Just started watching Classic Doctor Who for the first time and ngl I may have freaked out slightly when seeing Coal Hill High School. Had no idea that Susan went there! I just thought it was the school that Clara worked at and the school where Class is set! So many links across so many seasons.
Can we please talk about how delighted The First Doctor is by everything?
No idea why he gets called grumpy. Your boy is pumped.
Shit that One Fucks with Heavy:
The Keys of Marinus
1. Glass. Just glass. “Glass instead of sand, intriguing, intriguing my boy!”
2. Acid that about melted his grandkid’s feet. “A sea of acid, astonishing!”
3. Teleporters. Obviously. “Very compact and very neat sir, if I might say!”
4. Teleportation itself. On account of the teleporters. “How exhilarating!”
5. A pomegranate. He about loses his shit. “I say, is that a pomegranate!??”
6. Truffles. He is so pure. "Truffles?? I do believe they’re truffles! WELL WELL!“
7. Charming Young Men. ME TOO, PAL."Charming young man, yes, charming!”
8. More with the glass. “Look at these exquisite glasses, Chesterton!”
9. A rusty mug. It’s literally a rusty mug that he picks up and acts like it’s a tool. IDK maybe he’s drunk. “If I can have instruments like these, I might be able to overcome the fault in the time mechanism on the ship!” JK he’s under hypnosis.
The stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 are returning to the big screen with a hilarious 2-night event! Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, are back on the big screen for a legendary riffing of the 1983 Doctor Who film “The Five Doctors."
Someone is taking the Doctor’s past selves out of time and space, placing them in a vast wilderness - a battle arena with a sinister tower at its center. As the various incarnations of the Doctor join forces, they learn they are in the Death Zone on their home world of Gallifrey, fighting Daleks, Cybermen, Yeti and a devious Time Lord Traitor who is using the Doctor and his companions to discover the ancient secrets of Rassilon, the first and most powerful ruler of Gallifrey.
RiffTrax Live: The Five Doctors will be riffed live and simulcast through select theaters across the country on August 17, followed by a special re-broadcast on August 24.
Tickets and more information can be found over on Fathom Events’ website or by clicking here.
I want to tell you a bit about Barbara and Susan, and why I still think they’re two of the best female characters who have ever been on Doctor Who, including NuWho. And yes, both of them, not just Barbara.
Classic Who under Verity Lambert is quite magical in regards to feminism in and of itself. This is the kind of show where you’d expect to go in and see the ladies getting shafted at the beginning of each adventure, told to hide or stay put, or being put in constant peril for the male characters to rescue them.
But astonishingly, that first season is extremely egalitarian toward both women. They share in the adventure, go everywhere that Ian and the Doctor do, and their gender is almost never used to enforce limitations on them.
It’s actually jaw-dropping to watch in an age where we’re conditioned to believe that all media of that time was completely dreadful towards women. However, there’s another element to this that really seals the deal, and it’s something I think a lot of writers fail to realize the impact of.
The thing that really makes both of these characters so beautifully progressive for their time isn’t just because of their own independent characters or the way the narrative treats them, it’s also because they’re on the same show together. Susan and Barbara’s dynamic really shows just why the Smurfette Principle is problematic and how much better your work can be when you have multiple female characters to play off of each other.
On paper, Susan’s character reads like a lot of other, young female characters you might see in media during the 60s. She’s innocent, easily frightened, and has the combined lung capacity of a dozen trained musicians. Now, I’m not at all saying Susan can’t stand on her own as a character. In fact, she has quite a few character traits (her intelligence, her Gallifreyan-codifying eccentricity that occasionally rivals the Doctor’s own) that do set her apart even by herself.
But what really pushes Susan’s character writing over the edge from simply good to utterly fantastic is the other female character she shares her time on the show with, Barbara Wright. It’s really no secret in the classic who fandom that Barbara is awesome. Ian positively looks like a non-action guy next to some of the things that she does. Unlike Susan, Barbara doesn’t even read on paper like her scripts were written with a gender in mind- she’s a good character, plain and simple, and being female is just an incidental trait of her.
So where am I going with this?
By seeing these two very different, but equally wonderful female characters together, we’re persuaded to see these character’s personalities as a part of who they are, rather then a result of their gender. We’re also persuaded to see women as a diverse group of people, and not as singular objects. We no longer see Susan’s skiddish traits as being ‘because she’s a girl’ because Barbara is there and she’s not skiddish. We no longer see Barbara’s neutral writing as just her being a one-note ‘strong female character’ because Susan shows us that while some women are tough, others may not be, and that’s okay. Both are okay. Both are wonderful.
You can be like Barbara; you can be like Susan. But most importantly, you can be like yourself. Don’t let society’s gender limitations define you; you are what you are, and that’s good enough.
For a show from 1963, that’s an incredible message.