Can we talk about women in sci fi for a minute? I know this horse may be long dead and beaten to a pulp by now, but seriously can we just talk for a second?
I’m mostly talking, at this moment, about Doctor Who because Doctor Who is a MASSIVE pop culture phenomenon right now. And on a lot of levels that makes me really happy. But for cripes sake, people, the discussion about women in sci fi has been going for like… as long as sci fi has been even remotely popular. So why is Doctor Who still so… infuriating?
I love sci fi and fantasy, and though I’m not deep into the fandom (I’m sure if I were I’d know how much this has already been written about) and I only recently got really “into” Doctor Who, I watched all of the “new” series in a matter of a few months and have been eagerly consuming each new episode as it comes out. I’ve had long discourses about the wibbly-wobbly theory and also the intricacies of the finely wrought plotlines. I’ve told newbies to stick with it for a season and a half before writing it off, because in a delightfully British way, much of the show’s apparent silliness is in fact well thought out, incredibly precise writing. It just takes a while to come back around. And of course, I’ve gotten into deep discussions about the various pros and cons of Chris Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith.
But you know what doesn’t come up very often? In-depth discussions about the Doctor’s “companions.” There have been a lot of them since Chris Eccleston took up the reboot: Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Amelia Pond, River Song, and now Clara Oswin–”The Impossible Girl.” But none of them seem to come up very often in conversation. Seriously, do a Google image search for “Doctor Who companions” and there’s not even an actual BBC-sponsored image of all of them together. It’s all fan art. This says a lot.
When the womenfolk do come up in a conversation, it tends to Read the rest of this entry →