Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode12-300Not since “Invasion of Time” have we seen so much of the TARDIS interior. What did Deb, Erika, Kat, and Lynne think of it? Join us as we discuss tantalizing glimpses, underdeveloped characters, literal reset buttons, what dresses really mean, and where Kamelion puts his fingers.

^E

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Download or listen now (runtime 1:05:03) 

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Comments on: "Verity! Episode 12 – The Incredible Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" (39)

  1. The talk about Clara’s clothes really fascinates me as a writer trying to get a web series off the ground because it would never occur to me that that would be an issue. I mean alright I personally prefer to wear a different tie each day but I know for a fact that despite how much I may care about the tie rota, nobody else does. That arguably is what’s happening here, I mean the Doctor’s wearing the same thing everyday so his opinion on sartorial elegance clearly doesn’t count for much and the chances are that whatever societal pressures might make Clara want to alternate dress style aren’t going to affect her when every day they set down somewhere new.

    More than that, even ignoring whether Clara’s clothes are appropriate or whatever, does that mean I’m going to have to find a costume designer for my web series or even worse try to learn about women’s fashion myself if I want to avoid aspersions being cast upon my series because the actress has a favourite pair of jeans or whatever? Or is it just skirts in general?

    Sorry if I’m being annoying but this is like the second podcast I’ve found that I’m actually learning stuff from and I’m just really interested in these things that would never even occur to me might be odd about Doctor Who but apparently are.

    • Hi Gordon

      I think this is one of those things where you can’t possibly prevent criticism because people bring their personal baggage to interpretation. But for your web series – generally speaking if there’s an area of a project that you don’t know much about or care about (like costume/fashion) then it’s a good rule of thumb to find someone who cares more than you to take charge of that job! It’s like music – people are more likely to notice when it’s wrong than when it’s right.

      Character costume should convey the character first but it’s important that it be the character as inhabited by the actor, not just what’s on the page – some clothes might look perfect on one actor and silly on another. Without a big crew though I suggest working closely with the actress & letting her take the lead on it. There’s no obligation for one character to reflect a wider range of costume – sticking to one style is more visually consistent.

      I disagree strongly with Deb btw that a character always wearing skirts or dresses is a problem – if it reflects something about the character (as it clearly does with Clara, who always wears vintage/retro clothes) then it can be far more effective to stick to the same style especially in a show that has short episodes as I assume you’re planning.

      I recommend looking closely at the Lizzie Bennet Diaries and their use of costume/clothes to convey character because they did a great job – and of course as they discovered, once the show became a hit, the clothes were also a potential source of sponsorship.

  2. It was amusing when you discussed race and whether UK viewers would react in the same way as you did that you used term “actors of color”. That would be considered at best an antiquated and somewhat patronising turn of phrase here in the UK if not borderline racist in some quarters.

    I should point out I’m not making any accusations. I enjoy the podcast and think you often raise some interesting issues that don’t tend to get discussed elsewhere.

    • That’s interesting because it’s the other way ’round in the US, where “people of color” or “actors of color” is a generally acceptable usage, while there is some debate about the use of “black” or “African-American” depending upon to whom one is speaking. Is there a preferred usage in the UK?

      We were not intending to be offensive or patronising *at all* –but discussions of race are always delicate things.

      • seantheblogonaut said:

        And in Australia, in my experience “black” is fine and unless we are talking about overseas writers, I’m not sure that we use POC.

        I didn’t have the same reaction in regards to the Salvage crew being black, might have been a different matter if they weren’t presented as owning their own firm and salvaging rather than garbage collecting. I agree on the Dead Bro walking trope though.

        Your response did remind me of the furore over the KFC cricket ad here in Australia.

  3. Mark Pursglove said:

    Hi guys

    Just wanted to drop you a note about ‘British Perspective’ on the racial issues with the brothers in this episode.

    Interesting you focused on their job being demeaning, in the UK in came across more as the family business of some blue collar entrepreneurs, more like an Auto-shop than garbage disposal. Mechanically gifted if not academically individuals.

