Happy International Women’s Day! In celebration of International Women’s Month, I’ve joined with some other bloggers to write pieces spotlighting some of our favorite female characters. Kathleen, of Graphic Novelty2, kicked off the festivities with her brilliant look at Kara Zor-El/Supergirl and, following me, we’ll have Green Onion, of Green Onion Revival Project; Nancy, of Graphic Novelty2; Kalie, of Just Dread-full; and Jeff, of The Imperial Talker. You can find all their posts here but you should check out their super sweet sites, too. Anyhoo (or AnyWHO, as the case may be (stop…don’t reward that (I’m sorry, I’m so sorry (you deserve better)))), this year when I thought of what “fearless” means, my mind turned to Martha Jones. Played by Freema Agyeman, she was the companion of David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor in Series Three of Doctor Who. Martha did a great many things while travelling with the Doctor but, in her faith and her willingness to advocate for her own needs, she models the type of courage which could transform all of our lives if we, too, could be so fearless.
Weeks ago, listening to “What Christmas Means To Me” while decorating got me thinking about what Christmas means to me. I decided to spend the month of December reflecting on it with a series of posts and I decided to use Doctor Who Christmas specials as the lens through which to do my reflecting…and now we’re here! I feel like I blinked and I’m writing the fourth piece and Christmas is this week! Ahhh! Showrunner Chris Chibnall has shifted the Doctor Who special to New Year’s Day as opposed to Christmas but – as Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor has become my favorite Doctor – I didn’t want to leave the Doctor, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham out of the fun here. Enter Titan Comics to the rescue! Jody Houser (writer), Roberta Ingranata (artist), and Enrica Eren Angiolini (colorist) took the fam on an amazing Christmas adventure last year in Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor Holiday Special. Yay! So, What Does Christmas Mean To Me (Vol. 4)? Well, let’s crack open a couple comics and figure it out.
Inspired by listening to the song a few weeks ago, I decided to spend the month of December reflecting on what Christmas means to me. Then I decided it would be a fun to use Doctor Who Christmas specials as the sole lens through which to consider this question! “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” written by Steven Moffat, was Doctor Who’s 2016 Christmas special. It starred Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, Matt Lucas as the oh-so-amazing-yet-forever-underrate Nardole, Justin Chatwin as Grant Gordon/the Ghost, and Charity Wakefield as Lucy Fletcher. Picking favorites out of the Doctor Who Christmas specials is all but impossible. Still…this one has always stood out for me. So, What Does Christmas Mean To Me (Vol. 3)? Let’s follow the Doctor stateside to New York City and start breaking that very question down!
Listening to “What Christmas Means To Me” while I was decorating a few weeks ago got me thinking about, well, what Christmas means to me. So I decided it would be fun to spend the month of December reflecting on that with a series of posts. Then I thought it would be even more fun to use Doctor Who Christmas specials as the lens through which to do so! This time I want to look at Doctor Who’s 2010 Christmas special, “A Christmas Carol,” the first written by Steven Moffat and starring Matt Smith as the Doctor along with Karen Gillan’s incomparable Amy Pond and Arthur Darvill’s Rory Williams. So, What Does Christmas Mean To Me (Vol. 2)? Well, it turns out “Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol” has a lot to say about that!
It’s officially December so that means it ‘tis the season. As I was decorating a few days ago I was, naturally, rocking out to some Christmas carols. When “What Christmas Means To Me” came on I danced and sang along as loud as I could. I didn’t get much decorating done for those ten minutes (because who only listens to that tune one time??) but the break was festive and fun and totally worth it. It’s always been a favorite Christmas song of mine and every time Steve Wonder’s classic is covered it makes me happy because it means I have even more chances to hear it randomly playing in a store or on the radio. Anyway, as I was singing along it got me thinking about what Christmas means to me (my love!). I thought it would be interesting to reflect on that with a series of posts through December. And then I thought using Doctor Who’s Christmas specials as a frame for those reflections could be fun. So, What Does Christmas Mean To Me (Vol. 1)? Well, let’s turn to “Doctor Who: Voyage of the Damned” and talk about it!
One of my favorite things about Doctor Who is the first trip the Doctor makes with any new companion. Now I’m not talking about their first adventure, where they meet the Doctor and get pulled into a much larger world than they knew existed the day before. No, I’m talking about their first trip, the moment they decide they want to travel through time and space with the Doctor inside that little blue box. I love it, in part, because these episodes always make me think how would you even begin to choose?!!? If you had allllllllllll of time and space laid out before you, where would you even want to go first? How could you pick?!? Or, if you were in the Doctor’s place, how do you decide what first to show your new companion?
As I write this, it’s the eve of the 2020 presidential election. I’m anxious. I’m concerned. But most of all, I’m hopeful. I say that with absolute sincerity. I’m hopeful that tomorrow will yield a change of course after the last four years that have felt like fifteen. I’m hopeful. It’s a welcome feeling in an age when, for so many reasons, hope feels like a far rarer commodity than it did even just a few years ago. However, I wasn’t planning on writing tonight. I probably shouldn’t be, as I’m sure I’ll be up late watching election returns tomorrow. But I was rewatching “Orphan 55” tonight and it felt remarkably relevant. Seeing the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Yaz (Mandip Gill), Ryan (Tosin Cole), and Graham (Bradley Walsh) navigate this hostile planet, a post began to grow. So what the heck? I guess I’ll sleep Wednesday…hopefully soundly.
One of many things I love about Doctor Who is how no genre is off limits. The horror genre being a favorite, they visit it’s themes, traits, and tropes often and with great effect. Of allllllllllllllllll the creepy, freaky, unnerving, and haunting scenes I’ve seen play out in Doctor Who – episodes watched or novels read – one scares me more than any other. One disturbs me to the very core of my being. As far as I’m concerned, NOTHING in the history of this show is ANYWHERE NEAR as scary as “Heaven Sent” (S9E11). Recently I read a post Gemma wrote over on Books Beach Bunny titled, “Blogging Confessions: Fear” and it reminded me I had an idea for a post about this episode over the summer…an idea I presume I promptly forgot because it would take me places I’d rather not visit. But, inspired by the courage of her confessional piece, I decided to tackle it. And hey, what’s October for if not scaaaaaaaary things, right?
One of the things I love contemplating about Doctor Who is each companion’s first trip in the TARDIS. Not their first meeting with the Doctor, when they get caught up in the wake of adventure, danger, and world-saving. But the first willing trip they take after the Doctor invites them to travel along with them for a while. While it’s not my favorite “first trip” episode, “The End of the World” (S1,E2) is the most fascinating to me. Just having helped the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) save London from the Nestene Consciousness, a sort of living plastic that was controlling store mannequins, Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) bounds into the TARDIS in search of adventure. Where the Doctor decides to take her says so much about where he’s at on his own emotional journey. How she responds to this says so much about who she is and why the Doctor needs her. Continue reading
Last spring, for our Fiction’s Fearless Females series, I wrote a piece about Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor. In it I said she had officially taken the top place in my heart from David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t adore Ten with all my heart! I just love Thirteen more. So last week, as both Jodie Whittaker and David Tennant joined James Cordon (who was also on Doctor Who with Matt Smith!) on The Late Late Show, I was in heaven. Then I started thinking about how AMAZING it would be if we could see these two together on screen, side by side, both playing their respective Doctor. And, while I trust showrunner Chris Chibnall to pull it off far better than I could, I contemplated how I’d do it. So, as far as I’m concerned, this is how these two Doctors could meet. Continue reading