Doctor Who

Jan. 7th, 2015 11:55 pm
netgirl_y2k: (gwen beer)
One of my December meme questions was about Doctor Who, and what I'm making of Peter Capaldi's turn as the Doctor, and I was going to wait until after the Christmas special to answer it, then time got away from me, rather.

I have returned to the Doctor Who fandom fold with the Twelfth Doctor - I love him, and his relationship with Clara, in a totally uncomplicated way, and with my whole heart. I loved the Christmas special more than I have liked any Who special since, er, ever. I don't know if the rumours that Jenna Coleman was going to leave at Christmas were started by the production team, or just deliberately not shot down to make the fake out with old Clara more convincing, but I am so, so pleased we're getting more of them together. I don't love them more than Ten and Donna, probably, not yet, but it's damn close.

I've been thinking about why the Twelfth Doctor works so very much for me - and I apologise in advance, but I can't seem to talk about this without getting into why Eleven never did it for me. And it's an entirely personal lizard brain thing. But, yeah, sorry.

I was always vaguely dissatisfied with Eleven's tenure, but I don't think I realised how much I hadn't liked it until I could look back on it as a whole and go: wow, I enjoyed hardly any of that. I always thought my problem was with Moffat, and yeah, there are things (the inexcusably awful and convoluted season six) where the problems are structural, and it's a producing, writing problem. But a lot of it, more than I credited at the time, is that I just didn't buy Matt Smith as the Doctor.

There's a line the Twelfth Doctor has about his clothes, and it's something like 'I was going for minimalist, I think I hit magician.' With Eleven, for me, it was like they'd been going for old man in a young man's body and hit annoying hipster instead.

Twelve, for me, is the Doctor, he's a crotchety, unpleasant, alien Doctor. But he is the Doctor.

And if you'd told me a year ago that I'd be really into a Team TARDIS where the Doctor spent the entire series calling his female companion fat and insulting her appearance I would have scoffed and not believed you. And I completely understand why people hated it, but I was surprised by how much it didn't bother me. It's completely context dependent, though. I would have hated it with any other companion. I would have ragequit if they'd tried it with Donna and Rose, with Martha it might have been even worse because there would have been the race dimension - but with Clara... Jenna Coleman is so obviously a real life Disney princess, and the things the Doctor says are so obviously and objectively wrong that it didn't actually irk me.

And, again, sorry, but the straw that broke the camel's back with Eleven was that he had a line about Clara, something like, 'she's a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a skirt that's just a little bit too tight.' I think I've talked before about how Eleven was the first Doctor that felt specifically male to me, and felt male in a very alienating way? But I think both Eleven's slight leering and Twelve's insulting Clara's appearance are two sides of the same coin; they both come from the place that Moffat can't talk about a woman with getting into her appearance. But where with Twelve it makes me think that Moffat's a twit and the Doctor's an alien, with Eleven it made me think that Moffat was a twit and the Doctor was a creep.

One of the reasons I'm really into the Twelve and Clara relationship, as well, is that it feels to me like it's the first Doctor-Companion relationship in a long time, certainly since Nine and Rose, where the Doctor has liked and needed his companion more than she's liked or needed him. And I feel like the Doctor has absolutely no idea what to do with that.

I think I was maybe a little harsh on the latter half of S7 when I said that Clara didn't have a personality; now I feel like the basic blocks of her character were there, but sort of squished down underneath her Impossible Girl plot baggage. And I am so, so glad that that whole thing seems to have been swept under the rug never to be spoken of again. The more I think about it, maybe it was the fairytale aspect of the Eleventy era that never appealed to me? It's why I really like that Clara's a teacher now, it signaled a sort of return to almost-reality to me.

Season eight almost gave me Michelle Gomez's delightful turn as Missy. Which I loved because, yes, de-fucking-lightful, but also because, Time Lords can change gender! I TOLD YOU! It was also handled exactly how I'd want a female Doctor to be handled; it's never explained, only passingly mentioned, and there's nothing in her interactions with the Doctor that's substantively different, I don't think, than if she'd regenerated into a male body.

