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  • Writer's pictureCraig Norris

60 Years of Dr Who and Debating its Controversies (part 1)

Updated: Jan 17

Episode 61 - With host Craig Norris, and special guest Marcus Johnson
First Broadcast on Edge Radio, 5 January 2024.

We dive into the controversies surrounding the beloved TV show, Dr Who, as it celebrates its 60th anniversary with three special episodes and a new Doctor. We discuss the BBC's response to criticisms of the show's alleged "woke propaganda" and inclusion of LGBTQ+ and non-binary characters and themes. We also explore the show's partnership with Disney and its streaming on Disney+ outside of the U.K. Additionally. Join us as we dissect these hot topics and also cover the latest news, including Public Domain day, Mickey Mouse entering the Public Domain, media panic about a teenage Tetris wiz, and Tekken 8's colorblind mode.


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Episode Links:

Public Domain Day 2024 | Duke University School of Law

Mickey Mouse in Public Domain

Everything You Need to Know About Mickey Mouse's Public Domain Debut Today

How people are using Mickey Mouse in his post-copyright era | Mashable

Mickey Mouse Game Changes Name After Antisemitic Accusations

British TV Host Tells Teenage Tetris Whiz To ‘Go Outside’ British TV Host Tells Teenage Tetris Whiz To ‘Go Outside’ (kotaku.com)

One of Tekken 8’s “colorblind” modes is causing migraines, vertigo, and debate https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2024/01/tekken-8s-colorblind-mode-is-causing-migraines-vertigo-and-debate/

BBC Responds to Anti-Trans Doctor Who Complaints: Lol, Lmao, Etc.

Doctor Who: How Russell T Davies Adapted the Original Star Beast Comic

Disney Reportedly Planning to Give DOCTOR WHO a "Hollywood Makeover" — GeekTyrant https://geektyrant.com/news/disney-reportedly-planning-to-give-doctor-who-an-hollywood-makeover

Doctor Who's top 50 controversies | Den of Geek https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/doctor-whos-top-50-controversies/


Transcript

This is an AI-generated transcript of the audio and it may contain errors. We may update or correct this transcript in the future. Please contact us if you have any questions about the information in this transcript. The audio is the official record of this episode.


CRAIG NORRIS

You're listening to Edge Radio here on 99.3 FM. This is media mothership broadcasting out of nicholina about Tasmania. As always, we explore how media and popular culture can shape our understanding of the world. Around us, I'm your host Craig Norris joined. Today my guest. Marcus Johnston.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Just Johnson, there's no.

CRAIG NORRIS

Ohh no tea. Well, that's why I didn't even put your mic.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Oh, oh, hello some feedback. Really. Yeah. Only a little bit. I just made too much noise into the microphone.

CRAIG NORRIS

There you go. Alright, there you go.

MARCUS JOHNSON

It was actually it. Was actually a good level. I'm just.

CRAIG NORRIS

Being over dramatic. That's OK. It's 2024. So I feel like I'm learning how to do radio all over again now after a short break. So we're going to dive into some unusual and interesting media. Things which have. Happened over the last week or two New Years. Christmas period. We're gonna start with the public domain January 1st, of course. Of each year. Is is really exciting because. The material that's being held under copyright suddenly gets pushed out into public domain, so this year in January 1st, 2024, or from January 1st, 2024, works from 1928 are now open to everyone to to use as they will. As well as sound recordings from 1923, some of the highlights include. DH Lawrence is Lady Chatterley's lover. You ever read that Marcus salacious text from the 19?

MARCUS JOHNSON

I haven't no.

CRAIG NORRIS

20s caused quite a lot of moral panic at the time. What else is ohh Yep, the German version of all quite on the Western Front. Not the English one. You have to wait a few more years for the English translation to to go into public. The main. Peter Pan or the boy who couldn't. Grow up. This is a. Unusual one, because the story behind Peter Pan is that the the author bequeathed. It to the. Children's Hospital in Britain and then when it came up in the 70s. To lose its copyright, they were given copyright in perpetuity in the UK. So in the UK you will always have to pay a licencing fee to use Peter Pan, but in the US now. Australia follows the US, I think. For this as well, the. Yeah, the 1911 novel. Oh, no, that's been in Power 20 since 1967. Yes, one of them is Peter Pan of the. Boy, he couldn't grow up. Yeah, at least more of it's now in.

MARCUS JOHNSON

The public domain. So yeah, that's the play script that is now in the public domain.

CRAIG NORRIS

Hey. Yeah. How's your acting going? Is this ever come up? Did you ever do Peter Pan in your acting career?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yeah, I I played a pirate 11 years ago at the Hobart Repertory Theatre production of it back in. 2013 wow.

CRAIG NORRIS

Was it a memorable pilot? Was it one of the ones that people would know from, like the Disney?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Version. Ohh goodness no, I mean the. The only pirates anyone actually knows it, Captain Hook and Captain Hook ANS me. They're the only two who actually and.

CRAIG NORRIS

Doctor cook, Mr.