    However some negative stereotypes of Afro-carribean characters were there, petty crime / theft / excessive self interest / cruel and emotionally stunted. Maybe these are just stereotypes of young men in general and morally ambiguous characters as a whole.

    Because of the way the BBC is funded, it is required to make its programmes as culturally representative of britain as possible, which it usually does for very popular shows, so it made the crappy characters here seem a bit lazy and lame rather than insidious !

  4. I’d just like to say right off the bat again that it was super nice to meet Erika and Steven at the Torchwood VIP dinner (I noticed you mentioned me on the latest Radio Free Skaro and I squeed a bit at the fact that you remembered me). I hope I didn’t make to much of a fool of myself as I was attempting to hear people, and talk with my mouth full of pasta.

    I wasn’t feeling super great after the expo due to catching a bit of the con Flu and thus I watched this latest episode of Doctor Who drugged up on cold meds. It made me happy to see more of the TARDIS and I liked a lot of the bits of it but I agree that the three brothers didn’t really have any reason to be there Story wise. I might have been more cool with it if they had somehow forced there way on and been more antagonistic about it but as it is it felt like it wasn’t in the Doctors best interests to demand they help him.

    I ended up being a bit confused by the flame monsters at the time as I figured that being exposed to that power source should have just killed them instead of doing what it did. I ended up eventually hand waving that as it possibly the radiation from the sun casing some kind of mutation in the skin and in their brains.

    I was a little disappointed in the ending as I find that plot device bothersome and as it can feel like your time was wasted. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been as I’ve seen a similar plot device done worse (Sonic the Hedgehog 06′) but I’ve Also seen it done way better (Butterfly Effect, Prince of Persia: Sands of time for the PS2).

    Over all though I thought it was way better than Curse of the Black Spot, but not as good as some of the other episodes in Series 7B. With a bit more focus it probably could have been something truly amazing though.

  5. Ray Adamson said:

    It’s a good thing that the Verity crew can share and enjoy their appreciation for this story because i could salvage some of that from the wreckage of the promise of the concept.It had some memorable scenes.The Doctor’s confession to Clara of his previous encounters with separate versions of her in the engine room was something i had been looking forward to.I loved the reveal that the Doctor had never activated a self destruct mechanism when he trapped the Van Baalen brothers in his ship with him.I relished the opportunity to explore the TARDIS’ engine room,eye of harmony,architectural reconfiguration circuit room,library ,swimming pool and many,many corridors and console rooms but it annoys me that i could only be allowed to enjoy these things as long as everything is completely destroyed and all the characters are killed.Plus there was no new cloister room,wardrobe ,laboratory ,garage, medical section and workshop.Everything about this story collapses like the dimensional stabiliser has been removed from the console by an idiot salvage trader if you consider it structurally at all[I’d never invite them into my quiz team,either.].As you considered,why did the Doctor need the Van Baalen brothers to find Clara more quickly?Especially if there was no genuine threat of destruction because nothing was activated?How did the Doctor manage to go back in time to change everything when the engine had exploded? How come the Doctor wasn’t erased from history this time when he disappeared into the time crack to change everything?It was actually as useless as a temporal limiter and the story it came from,except it had time zombies instead of Plasmatons and the Van Baalens instead of Stapley,Bilton and Scobie.Thank Xoanon,that Jenny,Vastra and Strax are coming with madam Rigg next week.

  6. Smart commentary as always.

    I did see the brothers as having a small business more than being completely on the bottom of the socioeconomic scale. Their lack of characterization, as you said, is a problem–I can’t remember their names, either.

    *One* more new room in the Tardis would have been nice, too.

  7. crulton said:

    Another great podcast, just weighing in with my 2 penneth:

    Looking at Clara’s dresses – my little sister is a doctor in York and wears dresses any time that the weather allows. We both have numerous friends that are the same. Some women do just prefer to wear dresses.

