Archive for 23 February 2012

Women in Doctor Who

The women in Doctor Who are an interesting bunch. Over time, almost every imaginable form of womanhood, from the frighteningly intelligent Dr Liz Shaw to capable (if under-dressed) Leela to Rose Tyler. More on Rose later. For every companion that you hate, there will be another that you love. That, for me, is one of the show’s strengths. The companions, male and female, are people with stories and personalities of their own.

I originally planned this post as a discussion of strengths and weaknesses of the female companions as feminist role models. When I got to the end of the first page of A4 and hadn’t finished the introduction, I realised that there was just too much material to work with. Instead, this is something of a statement of intent, if you will. I fully intend to go into more detail on the various characters in future posts, but in a more manageable way. One doctor at a time, perhaps. For now, I’ll stick to a very quick overview of the points I want to cover.

In terms of role-models, there are some very strong ones in place right from the start. The first human to step aboard the TARDIS is Barbara Wright, a strong minded and capable teacher. In the face of the Doctor’s ranting the The Edge of Destruction, Barbara remains calm and logical, and helps the Doctor trace the actual source of the problem. I’d say that’s a pretty good start to the series, from a feminist point of view.

The third Doctor was something of a purple patch for strong women. I’ve already mentioned the wonderful Liz Shaw, but we also get spunky UNIT operative Jo Grant and investigative report Sarah Jane Smith.

I won’t list all the amazing women the Doctor has travelled with, but as a child of the ‘80s there is a special place in my heart for Ace. What isn’t to love about a companion who takes it on herself to act as the Doctor’s bodyguard? If the series had continued, the producers intended to send Ace to Gallifrey to train as a Time Lord herself. Wouldn’t that have made an interesting story?

Of course there are also some less than stellar examples as well. I reserve a special kind of bile for Rose Tyler and the completely unnecessary romance plot that Russell Davies forced upon her. And the less said about poor Mel, the better. She was supposed to be a computer programmer – no small thing in the early 1980s – but she was consistently portrayed as a ditzy twit who was more trouble than she was worth.

To my mind, the problem with Dr Who is not the women that appear in the series, it’s the necessity of using peril as a plot device to drive the stories. At its most simplistic, Dr Who is a show about a semi-omnipotent being who gets into a difficult situation and extracts himself from it using his extraordinary brilliance, resolve and courage. To illustrate the danger of the situation, the (usually female) companion gets into trouble and has to be rescued.

There is an argument that the women could extricate themselves from their difficulties. They are, after all, intelligent, capable characters in their own right. But let’s be honest – the series is called Dr Who. We tune in every week to watch the man who flies the blue box. Given that simple fact, it would be a little unreasonable of us to expect the writers to make women the focus of the series. Instead, we should celebrate the fact that the show continues to provide examples of the very best of humanity. The central message of the show is that everyone has it in them to be exceptional. What could be more positive than that?

Feminism & Doctor Who: Gally 2012

panel on interpretative cosplay

Cross-posted at From Austin to A&M.

I just came back from Gally, the big-ass Doctor Who convention in L.A., and I am already counting the days until next year’s. Gally is like a big party full of friends you don’t necessarily know yet. Gally always has some cool stars, writers, and directors, but for me the highlight of the con is the panels, the cosplay, the random crafting and creativity of fellow con-goers. Because what makes Gally magical is the fans, and what we take away from the show, what we do with the show, how we interpret it.

I only went to four panels this year, because I planned my sleeping poorly, so I’ve asked Nightsky to come join me in writing up the convention. She went to some of the panels I highlighted and slept through.

21st Century Doctor Who Fandom: The Cosplay Factor (Courtney)

This was a fairly disappointing panel, though I admit my expectations were high. I was on the panel, and I pitched it to the convention. The conversation started off with a “Why are we even doing this? Cosplay is simple and easily understood!” which was an inauspicious place to begin.

We meandered at first, partly because no one seemed to know why we were there (except me, and no one was listening to me at first), and so it became a “yay, cosplay!” panel for a while. Bob Mitsch talked about how awesome it is to have creators and authors appreciate your cosplay, telling a story about how Matt Smith said on TV that the Doctor cosplays were neat. It was kind of a cool story, but I felt like we were placing way too much stock in what actors and other authorized creators thought. Cosplay isn’t about Matt Smith. If he hated it, we’d still do it, because it’s about fans and their interpretation of the show.

