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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Doctor Who thing of the day: Steven Moffat weirdly limits who can be a companion

Doctor Who Jenna-Louise Coleman

Steven Moffat has teased a bit of info on the new companion, to be played by Jenna-Louise Coleman. NME quotes Moffat from Doctor Who Magazine (which isn’t online):

It’s going to be a shock, I think. In terms of the companions all being ‘the same’ – that’s not as phony or artistically crap a thing to say as it sounds.

What is the base group of people who would run away with the Doctor? They’re all going to be a bit mad. A bit dislocated. Not happy with where they are. Are they yearning for outer space? They’re going to be people who feel like they can take on the Doctor, who’s quite an intimidating sort of person. So, they’re going to be feisty – they’re going to be all those things. He sort of defines the people who are going to travel with him. The distinction comes very much from the various actors and actresses. So, you know, they’re the ones who create the differences between them. But you are always going to have the same sort of person, just because it’s the same man choosing them, and it’s the same person being chosen.

It’s just a question of who credibly is going to agree to go in the TARDIS? Who’s going to do it? Is it going to be a mother of 15 children? No. Is it going to be someone in their 60s? No. Is there going to be a particular age range? I mean… who’s going to have a crush on the Doctor? You know, come on! It’s more than a format. It’s evolved from good, dramatic reasons.

Moffat isn’t wrong… to a point. Yes, there is a certain personality type that will be drawn to running away with the Doctor. But he’s limiting himself in a way that’s frankly shocking for the guy running a show like Doctor Who, in which the range of dramatic possibilities is far wider than for most other shows.

Does Moffat seriously believe that only young people feel dislocated or dream of outer space or are a bit mad? Does he seriously think that a 60-year-old woman — or a 60-year-old man, for that matter — couldn’t possibly have a crush on the Doctor? Does he seriously believe that the only basis for wanting to run away with the Doctor is a sort of generic low-level disaffection with ordinary everyday life?

Moffat’s restrictions make sense only from a narrow, white, male, middle-class, Western, heteronormative perspective. Yes, Doctor Who is a basically a kids’ show, and intended for a general British audience, so we can’t expect it to be too daring. But Moffat is still limiting himself too much. The show has already broached topics such as child abuse (“Fear Her”), so why not a young person who’s fleeing abuse? The show deals with military matters constantly, so why not a young soldier fleeing a deployment to the Middle East? Of course, there’s no reason why a companion must be from 2012. Why not someone fleeing Nazi oppression? Fleeing slavery on a Southern plantation in 1820? There could be many good reasons why someone wants to fly away with the Doctor that aren’t about having a crush on him but about wanting to get away from a hellish existence even if he or she doesn’t quite trust the Doctor.

What about someone with a nefarious purpose for joining the Doctor? The show could use a new companion like Turlough, from the Peter Davison era, who wasn’t just fleeing an intolerable situation but was “hired” by the Black Guardian to kill the Doctor (and who slowly figured out that this would be a bad thing to do, and slowly came around to life on the TARDIS with companions who never quite trust him). For that matter, Turlough was an alien (at least culturally, if not biologically) — why not a nonhuman or at least non-Terran companion with nonhuman and/or non-Terran motives for hooking up with the Doctor?

The possibilities are almost literally endless. Why can’t Moffat see that?

(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)



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  • I think it is because there is only a certain type of story he wants to tell which is not that great a thing. He seems to have had this vision for the way he wanted Doctor Who to be but I really think he needs to  widen that vision before he paints himself into a corner. A show like this is not just about one thing or one way of telling a story.
    Some of the best Doctor Who stories come from episodes that differ from the standard episode format.

  • Killara29

    In terms of fitness, I think it does need to be a young person.  David Tennant was superfit when he did it.  But I generally agree with your criticism here.

  • Older people can be very fit. Aliens can be played by superfit young people. :-> And a character’s motives can have nothing to do with fitness.

  • RogerBW

    You could certainly never have two teachers who were blatantly kidnapped… or a space pilot who’s been imprisoned for years by robots… or a girl who just wanted to make a phone call… perish the thought! (Though some of that is because the TARDIS is now a reliable way of going anywhere, which it rarely was in the original show.)

  • Brian Baier

    I paste in a comment of mine from an earlier post:

    “I hope she’s not another 21st century Earth-born human.  I know they like having someone for new, younger audience members to relate to (or lust over), but it’s time for a change.  Is Jack the only deviation from that formula we’ve had since the new series began?  He wasn’t even a proper season-long companion.”

