Monday, April 30, 2007

Sex and the Doctor

All right, all right. This is just another excuse to print a picture of David Tennant again.

There. Isn't he lovely?



Although, actually I did have something else to say.

Elsewhere in blogland there exist others as obsessed as I about the good Doctor, and they are having conversations here

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/dave_hill/2007/04/no_sex_please_were_time_lords.html

and here:

http://strugglingauthor.blogspot.com.

I decided that Dave and Marie had both made me think about it so much that I had too much to say and they'd get bored of me posting on their blogs, so I would just go and post on mine...

I have to confess when they first brought Dr Who back I was really nervous. I mean. Russell T Davies. He wrote Queer as Folk and The Second Coming for god's sake. And brilliant and all as that was, I couldn't quite see him toning it down for a Saturday teatime audience. But then I saw Mine all Mine, and thought, ok, maybe I got that one wrong then...

To my delight as a lifelong saddie Dr Who obsessed fan, Russell T more then delivered. I thought Rose was a huge improvement from the wet assistants of my day (even Sarah Jane who keeps being heralded as a really strong cookie. I thought she was a girly wuss... Russell hugely improved her when he brought her back).

I was a tad disconcerted by the burgeoning relationship between the Doctor and Rose - partly because Christopher Eccleston seemed way too old for Billie Piper, and partly because, well. it didn't seem like Dr Who, did it? I mean since when has the Doctor gone about fancying his companions? (Although I do remember Jon Pertwee being quite affected by Jo going off to get married...)

However, I have to confess, the very last episode of the first series, The Parting of the Ways, changed my mind.

I just LOVED the very tender kiss the Doctor planted on Rose to get the Vortex out of her head, and then the way he said as he regenerated, Oh Rose, I was going to show you such things... It was beautiful and haunting and well, romantic... For me that pressed all the right buttons. Moving, but not schmalzy, tender but not too sexy for a kid's programme.

And then of course the last series was a great long tease between Billie and David, who were much better suited to one another, and spent the whole of it getting separated as if to herald that final separation: Sarah Jane showed Rose her future without the Doctor, Madame de Pompadour his without her, she got trapped by the wire, he got trapped in a picture...

You have to hand it to Russell T, he does like to flag things up for us.

But...

It ended. The Doctor lost Rose and until he met Martha he was on his own again.

And, I really don't want the whole shebang to start again. If he falls for Martha the way he fell for Rose he's going to end up looking like some kind of lothario, and personally I'm with Dave Hill, I kind of like him being slightly asexual, and OUT of all that sort of thing. I do love all the depth of emotion that David Tennant portrays with the whole being the last of his line thing, and that he cannot be like other people. But if he keeps hopping from assistant to assistant he's just going to look like your average jack the lad down the pub. And that will never do...

And apart from anything else, without sounding too prudish about it, this is a kid's show. My lot are deeply embarrassed by any hint of what they call the kissy kissy stuff. They prefer straightforward daleks being blasted into smithereens kind of episodes. And despite the laughably ridiculous pig slaves of the last two weeks (though they did hark back to the idiotic kind of monsters from my childhood, so in that sense they were following a well worn tradition), the children thought they were great.

On a slightly wider point, I do think this constant obsession with sex in everything is also an indication of something that has gone slightly awry in our society. Given that I have girls, I am constantly cross when I come to buy them clothes and find it damn nigh impossible to find them anything that doesn't make them look like little tarts. It's not just having images like the inexcrable Bratz dolls thrown at them (mind you, what we think is just tarty, they think is pretty and on the upside, the kids do play fantastically imaginative - and no not what you're thinking - games with them, so they're not all bad), or the fact that even magazines for eight year olds are full of pictures of skinny popstars, there seems to have been a change in society which assumes that we shouldn't hold back. Kids should know about this stuff. It's the way the world works.

Now granted, when I was growing up, we were shielded alot from That Kind of Thing, and it wasn't always helpful, but I hear horror stories (I have no idea yet as to how apocraphyl) about sex education lessons at secondary school including discussions about bestiality and s&m behaviour and think, aren't we taking honesty and openness a bit far? Last year no 1 came home from a talk about puberty with a leaflet about periods which earnestly explained that you can still have sex when you are having a period. Why on earth did she need to know that?

And from where I'm sitting, all this sex education appears to be having no effect whatsoever, given that we have the highest teen pregnancy count in Europe. Now there's a statistic to be proud of. Because there seems to be an assumption that as everyone is at it, it is having safe sex that counts, instead of an assumption that it is probably in the main better to wait till you're old enough, and for most of us the whole thing works a lot better when the relationship involved is a reasonably important one.

Which brings me back to Dr Who. Without making too much of a mountain out of it (ok, I probably am), what sort of subliminal message are kids going to get from seeing Martha jumping into the Tardis with an alien she's only just met, and then moaning that he isn't interested in sleeping with her (see episode two about Shakespeare, in every other respect, totally brilliant)? And if the doctor does get it on with her, it kind of implies that commitment is an out of sight out of mind kind of thing.

I had an interesting if rather oblique discussion with no 1 about this the other week. We were watching Mansfield Park and she came to the (correct) conclusion that Henry Crawford wasn't the One for Fanny. I explained as unscarily as I could that no 1 in time might meet the odd Henry Crawford, but really it was Edmund Bertram she should bother with. Jane Austen. Sexual politics in a nutshell.

I kind of hope therefore that the Doctor doesn't turn in to Henry Crawford (they can have Captain Jack for that), but remains if not Edmund Bertram (ok he is a bit wet), Mr Darcy or Mr Knightly through and through...

Either that or he regenerate as a woman...

4 comments:

liz fenwick said...

Wow, I confess I am the only member of the family who is not totally addicted to Dr Who but I am with you on the push that society has toward sex. Let's hope that they don't ruin Dr Who but with Tennet so gorgeous it must be hard to stay away from that arena :-)

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