I found it genuinely clever and enjoyable, and tweaking the perspective of the show to make it "all about the TARDIS all along" is just genuis.
Honestly RTD and Moffat have done more to shut gay fans out of the narrative space than any other producers, ever. Before you could read anything you want into the vast and sprawling canvas of Doctor Who, even if there were no openly gay charcters on-screen. Now there are a token few, mostly there to get killed or be otherwise tragic, while the center of gravity of the narrative has gone from this ambiguously-libidoed wizard figure to a mopey straight nerd. Give me a break. I just assumed in the case of NotD that Clara was righting something the Great Intelligence had done which would have caused the Doctor and the TARDIS to be seperated, thereby changing the course of his adventures and causing him to not save people or something along those lines.
Spacewarp, a nice little article - though it does fail to give David Whitaker due credit once again! Thanks for the pointer. The Hartnell Doctor described it as beautiful, which is not necessarily a sexual description at all.
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Sunsets can be beautiful, but I wouldn't want to marry one. Having said that, I do have partial sympathy for other aspects of your rant. I admire "The Doctor's Wife" more than I like it.
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It sometimes feels to me like a cynically crafted piece of awards bait, not unlike a Harvey Weinstein production. I think that if the title card had read "The Doctor's Wife by Chris Chibnall," but everything else was exactly the same, it wouldn't have been received as warmly. Seems like an obvious solution to me. Maybe a bit Star Trek. Different strokes, and all that. I had a conversation recently in which someone declared that his least-loved stories of the 80s were Warriors' Gate, Castrovalva, Kinda, and Ghost Light; half of which are in my top 15 stories of all time and not one of which would be in my bottom half.
Yeah, I had always had the impression that Clara's role in the Doctor's past was to undo the alterations imposed by the GI, so presumably there was a moment at which the GI had steered the Doctor away from his original choice of TARDISes and so she got him back on course. I'm fairly certain that no classic era producers except possibly JNT ever considered the possibility that gay fans existed. The thing about that line of Idris' about her stealing a Time Lord is: is that what actually happened, or is it how Idris chooses to remember it now after having to spend a very long time travelling with a guy with more character quirks than the combined works of Charles Dickens?
Having said that, it's a nice idea about the gender rebalancing. My objection to the idea of the Tardis taking the Doctor where he needed to go was always that it was a bit too Quantum Leap-y for me. I just figured the Galifrey! The gay fans are now recognized and somewhat pandered to but their room in the narrative is actually less now than when they were given no thought at all. Any queerness inherent in the Doctor is now thoroughly disavowed, and any ambient background camp cordoned off into easily patrolled zones of Captain Jackness or sexy lesbian lizardness.
You're not going to find a Doctor Who story that someone doesn't love and someone doesn't hate.
I can't stand "Ghost Light" talk about smug, alienating, and artificial or "Vincent and the Doctor", and I admire "Warriors' Gate" more than I actually enjoy it. I strongly suspect all Warriors of the Deep defenders of just being trolls. People who defend Twin Dilemma are at least making a statement, even if that statement is "I am a horrible person," but I can't even start to formulate what a sincere defense of Warriors of the Deep would look like.
Yeah, it's full of spoilers for future entries. More seriously, I know that I have readers who are, when the whole thing wraps, going to delight in putting the River Song entries in their "correct" order and seeing how the era reads, and I feel obliged to make sure they have fun doing so. I wouldn't consider House the most "Gaiman-y" aspect of the story. I realize that goes along with your idea that Moffat deserves more credit for this story than he gets, but honestly the most Gaiman-y aspect of this story that I see is the personification of something we typically think of as not being a someone.
Instead of Death, Despair, or Desire, or a forgotten god walking the earth as a human being; or a demon made of cloth and timber named Ursula Monkton; or an afterlife with the face of G. Chesterton; or a fallen star who looks like Claire Danes; we have a nigh-invulnerable and nigh-omnipotent and nigh-omniscient time machine given a human form and face and voice. It is possibly the most Gaiman-y idea there is. But that's only because you count gay subtext in classic stories where it couldn't possibly have been intentional. I am quite certain that when JNT decreed that Peter Davison was not allowed to physically touch either Janet Fielding or Sarah Sutton, it was not because he wanted to leave the impression that the Fifth Doctor was gay.
Of course, I'm probably the last person to talk about gay subtext since I never considered until I read the blog entry for "Enlightenment" and was informed that Turlough's arc was a metaphor for coming out of the closet and not three episodes of incoherent nonsense about an obnoxious and unlikeable character.
I quite liked "Warriors" when I was probably 11 or I even liked "The Twin Dilemma" when I was 11 or I wasn't keen on the Doctor being a homicidal maniac, but I wasn't keen on Peri, either, so maybe I was subconsciously hoping she would leave and he would relax. Nostalgia's so important -- I think it even gave you a kind word or two to say for "Time-Flight," didn't it? Let's remember too that we're talking "love" and "hate" here. I love many things I can't defend, and hate many things I can, if I must, intellectually appreciate.
