Doctor Who: Where's Neil When You Need Him?

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I can honestly say that this was the first episode I have ever been disappointed in as far as Doctor Who goes. We were promised a look into parts of the Tardis we as an audience had never experienced before, and though we got it the journey there was just absolutely dreadful.

First, let's talk about the racism. Whenever I host screenings of classic Doctor Who at the Alamo Drafthouse I always make sure to let the audience know that science fiction television in the '60s and '70s is just chock full of delicious, casual racism and sexism. Black people are brawny and stupid, native peoples are barely better than monkeys, and honey go make us some coffee.

I expect better of the modern series, but I didn't get it this time.

Flashback
Doctor Who: Tomb of the Cybermen at Alamo Drafthouse

"Journey to the Centre of the Tardis" starts with the ship being captured by a deep space salvage crew. The crew is a trio of black brothers so interchangeable and barely developed I honestly can't be bothered to go look up their names. The team's only goal is to strip everything they can for profit, and never mind the fact that they have apparently just killed two people. Just ignore it and go back to pillaging and robbing.

Throughout the entire episode The Doctor leads and recruits these three men and the only motivation that ever gets them to move is the opportunity to steal, and the only way The Doctor guides them is through promise of more loot. I honestly expected there to be a stealing hubcaps joke at any moment. It's not as overt as, say, Toberman in "Tomb of the Cybermen," but it still comes off as an extremely thuggish portrayal of blacks. Especially in a show that gave us the likes of Martha Jones, Mickey Smith, and Captain Zachary Cross Flane.

The real thing the episode was set to offer was a look beyond the Tardis control room. We know that the ship hosts libraries, swimming pools, sleeping quarters, squash courts and more, but as fans we were itching to see what else the Time Lord had squirreled away.



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5 comments
messermommy
messermommy

FWIW, the umbrella she found wasn't hers, it was the 7th Doctor's umbrella.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Neil is a lost cause, he's married to Amanda Palmer. 

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

As a casual DW watcher since Tom Baker, (as in haven't seen an epi since Peter Davidson) I'm surprised by the race/misogyny. But then your review reminded of another Brit SciFi series, (almost reminded, as the name escapes me) of a fallen space cop sent to tame an outlaw space station--a al Outlands--chiding another cop over her enthusiasm for a weapon that can be programed to target by skin color. Then at the end of the epi, our hero insists on arming his subordinates with the same weapon.  

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

I haven't done a truly in depth comparison, but it looked more like hers than Seven's. the handle didnt seem question marky enough

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