  • ScottyEnn

    Really, I think this is mainly a bit of a cack-handed way of saying that there’s a formula that’s worked pretty successfully so far, and that if it’s still working you don’t fiddle around with it unnecessarily. Not that I necessarily agree with him here, he’s definitely limiting himself, and I’m not saying that things couldn’t be shaken up more, but I imagine it’s a lot easier to say ‘the possibilites are literally endless, do something different like an alien or a villain or something’ if you don’t have the responsibility of ensuring those possibilities WORK and you have nothing personally at stake if shaking things up ends up ruining things. If you’re actually in charge of the BBC’s flagship production and don’t particularly don’t want to go down in history as the guy who mucked it all up again, the ‘don’t meddle with things if they don’t need to be meddled with’ argument probably looks a lot more convincing. 

    Although, I don’t think he’s actually saying that the companion can’t (also) be fleeing Nazi oppression or slavery or what-have-you; I read that as being more that there’s certain personality traits that the most successful companions share that it’s best to keep using rather than the companion has to be a twenty-first century WASP. Particularly since, let’s be fair, while he might be different from the standard when the lists of Great Doctor Who Companions That Everyone Remembers And Loves comes up, you rarely hear people outside of fandom talk about Turlough. 

  • RogerBW

    When the last season generated a lot of complaints and mainstream critics started to dare to break the orthodoxy that all Who is wonderful, that’s a pretty good time to think about changing the formula, I reckon…

  • ScottyEnn

    It should perhaps be noted that one of the issues that’s frequently been mentioned about the new “Doctor Who” whenever the issue of an older Doctor comes up is that the behind-the-scenes schedule and demands for regulars are, by all accounts, VERY gruelling in a way that wasn’t the case in the classic series, when older actors were more likely to be considered for regular roles like the Doctor. I suspect it’s something similar for companions, and that this is one of the reasons that they’re a bit wary about casting for older actors rather than just “they wouldn’t work”. 

    Not saying it’s not ageist to a degree, since like you say older actors can be fit as well, but it does seem to be something of a concern. 

  • RogerBW

    Why should that be the case for a show making 13 episodes most years, when an American TV show can make 22 episodes year-in and year-out, and still give its stars time to do side projects?

  • Brian Baier

    Do we regularly hear people outside of fandom talking about any other companions?  They might talk about the actors aside from the show, but Rose and Jack and Sarah Jane are non-entities if you don’t watch the show.  Viewership of sci-fi programming will never be guaranteed outside of genre fans, or even within fans on the whole.  I have an otherwise geeky friend who once didn’t share in a laugh about Riker’s beard during a gathering, and then had to ask “Who is Riker?”

    Viewers may get pulled in by a pretty face, but they’re not going to keep coming back unless the story and characters are compelling.

  • ScottyEnn

    Maybe, but — and I grant that we may be reading different sources — IIRC most of those complaints were more along the lines of “it’s too complicated!” (which is something they apparently ARE addressing) rather than “change the types of companions!” Amy and Rory seem pretty popular, overall. 

  • NorthernStar

    Moffatt’s lack of imagination here is frankly astonishing.  While I would agree that there’s something internal spurring a person into a life with the Doctor that would be common amoung his companions, he shows no idea of what that is.  It’s not just starry eyed kids and/or misfits.

    Why would a mother of 15 kids be different?  Particularly knowing that his time machine could pop you back years later to make breakfast as if you’d never left.  And there’s a mine of drama there, realising she might not get home at all, guilt over abandonment etc.

    No 60 year olds?  That’s just age-ist and Moffatt, newsreaders aside, the BBC doesn’t have to panda to demographics like American shows do.
    One of my favourite characters in recent years was Wilf and had the Doctor offered he’d have been off like a shot.

    And he shouldn’t overlook the possibilities of a reluctant traveller, like Tegan, who just wanted to get to work (!) and even Nyssa, who’s home and father was gone.

    I was hoping for an alien companion this time round. 

  • bronxbee

    i think it’s very disappointing that Moffat who wrote such great characters can’t seem to get a bigger picture as the show-runner.  if he could have Madame du Pompador be willing to take off with the Doctor from the 18th century without a qualm, why not other people from other times?  other aliens?  reluctant travellers?  one of the reasons i felt so disappointed in the last two years was that he has watered down these great characters he started with — like River Song! — and is just going weird and making the Doctor into a travelling magic show, instead of someone who inspires bravery, or good deeds in even the most faint hearted.  he keeps *telling* us that the Doctor is this great, almost god-like being, but nothing he has done has shown us.  and hell, i really hope the next Doctor is a little older — as i’ve said before, if the actors get any younger, they’ll be embryos.  follow the Doctor’s inspirations Moffat — spread your jet packs! let your imagination fly — no one gets hooked on this show because it follows a formula.

