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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

‘Doctor Who’ thing of the day: BBC forced to talk about Matt Smith naked

There’s so much cool Doctor Who stuff in the universe, and I suspect we’re going to be starving for new Doctor Who stuff to talk about in two weeks, when the current series wraps up (well, except for my classic Doctor Who blogging and whatever other goodies I may be cooking up), that I think it’s about time to institute the “Doctor Who Thing of the Day.” So here we go.

Sci Fi Wire wonders:

If you own a DVR and recorded the Doctor Who episode “The Lodger,” did you pause, rewind and repeat during a bathroom scene in which Matt Smith dropped his towel?

And then Sci Fi Wire links to the Daily Star, which of course covers the story with the typical class and panache of the British tabloid press:

MATT Smith gave telly fans a glimpse of more than just his sonic screwdriver after turning into Doctor Nude.

Web forums went into meltdown last night after hawk-eyed Who fans said they had seen the Time Lord’s willy.

It was a “blink and you’ll miss it” moment that lasted a fraction of a second in the 6.45pm show.

But, within minutes, fan sites and forums were buzzing with claims that Doctor Who could boast of being Doctor Huge.

I would like to note that while it may appear that I did a lot of pause/rewind/repeat myself, I swear to the gods that I didn’t… at least not specifically with regards to the towel moment. I’m watching all of these episodes on slo-mo, with lots of rewinding and watching again — it takes me at least two to three times the actual running time on my final go-round through each episode to prepare my posts. And when I did happen to accidently freeze on the, er, apparent naughty bits, I thought it was pretty funny, but I also figured that the actor would not actually have been naked.

And indeed, this is what the BBC is saying (via Digital Spy):

[A] BBC spokesperson said: “Fans might speculate about what they saw. But I can assure them that Matt wasn’t totally naked when he filmed these scenes. He was sporting an item to protect his modesty.”

I mean: Of course. Anyone who knows anything about film and TV production should have assumed this.

That doesn’t mean we don’t like to think about the notion of the Doctor nude, however…

(h/t to reader Lisa in comments)

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

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  • MaryAnn

    And now I’m counting down to the moment when someone attempts to mansplain to me why I’m a hypocrite for discussing with approval the apparent nakedness of an actor on film and the invasion of privacy that is Perez Hilton’s obsession with candid photos of the naked crotches of female celebs.

  • K

    Nah, it’s alright MaryAnn, I agree with you on both counts. It’s two totally different situations. Although, I wish they had this story with David Tennant on board.

  • Keith

    Hehe, if the nude shot had been from behind, there would have been all sorts of talk about a “crack in the universe” sighting.

    People are so hung up about nudity in western civilization. I think it’s both silly and sad at the same time.

  • Erik

    At least they’ll stop going on & on about Amy jumping him for a few days.

    Oh, and no hypocrisy whatsoever as Matt was on a closed set, filming an scripted piece of entertainment. Not getting out of a car as part of his private life. Oh yeah, and he isn’t a minor, regardless of appearance.

  • Erik

    “a” scripted… sorry to lovers of good grammer.

  • MaryAnn

    “Grammar” to lovers of good spelling. :->

    But we don’t have to be spelling/grammar Nazis here.

  • we are a nation obsessed with wardrobe malfunctions.

    Hormones, they calls it.

    Meanwhile, Neil Gaiman is feverishly working on a Who script that takes Dr. Who and Captain Jack to the naturalist colony on Pavo Beta to investigate sightings of the Volleyball Warriors of Holyoke, who threaten to bring back the Doh’Cee’Dou.

  • Erik

    Haha! Even when I try and correct things, I find a way to cock it up… oops. ;-)

  • Benbenberi

    Even granted the presence of underwear in the towel scene, I think we’ve seen more Doctor skin this season than in 4 years of David Tennant, who [sigh] hardly ever even opened his collar or showed his wrists, let alone a whole forearm.

    I approve of the change.

  • Mo

    I’m beginning to think they should add a new rule to the ‘rules of the internet’: “If it is embarrassing, it will be freeze framed.”


  • Lady Tenar

    I DEFINITELY paused and rewound a few times during that towel scene. Nice view, but nothing X-rated. Unfortunately.

    And yeah, Perez Hilton is a creep. But, wait, he was only trying to teach Miley Cyrus to be ladylike!

