Tuesday, 18 July 2017

COMMENT ON CONTROVERSY...



My previous post had a lot of good comments, but one
that I thought cut right to the heart of the matter in a simple,
matter-of-fact way was the one below by Dave S.  I thought
it deserved a spot of its own, so here it is.

******

I'm also disappointed that we've been given a female Doctor
apparently in the name of political correctness.  To me, the charac-
ter that I've been watching and reading about since at least 1980 is a
male, and I feel it will be difficult for me to adjust to a female playing
the role.  If anyone wants to label me a sexist over that, go right
ahead, I've been called worse.

What I find remarkable is that the views of me and people like
me are simply being dismissed as the ramblings of old fogies or met
with hostility - one comics professional (who I don't believe I've heard
of) can post on Twitter that anyone who doesn't like the casting can
'STFU and don't watch it' and this is not only tolerated, but con-
gratulated.

It seems as if some people have just decided that if they shout
louder than others, then their opinions become the default correct
viewpoint that everyone else should either adhere to or be dis-
missed and abused.

I do not want a female Doctor.  Should anyone want
 to take that personally and abuse me for it, go ahead.

Someone in the Daily Mail comments section made the point
that this casting is like Jackie Chan playing Poirot.  It reeks of
stunt casting, cheap sensationalism used in lieu of actual ideas.

I'm undecided right now whether I'll be watching the next
series.  Part of me wants to give it a try - it is after all something
that has meant a lot to me for almost my entire life, but part of me
also thinks that the Christmas special might be a good jumping-off
point.  If I switched off just as the regeneration scene starts, I would
have seen The Doctor in his final body, meeting his original self,
and passing away having fought the good fight so many times.

I'm also concerned at Chris Chibnall's comments that he
always intended to cast a female Doctor - shouldn't he be looking
for the best actor available, irrespective of anything else?  The fact
he's said that just confirms to me that this is a gimmick, a way of
causing controversy simply to get attention. 

Anyway, that's my thoughts for the mo.

42 comments:

John Pitt said...

I agree with Kid that this is an excellent post, Dave, - well said, but beware that there are many, many internet users who would have you hung, drawn and quartered for daring to say it, particularly on Facebook. Indeed, you cannot even make a tongue-in-cheek jokey remark, without being labelled a sexist and receiving a barage of hatred, insults and bad language. Some people need something REALLY important to happen to them in their private liv

John Pitt said...

CONTD
lives to worry about!
Just like Kid, I have been labelled sexist and living in the previous Century, which is quite frankly ludicrous, as I asked the little woman, as she was preparing my evening meal for me, whilst I was watching the footie, if she thought I was a sexist and she said, "No, pet!" ( She knows her place! )

Kid said...

I've been called a sexist, as well as a male chauvinist pig a few times, JP. However, as I've said before, it's better than being a woman who won't do as she's told.

John Pitt said...

Now that really DID make me literally "LAUGH OUT LOUD"!
If they won't do as they're told, put them across your knee and tan their hides! It always worked for John Wayne and Roger Moore!

Kid said...

I've always found it works for me as well, JP. Women love a good, firm hand on their behinds - don't they, Matron? (Hey, this is turning into a 'Carry On' film.)

Colin Jones said...

Dave S - you've been watching Dr. Who since 1980 and it'll be hard for you to accept a female Doctor ? Poor you, I've been watching since 1969 and I have no problem whatsoever with a woman Doctor. If the BBC had chosen another male actor (which I expected) I would have been fine with that decision but they decided to do something different for a change - for me a woman Doctor is a breath of fresh air but you choose to see it as political correctness, a feminist agenda or even Kid's legendary "gay agenda" (the gays are taking over the world...it's the end of civilization as we know it). I'm sure the BBC did plenty of prior research and held focus groups to make sure a female Doctor would be popular so if you want to stop watching at Christmas go ahead - the show will survive fine without you.

Kid said...

