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20 June 2012 @ 10:00 am
Classic Who Meta: companions moving on after life with the Doctor  

How have the writers' attitude changed towards humans who leave the Doctor to pursue their own lives? Does it seem that the Classic show supported the idea that human companions made the better choice in pursuing their own paths? Did it seem more in the Classic show that the Doctor approved of this, especially if he thought a companion was becoming too attached? Is it the writers or the fans who give the impression that a departure like Martha's or even Sarah Jane represents rejection or settling for a second-best life?

(Thanks to viomisehunt for this week's topic! Have an idea for a topic, too? Submit it here!)
 
 
teh nos'nostalgia_lj on June 20th, 2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
I think the new series has this weird fanboy thing that nobody should ever want to leave. So horrid things have to happen to write people out rather than letting them go under their own steam. It can be awful at times (Rose is the worst, then Donna). Whatever happened to realising there's more to life than handporning an older man with a nice car?
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 20th, 2012 07:15 pm (UTC)
Rose' departure or attitude is worst? In what way?
teh nos'nostalgia_lj on June 20th, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
Departure. Cos they really had to reach for ways to get rid of her.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 20th, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
First time or second and third time?
teh nos'nostalgia_lj on June 20th, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC)
I have no sympathy for RTD having problems writing her out the second time, since he painted himself into a corner by bringing her back without having let her move on.
John E: eviljohn_amend_all on June 21st, 2012 06:59 pm (UTC)
I think it would have been hilarious if Rose had revealed in Journey's End that she was married to the other universe's version of Adam.
teh nos': dw - anji supremacistnostalgia_lj on June 20th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
And I go on...
Thing is, it's especially awful because we at home don't have the option to stay in the TARDIS. I mean (taking an example here) Nine can go on about how great normality is all he wants, but it says a damn sight more when Rose declares that "nothing" happened in her entire life other than the Doctor. Donna seems to otherwise want to settle down, but she never even considers that she's giving that all up forever if she stays with the Doctor. So what do these things say about our lives? What's so bad about staying on Earth and doing something exciting there? (SJS saved the world how many times?)

And it's not even the spirit of adventure, it's specifically about the Doctor and loving him too much to leave him. (I kind of love Vampires of Venice for showing that the Doctor has finally clued in to the fact that this is potentially A Problem for his humans.)

Dark Impressive Respected Sweetiecookiemuffin: Martha Jones!lycoris on June 20th, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
I have to say, I deeply loathe the New!Series and it's bizarre hatred of letting companions leave. I loved the idea that most of the companions left because they thought they could do something with what they'd learned from the Doctor. It made it feel like it was a really life-changing, expanding experience. The new version feels more like it's actually a trap to me - you join the Doctor and then you will never leave by choice unless he treats you badly. (I am not counting Amy and Rory and their odd trips home because the show refuses to explain them. Why where they at home in The Impossible Astronaut?)

(In my mind, Donna left to use all her new skills making the world better and nobody can convince me that anything else happened, ever.)

That having been ranted about said, let us not forget that Classic!Who has it's own slightly odd removal of companions - ah, the occasional tendency to fall in love with people over two days of knowing each other! And there was poor Susan, who hadn't actually made a choice when the door got locked on her! And there's Peri's ending(s), both of which are ... bizarre, to be honest! And of course, we had Dodo who just sort of wandered off mid-story - at least Liz Shaw got to be in the final shot of her last episode!
teh nos'nostalgia_lj on June 20th, 2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
Maybe Dodo's wandering accent embarrassed the Doctor so much that he just had to be rid of her?

Leela's departure is awful :(

Come to think of it, I wonder if they were having NuWho-type problems with SJS by the end? I mean she had ample opportunity to leave before and she always stayed with the Doctor.
kelkat9 on June 20th, 2012 05:53 pm (UTC)
Leela's departure was a bit odd to me. It's been a while since I've seen that episode but it seemed sudden. I think the writers at the time of the Third and Fourth Doctors liked to have the female companions leave to go get married. It irritates me a bit. Even as a child it annoyed me.
teh nos'nostalgia_lj on June 20th, 2012 05:57 pm (UTC)
Louise Jameson apparently wanted to be killed off, but no she had to be married off to some random Time Lord :(

I *think* the logic is that staying to marry someone gives them a reason to leave that isn't life-threatening or sad? And doesn't require much in the way of thought either :P
Calapinecalapine on June 20th, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
In Leela's case, they knew it was a terrible ending, and it happened because the production team really, really wanted Jameson to stay on, and she said no. But they assumed she could be talked out of it and wrote her a deliberately terrible ending and, according to Jameson, right up until actually filming the scene they were still "go on, you can still change your mind, Leela can just leave with the Doctor instead."
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 20th, 2012 07:19 pm (UTC)
Peri's ending was--odd. She just dissappeared and we were given some tale of her getting Married. The Doctor manipulating Susan was well within his behavior. As far as Jo falling in love at first sight--it was television, people did it all the time. It seemed perfectly reasonable at the time.