So we moved on, thankfully, but only because Bob was very silly and said he wanted to figure out what the “cosplay factor” was. In one word. But it meant that we began actually talking about what cosplay is and why people do it and what role it has in the fan community. The first thing we decided was that cosplay is an act of love, which, awww.

 At some point I articulated something I’ve been trying to figure out for years: Cosplayers come at cosplay with different sets of motivations. Usually, these are motivations as fans and motivations as costumers. As fans, they may want, for example, to choose a character because they love them. As fans, they won’t care if they are buying pieces or making them, because what’s important is the interpretation they are putting forth with their cosplay. As costumers, however, they may want to choose characters they don’t like much, because their costumes are interesting or challenging. They’ll probably want to make or alter most of the pieces. And these motivations, obviously, can be at odds with each other. It’s like a see-saw. For some cosplayers, the fan motivations vastly outweigh the costumer motivations, and for some the costumer motivations sometimes trump the fan motivations (though usually only for some cosplays, not all of them).

At this point Bob just started stringing words together, saying the cosplay factor is “love, creativity, meaning, seesaw,” and a bunch of other silly things that made no sense out of context. He’s a funny dude. [Nightsky: I think he was trying to isolate the “cosplay factor” like the Daleks tried to isolate the “human factor” in “The Evil of the Daleks”.]

The Remix Culture (Nightsky)

Yes, while Courtney was off doing something frivolous like “eating” or “sleeping” or maybe even attending Louise Jameson’s show, I was in panels. Because it is, frankly, kind of awesome to be on a panel. First up was a panel on remixing, especially as manifested in fanvids.

 Despite my best attempts at keeping the discussion on remixing itself, it kept drifting over to fan/creator interactions. I’d really been hoping to steer things over to a discussion on participatory culture: one of the worst things Hollywood has done for us is to instill and perpetuate this notion that culture flows one way, from them to us. I think that’s crap. I think culture is a conversation, which is why I’m so happy to see fanac in all its various forms: people all over the world saying that culture is theirs, that they have every right to participate no matter what the elites think.

[ETA: Here is the exact discussion I wanted to have.]

Doctor Who, Sexual Tropes and the “Gay Agenda” (Nightsky)

 This was it, the biggie. From a rant that sort of slipped out of me at the end of last year’s “Chicks Dig Time Lords” panel, I pitched a couple of panels with themes like “Asexuality in Doctor Who” and “Queer Readings of Who”. The Powers That Be (wisely) merged those with a grab bag of related pitches, and out came this panel, which I delighted in calling “Sexytimes in Doctor Who”.

My fellow panelists and I, and our standing room only crowd (!), quickly launched into a spirited and often contentious–but always awesome–conversation. Panelist Mark described how important it was to him, as a child, to have a space that wasn’t heteronormative. Aware he was different from the other kids, increasingly aware he was gay, but rejecting the portrayals of gay men he was surrounded with, Mark found refuge in the Doctor’s uncomplicated otherness. Sarah, the panel’s other ace (!!), described the feeling of betrayal when the new series Doctors started finding love: asexuals get one, maybe two, canonical aces across all media, and now we can’t even have those? After briefly touching on some of the queer moments in the classic series, we launched into queerness in new Who. Someone in the audience opined that RTD-era Who had gay people around for no particular reason, while Moffatt-era Who seems to showboat a little more. Someone else pointed out Sky Silvestry, the lesbian businesswoman from “Midnight”, and noted that she didn’t appreciate another airing of the “psycho lesbian” trope. A young transman called out all Who, old and new, for falling down on trans* inclusion. I realized afterwards that I’d forgotten to discuss Alpha Centauri, an interesting genderqueer alien from the old series’ Peladon stories, and how… remarkable it is that every single alien species in the Whoniverse is sexually dimorphic.

I’d planned to go straight to sleep afterwards, but instead I stayed up until 1:30 talking about gender normativity with my roommate, a journalism student from Canada. I love Gally.

Also, “RTD and his Gay Agendas” is the name of my next trock band.

Time Lords & Time Ladies: Interpretive Cosplay and Crossplay in Doctor Who (Courtney)

This was by far the most rewarding panel to me. I moderated, and I was joined by a number of very smart cosplaying ladies.

