I have mixed feelings towards the current Doctor Who situation because on the one hand I hate Moffat’s “no major character can ever really die thing”. Because honestly it ruins the stakes and is usually just had writing.
But on the other hand it is not clever or cool to kill of the FIRST LESBIAN major character after one fucking season.
As far as I see, until the Twelfth Doctor, a lot of the calls for “please don’t let the companion fall in love with the Doctor again” seems to be rooted in the idea that this would be somewhat demeaning for the companion’s story. Now, with Thirteen on the horizon, I feel like the “no romance!!” demands mostly come from the opposite direction, as if a love story angle would be bad for her. I’m not sure what to do with that.
I’d like to think no-one who is part of the Doctor Who tumblr community would do this, but I’m just going to say it just in case:
Do not pirate the Doctor Who audio plays (Well: don’t pirate in general). Big Finish is a small company and has been hit by piracy before and badly. It forced them to end then previously successful Sapphire and Steel range because piracy of the series in it’s third series was so bad that Big Finish had to abandon the series on a cliffhanger. Which was never resolved. At all.
(And I’d love to drum up support for a renassiance for the series: but guess what? The licencise expired this year and Big Finish can no longer sell the series. It’s gone. Forever. Outside of inflated Ebay prices. Thanks for that, pirates - and if you want to know what your missing out on: Sapphire & Steel was a really great continuation of a 1980s horror/fantasy/science fiction series about two mysterious human figures who appear to be human, but are anything but who appear when strange events begin to occur and investigate in a procedual fashion. It’s a really surreal offbeat series and I’d strongly recommend it to anyone to watch the original (which I only found out about through the older generations of Whovians) . The revival series also had Mark Gattis playing a new character, Gold and he was fantastic. But, now that’s gone. Forever.)
And Big Finish have been honest about just how much, despite the Doctor Who name, piracy has cut into sales and despite Big Finish having Moffat’s favour that licencise isn’t cheap.
In addition, as a small company, Big Finish, despite the Who name, face distribution problems in getting their products out their on the market. So, their products don’t have anywhere near the same exposure as the revival series and it’s tie-in media does. Colin Baker himself spoke out about it and about the realities of the situation and means of production itself - and while Dark Eyes (and the promotion of it in DWM) came along and it doesn’t seem to be as pressing as it once was, I still can see how all the newfound intrest in the Eighth Do ctor could lead to a rather unfortune knock on effect for Big Finish.
And apparently people have been buying subscriptions so they can obtain the subscriber specials and upload them on the internet? A big source of Big Finish’s revenue comes from the subscriptions.
Big Finish also had to let their Stargate licencise expire due to poor sales.Apparently, this was due to a large portion of the fandom prefering a new series over audio drama set within the time frame of the series, but I’m more then willing to bet that piracy played a role in poor sales as well.
Ok, so I wanted to see how each character compared based on how long they are on the show. The first graph is the different Doctors (including the War Doctor), and the second graph is the Companions. (sadly I couldn’t included all companions, so I left out people who were only there for one adventure, with the exception of Grace, the guys in UNIT, both K-9 and Kamelion, and anyone one who wasn’t in the tv series or movie. Also both Romans are included as one person). The values are based on the total running time of all the episodes the specific character was in, excluding any mini episodes.
You can argue about it as much as you want, but autism is a collection of traits. Not all autistics have every single trait, nor are they exclusive to autistic people. They manifest themselves in many different ways across the autistic population. We don’t know what they have in common and what causes them, but when you have enough of them, you are autistic. And these traits can be found in many fictional characters, even when they are aliens. One particular alien to be exact, the Doctor.
I talked about it before, and one of the big differences between humans and Time Lords is the amount of control they have over their mind and body. So if the Doctor has what we can describe as autism, he can hide some of the traits, which makes it less obvious. We don’t really know if it’s a common thing among his race because we don’t meet a lot of other Time Lords, and because he changed a lot over his lifetime and incarnations, so did the traits. So this is not a solid case, but merely a headcanon full of wishful thinking. But here are the facts.
Sensory processing disorder:
One part of sensory disorder is having some of your senses constantly overstimulated and some understimulated. It leads to hate for some stimuli and love for other. This, in turn, creates a lot of traits commonly found in autistic people.
The Doctor usually wears only one type of clothes during an incarnation, which could be because this is the only stuff he can wear. He loves some tastes (bananas, tea, fish fingers and custard) and hate others (pears, apples, yogurt). Some of his incarnations really likes physical contact, such as hugging (10th), some hated it (12th).
Another part of SPD is being able to notice things other people ignore. The Doctor can identify much more details than his companions and make sense of information they just ignore.
Autistic people tend to develop passion for things and fixate on them. Anything can be a special interest: a book, some type of animal, a person, a branch of science. Considering how old the Doctor is, he must have had a lot of special interests. I can name some, like the Beatles, physics (or science in general) and Charles Dickens books. But his most profound and long lasting special interest is… the Universe, and exploring it. And maybe Earth.
It’s hard to say what are his stims, because we don’t see him in his spare time a lot. I think repairing the TARDIS has an element of stimming. First Doctor used to spin a ring on his finger and touch his jacket. Second played on his recored, Tenth ruffled his hair. I can imagine him playing with his sonic screwdriver a lot, turning it in his hands and pressing the buttons. I will probably find more in the future.
Echolalia is repeating certain words and sounds, sometimes immediately after hearing them, sometimes much later. I think catch phrases are a really good example of echolalia. One reason I repeat some words and phrases is because they sound fun and it’s nice to say them. The Doctor likes his phrases too, and sometimes tries to come up with new ones, but fails. I probably don’t need to list all the ‘fantastic’, 'oh my giddy aunt’, 'allonsy’ and 'geronimo’. Also I like how in his first episode the Second Doctor confused his companions by repeating the words 'lesterson listens’ over and over.
Social interaction issues:
It varies from one incarnation to another, but the Doctor definitely has problems with social protocol. Sometimes it makes him seem rude (1th, 3rd, 9th, 12th), sometimes just quirky and weird. It’s hard to say whether he has same problems with gallifreyan social protocol, but he can’t grasp all the nuances of human interaction even after many years of dealing with us (just remember 'Lodger’). It’s all right Doctor, I don’t understand all this stuff either.
Of all the things I listed I named very few negative traits. It might sound like I’m sugarcoating autism (which shouldn’t be an issue cause autism is not essentially a bad thing), but it would make sense for a person who has a lot of control over his mind to minimize and avoid bad and negative things, such as executive dysfunction and meltdowns/shutdowns (though you can probably find rare moments where he actually has meltdowns and shutdowns, like in The End of Time part 2).
But one thing I noticed that he couldn’t avoid is autistic burnout. It is a state of total exhaustion which can happen after a big change or emotional event, like a loss of a loved one. When I have burnout, I lose all interest for life, and don’t have energy to do anything, even get up in the morning. I think we saw the Doctor during a burnout after Ponds have died. He cut all connections with the outside world and pretty much locked himself in the TARDIS. It took him a lot of time to recover and get back to his usual life.
I put a lot of energy into developing this headcanon and finding facts to prove it because Doctor Who is my special interest and the Doctor is my hero. I initially liked him and identified with him because I saw some of my characteristic in him. I know a decent amount of autistic people consider Doctor Who a special interest, so I wrote this down for them. Maybe I can’t logically prove this, or make this canon, but no one can take away my headcanons. It helps me a lot in my everyday life, and I hope it will help you too. Because if the Doctor can be autistic and cool, so can I. And so can you.