I like your ending for Donna better.
Dark Impressive Respected Sweetiecookiemuffin: Agravaine is not a villainlycoris on June 20th, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
The thing is, Peri was orignally meant to be actually dead - but I don't really like that either. I don't mind character death but Peri's was a bit ... she just sort of got captured and whimpered and then was dead. I know that's a personal thing but I found it very unsatisfying the last time I rewatched. (now, Nicola Bryant got a fantastic send-off because she got to be evil and bald and she did it so well!) And then she was just sort of married off-screen to Brian Blessed ...

Susan's ending is ... interesting. I thought it was only fair to mention it after having a good rant about New!Who to show that I am aware that some of those issues are lurking in Classic too. That being said, I think it made sense in an emotional, story way, just not practically (she hasn't got any clothes! Or money!)

I actually love Jo's ending, partly because I saw it at the right time (I was young, it was sweet!) but also because it feels terribly right somehow - again, emotionally it fits beautifully into the story and so you don't necessarily question the "Wait, you've only known each other two days, isn't this mildly fast?" unless you think about it. (I haven't actually seen Vicki or Leela's departures, so can't comment on those. I don't think anybody else leaves due to falling in love.)
teh nos'nostalgia_lj on June 20th, 2012 08:56 pm (UTC)
Susan's works in terms of she really is the companion who would never leave on her own terms, because she's family. Jo's really does work when you see Cliff as the Doctor-lite.

Vicki's I haven't seen (was it burned?) and Leela's is pretty awful because she's barely exchanged half a dozen words with Andred and most of those seemed annoyed by him.
Taxicab Messiah: vicki the orphan (dw)donna_c_punk on June 21st, 2012 04:23 am (UTC)
Vicki ran off with a Trojan soldier at the end of "The Myth Makers". Thank God I didn't have to actually SEE that one ...
Lyriclyricwrites on June 21st, 2012 07:43 am (UTC)
(I am not counting Amy and Rory and their odd trips home because the show refuses to explain them. Why where they at home in The Impossible Astronaut?)

My headcanon is that they were at home because the Doctor is abso-frickin'-lutely incapable of delivering a honeymoon that doesn't involve crashing in starships or being attacked by giant bees, so they told him they were going back to Earth and he had to get lost for a while. I like to think there is a certain amount of textual support for this theory.

(Certainly it seems clear that they didn't think it was a departure; Rory said that the Doctor had claimed he'd be in touch. Whether he actually meant to be, considering his record, is anyone's guess.)

That being said, I'm crossing my fingers that they get a satisfying send-off next series. Depressing departures is one of the top ten things that I'd like to see changed about New Who, and we really have no idea how Moffat will even handle one, so . . . well, we'll see.
kelkat9 on June 20th, 2012 05:04 pm (UTC)
It's an interesting question. I'm not familiar with all the classic Who companions but I have to say that when Sarah Jane's story was picked up in New Who it was a little sad. Here is this intelligent motivated woman who, although she did things with her life, never completely accepted life back on Earth and always held part of herself back for the Doctor's return. I think it boils down to closure and the Doctor's inability to say goodbye. Four never really said goodbye to Sarah Jane. It was more of I have to go run this errand back on Gallifrey and you can't come with me. Another example is Susan, he just sort of leaves her "for her own good."

Several companions leave to go get married. I'm not sure how I feel about this other than it was an easy out for the writers. Romana's exit made sense (even it broke my heart! Romana was an awesome companion) I liked Nyssa's exit too. I thought it exemplified a relationship with the Doctor as a mentor. Adric was just tragic and unexpected. I remember watching it when it originally came out and it was a shock. I think he is another companion that had he lived, would have left to pursue his education.

Was post Time War Doctor better at saying goodbye? I don't believe so. Rose goes with him to escape her life which is not unhappy but not what she wants. She feels stuck and wants out so runs away with him. Later she falls in love. Would she have left on her own? I'm not sure. I think she had good intentions on staying with him no matter what. Partly, because she was in love with him and partly as I think she could see how desperately he needed someone. Rose saw quite a bit of the needy post Time War Doctor and yes, he was clinging to her for the most part. I think Rose was his safety net as well as played up to his vanity. He was hurting and self loathing and she loved him anyway. He lost all of his people and needed someone to be a friend or more. It was more about his need then Rose's affection for him. He couldn't bare the thought of watching her die as it would remind him of Gallifrey again. at least that's what I got out of it.

