Tag Archives: Matt Smith

#DoctorWho: Robot of Sherwood: Justice and Doubt

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For the past couple of years, I had been rather embarassed to call myself a Whovian. I felt (and still feel) that Stephen Moffat’s writing is just ruining the show, and that they tried to make Number 11/Matt Smith too much like the 10th Doctor, David Tennant. The raw reactions of Doctor Who fans to antiracist critiques led to even more facepalms by me.

Fast forward to this season. As a fan of “The Oncoming Storm” 9th Doctor, I have been pleasantly surprised by the performance of the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi. I love the surly, ironic change in the humor. The show’s cast looks like it is looking to get more diverse with the character Daniel Pink. Through the first three episodes, I am indeed here for Number 12, Clara, and Pink.

We start at the beginning of the episode, the Doctor tells Clara they can go anywhere she wants. She talks about her dream of meeting Robin Hood, Earl of Locksley. At first the Doctor refuses the request because he tells her that Robin Hood isn’t real. Finally, 12 gives in, and when they land in Sherwood Forest with no person in sight for a few seconds, the Doctor brags, “No damsels in distress. No pretty castles. No such thing as Robin Hood.” Immediately after he says this, an arrow hits the T.A.R.D.I.S., and lo, and behold, it’s Robin Hood himself!

Robin Hood stakes his claim to the Doctor’s ship: “Don’t you know that all property is theft to Robin Hood.” The Doctor questions if Robin is serious, and Hood responds, “Robin laughs in the face of all.”

After their comical duel, the Doctor acts on his skepticism even after having won over RH’s trust. The Doctor cuts a piece of Robin’s hair and tries to take one of his sandals. “This sandal isn’t real.” The Doctor is suspicious of Robin for about 95% of the episode. When they both find out that the knights working for the evil Sheriff are actually alien robots, the Doctor argues, “Isn’t it time you came clean with me? You’re not real and you know it. Perfect eyes. Perfect teeth. No one has a jaw like that.” Still sadly, no go. It is not until the Doctor sees Robin Hood bleed from being attacked by the robots does 12 begin to be less skeptical.

Stories about the possiblities of justice are really difficult to believe in. In a fallen world filled with injustices and disasters, it can be pretty easy to give in to all of wrong that need to be righted. Even after 12, Robin, and Clara, team up to become victorious over the Sheriff and his “knights,” the Doctor denies himself the right to laugh and enjoy their feat. The Doctor has placed far too much responsibility as the “white savior” of time and space. Robin, meanwhile, puts everything in to perspective. He asks whether in the future, people will just remember him as a legendary myth, 12 answers in the affirmative. Robin replies, “Good. History is a burden. Stories can make us fly.” [….] “Perhaps we will both be stories. And may those stories never end.”

Indeed, narrative can open up our imagination for us to be open to that which we have not experienced, and motivate us to work for a more just society. A different world is possible.

Doctor Who: The Time Of The Doctor

 Stephen Moffat‘s War On Christmas Women

The Doctor has changed appearance ten distinct...

The Doctor has changed appearance ten distinct times. These are the eleven faces of the Doctor. (Top) L-R: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker (Middle) L-R: Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann (Bottom) L-R: Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight the Christmas special of Doctor Who aired on BBC America at 9pm EST/8pm CST.  While all Doctor  Who Christmas specials are meant nowadays to be memorable, this one will be remembered as Matt Smith‘s last episode as the Doctor.  The episode starts off with of course the unrequitted love between the Doctor and his companion, Clara.  Clara invites the Doctor to Christmas dinner because she has made up an imaginary boyfriend.  The Doctor of course obliges, and Clara chooses to cook the turkey on the TARDIS.  While on the TARDIS, the Doctor runs into Tasha Lem, the Mother Superior and chief religious figure of the Church of Papal Mainframe.

Tasha Lem allows Clara and the Doctor to pass through her force field while they investigate a planet with possible Gallifreyan connections.  I don’t want to give away too many spoilers but I will say this, that like last year’s Christmas special, I could understand what was going on, unlike many other times during the Moffatt Era.  I remain a fan of Clara and I hope they make her character stronger.  I liked the way that the 11th Doctor died of old age before his regeneration, and there seem to be some real Star Trek like speculations when it comes to religion such as  “everyone enters the church naked.”  My biggest frustration with  the Moffatt Era continues to be his inability to write women, and much of the time, his portrayals are sexist.  At one point, there’s a disturbing scene where the Doctor kisses Tasha Lem without her consent, and when she confronts him about that fact, the Doctor dismisses her concerns with “humor.”

Much like Moffatt’s dismissal of having a woman Doctor Who (comparing a woman Doctor to a man “playing” the Queen), the Doctor seems not to care for the free will of women like Tasha Lem.  Rape culture dismisses arguments for consent with “she was asking for it.”  I can only hope , that with the new batch of regenerations, Moffatt will choose to make wiser writing choices, and take the sexism out of his story-telling.  As for Capaldi’s 12th/13th Doctor, I wish that they can go back to the Untamed Storm/ angry professor style of Christopher Eccleston’s 9th Doctor. We shall see.

#DoctorWho: The Snow Men

Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor

Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Christmas was the first time I got to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special on BBC America.  As some of my friends commented, a lot of things were happening in this episode, The Snow Men.  One thing I know is that the Doctor  is married, but he keeps having all these romantic relationships with his Companions, but at the same time, family is supposed to be this really really important thing on the show. This shipping and the whole theme of family is really taking away from the science fiction and horror aspects of the show.   I found the episode very entertaining, even in spite of the lack of a plot.

What did you think of the Doctor Who Christmas Special? Chime in!






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