So I’m home sick and caught Turn Left on repeat and it just made me miss the earlier days of Who, when the risk was real, when the characters and their hopes and their dreams and their wonder and awe at being companions and seeing the whole of time and space laid out before them was all so much more real and true.
Happy 10th birthday to the show that changed my life forever!
“When they made this particular hero, they didn’t give him a gun, they gave him a screwdriver to fix things. They didn’t gave him a tank or a warship or an x-wing fighter, they gave him a call box from which you can call for help. And they didn’t give him a superpower or pointy ears or a heat ray, they gave him an extra heart. They gave him two hearts. And that’s an extraordinary thing; there will never come a time when we don’t need a hero like the Doctor.” (Steven Moffat)
“Getting to tell the stories that you get to tell and travel in the Tardis and friendship, and just so many magical things. There’s nothing as whimsical as this show, I don’t think. It’s a dream. It kind of feels a bit like an adventure.” (Jenna Coleman)
“The marvelous thing about Doctor Who is that it tells stories that no one else can tell.” (Russell T.Davies)
“The world would be a poorer place without Doctor Who” (Steven Spielberg)
Today’s time waster: musing on the origins of the flapper look embodied by Phryne Fisher as played by Essie Davis.
Googling for famous flappers upon whom her look is modeled, the thing that really hit me was an irony that may not have been evident back in the day, but jumps out at you today. It’s a look meant to convey freedom, high spirits, joyful abandon, and rebellion, but there’s also clearly an element of infantilization. As someone commented on an earlier post (sorry, I forget who it was), 1920s flapper fashion was the beginning of the glorification – and sexualization – of youthfulness that continues to play out today. It’s not just that the perfect flapper body is flat-chested and hipless. It’s also the styling of the face: bobbed hair emphasizing a round baby face, giant eyes, Cupid’s-bow lips. I think this uncomfortable undercurrent of cognitive dissonance in flapper style would be a really interesting theme for MFMM to take on in a future episode (and let’s hope we get some of those).
Anyway, here are some fruits of my procrastination: images of famous flappers with that Phryne Fisher look.
First, the lady herself, Miss Fishah:
And finally, the epitome of the hyper-sexualized infantilized flapper – Betty Boop:
Isn’t it striking how uniform the look is from one to the next? Is there another fashion style so sharply delineated and defined not just by clothing, but by facial features as well (other than all of Western fashion being defined by whiteness, of course)? Imagine if they had plastic surgery back then – would everyone have been a carbon copy of this look?
Mind you, I don’t mean to pass some kind of simplistic judgment – in fact, I’m really drawn to this look – but I think it’s always good to bring an analytical eye to these things, so we can put them in context and be more conscious of the world we create.
i’m having mixed reactions to moffat leaving. while it’s going to be a good thing to have chinball (broadchurch, torchwood, and other doctor who ep. he’s done), taking over; PLEASE GIVE MOFFAT LOVE THAT HE DESERVES!
he’s given us 11, amy and rory, river (with a bad ass backstory!), clara, 12, missy, and gallifrey, and the 50th!
and in my personal opinion, two of my ships (11/clara and 12/clara)
while we welcome chinball, please go and thank moffat for the best era we’ve had when russel had handed him the reigns! :D
I haven’t been so scathingly angry since Ten’s violation of Donna Noble in “Journey’s End.”
I was literally sitting on the couch shaking as Twelve bragged about his plan to Me–told her how he’d wiped Donna’s memories of him all those years ago and would do the same to Clara in the name of “saving” her. I could not believe he was going to do it again!
Filth. The only words I have for the Doctor are filth.
But what Steven Moffat did with that moment was beyond brilliant. He gave Clara Oswald everything RTD denied Donna Noble:
CLARA: Push that button, Doctor, it will go off in your own face! DOCTOR: Are you trying to trick me? CLARA: What are you trying to do to me? DOCTOR: I’m trying to keep you safe! CLARA: Why? Nobody’s ever safe! I never asked you for that. Ever! These have been the best years of my life. And they are mine! Tomorrow’s promised to no one, Doctor, but I insist upon my past. I am entitled to that. It’s mine.
Clara Oswald got the chance to defend herself and she took it. The outcome was sad, but unlike Ten’s actions, I feel no ill will towards Clara. The only person I feel pain for in this situation is Clara. She didn’t want to do what she did, but she had to defend herself. The Doctor gave her no choice. He was going to violate his best friend’s mind against her very adamant protests AGAIN and he deserved the consequence. Twice over.
Now, if only Clara and Me could find Donna somewhere during their trip the long way ‘round and right that putrid wrong.