Martha is infatuated with him and it takes him being pretty beat up or ignored by him before her self respect kicks in. Martha never really needed to escape as Rose did. She figured out that the Doctor would never give her what she needs and she had a really good life waiting for her back on Earth so she left. Martha was probably the most mature New Who companion to date. Donna was a dreamer of sorts. She had this perfect life in her mind that she wanted, mostly as a means to escape an overly critical mother. As I recall, she missed world events being on "vacation" which again was escape. The Doctor just offered her the ultimate escape and she took it. She also finally saw someone who needed her and made her feel important. I think eventually she would have left on her own.

I'm still deciding on the Eleventh Doctor companions. I think Rory would leave whenever. Not so sure about Amy.

Edited at 2012-06-20 05:24 pm (UTC)
teh nos'nostalgia_lj on June 20th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
As a sort of aside, I'm always a bit confused that Martha's life is supposed to be so much better than Rose's? I mean sure Martha was a student with a career to go back to, but Rose was doing pretty well for herself before she met the Doctor. Maybe Donna's got least to go back to, because she's (due to ageism) kind of past the age of starting out on something new career-wise and her mother was kind of mean.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 20th, 2012 07:25 pm (UTC)
It depends on what you mean by Rose' life was pretty good: She had a job but she, she doesn't love her boy friend, and didn't appear to have any direction.
The Doctor blew up her workplace, she did'n't have a job and Jackie was adamant that she needed to get up and start searching, because Jackie wasn't going to take care of her. It sounds exactly like the kind of thing a mother will say--I did--when your otherwise bright child decides to drop out of school as Rose did.

Martha was nearly done with Med training, living on her own, her family was dysfunctional but supportive. She didnt have a boyfriend or girlfriend, but all that would come in time. Her's was very much a life interrupted.

Thing is, did Rose like her life? Her life had potential; Mickey was a good guy, loyal, he really loved her. He is the character who grew the most from his contact with the Doctor. But uninteruppted Mickey and Rose could have had a decent life--but did Rose really want just a decent life?

Donna went back and found a good guy to marry. She could have worked her way out from under her mother. Dreamer is usually code for "artist" , so Shaun's probably a writer, musician or painter--who knows, he might have gotten a break, if not they still will have had fun. It was sad because she choose to go with the Doctor--she hunted him down, had her bags packed. It wasn't about just keeping him company, but Donna wanting more adventure. Then she has that choice taken from her.



Edited at 2012-06-20 07:37 pm (UTC)
teh nos'nostalgia_lj on June 20th, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC)
I think Rose would have been fine if she hadn't fallen for the Doctor and had him needily cling to her like some sort of emotional vampire :(
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 20th, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC)
True...I would have preferred that they show Rose choosing to go back to her own Unvierse rather forced to go back to forcefeed sexual healing to the Doctor's dangerously angry clone.
kelkat9 on June 20th, 2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
I have to say that I thought Martha had a pretty good life. She had focus and a career. She was going places before she met the Doctor. I'm not sure what he did for Martha other than she learned how to not let someone make her feel second best and maybe she learned how to take charge more.

I never thought Rose was going anywhere. Her mother didn't exactly encourage her to make anything of herself. Rose needed to get away from her mother and strike out on her own. I'm not sure she ever would have without the self confidence which she gained from Tardis life. I think the similarities between Donna and Rose were that they both lacked confidence and had over controlling mothers.

Martha had an aggressive mother too but at least she got out and did something with her life and had some distance.

teh nos'nostalgia_lj on June 20th, 2012 08:53 pm (UTC)
I suspect I just get a bit twitchy on the issue because Rose is the one most similar to me in background. I like to think she could have just gone to college or something and made something of her life that way.
kelkat9 on June 20th, 2012 09:35 pm (UTC)
I think it depends on your perspective. I know I've read a few opinions lambasting Rose for not staying with her mother. For me it's just the opposite. I like the character of Jackie Tyler but she was clinging to Rose as much as Mickey or the Doctor, if you take a hard look at it.

I think one of things that sticks out was her mother chastising her for having "airs and graces" for working retail and her suggestion for employment is the local butcher shop. She doesn't seem to be encouraging Rose to do something more. Even Mickey seems content to keep things status quo.

I just see it as Rose had taken on the responsibility for all these people which is why she said "no" to him the first time. The second time he asked, I think she decided to run away and escape. I Think Donna was escaping too. Maybe Amy was using Eleven as her escape? It's interesting to think about.

Ten little bullets in my hand: Martha Fucking Jones10littlebullets on June 21st, 2012 01:49 am (UTC)
I have to say that I thought Martha had a pretty good life. She had focus and a career. She was going places before she met the Doctor. I'm not sure what he did for Martha other than she learned how to not let someone make her feel second best and maybe she learned how to take charge more.

