Mickey is not at all a Mouse!

Out of all the characters that we have met so far in our viewing, I have found Mickey to be one of my favorites. He’s funny, relatable, and oftentimes heroic, but due to the occasional portrayal of him as a clingy boyfriend who has nothing better to do then wait and hope for Rose’s return, he’s seen as lame or lacking in depth. I would argue, citing a few episodes, that Mickey is one of the more interesting characters with more depth than characters on the show and fans of the show give him credit for.

The first episode I would cite is one of the first episodes in the new series, “Aliens of London / World War Three”. In this two part episode, the Doctor and Rose discover a sinister plot by the Slitheen to launch the world into nuclear war. They disguise themselves as officials in the British government, and one such alien disguises himself as a police officer. When he reveals his true form and attacks Jackie in her flat, Mickey is there to rush in and save her from a gruesome death at the alien’s claws. Later on, Mickey is given access to government software and uses it to effectively stop the Slitheen by launching a missile at their gathering place using a British submarine. Mickey proves that he’s not just the bumbling boyfriend in this episode.

Mickey further proves himself in later episodes, especially when he eventually joins the Doctor and Rose on the TARDIS. In the episode “School Reunion”, Mickey’s first adventure with the Doctor, he plays a major role in taking down the Krillitanes by driving his car through the front of the school to orchestrate the escape of the trapped school children. Mickey saves them and is basically an action hero in the process. I think this is almost a turning point for Mickey, where he learns what he really is capable of.

Mickey only further expands on what he believes himself capable of doing in the two part episode “Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel”. While he causes the problem initially by holding down a button for too long, he proves himself effective in solving the problem. We also see more character depth in Mickey than ever before with his visit to his parallel universe grandmother, who raised him and was very important to him. We find that she had recently passed away on the true earth, also. Even the Doctor and Rose agree that they often take Mickey for granted. At the end, he turns into a total action hero, much like his parallel universe counterpart, Ricky, when he pilots the blimp and saves Rose, the Doctor, and Pete from certain death in the burning building. Mickey is a hero in this episode and should be given credit for it.

Overall, Mickey seems to be, especially during the Ninth Doctor’s run, seen as a bumbling boyfriend who has nothing better to do than wait for Rose to come back. I would argue, however, that Mickey is an interesting character who brings a lot of depth to the show. We see ourselves in Mickey; he is fearful, but brave in spite of his fears. He is loyal and unwilling to give up on the people he loves. Mickey is certainly my favorite character right now, and I would hope that more people might feel the same.

Diversity and Relationships in Dr. Who

Coming into this class, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had heard of the Dr. Who tv show before, but hadn’t seen it. A relative of mine gave me a small overview about the Dr. Who, but after watching the very first episode of Dr. Who I realized that they completely mislead me. Somehow they had gotten it into their heads that Dr. Who was almost the equivalent to the Sherlock Holmes tv show. I was a little bummed that it wasn’t going to be more of a detective show, but I thought I’d give it a try anyway.

As I continue to watch Dr. Who I have grown to like it overall as a show, but I think the diversity in relationships are some of the most interesting parts to watch, especially between the main characters. In the beginning first episode, Rose and Mickey were shown as being in a very strong relationship, but that changed the minute she met The Doctor. At the end of that episode, Rose decided to leave Mickey to go off with some odd, random man she had only just met in a time travelling police box. Rose didn’t look like she had any regrets when she stepped into that police box either. Poor, poor Mickey.

Rose and The Doctor got closer and closer as the first season went on. Eventually, their closeness lead to a kiss at the end of the season. Although, between the first and last episodes, Rose would get back together with Mickey when The Doctor and her would come back to Earth. It was interesting how easily she switched between the two. It was also interesting how neither Mickey nor The Doctor seemed to care one bit.

Another relationship including The Doctor and Rose (not together) is both of their relationships with the Daleks. The Daleks absolutely hate The Doctor and The Doctor absolutely hates the Daleks. Their relationship is fighting and death all of the time. On the other hand, Rose’s relationship with the Daleks, more like with one of the Daleks, is completely different. One of them actually started to care a little about her. It cared enough not to kill her, which was amazing because they kill or destroy pretty much everything.

Side note: When Captain Jack Harkness came into the picture, Rose quickly turned her attention to him, seeming to forget about The Doctor and Mickey.

Diversity in Mindsets

Something that I have especially noticed as I continue to watch the Doctor Who episodes is how the characters’ mindsets have a way of connecting as well as differentiating themselves from one another.