MARCUS JOHNSON

If you're if. You're a mega fan, you might know Starkey, who's the 3rd in command, but.

CRAIG NORRIS

Did your pirate?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Name Ah Cookson, I think. Yeah. I was cooking just a a random pirate who only has, I think he has two lines. The Pirates generally only have one or two lines. And one of the lines that I did have ended up becoming a pantomime line that everyone yelled out all at the same time. I I had. I had no complaints to. That it was hilarious. You remember the line? I just remember everyone making the symbol of a hook with their fingers and pointing and kept on going. Has he a hook captain? And the director never even told us to make it a group mine. It just happened very organically.

CRAIG NORRIS

Emergent theatrical right action play.

MARCUS JOHNSON

And just so you know what it's it's funnier this way. So I'm I'm. I'm not gonna complain.

CRAIG NORRIS

What else is? Agatha Christies the mystery of the Blue Train is in post. Duane, any Agatha Christie experiences. That you've had.

MARCUS JOHNSON

I'm about to alienate a lot of. People here, but I I really do. OK, brother Christy.

CRAIG NORRIS

I've I've I've. Only had the cinematic experience. You're you're. You're not a fan of the. Actual books or the adaptions?

MARCUS JOHNSON

I find the adaptations tend to be very well. There's an inherent issue with adapting Agatha Christie to the stage just because as a general rule, the protagonist doesn't appear in the first act. Really. Yeah. Because the first act in and Agatha Christie play is all about the murder happening and the 2nd or the 2nd and. 3rd acts are about parrot or Marple, or. Oh, the the Sergeant and whatever his name is, the captain actually solving the crimes. And then it's just sort of. And they also just meander. A lot it's it's essentially. It's like in a slasher movie. When you spend the 1st 20 minutes getting to know about cardboard cutouts waiting for. The the killer to arrive in in 8 Christie, you spend the first well, the first hour or the 1st 45 minutes watching a bunch of.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Particularly uninteresting upper class toffs having first world problems and just sort of laying a whole bunch of red herrings for the the actual meat of the. Play later on, So what was?

CRAIG NORRIS

Your point so in. The first act, the the antagonist.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Doesn't appear the protagonist. Protagonist doesn't appear. The sleuth does not appear in the. First act.

CRAIG NORRIS

Ohh right, because they're setting it up, yeah. And then right Yep, Yep. Yeah, the glass, glass, glass, onion. And I think Ryan Johnson's knives knives out those those ones have.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yeah, yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

The Daniel Craig character coming in near the end of the first act.

MARCUS JOHNSON

So those are those are. Quite similar in in in the sense that Ben Wall Blanc is he's the second main character of any film that he's in. He's never the main character, but he's always included in the narrative in some capacity from very close to the beginning. So you're always. Aware that he's there. But it's you're not sort of treading water, waiting. Here in the rock up and start doing his thing.

CRAIG NORRIS

Films, The Big one, of course. The one that's getting a lot of media attention is. That Steamboat Willie. Is now in public domain. This is. The silent version. Directed by Walt Disney, which of course is the first appearance of Mickey Mouse.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Well, he's actually a sociopath.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. Mickey Mouse, yes. So what is a sociopath? It's someone.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Who? Someone who doesn't feel empathy for other people? I mean, it ends with the the the short ends with him smashing. A A bird into a. River with a potato or something on the lines and then laughing as it drowns.

CRAIG NORRIS

Good for the kids, I mean. Oh, absolutely. Get lots of laughter from the kids.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Well, I mean the the first, the first cat ends with him trigger warning aren't living himself. They were real. The cartoons are. Really dark back.

CRAIG NORRIS

Is that kind of itchy and scratchy? You know, lampooning of that style? Yeah. That you know, if you, if you do look back at some of these early pre war and wartime comics or cartoons, got Buster. Keaton's the cameraman. You've experienced much Buster Keaton in your time.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Specification. But it's interesting to see that the passion of Joan of Arc. Is in there. That's it, yes. Do you know the story of how they recovered the full version of that movie? No, no. So since it's had it cut down significantly and the original version was thought to be lost for decades until after Carl Theodore Dreyer passed away, and then they fall, they they they found an. A complete and unabridged version of the film in a supply closet in a Norwegian insane asylum, and it was silver nitrate film. So if they'd actually opened the canister then and there, it would have gone gone.

CRAIG NORRIS

Up in smoke? Yeah, that's very lucky, right? Wow. So that's amazing because normally. It seems like 9 times out of 10 it's just lost to history. These these bits soon around. As you're saying, you know, that's seen inglorious ********. The whole narrative that ends up with the the point that this will cause the film stock was made out of night. Silver nitrate, which is incredibly flammable. Gee. Yeah, I had no idea when. Did you remember went about this? This was.

MARCUS JOHNSON

It would have been rediscovered in the 60s. Or the. 70s I think.