Martha, at the beginning of series 3, strikes me as one of those brilliant and capable people who don't quite have faith in their own competence. If she's clearly the only person in the room with a hope of dealing with what's going on, she's happy to go into Leader Mode and take responsibility, but in the presence of someone she acknowledges to be more qualified she'll defer (and grill them for more information, because she doesn't like feeling like she doesn't know what she's doing). At least, that's how I interpret things like her jumping straight for the user manual in Smith & Jones, her wariness about Ten's qualifications followed by absolute trust once she's made up her mind, her anxiety about improvising whenever he leaves her on her own (usually groundless because she follows through brilliantly), and the way she interrogates him in Shakespeare Code about How Not to Fuck Up at Time Travel. Plus her incredulity when his response is pretty much "Hell if I know, I just act like I know what I'm doing and make it up as I go along." (I think that's what that scene was trying to get across. I'm on the fence about to what extent Ten was meant to come off as a total dismissive dick; discarding authorial intent, he really does come off as a dismissive dick who--bonus!--doesn't have a clue how racism works, even if the point about the difference in their approaches is valid.)

I also think Martha starts out under a lot of pressure and a bit insecure about living up to expectations--her own expectations of competence, etc., but also school and achievement and her role as the family peacekeeper. And, eventually, the Doctor's expectations. The unpleasant thing about the s3 companion dynamic is that yeah, the Doctor helps drive Martha's character growth, but mostly through adversity. Sure, he nudges her out of her comfort zone and into situations where she has to take responsibility and own her own brilliance, and very quickly starts entrusting her with more saving-the-day tasks than any NuWho companion before or since, but it doesn't work at all as a mentor relationship because he's too much of a wreck to acknowledge that she's doing a fantastic job. So "am I good enough?" just becomes one more source of insecurity: when Ten says "jump" Martha says "how high?", and Ten says "figure it out" and then (at least at the beginning of the season) "oh, well, Rose would've jumped higher."

So while Rose's s1 character arc was all about giving the finger to all the forces in her life telling her to settle/lower her expectations, and acting on her instinctive confidence in herself, Martha's was about giving the finger to all the forces in her life telling her she wasn't up to expectations, and building up some confidence in her incredibly badass actions. Which meant testing herself in dangerous situations and being brilliant and capable even when she didn't know what to do, but also developing the ability to judge her own merit and not hang her self-esteem on someone else's opinion no matter how much she might look up to them.

...uh, wow, that was an essay. tl;dr: I think Martha grows a lot, it's just weird and uncomfortable because her time with the Doctor is an intensification of the pressures that were on her at the start, not an escape.
kelkat9 on June 21st, 2012 02:31 am (UTC)
So while Rose's s1 character arc was all about giving the finger to all the forces in her life telling her to settle/lower her expectations, and acting on her instinctive confidence in herself, Martha's was about giving the finger to all the forces in her life telling her she wasn't up to expectations, and building up some confidence in her incredibly badass actions.

Essay or not I think you summed that up beautifully!
Ten little bullets in my hand: Martha Fucking Jones10littlebullets on June 21st, 2012 03:45 am (UTC)
More, because I guess I am just FULL OF MARTHA JONES FEELS TONIGHT:

This is also why I dislike the unrequited love subplot. Not because it reflects poorly on Martha or anything; we don't choose who we fall for, and she deals with it like a mature motherfucking adult, as opposed to the 900-year-old emo teenager she's traveling with. But it's narratively unnecessary and obscures what's actually at the core of their relationship: Martha being a little too reliant on the Doctor for validation, the Doctor being a little too stingy with acknowledgement even when it's well-deserved. Everyone, including the in-story supporting characters commenting on Martha's 'obvious' crush, seems to hear "woe, he doesn't love me" when what Martha's saying is "he doesn't acknowledge me, or appreciate me, or even really see me." I mean, obviously she spends a few episodes wanting to jump his bones before she sorts out all the mixed signals and realizes he's off-limits, but half the audience doesn't seem to realize that her thwarted desire to jump his bones is not the source of all her angst.

Anyway. I like Martha a lot, and I think it shows incredible strength of character that she didn't frame her exit as a rejection or a rebuke, but as a positive decision she made for her own sake. The one thing that worries me is the possible implication that she had a rough time as a companion and eventually left because her particular strengths and flaws just weren't a good fit on the TARDIS. I mean... how many scary-brilliant nerdy girls do you know who are secretly plagued by insecurity and never quite sure if they're good enough? Probably a lot, especially in fandom. So now we've got a companion who's smart as hell, genre-savvy, unafraid to take on the Doctor's role, and in need of validation because she's dogged by the worry that she might be Doing It Wrong. What does it say when those are the exact reasons the Doctor doesn't quite get on with her, and she ends up walking out to cut off a vicious cycle of insecurity and ingratitude? It's this weird undercurrent of "Martha is awesome, but isn't quite cut out for life on the TARDIS," which, to the part of me that's still a geeky misfit twelve-year-old girl, is about as reassuring as "You are awesome, but you don't belong at Hogwarts."