For me, the highlight of this panel was our discussion of race, body size, gender, and “accuracy” as a function of privilege. At some point, we started talking about the difference between interpretive and “accurate” cosplay. The crossplayers, for the most part, cared a great deal about accuracy, but also recognized that their bodies don’t fit what’s happening on screen. And a woman in the audience chimed in to say that, as a fat person, she could never hope to achieve screen accuracy. So I relayed something that had irritated the hell out of me on a panel last year that I attended. The panel was on cosplaying as the Doctor, and I only went because squirrelyTONKS (who was also on the interpretive cosplay panel), femme Doctor extraordinaire, was on it. For the majority of the panel, the boys were just talking away, and squirrely wasn’t getting a word in edgewise. In a lull between discussions of pinstripes, she put herself forward and asked if anyone in the room was planning on doing a femme Doctor. Instead of, you know, letting anyone say anything, one of the men on the panel said, “Oh, I think women are so lucky that they can be so creative with the Doctor costumes,” the implication being that men can’t be and thus have to spend hours searching for the exact right fabric. Of course, that’s incorrect. Men could be more creative with the Doctor costume. They could be a steampunk Doctor, or a punk Doctor, or a medieval Doctor, or a gay pride Doctor. But also, I pointed out, that is a very privileged thing to say.

panel on interpretative cosplay  I moderated a cosplay panel while not in cosplay. For shame. Photo by Shaina Phillips.

Being able to care about accuracy is a function of privilege in the fan community. The man who said that could say that because his body, for the most part, matches the body of the actor onscreen. He’s a White, abled, relatively thin, cis-male person. He doesn’t seem to comprehend that women can’t just do the cosplay. They have to work it around their marginalized bodies. So do fans of color, (dis)abled fans, and trans* and genderqueer fans. [Nightsky: Michelle, a fan of color who cosplays the Fifth Doctor, made a great point here: White fans get more of a pass on “looking like the Doctor” than fans of color do.]

During this conversation, squirrely mentioned that she would love to do a Toshiko Sato cosplay, and I…I had some opinions. (N.B. I love squirrely to death and think she’s the sweetest.) The problem with White cosplayers doing cosplay of characters of color is that we already white-wash people of color constantly. (We do this literally, by selling them products that damage their skin, and figuratively, by doing things like replacing an entire cast of characters of color with White characters.) The other problem is that fans of color, when they want to see someone on screen who looks like them? They have some limited-ass options. Really. And women should know what this feels like, we are at a femme Doctor cosplay panel! We know what it’s like to want the hero to sometimes look like us! And people of color are far more limited than White women are when it comes to finding characters that look like them. To me, a White cosplayer costuming as a character of color is a slap in the face to fans of color. Like, “You know how I have ALL THE CHARACTERS and you don’t get hardly any, and even less that are badass? Well, get over it, because I’m taking YOURS too.” And I know that’s now how most White cosplayers think about it. I know that squirrely would never think that way. But man, it comes off that way. You are White, you have plenty of characters to choose from. You do not need to take the few awesome characters of color and white-wash them too. /rant

This discussion seemed to be what lots of people enjoyed the most. I asked gallifreygirl, who was at the panel, what she thought about it and she said her favorite part of the discussion was that we “didn’t just touch on gender but on race and body image as well. Anything that doesn’t fit in with ‘screen-accurate’ representation of the Doctor (because the cosplayer isn’t male or white) has to be interpretive.” When I asked her what she ultimately took away from the discussion, she said “That there’s a lot of room in Doctor Who fandom for playing with gender, and that as a fandom, Doctor Who is a lot more open to this than many others. I think perhaps because the fundamental ideals of Doctor Who, of an exile/outcast finding a place to belong appeals to minorities. There is still a lot to discuss about interpretive crossplay/cosplay and I do hope this panel gets an encore next year!”

I’m definitely pitching it next year, so I hope they let us do it again. (And this time, I’ll record it, because I kicked myself for not doing that this year.)

[Nightsky: Somebody else (I think it was’s Teresa Jusino) made what I thought was an outstanding point: screen-accuracy is, ultimately, a limitation. You can hire costumer and fellow Gally attendee Steve Ricks to make you an outfit that people will wonder if you’ve stolen from the BBC… but where do you go from there? Femme cosplay, by rejecting screen accuracy, has limitless possibilities.]

