Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

Happy 2018, everyone! Have we got a theme for you! Join Deb, Erika, Liz, and Tansy as we chat about our “year of women” and just what that means to each of us. Whether it’s busting the execrable “strong female character” trope wide open or honouring our first (canonically televised) woman Doctor, we’re ready for a year of mini-arcs, matching, and merriment!

What would you like from 2018? Let us know in the comments!


Related links:
James Cameron’s comments about Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot’s response

Download or listen now (runtime 1:02:46) 

Comments on: "Extra! – 2018: The Year of Women" (22)

  1. Some time during the year, you should look at the first two (apocryphal) female Doctors, Arabella Weir in the Big Finish play “Exile” and Joanna Lumley in “The Curse of Fatal Death”. (Heck, Lumley’s part in “Fatal Death” is so small, you can probably combine them both into one podcast.)

    • Sarah said:

      Oh, and for that matter, check out Barbara Benedetti, who played the Doctor in several fan-made videos in the 1980s. They’re available on YouTube.

      I think I prefer her to Arabella Weir. Big Finish thought having a production with a female Doctor should include some hilarious transphobia, such as Time Lords regenerating into female being a crime. “Doctor, you have been found guilty of crimes against the laws of time and Time Lord decency. You stole a TARDIS and interfered in the affairs of others, but worst of all, you had a sex-change regeneration.” No thanks. Nicholas Briggs has apparently apologized in the wake of an official female Doctor being cast, but BF still offers this nasty thing for sale.

  2. Hey Verities! I am so looking forward to this upcoming year of conversations about the women of Who. I also think the Perfect Pairings segments and the Verity interviews sound really fun.

    As an idea person myself, I can’t help but have wishes…

    I am interested in the female creators of Who, as well as the characters. For example, in addition to Verity Lambert, there have been other female executive producers, such as Jo Wright and Julie Gardner, as well as female writers, script editors, etc. I think it would be really interesting is having a convo or two about the intersection of female creators with female characters.

    Looking forward to this next year of listening in on your conversations. As always, thanks for all your time and effort.

    Happy New Year!


  3. James Cox said:

    What a brilliant and timely concept. Although I will admit that when I first saw the episode title I thought ‘hang on, isn’t that what Verity is about anyway?’ before I got a clearer picture of what you have in mind.

    As you discussed at the start, there is going to be a lot of sexist crap thrown around this year once Jodie Whittaker hits our screens. And sadly the media will look for it and amplify it more than they will the positive views. As (in my opinion!) the pre-eminent public source of intelligent Doctor Who discussion I think that we’re going to need your good thinking to strengthen our own arms throughout the year.

  4. I just can’t wait to hear you talk about the strong women of the series and even how Big Finish helped expand some characters into juggernauts of empowerment. I would love to hear you touch on Leela and Romana both gaining deeper dimensions in Gallifrey as well as how Vickie was closer to the role Carole Ann Ford signed up for as a strong but young character. And of course how my fellow jewish woman and your namesake is the main reason we have great characters like Barbara and even all the way up to Bill Potts! I have been remiss on keeping up with you girls but I do love you all so much! As Female Whovians this really feels like OUR year!

    OH! And Definitely talk about Eight Doctor 3: The Search For Helen! aka Ravenous. Liv and Helen have both been(interviews and/or script) established as queer so I feel like queer women have a stronger voice in Who now as well whcih as a gay ‘pushy Jewish bird’ whose been watching since the 80s it really feels like Now more than ever it’s a show for not just everyone but one that Women can feel a part of.

    Love ye Verity!

    — Fantastic Alice Fox

  5. Bruce MacMillan said:

    “When you are used to privilege, equality feels like oppression …”. Brilliant!

  6. I’m voting yes, terrific plan! I love everyone’s take on it, all very wise and open to different ideas. It’s the kind of complicated conversation I’ve been wishing for in politics and life lately and haven’t heard yet. Also I can’t wait for a bit of guided viewing through more of the classic series, it’s always more fun with you. ❤

  7. Strong female character: there are quite a few to choose from actually, but I think I have to go with Barbara Wright. The way she handles everything – the wider reality of a suddenly huge and present universe, the violence around her, the death, the brutal truth of history, putting the most stubborn of Doctors in his place – and manages always to return to a stance of firm stoicism, maintaining calm in the face of adversity… Barbara was both of her time and beyond her time… she’s awesome.
    Interesting female character: I love the Rani. A good strong, female villain (way before Missy) but with so much mystery about who she is and why she ended up where she did. I’d love to see her return and find out more about her. Especially if the Time Lords did with her as they did with the Master and enlisted her scientific know-how for the Time War. Her weapons would have been horrible!
    Favourite female character: Well, from later on this year, that’ll be the Doctor!

