doctrine that tries to force women into taking roles, that many simple don’t WANT to.
            102 (hope I’m right there) UK deaths last year i believe, in the workplace, two of those were women. It would appear women would prefer to leave dangerous jobs alone. Not proof, but inciteful.

            Exceptional rights? Well i would consider that making 99% of the population (transgenders being about 0.3% of the population, being generous) , having to follow the rules and regulations as dictated by SJWs, and perceived victim classes. That’s an exceptionally entitled minority aristocracy, and unacceptable in this day and age.

            I’ve heard of lady boys…but i figured they were created by surgery, am I wrong?

            There is no third gender, I’m not even going to argue that.

            I’m aware that the kids are right now working on a list with about 30 genders on it. Well, if it gives them fun, I suppose its ok. I wonder if they included animal, vegetable & mineral?

            Some of the so called genders, are born conditions that are so rare, maybe one person on an entire continent suffers from it. While its unpleasant, a medical condition is probably a much much fairer description of the situation, as opposed to a “gender”.

          • Mark Evans

            Don’t misunderstand me on Whittaker, perhaps in a different time I might give this a try with more grace, but, gender politics being what they are, as we speak, it gives me a very very bad feeling.

            You realise Whittaker’s first line to the public was “as a feminist and a woman”…etc etc
            Nice way to start, pointing out the feminist stance, and then telling men not to panic 🙂

            I have watched nearly 30 years of women on TV making jokes predominately on one subject only, do I even need to state what that is?

            I guess I’m stating that I BELIEVE this show will now attack white men, at every given opportunity. Considering the writing in the last two series, I believe that stance is justified. Perhaps time will make a liar of me, we will see.

          • James Lomond

            Yup I’m not sure what jokes you’re referring to. A lot (more) jokes have been made by men during the history of to and many of them at womens’ expense so I’m not really sure what point you’re making.

            If the show attacks white men or focuses on the gender of the lead at all it will be a failed project. Do you think any of Chibnall’s other work particularly attacks white men?

            There have been massive problems with the writing recently- however brilliant Moffat is, his joke on “how do you cope with all that ego” from a time lady who has just regenerated from being a time lord simply perpetuated gender binaries and played into traditional men vs women stereotypes. Completely inappropriate fir a super advanced alien species where gender change is apparently commonplace.

          • Mark Evans

            i do agree that if the new doctor spends time insulting men, and making insinuations, it would be completely misplaced.
            I still think their going to do it.
            Not really watched chibnalls other work i must say, but then to be fair, Doctor Who is pretty much the last thing I’ve watched on the BBC for about 20 years.
            I’m afraid i felt i was being culturally lectured, every time i switched it on. So i turned it off.

            In short, i watch TV for decent programs, not to BE programmed.

          • James Lomond

            Fair enough – hope they don’t.
            It definitely got mawkish at times. But all TV lectures you culturally – DW was just being too blatant about it.

          • Mark Evans

            The BBC are too blatant 🙂

        • Peter Rabytt

          What do you mean by the Alt people?
          PS I am British

          • Mark Evans

            I’m afraid I don’t believe in, or exercise the use of PC speech Peter, I’m too much in George Orwells corner for that. I figured alternative was fairly self explanatory?

            Alt people? Anyone in an alternative lifestyle group. And yes, I made the term up.

          • Peter Rabytt

            For me, this goes back to my problem with using umbrella terms that lump disparate individuals into a homogenous block. I am all for people being able to express their views as an individual and not feeling they have to conform to a prescribed view…….which i sense you are too…..but surely talking about other individuals as a block runs counter to that and is more Orwellian? I don’t want people to feel they can’t say how they feel, but I would rather we speak speak just for ourselves and not make generalisations about others, which tends to degenerate into name calling and the use of terms for groups that mean different things to different people. The term Alt is particularly politically loaded at the moment because of developments in the USA.

          • Mark Evans

            I believe its relevant here in how things like bullying are portrayed in the media as something that happens to EVERYONE else, except for white men. As its portrayed that way by the media, then I have no problem using a generalism.I mean i COULD sit here and start a list of every group of people i believe it applies to, but then i would have to spend the next month arguing every single one of those positions.
            Is what i said true? no, probably not, but its GENERALLY true.

