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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Feminism’s Issues With River Song

Warning:

 River-Song-Spoilers

River Song first appeared on Doctor Who in 2008 in the episode “Silence in the Library”.  From the very beginning we realize that River Song has known the Doctor for a long time, and has gotten quite close with him, even though this is his first time meeting her.  It’s not too long after that we learn that River Song is the Doctor’s wife.  Fast forward a few seasons and a new Doctor and River Song’s backstory becomes even more complicated.  Before she even knows who the Doctor is she’s been trained to kill him.  Before that she’s in a different body and posing as her parents’ best friend back in high school.  And before even that, she isn’t River Song at all, but Melody Pond.  

You’d think such a complicated backstory would lead to a thoroughly complex character who’s interesting and emotive, and you’d be right… for the most part.  River Song is an extremely interesting character with several different storylines and plot points.  She’s strong and as intelligent, if not more intelligent and witty as the the Doctor.   She’s incredibly fierce, but not lacking in emotion either.  

Honestly, I could go on for hours about how great River Song is and delve for eternity into her backstory and timeline.  There’s just one thing about River that makes some feminist fans shake their heads.  And that is; why River Song is in Doctor Who at all.  Her appearance in “Silence in the Library” only creates more questions about the Doctor and who he really is.  In “The Impossible Astronaut” she’s there to kill the Doctor.  Her big role in “Let’s Kill Hitler” was to poison the Doctor then revive him again.  It might start to become clear: she’s there for the Doctor.  

Unlike the Doctor’s companions, River Song’s entire life revolves around and leads up to the Doctor.  She’s there to be the Doctor’s wife.  She’s there to kill the Doctor.  She’s there to save the Doctor.  She’s never in an episode where the Doctor’s fate or love interest isn’t her.  And that’s a problem.  No matter how complex her storyline is, or how interesting she is, we can’t ignore the fact that her sole purpose on the show is to be there as a plotpoint for the Doctor.  

I love River Song’s character.  I think she’s an absolutely brilliant character.  But what I, and many other feminist viewers of the show want is for River Song to be there for herself, not just so that the Doctor has someone to save, kill, or kiss him.  River Song’s already complicated backstory is a perfect opportunity to include plot points where River is there for herself.   

Doctor Who’s….Fandom!

Okay! I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with the number of fandoms, and their dedication to Doctor Who. When i first started watching the show, i never rally saw what the big deal was. But just like a vacuum, i got pulled in. The Doctor Who fandom, is pretty diverse concerning countries, societies, age, language…and they even have organizations (how amazing is that?!).

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 The Doctor Who Fandom Cycle

One great expression of how much people love the show was in Australia, when the show got cancelled and viewers were really upset. Then, avid Australian viewers of the show went ahead to form the Doctor Who Club of Australia.  If you have the time or interest, please do check it out, it’s very cool. There are also several clubs like this all over the world. It’s really cool, to know that so many people love Doctor Who, some even find it as a bridge for them to “fit in” or be comfortable. It is very nice to know that the show really helped a lot of people in many ways, especially in helping them to connect with each-other.There are also a lot of magazines, events, conventions, and fan-made videos relating to Doctor Who. The show has a really big Fandom, it’s very amazing. There is a wide variety of fans, in different social statuses. even HM QUEEN ELIZABETH II is a fan. The best part is that these fans describe themselves as Whovians.

If ever you have the time, please check out the numerous fandoms. Who knows, you might just get pulled in too!

 

 

 

The Doctor: First Impressions

Before this class, I had heard of Doctor Who but had never seen it or known what it was about. After watching a few episodes of the show, I was surprised to have enjoyed them so much. I had heard from many people that it was a little weird and from the short clip that we watched in class, I was expecting it to be a little out there. However, after watching episodes I realized that this is the kind of show that I really like. I love the idea and time travel and time and space. I really like the 9th doctor because he is witty and fits my vision and expectation of what the doctor is like. The classic Who episodes were a little harder to understand because they are older, but they were still very interesting. It is hard to understand what they are saying because not only did the characters come from a different country with a different way of talking, but it is also from a different time period.

The first episode we watched of the Classic Who showed diversity even back then when diversity was not as accepted as it is now. The female teacher was very assertive and curious, which was not how females were seen as acting by society. She was just as curious and adventurous as the male teacher was, which was different to how society would have seen women then. Women were to let the men work out all the problems. In addition, in the first episodes of the New Who, Rose is a working-class female with an African-American boyfriend, which, compared to the classic Who episodes, were extremely different in that it was a lot more diverse.

Rose sees the world a lot differently than the Doctor does and they both have different beliefs and ideals. The Doctor has traveled through time and space a lot longer than Rose has so the Doctor, as expected, has a very different view of the world and people. The Doctor has more faith that things are going to work out. When something bad happens Rose always thinks that they are doomed and that they are going to die. The Doctor, having conquered and saved people many times, is more confident that he will be able to fix the problem even in situations that seem impossible to fix. This shows that diversity is not only associated with race or gender, but with ideals and backgrounds.

The Definition of Diversity

plural

diversities

  1. 1:  the condition of having or being composed of differing elements :variety; especially:  the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization programs intended to promote diversity in schools

  2. 2:  an instance of being composed of differing elements or qualities :  an instance of being diversea diversity of opinion

The first day of class it was made very apparent that diversity was the topic of choice for each discussion related to Doctor Who. As the semester has progressed, the meaning of diversity has evolved into something more than just a word for me. I now am able to pick up on diverse aspects everyday, whether this be through people I meet, the places I go or even the food I eat in the Mensa. I think it is so important to understand the relevance of how diversity changes and impacts our lives. To me, diversity allows me to see how others and other things can impact my life positively and negatively. Without differences in people and places, everything would be the same. Growth would not be something we would be capable of. Without putting ourselves in new situations and experiences with things and others we do not know, we can’t become more than who we are in this moment. The Doctor is constantly experiences diverse aspects of life and history itself. For him, it is completely natural to constantly be faced with change. I can’t imagine what he would be like without that continuous change. Each episode, you are able to see where diversity is allocated and the reasons why. Applying that to my life, I am able to see what parts of each day I can thank for the existence of diversity.