    The race question is a bit of an oddity. Why shouldn’t black people run a salvage business? We’ve already seen a black person be Prime Minister in the Who-niverse (granted it was an alternate reality) but surely racial equality means the equality to represent all strata of society, not just the good ones? They were an intelligent, skilled and wealthy family business (look at the size of the ship!) and were not stealing as the Doctor had actually promised them the contents of the TARDIS. Besides, would it seriously have been better to have an all-white cast (they wouldn’t do a mixed caste cast with the brothers storyline)?

    The fact that they were poorly developed has nothing to do with their skin colour as we have had plenty of other poorly developed characters of all skin colours and genders. If anything, I agree with Mark (above) that it’s stereotyping of young, single males.

    I’ll also back up the black/colour UK standpoint – we’ve had numerous examples of people having to issue public apologies for the use of the word “colour” or “coloured” on TV here. “Black” is most definitely the preferred usage! “Coloured” has echoes of colonialism and there are far too many racial memories on all sides of it being used negatively when the British Empire had its darkest days.

    As a final note, am I the only one severely disappointed at the lack of a wood-panelled secondary control room?

    • Good to know! As I said above, here “Black” isn’t always a preferred term in the US. “People of color” is (in the US,) NOT the same as “colored” which IS considered derogatory here. “People of color” in the US is considered relatively inclusive, because it encompasses people with numerous non-caucasian origins: latino/latina, asian descent, etc. It’s used in some social justice communities as a blanket term!

      So, in short: Different usages in different countries, yay?

      Also, you are not alone in your disappointment at the lack of a wood-paneled alternate TARDIS control room. Not by a long shot. 🙂

      • Jez Bez said:

        Very different usage in different countries – it’d be boring if we were all the same! Can see the difference between the two terms as well.

        “People of colour” can also cause offence as well as not only can it sound patronising (unless you’re very careful with your verbal inclination) but it creates a mental picture of the world being split between “white” and “non-white”. It’s almost seen as being the racism by not seeing any practical difference between Chinese, Indian Subcontinent and Central African descent.

        Working for a period in a Job Centre I had to attend compulsory seminars on discrimination and inclusivity and they stated that the most common discrimination wasn’t the direct kind you would notice but the accidental passive discrimination by not fully recognising the differences between people.

        It made for an interesting work situation where you’re actively trying to provide equal treatment whilst in fear of not acknowledging diffferences. Got to love the public sector – in every other job I just got to treat everyone as an individual!

  8. I have to agree with crulton’s comments above. The three brothers were poorly written in some ways, not well rounded. This is a problem with 45 minute episodes. You don’t have time to write characters well. However to have characters written as angelic because they’re black? That would be patronising and not at all well rounded. I think the US may be at a different stage of integration than Europe if it’s offensive to have people of one ethinicity owning their own successful business, if it involves salvage. Positive discrimination on the screen would be as offensive to me as negative discrimation. Let’s keep it real. No ethinicity is all nice, none all bad. Do we deny black actors a role because it’s not all nicey nicey?

    I think DW does remarkably well at putting a cast on screen that mirrors society. All ethnic groups. all sexualities. Different beliefs. I was niggled when you highlighted how Clara needed tech rescue a lot by the Doctor. I can live with her not being tech savvy. But ‘Is it because I’m a Girl?’ That just lets the show down 😦 I’d missed that on my viewing.

    As for how/if she covers her legs? I wouldn’t judge a woman in the office as having a motive for wearing a dress often so I’m loathe to do for Clara. We DW fans can sometimes analyse a little much 😉 But then when we think we were wrong there was something in it after all.

    The comments on magicians and smugness really struck home for me. I’m sick of the fan teasing, stunt titling of episodes. Unravelling the mystery of the Doctor. I want to go back to story telling with a mysterious (not a study of why he’s mysterious) main man. Too much explanation can only dull things. I don’t care what the Doctor’s name is or who he reveals it to. Moffat should maybe stop with the trickery and concentrate on getting great stories with interesting characters. A mysterious companion does not a season make.

