Straight Outta Gallifrey: Series 11 Part 2

Ashford and Siskoid discuss the second half of Jodie Whitaker's first series of Doctor Who, with even more recognizable guest stars than the first!

That's all at Straight Outta Gallifrey, under Episode 181: Series 11 Part 2

Thanks for listening!


daft said…
*My not for broadcast comments.*

I enjoyed your analysis/breakdown of the season Siskoid. :)

I think it's a shame that S11 didn't quite gel as I find the approach taken intriguing to say the least. The notion of reducing the Doctor's status to deal with more realistic, everyday threats and challenges almost seemed like the next evolutionary step in the show's development, a move away from mere (safe) allegorical tales into something fundamentally more dramatic and potent.

Unfortunately, the messaging and storytelling was unbelievably naïve at times.

I think it's fair to say that Chibnall isn't in the same league of writers as his forerunners, few are. And that by taking such a different tact there was always going to be a few missteps along the way. But I'm fast coming to the conclusion that it's actually a structural issue within British broadcasting.

I can't help but reflect upon the debate within literary circles, probably best exemplified by Jeanine Cummins' American Dirt about appropriation and authenticity. That there seemed to be a lot of hand-wringing and intent behind some of the social messaging present within the series, yet in the end, some of the messaging was unbelievably cringe-worthy or otherwise, poorly integrated. I think it's telling that the stories where multicultural writers Malorie Blackman and Vinay Patel were employed to tell stories about their own cultural heritage were lauded as the most successful ones of the season.

As Lenny Henry is keen to point out, BAM doesn't stop with multi-cultural faces upon screen, it requires a backroom change of culture. It's great that Chris Chibnall feels committed to bringing more diverse, more inclusive stories to screen, but even deputizing other writers in his stead to tell those particular stories is problematic. As with much of the output of this era, it feels like whatever appears in the newspaper colour supplements that particular week seems de rigueur. I don't doubt Chibnall's overall commitment to equality, but there seems to be an underlying issue of privilege, at the end of the day, as a writer, other peoples' stories are merely grist for the mill.

If you are telling your own authentic story, you aren't second guessing yourself, you aren't looking towards other people for validation, there's fundamentally no interpretation required, you know precisely the lie of the land. It doesn't necessarily result in effective communication, there's still art within the process, but there's far less hand-wringing required.