CRAIG NORRIS

When else is, it looks interesting. Well, the man who laughs as it points out here in the notes, it's featured a character who inspired the appearance of Joker in the Batman.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yes, Conrad, Vite with a prosthetic smile. Looking very evil.

CRAIG NORRIS

Have seen stills of it so I I can now freely access the original black and white version on YouTube. Probably somewhere. Yeah, and.

MARCUS JOHNSON

There's a lot of a lot of comedy here. There's there's Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin and.

CRAIG NORRIS

Buster Keaton. Yes, yes. So it will be fun to see the next few years as more of their cannon of film comes out into the public sphere, where it might go because yes, we've got a couple of music. Compositions. This is just. The written score that's now in the public domain animal crackers. Don't know if attached to hear that one again. The original one it. Was originally performed. It had the. Marx brothers Mack the knife. The German version though. So not the translated version, not the Bobby Darin version, no. So you can now though.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Their invasion.

CRAIG NORRIS

Get the musical score for. The original German with German lyrics. That's good. That's good. Yeah, making. Whoo. Right. I I think some of this would probably come back. You could see some K pop. Some some.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Rap versions K Pop version of making Whoopi would be absolutely hysterical. I don't even. I don't even know what the song sounds like this has.

CRAIG NORRIS

Ohh yeah.

MARCUS JOHNSON

A hilarious title. Wolverine Blues could see that in the next Marvel movie. Look, if that doesn't make an appearance in Deadpool three, I will be astounded.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah. Now that's in public domain. I'm sure they could just save a little bit of money there. So all that's in the public domain, what's interesting about this is you know a it took a long time, of course for this to get into the public domain. Six years and Disney.

Speaker

I mean what?

CRAIG NORRIS

Why I think Mickey Mouse has reached such interest is because, of course, Disney was one of the main companies which fought tooth and nail to ensure that their properties had. We're we're always in copyright for for as long as it could be possible. So you know, cause I know in the in the states it came up well in 76, yeah, they they point out that in 76 the Copyright Act was extended by 20 years, commonly referred to as the Sonny Bono copyright Term Extension Act and that. Specifically associated with Disney lobbying. To ensure that Mickey, Mouse, Mickey and Minnie would stay in copyright further. Yeah. So it's, it's it's a case of everyone being very excited to see that Mickey Mouse is now in the public domain and what's what's most fascinating about this is of course. Looking at how quickly adaptations have happened. Of these properties. We need the poo came into public domain last year and we quickly got a horror. Movie on Winnie the Pooh, which was not well received and and of course now with Mickey Mouse we have a a Mickey Mouse appearing in a horror film called Infestation 88. What's interesting about infestation 88 was suddenly all of. The hoohah about the fact that it seems to be a NEO Nazi. The idea I had no idea that the 88 number has an association with Nazi. With that of Hitler.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yeah, reference to David, Eden Lanes, 88 precepts and anti Jew manifesto.

Speaker

It's against.

CRAIG NORRIS

So right, so originally it was titled infestations 88 the studio denied being having a Nazi subtext, but they have retitled it Infestation Origins. So it's I think it's it's it's.

Speaker

It's a bit.

CRAIG NORRIS

Icky, right? And also, it's it's interesting that the first use of some of these properties is is a film is a horror film Winnie the Pooh and now. Mickey Mouse if we if we hear. Do we want to hear the start? Of the trailer.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Well, you you press play. So I think we're gonna hear it. One way or another.

Speaker

So it's throwing the swords.

Speaker 1

You thought it was just rodents, but something else?

CRAIG NORRIS

It's a bit five nights at.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Freddy's 3D infestation.

Speaker

There's nothing. They're everywhere. Try to take care of it ourselves. But.

Speaker 1

Beth related.

Speaker

These germinators are our last.

Speaker 1

Hope, please help us before.

Speaker

This is.

MARCUS JOHNSON

This is a survival horror.

CRAIG NORRIS

Game. Yeah, of course. I was saying to me that was wrong. It's it's a survival horror game. Five nights at Freddy's.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Looks like this looks like bargain being Resident Evil or Dead Space. More like, sorry.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, yeah. So yeah, it it'll be interesting if if any of this gets, you know, goes any further, I'll be interested to see. How people use? Mickey Mouse, it seems to be, you know, very. Very much, you know, juxtaposing the Mickey Mouse. And again, this is only the Mickey Mouse. Imagery and iconic anness that appeared in that first film, so it has to be, you know. This was, I think, did he have white gloves yet?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Right. Think so. I think I think he no, he doesn't have white gloves in Steamboat.