I mean, the kiss, yeah. But, hey, canon, Doctor/Master.

Apparently S9 will bring me more Twelve and Clara snarky, prickly friendship, and more Missy. Bring it on!
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
Well, that was the first Doctor Who episode I have really enjoyed in, gosh, simply ages.

Deep Breath )
netgirl_y2k: (panic)
The Doctor Who special was... well, it was trying to be a Christmas episode, a rousing send off for Matt Smith, and to round up all the dangling plot threads from the last four years, and as a result it didn't do any of these things particularly well. Which is exactly the same problems as Tennant's final episode had. So.

That said, I wept at the regeneration, and I say that as somebody who never more than intermittently warmed to Eleven. I am desperately looking forward to Capaldi.

Today's meme post comes in the form of a response to a question: The female doctor. who would you cast? how would you write her? etc etc. And you shall be pleased to know that I will not be answering this one in the form of poetry, and probably not at great length, as I am dreadfully hungover (damn 7% Belgian beer) and really ought to be in my pyjamas, watching The Deathly Hallows under a duvet.

I have at different times said that Lena Headey, Miranda Richardson, Miranda Hart, Indira Varma, Sheridan Smith, or Sophie Okonedo would be interesting choices to play the Doctor. But I think my first choice would be Olivia Colman. Her name came up a lot when people were discussing the possibility of a female Doctor last time, and with good reason, I think.

As an aside, if the possibility of a female Doctor wasn't at least discussed at the BBC, then playing the pronoun game prior to the announcement of Peter Capaldi was a dick move.

Anyway, Olivia Colman, great actress, can do comedy and drama and darkness, which you need to play the Doctor. She's interesting looking, which I say with the very best will in the world, in a very Doctor-ish way. She's old enough to do it; because I don't think you could have an actress in her twenties playing the Doctor, not only because she'd be judged that much more harshly than anyone else, but partly to keep the Doctor distinct from the recent run of companions, and partly for the same reason I don't want another bloke in his twenties, there's a sense of age and gravitas that the Doctor needs, I think.

The other thing about Colman is that she's extremely well liked by the public, at least in the UK. You know how when people are talking about their fantasy female Doctors, and the conversation quickly turns to the likes of Maggie Smith or Judi Dench? And I don't think that's pure wish fulfilment, I think people know that there would be a lot of shit talked about any actress in the role, but that it would be less, and more quickly shouted down if it was someone considered a national treasure, you know?

That said, I don't think the objections to a female Doctor would be as strong as a lot of people think they would. At least, not among casual viewers. Fandom... well, fandom will always be fandom, god love it. Almost every time I get to talking about the possibility of a female Doctor somebody brings up that story about Steven Moffat asking a room full of fans at a convention if they'd stop watching if the Doctor was a woman and they all said yes. And I don't really see the relevance. It was a self selecting audience, a bunch of people invested enough in the show to go to a convention, asked a leading question by a man they presumably admire. It's the inmates running the asylum. I mean, imagine prior to Elementary asking a roomful of people at a Holmes convention how they felt about Lucy Liu playing Watson, and look at how that turned out.

I would write the female Doctor as the Doctor. I've been thinking about the reasons I never really got Eleven, and yeah, a lot of it is related to the writing, but also Eleven is, to me, the first Doctor whose maleness was ever more than notional, if that makes sense? Where he was an alien, and unimaginably old, but also unquestionably male. I feel like with any of the others you could have cast a woman, changed the pronouns and carried on much the same, you'd still have the Doctor. Eleven, with his I like bad girls and I don't understand women, was not only the first Doctor that felt specifically male to me, but he felt male in a way that drove me away from the character.

I'd also never mention the fact that the Doctor was a woman. I mean, I'd mention it once in the regeneration episode, in a I'm a woman! New teeth! New kidneys, I don't like them! type way. But never after that. I'd think I'd give her a boy companion, or at least a boy and a girl. My first choice for a boy companion to a female Doctor would be Clyde off SJA.
netgirl_y2k: (doctordonna)
I remember not so long ago there was a suggestion going around that the Doctor should have a male companion - and not in a Rory Williams, Harry Sullivan type way, who were really more Amy and Sarah Jane's respective companions; but a dude as his only, or at least his main companion - and I had a visceral Do Not Want reaction to this. One of the things I have always loved about DW, before I was even able to articulate it properly, was that by its very nature it's a show where 50% of the leads have to be women, and changing that would do more to make it not the show that I love than anything Steven Moffat could dream of.

Basically, you can have a male companion when I get a female Doctor... if then.

I feel like I've talked a lot about my childhood memories this month (having Lord of the Rings read to me as I snuggled under a My Little Pony bedspread, watching The Next Generation on Saturday mornings while eating cereals made exclusively out of sugar and e numbers; seriously, there's a reason I'm like this) but here's another one... I am a child of the eighties, and while I know I watched Doctor Who, partly because my dad tells me I did, and partly because if you showed six year old me anything with a quarry and a bubble-wrap alien I was there, I don't really remember watching it. Except on this one occasion, where my mum was busy with my wee sister - I don't recall why, maybe it was the time I made her drink bleach - and I'd been left in the living room propped up in front of the telly, watching Remembrance of the Daleks, and I know that's what it was because I have a distinct memory of the scene where Ace beats up a Dalek with a baseball bat. Ace. Beat up. A Dalek. With. A. Baseball bat. Hearts in my little six year old eyes. My ultimate fate as a science fiction fan and as a lesbian was probably sealed in that moment.

So, I always had fond memories of Ace, but in the back of my mind I assumed she must have been the exception to the rule, that the rest of the Classic Who ladies really were the screaming ankle twisters they'd been popularised as. Then I got into New Who via Nine and later Ten, and finished up at university (man, I'm dating myself with this post) and decided that a good use of all this new free time would be to watch all of Classic Doctor Who.

I discovered Barbara Wright, schoolteacher and companion to the first Doctor, who ran over a Dalek with a truck, and who I genuinely believe is the reason the Doctor always wants to travel with a human woman. I discovered the incomparable Sarah Jane Smith, who was describing herself as a feminist on BBC primetime in the 1970s. I discovered Romana, a Time Lady, who got better marks than the Doctor had at university and had her own sonic screwdriver, and whose failure to appear in the new series saddens my heart.

I discovered companions who weren't quite so universally beloved, but who I nonetheless fell hard for. Peri, whose story had problems, not the least of which being why insist on her being an American after it became obvious that the actress couldn't do the accent, but how could I fail to love a character whose reaction to attempted hypnosis by the Master was I'm Perpugillian Brown, and I can shout just as loud as you. Leela, whose proto-warrior princess costume was a bit something-for-the-dads, yes, but didn't stop her being a brilliant character, and whose second life as bodyguard to Time Lord president Romana in the Gallifrey audios is one of the few things that's ever gotten me to push through my difficulty processing audio only stimuli, because Leela and Romana. Tegan Jovanka, air hostess and Charleston aficionado, early Donna Noble type, my love for her is unsurprising.

Lots of people watch Doctor Who for the Doctor, which is probably the more sensible way of going about it, I watch it for the companions; it's why I'm looking forward to Christmas, and Clara hopefully being the focal point during the Smith-Capaldi regeneration.

On the off chance you have been enjoying my inability to shut the fuck up this December, I still have like five dates at the end of the month that I'd quite like to fill up, even if you've already asked me something, and then you probably won't hear from me for all of January.
netgirl_y2k: (doctordonna)
Two things to say first of all,

1) Between An Adventure in Time and Space and The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot I already felt like I'd watched the love letter to Doctor Who that I wanted, so there was less pressure on the special to be all things, you know?

2) I wasn't actually in the Saturday evening it was on. I was in Edinburgh watching Scotland play rugby, badly, against Australia, and I watched Doctor Who when I got in at gone-midnight, having had a beer or two, so.

The Day of The Doctor )

Fuck, Yes!

Aug. 4th, 2013 08:30 pm
netgirl_y2k: (doctordonna)
My interest in Doctor Who has been waxing and waning (largely waning) under Moffat's reign, but I dutifully tuned into the announcement of the next Doctor and colour me delighted. Peter Capaldi is a fucking amazing actor, and I can totally see him playing a Doctor with gravitas. I also like that he's an older dude, I know it's not the diversity coup that a lot of people were hoping for, but it'll be nice to have a break from the young 'uns.

I was perhaps the only person in the world surprised by the announcement. I know Capaldi was the bookies favourite, but, well, last time they said it was going to be Paterson Joseph. And did I imagine it, or did Moff (or maybe it was Davies) not give an interview once saying that because of the physicality and intensity of the filming schedule we'd probably never see another actor over fifty in the role? So between the age thing and thinking that someone at the beeb might quail at the thought of casting the guy best known as Malcolm Tucker on their flagship family show, I really thought it would turn out to be someone else.

Speaking of, I like to think that as we speak ten year olds all over the country are typing "Peter Capaldi" into the YouTube search box and the subsequent streams of invective are bringing their parents running in from other rooms.

For what it's worth, I still want a female Doctor, but not as written by Moffat. Also, I thought that responding to Helen Mirren's calls for a female Doctor by saying that he thought it was time for "...the Queen to be played by a man" was kind of shitty. Okay, a lot of Moff's humour falls flat with me, but, really, how hard is it to say: It doesn't contradict the mythology of the show, we didn't go that way this time, but nothing's ruled out for the future?

I'm also relived that it's not Cumberbatch or Colin Morgan, two names I saw bandied about in the early days of speculation, both choices that would have been dealbreakers for me.

But, basically, Fuck Yes, Peter Capaldi! I hope they let him play it with his natural accent, for I shall be weak for a Scottish Doctor.
netgirl_y2k: (Default)
Well, Christmas Day was lovely. I had a lie in and had accumulated all my presents to unwrap under the tree on Christmas morning. A couple of interesting looking envelopes turned out to be tickets for the home games of next year's Six Nations, which, given the way Scotland have been playing lately, is equal parts thoughtful gift and cruel taunt. My mother also left me an owl onesie, which at the age of nearly thirty, I may never take off.

My sister managed to get out of work in time for dinner - she hasn't explained how, I have visions of some poor bugger left lying on an operating table - which I ate in my owl onesie. If you ever see a photograph floating about of a giant owl eating a sea bass, then hello, hi! It also means the steak I got for if I was going to be eating alone will do for tonight with last of the whisky cocktail we made.

Then we cracked open a bottle of vino verde and watched Doctor Who. I have a theory about the Christmas Doctor Whos, that it's hard to judge them on their own merits, because it all gets a bit tied up in what kind of holiday you're having. For example, last year's DW special could have been a staggering work of heartbreaking genius (although I really don't think that it was) and I still wouldn't have enjoyed it because I was having such a thoroughly awful time.

I very much enjoyed this year's, and I don't think it was just because I was slightly drunk and having a lovely day.

The Snowmen )

And now it's Boxing Day and I'm drinking tea and eating brie and chocolate, which is better hangover food than you think it is.

Hope all of you had a lovely Christmas/Doctor Who Day/Tuesday.

Doctor Who

Sep. 29th, 2012 09:55 pm
netgirl_y2k: (River/TARDIS)
Well, all in all, I though the first half of series 7 was a success. The blockbuster approach to individual episodes really worked for me, I finally, finally warmed to the Ponds, and simply by virtue of not trying to shoe-horn in an unworkable arc it solved a lot of the problems I'd had with S6.

And that's basically how I felt about tonight: squee, with caveats.

The Angels Take Manhattan )
netgirl_y2k: (Gwen Beer)
Saturday afternoon I was supposed to see Hysteria with my sister, but because she exists in her own time zone where, "the film starts at half three so we should probably leave, you know, before that", means something else entirely we missed the start. Sister redeemed herself by suggesting we go to the pub until the next showing. The next showing turned out to be at nine thirty. I thought it was a brilliant film, but, then, by that point we had been in the pub for six hours.

Different pub than our usual, actually. Nothing brings austerity home faster than nipping out for a quick pint to discover that the entire pub has been evicted for non-payment of rent. It explains why the quality of the beer had been declining so rapidly over the last few weeks, actually. New pub also stocks bottles of the German beer that always gets me into trouble, I can't see how this could possibly go wrong.

Sunday disappeared into a series of collapsing on conveniently placed flat surfaces and insisting that I wasn't hung over, thank you very much, it must have been that sandwich I had on Wednesday.

All which meant I didn't get around to watching Doctor Who till this morning, which I did in bed with tea and french toast The Power of Three )

Seeing as we're all listing our Yuletide nominations: Felix Castor, Parasol Protectorate, Imagine Me & You, all approved yay!
netgirl_y2k: (Gwen Beer)
There have been a few posts I've been meaning to make, briefly:

1. I got first refusal of anything I wanted of my grandmother's, and I lurched wildly between feeling like the Rat Queen of Rats and going, Ooh, lamp.

2. I keep meaning to thank [personal profile] ravurian for reccing the Felix Castor series to me (Thankee!) because I have become slightly addicted to them over the past few weeks. I know there's no fandom, but, really, there should be, and it should be writing me all of the fic about the inner workings of Juliet and Susan's relationship. Because, seriously, I can't be the only person who has their buttons pushed by the lesbian relationship between a church warden and a succubus. I mean, for one thing, what was their wedding like?

3. I have been liking Doctor Who S7 very much, even more than that I have liked being excited about Doctor Who again. Even if A Town Called Mercy was more serviceable than brilliant, it was extremely watchable, and I absolutely adored that reference to Amy being a mother. See, Series 6, this was what I wanted, not entire episodes devoted to it, just the occasional acknowledgement that it had actually happened, you know? Anyhow, next week looks awesome.

Anyway, as I'm not making of those posts, the promised meme

Pick a trope from this list and provide a fandom/pairing that I'm familiar with, and I'll tell you something about the story I'd write for that combination (i.e. write a snippet from the story or write not!fic or tell you the title and summary for the story I would write)

1. genderswap
2. bodyswap
3. drunk!fic
4. huddling for warmth
5. what-if AU
6. fuck or die
7. amnesia
8. cross-dressing
9. forced to share a bed
10. truth or dare
11. Hogwarts
12. supernatural
13. apocalypse
14. Westeros
15. High School / College

Um, I switched out a bunch for tropes I'm more interested in, so, um, yeah.

Doctor Who

Sep. 1st, 2012 08:30 pm
netgirl_y2k: (Donna Cold)
I felt like a bad Whovian this week, when Tequila Boy asked me if I was looking forward to Saturday and I genuinely went, eh, what, what ridiculousness did I let you talk me into and then completely forget about?!

But, no, he was talking about Doctor Who and because I was a bad fan and didn't know the new series was starting I now don't get to spend the rest of the evening looking at pictures of Jenna Louise Coleman on tumblr like I really want to.

Asylum of the Daleks )
netgirl_y2k: (Handy)
I'm still trying to work out how I feel about not having my gran to look after, mostly:

Guilty about being relieved
Suffering a minor crisis of identity

I've gotten so used to fitting everything else around my caring responsibilities that I really don't know what to do with myself. Which is probably why I've spent most of this week trying to teach the dogs to play dead (I have thus far convinced one of them to play moderately ill) and writing fic where Jon Snow is a girl.

As an aside, if you've ever wondered what girl!Jon Snow would look like, I present exhibit A. I don't know what the context of that promo shot is, and as knowing would probably only upset me, I am going to continue to believe it's from some Merlin/GoT AU with Morgana at Winterfell.

I've also seen the Doctor Who S7 trailer and I am conflicted )

Also, apparently the internet neglected to tell me that the new series of Warehouse 13 had started (bad internet, no biscuit!) so guess what my plans for this evening are?
netgirl_y2k: (Idris!TARDIS)
You know, I find that I judge Doctor Who a lot more kindly than other shows because I've been a fan of it since I was three, and that because of the history attached to it, if all else fails you can always go: Well, at least it's not as bad as The Twin Dilemma. But I rewatched the S6 finale in the hope of liking it more, actually I liked it quite a bit less.

The Wedding of River Song )

And on that note, I'm off to watch Fringe.
netgirl_y2k: (aspirin)
1. Slightly peculiar week, actually. Family funeral of an uncle I hadn't seen in ten years or so. Feel slightly guilty that I wasn't sad that he was dead so much as I was slightly miffed at the prospect of having to spend an afternoon with a room full of people who equate not being catholic with having an especially offputting STD.

Also slightly miffed that I apparently don't own any black clothing any more. Apparently I'm what happens when goths grow up and start wearing things with yellow sunflowers patterned on them. Ah well, as I couldn't remember if he was the uncle who was the pervert or not I figured dark grey would do.

2. Watched Scotland - England in the rugby this morning. Scotland lost, which is oddly reassuring in the same way as night following day and the Earth continuing to rotate on its correct axis is. All systems functioning normally, etc. I have worked out what is so irksome about the England rugby team, it's that they're 80% dirge to 20% shocking brilliance. This will of course not stop me from spending the week before the quarter finals learning the lyrics to the French national anthem.

3. So, [ profile] anjali_organna is doing this cool thing where she gets people in fandom to answer questions about writing, and due to what one can only assume is a terrible shortage of sensible people to talk to she talked to me. So, I am here talking about writing (just a tiny bit) and tea and books and why Donna and Morgana are my favourites (quite a bit more) should that be of interest to anyone.

5. The BBC informed me that today was the sunniest October 1st since records began. This was news to me as it was raining torrentially and there was a fog so thick you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Sometimes I wonder if they realise there are people in Scotland or if they think we've ceded it to the dragons and sea monsters.

Okay, it's possibly I am slightly more miffed about the rugby result than I let on. It's not actually the fault of the English that we have terrible weather. Probably.

French. National. Anthem.

6. I watched the finale of Doctor Who The Wedding of River Song )

7. I accidentally watched Merlin, mainly because it was on after Doctor Who, whatever this one was called )
netgirl_y2k: (Idris!TARDIS)
I was on the Guardian website earlier this week on my daily lunchtime quest to actually complete the quick crossword without the use of google when I saw this post: Has Doctor Who got too complicated? Which seems to me the wrong question to ask, anyway the answer is no, Ghost Light is complicated, S6 is-- Well, if I were asking the questions I'd ask: Is the current series of Doctor Who convoluted and a bit shoddily written? To which, I suspect, some people would say yes, some would say no, and I would say, um, stop confusing me with your many questions! And then I'd write a long post trying to work out why, although I've found something to adore in just about every episode of Moffat's Who, somehow it doesn't come together as a whole for me.

Rambly thoughts on Doctor Who (or, Gosh, I need to get out more) )

In conclusion, why won't you let me love you, Doctor Who? All I want is to love you.
netgirl_y2k: (River Kiss)
I watched Doctor Who last night and didn't post about it, because mostly I didn't know what I thought, I still don't but that's never stopped me before...

Let's Kill Hitler (let's not) )

So that was an episode of fun and yay with some troubling meta stuff going on if you think about it too deeply, which is why I'm not going to.

Now I am going to spend the rest of the day finishing the latest Dresden Files book, which has only taken a mere 400 pages to get interesting. Er, yay?


netgirl_y2k: (Default)

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