Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

A spooky story with a serious message — very Doctor Who! Join Deb, Lynne, and Tansy as they discuss everything from the monsters to the mental health issues.

What did you think of “Can You Hear Me?” Drop us a tweet or let us know in the comments!


Happy things:

Extra-special thanks to this week’s guest editor, Steven Schapansky of Castria!
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Download or listen now (runtime 1:07:48) 

Comments on: "Episode 218 – Tommy Can You Hear Me?" (7)

  1. Clive Ramsden said:

    I love it when a new Verity! podcast drops! I really enjoyed Can You Hear Me? as I have Series 12 so far. I think the quality of the writing has been excellent. I’m looking forward to hearing what Deb, Lynne, and Tansy have to say.

  2. Sonja said:

    With regards to a good matrix, this is the one I’d like to see: list all the New Who episodes and note the social issue/teachable moment of each. Compare/contrast with 13th Doctor episodes.

    Doctor Who may have tackled social issues throughout it’s run, but I’m going posit in advance of the data, that every/most episodes did not overtly or even subtly address a social issue.

    WRT this episode, mental health was handled rather well, since it didn’t depend on exposition from the Doctor but was tied directly to each companions experiences.
    Where it let itself down was the speedy resolution, defeating two very powerful agents with a sonic wave. I actually like the sonic screwdriver and am happy to see it used as an analytic device, but this was just a get out of jail card.

    I continue to appreciate listening to your commentary even though I often disagree. Enjoy Gallifrey!

  3. About the final scene, that apparently a lot of folks disliked (just looking online) Tbh I found the Doctor way too “nice” & too understanding last season, so I’m super happy for this mode. She’s the Doctor for me finally, and she’s simply doing the best she can. Graham is the actual therapist of the crew – he’s the listening, patient & super kind person. So yes it’s too bad in some ways she’s the only ear he has at that moment. But what Graham needed most was to work out for himself what his fear was all about, to get his own head straight. And he clearly feels a lot better after articulating out loud exactly what is bothering him. I don’t mean to say her response is a great way for the Doctor, or any friend, to have, but in this circumstance it’s so much better than platitudes that mean nothing, or worse are lies. What can you say? Just listening is always a wise move. Also, Graham is not depressed, he’s just very afraid. I think his situation is quite different from Yaz’s, or Ryan’s friend’s. Still, I do see how watching that scene could feel painful for some people. But even the Doctor can’t fix cancer, and they both know that. All in all, I thought that scene was remarkably beautiful and true. My favorite 13th Doctor scene so far.

  4. Another fascinating episode Verities for one of my favourite stories of this season.

    For me the Yaz story worked perfectly and I will be quite disappointed if they go back to it and ‘explain’ what it was that brought her to the dark place she was clearly in. For me the depth of her despair and her responses to the Police Officer who found her made the contemplating suicide element quite explicit. The ‘nightmare’ version of this dark episode in Yaz’s life is her sister saying ‘this time I’m not calling anyone’, which would leave Yaz alone in the figurative and literal wilderness with no-one to bring her back from the brink. How this experience informs Yaz’s character, her career choice and her relationship with her sister is beautifully drawn and for me needs no further explanation. I worry that creating a specific trauma that precipitated this moment in her story might undercut how brilliantly relatable and universal that moment was for anyone who has been lost in that black seemingly hopeless space.

    Re: Graham and the Doctor and ‘that conversation’, I feel like Graham chose to tell his fears to the Doctor, rather than Ryan or Yaz, specifically because he could then avoid a whole deep conversation or big displays of concern and reassurance. He got to voice what he needed to for himself and not have to then end up reassuring the person he has spoken to as I suspect he would have has he talked to Ryan or Yaz, or even his old bus driver mates.

    On a much more frivolous note, I too squee-ed like the crazy old-school fan I am at the Eternals, Guardians, Celestial Toymaker mention! I would have loved to see the Gods of Ragnarok thrown in for good measure but completely understand that would have broken the rule of three, and turned a nicely balanced fan-service moment into heavy-handed name-dropping!

    Bravo Chris Chibnall and all, this season continues to blow my mind!

  5. Elanor MJ said:

    I found the conversation regarding the scene between Graham and the Doctor at the end fascinating. I have to side with Tansy and Lynne, particularly because in that moment I identified so strongly with the Doctor.

    I grew up in a household that was not particularly open or social. My parents even now have their own specific interests and social groups. Often in my childhood and teens there would be five people in five rooms doing different things (often most of us had our noses in books). Partly as a consequence I am a very solitary person and I have social awkwardness and anxiety issues which means that I am not well equipped to handle other people’s emotions. I want to be able to help but I don’t know how and that makes me awkward. So I empathise a lot with the Doctor here.

    I also want to point out that from what I remember, Ryan’s friends support group at the end was not just young men. There was at least one older man, so there was representation of men of different ages talking to each other on an emotional level and supporting each other.

    Also, hi-five Tansy on Wrath of Kahn trauma.

  6. How can I find out more about the Eternals, Guardians and Captain Rax? Google is failing me!

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