selenay: (Default)
It was SDCC weekend so many, many, many trailers were debuted. The new Star Trek: Discovery trailer made me particularly happy, as did the Doctor Who Christmas trailer. It's going to be so weird, in a really great way, to have two of my longest-time fandoms in active production.

I really need to post that alternate Christmas episode ending fic. Really. Before it gets totally Joss-ed. I have the feeling Thirteen might be the Doctor I actually write for. All my other DW fic has been companion-centric. It would be interesting to write Doctor-centric fic :-D

(See, I can find a way to bring all posts around to Thirteen.)

For my fellow femslash fans, [community profile] femslashex is running again this year! And running a few weeks early, so nominations open TOMORROW. Sign-ups are running from 13 to 23 August, which is a relief because it means sign-ups are going to still be open (just) after I get back from England. Phew!

Hoe many Thirteen pairings do you think people will nominate? Hmm...

There are a couple of posts in the comm outlining other small changes to the fest. The one that I am a fan of is making request visible during sign-ups, which will help people to check whether their collection of tiny fandom requests/offers is making them matchable or not. And it'll give us some extra time to write treats if we want :-)

Femslashex is one of my favourite fests so I highly reommend it if femslash is your thing in any way.

Must get that planning post for England up.

Must buy a suitcase.

Must write a to do list of everything I need to do in the next week (!!!) before I leave.
selenay: (Default)
It's Friday and Jodie Whittaker is still playing Thirteen. I TOLD YOU I WOULDN'T BE OVER THIS SOON.

Anyway, my requests are teeny tiny ones. Apparently now that I've given up on LJ entirely, I've lost the good icon sources.

Can anyone point me to some Thirteen icons? I know ya'll have them, because I've seen some, so point me that way?

And if anyone has some good Bill icon sources?

Actually, if anyone knows where the Doctor Who icon makers are posting to on DW that would help *so much*.

I have posts I need to write. Posts about England/Worldcon trip plan (less than two weeks, OMG!) and arranging meets, an AMA post, probably MORE Doctor Who thoughts. But right now it's hot and humid and my ridiculous big fluffy cat keeps sitting on me and so my brain is too fuzzed out to make them.
selenay: (Default)
It's possible I will never reach the point of "enough" with her :-D I've even written a fic. More of an alternate ending to the next Christmas episode, but you know. I have written Thirteen. And One. And Bill. So much fun :-D It'll be posted as soon as it's been edited.

Anyway.

Today I had a (very polite, yay) discussion with someone on Twitter about the potential companion choice. It was sparked by a thing I quoted and RT'd about getting a female companion (and the fact that I want it so much), and the person on Twitter (we'll call him Dave) pushed back about why a male companion is important. I don't think he's entirely right, but he had some reasoned arguments and I can understand his view point.

He's concerned that young boys will be put off by an all-female cast (I disagree there--they're only put off if they're told they should be) and that young boys need a male role model to identify with. I disagree with that, too, but that's coming from a position of always being told that I should be able to identify perfectly well with an opposite-gender hero, thank you, so there's no need for a woman Doctor (or a woman Jedi, or a woman Star Trek captain, or...). Of course, my feelings on this can be easily dismissed as a bit of tit-for-tat going on, which is why I didn't use that argument.

My big concern with casting a male companion as the only companion (note, I have no issue with this in a mixed-gender multiple companions team) is that it would very easy for the companion to end up being seen as the hero/leader/authority figure just because of gender. Ask any woman who has had their less experienced/less senior colleague viewed as "the authority" (i.e. all of us, particularly in technical fields) and you'll know how often it happens and how frustrating it is. I don't want to watch that onscreen every week.

Dave's big concern is that boys need to see a male companion respecting the Doctor and treating her well, but without making him weak or lose authority in front of the young boys. Because boys will turn off if he's a weakling. And...I kind of get where he's coming from, but I also rather gathered from his comments that he and I will never agree on what that looks like. He feels that the male non-Doctor regulars have been poorly-served and one-dimensional. I thought Rory was written well, with complexity, and I enjoyed his role in the TARDIS. Jack is...Jack. We haven't had any other prominent regulars. For Dave, Rory was written as weak and a bit subservient and, er, Jack is queer so he probably doesn't count.