CRAIG NORRIS

Willy. Yeah. So, Steamboat Willy, it's a black and white, so it can't be a colour Mickey Mouse that you're portraying. It's it's, I guess, much more. Full contrast, like just black eyes, no glow. Pants, though, and and shoes. So yeah, again it. Will be. It's interesting some people are saying that because this Mickey Mouse is very much. The kind of pre beta. Beta Mickey Mouse that some kids won't recognise it as Mickey Mouse. I think he will, regardless of it being the first version of it. The the is the the kind of goofy. I eyes expression. Yeah. So of course, what Disney have done is they've trademarked Mickey Mouse, and people have pointed out that cleverly, Disney has put at the start of their, you know, Disney, Blu Rays, DVD's and so forth. Steamboat, a short Steamboat. Willy in their. Products and they're kind of you know. Produced by Disney. Title card at the start you'll see a short snippet of Steamboat Willy. And that's to ensure it falls under a trademark law. So I'm sure if Disney wants, they could enforce. Enforce. So I think you. Can't you can't merchandise from this, I think is what a trademark. Like ensuring that it's still under trademark but the Mickey Mouse image has been trademarked means that people can't just create. Merchandise from a trademark that's similar. I am not a lawyer, so don't take any legal advice from from me. Yeah, infestation 88. One other story that just came. Day that I wanted to play because I know Marcus is a huge video game player. Did you hear about this the the British, the you know, the Tetris was that beat Tetris firstly.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yeah, I did hear about. That I I did not sort of beat Tetris.

CRAIG NORRIS

You didn't, yeah. I mean I it's interesting because they've defined beating Tetris as he's got the highest score ever, but that higher score. Also caused the. Game system to crash that he was he was playing it on the NES. And uh, he scored such a a large. Score that it caused. I mean, we'll show I I short clip and what's. Interesting about this clip is that it also caused a. The comments of the Sky News presenter in the UK caused a a kind of mini backlash from video game fans.

Speaker 4

Now, Tetris has long been touted as a video game that just can't be beaten because it just goes on and on. Yes. Well, 13 year old American Willis Gibson has technically. As a video game. Proven that wrong, he beat the original Nintendo version of the game by reaching such. A high level. That the coding froze. That left the programme unable to generate anymore falling blocks.

Speaker

Thank God.

Speaker 4

As a mother, I would just say step away from the screen, go outside, get some fresh air. Beating Tetris is not a life goal. Speaking of fresh air, that's good. Look at.

CRAIG NORRIS

The alright. Yeah. Reactions.

MARCUS JOHNSON

And the the Kitty. Finish it or? To her comments.

CRAIG NORRIS

Let's start with, well, the real scandal has been the comments, of course, British TV tells teenage Tetris Wiz to go outside, and Kotaku's ran a little article talking about how, you know, it then unleashed a fury on Twitter of people saying, you know. Hypocrisy. No one says this to people who binge. Netflix, what's this comment? It's it's the year of our Lord 2024 and Sky News is still telling people who play video games to go outside and get some fresh air, notably on the same day they're praising the. 16 year old darts player. This is the. Youngest ever darts champion, who probably is. Of course someone that's not outside is playing that. So this is kind of groan at having a media panic. Around Sky News, it is a real concern in terms of, you know, there's a lot of moral or media panic messaging around blue light kids. Spending too long on the screens, so it's certainly part of the zeitgeist. I wouldn't say this is a. Kind of groan, I. Don't believe it's 2024? We've still got this. I'd say this is very much the conversation today about, you know, screen time more generally it's it's. It's interesting though that. The video gamers are saying. Yeah. What do you want? So what's your reaction to the the kid that won Tetris? Is is that winning it when when you the the game code crashes?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Ohh that is that is absolutely winning it. I mean, if the game is no longer presenting a challenge for you to overcome, then you.

CRAIG NORRIS

In terms of it's actually. Crash like you've you've I mean. You've been winning. It and you've, it's almost like the game flipped the table. At that point, like you've. You've you're you're playing with like, like you've upset your competitor. The programme so much that it's flipped the table that as it's literally collapsed its.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Code and yeah, he got the maximum score possible if. You if you can't get a higher score and the game has stopped, then that that's absolutely, absolutely finishing the game.

CRAIG NORRIS

And it's an adorable. Scene. If you've not seen it, you can check it out the. You know the kid. Being completely overturned by the emotions of recognising that he's he's got the highest score ever. And then the game has has frozen.

MARCUS JOHNSON

And that's a that's a that would be a world record. I mean, if if anyone is, if anyone's finished Tetris before on the intent entertainment system, they, they they certainly haven't done on a live stream like this kid has they don't have the evidence to.

CRAIG NORRIS

Back it up. That's right. Yeah. So he live stream, which is really fascinating because that's what interested me, that they've got live. Streamed footage of him playing, so clearly he must have a channel. It's not mentioned here. I imagine he has some kind of like Twitch channel or something and. And people have just been watching him. For like the. Day, as he's been sitting there just.

MARCUS JOHNSON

In terms of the comments though, that's that's. Just would you? Expect anything else from Sky News, let's be honest.

