aerdnasarrih: Located on the way to Disney World (Default)

At first, I tried reblogging this, but Tumblr cuts text when you reblog and the parts I want to respond to were what got cut. So I'm doing a conventional blog-type post with links. It's also tl;dr. Also, if you're a Russell T. Davies fan, you may not want to read any further. You've been warned.

Moving on...

Here's a quote from Mr. Davies, referring to the stupid give-her-amnesia solution of how to get rid of Donna Noble's character:

“That ending is devastating. I hope it’s never forgotten. I hope people cry for years. In 70 years’ time, kids watching it now will in old folks’ homes saying, ‘Oh why couldn’t Donna Noble have remembered just one thing?!” - RTD

Yeah... okay... go fuck yourself with a rusty spanner, Rusty... That quote right there proves what I had suspected all along: to Russell T., the edifice of British science fiction entertainment known as Doctor Who, which had appeared on the airwaves in the very year that both I and Rusty were born, existed mainly as a vehicle to promote his own special ownself. I mean, fuuuuuuuck you Rusty, but not in the way you like.

Here's the thing: the character of the Doctor, as it has been built up over the years and remained fairly consistent through Classic Who, would have not done to one of his companions what the New, Improved, RTD-stamped Doctor did to Donna, even if it was to supposedly save her life. Or if he did, it would have been a temporary solution, while the next serial would consist of him trying to figure out how to restore her memory without killing her. But New Doctor isn't interested in that. New Doctor has basically abandoned Donna to her fate -- which I guess will be to be locked up in a secret underground military facility in Antarctica or something. Or have we forgotten how in The End Of Time it was revealed that the Doctor had not only "mindwiped" Donna to "save her life" (or actually, he only suppressed her memory -- because if he'd actually removed the Time Lord stuff that was somehow grafted onto her brain she wouldn't be in any danger now would she?), he'd somehow placed some sort of defense mechanism in her head that would knock unconscious anyone who tried to make her remember. All it would take would be one mention of alien invasions or a glimpse of Martha Jones on the street and there would be chaos.

But none of this means anything in RTD-world. In his hands the plot and characters of Doctor Who exist for only one reason: to provoke emotions in the audience, and to make sure no one ever, ever forgets Russell T. Davies. Basically, he used the show to promote himself and his views. I think that's wrong.

It would be one thing if he created the show. He can do whatever he wants with his own creations. But this time he took what is basically an icon of British television and twisted it in order to further his own agenda -- no, not the "gay agenda," the "Russell T. Davies manipulated your emotions and you liked it!" agenda. I still wouldn't have minded this so much if he'd at least made an effort stay within the confines of character, but you just know that he said to himself "Sure, the Doctor's basically a good guy, and we all know what good guys hate to do: bad things that hurt people but that are necessary! That's conflict, and conflict makes people pay more attention to me feel emotions so let's not just have the Doctor do a couple of hurtful things but instead let's have him do a whole lot of hurtful things!" That's why so many of the new show's "plots" often resemble grab bags of random happenings rather than coherent stories: plot and characterization are secondary to manipulating the emotions of the audience and can be tossed aside if they get in the way of this aim. I guess we're lucky that the Doctor wasn't made into quite a complete bastard -- Rusty could have had him kill Donna to save the Whole Of Creation or some such wad of noise instead. Then again, dead Donna would at least be no longer around to be emo'd over (i.e., used whenever the "plot" needed David Tennant's lip to tremble).

Of course, the "classic" show's plots were often as silly, if not sillier, than many of the new show's, but they were held together by the consistency of the Doctor's character, which was more or less stable through all his regenerations up until the new show. That character is, or was, of someone who was extremely curious, open-minded, brave to the point of foolhardiness, often impulsive and abrasive, sometimes bad-tempered, but compassionate and dedicated to doing the right thing. Some versions of the Doctor are craftier or bitchier or flightier or goofier, but they all have the same base personality. And another thing all the Doctors have in common (because they are all the same person) is that they would walk into fire for their friends. RTD did not seem to understand the concept of friendship, at least not as far as this show is concerned. He seemed to think that the only reason the Doctor traveled with companions, and they with him, was for ultimately romantic purposes. RTD seems to be one of those people who thinks that young, attractive (he also seemed to forget  the Doctor was actually a 900 year old alien, not the youngish and handsome actors who portrayed him) people only want to be friends for the ultimate purpose of sex.

That isn't entirely RTD's fault, of course -- he's just a victim of the Zeitgeist, which declares that having sex is the highest aim of human existence. There is no more conflict between Eros and Agape -- Eros has won, and sent Agape packing. The classic Doctor Who came from a more innocent day, but now we are all sure that the 4th Doctor and Romana Two were shagging just like the actors were in real life.

It's all about power, in a way. If you can control peoples' emotional response, you can control people. That's why so many people resent the amnesia solution for Donna Noble: they know it was done just to make them cry, not for any reasons of plot continuity. In fact, it throws continuity out the window in a way that is characteristic of New Who: the Doctor is a "Lonely God" -- a nearly omnipotent godlike creature -- until it would bring more tears out of middle-aged female Who fans to have the Doctor be vulnerable in some way that no actual god would let happen. Which makes it look like the Doctor is deliberately letting himself be vulnerable just for kicks. Because you can't tell me that the godlike Doctor couldn't have figured out some way of fixing Donna's brain so her head wouldn't explode if she heard the word "Doctor." But that's too much like something the old Doctor would have done. From those shows that RTD didn't write. We can't have that.


aerdnasarrih: Located on the way to Disney World (Default)

June 2013

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