by Robert Pruitt & M’kina Tapscott
Throughout it’s history, the television series Doctor Who has touched many viewers. Those transmissions have spun out from Earth into the farthest reaches of Space and time, entertaining figures from our past, future and even to other planets. Here you will find an ongoing discussion from three such viewers.
Darh-Nel is a Scientist from new Krypton in the year 3000. Nyota, is a conjure woman from the American South in the year 1866, and The Cafeteria Lady (Whom you may remember from Cedric the Entertainer’s sketch comedy TV show), is a cafeteria lady. Their complicated and diverse life experiences help them dissect, analyze, and interpret the adventures of the good Doctor and his companions.
I bid you greetings from New Krypton and your impending history,
On one of my weekly visits researching the old library files I found transcriptions of your dialogs discussing my favorite good doctor. I too have been transfixed by the wonders of his space and time travels. Unfortunate that you have not yet seen his has past tales that are yet to come for you. Of his future incarnations you have missed, the first black doctor, a 7 ft tall Brazilian
Goddess of a woman. He shall once be a set of Albino twins. 7 times he shall be Chinese, twice genderless. Once even an alien to your earth. But I spoke too much. These were times much in the distance for you. Better I shall discuss your present, eleventh Doctor and his final voyages with Amy and Rory and the wondrous River Song. What have been your initial impressions of
the Tardis voyages this season?
The Cafeteria Lady
I don’t know ‘bout these new Doctor episodes. The past four seasons brought back them good memories when I use to watch Barnaby Jones. I can’t forget Matlock. Listen heah, Matlock was mo’ real than a fishing rod. But this heah new direction they taking Dr. Who got me wanting them to bring back UHF channels.
I mean it ain’t bad writing. Now, Pam waking up to find Bobby Ewing in the shower is some bad writing. Ain’t no excuse fo’ that kind of messy writing. Child, them shukin fools that wrote fo’ Dallas couldn’t write [Wright] if they invented the airplane.
I ‘ll still watch it fo’ now. But they better get it right befo’ them new BBC Sherlock shows come back on. The writer that made the episode “Blink” fo’ Dr. Who start writing fo’ Sherlock. So That gives you an idea why I’m watching it. You thought a black lady like me don’t know my BBC just cus I’m all up in HISD. I be talk’n to them chirens in the lunch line. They know how I get down baby.
Anyway, I think they trying too hard on the Doctor. I always says, if it’s over cooked Tony Chachere’s ain’t going to fix it. And that little stringy redhead heifer gets on my last nerve. She suppose to be doing something and she running around looking thinner than skimmed piss. I don’t mind Rory’s father, he’s kind of funny. But that Amy, she couldn’t act if she was the fifth book in the New Testament.
I see they setting up that girl that’s a Dalek to be his new companion. I guess that’s alright. I just hope these writers can do it. But that sistah Nefertiti was a hot mess. They made her some old jazzabell all over the Doctor and then ended up sleeping with that old scraggly white hunter. They couldn’t just let her be a proud strong dignified black woman. She the queen over one of the most advanced ancient civilizations and got her acting like a street corner working girl.
Cafeteria Lady, I don’t feel as disappointed in these first episodes as you seem to be, but I cannot deny that they are far inferior to the stories we have come to expect. I gather the banality of the first half of the season was due to a dis-jointment of priorities. The dense narrative investment in Amy and Rory seemed to require an equal temporal investment in concluding their story. I believe that was, however, a misstep. They could have been done away with this couple long ago. Now that their time has finished I am hoping the remaining stories will be increase in cleverness and complexity.
My Dearest Fellows,
In our time there have been wars, and I have been in hiding. A woman of my kind is just not safe. Often I am unable to retire, or have leisure. So it pleased me when time allowed me to watched this show, and this one I liked very much.
The first two shows presented in this recent grouping, was like watching crows battle for scraps, it took some time for me to get into their rhythm. Although I did enjoy the brown Queen Nefertiti.
Without traveling down that ugly, rocky road of slavery, but instead to think about the idea of an equal value for all histories, and past relics. It was the notion that all the living beings in this great big world have some kind of dealings with moneys. Value, trade, and war will always persist. In this place Dinosaurs were valued. This ancient creature was a commodity in their time. Was their value in the show of them, or beast of burden or as mere pets? Would then, Nefertiti be valued for her beauty or knowledge of the kingdom she ruled? She was a negro woman. Was her worth in that?
I have to agree with you Cafeteria Lady, get rid of that Amy Pond already and Rory too! They have spun my hide and it seems the two keep providing excuses as to why they can’t travel with the Doctor. Who of this world would not want to escape, who would pass up that kind of opportunity? Have they considered travels with Rory’s father. I do believe his insight and age would provide for the greatest of intrigue.
Although I did enjoy the brown Queen Nefertiti, I do truly agree about the manner of her character. I slipped right into that crack, but yes this belief you have is truth. The Negro woman walks a narrow path, a jezebel is all we can be. Now, in thinking on that, one would have to liken the selling and trading of her like slavery. For this to be yet another version of our future, sends
me to the depths of sorrow.