    • The “Is it because I’m a girl?” line plays into my theory that the Doctor is a bit of a misogynist owning to the fact since the fifth Doctor, and excusing 10 and maybe 8, he has only died because of women, that’s bound to make his opinion of them a little biased, kind of like Agrajag.

  9. Re: black/color/etc, I want to clarify for the UK folks that in the US, someone might say “people of color” like they did on the podcast and that’s usually ok…but “colored people” would NOT be. The very small variations can make a huge difference. And someone could still argue that I’m completely wrong, due to regional differences.
    Anyway, I wasn’t *too* bothered by it, since they were the business owners. If there were a white owner and 3 unrelated minority worker bees…then I’d be annoyed. (Then again, my state is known for being painfully nice or painfully passive aggressive, depending on who you ask, and when in doubt, we’ll get offended, just to cover our bases.) They certainly could have used better characterization, but I guess that’s a danger in any sci-fi or action show anyway…some episodes are just going to have Red Shirts.

    Loved the glimpses of the TARDIS. I would have enjoyed more, but then again, I wouldn’t want to come away saying “that is all the TARDIS I wanted to see” and not have any mystery left. I like all the bits I still get to make up in my head. I’m moving into that library though, just you try and stop me.

    Clara just seems to dress like Clara, to me. I’d only question outfits if they seemed really out of character. If Donna had shown up in a sequin tube top and miniskirt…no. Donna just wouldn’t wear that, regardless of the situation. Amy wore lots of short skirts and boots, but it seemed like the character’s style. And so far, Clara’s wardrobe seems in keeping with her personality to me. Some of my girlfriends wear skirts every day, and they probably would even to travel through time and space, whereas I’d stick to my jeans and graphic tees.

    • Oops, Lynne already clarified the “people of color” vs. “colored”. I’m rather slow in composing comments. 😀

  10. What is the name of the retro “War Machines” font talked about early on? Is it available anywhere?

    • I don’t know anything about the font itself, but if you want to see the t-shirt style I was talking about, click the link (for the country closest to you) in the “Also covered” section!

      ^E

  11. Elvis Omar said:

    In the podcast, I was struck with how careful and discrete Deb was when she broached the subject of race. Well done, Deb, I think. Her caution is certainly borne out in these comments, by which I mean: different regions and subcultures of the English speaking world deal with labels of race in different ways, at different times.

    The best any of us can do, regardless of geography or ethnic background, is to listen and ask when there is any doubt. For example, I have caught myself using the term African-American when relating that Idris Elba is the lead actor in the television programme Luther. Then I remember I am being very silly. He is a British actor with African and Caribbean ancestry. I hasten to add, the reason Idris Elba’s ancestry is at all relevant, is because it doesn’t seem to play a role in the story lines. I find that notable—and laudable—from my perspective (as an American with mixed Northern European ancestry). I also find Luther to be incredibly entertaining, thanks to Idris Elba, Neil Cross and Paul McGann, among others.

    Again, thanks for remaining true to what I perceive to be the mission statement of the Verity Podcast: Talking about Doctor Who, and doing so from a unique perspective. All of you women are terrific.

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      Thanks, Elvis. I was a bit uncomfortable talking about it but I don’t think we should veer away from uncomfortable conversations. Where I’m from, and from my social context it made me pause and because of that I felt I needed to explore that more. I certainly expect there to be a wide variety of opinions but by sharing and examining those opinions we can, hopefully, get to a point where “-isms”, both overt and institutionalized, are recognized and eliminated.

      Because of Doctor Who’s global popularity there is always the risk of something smelling a bit off to one culture that doesn’t cause even an eye blink to another. The danger is relying on our own privilege as to what may or may not cause offense.

  12. Thanks again for another great podcast!

    I wanted to pick up on your point about the reset button and how it’s not even a proper reset button because certain people kept some of their memories. My own belief about this (and it is possibly just more hand-waving) is that the Doctor is the only one to remember anything consciously, the others may have managed to keep a trace of unconscious memory of only the most important things. So when the older brother uses the phrase “scrap of decency” he has that phrase in his mind but doesn’t remember where from.