...or you can choose to interpret it (and I do) as "Pfft, Harry-Potter-quoting user-manual-reading nerd girls are a GREAT fit on the TARDIS, insecurities and all--just not with Ten because he's a dysfunctional jerk. And who wants that much sexual frustration anyway?" But it still worries me a little. If the NuWho companions are explicitly audience stand-ins meant to draw female viewers in particular, then the way Martha was treated both on the show and in the fandom is a bit disquieting.
harder, harder, hardest; i am the artist: dr who -- handy/ten&martha | blue suit lradiantbaby on June 21st, 2012 10:31 am (UTC)
...or you can choose to interpret it (and I do) as "Pfft, Harry-Potter-quoting user-manual-reading nerd girls are a GREAT fit on the TARDIS, insecurities and all--just not with Ten because he's a dysfunctional jerk. And who wants that much sexual frustration anyway?" But it still worries me a little. If the NuWho companions are explicitly audience stand-ins meant to draw female viewers in particular, then the way Martha was treated both on the show and in the fandom is a bit disquieting.

AMEN to that.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 21st, 2012 04:04 am (UTC)
I can agree with some of this but: At least, that's how I interpret things like her jumping straight for the user manual in Smith & Jones, However, that is exactly how a person who understand how harmful Xrays can be would handle the situation. She's not an Xray technician. She's not going to risk both of their lives by hitting the wrong button when she can speed read the instructions and hit the right button the first time.
her wariness about Ten's qualifications followed by absolute trust once she's made up her mind, You saw that as "wariness". I saw it Martha handing Ten an absolute challenge. That was Martha channeling Romana. She has to earn that title, everyone else should have to as well. her anxiety about improvising whenever he leaves her on her own (usually groundless because she follows through brilliantly), You mean when he dumped her without even moral support and a pot in a hostile past, or when he sent her out into the a ravaged planet with nothing to give horrible oppressed and grief strickened humans beings but a fairy tale?</i> and the way she interrogates him in Shakespeare Code about How Not to Fuck Up at Time Travel. She should have interrogated him--considering what we know the Doctor has done and will do in 1913, Water of Mars and beyond. Those people in 1913 should not have died just because the Doctor didn't want to confront the Family. She should have asked and kept asking questions about the effect and concequences ofTime Travel. I saw the Martha's question indicating that Martha is the type to want to know not only if her computor works but how it works. She doesn't take anything for granted and she's not the type to wait around to for someone to repair And also the questions about slavery were appropriate--the answer was not --but that was the writers unfortunate mishandling of the subject matter. However we agree in that: Emotially Martha seemed enabling when it came to family and friends, but that behavior is very typical of persons who choose helping careers like medicine, direct health care--we're receive lectures all the time.
IMO: Martha story arch dealt with a compassionate person who always put others before her own needs and desires, and who for better or worst gets involved with the most needy being in the universe-- The Tenth Doctor. He's an enabler's dream: The last of his kind,his best girl wilting like Camile in her suite in step- Father's Mansion--. The Doctor invites her out, and Martha accepts thinking she's going to get some adventure, maybe a little flirting and and lots of discovery (She's a science geek on a time machine!) and all she gets is one more person who is all too willing to lay all of his problems on her shoulders, while not giving a damn about her feelings. He just wanted someone to show off for and it would have been better had he got a sentient mirror. However, I wonder had Martha not met the Doctor if she would have continued allowing others to overwhelm her life with theirs.

Edited at 2012-06-21 04:09 am (UTC)
Ten little bullets in my hand10littlebullets on June 21st, 2012 05:19 am (UTC)
I don't disagree with anything in your comment, I was just trying to characterize Martha's approach to adventure, which the series sets up in direct contrast with Rose's. Rose pokes things to see what will happen, sticks her nose where it doesn't belong, establishes rapports with people she's not supposed to talk to, dives headfirst into things without worrying too hard about how she'll get out of them, and generally takes a "fuck 'should,' I do what I want" approach. Martha would rather figure out how things work before she potentially breaks them. Which means Rose frequently fucks things up and needs rescuing, but Martha runs the risk of being paralyzed by the need to know the best thing to do before she can do anything. Rose would've hit the biggest and likeliest-looking 'on' button on the X-ray machine, and it may or may not have been the right one, but then again Martha may or may not have found the right one in time. That's not a criticism of either of them, but an observation that every good character strength is eventually a double-edged sword.

