Tag Archives: Doctor Who

Call Outs

I’ve kind of hit a roadblock with my WIP, so on the way to work this morning I decided I was going to write a blog tonight, you know, do something creative.  I had a theme in mind, and you’ll tell you what it is during this blog, because it’s still in here.  But during the day something else happened and I feel like sharing this.

If you follow my blog you will know that I can come out with some random stuff and the last piece was about the reaction to the latest Dr Who, click here to read more.  Today on Facebook I was ‘called out’ on it, by a white middle-aged internet using male, his description, for the lazy way I’ve approached that and was told that I’m the prejudiced one, because this person doesn’t know a single other person who’s upset by the news.

Well good for him.  And thanks to the other friend who waded in with some salient facts proving my case.  Not that the first friend would know because he flounced out of the conversation.

Now here are some things you should consider if you want to call me out on anything I write:

1. I welcome your comments, especially constructive criticism.  These are learning opportunities and I enjoy the chance to discuss any points.

2. Generalisations are just generalisations, they are not pointed attacks, they are just ways of expressing a point in a readily understandable way.

3. Just because you haven’t experienced it, don’t mean it ain’t happening.

4. This is a blog not national journalism.

5. Call me out, I will respond, that’s what discussions are about – two way exchange on points of view.

6. If you flounce out of the conversation with your male privilege held high remember I don’t have to make you look foolish, because you did it to yourself.


But one of the things that was thrown at me was that if I want to ‘get upset’ about discrimination I ‘need’ – yes need – to write about what Trump is doing to the LGBT communities.

Yes, I could do that.  I really could, I could rant for hours on that topic and many other misogynistic and/or downright stupid things that the American administration is doing, but here’s the thing.  I’m an EU – soon reluctantly to be British – citizen and this blog is mostly read by those in the UK.  I do have some Americans followers – and thanks for taking an interest wherever you are – but not many.  Besides, the thing is I don’t have a voice in an election I can’t vote in and most Americans have already realised what a dreadful mistake they’ve made.  Also, ranting against anything is a very negative thing to do and I am trying to make my life more positive.

Do I think people of the LGBT (and the ever growing acronym to LGBTQIA) community deserves a voice? Yes I do. Do I want to actively promote that voice?  Yes I do.  So what am I going to do about that – Well writing this blog was part of the plan.

I believe that people, more than administrations, can make a community what it should be, and I think it’s the quieter ways that will help integrate communities.  But I have a limited reach (hence comments above) and a limited skill set. I’m not a politician, not a great campaigner, nor am I a martyr, nor even a bleeding heart liberal.  Hell, I’m not even a journalist, just a blogger in that respect.

What I am is a writer, and a freelance editor.

So when one of the guys I freelance for comes to me and asks if I’d be willing to give my time and effort to help support the writing community to bring forth some good fiction with main characters who happen to be LGBTQIA, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

So Jefferson Franklin Editing is offering free and discounted edits to writers who advance the LGBTQIA cause – to help get more LGBTQIA stories into the hands of readers.

Now I will admit that I’ve never had a main character who is anything other than hetrosexual, because that’s what I know.  And I am aware of the very great offence I could cause if I were to poorly portray that community, and let’s face it, if I did poorly portray that or any other community – I’d deserve criticism.  There are in my books some characters who I think are probably gay, but I’ve never made a thing of that, because it hasn’t been relevant to the story.  And now I’ve actually committed that to the page, I think I’m going to have to find a way to amend the situation and try to better present this under represented section of the community.

So if you have a gay soldier, or a lesbian teacher, or a gender-fluid private investigator (oh how useful would that be?), if you’ve a transexual dragon-trainer, or an omni-sexual/pansexual(?) space-traveller, then let’s hear from you.  Mind looking at those I may be a limited in my thinking, so please, please, please, come up with something original to surprise and delight in whatever genre you want.

Here’s the link with all the details – 2017 LGBTQIA Edit Giveaway.  And I look forward to seeing some of your work.

(Right now I’m going to go cogitate just how useful it might be to actually be gender fluid investigator because I can see that could bring up some really interesting plot and action possibilities.)





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Who is she?

Image result for jodie whittaker dr who

Image shamelessly borrowed off a news site – hope no one minds.


She is Jodie Whittaker.

She is the Doctor.

And what exactly is the problem with that?

Well according to a lot of the internet, most particularly the white male population on the internet – quite a lot, but let’s have a look at the situation with just a touch more critical analysis, shall we?

Right I suppose I should start with an admission – when I heard talk of possibly having either a black or female Doctor, I was uncertain if it would work.  This was back before Capaldi was picked – and on that topic, have to say Capaldi was brilliant, he was everything and more than a classic Doctor or a Nu-Who should be.  He rivals both Tom Baker and David Tennant in my affections for who is the best Who.  I also don’t want Capaldi to leave, I think he has way more to give to the role and has been hampered by some damp squib scripts this last season, but I’ve digressed enough and there is a reason why I’ve stated this here.