Dave also wanted the male companion to be a little in love with the Doctor, maybe, and still able to show respect without ever being weak or allowing the Doctor to dominate him. As an example to give, Dave wanted to see a relationship like Ten and Rose but with their gender roles reversed.

Which, uh, no. That is definitely *not* a healthy example to give. And something like that would be the opposite of what I think would be good for anyone. I have a feeling Dave and I were watching with very different glasses on. If he wanted to use any example of that dynamic, Nine and Rose might have been better, IMO. But still no.

Having a man as the only companion is a potential mine-field. It would have to be cast very, very carefully (which is why this morning's touting of Kris Marshall as the main contender made me scream and shudder) and the writing would also have to be done very carefully. Frankly, I think it's a balancing act they're going to fail on no matter what they do.

If they write the usual Doctor-companion dynamic, with the Doctor given lead hero/authority status and companion asking questions/pushing plot forward by interacting with aliens-of-the-week/being the cipher for the Doctor's solutions, then a certain group of fans are going to complain because the male companion seems "weak". He's not a good role model for the young boys. Etc.

They'll claim Doctor is an aggressive and over-assertive you know what, even though she's doing exactly what she's always done.

If the writers make those roles close to what that group of fans think of as 'equal', all the women watching will cringe at the way the Doctor is overruled, spoken over, and not listened to until her male companion reframes her plan in his words. We'll be questioning why the Doctor suddenly isn't the hero solving everything with her brain, why it's the companion's solution that saves the day 70% of the time. She won't be the Doctor we recognise.

If the writing is amazing and incredibly clever, they could highlight the way women's contributions are dismissed and their male colleagues are automatically assumed to be in charge. It could challenge that. But it would require some very careful writing and I suspect it would make that first group of fans so uncomfortable that they would make very loud ructions.

Making the solo companion a woman would get past a big chunk of that problem and still give some of the writers a chance to throw shade at the way women are treated in these situations. I loved the way they pointed and poked at racism and white-washing and so on through Bill. I'd love to see them do the same with gender assumptions.

(But as with season ten, it's a theme best used carefully and not every episode, or it gets wearing for everyone.)

(It might also be able to do a bit of heterosexual assumptions highlighting, because I can easily see people moaning about the lack of possibility for companion/Doctor shipping and...dude, femslash exists, okay?)

(Is it shallow that I'd kind of love to see a companion/Doctor combination that I could throw my heart into shipping, for the very first time? I'm slightly confused about this whole thing where the Doctor is suddenly attractive to me. Is this what my friends went through with David Tenant?)

Ahem.

Giving us a TARDIS team of one man and one woman would give us the benefits of both options and, I think, negate a lot of the potential downsides of a solo male companions. Are there still going to be fans crying out because the women are "dominating" the narrative? Absolutely. No matter what happens, they'll shout about that. But the combination would give fans like Dave a male role model to look up to, and it would give the rest of us a hope for a dynamic we can watch and enjoy, without bracing ourselves for something cringe-worthy.

Of course, it all comes down to casting and writing. It always comes down to that. They could cast the perfect combination and kill it with bad writing. They could make casting choices that we all loathe at first and then the writing could prove us wrong.

But I am feeling very wary about the possibility of a solo male companion, and Dave's comments have actually made me more worried about that. For me, it's the one option I really hope they don't go with.

(I'll still watch it if they do, of course. And judge loudly if they get that wrong. And possibly write fic of how the episodes should have gone, if Bill had continued as companion. Doctor Who is the one show I can never stop following.)
selenay: (Default)
I've now had twenty-four hours to digest and my brain is still a bit stuck on squee and joy and squee and joy.

