History of the TARDIS and the Sonic

So, there were reasons to how the TARDIS ended up looking on the inside and outside… This isn’t revealed until the New Who when it is revealed that it does take 6 people to fly the TARDIS. It was also revealed that TARDIS’ aren’t built they are grown like trees from a seed and then the equipment and everything is added later. This is part of why there is mismatched and some strange equipment in the console. When the TARDIS is being remodeled there is some new equipment that is changed and updated but it’s always recognizable things that must have been reused from somewhere, like Eleven had ketchup and mustard bottles and Nine and Ten had the monitor, a keyboard, and the small sledgehammer on the string that does get used occasionally. The TARDIS also has a soul as discovered in “The Doctors Wife” and can see all parts of time even then, but the real question is whether the Doctor stole the TARDIS or if the TARDIS stole the Doctor. As this is what the TARDIS also called sexy keeps reminding the Doctor of. The console is slightly redone with each Doctor but they all resort back to the same basic layout with either a hexagon or circular shape. The Ninth and Tenth Doctors layouts had the pillars that branched which was designed off choral and trees to reflect that the TARDIS is grown and is a living thing.

The exterior of the TARDIS also has never really changed and this was explained with the chameleon circuit being broken. This seems to be a defect in a lot of the TARDIS’s. This is my theory because when the 12th Doctor and Clara stole another previous version of a TARDIS Clara took it and had it shape into a diner for her final meeting with the Doctor who could no longer remember her. We then saw her TARDIS take off and it kept the shape of the diner and they mentioned that the circuit went down again. This was a defect created so the show could keep one object that people would recognize as the Doctor’s no matter when and where it landed and it was an easy way to save money by not needing to replace the TARDIS constantly.

Did you know the Sonic Screwdriver was taken out of Doctor Who in Classic Who? Upon bringing the show back Davies decided he wanted to keep a device that kids could play with and the Doctor could use in times of need for simpler tasks like picking a lock to save time because episodes went from two hours to fifty minutes. He did include flaws in the screwdriver in that it can’t get past a deadbolt lock or wood, and this does come up a few times in episodes. The sonic is a device connected and created by the TARDIS. When the Doctor needs a new sonic the TARDIS will produce it and based off the interior design of the console room. I look forward to where they will take the TARDIS design and technology like the sonic in the future.

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Similarities in the Doctor Incarnations

Christopher Eccleston set the stage of incorporating more diversity in the Doctor Who reboot being from the northern part of the United Kingdom. This was extremely diverse for the UK because everyone is to try to be posh and speak like the Queen does because that gives them status both economically and socially. Otherwise the Doctor is still a white British male who isn’t ginger yet. Though the Ninth Doctor didn’t seem to bring anything back from previous versions he rather built a new persona. The only thing he brought back was his know it all attitude that he carried otherwise the clothing was ‘normal’ for the Doctor. Nine was very rebellious and seemed to be trying to move on from any connection to his past.

David Tennant being Scottish brought an even broader audience because he is a more popular actor who brought more viewers. Though still not ginger the Tenth Doctor brought a new style of acting and clothing. Ten went back to an odd outfit with a suit, long coat, and converse but it is still not as out there as a long scarf or a celery stalk. He did however, bring back a lot of the fifth Doctor with the glasses and they each dash around but appreciate beauty in the things around them. They each also stand with their hands in their pockets in tense situations which gives a casual appearance. Ten also aligned with the First Doctor in his final days by becoming selfish and trying to avoid regeneration and moving on.

Matt Smith brought a youthful feel being the youngest Doctor ever cast. This many would say is an age chosen by the Doctor to hide an old weary soul. Smith portrays the Doctor a lot like the second Doctor because he is goofy, can be physically awkward, and his love of hats. This Smith has credited to being that the Second Doctor was the Doctor of the stories he watched after being cast due to not having Doctor Who while growing up. Eleven also kept a suit but had sand boots instead of converse and later adopted spectacles for a few episodes to go with Five and Ten. Smith when cast as the Doctor wasn’t well known but this role brought him to fame.

Peter Capaldi again being Scottish brought some variety to the Doctor. Capaldi is the oldest doctor cast other than John Hurt who only has appeared a few times playing the War Doctor. The show did play some on Capaldi being from Glasgow with Clara making a few jokes here and there. Twelve being older than his two previous incarnations showed that he is accepting the maturity that he showed in his earliest incarnations. In season eight Twelve had a style that reflected the Third Doctor with a look almost of a magician. And in season nine he adopts a ‘disheveled “cosmic hobo”’ look like the Second Doctor. However, he shares a lot of traits with the Third Doctor like the love of invention and a sense of flamboyance with dramatic pointing or poses.

Jodi Whittaker being female also brings another sense of diversity into the Doctors incarnations. However, she is still white so maybe the 14th Doctor will be a person of color. In her outfit, she adopts the stripes of the Fourth Doctor on her shirt, the long coat of the Tenth and Fourth Doctor, the boots and suspenders of the Eleventh Doctor, and high waisted trousers like the Second Doctor. So overall most of her look comes from previous incarnations. But still not ginger! So, we will see where the Thirteenth Doctor takes us and how she acts compared to her previous incarnations.

Image: tonyblews.co.uk

Wait… I missed something!?

Being a previous Whovian re-watching for diversity was extremely interesting. Upon re-watching I also have noticed the foreshadowing and clues they put in to the future start earlier than previously noticed. For example, bad wolf begins in season 1 but the Doctor and Rose don’t notice that it is following them around the universe until the middle of season 2. As early as the beginning of season 2 you notice the vote Saxon posters in the background which aren’t apart of the story until the end of season 3. In season 3 there is also the use of the Timelords heartbeat which comes into play in season 4 with the Doctor Donna and the specials after leading to the Tenth Doctors death and regeneration. In season 5 you begin to see these cracks appearing that seem to focus in on Amelia Pond, which then cause a whole issue in season 5 and lead to the grand ending which is that the crack caused by the exploding TARDIS. Another larger clue was the ‘Silence will Fall, Doctor’ this was used in season 5 for the large plot line set up of season 6.

