Tuesday, August 6, 2013

An open letter to the Whovians

Ok Doctor Who fans, we need to talk.

Look, this new guy? I know I'm going to grow to like him well enough eventually. I know he's a fine actor and honestly, he's already endeared himself to me a little with all the swearing.  I'm a sucker for an f-bomb, let's face it.

But I still reserve the right to be disappointed for a little while. Hear me out now.

Sure, he's not really that old (hell, I'm almost his age) but he's not all that dashing and handsome either, and that's part of what has made this show fun lately. Of course the old school Docs were just as old and weird looking. But you know what? They're not as fun to watch these days either. 

*ducks from flying jelly babies*

I know! Sacrilege! But I'm sorry, they're not! Television in the sixties was slow and stiff, and not like Cousin Matthew's.. uh, entail coming back to life. Sure, Doctor Who was revolutionary for its time, and an important part of television history. It arguably created a whole new type of fan, and I proudly count my nerdy self among them. But I also recognize that those early days were problematic. Racist, even! And those early companions? Come on, Rose Tyler would kick their whiney little mini-skirted asses (except for Sara Jane of course, we saw how that worked out.) So please don't try to argue that I can't say Capaldi isn't as exciting just because he's as old as this guy was when the show first started. The show is different now. He has a whole new standard to live up to, and part of that is the hotness factor his recent predecessors left.
Shut up, he wasn't hot.
And yes I know it's superficial (DUH) but it's television. We are looking at it with our eyeballs, and if you're not putting a woman in there (ahem, yes I'm one of those fans who vainly hoped for more estrogen aboard the TARDIS) then us hetero ladies would appreciate some mancake on our screens. Is that so wrong, really? There are precious few handsome fellas on the old teevee which nevertheless sports a bazillian boobies. Can't we have a little eye candy once in a while too? The Brits have given us so much lately - aforementioned Cousin Matthew, amirite ladies? Sherlock? Ok he's not really for me, but I know he has his fans. That dude on Endeavor? The freaking royal baby daddy?

And come onDavid Tennant?  

Anytime, Doctor, anytime.
Yes, he is an amazing actor. Seriously, he took The Doctor to a whole new level, all Whovians must agree, but have you people seen Broadchurch? Hamlet? Or every single thing he touches? He's phenomenal, truly. I'm a fan on all those levels. But he's also PRETTY. Oh so, soooo pretty. Don't get me started on my boy DT. It's actually kind of amazing I haven't freaked out about him here before. Trust me, Molly has signed me up for a delusional Time Lord fantasy support group already, I'm getting help.

I'm just saying, it's nice to have someone pleasant to look at, that's all. That doesn't make me shallow. It doesn't! You're telling me the choice of Jenna-Louise Coleman had nothing to do with her shiny, swingy hair and cute little nose? Karen Gillan wore all those short skirts because she's such a great actress? Hey I love her, don't get me wrong, but dudes wouldn't apologize for liking the eye candy, and I'm not going to either.

Also? Speaking of wee Jenna-Louise? They've put us through the ringer already with the bad writing this past season. That horrible episode - yeah, I said it, suck it Gaiman fans - where Clara left the children in a scary wax museum in an abandoned amusement park in space? And told them to take a nap? With Cybermen?! What kind of nanny is she?? I'm sorry, but she lost all credibility as a companion for me after that move, leaf donation on Akhaten notwithstanding. The Doctor needs his companions to remind him to love, to stop him when he's drowning a million Racnoss in the Thames, to keep him from annihilating the entire Dalek race even if they killed his own in the Time War. To make a half-human, half-Dalek remember his humanity by thinking of his true love, not the pain of his loss. A good companion doesn't so easily put the mere two kids she's been charged with in such danger, even if her greater job (yeah Impozzzzzible Girl, whatevzzz) is to protect The Doctor. I know it's a small point, but it bugged me. It's just lazy writing, and indicative of the downward spiral of the whole last season. It felt like they were seriously making it all up as they went along.

And what, are you guys bringing her back, to pair with the f-bomb dude? Really? Perky little souffle girl in her little plaid dresses, who can't even remember to pick up the kids from the cinema on her way to Trenzalore... with Senor Unibrow?

Ok I know I'm being petty now. And I actually liked that last episode, and I'm intrigued by the whole John Hurt story line. And who doesn't love anything with River Song! Or Vastra, Jenny, and Strax! (who need their own series, Moffat, get on that.) But I think it stood out because the rest of the season was so bad.

Except for this, which was magnificent, and held such promise. (but still, why didn't the TARDIS translate that dog person? just sayin'...) (also? can this little girl please be the next companion? I loved her.) 

Yes you were.
I guess I just wanted more, and because the show has been so fantastic (yeah, Nine!) in the past, I think I was right to expect it. That's why I'm a fan. I know they can do better. Moffat can do better. Dude brought us Weeping Angels, come on.

This doesn't make me less of a fan. I'll still watch it. I can't wait for the 50th anniversary (more Rose and Ten! Squee!) and I know I'll get used to 12... er 13, whatever he is. He'll probably be great in his way. I'm willing to give him a shot.