I mean, I woke up this morning and a night had passed and IT'S STILL TRUE. JODI WHITTAKER IS STILL THE DOCTOR. IT WASN'T A DREAM.

There was a teeny tiny bit of me that was half-expecting to find out that it had somehow all gone wrong and Kris Marshall was the Doctor after all.

But I also have more thoughts. Some of them I am going to end up ficcing. I've got a Bill and Thirteen plot bunny nibbling my ankles that I'm going to need to play with.

Other thoughts, I just need to noodle through. The first is related to some discussion I saw yesterday about how this should have happened sooner and Moffat should have done it, and I have feelings about this.

There was, predictably, outcry over the casting. There always would be. But you know what none of the butthurt fanboys (and girls, sadly) could do? They couldn't claim it broke canon.

That's huge. HUGE. If Moffat had done it for Twelve, people would have thrown a wobbly *and* yelled about canon. Until that point, we'd had a vague hint about the Corsair and a possible hint about the Doctor being a little girl once (or that might have been something Missy said about the Doctor, I get confused). Someone had to establish, without a shadow of a doubt, that Time Lords can change gender when they regenerate. Someone had to do it with another established Time Lord, so Moffat created Missy. Someone had to show a regeneration onscreen that included a gender and race change. Moffat wrote the General's regeneration in Hell Bent. Someone had to push it in our faces, in ways that couldn't be ignored, that Time Lords are flexible around gender and it's not a big deal for them, so that when we finally had a woman cast as our Doctor, the fans who complained couldn't use canon as a reason to whine.

That's what Moffat did. All that work, which took years, paved the way. He shepherded this in as much as Chibnall, and all that work guaranteed the complainers would look incredibly foolish to anyone with a brain. It was important. Is Moffat perfect? Hell, no. Nobody is. But what he's done over the last few years was important and shouldn't be forgotten or overlooked.

The other thing is that I've seen talk about is the way this casting leaves out fans of colour, because Jodi is a white woman. Someone posted a tweet along the lines of "I cam simultaneously be overjoyed at the casting we have *and* critical that it's another white actor" and that's very, very true. I don't want to harsh anyone's squee. Heck, I don't want to harsh my own squee, because it's so wonderful to feel this squeeful.

I'm also aware that I have the inbuilt privilege of being a white woman, so I'm not feeling left behind.

(Although one critique I saw that totally forgot we've just had a season with a prominent WOC, who was centred a lot *and* got to be a queer black woman in a major role, which is still rare...well, I was glad to see that (white) writer get corrected.)

Honestly, when I was thinking about this, I knew we wouldn't get a WOC. We'd get either a (male) POC *or* a woman. The BBC had to go outside the white male box this time, but it was inevitable that they wouldn't be able to smash it into too many pieces. One of those identities had to be challenged, but not both at once.

And out of the two options, I really thought they'd go with a black or Asian male actor, because casting a woman felt too daring. Too far. A line they haven't crossed yet. It's part of why I was so surprised, so overjoyed, because at no stage did I ever think they'd do this. Not this time. Not yet. For Fourteen? Yes. I had hope. But I expected them to push through the race barrier first, not gender, particularly after everything they've done in the last season to highlight and talk about race and privilege in the text.

And trust me, I would have been every bit as overjoyed right now if that's what they'd done. The only way I was going to be unhappy was if we had another white man in the role, because we've had thirteen of them and if a character can change skin and gender, and it doesn't signify to them, then why would they only ever look like a small section of human society?

I hope they'll cast a WOC for Fourteen. I really do. It's the next logical step. And it really sucks groups of fans feel like they're always being told to wait, that change has to be incremental, because in an ideal world it wouldn't. In an ideal world, the Doctor would have been played by Archie Panjabi or Shelley Conn after Tennant regenerated. I wish we lived in that ideal world.