CRAIG NORRIS

All right, now one of the things I've loved about doing this show is where it's overlapped with like the start of the year. And then you find out all the films that are set this year. So last year it was, I think last year. Swollen Green 2023 was when swollen green was set the Charlton Heston 1970s sci-fi dystopia. There's a short. Article I want to point out talking about how 2024 is going to be one hell of a year in Star Trek history. The article from Gizmodo talks about this in two ways. One that we're going to get a lot of star. Break on our screens final EPS season of discovery Michelle Yeoh's, section 31 film in the Star Trek universe. The strange New World TV series still going on Prodigy and lower decks, which ending of both cartoon projects lower dexes are still continuing, but then they're pointing out how in Star Trek Timeline 2024 is a really important year. And it's it's an important year because in next have you, are you a Star Trek? Fan Marcus.

MARCUS JOHNSON

No, I'm sorry.

CRAIG NORRIS

Alright, this will test you the wrong person somewhat.

Speaker

You. You.

CRAIG NORRIS

Familiar with it though, right? No, really great. So you can tell me if this all is interesting. Data. One of the big characters in next generation points out that in 2024 we have Irish reunification. Ohh so this is where the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland bringing in their century of violence and British influence to become United Nation in 2024. Article points out they were probably closer to getting Scottish independence. Then we are getting, you know, Iron Island in 2024. However, a lot of episodes talk about this is the year that basically, after the Irish reunification, you have these political civil protest and battles between the NEO trots, geistes, trots, guides, trots, trots. Yeah, neo trotskyists.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Neo, neo trotskyists.

CRAIG NORRIS

And goal lists. Who are fighting in in as Europe goes into turmoil because of political and environmental upheaval, season 2 of Picard. Is set this year so. This was a series which aired on. Disney, or whatever it was last year. But then there's riots in the US. That's depicted in deep space Nine. So the Star Trek Deep Space 9 has a kind of travel back in time to 2024 and they go to San Francisco in these right. That are happening, but the big. One is World War 3 happens. This year? Ohh I know ******. So yeah, Star Trek points out that in 2024. Earth goes through World War 3, so it's a huge turning point in Star Trek timeline. Uh, because basically, yeah, things. Get really bad. For earth, but uh. Then yeah. Interstellar travel happens just around the corner. In 2063. We've got a couple more years to get to before the Vulcans arrive on Earth, but in 2063 the Vulcans arrive and and we get, you know, our space programme gets recognised by the.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Vulcans wasn't. Was was first contact set in 2063, yeah. Also first contact cause I I have seen I've seen first contact. I saw that when I was a kid that's the only Star Trek thing that.

CRAIG NORRIS

Ohh really right, it's look bad one to.

MARCUS JOHNSON

I've seen start finish.

CRAIG NORRIS

Watch. Yeah, it's good. The Borg. Aren't it?

MARCUS JOHNSON

The old queen, who absolutely terrified me when I.

CRAIG NORRIS

Was 10. It's great. Great new villain for the franchise at that time. Yeah, 2063. Yeah. Look, I mean, I guess the earth had regressed. A lot. So. It didn't look super.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Evolved because I remember watching it and thinking it was set in the present day. Because of the IT just I. I just remember it looking very sort. Of late 90s, probably because it was made in the late 90s.

Speaker

Like here.

CRAIG NORRIS

Like 90s? Yeah, I I think that reflects the fact that Earth earth went backwards a lot after World War three. Yeah, it's well, yeah, I might be wrong. Do send a comment on a Twitch. Chat or YouTube chat or? You know, SMS now on 0488811707 if it is a different year, but it says here in the article 2063 is when the Vulcans get here. Yeah. There we go. So World War Three, World War three. So let's hope that that's not true.

Speaker

I mean.

MARCUS JOHNSON

One of one of my. One of my students last year was when they were asking why we were studying what all one at the very end of the year after reports on it said. Because you're gonna be studying World War 2 next year and. You can't understand World War 2 without understanding of World War One, and one student said. Ohh could be studying World War 3 next year and I said Nah, there's not enough time to get into this. Into the syllabus.

CRAIG NORRIS

There you see that deflect it deflected, not ruining. The hope for our kids? Another video game story from ours, technia one of Tekken 8's Colour Blind modes, is causing migraines, Vertigo and debate. Now this is only in kind of beta demo mode at the moment, but it's interesting to check out on YouTube Tekken. 8 colour blind mode. Because what they've done is they've created this kind of like solarized. Version of the game. And or high contrast solarized. So everything's kind of outlined black outlines for those people that haven't played taken. Of course it's. A1V11V1 fighting game, karate style martial arts moves.

MARCUS JOHNSON

1/3.

CRAIG NORRIS

So what's really interesting? About this though, is that they've kept the outline of the animations for your characters, but they've removed all of the character features, so all you're left with is horizontal stripes, horizontal black and white stripes for one character, and vertical black and white stripes to the other. Character it's it's it's it's quite. Quite migraine inducing for me when I seen it.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yeah, the the background. Looks like the music video for take on me. I I kind of wish the player characters did as well rather than just being stripes.

Speaker 1

There you go. Yeah, that's good.

CRAIG NORRIS

It would help with. Differentiating though, right? I can see what with what they've gone for here that they've created. High contrast.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Accessibility. Ultimately, like characters in Tekken, they even taking out colours. They look very different from each other so.

