Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

Post Reply
User avatar
Mikedunford
Posts: 10476
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:42 pm

Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#1

Post by Mikedunford »

The episode is set in Montgomery, Alabama. The title is "Rosa."

And I've got all the feels and a bunch of dust in my eye.
"I don't give a fuck whether we're peers or not."
--Lord Thomas Henry Bingham to Boris Johnson, on being asked whether he would miss being in "the best club in London" if the Law Lords moved from Parliament to a Supreme Court.

User avatar
maydijo
Posts: 2764
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:23 pm
Location: where women glow and men plunder
Occupation: harassing marsupials

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#2

Post by maydijo »

Oh yeah! We saw that in the spoilers last week. Of course the kids had to be reminded about who Rosa Parks was, so we played them this clip from that other classic British TV show, Horrible Histories:

(Edited because the first video I posted wasn't in English!)


User avatar
p0rtia
Posts: 3182
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:44 am

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#3

Post by p0rtia »

Wow. Doctor Who never made me cry before. I am loving this new season and new Doctor. :towel:
No matter where you go, there you are! :towel:
ImageImageImage

User avatar
Sam the Centipede
Posts: 7545
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:25 pm

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#4

Post by Sam the Centipede »

I watched the show and found some of it difficult simply because that sort of naked racism makes me squirm ... which was the writers' intent, I'm sure. And an intent I can't disapprove of.

The one aspect of borrowing a real bit of history that I was uncomfortable with was the rewriting of Ms. Parks' motivation. I don't recall the precise story (someone more versed in civil rights history will undoubtedly flesh it out and supply corrections!) but I thought another young woman was the original not-moving-from-my-seater and the group decided to use this issue as the focus of a campaign. But they felt the first young woman was not a sympathetic enough character so instead the thoroughly wholesome, married, churchgoing Rosa Parks was moved in for the showpiece restaging. It was a deliberate act, a campaigning act, not a spur-of-moment reaction to provocation.

The rage on the white racists' faces was terrifyingly well portrayed, I thought.

User avatar
Sugar Magnolia
Posts: 10588
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:44 am

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#5

Post by Sugar Magnolia »



Any excuse to post a Neville Brothers video.

User avatar
kate520
Posts: 15767
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:02 pm
Location: Dark side of the Moon
Occupation: servant of cats, chicken wrangler
Contact:

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#6

Post by kate520 »

As if you need an excuse for posting Nevilles. 8-)
DEFEND DEMOCRACY

User avatar
maydijo
Posts: 2764
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:23 pm
Location: where women glow and men plunder
Occupation: harassing marsupials

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#7

Post by maydijo »

Sam the Centipede wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:34 pm
I watched the show and found some of it difficult simply because that sort of naked racism makes me squirm ... which was the writers' intent, I'm sure. And an intent I can't disapprove of.

The one aspect of borrowing a real bit of history that I was uncomfortable with was the rewriting of Ms. Parks' motivation. I don't recall the precise story (someone more versed in civil rights history will undoubtedly flesh it out and supply corrections!) but I thought another young woman was the original not-moving-from-my-seater and the group decided to use this issue as the focus of a campaign. But they felt the first young woman was not a sympathetic enough character so instead the thoroughly wholesome, married, churchgoing Rosa Parks was moved in for the showpiece restaging. It was a deliberate act, a campaigning act, not a spur-of-moment reaction to provocation.

The rage on the white racists' faces was terrifyingly well portrayed, I thought.
They discussed that last night on The Whovians, a post-show show dedicated to discussing that week's episode. I also thought they didn't flesh out the villain enough, so that he came across a little cardboard, but then, it's only an hour show.

