Females on the Backburner

What is the definition of a companion? In the show Doctor Who, why are the companions almost always exclusively females? When applying these topics, it’s important to realize that science fiction has the potential to offer something new in terms of gender representation. In the constantly evolving world we live in today, it’s rather crucial to address and consider the weight of these questions in a serious manner. Diversity, equal gender representation, and the role of relationships have and still are commonly abused in the world of media television.

Firstly, the Doctor is often portrayed as a lonesome or solitary individual and the female companions are practically defined by relationships. These relationships afford companions more depth than before, however, they also categorize female companions into a traditionally feminine group of family, domestic, and relationship building. Personally, I think the role of the companion itself seems to place females in a box of stereotypes which they plead to escape. Furthermore, the new series of Doctor Who emphasizes this depiction of the Doctor as a lonely traveller in need of friendship, who, many times, uses the female companions to fill that deep trench. I find it very frustrating how he becomes a huge part of each companion’s life and then seemingly carelessly drops each and every one of them back where they came from like a hot tamale. Each new companion believes that she is unique and different to the Doctor when she’s really just a segment of a long string of series on a toil of yarn.

Moreover, the structure and basis of Doctor Who presents many issues involving the representation of gender in particular. While it is certainly evident that each companion represented throughout the show develops a unique relationship with the Doctor, diversifies the role of the companion, and makes the role more acceptable to female viewers to the point that the Doctor surprisingly becomes emotionally affected by his companions, the Doctor is always the main character, the focal point, and the hero. Other characters usually function as sidekicks or adjuncts and the role of companion clearly means a secondary role, with the Doctor forever being the superior character.

Needless to say, I could not have been more ecstatic after the results for the next season of Doctor Who were released. The newest season will indeed feature a female as the next Doctor along with an adequately diverse cast. It’s about time.


Doctor Who is who?

I’m going to talk about the changing characters. I don’t think I have ever watched a show that changes the main character from season to season. There have been shows that I watch that some of the minor characters change, but never the main character. It might draw negative attention to the show that could cause confusion for the watchers. I know when I first started watching and the first doctor switch occurred, I was confused. I didn’t understand why they would switch the main character throughout the show. I had never seen a show that switched the main character. If I was the director, I would not think about switching the main character. Even if I did switch the main character, I wouldn’t think about also changing a minor character. I would think that the main character change was enough for a while, due to the extreme change. Character change is a very daring thing to do, especially if you are also going to change the companion also. Confusing the viewers must draw a negative view upon your show. I know that if I was watching a show and I got confused, I would no longer continue to watch the show. But that is just my personal opinion. Others must feel different about the character change. They could enjoy the new person within the seasons. Others might enjoy the excitement of trying to remember who the new character is within the episodes. Personally, I would be able to keep track of the new characters or who is no longer in the show. I like the show I watch to just be a show I can watch and relax and not have to make a list of who’s in the episodes. But like I said, others might feel different. I like the simple episodes that I can just sit back and watch. I don’t like shows that confuse me and make me think. Might sound dumb, but that’s just how I like my shows to go. Other things that kind of confuse me are the names of all the different creatures that are throughout the episodes. I’m sure someone who is interested in science fiction would highly enjoy this show because of the different creatures, but not me. I’m not entirely interested in this show, therefore, I’m not as willing to put extra time into it to remember all the names and who’s all in the episodes.

Return to Who

Note: This post was originally written in late January.

Since my early high school days, I have been a big Doctor Who fan. I have fond memories of bonding with my brother and sister as we worked our way through the New Who, doctor to doctor. I spent a lot of time reading and watching theories about the show, along with collecting memorabilia. When I graduated high school and left for college, I stopped keeping up with Doctor Who. This was around the time that the 12th Doctor was cast. So, after three years of college and not watching the show, I was excited for the opportunity to take an entire class centered around it.

As I have begun to rewatch the show, I have experienced a number of surprises. First, I was surprised at what I did and did not remember from the show. There were a number of key plot points that I completely forgot about, while at the same time, there were small details that I remembered with great clarity. It’s been nice to gain a sort of refresher as I go through these episodes.

An additional surprise has been how I am experiencing the show this time around. I am now looking at it through a new lense. The show was obviously not structured to teach a course about diversity, but it is an interesting perspective to use while watching the show. I have begun to notice things that I didn’t before. For example, in the earlier episodes, there is stunning lack of racial diversity. As a high schooler, I was not tuned into this type of focus, resulting in a new way of watching.