          • The Lazy Womble

            Bit unfortunate given what alt-right means in the USA 🙂

          • Mark Evans

            there is an alt left too 🙂

          • The Lazy Womble

            I suppose they would have to. But that doesn’t get reported quite so much. And if the alt-left behaves the way the so-called alt-right is reported to behave, I would have the same objection.

          • James Lomond

            Is there? I though alt-Right was the intelligent attempt to justify of reactionary far-right attitudes? Carefully argued reasons why women should stay in the kitchen and gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry etc like Breitbart… What on earth is the alt-Left?

          • Mark Evans

            As i understand it, alt-left are those posing as liberals, while actually taking part in activities that are facist, supremacist, etc etc. Its kinda like the far right, sorta.
            This is on the theory that the political spectrum is horseshoe shaped, when opposing extremes meet, their nearly identical.

        • James Lomond

          I haven’t expressed my views on gender fluidity – I’m not entirely sure what I think about it. If it means people can “identify” as they like and behave/ dress as they like then I’m in favour of it – if it means people can use an assumed de facto morally superior position to police language and attack others then I’m not. I imagine people have different versions of “gender fluidity” anyhow and I’m not familir with any specific academic definitions atm. “Cultists” sounds extreme and personally my view is you best manage those kinds of concerns with calm discussion and not feeding the rebel fire with dramatic language. People in that age group often have powerful vitriol they need to vent – whether that’s Vietnam or gender fluidity. Whether or not those are worthwhile causes or not and whether the vitriol/ aggression expressed by those young people is appropriate are separate issues.

          I absolutely and firmly disagree with “feels over fact” but it is important to recognise what fact or science can inform and what it can’t. Forgive my attitude but I am (very) scientifically trained/ qualified. Fundamentally science/ facts cannot tell you what you *should* do – you have to have a value set or idea of what outcome you want otherwise facts are normatively inert and don’t help. Whether there are biological differences between men and women at a population level does not inform whether or not behaviours should be encouraged/ enforced/ punished or how they should be represented in the media.

          • Mark Evans

            Scientific Fact, remains a fact, whether I’m saying them, or you. 10 people cannot sit in a room and discuss if they are acceptable or not. They simply are.
            I suppose one term for these current children would be SJW’s, Or social justice warriors, its a little hard to slap one term on them, as it appears reality denial seems to cover more than just their group. but, lets go with that term, for now.

            From what i understand, they appear to be of the Romanticist mentality, where a higher level of the universe is only accessible through the application of emotion. To them, science is merely a thin upper layer of reality, only. From the sound of it, the SJW’s and Hippies from the 1970’s would have a hell of a party.
            I’m no scientist, nor am I particularly educated. However I do believe in rationality & scientific truth. Scientific truth is observable, after all, or I would not be looking at this screen and typing right now.

            I’m sure you are aware of the studies showing there ARE biological differences between the two, and mental ones.

            The only way you can force equality on two things that are different, is by changing one of those things to fit the other. Or reducing it.
            And frankly, I personally think this grand experiment of gender fluidity is going to end in serious psychosis.
            So here we are, in a situation where an untried philosophy is being forced on the general populace, and worse, ON THE CHILDREN.
            Does not make sense to me….perhaps the conspiracy theories are right, this is all for communist to take root, and every single person out there, in any way engaging in politics are actually “useful idiots”, being tricked into taking their own civilisations apart for communism.
            Apparently one of the tenets of Marxism is to destroy the nuclear family first, as it gets in the way.
            And..thats enough conspiracy from me today I think 🙂 I best get back to building my rocket ship in the back garden.

            Btw are rocket ships a little too pseudo-male? I could make a flying saucer perhaps?

          • James Lomond

            Why would a rocket ship be too “pseudo-male”? You do what you like, dude. It’s your back garden, your time and your life. That’s what’s being fought for.

            “Scientific truth” is enormously complicated and a minefield. Have a look here if you’re interested – and I’m ratifying this as a trained scientist. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-objectivity/#ExpReg

            I’m certainly not in favour of forcing equality on disparate groups but I am in favour of stopping people forcing inequality based on assumptions about the differences between groups.