No, of course not. It was all entirely unintentional. The intention was to keep it "family friendly" and to make him easier to for kids to relate to - a wizard-type Gandalf, Wonka etc is always going to be more fascinating to young children than a lovelorn romantic hero. But regardless, the Doctor's lack of romantic conquests or prurient interest in his companions also made him much easier for gay fans to relate to than, say, Captain Kirk ever was. Ironically now it's more acceptable to imply that a kids' hero is having sexytimes, but any implication of queerness that might accrue to this flamboyantly dressed, rather camp figure with hitherto little interest in romance is firmly disavowed.
A lot of it's got nothing to do with any gay subtext at all. It's old Who's almost unique near-absence of heterosexual text. Growing up, it wasn't that the series specifically included me but that it was almost the only one that didn't exclude me and lots of others who didn't fit in. Since there have been a lot of ups and a lot of down, but it's very difficult to argue that the Doctor is as uncategorised and easy for everyone to identify with as he was. But this seems to be the very definition of YMMV. Unsurprisingly, I've written on this before both in comments here and at my own place , and it always explodes, so I've said my piece and will now step away before the inevitable complaints that not excluding people means a loss of entitlements.
So I am not saying there was really that much IN Doctor Who that was explicitly or intentionally gay though there was a bit , it's more that the lack of overt heterosexuality on the Doctor's part left a negative space that was very gay-friendly. Old-school gays like me and RTD , who had few cultural outlets of their own, were very good at colonizing cultural texts. Warriors of the Deep has a big sea monster. I like big sea monsters. It just ends up looking a bit rubbish due to poor filming and direction.
The Myrka could have been fantastic if it had been done right. It also has an interesting exploration of cyberpunk technology and atomic warfare, a great performance from Peter Davison and a downbeat ending that paved the way for the Virgin New Adventures.
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Oh yeah - Alex has said it better than me already! In the sense of being a malevolent entity who invades your safest spaces and renders them unheimlich? I can see that, though with those examples and the Cuckoo; are there other examples I'm forgetting? One of the reasons I find House less than compelling is that, Michael Sheen's best efforts notwithstanding, he's still just a disembodied voice.
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I don't know if he had more presence in the early pitches and drafts sounds like more of a sequel to "Edge of Destruction," which is maybe what "Journey to the Center of the TARDIS" really should have been , but if not, all the more reason why Moffat would have pounced on Idris as the right focal point of the story. As I said on an earlier comments thread, every time somebody talks about the Doctor on Gallifrey, the Doctor turns out to have had the character traits of his current incarnation.
David, that's very true.
However, in his more impish moments I can totally see Borusa's disdain for his flippancy and arrogance. This is as good a time as any to say that while I don't think any project involving "the young Doctor on Gallifrey" is ever going to be a good idea, if someone were to attempt it even in flashback, I can see Tom Hiddleston playing a young First Doctor pretty effectively.
Even if Warriors of the Deep had been shot by Ridley Scott with a ten million pound budget, it would still have had a fucking shit script. Gaiman expressed interest in writing a novelization if he ever got the chance, adding in all the bits that had to be cut out. So we'd have a new monster instead of an Ood; Rory fearing Amy is lurking around with a knife, waiting for him; something in the swimming pool that wasn't filmed because Karen Gillan can't swim I really hope the BBC does this someday, but who knows.
By the way, has anyone read Gaiman's Eleventh Doctor story for the 50th anniversary ebooks? And certainly one of the best quiet rewrites in this episode is the "pull to open" gag. I'm also enjoying it. First thing first, nice Photo gag. Also, are you a Brony? Very coincidental that the song that you cited is playing on my radio at the moment. And this story made me decide to go see the Classic stuff, even making me download an Audio Play.
The one thing I wish was different about it is to extend the episode so that it would be 60 minutes. In the nearest possible world where Warriors of the Deep was shot by Ridley Scott with a ten million pound budget, it has a different script. I can see Tom Hiddleston playing a young First Doctor pretty effectively. Though admittedly it was true in that case too. It's not even the worst of the YEAR. I've read it. I really liked it, even though it gives me a Dukes of Stratosphear earworm every time I see the title.
I know, I hate to hop on the Hiddleston train, but he just seems perfect for it. He ::gritting teeth:: should probably even play the present-day Doctor sometime in the next years. Damn it. You can take the Time Lord to the right place, but you can't make him look at the scanner before he goes outside!
I read that Gaiman said that he knew he'd written a good Doctor line when he could imagine all the other Doctors saying it as well, and that "Fear me, I killed all of them" was one such line. Got a kick out of imagining, say, Peter Davison saying the same thing. Also I enjoy the parallels to "The Brain of Morbius" in this story. I can't see this being an accident. I was going to say, as I read through the end of this thread, that perhaps one could talk Tom Hiddleston into playing the 13th Doctor. I could see such interesting body language emerging from his long, spindly fingers.