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Feature Article – Has Doctor Who Become ‘Too Sexy’? Part One: In Context

Recent comments from Waris Hussein and Carole Anne Ford have prompted discussion on a subject that I feel many fans of classic & new Who alike have been thinking about for a while, but didn’t like to address (for fear of ‘rocking the boat’). Has Doctor Who become too sexy?

In a three part series I’m going to take a look at this argument as a fan of both old and new Who. There is no winner to the argument, I will simply take a look at various examples, attitudes and other circumstances to give a balanced view on the matter. I’d like to point out at this point that me being a red blooded male, it would be easy to get carried away on the various, shall we say, ‘characteristics’ of the assorted companions, as well as scenes, encounters etc. However, that’s for another time and away from the public domain I might add.

Firstly, lets take a
look at why Doctor Who has possibly become just a little bit sexier
than 50 years ago. Well to address Hussein’s comments in context,
lets start from the very beginning.
1963, a year when the
internet was non existent, computers where the size of my
considerably large living room and teenage girls magazines promoted
not the latest topless pictures of Justin Beiber and providing
answers to a readers email consulting agony Aunt Britney whether she
was or was not ready to mate, or not, or maybe. Nope, the cross
stitch pattern of the week and a page featuring readers poems about
ponies and pushbikes was the highlight of a teenage girls week. The
differences regarding a young male’s reading used the exact same
formula I might add, with ‘Boys Own’ providing blueprints to build a
twin transistor for 48/- and an exclusive interview with racing hero
Jim Clark. Rather than today’s reading providing the worlds ‘Top 100
Totty List’.
Where am I going with
this? Well, the above aims to point out that the difference’s not
just in TV production & writing from 1963 to now, but the changes
in how society in general has been transformed by huge media
coverage, changes in attitudes towards sexual matters, the list of
how the world and its inhabitants have changed since Doctor Who’s
first broadcast almost 50 years ago is never ending.
If you were to ask your
Nan what she thought of there being a lesbian couple featuring in a
TV show, let alone a family show broadcast at 6pm on a Saturday evening, a
large percent would either frown or show their objections openly. Don’t get
me wrong, we all love our Nan’s, but we must accept that people in
general find it very hard to throw away the ways of old, simply
because we’re all taught certain values in our youth and all tend to
carry those values through the rest of our lives. The world has
changed in such a way that matters regarding sexuality, attitudes
towards sex in general, even religion are much more openly discussed
and tolerated. Suffice to say, such matters were not for discussion
at a the family dinner table in 1963.
I’m not here to argue
whether the above opinions are right or wrong, I’m here to say how it
was and now is. This hopefully puts my point across that from 1963,
right over a 50 year period, Doctor Who has adapted to its
surroundings and people who worked on the show then are bound to have
their own personal opinions on how changes in society are reflected
in Doctor Who 2013. After all, people are able to adapt to a certain
point, but we’re not chalkboard’s that can be wiped completely, there
is always a core of beliefs and views that can never be changed once
imprinted onto the mind.
‘Heavy petting’ in
Doctor Who today certainly reflects that the times have changed, the comments
from Waris Hussein are his own views and I’m sure he’s not alone in
them either and quite right too. After all if we all thought the
same, then what would we talk about?
So that’s the science
part out of the way, in Part 2, I’ll be taking a look at those ever so
naughty and those who are just terribly nice. It’s the Doctors sexy
companions!