            This might be helpful: https://qz.com/1057494/the-biggest-myth-about-our-brains-is-that-theyre-male-or-female/ There are links to some video lectures and TEDx talks that outline a lot of the problems with assumptions about scientific evidence around brain structure and societyal gender roles.

            Communism?? Not sure if you’re joking. Have you read the Communist manifesto (it’s very short – though I’m a slow reader and still need to finish it. Got up to the point it talks about communes for women). As far as I can tell most communists (China) are becoming capitalists because they’ve realised they prefer it or that Communism doesn’t fully work. I don’t think anyone really needs to worry about *actual* Communism. Putin is another matter.

          • Mark Evans

            Antifa 🙂 Depends what your reading I suppose, I’m having abit of a theory catch-up month, I try to have one every 20 years or so. And that stuff i was referencing was from Marxist theory, and yeah, you DO have to worry about that, it would appear as we speak, that a huge quantity of western universities are brainwashing their students with it. If those videos I’ve watched are true, of course.

            As to the rocket ship well..its abit….wotsit shaped, though, thats probably a Phallasy.

          • bar

            Thanks for that link James, interesting. ‘nature / nurture’ debate always is, when informed by actual, tentative, empiracle science. Sadly as the article says, most is socio-political agenda led, and the reporting of it almost always is, as the reporter can’t shed cultural glasses, let alone culturally-concreted neural pathways. ‘If the human brain were simple enough for us to understand, we’d be so simple, we couldn’t understand it.’ The best of science; reaching for the impossible and getting somewhere, even if hard to know quite where!

          • James Lomond

            Bar that was lovely – like a poem 🙂

            Yes, science is a social practice and where there’s dispute over experimental results things other than observations or agreeable facts start to decide what becomes part of our current “truth”. But I think it’s important for people to 1) recognise that science has *not* determined that women should be in the kitchen and men should not wear dresses etc etc and 2) the prevailing social belief has often warped conclusions from notionally scientific observations to serve the status quo.

          • bar

            Or as my hubby says, ‘there’s a simple answer to every complex question. It’s wrong.’

  • Rick714

    Russell is doing what he always does, what the Moff always does and that’s spout the company line and be positive. If he has other adversarial thoughts, We’ll likely never hear them. I’m sure he thought of the notion as did the Moff but yeah, I can see them not wanting to be the guy that takes the show in that direction. Frankly, I’m surprised that the Beeb is being gutsy enough to take the risk. I think they just desperately wanted Chibnall and would do anything to appease him.

  • Mark Evans

    Mrs Claus, sure, shes in some films. They have not outright replaced Santa with Mrs Claus, as far as I know. Like they have done here. So yeah , she exists, but she has not replaced.
    As to childrens mindset, often people see what they want to, especially if it fits their views. So, tell you what, you know your own children. How do you think YOUR children will react to this?

    I can say, putting myself in a shoes of the 10 year old who fan that I was, I would not only have had my christmas ruined by this, I would also have stopped watching it.

    • Peter Rabytt

      We are all Who fans in my family. My 5 kids and 8 nephews/neices (half boys, half girls) are all looking forward to seeing the new Doctor and don’t understand what all the fuss is about. They couldn’t care less whether the Doctor is a man or woman, they just want the show to be good…..

      I think its probably actually harder for many older fans. Partly because we tend to become less adaptable as we get older, and partly because we treat the show with so much reverence and have a long history of memories and nostalgic feelings about the show being a particular way…..

      • Mark Evans

        I understand where you are coming from there Peter, but please, don’t portray the older fans as unflexible. Personally I have always loved regeneration time, and the general public, observably, does not.
        David Tennant has portrayed this fuss as being simply that.

        But its not, its not about NOT accepting change, its about NOT accepting being attacked, about NOT lying down and accepting a good kicking. Many won’t see it that way but, this..fuss, has led me into looking into current politics worldwide, over the last month. And white men SHOULD be very very concerned, because we ARE being attacked by this, and by many other things just like this.

        • Peter Rabytt

          OK I shouldn’t generalise about older fans perhaps tending too be less adaptable than younger ones.
          I am a white man but I don’t feel attacked by this or that I am lying down and accepting a kicking……
          Everyone can be bullied and feel attacked, and sometimes I do because many things in life are unfair. But I don’t think Doctor Who contributes to any of my complaints about the unfairness in life.

