Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode4This week, Deb, Erika, Kat, and Lynne cover the 9th Doctor’s era through the lens that is “Dalek.” We also spare a few moments for “The End of the World.” We spare at least as many moments arguing about whether there’s hanky panky taking place in the TARDIS.

What do you think is the most representative 9th Doctor Story? Let us know!


Also covered:
Who Is the Doctor
Gallifrey One
An Adventure in Space and Time – Casting News!
Splendid Chaps

Download or listen now (runtime 1:05:52) 

Comments on: "Verity! Episode 4 – Number 9 … Number 9 …" (30)

  1. Reblogged this on vikz reads; weird tales, punks and literary ghosts and commented:
    Really great podcast

  2. I agree with Dalek being he most representative of the 9th Doctor. That episode made me really like Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor. His emotion was very raw when he said “Why don’t you just die!” His acting through that whole scene struck a chord with me. I do believe the Doctor can have romantic feeling but I don’t see him as a sexual being. It is hinted that the Doctor he has had relationships in the past but they weren’t serious. As of now I do ship the 11th Doctor and River but I know he isn’t a sexual being. I hope this makes sense.

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      I think RTD played the Doctor/Rose relationship with extreme cleverness in that an argument can be made either way. He was definitely walking a tightrope but I think he pulled it off.

  3. Oh dear. Romance in Doctor Who. A topic on which I agree with everyone and no one.

    In Classic Who, I just don’t see it at all. Not with Romana, not with anyone else. To me, he has with Romana that fun, bickering relationship someone has with their closest friend of the opposite sex. With his other companions, I see him as the father/big brother/silly uncle figure. He obviously loves them deeply (the look on his face when Jo leaves?! Heartbreaking) but not romantically, at least to me.

    To be honest, in the new series I wasn’t paying much attention at first…I’d already asked my friend (who introduced me to New Who) “Wait, he’s not going to have a THING with the people he travels with, right?!” And she said no, so I dropped it. After Doomsday, I thought “Ok, that was TOTALLY a thing, and I liked it, but now Rose is gone so it’s done.” I confess, I am a Doctor/Rose shipper. But like I said, done. No more romance in my Doctor Who, thankyouverymuch. I did not expect any, I was not looking for any, I liked it that one time, and now it can be over.

    Now I feel like I have to add that Rose is not even my favorite companion (although I liked her), I do not want her to come back, I do not buy that the Eleventh Doctor is pining after her (it’s been THREE HUNDRED YEARS for him!), I loved Reinette/Girl in the Fireplace, I never hated Martha, and River is great. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions of course, but I always feel I have to explain that I’m not one who is in a rabid frenzy to protect the supposed undying, eternal love of Rose and the Doctor. I think they fell for each other. I think he’s moved on. I think/hope she’s happy and multiplying like bunnies with 10.5. And I hope that any further “kissing” we see is strictly of the genetic transfer variety. 🙂

    • And, ditto on Dalek. I need to start thinking about it harder beforehand, so I know I’m not just succumbing to what you guys all say!
      I’ve totally got my definitive 8th Doctor story figured out though. 😉

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      I think the perceived “rabid frenzy” of the Rose/Doctor shippers certainly played into the romantic backlash that happened throughout online fandom. Unfortunately, it is a case of fannish politics that has cast a slight pall over the earlier series. I’m curious, as time goes by and that all fades, if the Doctor/Rose relationship will be viewed in a different light? Certainly the fannish backlash and horror over the eighth Doctor and Grace Halloway’s kiss has faded into nostalgic memory and I’m sure the same will happen in this case.

      I sort of agree re the romantic aspect of the story as we go forward. Not that I am opposed to the idea (at ALL!), but I’d like to see a new story rather than one we’ve seen several times already. Plus, we’re fans. We can conjure up a bit of subtext out of two paperclips, a piece gum and a shoelace. I’d just a like a little more “sub” and a bit less “text”. 🙂

      • It’s not even that I’m opposed to further romance in and of itself. It’s that it’s already so heartbreaking when some companions leave. I’m sad enough when the Doctor loses his best friends, I don’t want him to fall in love and lose THAT person (again) on top of it.
        (Of course, this is coming from someone who nearly teared up over Adric, so make of that what you will.) 🙂