First, there is the simple difference between the intent of bad and good. It is obvious that characters such as Cassandra and the Daleks primarily have the intent of doing bad, which typically includes destroying the world and those in it. On the other hand, there are those who always strive for good. For example, the Doctor and Rose always intend to do good and save the planet as well as each other because they know how to do what’s necessary to protect the future. Rose’s mother as well as Mickey also possess good intentions, but for more selfish reasons than the intentions of Rose and the Doctor.

Jackie Tyler cares quite a bit about personal belongings and what makes her feel good. In the episode, “Rose”, Jackie went shopping and was completely unconcerned with the troubles that Rose was facing. When Rose tried to explain to her what was happening, she was in her own world that consisted of shopping and doing things for her own benefit. In the episode, “The Christmas Invasion”, when Jackie, Rose, and Mickey take the unwell Doctor into the TARDIS to hide, Jackie took several bags filled with unnecessary personal belongings, causing her to be at risk of missing the TARDIS altogether. She risked her safety for her personal belongings, which says a lot about her personality. She ultimately cares a lot about Rose, but she can be so distracted by her selfish ways at times that she appears to not care about her own daughter. I know if I were a caring mother, I wouldn’t allow my daughter to travel through time and space with some strange Doctor.

Mickey, on the other hand, cares about Rose a little too much. He’s always counting on Rose coming back for him someday and staying on Earth to be with him, but she wants to continue her adventures with the Doctor because she feels that her adventures give her more purpose than anything on Earth ever will. Mickey is now slowly realizing how much Rose loves the Doctor and is becoming less selfish about her, but I have a feeling that his feelings toward Rose will ultimately never change. He wants Rose for his own, but she cares about the Doctor too much to leave him for Mickey.

The mindset that has changed the most drastically throughout the show so far is definitely Rose’s. She began the first episode just as confused as every other human about why there were strange mannequins walking around killing people. Now, she is one of the smartest and most educated on why these strange things occur. When the Doctor introduced himself to Rose for the very first time, she was utterly confused by the term “Doctor” and didn’t understand who he was or why he didn’t have more to his name. Now, she has completely accepted that he is simply “The Doctor”, and puts a great deal of trust in him as she always has. Rose has also become virtually fearless in situations where she could potentially lose her life, but I feel as though that is perhaps a trait she has always possessed, but is more prominent now in her circumstances.

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Revisiting, and the End of an Old Hero

I would like to start by saying this is not the first time I have watched Doctor Who. I may not have gotten into the show as my brother did when he binge-watched what all was on Netflix before they took it off the U.S. servers. I did watch a few episodes of each doctor from 9th through 12th, but never an entire season. As Dr. Lindgren said in class, the first doctor you watch is usually your favorite, and that is very true for myself. Christopher Eccelston was a fantastic introduction to the Doctor’s universe. Since it was the reboot, they had to explain a lot of things over again because of the new audience, which really helped my understanding.

Next, I want to review the 9th Doctor’s final episode, as he was my absolute favorite Doctor. It was a brilliant send off for the doctor that essentially “regenerated” the series. I really like how the Doctor was faced with such moral dilemmas, before, during, and after Rose’s decision. The Doctor was being faced with creating an explosion to kill all the new-gen Daleks and their original generation emperor that somehow survived the Time-War. But at the exact same time, Rose was taking matters into her own hands as she, Jackie, and Mickey rip off a part of the TARDIS so Rose can look in to the heart of it. That in my opinion is the biggest plot hole thus far of the “New-Who”, however it does not make it a garbage episode.

The Doctor sends Rose with the TARDIS, facing certain regeneration either by previously mentioned way of him setting off an explosion, or simply getting killed by a Dalek. When Rose looks in to the heart of the TARDIS it is the stupidest thing to do. It did not need to happen. Being that she had the TARDIS, the Doctor would have found his way back to it after regeneration, thus still creating the reunion and start of season 2 in the same shape. She did not need to put her own life at risk by absorbing that power, and singlehandedly be the reason for the 9th Doctor to regenerate. Rose would have been better off waiting, not putting herself in harm’s way, and getting the Tenth Doctor after he regenerated from the other two outcomes. Overall, it was a good episode and introduction to David Tennant. I am very excited to continue watching future Doctors in our class!

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The companions I’ve experienced in “New Who”

When i first started watching Doctor Who was in this class.  So my first companion that i was exposed to was Rose.  Within the first couple episodes I realized that I liked her personality and what she brought to the conversations and show as a whole.  I also was very thrilled when Mickey came on adventures as I enjoy his sarcasm and how he butts heads with the Doctor.   As I progressed through the series with the ninth Doctor I started noticing how awfully Rose treats Mickey and then started disliking her more and more.  Whenever she comes around he is like a little puppy and it’s so obvious that he loves her and would do anything for her.  She doesn’t seem to care because she’s so overwhelmed with the Doctor and always leaves him hanging.