          • Mark Evans

            Depends on your investment in the program, in modern parlance, doctor who was my “safe” space, has been since i was ten. THAT is why i feel unhappy. Sure call me a broflake, whatever. Alot of things go with this, the very worse of it is a sense of betrayal.

            Why betrayal? I have rabidly followed this show all my life, and gave it my absolute trust. And now, I do not matter.

            Why am I not giving this a chance? C’mon, watch the last two series, and the politics they have been forcing episode after episode.
            “slap you so hard you will regenerate”
            Watch where politics takes over, at the quality of story writing. If you use a program to project politics, the writing suffers for it.

            Why don’t i trust the actors? In the current climate, they have to enforce the societal politics, if they want to continue working.

            Next point? the BBC run an advert with the tag line “white men need not apply”.

            Am I supposed to be jumping up and down with joy because someones grand-daughter was happy about it? Shesh, just cook her an extra plate of dinosaur shaped chicken bits, you would get the same reaction.

            In short Peter, I feel unhappy because this hits me where I live. Exactly where it was intended to hit me.

          • Peter Rabytt

            I am pretty invested in that I have been watching it since 1971.
            I wouldn’t call you a broflake because I have no idea what that is…….
            I am sorry you feel so attacked and betrayed.
            That can’t be nice.

          • Mark Evans

            Its not nice no.
            A broflake is something the 3rd wave feminists shout out, when on the hunt, they sense male tears. 🙂
            I started watching it around…1979, I guess.

          • Philip

            Sheesh. Anyone who signs her petition is a moron. Unequal equality – madness. I wish female football would get the attention it deserves (and I say this despite not being a football fan), but that shouldn’t detract from the male game.

          • Mark Evans

            Well the point in making there, is you should like female football if its WORTH it, not remove male football to force it.

          • DonnaM

            Ye Gods, seriously? Some people shouldn’t be let out of the house without a minder, should they 🙂
            Female and a footy fan – a sports nut, to be honest. Can anyone seriously imagine that stopping men from playing a game will *force* them to watch women play it instead? Does this feminist actually *know* and men I wonder?
            Anyway as any Doctor Who fan knows, force is generally counter-productive….

      • Mark Evans

        I’m curious Peter, as this is one of my standing spots. DO boys take female characters as role models? In your observable opinion, you seem to have a large group to view. 🙂 Seen any of the boys playing “Rey” from star wars yet?

        I see a lot of people saying that’s how it SHOULD be, I prefer reality. So I wont take your answer as 100% representing everyone, everywhere, but im curious if you have observed it.

        • Peter Rabytt

          Yes there are rather a lot of us! My observations are that kids generally don’t discriminate until they learn fit in with peers who do. Before they go to school, kids will play with anything and happily dress up in any clothes and play any role etc once they become aware of what’s deemed to be a boys thing or a girls thing, they tend to join in and fit in with that. Boys sometimes still play with things deemed to be girls toys or girl roles when they are at home, but decreasingly in public.
          With regard to role models, I am not sure any child consciously thinks at the time that someone is a role model, they just enjoy being around people and watch what they enjoy…….at least until they feel social pressures to not watch things that are deemed ‘uncool’ or ‘not for them’. They just subconsciously absorb whatever messages about identity and gender that that are exposed to.
          Anyone who has a mother, sisters or aunties, has female role models. In my view, kids need kind, consistent, respectful and loving people in their lives. Whether those people are male or female is not the primary issue.

          • Mark Evans

            Well put, but I could still argue, except in a few cases, with mum as a role model, that boys don’t play at being mum, or putting on dresses.

            And yeah, I’m sure a few boys have played with dolls, but, i would suspect they play with those dolls in a quite distinctly different way than the girls do.

          • Peter Rabytt

            They do play being mum until they feel that this is being laughed at or disapproved of by friends. Similarly in my experience there is no difference with regard to how kids treat dolls until they become sensitive to what is deemed socially advantageous. What kids think playing a mum or dad looks like depends on the roles the parents take I guess, but I have always been totally involved in child care with my kids.

          • Mark Evans

            A matter of perspective here, I’ve asked a fair few people this question, and i get a whole variety of answers. No kids myself, so I try not to speak with certainty.

            I suppose the question im really asking, with this question is this. Will a female doctor who appeal to boys?

            I just don’t see it. but hey, time will tell.

        • kwijino

          No, and the fact is, two years later, there are still a glut of unsold Rey figures on toy store/aisles across the country. It wasn’t just gender, it was that she was relatively anodyne as a character. No real flaws, able to pilot the Falcon like Han through Star Destroyer wrecks and had never flown before, and so on.

          • Mark Evans

            Ah, the infamous Rey toy debaque. (Reygate?)
            I while back i tried to look up sales figures, see how well it sold as a solo toy, not in a forced multi toy pack. Could not find them sadly.
            Curious when you consider the huge feminist explosion about there being no Rey toy for girls to buy.

          • kwijino

            ??
            Bit of background: I have been a Star Wars collector since the 12-backs came out. Star Wars collecting has been a major thing in my life.

            Hasbro never releases sales figures. They just don’t. The only evidence we have of poor sales is figures on pegs for a long time, or that show up in big numbers at Big Lots, etc.

            Rey was a launch figure for Force Awakens. She has been released in two different forms: Starkiller Base and Jakku versions. They are still on the pegs.

          • Mark Evans

            Hm well, If i remember the news story, the feminists objected that were was NOT any Rey figurines to buy? And Disney came back with “girls don’t play with those” And then they recanted and went and made some.
            I was just curious after the uproar if they actually did sell, like the feminists insisted they would.
            Oh, from your perspective they did not sell, righto. I DID note there seemed to be a multiple figure box that had a Rey bundled in.

          • Andrew Reynolds

            No, it wasn’t an individual figure. It was the Force Awakens Monopoly set. An eight-year-old girl complained that her favourite character Rey hadn’t been one of the four characters included in the set: Luke Skywalker, Finn, Darth Vader and Kylo Ren (which is also crazy from a thematic point of view too — Rey is far more important to all four of those characters ongoing stories and linage even if rumours about just who her parents are remain just that). She was also missing from Target’s original set of figurines of all the films heroes too. Rey was an Amazon bestseller in her Black Series guise and remained sold out for a period of time after the film was released, so there was clearly a demand for her.
            More importantly though it followed on from two other incidences of female characters being ignored or dismissed from box sets. First there was Gamora who was missing from the Guardians of the Galaxy set (#WheresGamora) and then they left Black Widow out of an Avengers: Age of Ultron set that was based on a scene she was in. So, there’s a history of female characters being ignored when it comes to action figures.

          • kwijino

            I know there was an uproar over Black Widow, but just head over to Rebelscum.com and look at the Photo Archive. They are there.

            is where I got the idea.

  • Mark Evans

    Concept, by changing the gender or the Doctor, you empower and include non viewers from the gender its being aimed at. My contention is if THAT is true. Then its polar opposite must also be true.
    You push away and…de-power? the gender you stole it from.

  • DonnaM

    Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?

    I may be persuaded there was a good storytelling reason for the move once Series 11 airs, and I fully appreciate that nobody’s going to discuss plot ideas in public at this stage. However the only reason offered for fixing something that in my opinion wasn’t broken in the first place is… we’ve done it because we can, so there!

  • FrancoPabloDiablo

    Gallifrey Guardian in the new edition of DWM is just ridiculous. Not one person whose views were other than basically “this is brilliant, I can’t wait, how amazing, the right decision” or “I used to be against it but not now, It is Jodie so I’m all for it”). There was even someone arguing that Newman’s suggestion of a female Doctor in the 80’s made it alright. Not ONE letter voicing a LOT of people’s feelings that this is the wrong decision and has basically ruined the show for the forseeable future – perhaps I fear even beyond repair! Censored me thinks! Was on the brink of cancelling my subscription straight away but thought we’ve still got until the end of the year to enjoy the show and I don’t want to miss any features regarding Capaldi’s (and the show’s) last episode so will cancell on boxing day. I salute Tom for leaving the magazine at the right time!

    • Philip

      To be honest, I’ve not picked it up yet. I was worried that it’d be like that, so I can’t say I’m surprised. Such a shame. Still, I think Marcus will be a strong editor, so I hope the change in lead won’t affect DWM in a negative way.