  4. Ray Adamson said:

    At last then,The Ninth Doctor and essentially even a 1 hr6min podcast discussion between 6 attentive and obsessive fans is actually not really enough to appreciate, investigate and pay tribute to him because, i think there is still more unsaid.Specifically about his disturbingly obsessive fascination with Rose .It’s been emphasised repeatedly recently how much the Doctor needs somebody to share his experiences with but the ninth Doctor is so desperate and damaged that he takes Rose into the future to see the end of her world so she can perhaps understand what he’s been through and encourage her to travel with him.I never saw it as an attempt to just impress her,it’s more of a statement of how important Rose is to him and he is trying to relate to her. I think that the ninth Doctor recognises immediately that Rose is still trying to recover from loss and this is what makes her so essential and attractive to him,even to the extent of endangering her and persecuting his rival Mickey.Because she’s human and because of how she feels Rose reasons he is fascinated with her because he is romantically attracted to her but i think the Doctor is aware after what has happened to him that he is a disaster waiting to happen because of how much he’s been changed and he knows Rose is the best chance he has of addressing his issues .I think it’s because he can see she’s been struggling to cope with her own experiences and that they may be able to help each other. I know a lot of people get irritated about the emphasis on the Doctors relationships with contemporary companions and how his separations from the likes of Amy,Rose, Donna and Martha are not as casual as they used to be in the classic years but these friends are all he has left after he destroyed his people ,planet and presumably family for the sake of winning his war and losing people that are precious to him is a much more difficult process now.He is aware that nothing lasts forever but his only consolation is ever greater danger to survive and bigger mysteries to survive. The best thing for me about Eccleston’s first story in retrospect is that, even after the war , the Doctor is still meddling with alien plans and risking his life for his favourite planet,even alone.Whenever he loses someone else,i’m pretty certain he’ll still do what he has to to protect less advanced and primitive species anyway whatever has happened to him.

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      I like your theory that the Doctor’s relationships with his companions is a bit more intense because they are, essentially, all he has left as far as personal connections. “War time” relationships (both romantic and platonic) are always more emotionally passionate and I can see that played out in the new series.

      Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed comment!

  5. Is it only me that finds the idea of a 1000 year old man fancying a teenage girl more than a little icky? It’s something I love pointing out to Twilight fans ~evil grin~ who keep going on about their so-called ‘beautiful love story’. As an audience we have enough trouble coping with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment, so how are we able to ignore the age difference in DW? I will tell you… It is because he doesn’t LOOK old. That’s how superficial we are as a people 🙂

    Let’s face it, the idea that someone of the Doctor’s age and experiences would fall desperately into a sexual/romantic relationship with someone who is, in relation to him, a baby, is ridiculous. The equivalent is Connor MacLeod in the first Highlander movie, where he watches his wife grow old and die while he stays the same. Having lived many, many lives over hundreds of years the emotional impact would be too great.

    The Classic series didn’t need it. Which is why the horrendous ret-conning about Sarah made me roll my eyes. Up until RTD decided Sarah was in love with the Doctor it had NEVER been mentioned. Even Lis Sladen only ever referred to her relationship with the Doctor (in interviews and documentaries) as best friends – nothing romantic. Since then people who love the romance in DW keep going back looking for clues that maybe they ALL fancied him. Puh-leeze.

    I have no problem with romance in DW as long as the Doctor isn’t part of it. He can understand it, he can help it along for others but he can’t be part of it. It just doesn’t feel realistic (in a series about an alien travelling through time and space in a Police Box, haha).

    I just don’t see why the romance thing is needed. Fine, the Doctor and Rose, blah blah. Been there, done that. So why Martha (unrequited love) and Amy (slutty tart throwing herself at him sexually despite being engaged to be married – way to show love for your future husband)? And now Clara and the horribly false kiss…

    For me Donna has been the best New Series companion. They are clearly AMAZING friends who share a fondness for each other and neither was hamstrung by having to fancy the other. They were able to enjoy each others company and have wonderful adventures without any sexual tension – Fancy that??

    I don’t understand WHY the Doctor has to be fanciable these days other than from a lowest common denominator ratings point of view. Nobody fancied Hartnell or Troughton and they’re two of the best Doctors!

    As a final note, when I grew up in the 70s/80s, one of the things that appealed about the show was that I could see the TARDIS on the corner of my street and go off on an adventure with an incredible new friend. I didn’t realise that I was going to have to try and put my tongue down his throat every five minutes!

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      I think we will agree to have a difference of opinion here. 🙂 Certainly the nature of television has changed since the early days and heightened tension between characters has become the norm rather than the exception. And there is also the idea, stated by another commenter, that we view characters differently as adults as we do as children. I know I see all sorts of subtext in programs now that I never, ever even considered when viewing them as a child.

      The age difference, however, is an interesting idea to consider. At what point in a nearly immortal lifespan do you decide that this whole attraction thing just isn’t for you anymore because there is no one of comparable? The perception of an age gap has to figure in there somewhere. For example, the perception of age gap between a 12 y.o. and a 20 y.o. is nearly incomprehensible, but the age gap between a 42 y.o. and 50 y.o. is nearly negligible. I wonder what the tipping point would be for someone of that age?

  6. I also wrote this a couple of years ago, about family in Doctor Who. It might be of interest 🙂

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      Interesting essay! Katrina wrote a really great essay on family in DW focused on the fifth Doctor era. I’m hoping we can convince her to post it when we get to that Doctor. That being said, I do think the dynamic is really fascinating when you add more people into the mix. The Doctor’s role seems to shift in mercurial ways depending on his traveling companions.

  7. Chris (@Silver_Nemesis) said:

    I love Dalek not just because it’s a sublimely written and brilliantly acted episode, it’s also the perfect exponent of the Dalek law of inverse proportions – that the “goodness” of any Doctor Who episode featuring the Daleks is inversely proportional to the number of Daleks you have on screen.