Speaker

Hmm hmm.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah. How much of? A problem would. It be for blindness. I don't know.

MARCUS JOHNSON

I mean ultimately if if you have characters who look similar like cars, you and gin just put them in different outfits and their their clothes will be different enough. Done a lot more easily. Mind you, I've never, I've. Never had to deal with colour blindness myself, so perhaps this is going to be particularly useful, but I. Know it.

Speaker

OK.

CRAIG NORRIS

Doesn't seem like it's getting much positive.

MARCUS JOHNSON

No. Yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

Alright, let me let me so.

Speaker

I don't know. Someone tell me what the hell is? Going on here.

CRAIG NORRIS

So it's Doctor Who it has now returned and is returned so. I've not seen it. Mark has seen the the the whole clutch of Doctor Who that got released over like Christmas, New Year's. So what was that? That was the the Davros Special Christmas special.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yes, that was the sketch. For children in need. So yeah there. Was the children in need sketch with Davros and the creation of the Dalek plunger? Then there were three one hour specials with David Tennant as the 14th Doctor and. Donation. And then there was one final one hour special with shooting guard was the new Doctor, the 15th Doctor.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah. So we had a whole bunch of like headline grabbing, Doctor Who content from, oh, here we go. Doctor Who's top 50 controversies. We might go back to that.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Sounds good.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, yeah, we'll read through that in a SEC. What I want to jump into. So OK, mainly it seems to have caused a little bit of. Backlash from 144 people more. But anyway, the BBC has responded to anti trans Doctor Who complaints, so these are people who watched. This series, and particularly I guess what we're looking at here is the David Tennant episodes with Star Beast Star Beast episodes, where there's a trans character and some fans have reacted against that, saying it's. It's anti heterosexual male. Right, I think was part of the complaint because there's a scene, there's a couple of scenes. There's one scene where the doctor is corrected from using a assuming a male pronoun for the alien, and he's corrected by saying, you know, you're assuming. It's male. It could be female. And some fans said that's to work. You know that's not needed. And the other one was right at the end. Spoilers here, where the resolution of the the the episode comes about from the non binary Ness. Of the main character, and there's there's dialogue go around the fact that the doctor really doesn't understand how to what's going on or how to finish it because he's a man and you need to non binary. Is that right?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Look more or less I I I say it's a pretty fair assessment there. There's a line from Donna and Donna's daughter who is a trans woman. Something along the lines of you're a you're a male presenting Time Lord, so you wouldn't know.

CRAIG NORRIS

And what's interesting here is the, you know, some of the debate around, I guess the. The presentation of diversity, so the. BBC's come out. And has said that, uh, what is it the? Just here. So there are newspapers of absolute heat and venom and destruction and violence. Who would rather see that sort of thing wiped off the screen destroyed? Shame on you and good luck in your life. So the BBC has come out in full support of the Doctor Who I hear is so here's the quote here saying, as regular viewers of Doctor Who will be aware. The show has and will always continue to proudly celebrate diversity and reflect the world we live in. We are always mindful of the content within our episodes. So yeah, they're they're embracing the idea of of of trans identity in this episode. Key plot points are based around trans identity. There's also, I guess within that a lot of wearing politics on the sleeve with the idea of disability. So the the Davros episode took Davros out of a wheelchair, and I think Russell T Davis in an interview. Maybe he's in an interview. I heard was talking about. You know, one of the things. He wanted to update was the idea that the evil Bad character in Doctor Who was in a wheelchair, Davros.

Speaker

Right.

CRAIG NORRIS

Like, why is that so? Their version of Davros is non wheelchair based. And instead we. Do have a wheelchair character who is heroic? Who's a unit? Member scientist.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yes, someone who sits behind a computer and delivers techno level.

CRAIG NORRIS

So how? How have you unpacked I? Mean did you enjoy? These this script, who I've not seen them, would you say, definitely jump into them. It's looking really exciting and interesting. Or would you say actually without the controversy? It's pretty. Boring or?

MARCUS JOHNSON

I I would absolutely reckon people watch these specials. I thought they were pretty good. I actually think that the specials is a it's more of a a model. I think that doctors should transition into. Just because one of the major problems that throws us a tangent but one of the major problems, Doctor Who has always had dating back to the 60s, is that every every series, every story is written by someone different. So there's very little consistency in tone and characterization. I think if they. Were to do. Four between 4:00 and 6:00 specials a year rather than doing. You know, 10 or 13 episodes. That's probably that would be a better model because it meant it would mean they could all be written by the same person. And but I I enjoy them to, to, to, to cover the Davros one, because we had a bit of a discussion before the show about this and how because Russell Davies, or for anyone who's not not aware. Davros is the the creator of the dialects and he goes around and sort of one of those skirts like they wear and he's blind. His eyes are fused together and he's got a really big. Blue light in his forehead, which is clearly meant to be his eye, and he's only got one working hand, and Davey said that that was, he thought it was problematic, saying that all people in wheelchairs could be. Cool. Ohh sorry, I'm paraphrasing horribly there. I'm probably really undercutting what his actual point was, but.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, I think it was to provide alternative imagery of people in wheelchairs that it doesn't just treat. Them as but as.