  • bronxbee

    yes, i miss the unreliability of the older shows’ TARDIS — he never went where he wanted to go, but he went where he *needed* to go.

  • RogerBW

    I think that my problem with the current formula is that everything works except when the script says it doesn’t, with no attempt at justification. The TARDIS goes where it’s needed to, there’s always another cool power or alien race to pull out of nowhere and solve the problem… if anything’s possible, there’s no sense of suspense, and the emo posturing just seems forced and artificial.

  • panda to demographics

    That’s an awesome image — and it works, too! Because who doesn’t love pandas? :-)

  • I vote Panda for the next companion.

  • With Neil Gaiman as the Doctor?

  • The storytelling hasn’t been very brave since last season. They didn’t deal with Amy’s loss of her daughter. They ruined River Song somewhat for me when they made her a Time Lord. She couldn’t just be an extraordinary human? Bah!

    One of my favourite companions was Wilf, Donna’s grandfather. There’s every reason to think that an older person would want the same sorts of experiences as a younger one. I do think it’s incredibly agist (comments about the filming schedule aside) and myopic to think that only certain people could be companions.  It’s also lazy showrunning and formulaic.

  • Killara29

    There is not the same infrastructure/show running/multi writer set up here that there is in the states.  Huge amounts of money are invested and made in hit tv shows in America.  Expensive pilots are made and not even shown.  There isn’t the same kind of money or opportunity in the UK.   Dr Who is one of the few shows they make 13 of.

    I remember one of the confidentials actually saying that David Tennant was superfit and that was the reason he could cope with the schedule, and even then they had to rest him for one episode every year.  All that running down corridors, Catherine Tate was exhausted.  They do have to lean younger, I think and it does depend on what your definition of older is –  I find that changes as I age!  Plus it is kinda ironic that he started off old and then got younger and younger as time went by.  I think we’d all like to do that!

  • MC

    I just had to share this bit of Dr. Who-related comedy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do-wDPoC6GM

    Of course, the ending would never happen on any producer’s watch on that show.

  • Judy

    Lindsay Duncan in Waters of Mars, for example. She kept right up with the Doctor physically.

  • Karl Morton IV

    Everyone seems eager to be offended by everything Moffat says lately. Where does he say that the companion has to come from Earth? To me it read like a discussion of the sort of person who would run off with the Doctor in generic, easily relatable terms rather than as him laying down an iron-clad manifesto for the show’s future.

    When he introduced Amy Pond he was also introducing a new Doctor that had to replace the most popular one the show had yet seen. Wouldn’t it make sense for him to keep the other new thing he had to introduce to the show as comparatively grounded as possible? He’s said that the new companion comes from somewhere unexpected (or something along those lines) so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until at least Christmas before I start calling him names. ;)

    Are we, perhaps, yearning for Tom Baker’s sentient cabbage?

  • An older companion would be interesting! Maybe a retiree with grown, moved-away kids who figures, hey, why not? Absent any other obligations, might as well have fun with the time I have left.

  • Are we, perhaps, yearning for Tom Baker’s sentient cabbage?

    Yes!

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Moffat’s restrictions make sense only from a narrow, white, male, middle-class, Western, heteronormative perspective.

    Individually, or all together? Because I’m a white, middle-class, heterosexual American male, and Moffat’s reasoning doesn’t entirely make sense to me. And how such perspectives specifically require someone like what he describes. 

    Aren’t we drawing a lot of conclusions from an extremely limited data set?

    I’d like to reintroduce a acronym I think might help focus this conversation. It comes from late-90s bulletin boards my mom and I used to frequent about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was IIWTS – If I Wrote The Show. It came about because the community came to realize that, as they were criticizing the show, they were doing so in a way that implied that Joss Whedon was doing a lousy job. But they knew that they didn’t believe that: they were still watching, and enjoying, every new Buffy. Rather, being the kinds of fans who were spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about the show, their heads were full of ideas about where they wanted the show to go. They were finding themselves increasingly disappointed (and increasingly angry) when Joss stubbornly refused to read their minds and make it happen. So, they got into the habit of prefacing their criticisms with “IIWTS”, to remind themselves of what they were saying and why.

