Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode106After last week’s delightful interview with Katy Manning, we thought it a perfect time to cover Jo Grant’s first outing. Join Deb, Katrina, Liz, Lynne, and Tansy as they discuss”Terror of the Autons”, which was not only Jo’s first story, but the Master’s, as well as what many call the first real “UNIT family” story. Some even argue it’s the genesis of a budding romance between the Master and the Doctor…

Tansy is on Valium, Liz forgets her intro, and Kat gets to talk about punk rock. A good time is had by all! And of course, it wouldn’t be a Verity! ep if the Verities didn’t take a sweet tangent into social issues. This time it’s an examination of accents and the class systems of various countries.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!


Also covered:

Bonus links:
Liz’s new The Ambassadors of Death book
The fab Delgado Master cosplayer who gave us daffodils
Lazy Doctor Who

Download or listen now (runtime 1:27:21) 

Comments on: "106 – Terror of the Accents" (4)

  1. James said:

    It’s not just Amazon Prime, you also get Doctor Who with free shipping on the Verity Podcast.

  2. Voord 99 said:

    On the exciting topic of Northern Irish accents in the Pertwee era:

    Terror of the Autons is not the only example. There’s also one of the two sailors who are on the sea fort in the Sea Devils (played by Declan Mulholland, also using his natural accent).

    Which raises an interesting point. (Well, interesting to me.) Both of these Northern Irish characters are coded as Unionist: McDermott is the surrogate voice for a very English authority figure, and the sailor (whose name escapes me) is in the Royal Navy.

    If one contrasts the depictions of Irishness in the Troughton era (in The Underwater Menace and The Wheel in Space), those are not only accents from the South (or meant to be – Flanigan’s is terrible, although I’ll probably be informed that the actor was using his own accent) The characters themselves are recognizable as (different) stage-Irish caricatures that would have been at home in Victorian melodrama.

    Hmm. I wonder what happened to affect of Irishness in the British imagination the late ’60s that might be related to this shift in portrayal? No, can’t think of anything 🙂

  3. I’m a few weeks behind; just heard this ep this morning. LOVED the discussion of this story, and this part of the Pertwee era. The discussion of accents (and their function on BBC TV circa 1971) was particularly fascinating. I’d go as far to argue that the Pertwee era had the most such “accent politics” of any era of the show, even when they left the planet (e.g., the “posh” Inter Minorans vs. Vorg’s carny palava and Shirna’s (almost) cockney in Carnival of Monsters). It’d be interesting to look broadly at representations across UK TV at the time (and since), to see how those depictions and politics change. In Doctor Who’s case, why did they drop off after Letts and Dicks left (with some massive exceptions, e.g., Talons of Weng-Chiang, The Creature From The Pit, the kid in The Awakening, etc.). How do accents functions on modern, ostensibly more “cosmopolitan” Doctor Who? Why does the Ninth Doctor’s northern accent, the Tenth Doctor’s “mockney” and the Twelfth Doctor’s “Scottishness” matter so much?

    Also, FWIW, re: accents on US TV. The issue here is similar, and similarly painted with an extremely broad brush. Our “RP” on TV, at least for the last, say, five decades, is a kind of banal “normal” that’s a sort of flattened California-NYC hybrid, with very little of the actual quirks of different regions. Anything other than that–deep southern, nasal midwestern, working-class Boston, etc., etc.–is usually rendered in thick, sticky dollops so there’s no mistaking it, and its function (e.g., nasal midwestern usually functions to show characters’ limited intelligence and worldliness). There are subtler exceptions (e.g., Friday Night Lights magically conveys several distinct Texas accents), but they’re still very rare.

    Anyways, I’d love a Gally panel on this topic someday! 🙂

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