Hello! I’m sorry because this is probably such a stupid question! Moffat said “slowly gently” at SDCC, but where does “softly softly” come from? Thank you so much and sorry again!
It’s not a stupid question at all! The actual phrase “softly softly” was used by Mark Gatiss in an interview in Gay Times in February 2012. When asked about gay representation on tv, he said:
I always thought that what Russell [T Davies] did in Doctor Who was extremely ground breaking in a slightly more subversive way than it looked like. It never occurred to me that it was too on the nose, what he did brilliantly was introduce incidentally gay characters obviously as well as some more in your face ones. One of my favourite stories is Gridlock, there’s an elderly couple of ladies who are together and it just sort of passes by and that’s the way–softly, softly. That’s how the revolution happens as it were, you just become aware that people are incidentally gay. I think when the day comes that you have a big detective show where the first half hour was this man at work and he’s a maverick and all the usual things and then we went home and his boyfriend says, “Are you alright?” it was just a thing, then something would have genuinely changed. I think the problem still is it becomes the issue. I think the thing with gay characters is that it has to be an issue as opposed to being part of everyday life, which of course as we all know, is what it is.
[Stuart’s] runaround jeep in Queer As Folk was Russell T. Davies’ own geek homage to Byker Grove. “One of the few fan letters I’ve ever written was to the man who’s producing Byker Grove, because in the second year they did that story,” said Davies, “Noddy got a boyfriend, and they had to write them out because they had nowhere else to go. But they drove off together in a black jeep. It was so fantastic to watch that on children’s television at ten past five in the afternoon. And you were sitting watching it thinking: ‘They have sex! Those two boys have sex! They’re not showing it, but they absolutely have sex. That’s fact.’ And the black jeep became one of my favourite symbols of gayness.”
I think the series’ secret power is that the show runners and major writers were all fans first. Russell T Davies, who brought the show blazing back to life in 2005, wrote a novel for the Virgin New Adventures series (original stories about the Doctor which were published when the show was off air) as did most of the series’ best writers – Paul Cornell, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. That’s why it has none of the contempt for the original material that you feel, for example, in the recent Star Trek movies. In an age of irony, Doctor Who means every word
Yes, the way Martha Jones left Doctor Who was amazing, feminist and one of my favorite moments on TV. However, that doesn't excuse how badly she was treated by the Doctor and the writers who kept diminishing her to prop up white girl Rose and that fueled the fandom's vitriol against her even more. Martha's exit was empowering, but the rest of her arc was incredibly racist and I hate how some people seem to forget that and praise Russell T. Davis left and right (not saying you do though).
Fond though I am of the Cybermen, I’ve long been of the belief that Doctor Who hasn’t quite figured out how to handle them properly. Without a clear central conceit at the heart of the concept, the Cybermen have oft been reduced to little more than clanking robots; ever since my recent rewatch of the 2006 series, I’ve been thinking about just what the Cybermen should be in terms of Doctor Who.
This most recent Yahoo article, then, is all about trying to present a solution to the problem of the Cybermen…
One of my fave 10/Rose fics is Winner Takes All by LN29. It's a behemoth, at just over 200k, but it's one of the only multi-chapter fics I can read over and over again without getting tired of it. It's like if Russel T. Davies and Suzanne Collins had a fanfic baby.
Man! I really need to read this one soon, it look extra good.. Even if very long! But I like long fics! A lotta people recced it to us lately. Thank you so much for sharing this.
Doomsday was one of the most unforgettable pieces of television to be a part of. Such a privilege to watch Rose and the Doctor break the nations hearts in true Russell T Davies style; giving the fans an ending they’ll remember forever.
I’ve covered every episode of Classic Doctor Who now as well as the Ninth Doctor’s series, so now I’m looking at the era of the Tenth Doctor!
213: Voyage of the Damned
I’m the Doctor. I’m a Time Lord. I’m from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I’m 903 old. And I’m the man that’s going to save your lives and all 6 billion people on the planet below. ”
Format: 1 episode, 75 minutes long
Writer: Russell T. Davies
Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)
Story: A spacecraft set on an apocalyptic collision course with Earth, a host of killer robot angels and an evil severed-headed mastermind — it’s just another Christmas for the Doctor…
What I liked:
A massive adventure story!
Actual Kylie in Doctor Who- and she’s brilliant!
The Doctor is really at his best here.