    Personally, I think Moffat is wise to set himself some criteria for what kind of character a companion is going to be. I’m sure he sees that there are lots and lots of possibilities. But if he can’t commit to them because he doesn’t find them “credible”, they’re not going to work.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    everything works except when the script says it doesn’t, with no attempt at justification. The TARDIS goes where it’s needed to, there’s always another cool power or alien race to pull out of nowhere and solve the problem

    Isn’t that what “unreliable” means? I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying here.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Everyone seems eager to be offended by everything Moffat says lately

    QFT

  • Lesson one – Moffatt lies.

  • Karl Morton IV

    Okay, me too. :D

  • Tonio Kruger

    Funny that you bring that show up. As I seem to recall, Whedon himself used to throw out all sorts of red herrings regarding future events in the show: for example, he used to hint that Buffy’s mother was going to marry her Watcher but that–SPOILER–obviously never happened. Perhaps Moffat is following in his footsteps.

    Moffat, of course, could still surprise us next season. And who knows? Perhaps that horse will sing as well…

  • Knightgee

    I don’t understand how you have a show where the main character can be followed around by anyone from any point in history as well as alien worlds and not go mad with possibilities. That is a scenario where your imagination and perhaps the studio budget are literally your only limitations. Then again, I’ve always been one of those people who appreciated sci-fi and fantasy for it’s ability to say interesting things about life from an angle that more grounded media could not. 

  • I think this is indicative of much of how Moffat has kind of screwed the pooch with Doctor Who. He has this very fixed idea about “The Way It Should Be,” and doesn’t seem to realize that the franchise is an ever-morphing Promethean thing. It is open to endless possibilities and is strongest when it does just that: be open.

  • ScottyEnn

    In addition to what Killara29 says, take note also of the fact that most American TV shows have fairly large ensemble regular casts and standing sets that means that episodes can be focussed around different cast-members at different times (so as to rotate the actors and give them a break) and can be shot within the same general place with a minimum of location shots. Contrast with “Doctor Who”, which has a fairly small regular cast (of which at least one member is in almost every scene in every episode), only one real standing set and a lot of location shooting and effects work. Even though it’s a shorter series length-wise, it still adds up to a lot of work and a lot of stress for the main cast.

  • ScottyEnn

    She wasn’t in every episode of a standard season, though, to be fair. 

  • RogerBW

    I may have expressed myself badly. A show in which quite literally anything can happen is a show in which anything will happen. Tricky situation? That’s OK, I set up this fix for it earlier. It drains any sense of tension out of the narrative.

  • Crochetowl

    Gotta say since Moffat took over, my interest has waned for the on-air Doctor Who and shifted to the Big Finish audio range where the stories are much more interesting (and satisfying) and it’s not a space opera it has been with the Amy era.  At least with the Big Finish audios, the companions are not fixed within any particular bucket from older (Evelyn), real people (Mary Shelley), aliens and non-modern people.  Sure, during Moffat’s era, the show seems more out there but it just isn’t what I’m used to expecting.

  • Kitty

    I can’t believe that in the last couple of years I’ve gone from a fan who LOVED Steven Moffat’s WHO episodes under RTD to someone who has pretty much vowed to punch Moffat in the head if I ever run into him.  (Yes, I’m exaggerating for effect, I don’t punch people.)   Just disappointed to know that in Moffat’s eyes I would be someone who’s supremely unqualified to want to jump into the TARDIS.  Which explains why I’m someone who’s supremely unqualified to want to watch his disappointing series.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    So open that it falls apart? I don’t think people realize just how much a possibility that is. 

    I suppose he could take a hard turn and go for a strictly anthological approach, rather than an episodic one. But Doctor Who has been increasingly episodic, because audiences prefer it. (The fact that we have the concept of the “stand-alone episode” attests to that.) Now, as a fan of Series 6, I will agree that Moffat took the concept to far last year. Or, at least, farther than he is capable of doing well. He’s publicly admitted as much, saying that Series 7 will be more of an anthology of stories. But he’s got to be careful with that. In this day and age of sci-fi, he risks giving the show a sense of having no direction, no point.

  • So we should always make our programme changes in accordance with Daily Mail backlashes, should we?

    Just asking…

    (And yes, I know the Guardian had its knives out as well.