    My theory is that this could mean that on some deep unconscious level, Clara remembers the Doctor’s name. For one thing, it seems like a odd thing to put her learning this fact into the story, only to wipe it out again at the end. I don’t think it will be something she suddenly remembers later, but I think it could POSSIBLY be the sort of thing that comes out of her mouth if she is asked the question in a place where no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer…

  13. Joris M said:

    A nice discussion again. I’d love to return to that library, or just own it…

    One of the ways the episode works better for me is the assumption that a lot of the actions by the Doctor (after the crash/capture) were steered by experiences in (at least one) previous timeloop. One we were not shown.

    Going by the actions of the brothers, and Clara as well, at the end of the story it does seem that emotions/feelings did leak out of the loop. Which for the Doctor could have been enough hints to ‘know’ when and what to push and change, without giving him the knowledge to solve the loop immediately (ignoring the possibility that he was being a manipulative bastard just to get answers).

    The smirk after the ‘because I am a girl?’ could perhaps be explained by the answer being ‘no it is because you are a human’ or perhaps because the Doctor was thinking of River Song, who is perfectly able to fly the tardis. But of course me coming up with scenarios that explain it does not lessen the issues with the smirk.

  14. asajeffrey said:

    Another British voice about the stereotyping of the brothers… Their job running a scrap-metal yard in space didn’t bother me so much, since that’s not so much a racial sterotype in the UK as it is a class stereotype. I think it’s telling that when Steptoe and Son was remade as Sanford and Son the show became less explicitly about class, but the characters became African-American. The UK stereotype button they were pressing was the wide boy, which is a stereotype that crosses race boundaries (c.f. Only Fools And Horses) but it still leaves a pretty unpleasant taste in the mouth. Hopefully unlike sushi.

  15. Hi All!

    Deb, I think you were WAY too judgy about Clara’s frocks. I was really uncomfortable with the way that fandom constantly policed Amy’s clothes – skirts too short, she’s too sexy – because so much of it felt patronising and reflected the way that what women wear is always scrutinised far more than what men wear in real life as well as media. I know it’s complicated because in this instance Amy (and Clara) MIGHT have had their clothes chosen or signed off on by a producer who MIGHT be a middle aged man (or a younger woman, depending on who was in charge of that bit), but my default is always that if women are wearing clothes, being too critical of them feels like being too critical of HER.

    Criticising shows is absolutely an important part of loving them (I agree with your other post) but sometimes when it comes to female characters it feels like the criticisms are too much, coming from everywhere, and that they just can’t win. No matter who dressed them that day, I think the companions of Doctor Who always feel like they are young women (often very young women, kids these days!) who have dressed themselves.

    Amy, for instance, wore trousers a LOT from the beginning of season 6 onwards, but because she wore all tiny skirts in her first season, that’s what we remember. I think it’s really clever the way that her clothes tell us a lot about her character (as soon as you see Karen Gillan out and about in contemporary fashion you realise how much Amy’s clothes were about building a picture of AMY however flattering they were to the actress) and that they change from season to season as she grows older. Also, her shoes were always sensible which is an absolute sticking point for me, I will admit.

    Also some of Amy’s outfits were just plain weird which I loved because it showed she was a young woman experimenting, not always going for the eye of men (which fashion is very rarely about, anyway) – like that strange oversized jumper in The Time of Angels, paired with the tiny skirt. It made her look utterly shapeless which was cool because it gave that sense of ‘careless’ about her wardrobe. The production/wardrobe decisions might be calculated, but I have always felt they are calculated to show character, not just to show skin.

    Likewise, there’s nothing patriarchal or sexist about Clara always wearing dresses. They suit her character, they’re not confining like most of what Tegan wore, they’re not overly exploitative (my barometer for this is not Amy at all but Peri, as we know now how much of what Nicola Bryant wore was deliberately provocative, chosen by her producer, and uncomfortable for her as an actress) and they are, again, usually paired with sensible shoes or boots.