CJ, I don't see why you feel the need to be impertinent to DS, who has only expressed his view in a polite and dignified manner. It seems to irk you that people have a different view to you on this (and whether a retitled comic is the same comic or not, and whether Star Wars saved Marvel - I could go on), but just because a woman Doctor doesn't bother you doesn't mean that it shouldn't bother anyone else. Perhaps others have more of a personal or emotional investment in the show, because it represents part of their childhood to them and consequently they don't want it to change beyond what they're used to. Personally, I feel that many (but not all) people who say they aren't bothered by the change are trying just a bit too hard to appear cool, and liberal, and open-minded. Then they blow the gaff by attacking those who don't see things their way. You have great, gaping chasms of knowledge about things that most comics fans have at least heard of, and you often seem quite insensitive to the feelings of others when they view an actor dying as representing a loss of part of their childhood. You didn't even know what Aspergers Syndrome is, yet you often exhibit some of the classic symptoms - I'd get that checked if I were you, and I mean that in a helpful way, not a harsh one. Here's a question for you. Do you know why there are so many programmes featuring gay scenes, and why there are so many books, films, and magazine articles on the subject around nowadays? It didn't happen by itself. It was brought about by certain militant people in pursuit of a specific agenda to have the once-taboo subject become more widespread and prominent in society. That's simply a fact. We won't discuss the merits of whether they were right or wrong in their agenda - that's another issue that we needn't concern ourselves with at the moment - but that's how most of society's changes come about. Pressure groups (and individuals) working behind the scenes as well as in public, in a concerted effort to effect change to the way THEY want things to be. Of course there's been (and still is - as witnessed by the words of the 'prominent lesbian' mentioned in the previous post) a gay agenda in Western society over the last 30 or 40 years, just as there've been all sorts of other agendas pursued by other people and groups down through the years. You'd have to be walking around with your eyes closed (or your brain in neutral) not to have seen it. You're entitled to your view of course, but remember - others are too, without the condescending, self-righteous, and uncomprehending attitude that you've just displayed in your comment. CJ - wake up and smell the coffee. I'd hate to see you in a china shop - there wouldn't be too many ornaments left in one piece after you'd blundered about for 5 minutes.

paul Mcscotty said...

For me once you mentioned the "Daily Mail" you lost my vote lol.

John I seriously think BOTH sides in this "argument" need "something REALLY important to happen to them in their private lives to worry about" I have read some truly horrendous threads on this subject from both sides that have stunned me (I mentioned this on another site as well) and this will be my last day on a comics blog for a while until this all calms down. Enjoy

Kid said...

Says the man who gets excited over 22 men kicking a ball around. Never mind that, you buggah, where's your guest post? We're all on tenterhooks waiting for it.

Christopher Nevell said...

I'm politically correct so naturally gender blind. This recent event has caught my eye and on checking, indeed all previous doctors have been male. Remarkable. A lot of press comment has been on a woman being cast. The correct response is to celebrate that a person is to fill the role. It should start and end with this. I hope my contribution here can change minds.

Kid said...

I doubt it, CN, because passions are running high as people naturally have their own ideas (based on 54 years of history, mind) on who (npi) the Doctor is. And, appreciated as your contribution is (and the fact that you took time to make it), it's a teensy bit presumptuous to say what the 'correct' response should be. People will have their own views - that's the nature of people. But thanks for dropping in - you haven't commented in a while.

Christopher Nevell said...

I haven't commented but been enjoying all the posts all the same. Keep it up Kid

Kid said...

Will do my best, CN.

John Pitt said...

Hi McS, yes you are right, there have been some truly horrendous things said about the poor girl. There is no excuse for it. Morons, all of these ext

John Pitt said...

CONTD ( This Fe©<ing browser! )
Extremists!

John Pitt said...

Okay, I'm going to talk serious science now! - It's a well known medical fact that women have smaller brains than men!
And once their tiny brains have been filled with cookery, cleaning and bringing up kids, there is very little room for anything else as well! That is why God, in His infinite wisdom created the men to be Doctors and women to be nurses, or matrons ( depending on what they look like! ) Women's brains are simply not big enough to learn everything about Doctoring! I mean, would you let a WOMAN operate on YOU if you were in hospital?
Therefore, I have proved that the new series should be called "NURSE Who"!

Colin Jones said...