  • RogerBW

    The odd thing to me is not that they attacked it – the Daily Mail has a consistent anti-BBC bias almost as strong as the Murdoch papers’ – but that they waited so long before they did.

  • Agree completely.

    By coincidence, here is a quotation I happened to take from Matt Hills’ 2010 Triumph of a Time Lord, an academic tract about the rebirth of the show, for a journal article I’m working on:

    “Seemingly paradoxically, being a fan means being disappointed by the object of fandom as much as it means appreciating it.”

    Annoyed me when I read it, as I recall saying almost exactly the same thing here on Flick Filosopher, perhaps as much as a year ago. Bloody Matt Hills. He keeps beating me to my own ideas!

  • But deconstruct your own argument: it is an ever-morphing, Promethean thing (some of us don’t regard it as a ‘franchise’). That means it is done in different ways. Moffat has his approach, just as did Davies, Nathan-Turner, Williams, Hinchcliffe, Lambert and even the likes of Wiles before him. Some of those approaches have led up unfortunate alleys. Nathan-Turner made some huge mistakes in the period before cancellation (one of them being ‘Eric Saward’). The difficult thing is to balance ‘openness’ (which can so easily be ‘nothingness’) with style. People look back at the Hinchcliffe period as one of the strongest; but that period had a very definite way of doing things. The same is also true of Russell Davies. He had pretty fixed ideas about how the show should be done (read The Writer’s Tale if you don’t believe me). And that gave his work the strength and energy to take Doctor Who to the heights it achieved, because he was very clear about what he was doing.

    You may not like what Moffat is doing, but to claim that him abandoning his vision and just being ‘open’ to ‘endless possibilities’ is the best recipe for improvement seems absurd to me, I’m afraid.

  • So you’re complaining that Moffat Who isn’t good because it’s too surprising? It’s not predictable enough?

    Interesting critique.

  • “For that matter, Turlough was an alien (at least culturally, if not biologically)”

    Um?  Turlough was both.  He wasn’t human; he was a native of the planet Trion.

  • I know Turlough was from Trion. You’re presuming that natives of the planet Trion aren’t human. Why? Is there any basis for that in the DW universe?

  • The companion entry on the official BBC website for Doctor Who lists him as an alien.

  •  For further proof, examine the sheer impossibility of the situation: Turlough was exiled to Earth sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s.  Since humans had certainly not begun to colonise space by this stage, how could Turlough be a human being born on a colony world?  Trions did not possess the capacity for time travel so it can hardly be argued that they sent him back in time, either.

  • Guest

    Well he did take Donna’s elderly father on as a companion for “The Last of the Time Lords” and that was… just a whole bunch of fun.  I’m sorry to seem limited or hetero-normative (even though I’m a gay guy), but come on, everybody.  It’s a fast paced, sexy young show.  They’re not going to cast a 60 year old man as the companion.  Of course they’re going to have a pretty younger woman who’s fiesty and energetic and sexy (and who’s British because DW is one of the few quintessentially British shows).  She’s also going to be “of the current era” so that she can be our everyday surrogate into the Doctor’s crazy alien world.  None of these things seem all that illogical, and if they were to go way off-formula, they risk tanking the entire franchise, losing a lot of people a lot of day-to-day production jobs.  They’re not going to do that.  There’s nothing “weirdly” limited about that thinking.

  • RogerBW

    Of course they’re going to have a pretty younger woman who’s fiesty and energetic and sexy (and who’s British because DW is one of the few quintessentially British shows).

    Helen Mirren for the next Doctor!

    She’s also going to be “of the current era” so that she can be our everyday surrogate into the Doctor’s crazy alien world.

    Because any science fiction that doesn’t do this is a complete failure, obviously.

  • The Fashionista Hurricane

    Both NME and and this article have taken the quotes out of context, this is how they appear in the actual issue of DWM, which I have to hand:

    DWM: Following this autumn’s five episodes, the Christmas Special will then see a new companion join the Doctor, in the shape of Jenna-Louise Coleman. How does Steven approach writing for a new companion? In DWM 397 said that all the companions (I think this is limited to people who went willingly travelling with him full-time else this doesn’t make sense, which is a fair use of the word companion I suppose) other than Donna and perhaps Leela, are ‘identical’.

    Moffat: Ha! Did I? Well, they are a bit.

    DWM: So how do you make the next one distinctive?