Yeah, so point was, I’m a middle-class, middle-aged (hate that), white woman and I wasn’t sure about a radical change in the nature of the Doctor.  Then I thought about it for five minutes and realised I was the one being stupid.

The Doctor is a regenerating, time-travelling alien.  His world is much bigger than ours.  He travels to worlds even Hubble can’t see.  He goes to times we will never live to number.  He is way beyond anything of human existence.  He’s allowed to be – after all – he’s not real!

But let’s bring a little reality into this anyway.  Do that, then you start to think about the scientific world and the nature of evolution.  The reason that we have different races on Earth with huge variations in nothing more important than skin colour from ebony to porcelain, is because human skin reacts to the amount of UV it receives.  But that is only skin deep, i.e. surface level, i.e. it doesn’t matter.

So what if the Doctor did become a black man?  Would it matter to me?  Did it matter when I was disappointed to hear Matt Smith had got the role?  Yes, but I kept watching and soon realised that he was still The Doctor and his youth wasn’t a barrier to me enjoying the series.  At the time Idris Elba was being talked about as a potential Doctor, but I didn’t know who he was, hadn’t seen him in anything at that point, but now I have, and he’s a good actor and he could fill the role. And that’s what matters, can the actor act?  And if the answer is yes, then skin colour is not a barrier.

But I’m not leaving the scientific yet.  Evolution is not and Earth Science, there are plenty of theories about how life might evolve on other planets, and despite what we see on fictional TV, most of these theories do not result in bipedal humanoid species.  So why should the Doctor who can travel anywhere, any when, be bipedal humanoid?  If he’s going to move freely among the two headed, why shouldn’t he have two heads? Or three legs or be a quadruped? Or a blog in a spray painted bubble-wrap costume? We put up with that for villains, why not for heroes?

The reason – budgets and availability – and the bubble wrap burst with every movement, so much so even with the shaky sets you have to feel extra sorry for Tom Baker and Elizabeth Sladen in that one.  Also, humans are the only actors other humans can understand.  Why not bung the Doctor under a load of prosthetics?  Well, heat, discomfort, time and money all jump to mind.  And even though motion capture and CGI are utterly spectacular these days – a dotted up Andy Serkis for the next Doctor! Or even undotted, he’d be dotty either way – and brilliant.  But again that is still a very expensive way to go.

Let’s dip now into cannon.  Twelve (the great Capaldi) started his tenure with the line:

“Kidneys! I’ve got new kidneys! I don’t like the colour.”

Now that should tell the astute listener that the internal organs can change.  So if the internal organs can change, why can’t testicles become ovaries?  And don’t get hung up on the idea either, there is a precedent.  In human babies we all start female, then something changes and roughly 50% turn male and that’s when what would have been ovaries become testicles.  So if it can work that way in humans, why can’t it go the other way in Time Lords?

And if we are going to talk about cannon and precedent, we have to have a look at Missy, as played wonderfully by Michelle Gomez. I was uncertain who this mad woman was to start with, we all were, but when she revealed herself, it wasn’t a shock, was it?  And there again, didn’t she just make the most marvelous Master ever?  And yes there were some grumblings about how the Master wouldn’t change sex, but that was a mere blip on the radar compared to what’s been happening with the idea of a female doctor.  So what are we effectively saying here?  It’s okay for a woman to be the villain, but they can’t be the hero?  You might want to have a word with Diana Prince about that one, or Sue Storm, or Kitty Pride, or Emma Peel, or – you know what, the list does go on, but hopefully everyone’s getting the point.  Even the guy grumbling in his mother’s basement.

So, it would appear that both according to cannon and logic, a female Doctor is acceptable.  So what other arguments are there?

The English language.  Eh?  Yep, the English language itself has been given as a reason not to have a female Doctor as it means we can no longer say every time ‘he’ regenerates.  Well, I have to say, that there is a bit of failing in the English language that we have no gender neutral – oh wait – we do.  It’s ‘it’. Now, to take another SciFi classic, in Star Trek, specifically in the books about The Excalibur, they have a character who is both male and female, who is referred to as ‘s/he.’  No, I’m not sure how you pronounce it either, but it gets over the issue.  The Doctor is an alien who doesn’t conform to our rigid ways of thinking so why can’t we call the Doctor, it or s/he? Perhaps that is too ‘out there’ thinking.  Well here’s a thought, why not call The Doctor, The Doctor? After all, that is a gender neutral term.  Oh and just one clarification – the gender neutral term is – as much as I hate to say it – ‘he’. So get over it.

That’s language, so what about numbers?  Chronologically, Jodie is way past the 13th actor to play the Doctor, but that, cannon-wise, will be her regnal number.  13. Unlucky for some.  Is 13 going to be unlucky for being a woman?  Oh get real, it’s just another number and let’s face it, she couldn’t make the series crash and burn any faster than Sylvester McCoy did.  Loved Ace, but let’s face it, the only decent Dr McCoy is on the Enterprise.

To recap, there’s no good reason why the doctor can’t be female.  As long as the actor can act, why would colour or gender make a difference?