In the meantime, I hope the TARDIS team won't be overwhelmingly white. I know that I'm not getting Bill back (although my dream is a whole season of Bill and Thirteen travelling together, sometimes flirting, while Bill boggles at her old grandpa figure having turned into a hot woman she can't keep her eyes off), but let's not mess up the progress that's been made so far.

Cast the first Asian actor as a companion. I mean, if the BBC is committed to diversity and reflecting British society as it truly is, then someone with South-East Asian heritage is long overdue. This goes double if they cast a male companion, to ensure "gender balance" in the TARDIS, because we do not need a white dude in the TARDIS right now.

We've had thirteen* male Doctors, let's have thirteen women as the Doctor and have them as diverse as possible. All colours. All shapes. All presentations. No Doctors who are identified as male. No cishet white male companions unless they're part of a big multi-companion TARDIS team.

I think the fandom is ready.

* including the War Doctor.
selenay: (Default)
In case you missed it, here you go: https://twitter.com/BBCOne/status/886608239017775106

Yup, I watched the announcement live. I was nervous. I was pacing up and down while I waited and zoomed back to the TV as soon as they said the announcement was going to begin. And then I watched. Tried to guess who it might be from build and gait.

Saw the hand and thought "young, is that a woman's face?"

The camera panned up and I started to get both excited and...something else. I was half-expecting it to be a fake-out. That the person standing there with the TARDIS key would open the TARDIS and the real Doctor would walk out and disappoint me.

Then the caption flashed up. "Introducing Jodie Whittaker. The 13th Doctor." And I might, possibly, have screamed a little bit because THEY FUCKING DID IT.

I mean, really. They did it. There had been reports weeks ago that they'd ruled out a woman, so I'd given up hope. I was almost expecting Kris Marshall after all.

But nope, they did it. Jodie Whittaker wasn't someone I'd seen named at all (although I'm told she was being talked about in a major paper this morning and Tennant had recommended her), but she was absolutely fantastic in Broadchurch so I'm really excited about this. She's got incredible range, she has good comic timing...she'll be able to take whatever they throw at her and do something brilliant with it.

I haven't been this excited about a new Doctor announcement since...I can't remember. As much as I loved Smith and Capaldi, they were both picks that had me initially disappointed because I'd been rooting for finally getting a black Doctor or a woman Doctor. So there had been that little stomach drop before I accepted it and started getting excited about what they could do with the role. Plus, the last time, they did that long weird program that was over the top and in some ways made my little stomach drop moment worse, because there was so much build-up to the reveal.

This time? There wasn't that disappointed moment. There was instant squee. Instant excitement. They've finally gone and done it. Moffat laid so much groundwork for this, demonstrating multiple times that it was a thing the canon supported, and now they're reaping that.

We've got a woman Doctor. We've got a bloody fantastic actor playing her.

I cannot wait.
selenay: (Default)
I don't think it's spoilery to say WOW. But I can't say any more than that without going into spoilers, so I'm going behind a cut.

Cut for spoilers )
selenay: (Default)
Of Letters Never Sent (792 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] SelenayDoctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Bill Potts
Additional Tags: Vignette, Character Study, Episode Tag
Series: Part 6 of Collected Bill Stories (Doctor Who)

Summary: She asked the Doctor once about visiting her younger self and he'd given her a two hour lecture about time and paradoxes and theories about time stability. She hadn't understood all the maths he'd scrawled on the blackboard, but she'd followed enough of it to work out that meeting her previous self was a Very Bad Idea.
selenay: (Default)
Apparently I forgot to write a review of last week's episode (my Sunday got ridiculous), so rather than trying to make that up, I'm skipping straight to this one. Expect possible bonus commentary on last week's episode as it arises :-)

Cut for spoilers )
selenay: (Default)
Not Like Drowning (Just Like Drowning) (955 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Selenay
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Bill Potts
Additional Tags: Character Study, Episode Tag
Series: Part 5 of Collected Bill Stories (Doctor Who)

Summary: Almost suffocating in the vacuum of space is nothing like drowning and exactly the same.
selenay: (Default)
I'm going straight behind a spoiler cut today because OMG.

