Capaldi. Wow. I’d have put money on it being some new variation on the Tenant/Smith entity. A young relative unknown with male model looks (one reason Moffat says he hired Smith is that he looked like someone who got photographed wearing pants for a living). I admit, I’m astonished. Capaldi is a genuinely great choice (if only I could believe he’s likely to get decent scripts to work with).
Of course, the Doctor is STILL not a woman or a person of colour… but I’m not ‘disappointed’ because I never expected that to happen. Either written by Moffat would’ve been likely to end up as a blood-curdling, shaming disaster. As one bizarre online comment has it, Moffat’s idea of a woman Doctor wouldn’t have pleased “internet anti-equality feminists” (whatever the bloody hell an ‘anti-equality feminist’ might be).
So it’s probably just as well that Moffat has – completely out of left-field – cast an older, male, white Scotsman.
On the subject of online comment… Facebook and Twitter are now plastered in remarks and memes in which fans sneer at all the (supposedly) weepy young fangirls who’re unimpressed with Capaldi because he’s not young and hot.
There’s a bit of me that sympathises with the derision, if I’m honest. These young whippersnappers are annoying (largely because they’re young and happy and I’m neither)… but the comment on this has immediately become venomously contemptuous and sneeringly sexist. Because the focus is clearly on the silly, hormonal young wimmenz.
|Yeah, ‘cos that’s just what the Fourth Doctor symbolises: sneering at young women.|
There’s also a YouTube video doing the rounds of a young woman, possibly a teenager (I can’t tell anymore; anyone under thirty looks like a foetus to me nowadays) reacting unhappily to the announcement that the new Doc will be an older, craggy fella. Take a look at the comments below it. I shouldn’t need to quote them. They’re all too predictable.
As I say: misogynistic society + internet anonymity = ugly honesty.
Apart from anything else, this is rank hypocrisy. Just imagine the tantrums from the legions of sad, middle-aged fanboys if the new companion were an older, craggy actress rather than some perky young ingenue that they’d like to daydream about tupping.
Still, that’s sexism for you. The sense of entitlement on the part of the privileged is so ingrained that it isn’t even noticed, and any challenge to it as perceived as persecution or silliness.
On a related issue (well, it’s the same issue really), it seems Moffat took the opportunity of the Capaldi announcement to sneer at the idea of a woman Doctor. He says, sarcastically, that he wants a man to play the Queen.
Well doesn’t that just say it all?
Firstly, Moff, why do you always, instinctively run to establishment authority figures? You creep.
Secondly… OH YEAH ‘COS NO MEN HAVE EVER PLAYED WOMEN HAVE THEY!?!?!?!?! I MEAN, IT’S NOT AS IF CROSS-DRESSING AND DRAG ARE INBUILT, AGE-OLD ASPECTS OF THE BRITISH THEATRICAL AND TELEVISUAL TRADITION!!!!! IT’S NOT LIKE MALE ACTORS, MALE WRITERS AND MALE PRODUCERS HAVE BEEN APPROPRIATING FEMALE CHARACTERS AND EXPERIENCES FOR, LITERALLY, CENTURIES, IS IT!?!?!?
Of course, that’s not even the point. Indeed, Moffat’s glib deflection is a paradigmatic example of entitled fanboy tactical point-missing. But we’ll let it pass. I’m not here going to rehearse, yet again, the same rhetorical questions about why an alien who changes his entire body periodically can’t spend some time having a fanny instead of a willy.
Oh dear, look, I just rehearsed it.
The real point here is that the Doctor is a cultural marker who punches well above his weight. And he is currently an exclusionary marker masquerading as an inclusive one. Still, as I say, that’s the norm… and any challenge to it is perceived as persecution or silliness.