Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

verityextratp1We really enjoy our game-based Extras, so it’s time for a new one! Join Deb, Erika, and Lynne as we showcase the gaps in our Who knowledge by playing Doctor Who Trivial Pursuit! It’s harder than you might think. Well, it’s harder than we thought it would be.

Have you played this? Did you decide to disqualify questions like we did? Let us know in the comments!


Download or listen now (runtime 33:42)  

verityepisode118It’s another old-school first! This time, it’s the first episode directed by Fiona Cumming (though not her first association with Doctor Who), as well as the first Fifth Doctor episode. There’s A Lot of fun to be had. And yes, sometimes there’s a quote so good you just have to give up on shoehorning the DW ep title into the podcast ep title.

What do you think about “Castrovalva”? Do you love the script and direction and acting and everything else all the time? Or did you get bored with the tromping through the forest? Let us know in the comments!


Also covered:

Bonus links:
Verity! won a Parsec Award! (As did Uncanny Magazine Podcast and The Incomparable)
The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks
The astronaut mansplainer
Companion Piece: Women Celebrate the Humans, Aliens and Tin Dogs of Doctor Who
Toby Hadoke’s Who’s Round – interview with Fiona Cumming

Download or listen now (runtime 1:05:51) 

VerityExtraDWQuotesDo you sometimes find yourself in a conversation that’s entirely made up of quotations from your favorite show? If so, is that show Doctor Who? Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Tansy as we delve into why people quote things, what significance that can have socially, what makes a good quote, and what a quote says about the character or the person doing the quoting. It’s a fascinating conversation, liberally sprinkled with–you guessed it–Doctor Who quotations!

What are your favorite DW quotes? Any good quote-related stories? Let us know in the comments!


Download or listen now (runtime 40:55)  

(Erika here. I’m cross-posting this from my personal blog because I think it’s important.)

Doctor Who notecard apology

When you talk on the internet, especially in a free-form conversational podcast like Verity!, sometimes you stick your foot so firmly down your own throat it’s a wonder the mic doesn’t pick up the sound of toenails scraping molars. I am not immune to this phenomenon.

A few months back, I made an insensitive comment about the 9th Doctor giving hugs. Taken out of context (which it literally was, as it was briefly one of the “pull quotes” in the cold open of the podcast), it sounded like I was saying all people who don’t like hugging are somehow emotionally damaged. YIKES. SO WRONG.

In the context of the podcast, the statement bore more resemblance to what I was thinking (that emotional damage can lead one to change their behavior and stop hugging, and the 9th Doctor wanted to prove that hadn’t happened to him in the course of the Time War). So I replaced the line in the cold open because, wow, was that shitty, and I explained and apologised in a series of tweets. (I appreciate all the folks who called me on that. Thank you!) And of course, I’ve tried to do better since.

Trying doesn’t always mean succeeding.

Welp. I’ve done it again. In today’s episode of Verity!, I talked about how I didn’t like the way series 1 of Doctor Who changed the Doctor from (what I’d always seen as) an asexual character to one who is pretty explicitly sexual. (We were talking about “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances”. Dances, you guys. It’s a metaphor!) I equated being a sexual creature with normality and humanity and ohmigod I want to go back in time and slap the mic away from my face.

But I can’t. Time doesn’t work that way (except occasionally in Doctor Who).

There are two parts to this. First, I didn’t properly express what I meant in part of that conversation. And second, I just plain screwed up and said something boneheaded and hurtful in another part of it. Let’s tackle the first part first.

BUT: Let me preface this by saying I realize that what I meant actually counts for very little if that’s not what came out of my mouth and was understood by people who are outside my own brain (which is most of you, I think). You know what they say about the road to hell being paved with good intentions? Well the road to being an ass is paved with poorly-expressed thoughts. And yes, I am waving to you from down that road.