And yeah, I was going to mention how as the series goes on, "Ten trusts Martha to save the day on her own" slides more and more into "Ten takes advantage of Martha's competence and eagerness to prove herself by dumping her in a horrible situation doing the hard work for weeks while he does fuckall," but I was already at the character limit and trying to focus more on Martha's personality and character arc than on Ten and what a total dick he was to her. If I started that rant it would never stop.
harder, harder, hardest; i am the artist: dr who -- martha | shadowradiantbaby on June 21st, 2012 10:26 am (UTC)
So "am I good enough?" just becomes one more source of insecurity: when Ten says "jump" Martha says "how high?", and Ten says "figure it out" and then (at least at the beginning of the season) "oh, well, Rose would've jumped higher."

This still makes me sadface. :( :( :(
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 20th, 2012 07:32 pm (UTC)
Uh--actually there was nothing sad about Sarah's actual departure. She was leaving and he dropped her off at the wrong place. She was only sad because she was half bluffing. In one canon got married to a UNIT officer, but in all canons she kept her position as an investigative reporter. This unrequited love BS was part of Davies need to prove the Doctor was the alpha-male in everone's life. All the interviews from Miss Sladen indicate that she was just as surprised by this story line as the rest of the Classic Who viewers, but she was good natured about it, and look she got her own series. It does irk me a bit that Davis choose to portray Sarah like this, but in lieu of Miss Sladen's attitude towards it, it is unfair to knock her performance as a woman who would always recall the one who got away.
Still Davies could have done better by the character because that love sick woman angle had nothing to do with what we fans saw of Three, Four, and Sarah Jane.

I didn't like that they threw Martha into the relationship with Tom; it wasn't necessary after all that she had been through with the Doctor to give her a boyfriend to prove she was over the Doctor, but that may be male/female confusion. Take a cue from the film about George Sand--nothing like a kick in the teeth to get over a romance, no matter how passionate it seems. I think fella's are romantic than we females.

Edited at 2012-06-20 07:54 pm (UTC)
laura_luvagelaura_luvage on June 20th, 2012 11:40 pm (UTC)
Personally I was much more annoyed after pairing her with Tom, that he mysteriously disappeared and she was suddenly married to Mickey with no mention or development of that relationship. It was lazy writing, like RTD suddenly decided to pair the two black characters together to tie things together or his need to have Smith and Jones come up.

And FYI I actually shipped, and still do, Martha/Mickey. What I don't like is the half-assed attempt to put them together. The way both characters were treated make me rage, which is even worse considering they were the first (and so far only) non-white companions.

Watching Fast Girls tonight, it was nice to see Noel playing a character that wasn't fucked over. It did however bring up all the rage of how he was treated on Who.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 21st, 2012 04:22 am (UTC)
like RTD suddenly decided to pair the two black characters together to tie things together or his need to have Smith and Jones come up. I think he did want the Smith and Jones thing, but you speak of putting the two black characters together as if it were a bad thing. I mean if he placed the Doctor with Rose, Amy, River, isn't he putting the white characters together?
I prefer Martha and Mickey together rather than the chicken- s--T sceanrio of the only two people of color in the room avoiding each other until the white people in the room give them the okay to notice what an attractive and fun individual the other person is.
We do see Mickey walk off with his arm around Martha at the end of Journey's End--coming between Martha and Jack.
I never thought Tom was necessary, not to prove Martha was over the Doctor, but once he was there I think it was fair to give the relationship a decent end. I guess we were to assume that because Martha was working in the USA and not wearing her ring, that something had happen between her and Tom.
I have the feeling that after he saw Freema and Noel together on the Set of Journey's End, Davies had decided to put them together--or maybe one of them asked.
They were supposed to go and work on TORCHWOOD, but Noel got a Bafta and contracts and Freema got other work.
laura_luvagelaura_luvage on June 21st, 2012 01:18 pm (UTC)
My problem with it wasn't that Mickey and Martha ended up in relationship, as I said previously I actually shipped them. My problem was the way that it was done, there seems to be a habit on a lot of TV shows of pairing the only two black characters in a relationship (nothing wrong with that) but it's generally sudden with no development, mention or explanation when white characters relationships have dedicated episodes. It feels like sometimes that because they're the same race we're meant to assume they were going to end up together and their actual relationship doesn't deserve any screen time. Which came off really badly as they had focused so much on their rejection from the Doctor and Rose respectively yet them finding each other got even less mention than Martha and Tom's relationship did. It felt like RTD really didn't give a damn about either of the characters, there was several opportunities for him to mention their relationship in Doctor Who and Torchwood episodes. Admittedly I haven't watched Journey's End in a long time, so I don't remember Mickey walking off with his arm around Martha. I feel like they should've had some more interaction in Journey's End (what I remember there wasn't much) but then the focus of the episode was almost entirely on the Doctor, Rose and Donna.