Which leaves a very specific question – is Jodie Whittaker the right woman for the job?  I have seen Jodie Whittaker do both comedy (St Trinians) and drama (Broadchurch) and I think she was good in both, so why wouldn’t she be good as the Doctor?  There is a question as to why not cast a complete unknown?  Well, that’s easy too, Doctor Who is a huge role.  It makes a major impact on the actor’s career, and you need to have an actor who can deal with that, i.e. one who is established and isn’t going to crash spectacularly out of the show for some reason.

Last question – am I uncertain about Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor? Of course I am.  But not because she’s a woman, not because the Doctor can’t be a woman, I’m worried because if there is any problem with the next Doctor Who series the blame will land solely on Jodie Whittaker’s shoulders even if the truth is that the writing is shite. (Chibnall, I’m making a point not accusing you of anything!)

Well here’s the one thing all the fans should remember; we don’t control this series, the series makers do. The decision has been made and all we can do is wait to see what happens.  Only time will really tell if this was a good or bad decision and isn’t that just what Doctor Who is about?  Regardless of who plays the Doctor?

So, she is Jodie Whittaker

She is the Doctor.

And I, for one, am looking forward to seeing her.



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You Know You’re Old When

Well, I’ve posted loads of depressing stuff of late, so I thought I’d try something different.  So here’s 25 ways to know that you’re getting old, hopefully some of them will raise a smile.

  1. Your kids are all taller than you
  2. Your kids have all finished university and you still want to go
  3. You buy shoes for comfort not style
  4. When buying hair dye you stop thinking about this seasons fashion colours and start thinking about grey coverage
  5. You have to have reading glasses
  6. When talking to health care professionals, they use the phrase ‘of a certain age’
  7. Policemen/Doctors actually do look like teenagers
  8. You remember when the top ten records were vinyl
  9. You remember when Doctor Who’s were differentiated by the actor’s name not the generation number
  10. You remember when it was one phone per house, not per person
  11. You know what a twin tub is and (the theory at least) of using a mangle
  12. You think a tumbler (tumblr) is something for drying your clothes
  13. You can live without internet connection
  14. You remember when getting a clip around the ear from an adult was a reminder to behave not grounds for a law suit
  15. You remember when teachers dealt with unruly students rather than excluding them
  16. You remember when Knock Down Ginger was a harmless game and not a racial attack
  17. You remember when only birds of the feathered variety tweeted
  18. You remember when a vampire movie meant horror not teenage angst
  19. You remember when wrapping was for presents not gangsters (rapping)
  20. When someone says Swatch and you think fabric sample not time piece
  21. When you read books not status updates
  22. When you favourite record can only be found in the ‘vintage’ section
  23. You remember when the only endurance in a Marathon was waiting for break time to eat it (for the really young, Marathons were renamed Snickers in 1990)
  24. You remember when Prince was a singer, not a management practice
  25. When you realise you’re older than the internet you’re reading this on

Thank you for reading

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Who Me?

“I didn’t say it was your mistake.”

I can’t tell you tell you who said that, where they were or what they were talking about.  But I can tell you it was my favourite line of the whole first episode of Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who.

Yes, I was as the World Premiere of “Deep Breath” in Cardiff on Thursday.  Yey! Lucky me!

Obviously I can’t tell you what happens in the episode, but I can tell you it was a little disappointing.

To balance that I should say that Peter Capaldi was excellent, I think he is going to be one of the best Doctor Whos ever, he was brilliant in the role.  The dynamic between the Doctor and Clara takes some interesting twists and turns, but somehow I just wasn’t that enthralled by the story. The Scottish angle was used to great and glorious comic effect, not a huge belly laugh, but appealed to me greatly.

Now change over Who stories are always going to be difficult, but the fishfingers-and-custard start for Matt Smith turned my view of “he’s too young, this’ll be rubbish” around in a single episode.  I should also say that I wasn’t overly fond of “The Christmas Invasion” either, when David Tennant took over, and Mr Tennant is my second favourite Doctor ever.  Sorry but I grew up with Tom Baker as the Doctor and he was always be The Doctor to me.  (Well, that ages me!)

Technically, I can’t fault the show, the actors did a good job, the costumes, the sets, lighting, cinematography, CGI, it was all good.  But the story was too full of references, so full in fact that the newer ideas nearly got lost in the mix.  Have to say, the lead ‘baddie’ through the show was great, very well brought together and brought to life, and the new ‘baddie’ who appears at the end looks rather interesting too.

As a writer I know stories have to have an action and emotional profile, otherwise they are just flat. Even constant excitement gets dull after a while because no-one can maintain that kind of momentum.  So like all good stories, “Deep Breath” has its ups and downs (or should that be ins and outs?), and there is a really slack tide in there, however, the final conversation between the Doctor and Clara makes all of that worthwhile.

So, so far, when it comes to changeovers in the last 10 years, it’s a case of two out of three ain’t bad, but they weren’t great either.  12’s introduction gets and 8 out of 10 from me.  Roll on what will otherwise, I’m sure, be an fabulous series with answers to a lot of interesting questions not least of which is: What’s with the wedding ring?

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