Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

Archive for the ‘Supplementary’ Category

Welcome to Verity!

New to Verity! podcast? Welcome!

As you may have guessed from our tag line we are six women, from five time zones, in four countries, on three hemispheres, who are too happy to be talking about one thing: Doctor Who!

We have opinions — yes, about Doctor Who, but that’s a gateway to talk about many other issues including feminism, racism, history, social politics, and plenty of general geekery. We hail from the United States, Canada, The United Kingdom, and Australia. We’re writers, editors, podcasters, bloggers, and fans who really really like Doctor Who. We don’t think it’s perfect, but that’s okay, neither are we. (Want to learn more about who we are? Check out the “Behind the Voices” links on the right.)

As an introduction to Verity!* we’ve selected three 2017 releases you might want to sample. We hope you enjoy!

  • Extra! – In Defence Of … The Gavel Edition – 2017 was tough for many reasons, and we combated that by upping our (already high) level of silly fun. This was our first game of 2017, but it most certainly was not our last. We hope you enjoy this bit of lightness as much as we did!
  • Extra! – There’s Nothing “Only” About Being a Doctor + Our Gap Months – We don’t usually cover news on Verity!, but sometimes news is so big, we simply must take notice. The announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the next Doctor? You bet your buttons that’s something we needed to chat about. (And no, it wasn’t the outright squee-fest you might expect. This one was emotional and a bit raw at times.) We also discussed about how we’d spend the months and Months and MONTHS until she graces our screens.
  • Episode 154 – Twice upon a Time of the Doctors – When Doctor Who is actively airing, we review each episode. The most recent example of this is the Hugo Award-nominated Christmas special from last year.

Our format is simple. Every other week we discuss a topic that fits our yearly theme. Last year we talked about “Loves and Lasts” (things we love and things that have ended). 2018 year is our Year of Women. We’re doing mini-arcs about women-led tropes in Doctor Who. We’re also matching classic Who stories with new series episodes. We open every episode on a note of joy: we each mention something that’s caught our attention in the world of Doctor Who. (And what a grab bag of goodness that can be!)

On alternate weeks we post a Verity! Extra! – a mini episode where we discuss topics from the silly to the sublime. It’s occasionally serious, but for the most part, this is where we have fun, talk about fannish things, laugh, interview women involved in the world of Doctor Who, interview each other, review books/DVDs/audios, or (most often in 2017) PLAY GAMES.

We are passionate about this thing we love, and it shows. We rarely agree, and we defend our positions with vigor…and then we spend another hour online after we’ve finished recording, chatting about fanfiction or baking or Hammer Horror films or punk bands or hockey or videogames. Our goal is this: Imagine your very best “conversation at the bar” with your very best friends at the very best convention you’ve ever attended. Now make it a podcast. That’s Verity! We’d love to have you join us.

Thanks for visiting us here at Verity! We hope you’ll decide to stay.

*Yes, we know the exclamation point can be confusing, but it’s part of who we are. It indicates the passion and personality of our podcast as well as our namesake, Verity Lambert. (Want to learn more about Verity Lambert? Check out the “Our Inspiration” button at the top right.)

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An Apology and a Promise

(Erika here. I’m cross-posting this from my personal blog because I think it’s important.)

Doctor Who notecard apology

When you talk on the internet, especially in a free-form conversational podcast like Verity!, sometimes you stick your foot so firmly down your own throat it’s a wonder the mic doesn’t pick up the sound of toenails scraping molars. I am not immune to this phenomenon.

A few months back, I made an insensitive comment about the 9th Doctor giving hugs. Taken out of context (which it literally was, as it was briefly one of the “pull quotes” in the cold open of the podcast), it sounded like I was saying all people who don’t like hugging are somehow emotionally damaged. YIKES. SO WRONG.

In the context of the podcast, the statement bore more resemblance to what I was thinking (that emotional damage can lead one to change their behavior and stop hugging, and the 9th Doctor wanted to prove that hadn’t happened to him in the course of the Time War). So I replaced the line in the cold open because, wow, was that shitty, and I explained and apologised in a series of tweets. (I appreciate all the folks who called me on that. Thank you!) And of course, I’ve tried to do better since.

Trying doesn’t always mean succeeding.

