lizbee: (Default)
[personal profile] lizbee
I've been sick as a dog for almost a week -- I haven't had a voice since Saturday morning -- so I was "lucky" enough to have coughed myself awake just in time to catch the announcement live via Twitter.

I've really been hoping for a woman of colour as the next Doctor, and I didn't recognise Jodie Whittaker by name, so I felt a weird stab of disappointment and even betrayal when I saw her white hand, coupled with simultaneous excitement that it was clearly a woman's hand.

I still think that a white woman was the easy option, casting-wise, but I've seen Whittaker in a few things -- including the first four episodes of Broadchurch, which I inhaled last night and enjoyed so much I completely forgot about Game of Thrones -- and she's very, very good.

And I also wonder if it would be unfair to an actress of colour, to throw her to the same wolves that drove Leslie Jones off Twitter, while also expecting her to lead a show with (so far) all-white writers. Which is not to excuse the implications of casting a white woman, I just think it might be complicated. Most things are. Whitakker's already been hit with a barrage of misogyny, and I hope the BBC is filtering her mail.

Anyway, I've curated my social media so well that I haven't seen a single friend or acquaintance saying they're opposed to a female Doctor as such.

On the other hand, I've seen a lot of performative finger-wagging, reminding us that this is only a victory for white women (got it, thanks) and that we can't rely on pop culture to save the world (no, really? Good heavens, I had no idea, thank goodness I had you, random Twitter person, to tell us off for being invested in a hobby!).

I guess I'm weary of performative wokeness, and, while everyone's entitled to an opinion, I find a lot of opinions on Doctor Who from people who aren't or haven't been in the fandom ... lack context? Which is sometimes valuable, and sometimes it's just the hot take equivalent of "DID YOU KNOW THAT 'TORCHWOOD' IS AN ANAGRAM OF 'DOCTOR WHO'?"

ANYWAY. Whitakker. I'm looking forward to her run, I'm still holding out hope for Alexander Siddig or Sophie Okonedo as Fourteen (it's never too soon!), people are already complaining that Whitakker is too young and too old, so, like women everywhere, we already know she just can't win.

Date: 2017-07-17 10:47 pm (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
Recommendation: watch Attack The Block. She's awesome in it as is John Boyega, it's why I've been very surprised by the "fans of British SF won't have heard of her" takes because it's the best British SF movie in years.

I'm more keen on Nina Sosanya over Okonedo but I'd be very happy with either, it'll depend on ratings of course, and you're right, the writing team would need to expand a bit.

I'm pleased with the choice, I was already a fan and she's damn good. Plus, she's from just down the road, I really hope she does it in her own accent because while she's very very good at accents (as in I don't always recognise her, it's Maslany level persona changing) it'd be really cool to hear a local voice.

Date: 2017-07-17 11:01 pm (UTC)
wolfy_writing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wolfy_writing
I am also tired of performative wokeness. Like yes, recognize that imperfect progress is imperfect (we've gone from an unbroken string of white men to an unbroken string of white people), but also there's a distinction between "Good start, let's remember that we've got more to do" and "How dare you enjoy progress that hasn't solved literally everything?" (I blame the "post-racial society" nonsense when President Obama was elected, because a lot of people seem scared that any "Yay, progress!", will be followed by "All is solved, we can stop trying now!")

Anyway, she sounds cool, my parents enjoyed her in Broadchurch, and I'm pretty sure Attack the Block needs to be higher on my movies to see list.

Date: 2017-07-17 11:52 pm (UTC)
wolfy_writing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wolfy_writing
Yeah, nothing ever makes it to perfection in one jump. (As far as I know, nothing ever makes it to perfection.). People need a moment to go "Yay, we've made it this far!", along with all the "Keep going, there's more to do!"

And if they do ever go with Sophie Okonedo, I want some sort of wacky mixup plot line with Liz Ten, just because I like wacky mixup plot lines.

Date: 2017-07-18 02:26 am (UTC)
wolfy_writing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wolfy_writing
Yeah, I'm wondering if there is a good way for fandom to tackle that particular problem. Because fans can absolutely have some influence, but can only handle certain things.

Date: 2017-07-17 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] capalxii
I'll be honest, I appreciate the finger wagging in re: race, solely because so much of the fandom is so garbage at it. like it's not gonna come from inside the house, or at least not as much as it ought to, so I'm fine with it coming from outside the fandom

like I mean context in the DW fandom leads to a lot of point missing imo, so I'm cool with it

Date: 2017-07-17 11:56 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] capalxii
Sure definitely reblog the women of color no doubt, but I can only speak for myself when I say that sometimes it's a relief to just sit back and take a breather because some white woman's got my back, even if she's got some of the details wrong. partially because I'm done doing any sort of educating (it is not worth the stress for me personally), partially because DW in particular is such a bear of a fandom to deal with & the more voices the better imo, and partially because I know some white people will only listen to white people.

again, just my experiences, but then I also can't seem to tell what performative wokeness is (this isn't a snide remark or sarcasm, I truly don't know how to spot it).

