Friday, 30 July 2021

Doctor, Doctor

Desperately specialist subject territory perhaps, but as discussed on the open thread...

Forget plummeting through sci-fi wormholes. The BBC's Doctor Who's ratings have in scientific reality hurtled down the plughole in recent years. 

As Buzz BBC would say - ''To infinity and wherever what we flush away goes to and beyond!''

Departing box-ticking, white, middle-aged, big-boned 'woke bloke' Chris Chibnall's unsuccessful reign as showrunner, with Jodie Whittaker as his Doctor [The First Female Doctor], saw the gradual fall-off under their immediate predecessors [Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi] haemorrhage into an either-switch-off-or-turn-over avalanche of desertification of Biblical proportions. 

[Not that they had avalanches in the Bible.] 

Episode 1 of the first Jodie series began with well over 10 million viewers while the final episode of series 2 ended up sinking under 4 million. 

Many have claimed that this is classic 'Go woke, go broke' territory, with sledgehammer political point-making taking over from good story-telling and proper character development, and viewers switching off as a result - quite literally in their millions. 

And there's certainly a lot of truth to that. 

Some of the scripts truly stank to Skaro - and to Betelgeuse and beyond. 

The ticked-off, plodding, half-baked 'wokery' went far off the scale in episode after episode after episode with almost comical regularity, including actual out-and-out tell-not-show lectures from Doctor Jodie on everything from climate change to racism.


But questions of box-ticking and 'woke'-pandering aside, the acting also left a lot to be desired. 

People keep being nice to her - as they should. But, being kind, Jodie Whittaker has been a poor Doctor Who impersonator at best, aping the most popular recent incarnation David Tennant and failing. The role hasn't suited her, and she's not suited it. 

And yet the BBC, reporting her and Big Useless Chib's departure in 2022 today, has been accentuating the positive. 

They claimed, via a 'woke' gathering's Radio Times poll, that she was the second most favourite Doctor ever - which only proves that echo chamber polls are worthless.

The ratings contradict that Radio Times poll - a dodgy poll, which the BBC New website's report on this story cites.

I've a pretty clear idea of who the online Radio Times demographic consists of. So I think this poll is pretty much as context-reliant as any poll on this site might be in answer to a question about whether the BBC is biased or not. 

Of course people who respond to Radio Times polls are going to say 'Jodie Whittaker' as their second favourite Doctor Who. Their chosen mag has been one of her biggest cheerleaders after all, and their [small] demographic is just the sort who, even ever really bothering about the programme, would vote Jodie above Tom Baker or Jon Pertwee, or even Matt Smith with a click just for purely ideological reasons.

And most True Whovians think Jodie's been next to useless too, failing to embody their favourite character.

Yes, the freefall viewing figures and all those popular YouTube channels despising the Chibnall era's 'ruining' of 'fandom lore' are probably a far better guide. 

Many long-term fans would happily set the Daleks onto Mr Chibs to do unto him what Daleks keep on endlessly repeating what they want to do unto everyone else.

ExChibinate. ExChibinate. 

And multitudes of hardcore, lifelong fans didn't admire Jodie's bizarrely hostile attitude to the show's past and fans when she said, on being first made The Doctor, that she'd not watched the show before but deplored its male gaze.


Still, in fairness to Jodie, her diverse companions have been even worse. 

Offended pieces of wood have complained to the Met about 'hate crimes' after being compared to Jodie's companions' acting abilities - with the possible exception of Bradley Walsh, who dialled it in as well as anyone could given the rubbish scripts and the paint-by-dots-not-very-well characterisation given him by Chibs and Co. 

Despite heavy competition from Ryan - the thumb-sucking black lad with a deadbeat dad and dyspraxia who mostly stood around like a jammed door, except when turning into Clint Eastwood and unerringly overcoming his disability and blasting just-stand-and-take-it guardian robots and pathetic cannon-fodder Cybermen to hell....

....the worst companion in recent years and Doctor Who history has been Yaz, the under-characterised female Muslim police officer, who has done nothing whatsoever except to be dull, and flirt with her female Doctor, and be useless and obnoxious. 

The scriptwriters, in a truly cringeworthy moment, even had Bradley's character call her pretty much the most wonderful person in the universe in an episode in which she did nothing except say things the merest minimum the plot required her to say while Chib's hapless Cybermen rampaged around helplessly getting easily popped off - like men in most BBC dramas do these days.

Ms Perfect - our boring, useless, Muslim female Yaz who does nothing yet is the BBC's poster gal for Doctor Who


Still, however dull and unsatisfying Yaz and The First Female Doctor have been, some fans of box-ticking still wish them well. 

[SPOILER on the The First Female Doctor thing, if you're a year behind and not a nerd. 'Woke white bloke' Chris Chibnall wrote the last episode for the last series and 'revealed' that William Hartnell wasn't the first Doctor. The first doctor was a little black girl. I kid you not.]

One such said yesterday, ''Have to confess I still hold out a hope to see these two marvellous women adventure on their own in the Tardis for a while before Jodie leaves.'' 

That tweeter posted an image of Doctor Jodie and Yaz - the worst Doctor and the worst companion, according to many fans. But both women.

So the presence in the next series of a white, middle-aged male like comedian John Bishop - which prompted that comment - clearly leaves this person feeling disappointed. 

She evidently wanted the just cosplay First Female Doctor and her personality-free-yet-strangely-obnoxious female Muslim companion to explore the universe by themselves, without a male. 

Old-fashioned feminist girl power maybe, and it almost makes me hope than a transwoman [i.e. a man] is made the next Doctor. 

Well, if it's any consolation to this tweeter, if the trailer is anything to go by John Bishop will play the new archetype of middle-aged, white masculinity - a bumbling, absolute laughing stock - so everything will be fine.

And if you're wondering who tweeted this, yes, it was BBC Newswatch's Samira Ahmed - the impartial BBC's impartial watchdog.


So now everyone's guessing who the next showrunner and Doctor will be.

In the spirit of GB News impartiality and blogs hereabouts, I'm naming Dame Katie Hopkins as the next Doctor and Sir Nigel Farage as the next showrunner. 

I'm hoping for an episode featuring the Sea Devils and Silurians floating across the English Channel in dinghies and The Doctor using his/her/its/gltiqt+/wtf sonic screwdriver to defeat the evil people traffickers and deliver the Sea Devils and Silurians back to the place of safety from whence they came.

France. 🐌

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