  • Nadia

    In response to the people that complain about this I’ll borrow a line from Craig Ferguson and say that if you get annoyed because you might or might not have seen a blurry moment of nakedness, so blurry and so quick that even if you freezeframe it you’re still not sure if you’re seeing him completly naked or not, your problem is not really about TV, is it?

  • Lisa



    although apparently he was wearing some kind of uncomfortable body stocking when his body went all glowey – there’s a good picture of it here if you scroll through to Journey’s End Screen Caps.

    If you really want to see David naked, type what the butler saw david tennant into google. I was just looking for reviews one day and it just popped up! Honest! I’m not obsessed or anything, I haven’t researched it.

  • leontineg

    1. “His lunchbox”!

    2. “An Item”!

  • phooey! someone “strategically” placed a tardis and the rest of the images were removed for violating some kind of puritanical host rules… who says the internet is good for getting your jollies!?

  • Dre in Spain

    I genuinely wish the BBC would grow a spine. I wish they could turn around and say “of course he wasn’t naked you morons, now get back to your lives”. However, they feel they must respond to the lowest common demoninator who watch “Britain’s got Special Needs” or whatever, who believe that with a phonecall they can change something they don’t like. We have to ensure that the moral majority, who want to be titalated and yet outraged should not be in control of the programming. Charlie Brooker always says it the best.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJOK5dbrSpM

    If you ever feel that you no longer recognise the modern media, Charlie Brooker is the antidote and cure.

  • oh, never mind. i found a *very* satisfactory picture.

  • Dave

    MaryAnn, let’s put Miley’s candid shot aside since she is underage. To suggest that ALL female crotch pics are an invasion of privacy does in fact make you a hypocrite, especially when you approve the male crotch on this show.

    Do you honestly feel that Britney Spears accidentally showed her lady junk a few years ago? This was obviously done on purpose. Her skirt was hiked up so high when she was sitting in Paris Hilton’s car, you not only see her junk, you see her c-section scar as well. She was basically sitting bare-ass in the car. Then when she exits out of the car, Paris grabs a hold of Britney’s left leg while Brit’s right leg is already out of the car, giving an extended, clear, wide open look into her nether region. Later, Britney posted on her website something to the effect of “Thank God for Victoria’s Secret new underwear line that’s coming out soon, hehe.”

    Does that sound like someone who regrets having done this, someone who didn’t purposely do this?

    Yes, it is wrong to shove a camera up a woman’s dress, but clearly, not every instance should be treated equally, especially when it is obvious that some women are exposing their genitals on purpose.

    And because of this, you are a hypocrite for approving the accidental male crotch on this show, going as far as pausing it to check it out, while dissapproving of nude female crotches that are purposely exposed. Let’s see you “womansplain” your way out of this one.

  • MaryAnn

    And so the mansplaining arrives.

  • JoshB

    Dave, help me out here. Are you here for trollish sport, or because you really believe you’ve shown unwomansplainable evidence of hypocrisy?

    ***please let it be the latter, pretty please!***

  • Dave

    I’ve shown that, unlike JoshB and MaryAnn, I know the difference between someone purposely shoving a camera up a woman’s dress to take pics (which I am against) versus a woman exposing her genitals purposely to have pics taken.

    I don’t believe Miley would flash on purpose, so Perez is an idiot for posting that, in addition to her being underage. I’m completely against this. However, learn not to mix this in with pics of females exposing their genitals on purpose.

  • MaryAnn

    Oh, Dave. Here’s the difference. Even if, as you believe, a female celeb deliberately “accidentally” flashes a camera for some nefarious purpose of her own (as, perhaps, a publicity stunt tied in to a corporation for which she is shilling), this only works because there are people who get a kick out of being a voyeur, and particularly, in these kinds of upskirt instances, out of the notion that we’re getting a peek at something we’re not supposed to be getting a peek at. It’s still exploitive of the celeb, on the one hand, and indicative of a disgusting pervy attitude on the part of the public on the other.

    What you’re saying is analagous to saying that because some women willingly engage in prostitution, prostitution cannot therefore be exploitive of those women. Which is bullshit.

    There is, on the third hand, no accidental flashage of *anything* in the controlled confines of a film/TV set of a nonlive narrative story. And certainly no deliberate “accidents.” Actors are never naked (even if they might appear to be) unless that is the absolute intention.

