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01 May 2014 @ 03:56 pm
Out With the Different, In With the Same  
This article discusses and asks some questions regarding the zero female writers who have been hired by Steven Moffat for Doctor Who this coming season.

I can't really comment on how the last few seasons of DW have been as I stopped watching. But I do agree with the article that the usage of female writers in other scifi shows have certainly never hurt the show itself. And I do find it disappointing (if true) that DW has lost its progressive edge and gone back to the more conservative format of a mostly White cast where the White men get all the interesting lines.

The article asks: "The question is, does Doctor Who have a duty to represent its audience and continue to break boundaries in the world of science fiction TV?"

My short answer is yes. Yes, it does.


Media has an impact on its viewers and in this case it's not so much is representation necessary but rather what happens when there is a complete lack of representation. Whether the showrunners mean to or not, there is a message that gets sent out when a beloved series shows only White men being intelligent and clever while the women are only there to support them and their cause. It provides a role model that says that as a woman you can only be a sidekick and as a person of color, you are not relevant to a story about heroism.

I'm sure Moffat didn't become a showrunner or writer for the sake of being a social justice activist so on one hand I don't think it's his JOB necessarily to do this. But he does have a responsibility when asked questions around this to be aware of what he's talking about. These are his viewers coming to him and when he dismisses these queries and view points, he's doing both himself and his show a disservice.
 
 
 
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on May 1st, 2014 09:59 pm (UTC)
I would, however, at the bare minimum like for him not to be a jerk when this issue of diversity comes up in his interviews.

He is so defensive, OMG. I honestly just want to punch him the face when he starts into that condescending, smirky answers in response to criticism. Like, even just acknowledge people have a right to their opinions, and don't act as though we're all stupid. I remember watching the PBS interview where one of the fans asked him about the Irene Adler issues, and his answer was perfectly logical, and I got where he was coming from to some extent, but his tone was so 'listen to me, woman' that it just put my back right up.

My other issue is that it seems Moffat sticking to what he knows, what he knows and does best isn't that good.

He's better at one off episodes, not storylines and arcs. He needs to tell stories where we don't have an opportunity to go 'wait, but that doesn't make sense'. When he's not running the show, and subscribing to another person's version, he's much more tolerable. He set the tone for Jack Harkness, he wrote Nancy and Sally Sparrow and Reinette and Nurse Redfern, who are all characters who are strong, but have their weaknesses and yet still manage to save the day. But when he took over, we lost all of that.

I've always noticed that about your writing where the diversity of your characters are seamlessly woven into the story.

That's a great relief to me, because I try very hard to just let the characters exist and only comment on things if it's relevant to the situation. And honestly, most of the time it isn't.
aelfgyfu_mead: Ivanova & Delennaelfgyfu_mead on May 1st, 2014 11:54 pm (UTC)
I've always noticed that about your writing where the diversity of your characters are seamlessly woven into the story.
Same here.

And yes to the one-off stories! The arcs and continuing characters are problems for him. I loved the first couple of episodes with Jenna Coleman, but when she became a regular (and settled down as one character), she got duller and more stereotyped, when I'd hoped she'd develop!
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on May 2nd, 2014 12:49 am (UTC)
Same here.

Thank you!

I loved the first couple of episodes with Jenna Coleman, but when she became a regular (and settled down as one character), she got duller and more stereotyped, when I'd hoped she'd develop!

I stopped watching before I ever found up what was up with Clara, though I did read spoilers later on and went 'meh'. I think Moffat has this idea that what people want to see is extraordinary people doing extraordinary things, when what we actually want, or I actually want, is ordinary people put into extraordinary circumstances, and managing to deal with them. Because what it says to me is that the Doctor won't care about you unless you've got some cosmic weirdness going on. When what RTD's run said was that the Doctor loves you because you're just human, and that's not only okay, that is awesome. Look at all you've done, without being anyone but the girl from the estate or the temp in Chiswick or the almost doctor who got sent to the moon and just dealt with it.
aelfgyfu_mead: Doctor Donnaaelfgyfu_mead on May 2nd, 2014 01:37 am (UTC)
I think Moffat has this idea that what people want to see is extraordinary people doing extraordinary things, when what we actually want, or I actually want, is ordinary people put into extraordinary circumstances, and managing to deal with them. . . . When what RTD's run said was that the Doctor loves you because you're just human, and that's not only okay, that is awesome.

YES!