Having viewed these episodes already once before, I am able to focus more on the aspects of diversity rather than focusing on plot points. I believe that this familiarity will aid me in this class and how I should view the show.

I am very interested in how my view of the show will or will not change as I progress through the seasons. I am looking forward to how the show itself treats diversity as its seasons progress.

Favorite Doctor

Before I took this class, I would have said that Matt Smith was my favorite doctor, because I had seen the most episodes with him and because he was the doctor I started with. Now that I’ve seen all of Eccelston and Tennant, I’m not sure who my favorite doctor is. I really like Nine because he can be snarky and fun, but he also has several moments where you can see a lot of fear, anger, and sadness in him. I think that’s true for all of the New Who doctors, but I do think there’s something special about Eccelston. Ten is a bit more fun and zany than Nine. He makes a lot of insane statements and does crazy things that really fits the “Mad man in a box” description. Eleven goes even further in that direction, and then Twelve goes back to the “Grumpy old man” description. I wish I was better at describing what makes each of them special, but they are, and I’m grateful for all of them.

I don’t understand how people choose a favorite when they’ve seen all of the episodes. It’s like choosing a favorite child. I love them all. I especially don’t understand why some people say to skip Nine and start with Ten. Not only is Nine fantastic, but a lot happens in the first season that is frequently referenced or characters that were introduced in the first season are brought back several times in future seasons. It’s like skipping the first few chapters in a book. There’s bound to be important information in those first few chapters.

Anyway, I think I’m just bad at choosing in general. Although it is easy for me to say that my favorite companion is Donna. I’m not sure why, I just connect with her the most. Maybe it’s just hard to choose a favorite doctor because, in the end, they’re all the same character. Yes, each regeneration has a unique spin to the character, but in the end they’re all the same person. I see every doctor as an extension of the previous ones, so there’s not really a need to choose a favorite. They’re all the doctor and that makes them special.

Set Your Imagination Free

A few weeks ago, I attended an event called the Big Dream Gathering. I was a little skeptical at first, but once I immersed myself in this new opportunity, I began to realize why it was so important and why so many people had attended.

The leader of this event, Mitch Matthews, began to explain how the event had come to be from a simple discussion with friends in his home about the dreams they wanted to achieve. He then began to think that so many more could benefit from talking with a group and writing down their dreams together, letting other people read them, and writing on other people’s dream sheets to offer them help by leaving contact information, to encourage them, and to inspire them to follow their dreams. I was really happy to see the variety of different people who attended this event. Many were Wartburg students, but there were also several adults, and some adults with their children. I think it was significant that parents took their children with them to an event like this because I observed a connection between parent and child, and it was a good way to get families to dream together as a team.

When Mitch was giving his introduction, there was one particular thing that stuck out to me. He said that we should give ourselves the permission to dream. He told us to write down every dream that we could think of. There was no dream too small or too big that we couldn’t write down. He told us of a young boy that attended a Big Dream Gathering event once who wrote thirty-two dreams in total. He just wanted us to be creative and think of all the possibilities that we could potentially put into action.

We taped our dreams up on the wall organized into different categories. It was wonderful to see how many people were able to help others with their dreams. No matter how young or old, people were able to make a difference in the lives of others. That kind of diversity in backgrounds and capabilities was fascinating to me, especially that we could all use them to help one another out with making our dreams a reality.

Then I got to thinking, The Doctor is a dreamer too. He believes in protecting the Earth and the ones he cares for. He doesn’t run away from tough situations, even when he might be a little scared or unsure of how things will turn out. He inspires others to stand up for what is right and shows several humans a better way of living their lives by caring about the lives of others deeply and widely, despite their differences. The fact that he continues to live on and on is a great indicator that he knows more about life, happiness, and tragedy than any human on the show is capable of understanding in their much shorter lifetimes.

This show has a lot to offer when it comes to imagination, dreaming, and creativity, which is sometimes what we have to do when we are dreaming about things we want to do in our real lives. This show takes our mind to a place where crazy things are possible, which perhaps is capable of inspiring us to do things that we think may be impossible at first in our school lives, work lives, and beyond. In a way, watching the show is giving myself permission to have an imagination that surpasses what is possible in the real world.

Diversity in Doctor Openings

For my fourth blog post entry, I want to focus on diversity in the openings of the New-Who Doctors.