Date: 2017-07-18 12:36 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] capalxii
This is... still tough for me since I'm so out of the loop on other fandoms that I have no idea whether someone is more involved in fandoms that aren't theirs, but I'll try?

(I really, really promise I'm not trying to be argumentive or deliberately obtuse, I'm just generally only into one thing at a time, sorry--I probably won't ever be good at this)

Date: 2017-07-18 11:32 am (UTC)
kerravonsen: "Confused" with a tangle of lines (confused)
From: [personal profile] kerravonsen
I guess I'm weary of performative wokeness

What is "wokeness"? I do not know this word.

people are already complaining that Whitakker is too young and too old, so, like women everywhere, we already know she just can't win


My feeling at the announcement was "Hey, cool. Wait for it... misogyny in three... two... one..."

I expect there will be a lot of flouncing.

Date: 2017-07-18 02:44 pm (UTC)
capriuni: Close-cropped picture of Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor (12-2)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
And I also wonder if it would be unfair to an actress of colour, to throw her to the same wolves that drove Leslie Jones off Twitter, while also expecting her to lead a show with (so far) all-white writers.

Good point. And another reason I'm a bit ("hm." :-/) about the hints I've heard that Chibnall wants his tenure of Doctor Who to have an American-style writers' room, where stories are written by the group, rather than by individuals. I mean, at least this last series, we had a story written solo by Sarah Dollard. And I worry about how minority voices fare in the environment of Group!write.

people are already complaining that Whitakker is too young and too old


I did that, didn't I?

...Though I think what I wrote in my journal, last night, was more about my reaction to Jodie Whittaker than to Jodie Whittaker, herself. I usually go through the world feeling the same as I did when I was 27, or so. But when she pulled back that hood, and I saw her face for the first time, my gut reaction was: "They cast a child!?"


I still expect her to be brilliant, though.

Date: 2017-07-19 11:00 am (UTC)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
Well, nine days is slightly older... ;-)

Meanwhile, Christopher Eccleston was the youngest Doctor to date when he was cast in 2005 (41), and he's one month and four days older than I am. ... And I thought he was too young, then.

...Peter Capaldi is 6 years my senior, which, as I, myself, become older, gets to be a shorter and shorter gap every passing day.

Date: 2017-07-18 11:15 pm (UTC)
rj_anderson: (Knife - Green)
From: [personal profile] rj_anderson
I admit to sighing heavily when the "HOW DARE THEY CAST A WHITE WOMAN, THIS IS NOT NEARLY GOOD ENOUGH" acrimony started on my dash, because while I do absolutely agree that we need more racially diverse casting and more female leads, and that a WoC would obviously be the best of both worlds (especially as there are so many hugely talented WoC who ought to be in more and bigger things), I don't think it's realistic to expect the Whovian showrunners to leap two giant steps (or what passes for giant steps in traditional television) at once.

As soon as Capaldi announced his departure I felt fairly confident that the next Doctor would be either a PoC or a woman, but definitely not both at once -- that would be far too scary for the Beeb and WHAT ABOUT THE RATINGS*. If Thirteen's tenure goes well and finds a suitably supportive audience, then I expect that Fourteen or at most Fifteen will be a PoC male and if the show lasts that long, a WoC will be Sixteen or Seventeen.

Ultimately, though, I'd be much more interested in seeing a show which is actually constructed around a WoC as the main character than an established show deciding to make colour and/or genderblind casting choices. Not that there isn't a lot of merit in PoC actors playing roles that aren't "about" race, and I want to see that too, but there's also a lot of value in incorporating a character's cultural background and experiences into the narrative.

* I mean that this is how I would expect the BBC to think, not that I agree with it.
Edited Date: 2017-07-18 11:16 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-07-19 06:15 pm (UTC)
prof_pangaea: the master (Default)
From: [personal profile] prof_pangaea
personally, i really don't have time for people who are lacking patience with folks who had the "implausible" wish that doctor who might have the vision to cast a woman of colour in the role. i mean, i get it, i thought we'd most likely be getting a white woman, but being disappointed that folks of colour continue to be un or under-represented on the show is not unreasonable, nor do folks of colour "owe" it to the show to be supportive of the casting decisions, supportive of progress that doesn't include them, or even to keep watching at all when it refuses to be inclusive of them.

and for me, the insistence that everyone see not only the BBC's casting choices, but also the fandom's reactions to to those choices, from a white perspective is tiring af. to my mind, casting a white woman is literally the base minimum they could have done to keep interest in this show from flagging in a modern tv climate, so while i'm happy it's finally happened i'm not going to throw a party to celebrate how "progressive" the choice was when i really don't see it as such.


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