Speaker

Feelings, I mean for.

MARCUS JOHNSON

For me, it was always more so about. It's creating a a strong visual connection between Dev Ros and. His creations because because he thinks the Daleks are perfection and it would make sense that he built them in his own image. They have one eye. They only have one hand they can use to manipulate things and they go around those hover skirts.

CRAIG NORRIS

The Daleks.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Because he's so.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, kind of.

MARCUS JOHNSON

He's so monomaniacal and arrogant. He designed them after himself in. It's always people are people because there was a a virus that was or disease was attacking the khaleds his race. And so he accelerated the mutation to create the dialects and there are expanded universe stories that show Davos being in some horrible accident that scares him and removes the use of one of his arms and his legs. I never thought that was necessary. So I always just thought that Davros, is this withered, shrunken guy because he was in an advanced stage of the disease and.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, right.

MARCUS JOHNSON

So I I. And to have him just become. A normal guy, it doesn't really. It doesn't make sense that he would design the Daleks that way. It was a funny short because it had a it was, it was. It was a children in need short. It had a punch line at the end, but the conversation Craig that you and I were having is we were talking about the character of. Khan from *? Trek, who when they made Star Trek Into darkness in the early 20 tens characters originally as sick. Who's portrayed as terrorists? They went all hold on. That's actually really problematic. We don't want to be saying that all six are terrorists, so they they changed a character called Khan Noonian singing to a white guy played by Benedict. Number, batch and the sick response was no. We really liked Khan. He's the most one of the most famous sick characters in Western fiction. And yeah, he's a bad guy, but he's really charismatic and he's always getting one up on the heroes. He's a really interesting character. And yeah, he wasn't a good guy, but he was a compelling villain and you've taken. That away from us.

CRAIG NORRIS

Look, and I think it's interesting that, you know, the idea that there's only one way of reading. You know Davros or the character of Khan in Star Trek is really problematic, that there's never one only reading. Yes, there might be a, I mean, semiotic theory, you would say there's a there's a dominant reading of of that, and sometimes that can be quite racist and exclusionary. However, there's equally going to be resistant readings which will read a queer subtext into that character, or a aspirational positive. Of feminist reading, or in this case with Singh. Yeah, the the original actor that played him.

MARCUS JOHNSON

He wasn't even sick. He was.

CRAIG NORRIS

Mexican, Mexican it was Ricardo Montalban. Yeah. Montana. Yeah. So, you know, highly problematic in terms of, you wouldn't have that version today, or would you? Right. I mean, cause. Yeah, they they they got the whitest guy out.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Ricarda montalbano.

CRAIG NORRIS

Cumberbatch Cumberbatch to play a character still named.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Senator Cumberbatch, yeah.

CRAIG NORRIS

Count only in saying so. Yeah, I mean, I I think again it's it's it's it could be treating your audience is dumb or stupider than they are that that actually your audiences can be quite subversive in their readings. It can be fun to have a text which you then dig into to. As an audience. Number have an alternative reading.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Of see I I I'm not someone who uses a wheelchair so I I can't really speak from that perspective, but I I I would imagine because the way that they've handled this is if you take away one of the doctors, my representation characters in a wheelchair. I. I would be interested to know if if they feel short change. That they've lost. Such a, you know, an iconic recurring villain who is a massive genius and who who does have a very interesting character arc throughout. At least the. Original genesis of the Daleks, but I'd I'd be fascinated to know what the what the response is about. That, that representation being taken away and then the the positive representation being brought in as a replacement, but without, I suppose, the effectiveness, but in response to this, I oh, sorry you go.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, because you, I. Liked one of the ideas you had earlier around the idea that Doctor Who has always been controversial, that in fact this. Kind of. Fan reaction to Doctor Who, saying that you know you're you're you're ruining Doctor Who you're introducing woke progressive politics that don't belong in Doctor Who. They could be done differently. Misses the fact that Doctor Who's always been controversial has always had aspects.

Speaker

Ohh it's.

MARCUS JOHNSON

It's always been work. I mean, the fact that his greatest enemies of fascists and authoritarians, whereas he's very much. Or or they or. She depending on what the incarnation is, is very much an anti authoritarian figure, has aligned themselves with communist ideals. In the 1970s, when discussing with the SAURIANS has always butted heads with very staunch conservative figureheads, and you look at some of the classic stories and they could certainly be seen as problematic today. Because it was a very different time in, you know, social development and social norms. But if you compare it with the competition in the 1960s and 70s, they. In a lot of ways, very progressive. I mean, you look at some of the stuff that, Barbara, the one of the first ever companions, achieved one of the most. Uh, I'm trying to not say the the word words where it's bad and it rhymes with grass, but one of the most effective women on 1960s television and she ran a dialect over with. Truck Allison's that but and in the 1980s when there was, you know, widespread homophobia from the AIDS crisis. You had characters like in in there was 1 dialect story where a bunch you were being forcibly converted into dialects, which is pretty obvious analogy and the. Doctor is extremely. Sympathetic towards them. And there's one seeing where he full and nurses are dying. Mutant, who's been infected with what is. Totally not aids. And when they addressed homophobia by, there's one episode where the TARDIS gets painted. Thinking there's always been a work element to Doctor Who, it's nothing.

