miss_s_b: (Mood: Evil love)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
(a list of the questions and links to all the answers can be found on this entry)

Least Favourite Companion is hard for me. There's none that I really really hate for their entire run. The three that are in the running for this I don't dislike as characters per se, but for the effect they had on the show. The one who springs to mind first is Jo Grant. I like the actress that plays her, and there's nothing particularly wrong with the character as a person... It's just that she was specifically designed to be a dumb blonde because Liz Shaw was too brainy.

The second is Mel. Mel should have been someone I liked - and in a lot of the audio plays she is - but her fatphobia and screaming are played up and her brains and problem-solving abilities are played down far too much in the TV episodes she appears in for me to not want to smack her.

And the third?

The third, inevitably, is Rose.

I loved Rose with Nine. She was a great comeback to the idea that shop workers are all stupid - and given that I was a checkout girl at the time this was something I appreciated very much. Sure she didn't have many qualifications, but she was a streetsmart and brave young woman, and didn't let Nine give her any crap. And then suddenly, when Nine turned into Ten she turned into a lovesick teenager, and regressed horribly. And then Ten kept mooning over her to the point where he treated Martha like absolute rubbish. And then she kept coming back. And back. And back.

My problems with Rose don't stem so much from her as a character, but from the fact that she was Rusty's Mary Sue. He's been quite open about the fact that he grew up wanting to be the Doctor's companion. I see that as a poverty of ambition. I didn't grow up wanting to be the Doctor's companion, I grew up wanting to be the Doctor. And I suspect most of us who felt like outsiders who grew up watching the show feel similarly. If you feel like society doesn't understand you but you want to help anyway, if you're brainy and unconventional, then The Doctor is the obvious identification character.

But anyway, Rose kept coming back because she was Rusty's identification character and he was running the show. Rose got that vomit-inducing and overlong goodbye and her own Doctor-shaped Sex Toy* because she was Rusty's identification character. And if she comes back for the 50th anniversary I shall be very cross indeed. Yes, Rose is a special person, but ALL of the Doctor's companions are special. Hell, he's married one of them, and another one is his Granddaughter. Rose is just as important as the others, but not more so, and it annoys me when people talk as though she's his OTP.



* and what's the deal with that anyway? "Here, you can't have me, but you CAN have someone who looks like me but has all the things you love about me removed" - what sort of a deal is THAT? It'd just remind her every day of what she was missing...

Date: Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] strangecharm
Thank you! I'm so glad it's not just me who thinks this (and it's certainly not me who can articulate it). I think fandom took to Rose for the same reason Rusty liked writing her -- apparently everybody needs a personal identification character.

Everybody who isn't cool enough to think as you do: "I see that as a poverty of ambition. I didn't grow up wanting to be the Doctor's companion, I grew up wanting to be the Doctor." I'm sure you think that's simple and obvious, but I think it's one of the things that indicates I am right to be as fond of you as I am.

Date: Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
When I was eight, I worked out how long Doctors stayed in post on average and decided that I'd be the right age by the time the 11th Doctor came along.

You know what this means? The bugger Smith's got my job. Mind you, he's probably better at it than I'd be.

Date: Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] strangecharm
He does! Damn. He's pretty good at it -- I was worried at first that they keep getting younger actors to play the Doctor, but he doesn't play him young, so that's all right -- but it'd be fun to see you have a go, too.

Date: Friday, January 4th, 2013 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
I have a sonic screwdriver and a vivid imagination - what more could I need?

Date: Friday, January 4th, 2013 12:24 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] strangecharm
A wardrobe quirk, then you're sorted.

Date: Friday, January 4th, 2013 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
I'm open to suggestions. Any ideas?

Date: Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 07:47 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
I can see reasons to agree with you on all of them. Also Adric, for reasons too well known to go into.

However, I'll go with Dodo. As you say, Rose, Mel and Jo all have positive things that can be said about them, while Adric at least died well.

Dodo, on the other hand, has nothing that can be said about her. She stumbles into the TARDIS and even after seeing the inside, still thinks it might be a phone box. Her accent changes from one episode to another. The production team thought so little of her that she didn't even get a farewell scene - just a mesage from another character to the Doctor saying that she was leaving.

If the production team thought so little of her, then who am I to disagree?

Date: Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 08:49 pm (UTC)
londonkds: (Kira is taking no crap)
From: [personal profile] londonkds
I don't blame the production team. My impression is that she was meant to be S1 Rose forty years early - a plucky working class girl who would shake up the Doctor - and then higher ups at the BBC decided they weren't having anyone that working class being a bad example to children, leaving her with no character.

Date: Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 09:03 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
Not something I'd heard before, but it would make sense.
Edited Date: Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 09:59 pm (UTC)

Date: Friday, January 4th, 2013 03:00 pm (UTC)
sir_guinglain: (Hartnell words)
From: [personal profile] sir_guinglain
Have you seen [livejournal.com profile] nwhyte's evaluation of Dodo? It's at http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/839561.html

Date: Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
evilawyer: young black-tailed prairie dog at SF Zoo (Default)
From: [personal profile] evilawyer
He's been quite open about the fact that he grew up wanting to be the Doctor's companion. I see that as a poverty of ambition. I didn't grow up wanting to be the Doctor's companion, I grew up wanting to be the Doctor.

Outrageously well put.

As for your ponderings about Rose getting the Ten-shaped sex toy, I've been of the opinion that it's a function of RTD squeeing over Rose but not actually feeling like she had independent worth, not particularly liking liking her and unwilling to give her credit for what (admittedly few by that time) good qualities she had. Adding your view of Rose-as-Rusty's-ID-point, we get another example of how to use your job as the place to work out your issues instead of running up a therapy bill. Which is as fascinating as a train wreck to watch, but embarrassing, too.

Date: Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 03:37 pm (UTC)
pmoodie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pmoodie
Definitely Mel, for me. You know how I feel about Peri, and to have her leave the show so traumatically, and have her replaced by Bonnie Lagnford, was VERY hard to take at the time. That might not be fair to Bonnie Langford, but I can't help that. She just felt like a new low for the programme, and another of JNT's unfortunate creative decisions.

Date: Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 04:02 pm (UTC)
pmoodie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pmoodie
I still can't really watch him without cringing, but we'll come to that when we get to our Least Favourite Doctor...

I've not had many chances to re-watch Bonnie's episodes for that reason, but from the little I have seen recently (Trial of a Time Lord), I just don't think she was a good enough actor to help carry the show.

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