Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

As promised, the Verities dive into Big Finish! Join Deb, Katrina, Lizbeth, and Tansy as they discuss a Doctor Who audio drama, The Eye of the Scorpion.

Have you listened to this story? Did you revisit it for this podcast? Let us know in the comments!


Happy things:

Sam Neill’s twitter feed
Extra-special thanks to this week’s guest editor, Steven Schapansky of Castria!
Support Verity! on Patreon

Download or listen now (runtime 1:26:55) 

Comments on: "Episode 227 – The Eye of the Scorpion King" (7)

  1. Jean C said:

    Your chat about Dr numbering sryles versys naming is funnier now that the numbers are all wrong.

    I suspect that Chris Chibnall doesn’t like people calling the Doctors by a regeneration number. So gave us at least one extra speaking-role regenertion using the name Doctor.

    On naming, why do we use the family name of all the Doctors in speaking roles, eg Tennant Doctor, except for the woman of colour “Jo Doctor”? What is driving fandom to not give her the same respect – the Martin Doctor.

    I’ve noticed the same wording creep in with Jodie Whittaker’s performance. We hear Jodie’s Doctor. Why don’t we hear Sylvester’s Doctor and Patrick’s Doctor and Matt’s Doctor without using their surnames.

    Cultural sexism? Women get first names, only men deserve family names – or so it seems even for Verity!

    • Sarah42 said:

      I’ve noticed that being on familiar terms with Whittaker’s or Martin’s Doctor instead of according them the respect of a family name. I have no interest in Chibnall’s DW or Jodie Whittaker, so don’t get all cuddly and keep it strictly to “Whittaker.” I typically refer to “(surname) Doctor,” and in the case of the Bakers, use “TBaker” and “CBaker.” If I ever feel like referring to them by first name, then I do it equally. (My fondness for Sylvester McCoy has caused me to refer to him as “Sylv” a lot, and Peter Capaldi can get called “PCap,” admittedly, but not all the time.)

    • type2values said:

      Jean C – I’ve noticed this too regarding the use of first names. John Hurt’s character got a cool name – “The War Doctor.” It’s a shame fandom hasn’t come up with a cool name for Jo Martin’s version of the character – maybe “The Forgotten Doctor” – I dunno, I’m sure someone more creative than me could come up with something good. I’m not a fan of calling her the Jo Doctor.

      On the use of first names for women and surnames or full names for men, I’ve noticed this trend in Doctor Who discussions, and more broadly in our society. I was recently thinking about how in Australia, our male Prime Ministers are referred to by surname, (e.g. Morrison, Turnbull) and our (only) female Prime Minister was often referred to as Julia, which often went hand in hand with a general lack of respect for her position and a kind of subtle undermining of her validity and authority (then there was “Juliar” – don’t even get me started).

      Generally I agree with you about this – it can indicate a lack of respect and some level of inherited cultural sexism in our society. I believe it’s something to do with not taking women as seriously as men when they are in prominent positions.

      I do think sometimes it’s just a habit picked up from listening to others speak, and no harm is intended, but that doesn’t necessarily make it ok. There are also some cases where the use of a first name or a nickname is more of a term of endearment for a beloved public figure (I’m thinking of Kylie Minogue – often referred to as just Kylie). So perhaps it does depend on context.

      I’m hardly an expert on gender issues, and I’m happy to be corrected – but I was really glad to see you point this out, because I’ve been noticing it a lot, and I think that, given some of the online backlash around the Thirteenth Doctor, it’s important we don’t imply that Jodie Whittaker or Jo Martin are somehow less deserving of respect than the other actors to play the part.

      • Jean C said:

        I agree that there’s no harm intended in the usage of names. However it is something we should all be conscious of doing.

        Its the same as the choice to make the Whittaker Doctor blonde and seemingly scatterbrained. There’s so much sexist baggage in that choice that a male actor wouldn’t have to face.

        Why did Jodie Whittaker have to bleach her hair? No one made Tom Baker bleach his hair? No one made Peter Davison act ditzy because he was blonde.

        Yes, Julia Guillard was hard done by and should get mountains of respect for starting the royal commission into child abuse. It took a woman to take on those terrible men

  2. Sarah42 said:

    “Whovian” was being used in USA fandom back in the 1980s; I think it can be blamed on the Whovian Times newsletter of the Doctor Who Fan Club of America back in 1982. It’s honestly okay to relax about it.

    Re Doctor-numbering, my style has always been, for example, “Fourth Doctor” or “#4,” but never just “Four.” However, in a story, please just call them “the Doctor.” I should probably relax about that, though…

    “Fandom shifting”? I’ve been cleaning out my archaeological dig of a bedroom in my old family home that has really got to be sold sometime, and just flat-out dumping a lot of old fannish stuff (dating back to Star Wars in 1977, Battlestar Galactica in 1978, DW in 1981…), because, yeah, it meant a lot to me, but it’s weighing me down to have so much STUFF – and my sister, who desperately clutches at being absolutely normal and never at all fannish, claims that no normal, neurotypical person has INTERESTS. I can’t be the only one who kept fandom journals and wrote tons of notes on all of it, right? Apparently, this is quite bonkers. I’ll agree to it certainly being obsessive-compulsive…

    I was away from DW fandom when Big Finish started, so didn’t hear any of it until 2008 or later. I focused almost entirely on the Seventh Doctor audios, then branched out to a few other things, but then realized I couldn’t afford the habit or keep up with it at all, and haven’t even attempted to collect any for a few years now. Considering the spirit of my previous paragraph, it’s probably not a habit I’ll pick up again.

  3. Hi Verities! Really enjoyed your discussion of The Eye of the Scorpion, thank you! I was wondering if you are maybe also planning to talk about one of the BF audios of the 8th Doctor with Liv Chenka and Helen Sinclair? (from the Doom Coalition and The Ravenous boxsets) Liv and Helen are my favourite companions and I would be really interested to hear your perspectives on them 🙂

  4. Lauren Messenger said:

    LOVED this. The Fifth Doctor, Peri, and Erimem team is my favorite for BF, as well (I have an undergrad degree in Archaeology, with a focus on Egypt and the Near East, so I might be biased). I really hope you do more episodes exploring Big Finish material. I find I’ve been listening to a lot more of it recently, and have been returning to old favorites for re-listens. I really enjoyed listening to your conversation about this story; you pointed out a number of interesting contextual elements I hadn’t thought about!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: