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Thursday, 20 July 2017

It's Irrelevant That the New Doctor Who is a Woman: It's The BBC That's the Problem

So, before I throw my hat onto the ring of the commentaries about the fact that Jodie Whittaker has been selected to play the next Doctor, let me first talk about the previous doctor.

Peter Capaldi was magnificent. He was everything the Doctor should be.  On some level, I know that David Tennant is still objectively the best Doctor of the new series, Capaldi was my favorite Doctor of the new series.  He was brilliant, grumpy, exciting, witty and heroic.

He was also sadly hampered by some fairly poor production and bad schedules.  Until this last season. This last season was very close to perfect; the "monster under the Thames" episode being probably the weakest one, and the final two-parter being not just the best of the season, or the best Capaldi episode, but possibly the best of Moffat's whole run.

It's a pity that Capaldi's leaving, just when he finally had a chance to be great.  It's almost (but not quite) a pity that Moffat is leaving, when he finally managed to produce a consistently great season (he had a consistently decent season or two before that).

So that brings us to the next doctor, Jodie Whittaker:

It might surprise you all to hear that I have no specific objection to a woman playing the Doctor. I honestly wasn't expecting it. I had always thought we'd see a darker-skinned male Doctor first, if only because this would be less harmful for the BBC in its foreign markets while still gaining them all the needed praise from the Virtue-Signalling crowd.

But I agree with the fundamental point that, unlike some other characters, the Doctor has regeneration as one of the key elements of his persona. The Doctor could look like anyone, and have a different personality and yet as long as he she or it still had the fundamental qualities every Doctor has, they could still be the Doctor.

So it largely depends on the chops of the actor.  I haven't honestly seen enough of Whittaker to judge her suitability to play the Doctor, having only really seen her in a very non-Doctor-like roll in Broadchurch.
But I'm willing to trust that she at least theoretically could be capable of playing the role.

I don't have a problem with a female Doctor in general, or with this female Doctor in particular (until I've seen her in action).

But I DO have a problem with the BBC.

Here's why it will probably go horribly wrong: you can have all the confidence in the world in Jodie Whittaker, but if the production and stories she's given are garbage, her skill as an actor won't matter.

And I have a very strong certainty that what we'll be seeing from the BBC in the next season will be just that, absolute garbage. It will be 12 episodes of BBC Triumphalism about how "The Doctor is a Woman Now" combined with "Isn't That Amazing?", "Isn't She So Much Better Than Any Man Including Male Doctors?", and "Suck It, All You Gross Evil Men (And By Gross Evil Men We Mean 7-12 Year Old Boys Who Are Watching, We Want You To Know For Sure You're Doomed To be Second Class Citizens Now)".
Her character will be "Woman".  The plot will be "Woman". The entire premise will be about "Woman".  The villains will all be turned into metaphors for misogyny or the patriarchy if not themselves being outright sexists; expect at least 50% of them to make some derogatory comment about the Doctor being a woman, only to have the Doctor show them up with her "powerful female life force".  It won't be the least bit surprising if just to make the point clear, she helps to overthrow some obvious stand-in for Donald Trump and helps put an obvious stand-in for Hillary Clinton into power, possibly both in the same episode. Hell, possibly more than one episode.

So here's the tragedy of it:
Jodie Whittaker won't be allowed to be the Doctor, she'll be too busy being a bullet fired by the Identity-Politics Left against their perceived deadly enemies: male nerds, the ephemeral "patriarchy", little boys, women who refuse to be feminist, and a bunch of extremely conservative 'prejudices' no one actually believes in anymore but that the Left insists on still fighting as a strawman.

And while they're heroically pissing all over strawmen and geeky virgin shut-ins and little boys, the Leftist media will sing their praises in articles about how amazing the new female Doctor Who is, just like they did for Ghostbusters, with a hearty dose of vengeful spite thrown in.   They've already started, just for good measure.

And any criticism of the new series, any at all, will lead to the social-media Left accusing the perpetrator of such a thought crime of being a Rapist for daring to suggest the new Powerful-Female-Life-Force Doctor isn't utterly perfect in every way and a triumph against evil white men.

All this will mean that, just like before, after some initial large ratings from the sheer curiosity of a female Doctor, the viewers will start to abandon the series.

And just like before, when they do, the BBC and all the Leftist media will not accept any responsibility. Rather, they will use the dismal ratings and viewer-appreciation figures as "Proof" of the "toxic masculinity of nerd culture", going into diatribes about how it's the audience's fault, how it proves that little boys will never accept female doctors and need more indoctrination in schools about how awful they are, that nerds are hateful rapists-in-waiting and all of nerd culture needs to be torn down, how the UN should pass a law imprisoning anyone who says the new female Doctor Who sucks, and how all this means they just need to double-down on the feminism.

Now I really hope I'm wrong. But everything I know of the BBC tells me I'm right, and this is how it's going to go down. The only question is whether it'll end with firings and a regeneration (and if so, into what?), or with the show simply being cancelled, in the ultimate act of "punishment" against those evil rape-culture patriarchal misogynistic nerds (many of them women and girls) who would refuse to keep watching while the BBC turned their show into one long 12-hour Buzzfeed rant.

And again, none of this will have anything to do with Jodie Whittaker as an actress, or the idea of a woman playing the Doctor. In the hands of someone who didn't give a fuck about identity politics, the latter could be pulled off just fine.  I just don't think we'll ever get the chance to know.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Egg + H&H's Chestnut


  1. I hope you're wrong about Jodie as the Doctor. On that we will have to wait and see.

    But you're definitely right about Peter being superb, even in his worst stories. I don't mind that Jodie is the new Doctor, only that Peter decided to leave at all. He seemed so effortlessly "The Doctor" this season. Here's hoping he'll come back to the role, in Big Finish audio drama if not on-screen.

    1. I don't really have an opinion about "Jodie as the Doctor", unless you mean that I don't think she'll be given a chance by the scripts and direction to actually get to do much as the Doctor.

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  3. (Edited to remove embarrassing typo.)
    Yeah, sadly I agree with you.

    I've been pondering the idea of a female regeneration of the Doctor since they dropped hints during Eleven's tenure. I honestly have no problem at all with the concept. I just think that in their efforts to be politically correct, the BBC is going to horribly botch it, and Jodie Whittaker (who my wife loves as an actress from her role in Broadchurch) will be left, like Colin Baker, holding the bag of a poorly-written Doctor.

    The sad thing is that if the BBC could just leave their virtue-signaling and pretentiousness aside, Jodie could possibly be a great doctor. But like SJW Marvel, the Doctor as a character will take a back seat to the BBC abasing themselves at the Progressive altar, ruining what could be a great take on the character.

    I hope I'm wrong, but at this point I doubt it.

  4. You keep talking about the "left media". Media that supported Hillary Clinton or Theresa May are not "left" tho.

  5. Guys, you now you don't have to watch it if you don't like it, right ? There are plenty of other series out there so you do have a choice.

    1. Funny you mention that, because that's what so many of the women I know get told when they present their complaints 😛

      So what alternatives do you suggest?

    2. Well I never liked Dr. Who so I might write you a list of other Sci-Fi series I dislike but if you want time travel I heard good things about El Ministerio del Tiempo.

  6. Thanks for saying this better than I could have. If they write it straight, it could be epic. If they turn it into Feminist Triumphalism, it'll suck.

  7. Nice straw man. You have pre-judged an entire season before any of the episodes have left the editing bay. Good job with you hypothetical "this season will suck because I hate feminism" rant.

    And nice work throwing shade by using "theoretically" in a statement subtly calling the actor's skill into question even though you admit you have no basis for judgement.

    Way to go on showing your complete bias and close mindedness. Good job.

    1. First: it's not a strawman. This is based on any number of things that have been done to popular media criticized by the Ctrl-Left before: from RPGs, to Top Gear, to movies (Ghostbusters) to Comic Books.

      The Ctrl-Left destroys everything it touches, because that's kind of their goal. They don't give a fuck about comics or superheroes or sci-fi or games; they care only about pushing their agenda in. And if their agenda causes the collapse of an entire hobby, then that hobby "deserved to die" because of its "racism/sexism/homophobia".

      Second, I'm not close minded here. As I said, I really hope I'm wrong. Given that the BBC itself is already talking about "powerful female life force", and Whittaker herself has been talking like she's a triumphant dictator who has just conquered a country and is promising it'll be better than the old regime or something like that, CURRENT EVIDENCE and PAST PRECEDENT suggest I will be right.

      Again, the only time I've seen Katie Whittaker act has been where she portrayed a hysterical mother in Broadchurch. Which is not really a performance that makes it possible to judge almost anything about how she'd do Doctor Who, assuming she isn't planning to play Doctor Who as a hysterical mother.

  8. I'm surprised anyone watches Doctor Who.

  9. I agree this is a likely possibility. It could be great as long as they write it as the doctor, the gender being irrelevant.

  10. They should check with the guys who scripted Kathryn Janeway or Cisco, not giving a damn about gender or race, just doing Starfleet captains.

    1. I wasn't too impressed with Janeway as a character, but I agree that she wasn't turned into "Powerful Female Life Force Feminist Female Woman!", which would have been much worse.

    2. Regarding Janeway, between the lines was always the fact Star Trek fans were ready for a female captain decades before Paramount executives were and the executives were the ones who were either sexist or projecting that onto a fan base that had done nothing to earn that label. As evidence I would note that they had a female captain in that Enterprise C episode and nobody batted an eye because it was an engaging story.

  11. The United Kingdom has three globally-reaching entertainment icons. The BBC controls two of them: Top Gear and Doctor Who. They already ruined Top Gear (and The Grand Tour is on track to supercede it), and they're going to ruin Doctor Who.

    Thank God that the BBC doesn't control James Bond. Let's hope that Eon Productions has the good sense to not fuck with the face of the brand (which is the unforced error that the BBC committed, twice, to provable detriment) when it comes time to recast when Craig is done.

    1. They should put Bond movies on hiatus and film the books exactly as written as historical pieces for HBO or something. Cleanse the pallet before picking a new movie Bond.

  12. They could replace Craig with Idris Elba

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