So I was asked if I could do a feature on my blog all about Doctor Who and girls. I thought long and hard and decided that this needed someone way cooler than me!
I managed to find two friends that could talk Who all night long and they agreed to take part in the feature for me.
Up first is one of my favourite people on twitter and no stranger to writing for my blog; Sharon Sant.
Here is what she had to say on the subject.
The Doctor and his Girls – Then and Now.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t make it to the Doctor Who party until the reboot of the series in 2005. Actually, I lie, I did watch the TV movie in 1999 and, despite the general derision directed at that version, fell hopelessly in love with Paul McGann’s Doctor, which is probably the only reason I gave him the time of day when the show returned to our screens. But back in the dark days of the eighties I had no idea what the fuss was about. I knew that there was a fuss, because my best friend at the time (friends from the age of 8 and still counting) Kath was a huge fan. Girls now won’t realise how massive that is, because back then, girls did not watch Doctor Who. Ok, maybe that’s somewhat of a generalisation, maybe I should say that not many girls watched Doctor Who. So when I was asked if I’d like to write a post about why more girls should get involved in Doctor Who, I knew just the person to ask.
I phoned Kath and I think she was pleasantly surprised, if a little perplexed, that I wanted to know her thoughts about the old seasons, mainly because I’d spent so many of our formative years trying to avoid her thoughts on it (along with Blake’s Seven and Judge Dredd). I’ve since realised, of course, that she was actually the coolest girl I knew and I was the one denying my geeky tendencies to fit in. Thankfully, Kath never felt the need to do that.
‘Does it feel different being a fan now, where lots more girls are into it, than back then when it was mainly blokes who were into it?’ I asked her.
‘I was generally weird back then anyway so I didn’t notice,’ Kath replied.
That rather straightforward admission out of the way, I asked her what was different back during the first incarnation of the show. Her main point was the way female role models (or not) have changed. She said that the female characters these days are much stronger and more equal to the Doctor than they were in the old series’. Though she loved the girl companions back then, there was a lot of ‘appealing to the dads’. I suspect there is still a lot of appealing to the dads these days, but maybe not quite so much flesh on show. And there was a distinctly sexist approach to the characters. The female companions might have started out as strong, feisty brainboxes, but an hour in the Tardis would have then tottering around in heels and squealing like the rest of us. Leela was too overtly sexy, Kath said, Romana was cool but fell victim to the girl-making curse of the Tardis, Sarah-Jane Smith was about the best in terms of cool-factor but even she had a tendency to get hypnotised and become a doe-eyed imbecile at the drop of a hat.
Round two of the show and we have Rose (*sigh* the companion I would want to be) who kicks ass and packs a laser gun like the best of the men (who can forget that scene in The Stolen Earth?) and Donna (let’s just skip Martha… sorry, but I just cant go there…oh, ok then, so she did trudge around the world whispering to people, I suppose I could let her off being a pining lovesick fool). Where was I? Oh yes, Donna, whose wit could rip our poor overwhelmed Time Lord to shreds and then goes one better to become half Time Lord herself, Amy the fearsome Scottish bombshell, and the mysterious, seemingly omnipresent Clara. Not to mention River Song swinging her way through time in the Doctor’s wake. Role models like these are what makes it ok to be a girl and like Doctor Who now. Let’s face it, we all want to be them and if I was a writer I’d totally write a tiny little girl from Stoke in my script, ya know, coz I could… I’m not entirely sure what the point of this post was now, I’m too busy daydreaming of the day Twelve will hand me a spare key for the Tardis. I’d better hurry up and get writing then…
To get in touch with Sharon or Kath you can do so on twitter with these links;
I would like to thank Sharon so much for helping me out. And I hope you keep a look out for the next post coming up by Maggie.