And in relation to the whole putting white characters thing together, I always found it problematic that the three non-white characters in Doctor Who and Torchwood were rejected by the white character they liked in favour of another white character. Martha with the Doctor in favour of Rose, Mickey with Rose in favour of the Doctor and Toshiko with Owen in favour of Gwen/Diane.

Maybe things would've been better if Noel and Freema had been on Torchwood, I just feel it was badly done when actually their relationship would've made a lot of sense and would've been nice to see it actually developed.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 21st, 2012 02:25 pm (UTC)
Heren But actually I was thinking of Noel's video diary where he spent a lot of time talking with his friend Freema.

It feels like sometimes that because they're the same race we're meant to assume they were going to end up together and their actual relationship doesn't deserve any screen time. This--racism and perception- is very tricky. There is no reason to think that because the Doctor is instantly attracted to blondes and redheads that he is only attracted to White European women. And the same with people of color. Rather than two people of the same race, I would like to think that Martha likes the shape of Mickey's lips, the color of his skin, the close cropped curly hair, and Mickey likes the smooth texture of Martha's silky caremel skin, the shape of her eyes, the color of her hair, her intelligence, her laugh.
Mickey and Martha's positive attributes do not lessen because a person of similar features notices them.
The Racism--at least from my point of view--happens when characters of color are not allowed to speak to each other, at least civilly or ask practical questions or even talk about those elements of western society that affect them. Solomon scolds Martha rather than asks if she has any skills that will help (She does). He doesn't warn her, even gently, that in 1931, a black and white couple could encounter problems. He's not curius about her family, her accent, nor does talk to her about being station in Europe during the War. I am a granddaughter and great niece of that period, and they were wonderful "gentlemen". Solomon seems to dismiss Martha as a white man's woman--not worth his curiosity. He appears almost hostile to her. It's ridiculous how chicken shit writers have become under the guise of political correctness.
This gets back to your objection. We could have seen more of a romance or gotten hints. However, consider that when the plot point was was leaked before the program aired, so many fans cried 'racist' because Davies dared to put a black male and female together, people, including Noel and Freema seem to shy away from that. I have to wonder if negative fan reception to the couple was behind his choice to keep the hints mum to the last moment.
On the show, it would have been nice to see Martha wooed by someone other than Shakespeare and Riley.
As far as the rejection angle, I was among the Jack/Martha shippers--and we saw Jack and Martha bond onscreen over the Doctor's rejection. I don't recall anyone having a problem with two people rejected by the Doctor getting together when it was Jack and Martha.

By the time Martha met Mickey, Martha had moved on beyond the Doctor and Mickey beyond Rose a second and final time. It is perplexing that anyone could look at two very attractive people, who both --with different talents-- are involved in the same activity (Saving the world) could beleive that the only reason these particular two people would come together is rejection--'because they are black". I cringe at the praise because the suggestion is that one or both Martha and Mickey are in choosing a person of color is taking a step down or accepting second best.

Maybe Mickey went after Martha because she is black, just like the Doctor was attracted to Joan, Rose, Reinnette because they are blonde. I don't think attraction needs to be justified just because the characters are not white.




Edited at 2012-06-21 02:35 pm (UTC)
laura_luvagelaura_luvage on June 21st, 2012 03:54 pm (UTC)
As I've said in my previous two comments, I ship Martha/Mickey because they're both level-headed intelligent heroes coming from ordinary beginnings who have common sense and would respect each other. Plus they're both equally as hot as each other. My problem was the way it was presented within the show, we didn't get to know they fell in love until they appeared onscreen together for the grand total of about a minute, there was no development or even mention of their relationship. It made it almost come off like it was completely irrelevant unless you cared about both characters, whereas all the other characters relationships had some development or at least some mention.

My point about Rose, the Doctor and Owen choosing a white character over a black, or in Toshiko's case asian, character it could be interpreted as that being white is more desirable than any other race. I doubt it was intentional, but it's pretty unfortunate. Especially as I've heard far too many times "I don't find *insert any race but white* people attractive". I'm sure all the characters I mentioned are not like that.

I cringe at the praise because the suggestion is that one or both Martha and Mickey are in choosing a person of color is taking a step down or accepting second best.

I don't personally think that, although I do remember some people saying that after the episode aired. Like comments about each other being a consolation prize when they couldn't get the 'real' prize. My problem was that a relationship that made a lot of sense and could've been great was kind of overshadowed by the fact that it could appear like that, because there was no development or even mention of the relationship.