But enough with all the memes about how I'm not a true Whovian (whatever that is) if I'm not excited about Capaldi yet. Like this one, that sent me over the edge today:

And I know these are largely created by very young fans who have nothing better to do than make someecards and post them all over Facebook and everywhere else. The same fans who I'm guessing actually have a secret stash of Twilight books at home and enjoyed them immensely just a few years ago (Team Edward here) until they discovered The Doctor for the first time, watched every single episode ever made (because again, they have the time to do that sort of thing) and now feel like they own the fandom.

Kids, enough with the hate. I feel what I feel. Deal with it, I'm human. Gloriously, imperfectly human, with all those silly human emotions that The Doctor loves so much about us. Don't tell me I'm not enough of a nerd. Don't tell me I have to follow all of your criteria for proper Who fandom. I love what I love, and I don't love this guy yet. Maybe I won't ever. It's really ok to admit that. I grew to appreciate Matt Smith, but I never loved him like Tennant. So what? 

Why do us nerds make these things into such a big competition anyway? (insert thoughtful analysis about boy nerds vs girl nerds that I'll get around to writing someday here.) You like some stuff, you don't like other stuff, get over it. It doesn't make you like the stuff you like any less. I actually left a Who facebook group recently after a very heated debate over "Newvians" vs. "Whovians" got personal and mean. Seriously guys, stop taking this so seriously. It's a tv show. It's supposed to be fun. That's all it's ever meant to be: a great story, with great characters, that touches us in a way that's enjoyable and meaningful in whatever way you want it to be. It's not your whole identity, no matter how much you love it.  

And I don't love this guy yet, for some of the pettiest, silliest reasons. Guess what, I don't have to. I'm a fan too, and I can do what I want with my own fanaticism. I can mourn the loss of my favorite Doctor as long as I want, and stick my tongue out at the new guy until he makes me like him, which I know he probably will. But he hasn't yet. And I'm genuinely disappointed in the recent writing of this show, for what I think are very valid reasons. So I reserve the right to be disappointed in this choice for now too. Ask me about it again in December, we'll see. 

Meanwhile, I know who I'll be dialing up on Netflix...


  1. The point of this post is basically "Don't judge me because I'm behaving like an hormonal squee-brigade fangirl who needs some SEXXY SEXXY SEXXO into her TARDIS". We are not judging you for your thoughts. But honestly, if after watching 8 years of Doctor Who (I guess you're not into the classic series, as the previous Doctors weren't sexy enough) you still have prejudices on issues like age (or gender,or race), well I guess you're losing the core message of the show. Which, surprisingly, is not "let's watch another bit of the Doctor's bum". PS : Ace could own Roes Tyler anytime she wants.

  2. Wow. Clearly you didn't read the whole post. Sorry I didn't keep your short attention span interested. Btw, I loved Ace too, she was my favorite before the new series, because yes I did watch plenty of the classic. But again, why do you care? Haven't you got anything better to do than to tell me how to watch tv? This is what I'm saying.

  3. And who has prejudices? You basically just called me an ageist, sexist, racist because I haven't embraced the Capaldi fandom yet. But you're not judging. 'K.

  4. 1) Last time I checked, Rose was spelled "Rose", not "Roes". Just thought I'd point that out.

    2) What is the deal with awesome geniuses posting on our blog when they clearly haven't read what we've written. Your whole point was that you were expecting more out the show's direction, which you feel has gone slightly downward anyway, and you were disappointed (initially) in their choice of a new Doctor. And then you backed it up with yr reasoning - yr well-written, well-thought-out, well-developed reasoning - and it all makes sense to me. I was pretty shocked that they chose another white man, since the most interesting new leap they could make would be to make the doctor cross a racial or gender barrier. Hell, it should've been Eddie Izzard so that he could break the gender lines all over the place! But yr points were really well made. It does seem an odd choice, and why should you have to defend what is actually a radical thought - if yr choosing a male lead, why not give the ladies something to look at? It's not like any of the companions have been 50+ year old women, nope. All of them have been hot young sexy ladies, so why not give the female viewers (or gay male viewers) a piece of eye candy as well?
    3) I love how much you love Doctor Who. It makes me really happy. Seriously. :)

  5. Thank you Molly! Yeah, here's something interesting about the point you make about the age and looks of the companions, straight from Steven Moffat himself:
    “…you are always going to have the same sort of person, just because it’s the same man choosing them, and it’s the same person being chosen.

    I think the function of a companion is pretty simple. I don’t think that’s very difficult. It’s just a question of who credibly is going to agree to go in the TARDIS? Who’s going to do it? Is it going to be a mother of 15 children? No. Is it going to be someone in their 60s? No. Is there going to be a particular age range? I mean … who’s going to have a crush on the Doctor? You know, come on! It’s more than a format. It’s evolved from good, dramatic reasons.”
    (from here: http://www.geekosystem.com/steve-moffat-doctor-who-companions-attractive-girls/)

    Which I think is actually kind of bullshit, when you consider comments like NattyDoctor's. So.... The Doctor can change and be old or young and then old again, but he's always going to like the young (and female) hotties? And really, nobody older than 30 is going to like him? Excuse me but I'm a 42 year old mom and I'll happily jump in the TARDIS any day. And yet we're the ones being shallow and dumb for wanting a hot doc? I call bullshit.

  6. Of course, there are exceptions, like Donna, who was 38 at the time. Not to mention Wilfred. Or River Song for that matter, who flips the age thing on its head (but of course is still kick-ass hot in my opinion.) And there are some from the old days too. But by and large the companions are young.