In The Doctors universe he faces many an alien as he travels through time most of which are very friendly but there are others who are sinister and evil. Of the enemies The Doctor faces in his travels none are more frightening then the Daleks and the Cybermen. Both of whom instill terror in The Doctor every time he comes face to face with one. More interesting though is the reaction of the Daleks and Cybermen.
The Daleks believe themselves to be the highest and most evolved race in existence void of any feelings and bread purely for the destruction of other races. But all of what the Daleks might want you to think is not what it seems even though they say they have removed emotions there encounters with The Doctor show otherwise. The only true emotion is one of the most primal emotions fear no matter how advance they become they are still afraid.
Now let’s look at the Cybermen a less advanced race built on humans whose goal lies close by that of the Daleks, to conquer the universe. Just like the Daleks their emotions have been suppressed to try and be a more superior being. The two-significant difference between the two races is one that the Daleks are bread into their superiority complex where as the Cybermen are forced into it. With the Cybermen if the person being controlled although has a strong enough will they can overcome the programing and have free will such as in “Doomsday”. The second difference is in how they want to conquer the universe. Daleks would prefer if the entire universe were dead and the only beings left were themselves but the Cybermen would rather assimilate others into being Cybermen.
When the Cybermen and the Daleks meet for the first time in “Doomsday” the most interesting thing that I found was how the Cybermen offered to a line with the Daleks, but they refused even though if they joined forces they would have been an unstoppable force. With their two races being so similar it seems only natural that they would join forces for the common bad so to speak.
With all this talk about the Daleks and the Cybermen I almost forgot about The Doctor. In “Doomsday” one of the Cybermen comments to The Doctor about how his emotions weaken him, yet The Doctor always ends up conquers evil in the end. This idea that The Doctors emotions make him stronger is not lost though on the cult of Skaro or at least on Dalek Sec. Later in the series we find that the Daleks are now trying to become more human under the leadership of Dalek Sec to continue their race which The Doctor complements them on because they are no longer fixated on killing but more on the preservation of life until they kill Dalek Sec. This is a big shift for the Daleks they are learning that for them to be as strong as The Doctor they may need to become more like him and we see that they are not always about killing they can evolve.
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.
The idea of diversity in Doctor Who has been particularly interesting to me. Because of the Doctors ability to travel in time, his companions are able to learn and experience the future and history all while saving the world. Having bits of diversity in each episode, also gives viewers the opportunity to take away lessons from each show. Particularly in Classic Who, lessons were more apparent and directed towards a certain audience of children.
In an article on the Radio Times, Natalie Barnes gives a different perspective to the thought of lessons given in Doctor Who. “The Time Lord helps kids face their fears – and teaches them nothing beats using your brain” (Barnes, 2017). The idea of ‘nothing beats using your brain’ stood out to me. As I reflected on this idea and some examples from the show, I have realized that the Doctor constantly uses explained reasoning, past experiences, and self reflection to work his way through the problem he is trying to solve. Hardly ever does he use the internet or, more importantly, give up on trying to save the world. Although New Who is not as direct with its depiction of lessons or pieces of diversity, the show as a whole has a single common lesson: ‘nothing beats using your brain.’
Although I have only seen a couple episodes of Classic Who, both Classic Who and New Who seem to share life lessons displayed in each season or episode. Doctor Who TV talks about the importance of making sure Doctor Who is entertaining for children and adults while giving both audiences something to relate to. Author Mark Mclain concluded with an idea that “the best shows are the ones we can actually learn something from” (McCullough, 2014). He continued with a list of the top ten lessons viewers can learn from Doctor Who, and I found three to be the most important for each audience: turn your weaknesses into strengths, never give up, and appreciate what you have as you may not have it forever. All three of these lessons have a direct correlation to Doctor Who, classic and new.
Noting that Doctor Who is not one of my favorite television shows, researching and reflecting on these ideas of life lessons has made the show more appealing to me. Being able to find the deeper meaning behind the science fiction of aliens and time travel gives the show more value that I find to be more relatable. After reading these article, hopefully my perception of the episodes will change allowing me to focus on the broader sense of the series.
Barnes, Natalie. Radio Times, 8 Aug. 2017, www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-05-17/of-course-doctor-who-is-a-childrens-show-says-steven-moffat-but-that-doesnt-mean-its-childish/.
McCullough, Mark. “10 Lessons to Live By From Doctor Who.” Doctor Who TV, 3 Dec. 2014, www.doctorwhotv.co.uk/10-lessons-to-live-by-from-doctor-who-69347.htm.
Diversity- “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: variety; especially: the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization programs intended to promote diversity in schools” (Webster Dictionary). Some might ask why I added a definition of a very common used word in this day and age. When people think about diversity I feel like they look at diversity in a very one dimensional way. As the definition states it is different elements. An example that they give is race and culture. Some may argue that those are the only aspects of diversity. I feel that diversity can come in many forms such as peoples various socioeconomic statuses, sexuality, and even political views. These are all aspects of diversity overlooked. From an educator’s standpoint when people look at diversity within a school they look at mostly race. I can argue that I grew up in a diverse community while only a very small group of the community is not Caucasian. Some diversity comes in the different religious backgrounds and other a very diverse in ideas. I came from a school where ideas were shared, ideas were discussed, and people had opinions. That added to the diversity. We might have been a very Caucasian school but we were still diverse.