    Dalek with 1 was better than any Dalek episode since. Asylum of the Daleks has good bits (where there are few functional Daleks) and some slightly less popular bits (in the Parliament). Victory of the Daleks is actually a very good episode for the whole period where there are only 2 Daleks.

    I think with the “romantic Doctor” question people are so entrenched in their positions that there’s never going to be an agreement on this. For my personal viewpoint:
    10 and Rose = clearly
    9 and Rose = didn’t see it from his position myself
    4 and Romana 1 = again, no
    4 and Romana 2 = holding hands in Paris. You don’t do that with friends or family.

    Looking back at companions, I think about 90% of female

    A problem with this is the age/point of life people get into Who and start watching these relationships and characters. When you’re young you don’t see ANYONE as sexual, not just parents, and it’s hard to adjust to to the idea of anyone you’ve known being sexual. Even if I had photographic evidence it would be impossible for me to think of Teagan or Ace as anything other than asexual.

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      Your point about the age in which you watch the show affecting your perception of relationships is spot on. As adults we can’t help but view the show through our own lense of experience and part of that experience is dealing with romantic entanglements. I’m so glad you brought this up!

      And I couldn’t agree more about the Dalek Law of Inverse Proportions. Probably because I’m not the biggest Dalek fan, but there you have it. One Dalek is sort of interesting, a bunch of Daleks are just…shrill. 😉


  8. I’ve talked with Lynne online about shipping–I watched the original series too young to even conceive of that.

    Ex post facto, well, yeah, Romana II and the Doctor. I can see that. They went to freaking Paris on a date.

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      I know! Paris…that is some serious dating mojo right there. 😀

  9. I just wanted to say that I spent my day at work listening to the entirety of your run so far, and I love it so very much. I love the diverse opinions that I’m hearing, and that all of them are female. For the first time, I’ve found a Doctor Who podcast that really gets *me*. I love it. Can’t wait for the next!

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! We’re really pleased at how well people seem to be responding and, goodness knows, we’re having a ton of fun putting this together. Thank you for listening!

  10. I don’t know which one of you said that Eccleston’s Doctor was Jane Eyre’s Heathcliff but you are fucking BRILLIANT! Yes, yes, yes!

    • Ray Adamson said:

      Apologies,if anybody considers it inappropriate for me to make a slight correction about about the literary anology of the ninth doctor’s character in your comment but Heathcliff is from Brontes’ Wuthering Heights and Mr Rochester is the romantic lead in Jane Eyre.Pedantor roars again or at least an alternate universe version of him does.

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      I made the Jane Austen reference, so thank you! It felt apt at the time and I still stand by the brooding, cranky, curmudgeonly hero analogy. 😉

  11. Buffy Harvey said:

    How in the world do you see the Doctor as asexual?? “I snogged madam Pompadore” forgive the spelling, love the show.

  12. Buffy Harvey said:

    How in the world do you see the Doctor as asexual?? “I snogged madam Pompadore” and he and Romana II in Paris? Not romantic?? Hearing different views is so entertaining.
    forgive the spelling, love the show.

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      As I said above, there is just enough ambiguity in their relationship that you really can choose your adventure. I happen to think there was a bit of something something going on but RTD was very careful to never overplay his hand. Clever man.

      And thank you for your kind comment!

      • RTD did many good things but being “careful to never overplay his hand” was not one of them! His 10th Doctor was the most aggressively sexual and romantic Doctor of all time – including the one who gets a wife!

  13. On the romance: I think both the Ninth & Tenth Doctors were in love with Rose, in sort of an innocent, non-sexual manner, and that the feeling was mutual. Sort of like that feeling when you fancy someone, but you know it will never go beyond a good-night kiss, for one reason or another (in their case, different species).

    That being said, I completely agree that Doctor Four and Romana Two were totally getting it on. I think that was the last time the Doctor had a physical relationship with anybody.

    My representative Nine story? “Father’s Day.” The Eccleston year was all about Rose, and about how she deals with time and space travel. There were hints about her desire to visit her own past going all the way back to “Rose” when she runs into the TARDIS when he tells her that it can also travel in time. This episodes was the consummation of Rose’s time-relationship with the Doctor and the TARDIS.

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      I *might* cop to Nine being a bit more non-sexual but I can’t see anything about the tenth Doctor as being innocent. He is, IMO, a dark SOB wrapped up in a cute puppy facade. I kind of love that about him.

      (Doctor and Romana? Totally!)

      I agree with you about “Father’s Day”. As I was debating my choice I kept flipping between the two since the first series was just as much about Rose’s journey as it was about discovering who and what the Doctor was It was a tough choice between the two and I really could have gone either way as a representative ep. But, ultimately, it was the Dalek that tipped me over. They were such an integral part of the Doctor’s story that I couldn’t imagine a representative story without at least one being present.

      (That being said – I’m really over the Daleks and hope they get a bit of a rest for year. Or three. *g*)

  14. […] to the (very belated) Things We Like Post!  Below are links to related works for Verity! Episode 4: Number 9 … Number 9…  You will find links to things such as fanfic, tie-in media items, fanvids and even docuAudio!  […]

  15. […] The wonderful ladies at Verity podcast discuss the story that best represents the ninth Doctor: […]

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