30 9 / 2014
cartopathy said: I think what the "Clara leaving" ask was maybe trying to say is that Clara will be leaving, but the Doctor (Capaldi) won't. He'll be getting a new companion, and we don't know anything about that person, and they have the possibility of being important to a romantic arc for the Doctor, that again would be heartbreaking. Also, we only found out River had anything to do with the companion much later in her arc. (Just some ideas :D)
Oh, that makes a lot more sense to me! After I read your response to my other meta I was thinking about the potential of Psi as a future companion, and how that would actually be pretty cool. I don’t seem to see the same degree of flirtaciousness there that some see, but I could just be wrong about it not being there. (I get into Psi some at the end of this rambling but the short version is I love it.)
That works well for me because the way I’m inclined to think about the Doctor is that it’s odd for him to have an orientation at all, right? Like it seems that if we think of it even just theoretically, that functionally a Time Lord would be either be ace or pansexual as far as humans are concerned. (And apparently he’s not ace, or at least some incarnations aren’t.) Does this get addressed much on the gender/sexuality level? I’m going through old episodes but it’s slow going, so I wouldn’t know if the show has any consistency about gender in relationships between different species. When it’s not directly addressed and you see gay interspecies couples it makes you assume that either preferences for one’s own species somehow apply to other species, or else characters are just pansexual towards other species. I tend to just headcanon that everyone in a space-faring society would be pansexual with regard to other species. Like imagine if you had to fuck a bird. Would it really matter what the bird’s gender is? If someone cares about genitals, well, it’s not going to much resemble whatever is on offer in one’s own species anyway. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (Although I once watched a documentary on zoophiles where a man was offended by the implication he would fuck a male horse, because he wasn’t gay. A horse is a mammal though, so the parts are pretty similar I guess.) Having relationships with aliens doesn’t seem like an endeavor for someone who is completely straight, you know? Most socially conscious people on Tumblr know that sex chromosomes aren’t cut and dry among humans anyway, but it’s not even the case that sex chromosomes are the same across species on our own planet: other animals don’t have X and Y chromosomes and have other chromosomes for gender instead, or their gender is determined not by the presence/absence of a particular chromosome (Y) but which chromosome they have more of, and so forth. Evolution has developed a lot of ways of determining and expressing gender on our planet alone.
But even if we assume the chromosomes work the same way, an alien shouldn’t be appreciably similar to any human gender, cis or trans, in any meaningful way. Say I identify as a lesbian, and I’m attracted to both cis and trans women: maybe I’m attracted to a certain body shape, or inflection of voice, or a set of socialized behaviors that tend to be predominantly female among humans. That all seems it would reduce down to “mammalian” at its broadest, pretty much inherently: even if I don’t care about breast size, there’s apparently some physical essence of femininity I need or else I wouldn’t bother to identify as a lesbian instead of pansexual. Things like socialized behaviors are particularly informed by history, and planets will have different histories. We do see gender works differently with some alien species on Doctor Who. So why would human genders match up in another species?
But on Doctor Who (and a lot of sci-fi) you have a weird thing where that’s exactly what happens, apparently: aliens are often incredibly human in appearance. We shrug off humanoid aliens because, well, we know anything else would be both difficult to relate to and difficult to portray. Pansexuality would make sense with regard to other species, but it’s hard to be sure what’s intended. And though it doesn’t make absolute sense, it seems like maybe equipment does matter: iirc Jenny’s backstory is that her family didn’t like that she was a lesbian, and it seems like her preferences extend to reptilian humanoids who somehow exhibit female mammalian traits. And we can reasonably be expected to just accept that sexual orientation is a thing with regards to other species, really: if aliens display human genders, then stuff like that comes along for the ride fairly easily.
Which brings us to River. The whole thing with River makes me rule out ace, which seems to leave either straight or pansexual, but it gets more complicated if we consider that one’s preferences might change with regenerations — which, hell, why not, right, if gender can change? It’s also complicated by the fact that Doctor Who is a decades-old franchise that’s been worked on by tons of people who certainly didn’t all have the same vision or ideas about the function of gender in interspecies relationships. It seems likely that there wouldn’t be a consistent answer there even if we dig for it.
Straight is certainly a possible orientation, and is the most likely thing intended/assumed in the past, just factoring in heteronormativity. But this is Moffat, and if I had to bet, I would bet that he wouldn’t think it makes sense for the Doctor to have a particular permanent orientation — and he’d probably like that angle anyway, because a character you can put in any kind of relationship with any other character is a writing goldmine, something you want for a show that will (hopefully) keep going for a long time. The way Moffat writes him, gender seems irrelevant to the Doctor much of the time — his comments to and about other characters sometimes indicate this — which makes me lean toward the Doctor being functionally pansexual in the sense of gender not being a factor/consideration. And of course I don’t think Moffat would have any qualms putting the Doctor in a same sex relationship.
Anyway, regardless, I don’t read the Doctor as straight, just into Clara right now, so if they’re paving the way to end the arc with Clara and then transition into a male companion arc (which will probably be haunted by all the usual problems) that would be consistent with everything and really awesome.
Not saying the guy would definitely be Psi, but it would fit for Psi to call later, for example, when Clara’s arc is resolved. And Psi was an interesting character who would be useful as a companion, I’d bet. The whole thing with him erasing his past was intriguing and there were some parallels with the Doctor himself. It’d be interesting if they used Psi as a sort of other way to examine what it means to be human, because Psi isn’t entirely human himself, though he seems to be human in the ways that matter. Psi also seems to appreciate the necessity of transitory things — having deleted his memory and all — which could actually make him well-suited to accepting his relationship with the Doctor can’t go on forever. Psi also criticized the Doctor’s seeming heartlessness, too.