Welp. I’ve done it again. In today’s episode of Verity!, I talked about how I didn’t like the way series 1 of Doctor Who changed the Doctor from (what I’d always seen as) an asexual character to one who is pretty explicitly sexual. (We were talking about “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances”. Dances, you guys. It’s a metaphor!) I equated being a sexual creature with normality and humanity and ohmigod I want to go back in time and slap the mic away from my face.

But I can’t. Time doesn’t work that way (except occasionally in Doctor Who).

There are two parts to this. First, I didn’t properly express what I meant in part of that conversation. And second, I just plain screwed up and said something boneheaded and hurtful in another part of it. Let’s tackle the first part first.

BUT: Let me preface this by saying I realize that what I meant actually counts for very little if that’s not what came out of my mouth and was understood by people who are outside my own brain (which is most of you, I think). You know what they say about the road to hell being paved with good intentions? Well the road to being an ass is paved with poorly-expressed thoughts. And yes, I am waving to you from down that road.

Anyway, to clarify what was in my head, I was thinking that asexuality is a part of life and of and human experience that gets very VERY short shrift on television (and in pretty much all media). I’d always seen the Doctor that way, and when I saw his characterization changed to something that’s more typically seen on television, I was disappointed—not just because it was a change from something I enjoyed, but because I felt like there was now less representation for a bunch of people who already have very little. That is a bummer to me. I wish I had said this better because I feel like it’s important.*

The part where I flat out got it wrong was when I equated having sexual desires with being “normal” and “human”. Whoa Nellie. There’s no excuse for that. I am just plain sorry. I have a distressing habit of using the words “normal” and “typical” interchangeably, and that’s Not Good. I’m trying to break myself of that.**

So let me state unequivocally that being asexual is a normal thing that does not make a person less human.

Sure, I could pedantically say that “hormonal” does mean human because humans all have hormones and maybe Time Lords don’t, but A) that’s total neepery-headcanon territory, and B) that’s not what I was trying to get at. It would be defensive and weaselly of me to retcon and pretend it was.*** I was simply stupid. And I wholeheartedly apologise.

I am very sorry for what I said on the podcast, because what I said and the way I said it was hurtful and wrong.

Once again, I want to thank the folks who called me out on my screw-up. Speaking up about this sort of thing takes time and energy, and I recognize and appreciate that effort. It must be exhausting to put up with crap like this all the time. So to take the extra step to say something is going above and beyond, and I admire, value, and welcome that act. I will do my best to see that it isn’t for naught.

ETA: For excellent info about this topic, I encourage you to listen to Episode 48 of The Web of Queer and this Episode 407 of Two-minute Time Lord. Mikayla knows whereof she speaks. You should listen!

I want to get better at talking about humanity. I think we should talk more about the oft-neglected aspects of our biology and culture. But by golly, it’s important to get it right.

So I’ll keep at it.

And I’ll probably keep getting it wrong from time to time.

And then I promise I’ll own it and apologise and try to do better. Because that’s how I learn.

^E

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*Please note: I’m not implying that all–or any–people who are asexual do or should feel this way about the Doctor or the perceived change to his character. This is just how it strikes me personally.

**I am on record as preferring a more “alien” Doctor (I do!), and I need to be careful not to put asexuality in the list of things that make him more alien. Because that’s a human thing.

***This is me trying to head off any “helpful” folks trying to reverse-engineer what I said into something acceptable. It wasn’t.

Verity! in the (LEGO) TARDIS

As requested, the LEGO Verities took a break from the ballgame at Clutchers Field, and took a tour of the 12th Doctor’s TARDIS.

Look how excited we all are to go inside!

Look how excited we all are to go inside! (L to R: Lynne, Tansy, Deb, Erika, Liz, Katrina)

Of course, Liz makes a beeline for the 12th Doctor.

Of course, Liz makes a beeline for the 12th Doctor. He looks thrilled.

Deb takes the controls, naturally!

Deb takes the controls, naturally!

Tansy and Lynne admire the console as Erika dives in to fix something technical.

Tansy and Lynne assist at the console as Erika dives in to fix something technical.

Kat has a nice chat with her beloved Clara.

Kat has a nice chat with her beloved Clara.

A great time was had by all!

A great time was had by all!

Do Some EXTRA Good by Joining the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps!

uncannykickstarter

Want to join the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps? With a name like that, who wouldn’t? The Space Unicorn Ranger Corps is what Uncanny Magazine calls their supporters. And right now, you can do a little extra good when you help out.