      • FrancoPabloDiablo

        Well time will tell, it usually does. And, by the way, I meant the Galaxy Forum letters page, not the Gallirey Gaurdian news bit (my mistake)! It just doesn’t look promising. I actually went straight to that section to see, unsurprised, the selection of letters printed. Haven’t had the stomach yet to read any more after that clearly selective propoganda.

        • Mark Evans

          Franco, I suspect they want to keep selling the magazine. Alot of people are sadly, swallowing the whole narrative about 99% of the fans being Happy/Unsure. The violently opposed? Very hard to find anything on the net about those like me. 🙂

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            Well, after the Christmas special (the series’ final episode?) the will have lost at least one loyal buyer of 25 years.

  • bar

    Can I just thank Peter Rabytt and Mark Evans for a courteous, passionate, but unacrimonious discussion. So many places seem full of people who just want to shout, & others who feel hurt or threatened and want to make everyone else feel guilty; the internet seems to be a paradise for passive-agressives. Mark understandably feels this is too close to his personal relationship with the show for comfort, but isn’t attacking other commenters here; Peter has more positive current experience of the issues, but appreciates where Mark is coming from. Can we clone them please?

    • The Lazy Womble

      add them to the (already very long) list of commenters who make this such a delightful site to belong to 😉

    • Peter Rabytt

      Thanks Bar. I do try……….

  • Philip

    This is RTD being diplomatic – which is fair enough. Look what happened to Peter Davison. Don’t undersell yourself, Russell: you’re a genius, who introduced DW to millions of people and made it a success.

    It’s a catch-22. If it’s politically motivated, then people will rightly kick off, myself included (and look at the messy gender politics in Broadchurch Series 3 – this casting is politically motivated); if it’s not, then that means there’s supposed to be a story around the Doctor changing sex, which again will annoy a lot of people. This last year or so, the point has been hammered home that Time Lords can change gender for no particular purpose; saying there’s a reason this time would spit on that grave. And many don’t want the gender-change addressed, so it’s business as usual. Either way, people are gonna be peed off.

  • FrancoPabloDiablo

    I think Mark Evans might be my knew favourite person here 🙂

    • daft

      *other grand conspiracy theories are available*

  • reTARDISed

    One of my recent bugbears (aka “unwarranted fears”?) is what happens when (if?) Whittaker’s Doctor goes back into the past? Will we have to endure half an episode of heavy-handed moralising about why “the past is BAD”, and that people were evil and had not invented the 21st century yet? I don’t think I can face successive episodes of jeopardy all deriving from sexist men impeding the Doctor’s plan. I’d rather every episode of Chibnall’s “emotional thrillers” were set out of the human past, if that is what it takes to avoid such sermonising (no offence intended to those that write real sermons!).

    • kwijino

      I think you nailed it. I can accept characters who happen to be [insert trait here], but the ones who are clearly on a soapbox so the writer can lecture his proletariat audience about his or her personal views… that’s where I get my hackles up. Chibnall is guaranteed to take the second route because Terry Pratchett, he ain’t.

    • DonnaM

      It’s pretty much inevitable I suspect because taking a more nuanced view requires subtlety and that isn’t a strength in television generally these days. I was pleasantly surprised during Empress of Mars that Bill was able to tolerate the colonel’ s Victorian attitudes on the grounds that he actually was Victorian…

    • bar

      None taken! 🙂
      Given the heavy-handedness of much Who moralising in recent years, I sometimes despair of either the public’s ability to approach history and culture with rationality, or more likely the programme-makers’ low opinion of the viewers’ ability to do so. Children can contemplate the differences between then and now without being bludgeoned to death with someone’s view of what we ‘SHOULD’ all believe now. ugh.

      People (or aliens) who live in a different time or culture or planet are not evil or backward becasue they think differently to us, they’re doing the best they can within the cultural parameters they know. The Doctor comes along and pushes them a bit. Or a lot. But not always – Aztecs still stands tall over 50 years on. Companions still rage when the Doctor doesn’t step in an change stuff, or shows that a Time Lords’ perspective is different. But the show at its best can hold this tension.
      Can we?

      • The Lazy Womble

        We can because we must.