User avatar
p0rtia
Posts: 3182
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:44 am

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#8

Post by p0rtia »

The villain was racism--a disease that survived in humans for millennia. The dude was a carrier, like the other racists in the story. I didn't want or need him fleshed out. The impact of the story was the illustration of how deadly and persistent is the disease.
No matter where you go, there you are! :towel:
ImageImageImage

User avatar
maydijo
Posts: 2764
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:23 pm
Location: where women glow and men plunder
Occupation: harassing marsupials

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#9

Post by maydijo »

I loved that Rosa Parks looked at Ryan at the end. I thought they'd have her look at the Doctor, since the Doctor is always the hero. But by having her look at Ryan instead, she was saying, I know what I'm doing and I'm doing this for you.

Portia - I'm just always curious about motivations. He didn't really seem to have any. But then most of the Doctor Who villains don't.

User avatar
maydijo
Posts: 2764
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:23 pm
Location: where women glow and men plunder
Occupation: harassing marsupials

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#10

Post by maydijo »

I also kept thinking how much my mother would've hated it. That's her main gripe with Doctor Who, that it removes these central figures from history and makes their motivation some mysterious space alien, like they wouldn't have had the courage or the intelligence to act without some intergalactic help. This episode is a bit problematic in that it whitewashes history (giving the glory to the Doctor, who, I get it, isn't really white, but presents that way) but at least it was written in such a way that Ryan and Yaz did most of the work with Rosa Parks herself, leaving the Doctor and Graham to deal with the white characters instead.

User avatar
Sam the Centipede
Posts: 7545
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:25 pm

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#11

Post by Sam the Centipede »

maydijo wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:06 pm
I also kept thinking how much my mother would've hated it. That's her main gripe with Doctor Who, that it removes these central figures from history and makes their motivation some mysterious space alien, like they wouldn't have had the courage or the intelligence to act without some intergalactic help. This episode is a bit problematic in that it whitewashes history (giving the glory to the Doctor, who, I get it, isn't really white, but presents that way) but at least it was written in such a way that Ryan and Yaz did most of the work with Rosa Parks herself, leaving the Doctor and Graham to deal with the white characters instead.
That's an interesting viewpoint from your mother! This episode perhaps is an extreme example because it's recent(-ish), very much about personal courage and resonates today in a way that an event during (say) the First World War or the French Revolution doesn't.

But perhaps it's an unavoidable problem if Doctor Who stories dip into the big events of real history: either the Doctor meddles in events becoming a key player (thereby devaluing the contributions of the real historical bplayers) or the Doctor is an irrelevant onlooker to the story.

The villian was a weird choice. An intergalactic racist? But unnecessary too. The disrupting events (change of drivers roster, unavailability of buses, etc.) could have been played as random upsets leaving behind a teaser: "someone or something is meddling with history and I want to know who or what it is!" (cue dum-da-dum dum-da-dum closing music).

Anyway, it was more engaging than yet another "with one bound Jack was free" story about how the Daleks or Cybermen were narrowly thwarted, if it weren't for those pesky kids. I've never been a fan of superhero fiction (I find it miserably infantile) and the Doctor is pretty much a superhero with superintelligence, supertechnology, immortality, etc., however much they try to suppress that impression.

And when it comes to choice and style of stories i feel that the program-makers own the right to define and use their characters how they wish as any author does.

User avatar
Sugar Magnolia
Posts: 10588
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:44 am

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#12

Post by Sugar Magnolia »

kate520 wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:17 pm
As if you need an excuse for posting Nevilles. 8-)
You say that like it's a bad thing.

p.s. Happy 70th, Cyril!

User avatar
p0rtia
Posts: 3182
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:44 am

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#13

Post by p0rtia »

maydijo wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:00 pm
Portia - I'm just always curious about motivations. He didn't really seem to have any. But then most of the Doctor Who villains don't.
True about DW villains (this used to puzzle me in the Tom Baker days, but eventually it became a characteristic of the show, which I accepted).