Anyway, to clarify what was in my head, I was thinking that asexuality is a part of life and of and human experience that gets very VERY short shrift on television (and in pretty much all media). I’d always seen the Doctor that way, and when I saw his characterization changed to something that’s more typically seen on television, I was disappointed—not just because it was a change from something I enjoyed, but because I felt like there was now less representation for a bunch of people who already have very little. That is a bummer to me. I wish I had said this better because I feel like it’s important.*

The part where I flat out got it wrong was when I equated having sexual desires with being “normal” and “human”. Whoa Nellie. There’s no excuse for that. I am just plain sorry. I have a distressing habit of using the words “normal” and “typical” interchangeably, and that’s Not Good. I’m trying to break myself of that.**

So let me state unequivocally that being asexual is a normal thing that does not make a person less human.

Sure, I could pedantically say that “hormonal” does mean human because humans all have hormones and maybe Time Lords don’t, but A) that’s total neepery-headcanon territory, and B) that’s not what I was trying to get at. It would be defensive and weaselly of me to retcon and pretend it was.*** I was simply stupid. And I wholeheartedly apologise.

I am very sorry for what I said on the podcast, because what I said and the way I said it was hurtful and wrong.

Once again, I want to thank the folks who called me out on my screw-up. Speaking up about this sort of thing takes time and energy, and I recognize and appreciate that effort. It must be exhausting to put up with crap like this all the time. So to take the extra step to say something is going above and beyond, and I admire, value, and welcome that act. I will do my best to see that it isn’t for naught.

ETA: For excellent info about this topic, I encourage you to listen to Episode 48 of The Web of Queer and this Episode 407 of Two-minute Time Lord. Mikayla knows whereof she speaks. You should listen!

I want to get better at talking about humanity. I think we should talk more about the oft-neglected aspects of our biology and culture. But by golly, it’s important to get it right.

So I’ll keep at it.

And I’ll probably keep getting it wrong from time to time.

And then I promise I’ll own it and apologise and try to do better. Because that’s how I learn.






*Please note: I’m not implying that all–or any–people who are asexual do or should feel this way about the Doctor or the perceived change to his character. This is just how it strikes me personally.

**I am on record as preferring a more “alien” Doctor (I do!), and I need to be careful not to put asexuality in the list of things that make him more alien. Because that’s a human thing.

***This is me trying to head off any “helpful” folks trying to reverse-engineer what I said into something acceptable. It wasn’t.

VerityEpisode117It’s another series 1 two-parter! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Lynne as we discuss Steven Moffat’s first submission to the new era of Doctor Who. There’s a lot of love for both the 9th Doctor and Captain Jack, who may or may not be the physical incarnation of the Doctor’s libido. (Thanks, Lynne, for sharing that now-unseeable, though still unbelievable fan crack-theory!)

What are your thoughts on this two-parter? Do you like the Doctor as a “dancer”? Does that make you go all squicky? Do you like Captain Jack better here or later, in Torchwood? Let us know in the comments!


Also covered:

Bonus links:
Uncanny Magazine wins the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine!

Download or listen now (runtime 1:29:12)

VerityExtraDamagedGoodsIt’s another bookish Extra! Join Deb, Erika, Lynne, and Tansy as we look at another first. This time it’s Russell T Davies’ first published Doctor Who work, his New Adventures novel Damaged Goods. This is another very grown-up-themed tome, and the Verities react as such. Some really enjoy it, others not as much. But as always, it’s a great discussion! (Though we do, necessarily, venture into some rather adult territory in the course of the discussion, so sensitive/young listeners may want to beware.)

Have you read this one? If so, what do you think of it? And can you see any RTD-isms poking up in this early work? Let us know in the comments!


Related links:
The Doctor Who Book Club Podcast covers Damaged Goods
Russell T Davies Talks Damaged Goods in Doctor Who Magazine

Download or listen now (runtime 56:12)  


Once again we dip into Classic Who with an episode steeped in firsts. Join Deb, Erika, Kat and Tansy as they revisit “Spearhead From Space” and talk about the first Third Doctor story, the first Liz Shaw story, the first Doctor Who in color and more! Listen as Deb and Tansy squee, Erika (shockingly) discovers that she actually likes a Pertwee story and Kat being amused at the mayhem.

How does “Spearhead from Space” fare in your Classic Who rankings? Do you feel this is a good jumping off point for Classic Who or do you think this story is an outlier. Can you identify Mr. Seely’s accent and WHAT is up with those tan lines?

Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!


Also covered:

Download or listen now (runtime 1:22:00)