The next companion that i was exposed to was Donna.  I HATE Donna.  She is so annoying, loud, and rude.  She is the epitome of childish, she has only been in one episode and yet she complained to the doctor, yelled and begged that guy to marry her and nagged throughout the episode.  I did not enjoy that episode at all and just wanted it to end.

Finally, Martha entered the picture.  The heroine of the series of female companions in my opinion.  She is humble and nice and loves the Doctor.  The first episode that I saw her in was the Shakespeare episode.  When she entered the conversation she always raised an important question or helped continue the episode as well as added an extra layer of diversity and often brought it up in episodes.  Clearly I am biased because she is easily my favorite.

Pitting Women Against Each Other Part Two

In my previous post I discussed the issues with female representation in the episode School Reunion and I will now address the issues with S2E4 The Girl in the Fire Place.

In this episode the Doctor, Rose and Mickey find themselves on a broken down spaceship with windows that lead into France in the 1700s. What they later find out is that the ship’s crew is using human body parts to repair their ship and that the windows are all moments in Madam de Pompadour’s life since they need her brain as the final piece.

The first couple times the Doctor fleetingly meets Madam de Pompadour, otherwise known as Renette, she is a child. When he meets her a third time though she is a woman and she almost immediately kisses him and he is thrilled yelling out,

DOCTOR: I’m the Doctor, and I just snogged Madame de Pompadour. Ha, ha!

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Renette is set up as a love interest for the Doctor from the get go and since Rose had already been well established as a love interest, this forces the audience to pit these two women against each other.

Later on in the episode the Doctor and Renette have a short conversation where he goes into her mind in order to find out why the crew wants her. He becomes enamored with her and when she invites him to a party he accepts, seeming to forget about Rose and Mickey who are in grave danger. When Rose ask him why he would leave them in harm’s way his simple explanation is that he “invented the banana daiquiri a few centuries early.”

The Doctor and Renette only get closer as the episode goes on and by the end he considers bringing her onto the TARDIS and making her his next companion. When he goes to the future to pick her up though he misses her by a few minutes making that impossible.

The issue with this episode is that it diminishes a strong woman in history by making her a love interest through lazy writing and cheap tricks. The Doctor is almost a thousand years old so meeting Renette would have been a tiny speck of his life to him. On top of that, he had only met her twice as a child for a few minutes before they are suddenly making out and running off to parties together. It’s a love story that makes no sense. Why create a love triangle that the writers never intended to follow through with?

It’s unfortunate that the writers of Doctor Who make almost every woman that meets the Doctor fall in love with him. An incomplete list of these women would be Rose, Sarah Jane, Renette, Martha, and Amy. Why can’t a woman want to travel with the Doctor simply because she loves adventure and wants to explore time and space?

Rose, Mickey, and a bit of relationship advice

Rose and Mickey have an interesting relationship that causes quite a bit of stress for the both of them. Both have deep affection for one another but they are each searching for something more. They are tied to each other by their circumstances and past, but sometimes they realize that they are becoming very different people.

Rose wants adventure, excitement, and spontaneity. She wants to wake up each day and have a new experience every day. She is a wandering soul that will never be satisfied with a quiet life of the same thing day to day. If there is danger, she will be there in a heartbeat.

Mickey wants safety, comfort, and stability. He would love to repeat the same routine for the rest of his life and never think twice about it. Mickey needs to feel protected by having the security of a significant other to empathize with his life struggles. When Rose leaves him to go on adventures with the Doctor, Mickey feels abandoned and hopeless. After some time of being gone, Rose returns to find that Mickey has started seeing someone else. This is a turning point in their relationship because they both grasp that if things are not going to change, the two will be at the end of their relationship. They both have to decide which life they want to live and what they are willing to sacrifice. Rose decides to bring Mickey along on her adventures, which isn’t sacrificing much, but Mickey goes a ways out of his comfort zone again for Rose to help the Doctor, Rose, and Jack defeat the Slitheen. This shows Rose how much Mickey cares for her, but in the end it may not be enough to hold them together.

In my opinion, this is how a lot of relationships end. In life, we only look at our side of things, but someone else could be going through so much more than what shows on the outside. It is important to keep an open mind. The moment we are not willing to compromise on issues in the relationship is the moment the battle is already lost. One person can only do so much to keep the two together, and sometimes we have to look at how it is affecting us personally. Mickey will always come running to Rose because he is so in love with her, he would do anything for her. I feel like this relationship is doing more harm than good for him, and he will be a happier person if he just lets Rose go. The hardest part is realizing that sometimes we are not the best thing for the one’s we love.

The Doctor and I (also my favorite episode)

Before I start everything, can we just take a moment and laugh about how I stared at my laptop for about 20 minutes without putting a single word down? For a show that I love so much, I hardly know where to start.

