Viewing posts tagged river song

The Perfect Companion

Yes, the female companions of the Moffat era are smart, strong, capable, multi-talented, capable, prone to saving the day, etc.

But this is just the job of the companion.  Even the worst of the classic series companions - Victoria, Dodo, etc - gets to be smart, strong, capable, etc when required.  They don't tend to save the day in the classic series, but they always do what is needed and expected of them.  It's a tautology: the companions do the companion things more or less successfully.  That's not something that's entirely untroubling, but - for good or ill - it's how this works.  In the revived series, a great deal more is expected of the companions.  It's actually worrying just how much is expected of Martha.  But the point is that they all step up because that's what they're in the text to do.  The ones that don't, fail to be companions (i.e. Adam).

You also have to look at what they do and what happens to them on top of their basic role as companion.  Rose rejects the roles of shop worker, daughter, girlfriend ...

Maybe some of us BELONG in the fields

A very good overview of the squalid pass to which Moffat has brought the show in its 50th anniversary year, with special attention paid to the issue of mysoginy, via River and Clara:

...we're not being encouraged to think there's something wrong with this person [River]: it's the show itself that comes across as jaded and withdrawn from empathy and decency to a psychopathic extent (and what a charming ethical copout to have the Doctor leave before he can witness the rest of the killing). Again, we have the depressingly widespread idea that a woman acting violently is empowering and a corrective to sexism and misogyny. When questioned about his ability with female characters during a Guardian interview Moffat replied:

River Song? Amy Pond? Hardly weak women. It's the exact opposite. You could accuse me of having a fetish for powerful, sexy women who like cheating people. That would be fair.
It would indeed. Unfortunately, a fetish for powerful, sexy women who like cheating people is no substitute for an interest in human beings.

http://richardhcooper.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/steven-and-women-or-how-steven-moffat.html

I don't agree with every jot and tittle of this, but it ...

Changing Times, Nice Guys and 'Strong Female Characters'

I've gone on the record saying I think Moffat's version of Doctor Who is sexist and heteronormative.  A challenge I often hear - and it's a serious point - is the idea that Moffat's Who is, at least, no worse than previous eras on issues like depictions of gay relationships, and is frequently better.  There are positive depictions of gay characters, quite unlike anything in, say, the Hartnell era.  Well, firstly, let me say that I don't want to claim that things are 'worse' now (in any absolute way) than in the Hartnell years, when homosexuality essentially didn't exist at all in-story in the Who universe. And sure, many old episodes have displayed all sorts of heteronormative stuff, and also outright homophobic stuff (albeit usually by implication).  Harrison Chase is, in many ways, implied to be an evil gay man (it's not that I think gay people are like him, but rather that he is constructed partly of tropes that connote gayness in pop culture).

It isn't that there's a scale that pertains to culture now just as it pertained in 1963 and 73 and 83 etc, with Who ...

Welcome Matt

Timelash II.  Series 5.  You know the drill.  Thank goodness this tiresome, needless, self-imposed task is now almost over.


The Eleventh Hour

How interesting that, whereas RTD usually got public figures to play themselves in contexts that took the piss out of them (even if they didn't realise it), Moffat drafts Patrick Moore and casts him as a prestigious and influential expert with a naughty twinkle in his eye, rather than as a sexist, right-wing old pratt.


I'll post seperately on The Beast Below.  I've looked at the heavily biased and ideological representation of Churchill in Victory of the Daleks here.  The only other thing to note about that wretched story is the cynicism with which the Daleks have been redesigned in order to launch a new range of toys. 


The Angels Two-Parter

I like the bit with the angel on the screen.  Nice bit of appropriation from J-horror.

Otherwise... well, I'll once again quote my friend vgrattidge-1, who captures it concisely:

Just what 'Who' needed - another straight-to-video style 'Aliens' rip-off that undermines a brilliant (one-off!) monster and makes them behave in illogical ways for plot expediency, plus the ...

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