In this one case, the lack of a motive seemed to be a statement about the lack of motivation for racist hatred; the show seemed to portray it as a disease that exists without reason. Extending its own existence was its only purpose. A warning that we must be eternally vigilant. At least, that's what the story meant to me.
No matter where you go, there you are! :towel:
ImageImageImage

User avatar
maydijo
Posts: 2764
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:23 pm
Location: where women glow and men plunder
Occupation: harassing marsupials

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#14

Post by maydijo »

p0rtia wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:37 pm

In this one case, the lack of a motive seemed to be a statement about the lack of motivation for racist hatred; the show seemed to portray it as a disease that exists without reason. Extending its own existence was its only purpose. A warning that we must be eternally vigilant. At least, that's what the story meant to me.
Good point.

User avatar
Sam the Centipede
Posts: 7545
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:25 pm

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#15

Post by Sam the Centipede »

p0rtia wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:37 pm
maydijo wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:00 pm
Portia - I'm just always curious about motivations. He didn't really seem to have any. But then most of the Doctor Who villains don't.
True about DW villains (this used to puzzle me in the Tom Baker days, but eventually it became a characteristic of the show, which I accepted).

In this one case, the lack of a motive seemed to be a statement about the lack of motivation for racist hatred; the show seemed to portray it as a disease that exists without reason. Extending its own existence was its only purpose. A warning that we must be eternally vigilant. At least, that's what the story meant to me.
You think more deeply than I do! I'm now curious what the writers would say about their creation: did he carry that all symbolism or was he just a cartoonish bad guy? There used to be a "making of" programmette in the David Tennant era which sometimes exposed underlying themes which weren't always obvious to dozy viewers like me; it's a shame that they don't make that now.

For the earlier (pre-reboot) series, it's important to remember that the show was aimed at kids and parents as an adventure in time and space and carried no deep significance beyond our noble quick-witted goodies defeating the evil plans and knavish tricks of those amoral baddies.

User avatar
Sam the Centipede
Posts: 7545
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:25 pm

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#16

Post by Sam the Centipede »

The BBC's UK news site has a follow-up article in its NewsBeat (I think that's news for young folk, but I'm not sure): Doctor Who: Why has the Rosa Parks episode got people talking?

Nothing of great interest in the piece, but perhaps worth a browse while on a break.

User avatar
p0rtia
Posts: 3182
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:44 am

Re: Tonight's Doctor Who episode.

#17

Post by p0rtia »

Sam the Centipede wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:56 pm
p0rtia wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:37 pm
maydijo wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:00 pm
Portia - I'm just always curious about motivations. He didn't really seem to have any. But then most of the Doctor Who villains don't.
True about DW villains (this used to puzzle me in the Tom Baker days, but eventually it became a characteristic of the show, which I accepted).

In this one case, the lack of a motive seemed to be a statement about the lack of motivation for racist hatred; the show seemed to portray it as a disease that exists without reason. Extending its own existence was its only purpose. A warning that we must be eternally vigilant. At least, that's what the story meant to me.
You think more deeply than I do! I'm now curious what the writers would say about their creation: did he carry that all symbolism or was he just a cartoonish bad guy? There used to be a "making of" programmette in the David Tennant era which sometimes exposed underlying themes which weren't always obvious to dozy viewers like me; it's a shame that they don't make that now.
:snippity:
I'd say that the writers/producers 100 percent intended that "racism" was the villain, and that the lack of detail on the time-traveling dude would elevate the concept of racism into a universal Big Bad that might not be conquered down the millennia--which is a hella scary thought.

The idea of racism as a disease? That's actually my metaphor, and I doubt they specifically intended that. But I am an author--I am even an author of SF--and IMO it is impossible that in story development the way to handle the theme and what they wanted to say would not have been hashed out up one side and down the other and all the possible approaches considered. IMO, that they said what they wanted to say (that racism will outlive us and thrive) without saying it in words was masterful, and one of the reasons the story is resonating so well. Giving the dude a motivation for his racism would have diminished that. I don't think the other racists were given any motivations either, were they?
No matter where you go, there you are! :towel:
ImageImageImage

Post Reply

Return to “The Lounge”