Cut for spoilers )
selenay: (Default)
A Box of Memories (1472 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Selenay
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Bill Potts, Shireen, Harry (Doctor Who: Knock Knock), Twelfth Doctor
Additional Tags: Character Study, Episode Tag
Series: Part 4 of Collected Bill Stories (Doctor Who)

Summary: Bill had always said she didn't need stuff as long as she had people to love and memories to treasure.

Sometimes, people talked total bollocks until they learned better.
selenay: (Default)
There is nothing I can say about this that isn't spoilery, so here we go!

Cut for spoilers )
selenay: (Default)
For various reasons (mostly related to Space channel being useless), I've only had time to see this week's episode once, this morning, over breakfast. Usually I watch during broadcast and then rewatch in the morning sans adverts thanks to iTunes, but Space didn't air it until 4am last night, so GRRR.

(This is what you get for trying to use legit means to watch TV shows instead of 'acquiring' them.)

ANYWAY. That means this will be a brief bullet-point review rather than a full thing because if I don't do it now, I'll never do it and I'm TIRED today.

But non-spoilery reaction outside the cut was "yaaaaay" and also "OOOH CREEPY" :-)

Cut for spoilers )
selenay: (Default)
A Night Walk (1574 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Selenay
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Twelfth Doctor & Bill Potts
Characters: Bill Potts, Twelfth Doctor
Additional Tags: Character Study, Grief/Mourning, Episode Tag
Series: Part 3 of Collected Bill Stories (Doctor Who)

Summary: Bill had never seen anyone die until she met the Doctor.

Fic as meta

May. 1st, 2017 10:04 am
selenay: (writing)
I was writing a fic yesterday (another Bill fic, I know, apparently I love her that much) and I was reflecting on the things that trigger me to write about a particular character or fandom. I mean, there are a lot of characters out there that I love, but I never write fic for them. Ditto for fandoms and universes. Why do particular ones grab me and make me write?

And one of the conclusions I reached is that I use fic as a way of writing meta. I'm not a person who writes meta essays particularly well. It's not my thing. So when I need to think about a character and their reactions or backstory or my headcanons for them, it comes out most effectively in the form of fic.

Sure, I'm shallow, and sometimes I just want to write a silly or fun story. I've got a fair few of those.

But a huge chunk of my ficcing is about me working through thoughts about a particular character, or relationship, or fandom universe. Even my AUs seem to stem from that.

And I think that's why I'm writing Bill fics right now, because I have so many thoughts and feelings about her and there are so many things I want to explore about her. It's the first time I've had a Who companion I wanted to write about since Donna! I loved Amy, but I never had that itch to write fic for her because I didn't feel any great need to expand on what I saw onscreen. There was nothing in her character that made me think.

But Donna? And now Bill? Even when I wrote my one Clara fic, it was actually about Bill, because it was the only way I could discuss what I was feeling about her. I have thoughts. So many thoughts. And writing them into a meta essay isn't a format I'm comfortable working in, but putting them into fics?

That's how I meta.
selenay: (Default)
Non-spoilery reaction: Frost Fair! Bill! Squeeee!

And the spoiler-laden version:

Spoilers be here )
selenay: (Default)
Three Variations on Truth (694 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Selenay
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Bill Potts, Twelfth Doctor
Additional Tags: Character Study
Series: Part 2 of Collected Bill Stories (Doctor Who)

Summary: Over the time Bill had known the Doctor, she had learned that he had three ways of answering a question.
selenay: (Default)
Non-spoiler reaction: Not quite as good as last week's, but still a lot of fun. Two thumbs up! 👍👍

Spoilers abound )
selenay: (Default)
A History in Kisses (1025 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Selenay
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Bill Potts/Heather, Bill Potts/Original Characters
Characters: Bill Potts
Additional Tags: Character Study, Kissing

Summary: Bill concluded, based on empirical evidence, that kissing boys was not going to be her thing.

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