    Was the audience being teased in this particular *Doctor Who* moment? Sure. But the real difference between this example and your Britney Spears example (which is only your supposition, of course, and not absolutely verified fact) is the attitude with which they are presented. The *DW* instance may be a little cheeky, but there’s nothing dirty or nasty about it. Upskirt photos are all about being dirty and nasty and catching out someone unsuspecting (or someone who wishes to be seen as unsuspecting) in a “bad” position.

    And that’s without even getting into the matter of women’s clothing, and how women forced by cultural expectations to dress in far more revealing clothing than men are. No male celeb would get caught accidentally (or “accidentally”) flashing his naked crotch because men’s clothes simply do not allow for it.

    Oh, and one last thing. I neither said nor implied anything about these upskirt shots being an “invasion of privacy.” I condemned audiences and advertisers for *approving* of these photos in most cases, and suddenly objecting only when the subject of one of them was a few months younger than an arbitrary line in the sand. If it’s wrong to post/print an image of a 17-and-a-half-year old girl in this situation, shouldn’t it be wrong to post a similar photo of an 18-year-old girl? *That* was my question.

  • Dave

    MaryAnn, I suggest you watch “Wild Things” where Kevin Bacon was completely nude in the shower scene and his genitals were visible. This wasn’t supposed to have been purposely visible, but nonetheless made it into the movie. There was no intention on him being naked.

    No one is forcing Britney or other female celebs to wear mini-skirts and no underwear, and all of this could easily be avoided by wearing panties in the first place. Rather than saying they should wear underwear (who doesn’t wear underwear?), you are blaming “cultural expectations???” I’m not sure which culture you are thinking of that says women should not wear underwear.

    Prostitution is not exploitative of the women who engage in it, since these are adult women who are old enough to make choices for themselves. These aren’t children. Neither is being a stripper, modeling nude in an art class, or being a Playboy Playmate. No, I don’t support prostitution nor condone it, but every consenting adult has a right to make his/her own decisions.

    The link you post in your first comment says “invasion of privacy” when referring to the nude female crotches, now you are saying you never stated this? Am I seeing things?

    The only reason I believe you are against female crotches being seen and not male is because the vulva is more taboo than the penis. That’s the real “cultural expectations” – men can be nude and everything is a-ok, but females being nude is pornographic. Why is the showing of female genitals “dirty” and “nasty” while showing male genitals is “cheeky”, whatever that means? And with all do respect Miss, I wasn’t the one pausing at the moment Dr. Who’s towel dropped to catch a glimpse of his crotch region, whether fully exposed or not, and then claim the public and everyone else is considered “pervy” for looking at nude female crotches being flashed.

    Again, I never said I supported the posting of nude female crotches, whether they purposely flash them or not. I’m pointing out the hypocrisy of you being ok with males being nude (or the illusion of them being nude), while females shown nude is not ok at all, even if the females are exposing themselves on purpose. Society is always to blame, right?

    Are you really suggesting that Britney didn’t flash her genitals on purpose? Really?! You must not have seen the pics then.

    And your 17 – 18 year old age difference is a valid question, but that’s just how the law works. You have to draw a line somewhere, just as under 16 year olds cannot get a driver’s license, under 18 year olds cannot vote, and under 21 year olds cannot drink alcohol. The line has to be drawn somewhere. A person is not legally an adult until they are 18, that’s why people had a problem with Miley’s pic, but not Britney’s.

  • MaryAnn

    The link you post in your first comment says “invasion of privacy” when referring to the nude female crotches, now you are saying you never stated this? Am I seeing things?

    You’re right: I did.

    But thanks for the rest of the mansplaining. I’m properly chastened by your clearer understanding than my own of women’s place in our culture.

  • Dave

    Typical womansplaining – when you realize you are wrong, you run away.

    Can I ask you a question, MaryAnn? Since you seem to be a movie person, can you name me one movie (just one) that showed female genitals – not just pubic hair but actual visible labia, that didn’t result in womansplaining how it is automatically pornographic? I have yet to find one:

    “My Bloody Valentine 3D” porn porn porn!
    “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” porn porn porn!
    “Knocked Up” porn porn porn!
    “Cashback” porn porn porn!

    This might help explain why it is that you, and our culture, view nude female crotches as “dirty” and “nasty”, while male crotches are not.

  • MaryAnn

    Oh, Christ, another labia shouter. And someone else who doesn’t understand context. And someone else who thinks he gets to set the rules about what we can and cannot argue.