What I disliked:
It’s very bleak, especially for a Christmas episode
Overall thoughts: This is a proper adventure story and other than the general idea that this a space version of the Titanic there isn’t even too much science-fiction here. The Doctor and a band of survivors travel across the ruined ship in the hope of making it to the bridge. Robotic angels try to stop them. Brilliant!
Considering this was a Christmas special, it’s very bleak. With nearly the entire population of the ship being killed off quickly it has a huge death toll. And then it goes on to kill off nearly every other character (including three in one long scene): The Captain, Morvin, Bannakaffalatta, Foon, Max and Astrid all end up dead. It’s brutal.
Of course, Astrid is only really killed off because she’s played by legendary popstar Kylie who can’t commit to appearing again. The death is rubbish and utterly unnecessary- there’s even a get-out clause which is taken away at the last second. But Kylie is great as Astrid- she’s actually a superb actress and really brings the character to life, the waitress who wants to see the stars. She’s the best actor in the episode behind Tennant himself, who is perhaps at his very best here.
There is fun to be had here though, from the Doctor trying to make light of the situation to Mr. Copper getting his facts about Christmas hopelessly wrong. Somehow it manages to end on a light note and despite all the death and destruction it manages to avoid being too bleak. I also like the fact Rickston survives and the great comment about choosing who to save.
It’s an odd episode this. I feel like I shouldn’t like for it’s bleakness and lack of Christmassy-feeling but for some reason I do. Whilst it’s not one of RTD’s best plots it’s probably one of his best character pieces- more new characters than virtually any of his other episodes and the Doctor at his best.
Doctor Who - Looking back on Doomsday, the Doctor, and Rose Tyler
Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of Doomsday, the final episode of Doctor Who’s second series following its triumphant 2005 revival. It’s an episode known for many things - pitting the Daleks against the Cybermen for the first time in Doctor Who history, introducing Torchwood, as well as giving us Catherine Tate’s first appearance as Donna Noble.
Most importantly, though, it’s known for being the story where Rose leaves the Doctor.
Inspired by Philip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass, and wanting to provide a cataclysmic event that would keep the Doctor and Rose apart forever, Russell T Davies decided to leave Rose trapped in a parallel universe that the Doctor could never revisit.
Doomsday, then, sawthe culmination of a two-year plot arc, and it is heartbreaking. All of us in the audience had watched these two characters travel together, and grow together, ever since the show returned; it was with the Tenth Doctor that we really saw the depth of feeling these two characters had for each other. Notably, however, their feelings had never really been expressed to one another on screen before; though we all talk about the epic love story between the Doctor and Rose, it’s actually far subtler and much more understated than that.
In episodes like The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit, the pair come close to saying they love each other, but ultimately eschew the final declaration - one memorable line of the Doctor’s, before facing possible death, is “Tell Rose… tell her… oh, she knows”. Their bond had been built through shared experiences, and through the chemistry that Tennant and Piper shared, but never really made explicit. The Doctor and Rose weren’t ever really in a relationship together; it was never anything that complicated, or that mundane. It was just the Doctor and Rose, in the TARDIS. As it should be.
But that’s what really emphasises the tragedy of this moment – there was a sort of purity to it, because it was the first time that the pair of them expressed these feelings. The first time they chose to, because it was the last time they could. Which serves only to heighten the sheer cruelty of “Rose Tyler, -”, in the end – we know what he was going to say, but it’s just not fair that he didn’t get to say it. That made it all the more frustrating, really, that the pair of them wasted time on little small talk; in a way, though, that makes the moment all the more effective. These two inarticulate idiots, dancing around their feelings – and, in the end, denied even that one final moment together.
The moment - which you can watch here, if you’re interested - contains some of David Tennant and Billie Piper’s best acting together on Doctor Who. Often people highlight Piper’s work in Father’s Day, which I wrote about here, as being her best, but I think she may well have surpassed herself here; Rose’s grief at losing the Doctor, open and raw, is quite powerful. Similarly, Tennant does a wonderful job at showing the Doctor sad, yet trying to distance himself - making small talk, making little jokes, doing his best to remain positive. When they are, in the end, finally torn apart, the moment is deeply poignant.
Ultimately, it was cruel, it was unforgettable, and it was wonderfully written by the fantastic Russell T Davies. There’s a reason why the final scene of Doomsday is so iconic, and that’s because it really is that good.