Oi! Spaceman: Ghosts of Victorianism
Is “Victorianism” a word? I suppose it is now.
Apologies to all of you who were expecting a brilliant post from Phil this morning, but instead you get the latest episode of Oi! Spaceman, in which we return to the Seventh Doctor and Ace and chat about Ghost Light. Since I didn’t trust myself with such an auspicious story, I invited Jack along for the discussion, and he and Shana had a wonderfully brilliant conversation that kind of went in circles from time to time. Steampunk comes up at least twice independently, as does more than the requisite quantity of Moffat-hate.
Overall it’s a fun conversation among friends about Victorian value systems, imperialism, Social Darwinism and eugenics, and racist portrayals. If that sounds a bit dark, know also we chat for some time about Ace/Gwendoline shipping, and queerness as a response to stultifying social restriction. Also, you know, the Great Chain of Being for anyone interested in that sort of thing.
Content Warning: Around thirty minutes in, the issue of rape comes up, partly in reference to the Doctor/Ace professor/student relationship, and partly in reference to 90s cyberpunk. (Yeah, it was an odd conversation.) It’s a bit out of the blue, and I wouldn’t want anyone to be exposed to that who didn’t expect to be, so please take it under advisement.
September 12, 2016 @ 1:33 pm
Probably a bit tangential but I thought you might like this quote from Michael Moorcock, where he simultaneously takes credit for inventing Steampunk and slags it off:
“MM… In [1971 novel] The Warlord of the Air, for instance, I invented this specific form to do a specific job. And then 10 years later, 20 years later, I’m suddenly dragged into the steampunk movement, as a steampunk writer, which I wasn’t. And again, it’s disappointing to me, because very little steampunk that I’ve read actually does what I was trying to do with Warlord of the Air, which was, I was basically looking at, if you like, a Fabian view of Colonialism. It was an idea of Benign Colonialism, which I didn’t believe in. And I was trying to explore that.
(interviewer): Yeah. Whereas a lot of the steampunk doesn’t have that intellectual content, it just uses the period imagery.
MM: Yes, that’s right, and they think, “oh great, big airships! Wow!” You’re a bit suspicious of people who like too many big airships. You think, maybe you should be writing porn, you know!”
Source here: http://thequietus.com/articles/05325-michael-moorcock-interview-dr-who-the-coming-of-the-terraphiles
September 12, 2016 @ 6:29 pm
This is a phenomenal conversation which inspired me to go and re-watch Ghost Light last night, which I did and got more out of it than ever. Thanks so much!
September 13, 2016 @ 11:30 pm
I’m only 40 minutes in (had to finish Shabcast 24 first) and omg this one is so much fun!