Kid, in what way was I being "impertinent" to Dave S - I was expressing my opinion as was he. You turned his previous comment into an entire post simply because it chimes with your own opinion, what he thinks is no more "true" than what somebody with an opposing view thinks. And for heaven's sake stop saying I've got Aspergers syndrome, you sound like a broken record. Yes, I'm opinionated but so are you - it's hardly a crime !

Graham said...

I don't understand all of these changes to established characters that are so prevalent these days. Not just a matter of genders , though.....they make all sorts of changes to things that just make me scratch my head sometimes. All of the changes that Marvel has done in the last couple of years, though I haven't read them (and probably won't) seem more like they're done to please groups who don't even read the series. As NBA great Charles Oakley used to say, "If it ain't broke, don't break it."

Kid said...

Oh, JP, you are awful. I once had a gangrenous appendix. My female Doctor told me it was a bug and to stay on a water diet for two days. I insisted on being admitted (the pain was excruciating), only for the surgeon to tell me after my op that I'd have died if I hadn't come in when I did. So, yeah - female Doctors - who needs 'em! (And I'm fully aware that some people will think that the surgeon threw the wrong bit of me away.)

******

You're right, it's not a crime to be opinionated (in my case, I have a blog to fill, so I sometimes play devil's advocate to garner a response), but it's the way in which you express your opinion sometimes, CJ - no tact, diplomacy, or consideration for other people's feelings. The tone of your previous comment comes across as incredibly condescending, spiteful and dismissive, whether that was your intention or not. "Poor you", "Go ahead, the show will survive without you", etc., yet you don't see it. The reason I decided to highlight DS's comment was because it was quiet, polite, restrained, and, yes - agreed with my point of view - but in such an understated-yet-pertinent and succinct way that nobody could take exception to it (or so I thought). Except you it seems. And I didn't say you HAVE Asperger's syndrome, but you do sometimes exhibit the absence of social grace and tact that people who do have it are often prone to. I know, because I know a couple of people who have the condition. You might have it and just not know. Just tread a little more gently in future. Disagreement is fine, but there's no need to batter folk over the head while expressing your view.

******

I agree with you, G, but the trouble is, the Beeb obviously DO consider Doctor Who to be broken in some way (declining viewing figures) and this is their attempt to halt the decline. Whether it will work or not, only time will tell. Personally, I think the problem is that most of their stories have been rubbish, and that's what they should mainly be focussing on.

Kid said...

The incredibly tedious (and disturbed) 'Ian' has been in touch again, spewing bile and hatred, and continuing the pretense that he was a regular 'subscriber' to this blog who has now 'left' - even though the number of members remains unchanged. And for someone who's left, he still seems to be keeping tabs on the place. He disputes that Doctor Who has suffered declining viewing figures (accusing me of lying), even though, according to newspaper reports, the BBC has admitted that such is the case. (The figures are certainly down compared to when the show was relaunched in 2005.) And no, DS, he didn't address your question, being more interested in tearing into me than responding to legitimate requests for proof of his assertions. Anyway, this disturbed individual has cheered me up no end, and sent me to bed with a smile on my face. I continue to laugh at how pathetic he is. Just goes to show that even tedious people can sometimes be surprisingly entertaining in their tediousness.

TC said...

Re: the declining viewing figures, I wonder if the stunt casting is (besides a publicity stunt disguised as promoting social justice) a smoke screen. If the ratings continue to go down, the BBC can blame it on sexism and misogyny, instead of taking responsibility for the series' declining quality.

Anonymous said...

The last time I watched Doctor Who the abominable snowmen were wandering the underground so not up to date with recent events. Anyway females can multi task much better than males. She could do the cooking, cleaning, shopping, dishes, ironing, as well hold conversations, making her a better Doctor Who!

Terence

Kid said...

I think that's what will certainly happen, TC, whether they've anticipated that excuse in advance or not. I'd say the programme certainly needs better writers.

******

If she has a female assistant, T, at least that'll be an end to complaints about the toilet seat being left up again in the TARDIS.

Dunsade Dave said...

John - thanks for the kind words. I have already seen an instance online where someone said they didn't want a female Doctor and was promptly called a racist because obviously this meant that they only want white males to play the part. When the original poster pointed out that they hadn't mentioned anything about race, the reply was that they were obviously thinking it! How people can read others minds through a computer screen is way beyond me.