      • reTARDISed

        I think a “show, don’t tell” approach would be best (see Marco Polo, Aztecs, etc.). It’s amazing how judgmental we’ve got as a society. I’m not sure if it’s a dissatisfaction with our own lives that makes us wish to judge the past more harshly, or whether people today really see themselves as better (criticising others for motes/dust in their eyes, when we have beams/planks in our own, I think!). I get my students to discuss the contention that past cultures are as close as we are likely to get to alien intelligence — at least for a while!

  • daft

    And finally, there’s always been the idea in academic criticism that held that Doctor Who was deeply rooted in notions of the British Empire. The Doctor, the token white guy, went around the Universe sorting out the issues of the unenlightened masses (savages) with his superior intelligence, British pluck and good old fashion ‘common sense’. And everyone was back in time for tea for hot buttered scones and lashing of ginger beer. That essentially, it was truly
    a fantasy of privilege, rather than a liberal one. Given the casual endorsement of the paranoid fantasies found within this thread, I can only conclude I was naïve to discount that belief. If you truly consider the casting of Jodie as ‘the thin end of the wedge’ take a moment to consider where that endorsement places you politically and ethically.

  • Mark Evans

    Well im kinda old fashioned, so rather than address every single question, I will tell you instead a different point of view. Men are Men, Women are women, they are not the same. All of this gender politics rubbish is pandering just to continue to extort money for a political stance that long ago met its reason for existing.
    I.e, Feminism, you have equality, you can go home now.
    When a group like that meets its goals, but does not want to stop, it becomes insular, and the justifications for it existing become , frankly, daft. Man splaining…Man spreading..etc etc…which frankly would be hysterially funny, if they did not take them all so very very seriously.
    What do i have to apologise for? for being a white man in the wrong time. For NOT wanting to give everything I have, or might ever have, to women.
    OK I think a character cannot change gender , because, I do not believe in gender politics, at all.
    A bird does not teach a fish how to swim, or vica versa.
    Please don’t act like me believing in only two sexes which are NOT interchangable is a strange point of view. It’s worked perfectly well for humanitity for approximately 50 thousand years or so. The snowflakes can keep their rationality denying politics, no doubt they will have changed in two weeks time anyway.
    What it does to my mind? Well here’s one point, I grew up with women taking the piss out of me liking Doctor Who, for being a nerd. Now they have stolen the show. They did NOT earn it, If they had made a spin-off, I would have given it a try. But one tries not to encourage thieves.
    I try to watch a chick flick about once every 10 years or so.
    Watch one, you have watched them all.
    Do I want that kinda mindset & dialogue for Doctor Who? Nope.

    Want me to be specific? Eminently predictable dialogue, storylines, and terrible terrible romantic cliches. So i guess it depends WILL it be a chick flick? Well, one can only presume they want an audience, which implies they will make a program women want to see, that’s the approved standard and the norm.

    Onto your next point, Women only THINK they are oppressed now. All the actual evidence points the other way….perhaps you should try watching, or reading, about “taking the red pill”.
    Have women found Nirvana? Well, no, but then nobody has. Welcome to the real world. This is about as good as it gets.

    Fair points on Moffat, not really followed the forum chats about that. Women are not allowed to slap men any more btw. I think it goes….Chivalry is Dead, Women killed it.

    Well yknow I really dont know how well star wars sold? I’ve read alot of criticisms though.
    It occured to me the other day, when we were boys, we wanted to be Han Solo. We might have SAID Luke..but..we really wanted to be Han. So they make a star wars movie hand over the Millenium Falcon..to a lady. SACRILEGE !!!!!! 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, the character was good enough, but its still a total hijack of the genre, for one reason only. That men heavily identify with star wars, so the feminists apply pressure to take it over, simply to undermine any, single thing that men consider theirs.
    Its OK, we get it now.

    But please bear in mind, when you cast people out of the village, one day, they will return to burn it down.

    In case I’m being too vague. I do not believe this show will represent, or even be healthy, for men to watch from here on in. I’m sure I have said that several times by now.
    Imagine watching a month of “loose women” every day as a bloke.

    Oh and please, I have now read the rhetoric “its still the doctor”. Absolute, meaningless, babble.

    • Jack Ashcraft

      This new character will absolutely NOT be the Doctor. It is a Cultural Marxist propaganda character under the guise of the Doctor. Nothing more.