And wasn't the leak about the relationship only the day before the episode aired? I'm not sure that would've made a difference.

I should clarify that I don't think RTD is some raging racist, otherwise Noel and Freema would've never been cast.

And yes I agree compared to some of the shit pulled, this is pretty damn minor. For instance the conversation where Martha voices her concern on being in Elizabethan England and the Doctor completely dismissing it. Not only does show the Doctor as a dick, it completely whitewashes history.

Personally I just feel that both Martha and Mickey were an afterthought while every other character and their relationships got development.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 21st, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
The leak came a couple of months before the episode aired, while they were filming.

One very positive thing about the Shakespeare Code--and I share your dissapointment on how the writers handled the subject of the English slave trade, was that the writers made it clear that the Doctor, because he was still wrapped up in his love and loss of Rose, couldn't see the gem of a woman right there with him. And the Doctor was basically a jerk with Martha, so it truly was no great loss for Her that he wasn't attracted to her. It was made pretty clear that it was HIS loss.
And Owen was a hound and a major unkind person--Toshiko deserved better. And Owen was all over Martha when she showed up.

The odd bit about Rose is that she didn't choose color but affluence. She was still sleeping with Mickey and trying to make him jealous, and admits finally that Mickey deserves better than she has given him.

The problem comes with the image of people of color especially in Davies seasons. The only time we see People of Color with affluence on Doctor Who is when power or intelligence is used negatively. Lance is horrific. The guy at the Game Station is selfish and cowardly. The powerful father and daughter in the End of Time are called fools. Mickey, Solomon, and Shaun have very humble social positions, or the characters of color are very mature in a cast of young people. Martha's father is playing sugar daddy to gold-digging blonde. Sweet Bliss in Season two is demoted to the Monster's arse. I was done with Who at this point because of the constant negativem powerless position given to People of color, and I only went back when they cast Freema.
Mickey is the only positive male character of color--And although I agree the Doctor and Rose treated him badly--I do not believe Davies intended the audience to applaud their cruel behavior. Davies allowed Mickey to call them on it, and then assert himself, and discover and say for himself, that he deserved better. And Journey's End, we see a very mature man who, unlike the Doctor, has shaken off dissapointment and is ready for anything--especially if he catch up to pal Jack and that sweet young Doctor Jack was clinging to.


Edited at 2012-06-23 02:49 pm (UTC)
laura_luvagelaura_luvage on June 20th, 2012 11:31 pm (UTC)
I always wonder how Jamie would've left if he hadn't been forced by the Time Lords and had his memory wiped. He had nothing to go back to, more so than New!Who companions. The only thing I could ever guess would be if Zoe decided to stay somewhere and he decided to support her or if he asked to go back to Victoria.

I do miss the accidental companion mould, especially as I feel that the writers seem to be emphasising that you can't have a fulfilling life without the Doctor. It's kind of contradicted in SJA, but New!Who is very against life after the Doctor being good, or at least what is wanted.

I'd really love Jenna's character to not want to stay forever. It would be great for her either to be a student who travels to help her studies or be inspired by something during her time on the TARDIS that when she left it was to do something fulfilling. Which doesn't involve her becoming part of UNIT/Torchwood. Most of all it would be nice, for her life to be completely ruined by travelling with the Doctor.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 21st, 2012 04:23 am (UTC)
I can't imagine Jamie leaving....the actor maybe, but not Jamie, the character--except to get married or if he found out the results of the war and "wanted" to go back to the battlefied.
John E: samnjamiejohn_amend_all on June 21st, 2012 10:30 am (UTC)
laura_luvage: Jamie and Zoelaura_luvage on June 21st, 2012 01:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that, it sounds vaguely familiar but I had forgotten all about it. I don't think I would've been disappointed if that had been his exit.
John E: crichtardisjohn_amend_all on June 21st, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
In the black-and-white days, when the Doctor couldn't steer the TARDIS, it was possible to have companions who travelled with the Doctor out of necessity rather than choice; and it would be a happy ending for them if they got home. Once the Doctor was able to control the TARDIS more or less reliably, that possibility rather went by the board, and it was pretty much a given that if someone was travelling with the Doctor, they must want to.

I think with Jo's departure, and Romana's (and probably with Ace's, had that season been made) the intention is that these companions have outgrown the Doctor, and want to be, as it were, the hero of their own series. The new series' tendency to make the Doctor godlike and unique, and to recast his relationship with his companions as romantic rather than mentor/pupil, militates against that approach as well: it's expected that a pupil will graduate, but not that True Love may prove impermanent.

Which may explain why the new series has stuck with 'tragically separated' and 'burned out'.