In 1926, a Chicago pediatrician by the name of Clara Davis undertook one of the most amazing experiments in the annals of nutritional research when she persuaded several teenage mothers and widows to place their infants in her care for six years. Fifteen babies, ranging in age from six to eleven months and who’d never been exposed to ‘the ordinary foods of adult life,’ were put on an experimental diet in which they could eat whatever they wanted so long as whatever they wanted appeared on a list of thirty-four foodstuffs that included water, potatoes, cornmeal, barley, beef, lamb, bone jelly, carrots, turnips, haddock, peaches, apples, fish, orange juice, bananas, brains, milk, and cabbage. The foods were all 'natural food materials.’ There was no sugar, no cream, butter, or cheese, and no potato chips, but there was salt for sprinkling. Each item was presented over the course of a single day.
The experiment measured 'self-selection.’ Children were presented with the food but in no way encouraged to eat this or that. If they wanted to eat with their fingers, no problem. What they ate and how much was up to them. The prevailing scientific view at the time was that children were guilty of the gravest nutritional idiocy. Frantic mothers pleaded with doctors about children who wouldn’t eat their vegetables. The leading doctors of the day advised that these children be starved until they did. So Dr. Davis set out to discover what babies transitioning from breast milk to food would eat if it was all left up to them. The answer: everything. At first, anyway. During the initial two weeks, children sampled a little of all thirty-four foods. (This is exactly what goats would do, according to Fred Provenza.) But over time, they each developed favorites, although these would change suddenly and unpredictably.
There were generalities—the children came to prefer protein from milk, meat, liver, and kidney, for example, over vegetable protein. And some meals were strikingly unconventional. One child had a pint of orange juice and liver for breakfast. Another had eggs, bananas, and milk for dinner. Taken as a whole, however, the children chose remarkably balanced diets. They 'throve,’ as Davis put it. Constipation was 'unknown.’ Colds lasted for only three days. When the children were growing and needed protein, their protein intake shot up. When the growing slowed and activity increased, their energy intake increased. During the one 'epidemic'—an outbreak of 'acute glandular fever of Pfeiffer’ (now called mononucleosis) during which every child 'came down like ninepins'—there was a curious spike in the consumption of raw beef, carrots, and beets as the children convalesced.
Several babies began the study in poor condition. Four were undernourished and three had rickets, a vitamin D deficiency. The very first infant Davis received, in fact, had a severe case of rickets and with each meal was given a small glass of cod liver oil, which contains vitamin D. Children’s hatred of cod liver is legendary, but this child consumed it 'irregularly and in varying amounts’ of his own free will until he was better, then never touched another drop.
These children, Davis found, were master nutritionists. By the end of the study, their overall state of health was so good that another pediatrician, one Dr. Joseph Brennemann, called them 'the finest group of specimens from the physical and behavior standpoint that I have ever seen in children that age.’
This season finale is genuinely my favorite one of all of new who. It’s so beautiful. Clara was able save the Doctor from the pain and she made him the Doctor again, plus everything was on her terms. She defied the Doctor’s attempt to control the situation. She dies on her terms, with no regrets, having become the Doctor and getting her own TARDIS and companion. I think that’s pretty freaking amazing. Plus, the reference to the restaurant at the end of the universe was pretty awesome. It’s honestly the best closure we’ve gotten from either RTD or Moffat.
This was very sweet of the cast and crew to do for the fans. We got bad news last night about a family member, so we’re in for some more heartache. I showed my mom this video and it made us both laugh and get teary. Michelle’s message was the funniest. :)
AND have episodes that you think are cooler than others
AND have episodes you think are dumb
AND dislike certain things
WITHOUT ALWAYS BEING RIGHT OR WRONG OR HAVING TO DEFEND YOURSELF OR FEEL LIKE YOU ARE IN THE MAJORITY/MINORITY BECAUSE
it’s just a show.
It’s a wonderful, beautiful, freaking amazing show that I love.
I have my favorite writers, my favorite episodes, my favorite incarnations of the Doctor, my favorite companions, etc. And it’s not even written in stone – when I started watching, one Doctor was “my” Doctor and now I’d probably claim a different one, and I had one companion for a while who I thought was simply The Best Thing Ever and but that was ages ago and things have changed.
And that’s ok.
It’s possible to love both RTD AND Moffat.
It’s possible to like both Ten AND Eleven (and maybe even to think that Twelve is pretty freaking awesome and a huge turn back to the original show/character)
It’s ok to realize that the show is bigger than most Whovians have ever seen because honestly there are very few fans who are dedicated enough to have seen ALL of it.
So can we please stop screaming at each other in profanity-laced, “here’s-all-my-evidence” meta posts and just be a fandom that enjoys a tv show and not some kind of rabid cult with various offshoots?