America is known as the melting pot. The melting pot of culture, race, and ideas. These all ideas make the United States a diverse place to live. Some these cultures have assimilated into a culture of their own. Iowa has created a culture different that of Texas. Although there are both a variety of races in every state the culture is different on different factors. The ideals from different areas are different. Your ideas are affected by multiple factors that are built from your community, family, and friends. These help build the identity and culture of the place you are a part of. Not to keep referring to school but Wartburg is very diverse. Not only in race but in the culture and ideas brought by students from other states, schools, communities, and countries. This makes up a culture at Wartburg. Already being in class I have had ideas changed by learning about fellow classmates culture. That this school/ community has made me more diverse. All in all, diversity is more than race but is a connection and changing the thing that grows and changes individuals constantly.
Jay, a speedster from Earth 2 once said, “There are consequences to time travel.” These consequences can be seen in most shows or movies about time travel. This theme of consequence is seen in the movie Back to the Future when Marty changes the past. Not only does this quote apply to the famous movie but it applies to The Flash and Doctor Who. In both shows, at least one episode shows that one major change to the past causes chaos and there are different worlds in the universe.
Consequences of time travel is one of the main components that relates a superhero drama to a science fiction drama. In The Flash, speedster Barry Allen goes back in time to save his mother from an evil speedster from the future. Since his mother lived, his father did not go to jail and he never goes to live with Iris and Joe. This changes his present day life majorly. A few episodes later, Barry gets to the point where he cannot handle his new life and ends up going back in time again to stop himself from saving his mother.
Then in Doctor Who, Rose decides to save her father from getting hit by a car. From there things go drastically wrong. First, Jackie sees Rose with her father and believes he is cheating again which leads to a fight between the two. Then time raves show up and start to make people disappear. Of course, the Doctor tries to save the day by getting everyone into a church. In the end, Rose’s dad decides to let a car hit him to save the day. That is one of the biggest consequences of all because now people believe he committed suicide instead of being killed in a hit and run.
Not only do consequences of changing the past relate the two television shows but the idea of different worlds does too. For starters, when Barry runs fast enough he can travel to a different world. The first world he ever travels to is Earth 2 where everyone has a doppelgänger. Barry is not the Flash, Caitlin and Cisco are evil meta-humans, and Star Labs is still up and running. The second world Barry travels to is Gorilla City where all the inhabitants are giant gorillas. Secondly, the Doctor and Rose travel to another world where everyone has a doppelgänger. Mickey is Rickey, Rose does not exist as a human, and there are cybermen. That is the only world, that I know of, that the Doctor travels to.
Now take a minute to think about the consequences if we could actually time travel, and play around with the possibility of there being different worlds/Earths. After you’ve done that ask yourself what would you if you could go back and change the past? And would you want to travel to a different world if it was possible?
Quote found here: http://www.buddytv.com/articles/the-flash/best-flash-quotes-from-paradox-61629.aspx
Spoiler alert: the Doctor dies. Another spoiler alert: he comes back as David Tennant. (oh la la!)
Now this is the first time that I’ve seen Doctor Who. Watching the old who episodes I didn’t think that I was going to get so into the show. And going into the first season of new who I also wasn’t quite sure what I should expect. Would I like it more than the old who? Well one thing I especially didn’t expect was that I would get so close to the Doctor and feel so torn when the ninth doctor died.
I would say this especially surprised me when some of the episodes with the ninth doctor didn’t even take my attention that well. They would start off well and grab my attention, but as the episode went on I just lost interest. I would watch them for class, but honestly, I don’t think I would ever watch some of those again. It was hard to keep my attention to write down what was going on. Yet here I am at the last episode with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and my eyes start to tear up. I look over at my roommate (who is a huge fan of Doctor Who) and wonder how she has gone through this with how many doctors she has watched.
Doctor Who is a totally new experience for me. Yes, I’ve watched the occasional show about aliens, but nothing about aliens and time travel. It’s certainly different than things that I have watched before. I have gotten pretty sucked in. And boy oh boy will I still be sucked in with David Tennant. Especially since my tears got sucked RIGHT back into my eyes when I saw David Tennant. I always knew that the doctor regenerated, but it doesn’t seem true until you see it actually happen. Watching the episode in class with David Tennant as the Doctor got me pretty excited. It brought back in my excitement for Doctor Who. It drew me in and made me super excited for the tenth Doctor. Maybe this time I will be more prepared for when he regenerates, but probably not…
I will be looking at an episode that we watched a while ago titled “World War Three.” This episode I noticed a lot of diversity that I wasn’t used to seeing within the previous episodes. The type of diversity I noticed in this episode was racial diversity in a good way. Sometimes Doctor Who episodes try and display racial diversity and they do a bad job of displaying it. It then is looked at negatively by the viewers; even if their intentions were not negative. Usually in these episodes the white man and sometimes the white girl will be the one to save the day. This episode was different than that. This time Mickey who is black, had a huge role in saving the day. He not only saved the main characters but also saved everyone on the planet. I thought this was cool to see because it wasn’t something the show Doctor Who was used to doing. I also feel like this was a big stepping stone for this show. It showed people that it wasn’t like the classic who anymore. The Classic Who had no racial diversity and when they did try and have racial diversity it comes off as racist to us now. I believe the point of having Mickey save the planet in this episode was to show everyone that the new who was a different show in a way. Like I said, the Classic Who lacked racial diversity, but that was how the culture was in the days classic who was made. New who is made in a much different time and it should be expected to have some racial diversity. The show still lacks racial diversity of course, but this was a big step for the show in my opinion. Like we have talked about in class, it would be nice to see a Doctor Who isn’t a white male. There will be a female doctor next which is a step in the right direction. Next, it would be nice to see a person of color become to doctor. If/when this happens, it will be interesting to see the numbers of viewers change. This will give us a good idea of how the world still has a problem accepting racial diversity. Hopefully we wouldn’t see any decrease in viewers, but that more than likely wouldn’t be the case. I believe this is the reason why no person of color has been the doctor yet, because of fear of major loss of viewers.