Why Aren’t There More Captain Janeways? (Courtney)

This panel was pretty disappointing. It sometimes seemed like it could have gotten somewhere interesting, but it was mostly writers. So it was really a panel about industry stuff, and less about cultural expectations of women and how TV reflects those. At some point, Jill said, “You can write the best character, and the network says, Great! Now let’s cast someone hot and young.” And for some reason, this led to no discussion of the limited definitions of “hot” we have in our culture, TV or otherwise. It also didn’t lead to any discussion of the fact that the network is also usually saying, “young, hot, and White.” Literally, no discussion of race the entire panel.

I know it sounds like I have high standards for these panels, but that’s because I’m missing an entire hour of meeting awesome strangers in the hallway and seeing cosplay. And these panels can be amazing. I’ve been to more than one incredible Gally panel. So I kind of expect them all to push themselves to be more than just phoning in. Let’s talk about nitty-gritty stuff, because it’s fucking interesting! I know lots of panels like to pretend Doctor Who fandom exists outside of the world and politics and oppression, but a panel about discrimination against women should know better. So if we’re going to talk about oppression, let’s talk about oppression. Listing “strong female characters” and asking the audience to cast a female Doctor for an hour is phoning it in. Especially when all the actresses we chose were thin and White.

Inspector Spacetime: The Panel (Courtney)

I didn’t know what to expect when I went to this panel, but as a die-hard Community fan, I couldn’t miss it. Most of the panel was everyone pretending Inspector Spacetime was a real show, and that we were all fans of it, and that we were having a very generic panel on it. So the panelists would ask things like, “What was your favorite episode?” and “What’s your first memory of Inspector Spacetime?” and the audience would ad lib like we were in an alternate universe. It was pretty funny. There’s a recording of the panel on YouTube. You should go watch it.

[Nightsky: Here’s another interesting example of participatory culture. Like a cross between Doctor Who and Mornington Crescent, Inspector Spacetime depends on the “yes, and” of zillions of fans. It’s ridiculously meta.]

 Feminism and Doctor Who

 Courtney: Oh wait, this wasn’t a panel. And that was the most disappointing part of Gally for me this year. Last year they had a “Is Doctor Who Feminist?” panel, which was mostly awful, but still, this should be a topic of freaking discussion. In the year of Steven Moffat, this is more relevant a discussion than ever. I mean, I started a feminist Doctor Who blog, and before we had even posted anything, we were averaging 130 hits a day. I had 90+ people interested enough in writing for it that they had sent me their email address. This is obviously a hole that Doctor Who fans need filled, and a discussion that we need to be having, online and at Gally.

Nightsky: This was a disappointment. “Sexytimes in Doctor Who” (q.v.) had a lot of feminist content, true, but the subject is big and important and multi-faceted enough to support several panels. I hope to see a dedicated feminism panel at next year’s Gally.

Are you my mummy? The power of motherhood in new Who

Parental love and its redemptive power has been a big Moffatt theme, no doubt about it.  In the last season alone, we had Stormageddon’s daddy making Cybermen explode (‘Closing Time’):

Craig: The Cybermen — they blew up! I blew them up with love!

The Doctor: No, that’s impossible — and also grossly sentimental and overly simplistic. You destroyed them because of the deeply engrained hereditary trait to protect one’s own genes — which in turn triggered a… a… uh… [sighs] Yeah. Love. You blew them up with love.

and George’s daddy taking on board that his son is an alien and being his daddy anyway (‘Night Terrors’):

Alex: Whatever you are, whatever you do, you’re my son. And I will never ever send you away. Oh George. Oh my little boy.

So it’s not perhaps as over the top as all that to have the power of motherhood as the focus of the Christmas episode this year, in ‘The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe’.   It seems to have annoyed people though, some people anyway.

The portrayal of an ‘ordinary’ woman roused to scary fierceness to protect her children is not probematic in itself – we’ve seen already that Madge is far from conventional, responding to the sudden appearance of an alien-angel in a quiet English village with considerable aplomb, and dealing with the Harvest Rangers in similar fashion:

Harvest-Ranger Droxil : There’s nothing you can say that would convince me you’re going to use that gun.

Madge: Oh, really? Well – I’m looking for my children.

[Droxil’s expression changes to one of fear]

In her first encounter with the Doctor, Madge assumes a motherly role – ‘Oh no, love. No. I think you’ve just got your helmet on backwards. How did you manage that?’.  With her own children, though, she’s struggling to cope with the burden of her own grief and the tension of hiding from them the loss of their father, and she’s cross with herself for being cross with them.   She’s not some idealised image of motherhood, she’s real.

