I also think the role of the assistant has changed since Steven Moffat started overseeing Doctor Who. Rose, Martha and Donna were chosen to travel with the Doctor because they showed in one way or another that they were smart and up to the challenge. Amy and Clara both come to the Doctor first and foremost as mysteries. Amy is the little girl who grew up with a rift in time in her bedroom wall, who doesn’t know why she doesn’t have parents. She spends many episodes being mystically both pregnant and not pregnant but doesn’t know a thing about it and all our information about it comes through the Doctor. What the fuck is that?
Some version of Clara dies on screen twice before she is taken on as the assistant, and it seems like the Doctor takes up with her to find out why. In both cases, the woman is not of interest for her character or her abilities, but for some fundamental mystery in her being. The mystery isn’t even a secret she’s keeping, something over which she has control- it’s something she does not know about, that the Doctor must puzzle out in his own mind. It’s not about her- it’s about what’s wrong with her. When Steven Moffat took over Doctor Who, women became a problem.
With the return of Madame Vastra this week, we really should praise the author who had the brilliant idea to create a lesbian Silurian who’s friendly with the Doctor.
… No, no, I don’t mean Steven Moffat, I mean Paul Cornell, who did the idea 14 years before Moffat. http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Sanki
Yeah, and as well as Vastra from Cornell and The Empty Child/The Holy Terror, there’s that pretty much every major plot beat in series five came from Alien Bodies.
Well all I can say is, thank goodness Paul Cornell had nothing at all to do with Moffat’s most significant creation: an adventurous professor of archaeology from the future who travels through time, repeatedly encounters the Doctor, and is regarded by him as a peer, with hints they have a closer and more personal relationship than any other Doctor and companion pair. Because if Cornell had ever created a character like that and then Moffat made his own quick knockoff to avoid giving Cornell creator credit, that would be kind of scummy.
Reblogging for perfect commentary.
“From what I’ve seen, your funny little happy-go-lucky little life leaves devastation in its wake. Always moving on because you dare not look back. Playing with so many people’s lives, you might as well be a god. And you’re right, Doctor. You’re absolutely right. Sometimes… you let one go.”
The things this man does with his face. Jesus.
Eccleston is amazing. Especially in this role. Sad it was such a short stint.
See and I’m sitting here thinking, damn, that actress was fucking flawless. Sad her stint was so short.