    My opinion on this might be coloured by the fact that I never wore trousers or jeans at all in my entire 20’s… not once.

    I also quite like as a personal note that Clara often wears her hair up – something that often makes me roll my eyes, I will admit, is when professional women in TV shows keep wearing their long hair around their faces instead of tying it back. Though to be fair – and this is kind of an important point – the companions of Doctor Who are not professionals. They, like the Doctor, are amateurs and thus they can wear whatever they like! Practical does make sense, but practical doesn’t have to mean wearing the same clothes that Rose did. Some jeans are not that comfy for running away in…

    [my favourite clothing/costume note of the DW world is actually in Torchwood: Miracle Day where Gwen is stomping around the US in her usual boots and jeans, but every single American actress is wearing fancy clothes and crazy high heels, including the FBI agent and the ER doctor – that definitely feels like production has won over practical realism, but never ever over Eve Myles]

    Ahem. Yes, I have opinions about this topic. But I also think you all missed a really important point about Clara’s frocks – and it’s not that she and Amy have anything in common! Deb, you’re right, Clara always wears DRESSES, not skirts or whatever, but specifically she wears vintage/retro. That’s her style, and it’s something I have noticed not only because the heroine of my new novel dresses the same way, but because there was an interview with JLC where she actually said that to reflect the ‘other Claras’ this Clara would be drawn to historical things, or items from other times, and that she was the sort of person who would pick up an old bangle in a second hand shop or whatever and not know why she liked it.

    So, um, yes. Clara’s clothes are plot-driven! I don’t think she would look at all like Clara if she wore jeans, and that’s okay as long as she looks comfortable, and can run as fast as the Doctor. So can we just sit back and enjoy the frocks, now?

    • asajeffrey said:

      One thing I liked about Clara’s outfit in this episode is that it looked like she got it by raiding the TARDIS wardrobe, which reminded me of Romana II, and was a little hint that she might be feeling more comfortable in the TARDIS.

      • I am reminded of Izzy, the companion from DWM comic strip, who was a geek girl who tried to use the TARDIS to fill the gaps in her back issues of a certain comic… do we think Clara gets the Doctor to drop her off at various thrift stores across the universe to pick up cute ensembles? WHY DO COMPANIONS ALMOST NEVER SOUVENIR STUFF?

    • It’s unwise for Doctor Who companions to go souvenir shopping. Look what happened to Adam in “The Long Game”.

      • Well, SURE. I did like the retro-active discussion of Rory’s picking up of medical knick-knacks, though. And I’d love to see stuff being ADDED to the TARDIs wardrobe instead of taken out for once… Romana, for instance, blatantly spent some time between episodes (before Androids of Tara) picking out everything that could fit her & putting it in alphabetical order…

  16. I loved this episode almost entirely without reservation. I am slightly troubled by race issues in this one, but honestly don’t feel too qualified to comment as I can see two sides to the argument. If your entire guest cast is comprised of a single ethnicity, and if you’re a show that generally requires an antagonist each episode, at least one of them was going to have to be unlikeable. Another consideration is if this episode featured an all-white cast, would any of us be complaining about yet another all-white cast?

    I like Clara’s dress sense and think it suits her character, much in the same way that skirts suited Amy, jeans and hoodies suited Rose, a kilt suited Jamie and THE MOST AWESOME WARDROBE IN THE WORLD suited Romana.

    • Yes, that’s my take on the race stuff, Grant – it would have been WONDERFUL if they had provided their first all-black guest cast without making all the characters borderline criminals – yes they own their own business but most of what we see of the two ‘human’ brothers is their ruthlessness and vandalism – and in fact wouldn’t it have been awesome if we had a guest cast in which none of the actors were white but they weren’t actually related?

      But on the other hand, visibility is important, and the story would in no way be improved by having an all white cast.