Some viewers had a problem though.  The Wooden King and Queen reject Cyril and the Doctor as not being strong, and Lily as not strong enough – what they need is someone  who not only potentially could bear children but actually has done.  Now, I don’t read that as a global statement, it’s a plot device.  But many [on the Guardian’s Who blog ] did:

“hey, you called me sexist, so I’m going to write an ep that keeps saying women are awesome…because they can have babies!! ‘

‘the idea that all men are “weak” compared to women – even a male time lord is nothing in comparison – and that the maternal lurve of a human female for her cubs can overcome all obstacles, while the Doctor was reduced to a bystander, was kind of rubbish.’

‘Yes, girls, you’re all super-strong. But only if you lay back, think of England, and squirt out some babies’.

The hostility, it seems to me, arises from an extrapolation from the specific premises of this episode to global principles.  The weak-strong dichotomy has, surely, to be understood in the context of the world of the story.  In ‘The God Complex’, what saves them is scepticism, because faith is the specific emotional energy the creature feeds on.  Here, maternal programming happens to be something that the tree species can use to get themselves off the planet.  Whether that’s maternal instinct, mummy love, or chromosomes.   It’s not about awesomeness or fabulousness or the respective worth of the genders.

Having said that, Madge is rather marvellous:

Madge:  I’m perfectly fine, thank you.

The Doctor: Fine? You’ve got a whole world inside your head!

Madge: I know! It’s funny, isn’t it? One can’t imagine being a forest, then suddenly one can! How remarkable.


And despite the problematic nature of the Amy as mother storyline (which I’ve struggled with myself, along the way), there is something ultimately rather Madge-like about her take on motherhood.  ‘She’s a good girl’, she says of the child who was stolen from her, who she grew up alongside, unknowing, and who she now knows as  a woman seemingly old enough to be her own mother.

How remarkable, indeed.

Let’s Talk About Verity

There’s a rumour that Mark Gatiss is producing/writing a TV special docudrama about the original creation of Doctor Who, back in 1963. The more I think about it, the better this idea sounds – as Waris Hussain, first ever director of the show, pointed out recently on panels at Gallifrey One and in an interview with Radio Free Skaro, you couldn’t make this story up!

The youngest ever producer, and only female producer in drama at the BBC, 27 year old Verity Lambert. 20-something West Indian director, Waris Hussain, who got the job because he was the most junior director at the BBC, and the only one who couldn’t say no. Brash Canadian with the big ideas, Sydney Newman. No budget. The crappiest, oldest studio available. And, oh, the first episode they made was so bad that they almost all got sacked – and had to make it from scratch, all over again (there was no such thing as a “pilot” at the BBC at that time). Together, they made magic, a show that is still being made nearly 50 years later. THIS IS A STORY THAT MAKES NO SENSE.

Verity Lambert fascinates me – I’m a sucker for stories about real life women who had amazing careers against the odds, and she is particularly intriguing. Despite an immensely privileged education at Roedean and the Sorbonne, she started out as a shorthand typist, and worked her way up through the admin ranks before making it as a production assistant, where she famously argued and fought for her opinions with her bosses, and somehow still managed to get promoted to producer! (though as she admits in the YouTube interview I posted below, she wanted to be a director, and simply couldn’t get into it because of her gender)

» Read more..

The Doctor and Peter Pan

Screen Cap from The Beast Below Where Amy Floats Outside the TARDIS with the Doctor Holding Her Ankle

My name is Amy Pond. When I was seven I had an imaginary friend. Last night was the night before my wedding. My imaginary friend came back.

Before I begin, I must make the disclaimer that I never watched Disney’s Peter Pan as a child. It was always on the fringes of my knowledge (it’s hard to fully escape anything Disney when you watch the Disney channel), but I didn’t grow up with it in the background of my childhood. Perhaps that’s why I have a slightly askance view on the story. Peter Pan is kind of a horrifying character and the Peter Pan syndrome even more so. The idea that one should never have responsibilities, kidnap young girls to be ‘mother’ for life, and torment poor pirates (okay, that last one is a stretch, but I really like pirates) just feels wrong. I understand the need for fantasy and that (for kids) the idea of never growing up can be appealing, but there’s so many better stories for kids about this idea. After thinking about my objection to Peter Pan I found it fascinating to realize that I adore the idea of an immortal figure whisking me away on an adventure. Why do I not have a similar problem with Doctor Who as I do with Peter Pan?