Doctor Who has accompanied through most of my college years. I started watching the show about three years ago, on a cold winter night (Christmas break). I must admit, between the rough British accent and the old TV production, it was a little difficult for me to completely understand the show. But I still remember the exact moment when I fell in love :

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Mickey: “Pi-pi-pi-PIZZA! ”

Without having to view the show with a critical mind, I simply enjoyed the drama, the thrill, the freedom of traveling through time and space. One of my favorite episodes is set in 1890, France. The 11th doctor (played by Matt Smith) and his companion Amy Pond visits Vincent van Gogh during the last few months of life before committing suicide at age of thirty-seven. Through out the episode, aside from the running alongside the doctor and chasing monsters, this episode touched based many times on the mental condition of van Gogh. Van Gogh had a mental melt down and even admitted to the Doctor upon their departure, that he “might not do so well on his own”. After hearing this, the Doctor decided to bring van Gogh to Musee d’Orsay museum in Paris to show van Gogh the impact of his work. At the museum, van Gogh was shaken as the collection’s curator described van Gogh in a way where “He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty… (van Gogh) is not only the world’s greatest artist, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived.” (Vincent and the Doctor, Doctor Who season 5, episode 10)

 

This episode was able to portrait the tormented artists within the limitation of essentially being a children’s program. Van Gogh’s mental anguish was displayed wonderfully by the actor Tony Curran. In my opinion, this episode is also a great representation of the essence of Doctor Who. There’s a little bit of history, a little bit of sic-fi. There’s enough emotions involved to bring people to tears and also a lot of moral stories that makes the viewers think more critically. The fact that the writer didn’t skirt around the metal illness impressed me very much.

In the end, meeting Vincent van Gogh and William Shakespeare, seeing a dinosaur in a spaceship and the end of time, these are merely a glimpse of what’s waiting in front of you, my dear classmates. Enjoy the class and the show!

A Children’s Show Adults Can Enjoy

The first time I watched Doctor Who was five years ago and I remember having a difficult time connecting with the show for the first couple of seasons. I was baffled by how it had such a great reputation when it was ultimately a children’s show that definitely seemed to be immature to me. As I continued to watch the show though I began to appreciate it, but that was ultimately because the later seasons are slightly more catered to an older audience.

Now that I am re-watching it and have just finished the first season, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this season. While I didn’t find this season to be any less immature than I did the first time, I was able to appreciate it by finding the underlying adult themes within each episode.

Two episodes that I had an especially difficult time connecting to my first time watching it was the two part The Aliens of London and World War Three. These episodes feature the alien Slitheen family who use a gas exchange in order to fit their relatively large bodies into a human’s smaller frame as a disguise. This gas exchange causes the Slitheens to fart more so than usual, which is obviously meant to be a bit of humor geared toward children. When you look past this childish humor though you can appreciate the deeper aspects of this episode. Those include Rose’s family and friends having been worried that she was either kidnapped or dead since she had been missing for a year, Mickey having been questioned by the police for possibly kidnapping his girlfriend, the police and her mother’s suspicion that The Doctor had taken advantage of Rose, and the metaphor for a corrupt government that was and still is relevant.

Doctor Who is a show that often times is childish but also tackles complicated and sometimes incredibly mature issues. I believe that a lot of people could enjoy this show if they are analytical while watching it and appreciate the deeper meaning behind all of the episodes.

The Mistreatment of Mickey

I think a big part of the Doctor’s personality is that he always tries to do the right thing. They try to portray the Doctor as a person of good character. So why does he treat Mickey so badly? The Doctor commonly refers to Mickey as an idiot or pretends to forget his name and calls him Ricky.

In my opinion, Mickey does nothing to deserve this treatment. He is very kind to Rose, even though she never sticks up for him and leaves him behind over and over again. Mickey has also helped Rose and the Doctor many times. He always uses whatever he can, like his knowledge of computers and his vehicle, to help them out, but they never seem to appreciate him.

Some people might think that the Doctor is jealous of Mickey’s relationship with Rose. I find that really hard to believe because Rose clearly likes the Doctor better than Mickey, so the Doctor has no reason to be jealous. It makes me dislike the Doctor when he treats Mickey like this. The Doctor acts like it is one big joke, but it clearly hurts Mickey’s feelings. In the episode “School Reunion,” Mickey realizes that they treat him like K-9 when they make him wait by the car.

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Based on the look on his face, I don’t think Mickey thinks it is funny. Why does the Doctor not value Mickey? Is the Doctor just a bully? I’m not sure what the answer is, but I do know that I am disappointed in the Doctor when he treats Mickey like this. I expect more from him.

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