Colin - Totally respect your opinion, and to be honest if I felt there was an amazing story being written that required a female Doctor, then I'd be fine with that. Problem is, I feel that it was done to cause controversy and get people watching - the show has apparently had its problems lately but I feel there are other ways to improve it, such as improving the quality of the stories (if the Beeb want Who to be a family show then maybe episodes so complex that they need multiple view to appreciate aren't the way to go. Some of Steven Moffat's episodes have relied on ridiculous spectacle which has nothing to do with the story such as the Doctor riding a tank while playing a guitar, or skirted with very bad taste- like an episode shown the day before Remembrance Sunday which has the Cybermen digging up a soldier's grave to convert him. The same episode also has reveals that recently deceased people are telepathically begging not to be cremated - former Who script editor Terrance Dicks said it's fine to scare kids with something they won't meet, like monsters or aliens, but totally unacceptable to use things they may meet in everyday life, such as policeman, to frighten them. A friend of mine's 7 year old son saw that episode shortly after their grandmother had passed away and was understandably disturbed by it.)

I just feel that if the Beeb wants to revitalise the show, it is more important to concentrate on improving the quality and accessability of the stories (and maybe reducing the number of episodes would help), rather than stunt casting which will undoubtedly cause an increase in viewing figures but is also like to drop sharply if the actual episodes aren't a vast improvement on the average Moffat era episode (and for the record, I think Moffat has written some of the finest Who ever, but he's also been the man at the helm for things like Kill The Moon, The Rings of Akhaten or In The Forest of The Night).

I will be giving the new Doc a chance, Colin, having thought about it over the past few days (after all I expected Matt Smith to be a disaster and now think he's one of the best Docs we've ever had), but I still think that, should anyone wish to give up on the show, the Xmas special is the perfect jumping-off point and will wrap up the story of the Doctor's life nicely for anyone who's had enough.

There's an article on the Guardian site today that says the new Doc is the revolutionary feminist that we need right now - the writer makes the point that her friends don't watch Who, not because its sexist but because its incomprehensible. Now, if we have a female Doctor but the stories remain incomprehensible, is the show really going to be any more successful?

Paul - I'm not a regular Daily Mail reader, but it's one of the very few news sites that isn't blocked by my work's internet security filter, which is why I read it. Honest!

Must admit, I've mellowed a bit over the last few days, I will give it a chance, and if Chris Chibnall can tell fantastic, exciting stories with Doc13, then great. I just feel that making such a bold casting decision will be utterly pointless if the general quality of the show doesn't improve.

John Pitt said...

That is scandalous, Kid, - she should have been struck! I mean, struck off!
I tell you how it happened, - her tiny mind was so full of womanly things, like 'is my hair alright' and 'does my bum look big in thise white coat' that there was no brain cells left to recall any medecinal facts she had once learnt "parrot fashion" to pass her exam!

Graham said...

That seems to be a quick and easy way for them to try to freshen a concept up, but it would be better to try and improve what you were doing first. Oh well......

Still, this gender mess is getting out of hand a bit. I noticed a review of the movie Dunkirk in USA Today yesterday, where the writer was bothered by the lack of women and lead actors of color in the film. I wasn't there, of course, but I don't figure many women or people of color participating during the events.

Joe S. Walker said...

In a way, the change of Doctors matters less than the change of writers/producers. Steven Moffat wasn't a talentless writer, but put in charge he ruined everything with his gross self-indulgence, and long before his tenure ended he'd ran out of ideas. Chris Chibnall is a mediocre writer who's never had any ideas at all.

Predictions for the next series:

The Doctor will have a lesbian kiss.

The Doctor will have a period.

The SJWs will bitch that not enough episodes - meaning not ALL of them - are written by women.

Kid said...

Dave's response speaks for itself and requires no further comment from me, apart from to say that I think Moffat wrote some of the best episodes under RTD, but when he took over as showrunner, he became self-indulgent and the show rapidly went downhill.