Oh, Nyota, fear not. The tales of wonder and advancement of your race do indeed run through low orbits, but just as often rise again through interstellar flights of rage and power. You would do well to feel comforted in what seeds may come. As for your contemplations on the divinations of value as a cosmic constant are mightily perceptive. Though I live in a far off place where solar winds wash over miles of plains and forests, still is my monthly dwelling expense too damn high. I would assume the presence of an Egyptian Queen was no coincidence in this story. Their tales of power through slavery are still well discussed. We are assumed to relate that history to this future story. Also, I want not to harp, but as we know Amy and Rory will soon travel no longer with the Doctor, what need were they on this exploit? Might their absence have provided more time for “Nefi’s” development. I believe they were un-needed on this adventure.
The Cafeteria Lady
What gets me about the relationship between the Doctor and Amy is that they make him so dependent on her. Here he is 900 years old, a day older than the canned lettuce they serve these chirens up at the school house, and with all his knowledge of the universe he needs the help of Pippi Longstocking who turns out to be his mother-in-law. After 900 years of traveling the universe, through different time periods and meeting all kinds of aliens, you’re not too impressed with anything less than a crab-face looking Rasta in a fishnet shirt with a heat seeking lazer gun on his shoulder.
I wish they kept that actor James Corden to be his companion.
LO, How I miss Ms. Noble! And the Lodger was truly an excellent episode. James Cordens character would make an entertaining companion. I must co-signiate your impressions of Young Ms. Pond as needless and prattling. Though at times I confess some admiration for her character, too often was she undefined. The earlier romantic tensions do shift to an awkward narrative strain when she became his mother in law. It has been difficult for me to accept her role as the driving figure of the doctors machinations. Still, tho, I wonder if we may fail to understand the importance of Amelia. As you mention her introduction I ponder her role in space and time. I recall her mythology as “the one who waited”. At the origin of her adventures with the doctor and his Tardis, she waited out her childhood for him. Might this act of faith be the central substance in her character? Her ability to believe in him even when he doesn’t believe in himself. She waited for him twice in fact. The second
during an accidental visit to that intergalactic hospice run by robots. This tragic ward managed by A.I. contained some sort of time displacement device and in a true Three’s Company homage Amy is separated from Rory and the Doctor by a quickly closing door to be lost in time. She lives out her remaining years as a young woman running, hiding, and finally fighting the robotic nurses who are mistakenly trying to cure her by killing her. She is an old woman when the doctor arrives to rescue her but she has lost all faith in him. Fitting then that he leaves that older Amy to die to save his ever faithful, and younger version. It was this older, more powerful Amy that I found to be the most engaging. She was intelligent, clever, and had an agency of her own.
The Cafeteria Lady
Do you remember the Dr. before this one and how he began to go crazy? He started to get unstable because it was time for him to change bodies. I think the Doctor is going through that phase again but instead of being power crazy he’s overly attached to people close to him.
I too have no affection for that Amy Pond. And his affections seems to run too deep for the lady, they do cause this unnatural attachment. Her wishing not to space travel with her husband, with no concern for monies, food, or the troubles of their world seems down right impractical. Those who have made this, have quite tried to explain his fondness for Amy by saying that she was the first, but it romance just seem to forced. Like a hog on a wheel barrow. Why does his affection
run so deeply for her. Why would he care! Let us pray he moves forward soon.
Your last comment about the Dr. and his need of regeneration was most insightful. Yes, I do think that the time is coming again soon. It may have been foreshadowed when he used some of those powers to heal his wife, River Song. In my hatred of the two, I fear that I had forgottenabout the couples connection to her.
I cannot wait to see what happens with his next traveler. I must admit, they always have an uncanny way of endearing me to the next human with which he chooses to travel. Previously their use of children has been successful, but soon we will see what happens.
It seems that we all three are in a state of waiting for the new direction of the story, bothered as we are by Amy and Rory. This new companion seems to be his intellectual equal. I think it is here where the greatest flaw of this program unveils it self. Anyone who really watches this series is aware of its cleverness and commitment to progressive story telling. From the series of powerful women characters, to gay characters, to race, they have had a proactive approach to their dialog around the social fabric of earth, space, and time. Unfortunate then that the central normative story telling context is still white and male. Amy’s relevance has consistently waned as she increasingly committed to Rory. No wonder her time with the doctor has come to an end. Only young, sexually available women seem to be appropriate companions. I think that we can all agree that a season, or two, or three of the doctor and River song traveling together would be, in your ancient earth dialect, awesome! But River is older, and not as thin as we are accustomed to seeing on screen. When the doctor asks her to travel with him, her reply is a weak response. If this is the great love of his life, and she has been pardoned from her stormcage prison, why then are they not together? Because the old crutches of story telling still abide, even in a show as wonderful as WHO.