    Moffat: Well, I think I’ll answer you in the show. I’ll answer you in the show about how it’s going to be different, because it is going to be different.  It’s going to be a shock, I think. In terms of the companions all being ‘the same’ – that’s not as phony or artistically crap a thing to say as it sounds. What is the base group of people who would run away with the Doctor? They’re all going to be…

    DWM: A bit mad.

    Moffat: A bit mad yes. A bit dislocated. Not happy with where they are. Are they yearning for outer space? They’re going to be people who feel like they can take on the Doctor, who’s quite an intimidating sort of person. So, they’re going to be feisty – they’re going to be all those things. He sort of defines the people who are going to travel with him. The distinction comes very much from the various actors and actresses. So, you know, they’re the ones who create the differences between them. But you are always going to have the same sort of person, just because it’s the same man choosing them, and it’s the same person being chosen.

    DWM: And they need to fulfil the same function in the programme?

    Moffat: Well, it’s not even a function in the programme, I think it’s less of that. I think the function of the companion is pretty simple. I don’t think that’s very difficult. It’s just a question of who credibly is going to agree to go in the TARDIS? Who’s going to do it? Is it going to be a mother of 15 children? No. Is it going to be someone in their 60s? No. Is there going to be a particular age range? I mean… who’s going to have a crush on the Doctor? You know, come on! 

    DWM: That’s the format of the series after all.Moffat: It’s more than a format. It’s evolved from good, dramatic reasons.

    DWM: Let’s face it, Doctor Who isn’t the only show in the world to have one male and one female as its lead characters.

    Moffat: It’s not just us, no! [laughs] That’s why Sherlock gets two male leads, but it’s a different kind of thing. If you knew someone in real life like the Doctor – who, I don’t know had a boat that he ran away on and was massively charismatic, a bit older, a bit bonkers…would you expect him to have a young girl with in tow? I mean, you probably would. She probably would be going with him. It’s probably not going to be a middle-aged shop assistant. It’s probably not going to be a 60-year-old banker.

    DWM: Donna Noble was a bit of an exception, wasn’t she? She was a 40-year-old office worker.

    Moffat: I think that worked brilliantly, but it is a purposely-created alternative to normal. The Doctor even says ‘You’re a bit older than what I normally get.’ He says it in The Runaway Bride

    DWM: Well, Donna was created as a one-off character…

    Moffat: Absolutely.

    DWM: …And a year later, he doesn’t invite Mr. Cropper to travel with him.

    Moffat: Well, I don’t believe Mr. Cropper would go. I don’t believe I’d go! If he stopped here now, I don’t think I’d go with him, I’d say ‘It’s far too bloody dangerous, I’ve got a life, I’m not leaving, I’m busy!’ The big question is ‘Who is going to go?’ – and I think that defines, not people who are all the same, but people with considerable elements of their personality. Also,  I think responsibly, he doesn’t want to take someone away from a life that’s ongoing. He’s happy to take them away to be the equivalent of your gap year. But he doesn’t want to be anything more than that, does he? 

    So, to summarise: Moffat has not weirdly limited anything. He was explaining why the companions (with a fixed definition of the word) have been, in his words ‘identical’. He’s giving what he feels best explains it. He’s right about them being identical as well. When we think of the atypical companion, we think of Sarah Jane, the others aren’t all that different (with exceptions). He also says that Jenna’s character will be different.

  • You know Stephen Moffat wrote that, right?

  • Yes, please. Neil Gaiman would make an awesome Doctor.

  • MC

    My point is, given the history of the Dr. Who character being all white men, I don’t see that changing in the future.

    I mean, I’d love to see Helen Mirren play Dr. Who (and she has expressed an interest in the role too), but I have grave doubts that such a change would happen during the Doctor’s next regeneration.

  • Namnoot

     I agree with Paul 100%. Each showrunner has his opinion of how the show should be done. RTD, for example, disliked stories that were set away from earth, and if he had to do so, they were always focused on humans from earth who happened to be elsewhere. You might have heard the Ninth Doctor talking about visiting the planet Barcelona where the dogs have no noses, but he would never have actually authorized a story about it. When Philip Hinchcliffe took over as producer in 1975, he cut the Doctor’s ties with UNIT. Each producer’s vision for the show is just as valid and another, and reflects the shows ever-evolving nature – and the reason why it has survived 50 years. It’s no different than the Doctor changing, really. And if you don’t like how the current producer (or Doctor) handles things, then simply be patient in the knowledge that in a few years both will change and be replaced by new blood that will be just as beloved by some and hated by others.

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