Those people down there, they’re never small to me. Don’t make assumptions about how far I will go to protect them, because I’ve already come a very long way! And unlike you, I do not expect to reach the promised land.
Bide-A-Wee by Anthony Keetch
Short Trips: Past Tense - Doctor Who Anthology
The First Doctor randomly musing about his lack of a prostate.
"Do you ever regret not becoming a teacher?
Because every day in my job I get to shape young people’s lives for the better… and what could be more important than that?”
I don’t really get it either but I THINK he means they’re using it to escape (“bolt”) and it’s a bolt hole as in, a metal bolt should be there.
"He’s leading the investigation, but he’s from outside Gracepoint. He’s new in town."
Oh I doubt it’s on purpose at all, but “on purpose” autistic characters often suck so I take what I can get. But also… I can’t tell if people are not liking Moffat’s writing or not liking characters that are not traditionally compassionate?
Well, in the case of the Doctor it’s important to me that I believe he cares about people/things happening around him and isn’t just doing things for the sake of a power trip, however he shows it — and while there’s been moments here or there from Twelve so far where he seems to care, I’d like to see more of them, because I think they’re downplaying that too much in favour of playing up stuff like him calling Clara ugly and fat and old because it’s “funny”.
But it’s a combination of Moffat’s writing making those things happen. Part of the reason I am not super interested in Twelve’s grumpy “darknessa” is because I don’t think Moffat did the requisite background work to make it make sense — if Twelve had a reason for suddenly being the grumpy one, if something in Eleven’s life had led to this, I wouldn’t mind. But Eleven’s life kind of ended on a high note with saving Gallifrey and saving the Christmas village and stuff, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. And while I think things like Twelve insulting Clara’s appearance would always grate on me, they’re especially grating in a series where I already have a lot of issues with how women are written and handled, and with a character like the Doctor who shouldn’t be sexist yet has been written as increasingly so in recent years.
(Reblogged because thoughts got too long for reply).
Yeah I am not a fan of the remarks about Clara. I feel like the comments on Clara’s looks are OOC (and I felt that way with Eleven too, like, really? Since when does the Doctor do this thing?). I’d really love a Doctor who acted just like Twelve that was a woman, or a POC (or both!) so that it came off as less “grumpy old white guy” because the sexism in Doctor Who is just ugh.
That said, context for my remarks: I have always headcanoned the Doctor as neurodivergent (I mean, Time Lord, not human, duh), it’s just that Twelve has so many things I can see to point at and go look look that’s like me that it’s astounding. So the whole “dark” thing also bugs me. Because I don’t want characters like that to need to be “dark” or whatever, or have “tragic pasts.” Moffat’s comments on the subject are annoying. Like, anti-social and distracted equals “dark” to you, Moffat? Really?
Also, I try very hard to forget the 50th and Time of the Doctor ever happened, mostly because they are giant bombs of “but this thing you said five minutes ago you just contradicted” and make no sense. They make me, as a writer, cringe. I would never put out work that bad. Just. Never. And that’s not even getting into anything to do with sexism and racism and etc. I have managed to come up with a reasoning for why Twelve’s behavior makes sense (that the Doctor is finally going “okay I am not as happy-go-lucky as I’ve been pretending”) but it is not in any way a thing I have gotten from the text; it is a thing I tell myself so my brain doesn’t explode while watching.
But that, of course, is part of my other issue with Moffat’s writing: he “tells” one thing and “shows” another, and makes little effort to have continuity. And that is where I wind up interpreting things how I like because… well… for one, I am big on Death of the Author. Author intent does matter, but only so far; if someone goes “well I didn’t mean that to be sexist” a thing can still be sexist.Etc. And I have literally never read or seen anything where anyone intended to put in an autistic character and both did it well and made them a major part of the story. So I have to find my representation where I can, until I and other autistic writers can make it better.
I am rambling a bit. My point is: I get what you mean and where you’re coming from. I am a lot frustrated with Doctor Who right now as well. It’s sexist and logically inconsistent even within single episodes, and while the POC/mogai representation is going up it’s still not where it should be. Twelve’s stimming and grumpiness, and Clara when she’s being in character, and Danny Pink entirely, are about the only things getting me through. It sucks that you don’t like the Doctor’s characterization, and I feel you—I was not a fan of Eleven, so admittedly I might be having some “thank god that’s over” feels with Twelve.
Brave heart, regardless. Moffat has to leave someday.
Death of the author is a complicated issue for me. The way I tend to look at it is that an author’s intentions are not the be-all end-all of textual interpretation, but they are an important tool in determining how successful I think a text is or isn’t. An author can’t just say “it means x” and that’s the end of discussion, but if an author is setting out to communicate X yet reading their story tells me Y, then I think that author has failed and in most cases I’d then consider that text a failure too. This is very common with me and Moffat’s writing. I can tell he’s trying to tell me one thing, but his text is telling me something different, and so ultimately I neither enjoy the work nor think it is very good artistically.
So that is what I mean when I say I can’t ignore the author’s intent to — in this case and in many cases, frankly — read something better than what I think the author created. It feels like I’m giving them credit they don’t deserve for something they haven’t done. This is especially true in cases of representation. I don’t resent anyone having a headcanon about characters being [whatever the case may be], but I shy away from anything suggesting a character is [whatever] when I don’t think that is what the text intends. Like I said, it feels like giving credit where it doesn’t belong. It’s partly cynicism from me, I suppose.
the worst thing about living for hundreds of years is,
that everybody I love will die and all I have got is myself