The Uncanny Magazine Year Two Kickstarter is in full swing! Lynne and her husband Michael are setting out to fund a second year of amazing SFF fiction, poetry, nonfiction, interviews, and art. In addition, this year’s Kickstarter includes money in the budget to actually pay the editors for the first time. That’s right, Lynne and Michael did all that hard work on Uncanny Year One without paying themselves. Their modest Year Two editorial fee will go towards expenses including care for their daughter, Caitlin, who has Aicardi syndrome–a rare congenital disorder with significant medical problems and developmental delays.

THE EXTRA-COOL PART

Verity! listener Bliss has offered to match $12 for the first 24 fellow Verity! listeners who contribute (at least) that much to the Kickstarter. She’s touched by how much Lynne and Michael do for the SFF/geek/fandom community and wants to say thank you. Especially since everything they do comes on top of taking care of Caitlin. If you’re a regular listener you know Caitlin is a fellow Doctor Who fan and has special healthcare needs. So anything we do to help Lynne and Michael helps our fellow fangirl!

In Bliss’ words, “I’m sure that caring for Caitlin is something any decent parent would put everything into, but to take care of the rest of us – nameless faceless fans out there, well, that is truly amazing.” We here at Verity! couldn’t agree more. We also can’t thank Bliss enough for this incredibly generous proposal.

THE LOGISTICS

After you’ve pledged to the Kickstarter, forward your confirmation email to veritypodcast@gmail.com. We’ll keep track and let Bliss know how many people have taken her up on her incredibly generous offer! She’ll increase her own Uncanny pledge by $12 for each of the first 24 Verity! fans to chip in starting today!

Remember, you have to pledge at least $12 to qualify. That puts you in the GIVE IT A GO reward category, which gets you an eBook copy (MOBI, PDF, EPUB) of Uncanny issues 7 and 8, with your name listed in issue 7, PLUS a copy of Year One’s issues 2 & 5! However…

THE LOOT

You can always pledge more to get some other fabulous rewards! If you pledge at the $50 level, you’ll have access to A Very Special Verity! Multifandom Podcast Mashup episode featuring special guest appearances by members of the Radio Free Skaro and Down and Safe podcasts! (At $150, you can even tell us all what to talk about! *gasp*) For $100, you can join a live Skype/Google Hangout with Lynne and Erika, with spouses Michael and Steven, to pick our brains about podcasting! (And there are LOTS more great rewards including art and jewelry and books and meals and the list goes on…)

THE “RULES”

If you’ve already pledged to the Kickstarter, thank you! We’re thrilled you’ve contributed! But we want to motivate even more folks to join the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps, so this offer is open to the following:

  • New backers starting today (pledging at least $12)
  • Current backers who increase their original pledge by at least $12

If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments. And keep spreading the word about Uncanny!

^E

Liz & Lynne’s Two Cents – Episode 49

Yes, I know that makes 4 cents.

Both Liz and Lynne have blogged about their thoughts on Deep Breath! They just didn’t do it here. Please be so kind as to continue on to their personal blogs to see what they had to say!

Liz: Everything I Loved About Deep Breath

Lynne: Thoughts on Deep Breath

^E

Paul Spragg (1975-2014)

Hi all.

Those of us here at Verity! wanted to take a moment to note the recent passing of Paul Spragg, a truly lovely man and hilarious podcaster from the Big Finish team. Paul was only 38 when he died unexpectedly after a short illness, devastating those who knew him. Tom Spilsbury, editor of Doctor Who Magazine, wrote about his friend here, and Paul’s brother Nick also blogged about Paul, and the family’s loss.

Nicholas Briggs, the executive producer of Big Finish, tweeted this:

@BriggsNicholas
To the many who say you felt you knew Paul Spragg through podcasts and emails, even tho you never meet him. You did know him. You did. 🙂

Which made me feel better, frankly, about being so sad about the loss a person I only corresponded with a few times – listening to a podcast really does make you feel like you know someone more than any other kind of internet knowing. I had the odd experience of listening to the new Charlotte Pollard adventures straight after Paul’s death, and hearing him pop up in the extras, interviewing the actors, laughing and completely in love with his job. It was a nice way to say goodbye, and I highly recommend making the time to listen to these – though of course you can find the joyful voice of Paul on nearly all of the Big Finish podcasts, and here and there across the documentaries on their audio range.