    Dave, I am not going to engage your bullshit. Go away.

  • Dave

    Perfect! You answered my question perfectly and that is you cannot name any film that showed a labia without womansplaining that it is pornographic, just as I had predicted. That explains why you are against nude female crotches but not against nude male crotches.

    And I do understand context, since none of the movies I mention are pornographic in nature:

    “My Bloody Valentine 3D” non-sexual breakup scene, similar to the non-sexual breakup scene in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”

    “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” non-sexual bottomless pool party scene. No sex acts, fondling or anything of that kind.

    “Knocked Up” birth scene – not sexual AT ALL.

    “Cashback” artistic nudity, again no sex acts or fondling of any kind.

    All showed visible labia in a non-pornographic way, yet I don’t understand context?

    Thank you for your continuous womansplaining. I bid you farewell.

  • zepto

    Dave, you’re either very naive or willfully ignorant if you believe that prostitution is not exploitative. Also, it is not the choice made by adult women, as many if not most prostitutes begin their line of work in their young teens.

  • MaryAnn

    Please don’t feed the trolls.

  • JoshB


    You’re the boss. *grumble grumble*

  • Dave

    There is a big difference between consent and force when talking about prostitution. Yet you are talking about most prostitutes begin their line of work in their young teens, which we can assume they were forced into.

    Besides, using young teens, who are not old enough to consent to anything is illegal as it should be. It’s human trafficking, which I am totally against. True, there are adult female prostitutes that are trafficked/forced as well, but I already said I oppose this. Trafficking is usually the result of prostitution being illegal in most places. You don’t get this in places where prostitution is legal.

    To suggest that with consenting adults, it makes it exploitative is naive, in and of itself. Aren’t women the ones that always say it’s a woman’s body and she can choose whatever she wants to do with her body when talking about abortion? Strange.

    Abortion – women’s right to choose what she wants to do because it’s her body.

    Prostitution – exploitative and women should not choose what they want to do with their body.

    Which is it?

    Think about it. You work for a company. That company pays you a salary. But that company makes 10x, 100x, 1000x what they pay you. They are using you for their benefit and getting what they want from you. Are they exploiting you? Why is prostitution among consenting adults exploitative – is it because it involves sex? What about male prostitutes – how come nobody says this exploits men? Does this extend beyond just prostitution and on to other things like, as mentioned before, modeling nude in an art class or posing nude for Playboy? Where does exploitation begin and where does it end, in terms of consenting adults?

    Again, I do not condone nor support prostitution, as I feel women would make much, much better contributions to our society than that, so I don’t know why you make it seem like I do.

    And thanks, MaryAnn, for calling me a “troll.” I think I held my ground pretty well, considering that you are being confrontational and using profanity, yet I didn’t stoop down to this level when responding to you. So I’m a “troll” so I am guilty of “bullshit”, etc. Fine. Ok. Whatever. You win.

    I have nothing against you nor what you do. I never have. You can call me whatever you want, call me names, fine. I just posted my views as to this whole “mansplaining” as you call it, since you automatically assume that any male that says something to the contrary is automatically wrong. What have you got against men? And can we put this behind us now please?

  • MaryAnn

    Dave, I am not going to educate you in Feminism 101. If you cannot appreciate the difference between catching someone — a man or a woman, but it’s more particular concerning women, as I explained — unawares, as these upskirt photos do, and exploiting their vulnerability for the pleasure of an audience that is intended to get an extra kick from the gotcha aspect of that, and the collusion of an actor — male or female, though the disparities between the levels of male nudity and female nudity in our culture mean that the context is probably going to be different — in something that is casually frank and sexual, then I cannot explain it to you more than I already have.

    If you don’t understand how our culture treats men and women differently… well, I’m flabbergasted, and wouldn’t even know where to begin educating you.

    you are talking about most prostitutes begin their line of work in their young teens,

    I said no such thing. Don’t put words into my mouth, and don’t assume you know what I’m talking about. Further:

    since you automatically assume that any male that says something to the contrary is automatically wrong.

    With my sudden new and shockingly lower lack of tolerance for bullshit, this kind of ridiculously and wholly unsupported comment is the kind of thing I will not put up with.

    Grow up, go do some basic reading on feminist philosophy and issues, and then come back and talk when you’re able to converse intelligently on these matters.

    And if you’re really intent on talking about labias, search this site for “Tim1974” and read the discussions revolving around him.

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