******

Nah, JP, it was plants that occupied her mind. After seeing me, she was downstairs talking about plants to my father. I crawled down the stairs in my pyjamas (I always carry a set of stairs in my pyjamas) groaning in pain saying that I was in agony, whereupon she huffily agreed to admit me to hospital.

******

Like I said, G, there's an agenda in TV & movies to reflect society, not actually how it is (or was), but as some people would like it to be (or have been). Witness the stushie last year about not enough black actors being nominated for Oscars. I'm colour blind (literally and figuratively) - it would never have occurred to me to think that there weren't enough actors of any ethnicity or gender in an Oscar lineup, even if they were all black or women.

******

You're right, JSW, the Beeb realised there was a problem with the show, but they've come up with the wrong solution. Better, more accessible stories were required, not a change in The Doctor's gender. Let's see what happens, but I fear the worst.

Kid said...

Incidentally, if anyone's still interested, @rsehole 'Ian' is still venting in frustrated rage at his last comment not being published, and is now engaging in the transparent practise of trying to manipulate me into responding to him. From this point on he fades into the oblivion he sprang from, as, entertaining as he's been so far (it's always good to have someone to laugh at), he's still singing the same old song. I'm afraid I demand a wider repertoire from my court jesters. Cheerio 'Ian' - you lose.

Colin Jones said...

Dave S has been so nice that I feel guilty now and I feel I must apologize...so sorry Dave. Kid, if you think I have "no tact, diplomacy or consideration for other peoples' feelings" then obviously I must strive to become a better man which I shall do forthwith - this I swear by Odin's beard :D But seriously, I'll think before opening my big mouth (big keyboard ?) from now on. Hurrah we're all friends again ! But I wish Joe S. Walker wouldn't use the phrase SJW (Social Justice Warrior) which is a right-wing term used to denigrate anybody who cares about social justice and there's nothing wrong with believing in social justice. But, Kid, you say "Let's see what happens but I fear the worst" - does this mean you might watch an episode of the new Who ? Surely you must watch at least one episode...perhaps you're right, perhaps it'll be awful but how will you know if you don't watch ?

Kid said...

Well, you may have loads have of tact and diplomacy in 'real life', CJ, but it doesn't always come across in SOME of your comments. Surely you knew that though, because wasn't that why you often deleted comments (on other blogs too) once you'd had a think about them? But I appreciate how difficult it can be to convey tone, because I often type something smiling away to myself in complete good humour, only to be accused of being aggressive or insulting. It sounds different in my head, and maybe your comments do in your head, so maybe we both need to work at it. Actually, I wasn't aware of what SJW stood for (or if I once was, I'd forgotten), but now that you've enlightened me, I think JSW (same initials, different order) had certain types of overly-militant people in mind - the word 'warrior' does carry that impression - rather than ordinary people who are concerned with social justice. So I don't think that the term is used to denigrate ANYBODY (as you said) who cares about social justice, just a certain type. When I said I fear the worst, I was talking about the result of such a change as will be reported in the media, so I'd be aware of it without having to watch any episodes. Having said that, if The Daleks (the cute wee rascals) appear, I may watch any episodes they're in, but it will be through gritted teeth if I do.

Dave S said...

Joe - I've thought for ages that Moffat is a great writer but prone to self-indulgence - he really needed to have a strong script editor reigning him in on Who.

Colin - you've nothing to apologise for, it's all about opinions! I'm going to give the new Doc a chance and see how it goes. To be honest, I like the Capaldi Doctor so much that I think I'd have been underwhelmed whoever they announced!

John Pitt said...

If I mught just add my twopenn'orth, Col, Kid, we ALL type stuff that sometimes we shouldn't have. That's because we're human. AND it is impossible to post/comment, etc. without offending someone, somewhere!
Anyway, echo that what CJ says about striving to become a better man!
We might just sort this world out yet, because there are loads of good guys frequenting this blog!
You're all my mates, ( except the hecklers, that is! )

Kid said...

What's that, DS? You mean to say you'd have been disappointed if David Bradley had got the gig? Just think of brand-new adventures of the first Doctor, with state-of-the-art special effects. What's not to like?

******

Personally, JP, I wouldn't be doing my 'job' as a controversial and provocative blog host if I didn't offend at least one person a day. (Like 'Ian' for example - the t*sser.)