Of all of the companions, the Peter Pan-ness of the show was never so readily apparent as in Amy Pond’s story. The similarties between Amy Pond and Wendy Darling are remarkable and wonderfully laid out by wednesdaydream in this post (though, her Wendy is the 2003 film version). Amy is a child when we first meet her and the Doctor promises to take her away (which, should give us all pause to begin with, how is he going to explain kidnapping a child). Perhaps that’s the Doctor’s first real Peter Pan moment (he escapes the responsibility of taking care of a kid). When he fails to return in time he leaves her with her fantasies (and a lot of arts and crafts apparently). When he returns it’s on the edge of Amy’s adulthood where she’s trying to find herself (her reaction towards being a kissogram is extremely telling), but he disappears again only to return on the ultimate point of her adulthood (the night before her wedding). Like Wendy, she’s whisked away in her nightgown and taken to the fantastical world of the Doctor (her first trip being the future and a civilization on a ship on the back of a whale that travels through space).

» Read more..

Women = Babies except when they’re alone, then Women = Kickass

I will put it out there to start with that I am a HUGE fan of Dr Who. I love every doctor in their own way and can debate the merits of each of the companions all night. Amy Pond, admittedly, is not one of my favourites. But it wasn’t until this episode that I started to hate Rory oh so much more…

Quick synopsis: Amy is accidentally placed in a different time stream on a quarantined planet and ends up waiting 36 years for Rory and the Dr to rescue her.

Before this, Amy has been a pretty pathetic companion. She’s not overly intelligent like Martha; she doesn’t have any useful skills like Donna… I guess she can be described as feisty. But, at the end of the day, she is a plot device, there to be rescued.

In this episode, she is left to her own devices for twenty years. No husband or Doctor to rely upon. And she becomes so amazing. She creates her own sonic screwdriver; she survives and avoids the robots sent to “cure her” (which will, of course, kill her). This amazingly resourceful character just highlights Amy’s potential, the intelligence that is seemingly being suppressed by Rory and the Doctor.

Of course, the final result is that Rory gets his young, hot, DEPENDENT wife back. And abandons the older version. All that effort, all that creativity and resilience gets wasted.

Considering the tone of the rest of the season, it’s almost undoubtable that they were not going for a radical feminist message. But at the same time, the message I got from it is without others to rely upon, a woman can become so much more than a damsel in distress. To fully achieve your potential, you must remain alone.

Since Moffat took over Dr Who, the show has been focussing more and more on women as mothers, wives and little else. Some have said that this is a correlation with Moffat’s own continuing focus on parenthood (such as Coupling and Jekyll) but seeing the latest Christmas special, where women are stronger than men SOLELY BECAUSE THEY HAVE A UTERUS, smacks of benevolent sexism and a fundamental lack of understanding of women. But that is another story for another time.

The Doctor as the catalyst for accepting “The Different”

I took some time to think of how The Doctor has a positive impact on the views we embrace and express in this blog. I looked at the entire series from beginning to the present for an answer. The Doctor in all his incarnations shows an innate joy in exploration and embraces those that are different. How wonderful to have this view, how amazing would it be to emulate this attitude. Instead of fear and loathing, if a person presented themselves as a decent individual they then would be accepted as they are. Be they male, female, gay, straight or whatever they so choose. We as a species could do worse than take this underlying theme and implement it when dealing with our fellow humans. The only skills required are an open mind, the joy of discovery and benevolent acceptance.

Would children discovering their sexuality, thought unacceptable, still feel the need to end their lives if these simple lessons were used? I believe with the use of what I like to call the Whomanity Formula , oppression, abuse  and that ever present villain “Bullying” would certainly become only scary fables.  As a lesbian and mother to a son that just came out, I hope I’m not the only one that observes this underlying thread. I’m not a Pollyanna; please don’t think all I see are butterflies and rainbows. I see many things in the series that should be discussed and addressed. I just wanted to point out the factor that drew me to the series. The unbreakable thread that ties my heart to The Doctor and his companions, no matter what face he wears. I want to learn new things, experience new ideas and see my surroundings through new eyes. I don’t care if they are straight eyes, lesbian eyes, or queer eyes;   The Doctor embraces them all and delights in the degrees of different.