      More disappointing to me is that this makes TWO stories this season with an all male guest cast. I know the season is jam packed full of nods to Classic Who but this particular Hinchcliffe tradition is one that I would prefer them to do without. Unlike Cold War there was no reason for this story to be such a sausage fest – sure, it’s a story about brothers, but would the story be less interesting for having a sister in the mix? I have been far less keen than almost any other feminist Doctor Who fan I know to point the finger at Moffat for gender issues, but this is an alarming trend.

      Actually if the salvage crew had been three blue collar sisters in space (played by black actresses), with an almost identical script, that would have been quite ridiculously awesome because THAT we never see. It’s the future, people! Historical nautical traditions need not apply.

      Considering the super small guest casts that have turned up in a few of the stories this season, I am definitely in the camp with Liz that is calling for an all female guest cast some time. It could be done SO EASILY.

      In the mean time, I just hold my breath and wait for next week – Vastra, Jenny, Diana Rigg and Rachael Stirling! Not an all female cast but oh, I AM looking forward to it…

  17. Hi all!! I’m a loyal fan of your podcast, who’s listened to all your podcasts. I’ve been a Doctor Who fan for over 35 years, I’m also a black American (Philadelphian, in fact) so I felt that I had to reply to the race questions raised.

    First, I liked the story, and had no problems at all with the brothers. My first thought seeing them was, “Wow! 3 black guys featured in a Doctor Who story!” I had no problem that they worked salvage, it’s honest work. It reminded me more of Aliens and a dash of Red Dwarf, out in space with nothing to do. With Moffat stories I always think – – – What’s the fairy tale? To me it was a cross between Cinderella and Pinochio, with the Doctor playing Jiminy Cricket to the mean brothers and the TARDIS as the whale. There wasn’t enough to develop this more, or see how the brothers treated Tricky (the youngest) as a Real Brother at the end.

    I didn’t think this was a ‘Last Brother Walking’ set-up; in a Doctor Who story I am prepared for all the guest cast to die. They did all live at the end. If there was ONLY ONE black guy in the story and he died, that’s another story! lol!!

    Deb, I appreciate you asking the questions you did, but I didn’t love the exact way you said it. It felt like you were lumping all black Americans (even black Philadelphians) together. I respect that you didn’t have that intention. I hope you do keep asking the tough questions! Take care!

  18. Regarding race, I’m glad it was brought up, because it was something I noticed. Wow, an all-black guest cast! Let’s hope they don’t do the usual tropes that may have subconsciously informed the choice to have an all-black guest cast or vice versa!

    Oh wait, they’re all related. They’re fairly indistinguishable from one another. They’re doing a working class job (race and class are inextricably linked). They’re unpleasant and rough. They are fairly stupid. They never do the right thing and end up being pretty subservient in their actions with the Doctor. They all die!!! *DING DING DING* Reset button notwithstanding. Hmm.

    Oh look, a Moffat companion. Amy was Sexy. Clara is Cute. So everything, including wardrobe, reflects that. I won’t go on about that.

    The “just happens to be” argument drives me spare. Growing up, every lesbian I saw in a movie “just happened to” have a really sad ending, or was violent, or had an unequal relationship, or all of the above. Of the few lesbian characters on Doctor Who, most fit that, though an improvement on the past. You know, just coincidentally.

  19. Concerning Clara’s wardrobe… I’m wondering if maybe there really is a reason to why she wears (so far) one piece dresses all the time. Could it possibly be related to the fact that when she died the first time as a “nanny” with the ice thing, it was a period in time where women wore those long one-piece dresses? Maybe Clara has a connection to that, somehow? Maybe I’m grasping at colorful straws. Soufflé-girl Clara wore pants, I think… Correct me if I’m wrong?

  20. I think Clara’s style reflects that of the Clara from “Snowmen”.

  21. […] time, you’re getting a straightforward list of things I noticed about this story.  I think Verity! Episode 12 does a fine job of analysis and critique, and I don’t think I have much to add in that […]

  22. […] how the voices coming out of the TARDIS console didn’t really work for me in “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS”?  Well this was a perfect example of how I […]

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