Phil S said...

Hey kids! I have nothing more to add. Dr Who being an alien who regenerates into a woman doesn't bother me. What would bother me is they make a big deal out of it. But like I said I haven't watched since Tom Baker so I guess that's why it doesn't bother me. But I reiterate. What bothers me more when they totally don't understand the characters they are writing. Batman v Superman actually got me angry it was so bad. I'm not going to comment any more on this topic because I've said what I have to say. When they show the new series I will watch a few to see what happens then we shall see.

Kid said...

I think they ARE making a big deal out of it, PS. In fact, that was the point of doing it, to make a big deal and stir up some attention for the show. I'll definitely be watching the Christmas Special to see Davis Bradley - I'm glad he's now officially a Doctor, and not just an actor who played William Hartnell.

pete doree said...

' The Guardian says the new Doc is the revolutionary feminist we need right now' Doesn't that just say it all?
If, as Joe and Kid said, the new Doctor DOESN'T have a lesbian kiss or pontificate how advanced Gallifreyans are because they're omnisexual, I'll take back everything I've said ( here and to all my mates ), because what gets my goat about this isn't the new doctor, it's the absolute, in your face agenda. And no, it isn't as important as a real life problem, but, in a way it is.
Look at a similar show, aimed at a similar audience, DC's Legends Of Tomorrow: A team of time-travelling superheroes who have in their ranks two black characters, an old white guy and a lesbian. ( Who's the leader, and who, at no point makes a big deal of her sexuality or stops the show dead to shout out the writer's agenda. ) All likeable, engaging characters who just get on with the business of telling a hopefully entertaining story.
I know I expect too much from media, like expecting morals from politicians, but all this old sexist, homophobic, racist is saying is: How can you have balance in society when you're displaying bias in your media? How can you say you're reflecting society when what you're clearly doing is reflecting your version of how you'd like society to be.
Yes, that is what sci-fi does, but what good sci-fi does is not bash you over the head with it. Balance. That's all I'm asking.

Kid said...

Yes, PD, you're right - it DOES say it all - because who the hell said we needed a revolutionary feminist in a TV show about time travel? Some people will seize upon the discrepancy of wages between male and female TV presenters as proof that we DO need a revolutionary feminist in today's world, overlooking the fact that what's really needed are agents who make better deals for the females they represent. After all, there are huge discrepancies between the wages of some of the male stars, and that can hardly be described as proof of a gender divide, can it? I've heard some people express dismay over the controversy that making Dr. Who female has given rise to, but, hey - this is exactly the reaction that the BBC was hoping for. Balance? In today's topsy-turvy world? Unlikely, sad to say.

Colin Jones said...

Perhaps David Bradley/the first Doctor will be the companion of the woman Doctor ? OK, not very likely but it would be terrific to see that. And though I'm fine with a woman Doctor I too don't want to see any kind of feminist agenda, just get on with the stories already !

Kid said...

As you say, CJ, unlikely, as that would be two regular Doctors. I'd be surprised if there wasn't at least some hint of feminist agenda involved, it seems almost inevitable. I still say that the best way to fix the problem of declining audiences would be to have better quality, more accessible stories, no need for this gender-swapping lark.

tongalad said...

I'm never happy anytime the Doctor regenerates, yet somehow it has turned out fine and I survived. (And barring the exception of No.4 & No.9 you only have to survive an average of 3 years). So, for me the issue is not that the new Doctor is a female, but it does concern me that in a fandom culture that celebrates great "actors" and "actresses" (Oscar ceremony & others of that ilk) there is some batch of great "actors" who auditioned (or did they?) and if rumours are to be believed (Chibnall's desire to cast a woman Doctor) never had a chance of being cast; so now we are in the position of not ever being certain that the best person has been cast in any part where similar issues might arise.

Kid said...

Very true about uncertainty whether the best actor was cast or not. I don't have a problem with the Doctor being a woman if it was a different Doctor. (There surely must be more than one on Gallifrey? And if not, Capaldi's Doctor could have passed the title on to a successor.) What annoys me is the gender-swapping stuff, as if it's no big deal.

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