    • I’ll second The Rani! She had too little screen time. I always found her more interesting than the Master in any of their incarnations. They should totally bring The Rani back (maybe as a male to reinforce Timelord gender fluidity!). I would love you to explore her on the podcast.

  8. I’m definitely a fan of the theme and am especially interested in the ‘pairing’ of episodes from Classic and New Who. It sounds like it could give us some very good discussions (and possibly some myth busting about Classic Who).

    ‘Strong’ female character: it’s not really something that Who has made a habit of doing, really, is it? Astrid Ferrier is the one that comes to mind, but I feel slightly bad for saying her, given the distaste for the whole ‘strong female character’ thing. I mean, I love Astrid!
    Interesting female character: Gia Kelly from The Seeds of Death. She’s so unapologetically brilliant at her job.
    Favourite? Oh well, ask something easy! It’s a tie between Romana I and Jo Grant. Today, anyway.

  9. Michele Cunkelman said:

    Great podcast ladies, though I wanted to comment on something. Discovery isn’t the first trek that had a strong female character. Star Trek Voyager had a female captain, you should have seen the uproar when it was announced that it would have a female Captain.

    I like your idea for the theme of the year.

  10. Terrence K. said:

    Hello Verities.
    Definitely looking forward to the year of women discussions.
    Some favorite female characters from classic Who that I hope you give some love to include:
    Professor Amelia Rumford
    Amelia Ducat
    Olive Hawthorne
    Hilda Winters

    Looking forward to Verity in 2018

  11. thebutler said:

    Working as a writer for a game developer, I learned that ‘strong female character’, depending on who speaks, sometimes means b**** or dominatrix, or a woman who goes into battle dressed for the beach and carries a really large weapon to match equally large breasts.

    Hooray for THE YEAR OF WOMEN!

  12. Saxon_Brenton said:

    I’m looking forward to another year of quality podcasting.

    With regard to the 2018 Christmas episode, I agree with Erika that the drop date can simply be adjusted – whether by a day or half a week or even a full week. I admire the professionalism of the regular weekly drop, but if that gets in the way of producing an episode to your satisfaction then these things should be flexible. If necessary you could do a filler – perhaps with Tansy’s suggestion of a story with finger puppets, or an analysis of the themes of the previous Christmas episodes, or – if you wanted to get aggressively off-topic – a commentary on the 2009 Easter episode Planet Of The Dead. Whatever works. Just give us advance warning and I’m sure your listeners will be happy to play along.

  13. Sounds great, I’m looking forward to this topic!

    One request I’ve been meaning to make for some time: when you’re talking in depth about an episode from a previous season/series, can you do a brief “what you need to know” episode description to set context for folks who haven’t seen the episode recently, or perhaps not at all? I realize this is extra work for someone, but it would really help those of us with poor memories…

    Thanks for your great work!

  14. I love this topic. It really feels like we’ve turned a corner in many ways around gender in big pop culture franchises. I remember I used to fantasize as a geeky tween about a female Doctorr and I used to raid my mom’s closest for costume ideas, but that would have never been a reality in the early 80’s. I would love it in your discussion of the various female characters of Doctor Who you also extrapolate out and use it to use it to discuss the politics and femininism of the period when the episode was created. How do these characters reflect their own periods? I don’t think it is a conincidence that Wonder Woman came out and a female Doctor Who was announced the same year as the Wonan’s March!

  15. Finally got a chance to listen to this particular episode, and three thoughts for potential topics came to mind: “The Creature from the Pit”, which was then mentioned, so I presume that will come up; the female supporting characters created by Terry Nation (some early strong women, and some major clunkers); and Jo and Sarah Jane’s attempts to bring women’s lib to Peladon (no, really, it could be an interesting history lesson; and I’m becoming more convinced that Jo was just as much a women’s libber as Sarah Jane, she just didn’t label herself quite so blatantly).

  16. Paul B. =:o} said:

    This sounds exciting! [RUBS HANDS WITH ANTICIPATION] =:o}

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