So imagine for a moment where the Doctor seems to be right now: he’s apparently feeling human enough that he’s intentionally both thinking about it and distancing himself from it. He’s fighting off fear and anger. In my reading he recognizes that he has impossible feelings for Clara and is trying to back off from that and keep her as a companion only. He spent a great deal of time imagining what it would be like to be a creature who could hide perfectly, forever, just observing people with no one to see him (“Listen”). It seems like that whole “it hurts to care about people” conflict that everyone goes through at some point, where the response to feeling strongly for people is to wish you could be happy alone (*cough* Sherlock *cough*). In other words, his response to feeling more human is retreat, to tell himself all that isn’t for him. And he’ll lose Clara, however that happens, so he’ll be at a point where he’ll probably feel despondent and/or enraged about the inevitability of his losing people he cares about. It’d be a sort of breaking point as far as his humanity (in terms of feelings) goes, because he can either run from it or accept it, and he’d be in danger of running from it.
It just seems like Psi, who elected to leave and forget his loved ones because it was for the best, would be a good choice to help the Doctor work through that sort of shit. Like, just because things are temporary, or loss is painful, doesn’t mean you can’t embrace caring about people while they’re here. You don’t actually have to act inhuman or try to shut off your feelings, that sort of thing. You can just feel sad and move on with your life and on to new people to care about. It’d be lovely life lesson stuff that Moffat seems to like and is apparently a big part of Doctor Who.
It seems like they’d get a bittersweet parting too. Just imagine. It could be very Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, or the exact opposite, or a ton of other things.
Well, fuck it all, regardless of what they’re intending to do, I ship the Doctor and Psi now.
30 9 / 2014
Anonymous said: The thing is Clara won't stay in the show for much longer
No one stays on the show that long, that’s how the show works. Not sure what is meant by this? Did you assume I meant any romance would be actualized or end happily ever after? The whole nature of the show and the Doctor makes that unlikely.
Remember that I was merely arguing that the Doctor doesn’t read as specifically gay to me because *if* romantic feelings exist in regard to the Doctor, the narrative and devices seem to conduct those feelings around Clara. Note that doesn’t mean that the feelings definitely do exist, NOR that the feelings will go anywhere lasting if they do exist. If feelings do exist (which is what I lean toward) I expect things to be pretty heart-breaking in the end. Aside from the show going on indefinitely and changing actors constantly, even if everything else worked out a human doesn’t have the life span to be with the Doctor forever.
All I was saying is that any sort of meaningful romance involving the Doctor would almost have to revolve around a companion, since that’s the person he spends his time with; it’s logistically difficult to make room for anyone else and it doesn’t seem to me that they’ve tried to do that this series. But that’s exactly how you can be pretty sure anything like that is doomed — which seems to be a focus, honestly: we get evidence that the Doctor keeps considering and reminding himself that he’s not human (he identifies with stuff like stranded dinosaurs and Daleks, and gets upset in “Into the Dalek” about how he can’t change his nature), and Clara has the whole conflict set up where having a double life is causing problems with Pink. Even in the very first episode the Doctor wonders why he made himself look old (well, that and angry), and what he might have been trying to tell himself by choosing that; maybe part of it is his trying to distance himself from Clara romantically and remember what he is and what his role must be.
There’s just a typical “something’s gotta give” set-up where it doesn’t seem like everyone can have what they want in the long run. I mean, even if you read it platonically, it’s the same set up where they’ve got to part ways eventually, which we’ve already established is predictable just because of how the show works.
They’ve sort of set up a bittersweet alternative just with Clara — and other Claras — constantly showing up in the Doctor’s life: if we assume (and it makes sense, imo) that the Doctor can’t ever really have a lasting romantic relationship due to logistics, then it’s pretty heart-wrenching to think that the next best thing is for the Doctor to constantly run into someone he had feelings for but couldn’t otherwise be with.
So to be clear, my argument isn’t that the Doctor WILL end up with Clara. I think he almost certainly won’t. (I suppose they could sci-fi their way out of anything in theory — they could give Clara regeneration or something else that allows the companion to keep changing actors and personalities, and since we don’t know everything about Clara anything is possible. But balance of probability and all that.) I just don’t read him as interested in anyone else and I expect the story will exploit that conflict of what the characters want versus what is possible. It isn’t set up like Sherlock to work out happily: the things keeping the Doctor and Clara (or anyone) from working out seem intractable right now. I wouldn’t put it past Moffat to make a huge change, mind, but it would probably change things too much in the fundamentals for him to actually go there.
26 9 / 2014
John “still has trust issues” Watson and Mary “I lied about everything” Morstan
yeah i can see how that could work
26 9 / 2014
Best case scenario is someone snagged it up because people call you LSIT all the time and they decided to make it redirect to your blog so nobody else would snap it up and try to do something sketchy with it. Here’s hoping that’s what happened!
Yeah, that’s pretty much what I’m hoping. I don’t mind it existing so long as it doesn’t mislead anyone.
26 9 / 2014
wake up, johnlock
post up, johnlock
ridin’ round in it, johnlock
flossin’ on that, johnlock
this diamond, johnlock
my diamond, johnlock
this rock, johnlock
my rock, johnlock
I woke up like this
I woke up like this
26 9 / 2014
Not really sure what the lsit account is about, but I didn’t make it. I haven’t heard of it doing anything yet — it shows up on the mobile app in my saved lsit tag so I saw it there — but I’m pretty wary that it even exists so please let me know if anyone receives messages from it. It has my icon, and my url is its blog title and description, so double-check any post or message that appears to be from me.