Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

Arachnophobes beware! This ep was full of creepy-crawlies. Join Deb, Erika, Lizbeth, and  Lynne as we talk about our reactions to spiders, companion balance, visions of dead wives, and more.

How did this one land for you? Let us know in the comments!


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Children of Time and Guns of the Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky
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Comments on: "Ep 179 – Arachnids in the UK Time Zone" (10)

  1. I meant to say “Belief *from* the people.” – in regards to independent parties.
    /rant! 🙂

  2. (My other Comment is not posting for some reason)

  3. here was my comment:

    “Awww… No discussion about whether or not the spiders were a metaphor for anything? I felt like there was so much metaphor in this Dr Who episode and was looking forward to thoughts on it.

    To me the spiders were less about the “Scare” and more about what they represent. My thoughts are:
    – that the toxic garbage waste represents all the issues that the US government needs to address (I can’t speak for other governments, I’m from USA), such as environment, education, health care, etc.
    – And instead of addressing these issues, we just let Big Money cover it all up/ignore it, letting it all fester.
    – What comes out of that? Politicians and policies that do more harm than good…. and now even some politicians “want out” (big spider) from the “big money government” – to their “death” (reputation, career, etc.).
    – The rest of the spiders…. ? we just keep them in the safe room to devour each other, but we don’t do anything about them really. We “feel bad about the situation” that our government is in, but that’s about all we can do (voting D or R only keeps the wheel spinning, but independent parties don’t have enough leverage or belief *From* the people.)

    I know it’s not a political show here on Verity, but this Dr Who episode was extremely political.”

  4. I’m only partway through the episode, but after the arachnophobia discussion I just have to mention my admiration for Jodie Whittaker acting in extremely close proximity to a bunch of *real* spiders in ‘Adult Life Skills’: (go to 1:12:25 if the link doesn’t skip ahead as intended). I share Erika’s attitude to spiders, but one on my face would be a challenge.

    She’s excellent in that, btw, although I found the film itself too padded and self-consciously quirky. Also features Brett Goldstein who will be in “The Tsuranga Conundrum”.

  5. Pat R. said:

    I’m with Liz in being relieved that the new series has the Doctor back to not being a super-being (my summary, not your phrase). Thank you for discussing that. Advanced technology and smart, yes, but not so godlike is much better from my perspective. And thanks to several of you for noting in the Rosa Parks episode that there was some trepidation about watching it. I found I was very concerned that it be done right, as it pretty much was. No Doctor causing the historical moment, ‘just’ saving it. It was a relief to know others shared the feelings.

  6. Great comments about Grace’s treatment… there’s something a bit “mystical guide” even though the actual lines are mundane. Bradley Walsh is acting his socks off though.

    Don’t older Black women in white fiction often get relegated to being the “mammy” archetype? “The mammy was usually portrayed as an older woman, overweight, and dark skinned. She was an idealized figure of a caregiver: amiable, loyal, maternal, non-threatening, obedient, and submissive. The mammy figure demonstrated deference to white authority. On occasion, the mammy was also depicted as a sassy woman.” This seems somewhat like how the story is looking back on Grace in death.

    I feel like women/queers/POC/etc in mainstream fiction who do display some threatening or discomforting traits to the audience usually have this balanced out by either being victimised or dying, as a type of tension release.

    I’ve had a really positive reaction to Thirteen so far, except there was something about this episode where I especially felt like “oh and it’s the woman Doctor who gets written to have such very ‘feminine’ traits?” (my thoughts in progress, may change). Some reckon there’s a precedent with Davison, thoughts?

    I preferred that Mr Big got to get off scot-free, because just like Trump, there he still is.

    I got to learn from this episode that I am really not that creeped out by spiders compared to most people. Which is lucky, because I live in Australia and have encountered some very large, some very venomous, and some very prolifically webby ones. I may show this episode to my young kids as (hopefully!) a gateway into assimilating them into fandom. They like spiders.

  7. Reblogged this on Confessions of a Curator, Editor, Geek and commented:

    New Verity! In which I am terrified of spiders.

  8. parksml2001 said:

    I believe Grace’s character is still having an arch. Story points in many of Graham comments lead me to believe that something larger is going to happen. He specifically said he’s only in remission and that he is the one who should have died. He also, from the “Rosa” episode, has the means to send himself back to save her. I believe his cancer may return and that will be his action to make sure Ryan has family. This will also re-introduce the discussion of fixed points and paradoxes. Granted this is only speculation on my part and I could be completely off-base.

  9. It’s “Green Planet of the Sex Pistol Spiders of Deathly Punnage”!!! =8oO

    OK, back after I’ve re-watched the episode, ‘Cos somehow all this “Jaztor”(?) shipping-fodder flew straight past me at the time. But then I do have a bad habit of not keeping my eyes on the screen enough, so…


  10. …Er, I meant “Yaztor”, obviously! (*Why* do I keep thinking Yaz’s name begins with a ‘J’? Too much time spent hanging out with them forrin Europeans, I reckon… =:o? )

    OK, have re-watched the ep, and come back here and read the comments of other folks above.

    To me Yaz’s reaction to being asked by her Mum if she and the Doctor are seeing each other reads as just bafflement: “Why would you think *that*, Mum?”. And her stronger reaction late ron to being asked about Ryan is a mix of both “Oh God, *twice* in one day you’re doing this?” and “Ew, Mum, he’s like my brother-in-arms, and… that’s just *wrong*!”.

    That said, the Doctor’s reaction looks like “Oh! That’s a thought. Are we?”, while Ryan’s reaction later looks on the surface to be a mirror of Yaz’s, but with a layer of discomfort that suggests “not yet, but I was kinda hoping…”. And don’t forget the accidental compliment – “He was punching well above his weight” – from the previous episode, which Yaz noted.

    OK, I’ve got the benefit of two years of hindsight here, but my analysis of things at this stage is: Ryan quite fancies Yaz, but it’s not reciprocated. Yaz is finding life with the Doctor fascinating, and as you guys noted she has a lot more emotional intelligence than we’re used to from the Doctor’s companions, and she recognises that the Doctor needs more than just company, she needs *reassurance*, because she’s still figuring out who she is and part of that is not knowing yet whether people actually *like* her, or just want to hang out with her because of her cool wheels. Hence the deliberate “more time with you” line.

    N.B. I’m not saying there can’t or won’t be anything between Yaz and the Doctor, and I’ll be more than happy to read that fanfic, but at this stage at least it’s very much something that has to be read *into* the show, rather than something we can read *out* of it.

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