There is a charity fundraiser going at the moment in Paul’s honour, for those who would like to donate to the Heart Foundation. They have already raised more than £3000 and continue on towards the £5000 goal.

Our thoughts and wishes are with Paul Spragg’s family and friends at this difficult time. He will be missed.

Tansy.

Welcome to Verity!

New to Verity! podcast? Welcome!

As you may have guessed from our tag line we are six women, from across the globe, with opinions — mostly about Doctor Who, but that’s a gateway to talk about other issues such as feminism, racism, history, social politics, and general geekery. We hail from the United States, Canada, The United Kingdom, and Australia. We’re writers, editors, podcasters, bloggers, and fans who really really like Doctor Who. We don’t think it’s perfect, but that’s okay, neither are we. (Want to learn more about who we are? Check out the “Behind the Voices” links on the right.)

As an introduction to Verity!* we’ve each selected a release for you to sample. We hope you find something that catches your attention!

  • Deb recommends Episode 3 – A Perfect 10? – “This was early days for us and this ep sort of shocked listeners. We disagreed – vehemently! In a world of congenial podcast hosts, this was a bit unexpected. I think this episode really displays the passion we bring to our debates. (The gatekeeping conversation is also pretty amazing, and made this a close second choice as a sample episode for Lynne!)” If you like spirited discussion, this episode is for you.
  • Erika recommends Episode 16 – 7b, to Rhyme with Squee – “By this time I really think we were hitting our stride. This ep covers an entire (half-)season of Doctor Who, so listeners don’t need to have seen every episode to feel like they’re in on the fun. Also, there’s a lot of intelligent, enthusiastic discussion about Clara, both as a character and a ‘mystery’.” If you’re a fan of season-overviews (and Clara), this ep’s for you.
  • Katrina recommends Episode 19 – Doctor 5 Is Alive! – “A good representation of a ‘normal’ episode for the Verities. Shockingly, we actually come to a (sort of) agreement about the story being representative, even if it was originally picked because it’s a favourite!” If you’ve ever wondered about classic Who subtext, or if you saw the fifth Doctor in “Time Crash” and want to know more about him, this one is for you.
  • Liz recommends Extra! – Chicago TARDIS – LIVE! – “It’s not at all representative: Erika’s in charge! We have a guest! But I love the energy and pace of the in-person recordings, and sometimes people applaud! And laugh! It’s terribly exciting.” If you wonder what the Verities sound like when they record in the same room (in front of an audience!), this is the episode for you.
  • Lynne recommends Episode 29 – A Day in the Lives – “We were (almost) all together, we were enthusiastic, and we had a great time!” This ep is a squeeful crowd-pleaser. If you want joy, this one’s for you.
  • Tansy recommends Extra! – Fangirls Just Wanna Have Fun – “It was a really meaty conversation about fandom, being fannish while female, and has its own (borrowed) theme song from the Doubleclicks.” If you are a fan (of anything), this is for you.

Our format is simple. Every other week we discuss a topic that fits our yearly theme. Last year we counted down to the 50th anniversary by examining episodes we felt represented each Doctor’s era. This year we’re talking about the villains, baddies, and miscreants who vex the Doctor. We open every episode on a note of joy: we each mention something that’s caught our attention in the world of Doctor Who. (And what a grab bag of goodness that can be!)

On alternate weeks we post a Verity! Extra – a mini episode where we discuss topics from the silly to the sublime. It’s occasionally serious, but for the most part, this is where we have fun, talk about fannish things, laugh, interview women involved in the world of Doctor Who, or review books/DVDs/audios.

We are passionate about this thing we love, and it shows. We rarely agree, and we defend our positions with vigor…and then we spend another hour online after we’ve finished recording, chatting about Rupert Graves or Blake’s 7 or June Hudson’s fabulous costume designs. Our goal is this: Imagine your very best “conversation at the bar” with your very best friends at the very best convention you’ve ever attended. Now make it a podcast. That’s Verity! We’d love to have you join us.

Thanks for visiting us here at Verity! We hope you’ll decide to stay.

*Yes, we know the exclamation point can be confusing, but it’s part of who we are. It indicates the passion and personality of our podcast as well as our namesake, Verity Lambert. (Want to learn more about Verity Lambert? Check out the “Our Inspiration” button at the top right.)