Within other little story lines amongst the longer storyline there are also clues as to what the truth or future will bring. A prime example of this is in the episode “Utopia” they had professor Y.A.N.A. which stood for You Are Not Alone which is what the Face of Boe told the Doctor before he died. In the same episode, they also have Jack present for all he tells the Doctor which leads up to the big reveal that the Face of Boe is Jack at the end of the story; though how he made that transformation is never revealed. In the “Time of Drums” as the toclafane are invading the Master begins playing a song in which they are referred to as your future which is a clue as to what the toclafane really are. Another is the Doctors hand being cut off and falling to earth in “The Christmas Invasion” because Jack comes back into play with the hand as a Doctor tracker which also leads to the Master getting the hand and using it for his purposes. Later the hand is used at the end of season four when the Doctor gets struck by a dalek and regenerated, he used it to keep his form and syphon off the excess energy which comes into play with creating a new Doctor and the creation of the Doctor Donna.

I love seeing the different things that the writers set up whether it be for the season or for a long-term plot hidden in the background for a long-term plot line or just within an episode storyline. It is a lot of fun to see all the little things that if you hadn’t seen in the show before when watching the show because they don’t connect in your mind as an important detail. This says that the writers have an idea where the show is going and they are going to do what they can to keep the viewers interested.

Wait… so I missed the diversity in Doctor Who previously!?

Re-watching the New Who is also interesting for looking at all the diversity that you would expect to be in a science fiction show but isn’t. So why does the BBC not have diversity? Is it that the writers don’t know how to include diversity? Are the diverse actors not available to be in the show? Could the actors be in the show but are never cast because of a director prejudice? These are all possibilities but today this shouldn’t be happening ever; the people of different nationalities and ethnicities should also be written in as some of the good people. Today in Hollywood you see a lot of British actors immigrate into the United States and they are popular villains. This is a lot like in Britain the Asian actors or black actors are often portrayed as the bad guy or villain. Having seen the show before and not been looking for diversity makes it interesting looking for the diversity in the hidden places that I don’t know.

In Classic Who there are instances when diversity could have been include and was written in which it had diversity but the diverse people were often the villains. A prime example of this was the Talons of Wang-Chiang, in this episode the Asian characters were portrayed as ‘bad guys’ because their religion called for human sacrifices and they were played by white actors. So why is having a white actor portray an Asian person bad you ask? Because they were painted to look Asian with makeup to hide that they were white. This is extremely offensive because there were Asian actors who needed jobs and the BBC was supposed to have color blind casting. In a previous episode they had incorporated diversity of all kinds which really added to the backlash for the Talons episode.

In the New Who there are two eras referred to as the Era of Davies and Era of Moffat. Davies was the executive producer and head writer up until season five. Davies did well at expanding the diversity from what it was in Classic Who by using different accents of the UK and he targeted different classes of Britain. Davies also included multiple interracial couples, but they never last as a couple. Davies included multiple characters like Captain Jack Harkness who is from the 51st century and a different planet and is very open with his pansexuality. Jack’s sexuality is obvious because he flirts with the Doctor, his companions, random people, and aliens of almost any race. With Moffat, you see less diversity when he took over but it gradually increases over his ‘reign’ as he figures out the flow of the show and how he can incorporate diversity in different ways. Most of these things I never noticed before probably due to being a white woman from a small-town Iowa as well.

It will be interesting to see how diversity is affected with a new executive producer and head writer at the helm who has also cast a female doctor.

Diversity in Doctor Who???

The Doctor is always played by a white male always from somewhere in Britain, or is he? This year the BBC announced that the Doctor will in fact be a woman! What!? That couldn’t be announced unless the BBC is just trying harder at being politically correct, right? Turns out that’s not the only reason why they have finally cast a woman as the Doctor. The show announced that Steven Moffat the head writer and executive producer is stepping down and Chris Chibnall will be filling in his rather large shoes.

Classic who never explored a lot of diversity, yes, there was some but there were also episodes in the show that still anger people of today. For instance, the episode The Talons of Weng Chiang was to be color blind casting however they cast white actors to play the Chinese and they all were the bad guys in the stereotypical ninja way. The BBC fell into the hole that most shows and movies do by using only one part of the entire culture.  

Starting in the New Who there became a sort of ‘era’ of Russell T Davies who managed to include a lot of diversity. He had interracial couples to start off as well as some sexual diversity. Davies also cast Christopher Eccleston as the ninth doctor who grew up in the norther part of Britain and was got to keep his accent to start the show off as appealing to the lower classes of the British population. However, even though he showed he could be diverse the interracial couples never lasted they ended up marrying someone of the same color. But the main point is that he had multiple couples and diversity factors, right?

For series 5 and on Steven Moffat took over as executive producer and head writer. Moffat never included as much diversity by always having straight, white women as the companions. He did have different regions of the United Kingdom represented because Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) is Scottish and then Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswin Oswald) is English. Moffat began to introduce some new and some of the same concepts that maybe Timelords don’t need to stay within a single gender or race. For example, he had Melody Pond who regenerated into a younger black woman and then into River Song. Later the Master regenerated into a woman (Missy). This just leads me to believe that maybe Moffat didn’t know how to include diversity in Doctor Who until he gained a larger experience as head writer.

I cannot wait to see which direction Chibnall takes the female doctor on the show while watching as a fan and for aspects of diversity.