Christopher Eccelston brought needed update with his openings, right along with the show. The song playing during his is almost identical to the very first opening of William Hartnell. As you can see below the colors are appealing to look at. Eccelston’s opening begins with a spinning TARDIS going down some sort of vortex, presumably a time vortex tunnel. After a few seconds it stops, the camera does a slow motion pan around the TARDIS, and then the TARDIS zooms down a different colored time vortex. Lastly, there is a football shape cut out with the words Doctor Who on it, with shines on it. To fade out the opening theme it would then show the title of the episode with the writer at the time (mostly Davies.) It truly is my favorite opening of any New-Who Doctor.

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Next, are David Tennant’s openings. I do mean openings because after two seasons he got a slightly modified one to end his tenure as the Doctor. Tennant’s first opening was essentially the same as Eccelston’s. Really the only difference was the name that appeared first for the cast list. David’s second opening had a darker blue feel, and the music turned more hard rock ish, but still the same overall melody. The TARDIS still was spinning and jumped vortex tunnels around the middle point of the theme.

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After David Tennant, we have Matt Smith’s openings. Again, he has two distinct openings we can look at. First, his opening uses similar music to the second one of David Tennant’s. However, now the time vortex doesn’t look as vortex-y as a time vortex should be. I still like the first one though, because it appears to be a storm cloud and lightning bolts zapping out occasionally. If one pays close enough attention they can see a lightning bolt hit the TARDIS and momentarily paralyze it from moving. Smith’s second opening is where I start to lose interest in the openings. The music stays mostly the same, however now there is a huge cluster of colors and no real vortex that the TARDIS travels down. The Doctor Who logo is now just words over no cut out as the previous two Doctor’s had.

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Lastly, is Peter Capaldi’s opening sequence. While there is an Easter egg thrown into it, it still is my least favorite. One reason it is my least favorite is the slow pace of the motions of what it does show. This sequence shows clock gears whirring, roman numerals I-XII spiraling around, and then a weird liquid-y vortex of some sort. It just is not very fast paced or as visually pleasing as I liked the previous ones.

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Doctor Who Wedding

As someone who is in the middle of planning a wedding, I thought it would be interesting to see what is out there for a Doctor Who themed wedding. Let me tell you, there is a lot. Simply searching the phrase ‘Doctor Who wedding’ on Pinterest brings up ideas galore. Then if you want to search for specific items, even more ideas pop up.

First, you must have a way to invite people to your wedding.

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There are tons of ideas for Doctor Who themed wedding invitations out there. From ones of the TARDIS, to ones using Circular Gallifreyan, to ones with quotes from the show. You will not be short on ideas for these.


Table decorations are next on the list of wedding items some may want to include in their wedding planning.

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Once again, you will not be short on ideas here. There are ideas on the more complicated side, such as this one, or there are much simpler ideas such as sunflowers in a blue vase (a reference to the episode “Vincent and the Doctor”), and everything in between.

And while we’re looking at flowers, you can’t forget the bride’s bouquet.

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The most popular idea, by far, is to incorporate a sonic screwdriver into the bride’s bouquet. Then out of those bouquets with a sonic screwdriver in them, most of the time they were used as you see here, as the base part.


Now for the cake. Everyone loves a good cake.

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There are so many ideas for a Doctor Who themed cake on Pinterest. Granted, some of the ones that came up in my search were birthday cakes or not specifically wedding, but you could turn them into a wedding cake with a few minor adjustments. There were also a lot of fandom crossovers on the cakes like with Doctor Who and Star Wars for example.


The happy couple often have their own set of Mr. and Mrs. glasses at the reception, and there are some different options out there for Doctor Who fans.

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These glasses were one of the first to pop up, but there were also glasses that read “Timelord” and “Companion,” “I love you with both my hearts,” or simply had images of the TARDIS or different characters on them.

If you have cute glasses, you’re going to need something to go in them.

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This idea came up when I was searching for a different item, but it went perfectly with the glasses above so I had to include it. There’s even some Daleks on the back wine bottle.


Last, but not least. Could anyone really have a Doctor Who wedding without a TARDIS?


I think a TARDIS is definitely needed. There are many DIY ideas out there for making your very own TARDIS, and it is a great addition to any event, especially a Doctor Who wedding.


There are tons and tons of other Doctor Who wedding ideas out there and they are perfect for any dedicated Whovian that wants to show their love of the show on one of the biggest days of their lives.