CRAIG NORRIS

New. It's interesting. Yeah, cause 10 years ago this article came out from Den of Gig gig back in 2013. Doctor Who's top 50 controversies. We don't have much. We might skip to the top 10.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Can I just say sorry? 49 was William Hartnell. I'm just curious to see how William, because he is the original. OK, the original doctor.

CRAIG NORRIS

So #49 controversy is William Hartnell on top of the notorious Billy Fluffs, where Hartnell would mangle his lines due to a combination of intense production schedules, illness, and a deliberate. Character trait Hartnell was a difficult man. He had his favourites amongst the guest actors and wanted things to be just so. His attitudes to race, religion have also been remarked on by Nicholas Courtney and Anik Wills, who attributed anti Semitic and racist comments to Hartnell respectively. Uh. Yet actors from those backgrounds spoke of getting on well with the actor. The issue will most likely remain in exactly detailed a complex and unedifying blight, right? So it seems to be about the actor himself being anti Semitic and racist. Is that something you're familiar with or?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Ohh yeah absolutely. There's a scene where the scene in light William Hartnell when he was he had undiagnosed articularis which affected his ability to remember his lines and so he'd sort of slip in and out of reality. And there's one very famous instance where they walk into a film set which you said it's doing a film that's got very Orientalist. Overtones in the in in it's a. It's a film within within. The show and at the end of the scene, the doctor says, Get Me Out of here. It's a madhouse. It's full of Arabs and people are not actually sure if that was scripted or if it was just William Harden or forgetting where he was and saying something really racist.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So again, controversial in terms of. Yeah, the the lead actor. Yeah, being racist, yet portraying a kind of, you know, as you're saying, an anti establishment figure. Hmm. Even the Hartnell first doctor. It has anti establishment and certainly been wrecked. Bond as an anti establishment figure. I mean, we're talking of radcon, of course the the many fans bemoaning the retconning of the origins of the.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Doctor, we talked about that enough.

CRAIG NORRIS

#48 controversy. Regeneration. Right. So they, they they explained that the contradiction. Regeneration was that. You know, we wouldn't really be discussing this shows 50th anniversary yet in 1966. The first regeneration did not go swimmingly. BBC Archives show a generally negative reaction to the second Doctor. Most of the comments centred around Patrick Troughton, Troughton, Troughton as Doctor Who much of this took critical form. Though there is some positive comment in the report, the words idiotic new character playing for laughs and his character is peculiar in an unappealing way are amongst choice. Criticisms. My personal favourite is I feel the characters over exaggerated, whimsical Even so, this was the BBC's. Reaction to the direction the Doctor Who production team was taking it the the series in with the regeneration idea and casting.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Patrick town. And this is just shows that people have always every time a new Doctor comes along, even with the 2nd Doctor ever, the very first generation people have always complained about them. And Patrick Troughton is now seen widely as the incarnation and the actor who defined what the.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Doctor should be. Every, every other doctor except the. 3rd and maybe the 12th is more influenced by Patreon than they are by William Hartnell.

CRAIG NORRIS

Many people would see the Tom Baker well as I guess the the the one as an audience member, they fondly look back on. But you're saying from is this from people that? Played the doctor. The the role of the doctor or.

MARCUS JOHNSON

So most most of the later doctors took influence from Trouton the 5th.

CRAIG NORRIS

Because his take. Was very different, certainly from William Hartnell.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Like yes, the the whole sort of cause William Hartnell was basically just a grumpy old man drifting through time and space. Patrick Troughton played it as someone who. Will direct the deliberately act silly to distract his enemies, and will sort of never reveal his hand until the last possible moment. And because he was a cause, William Hartnell was, I believe he was ex military, or he certainly played a lot of military characters. He was built like granite and Patrick Bratton was not, and he would, so he would deliberately apply to the fact that the doctor's not someone who can. Generally overcome someone physically, he's got to outwit his opponents to to to save the day. And even even Tom Baker has said that he watched a couple of Patrick Trouton cereals back in the day and took some. From him, people remember the Baker for the costume and the mannerisms and the voice and the the character, the character trademarks. But the actual I guess the. The the the the essence of what we assume the character to be in terms of motivation and approach to problem solving is very much that very much agreed and Patrick routing. But no Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Matt Smith all very deliberately emulated.

CRAIG NORRIS

How did trouton? And his run, was it considered a a kind of mutually beneficial end? Did he want to leave?

Speaker

Yeah, he, he.

CRAIG NORRIS

Was it controversial?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Enjoyed the show, but he was also because he had a he had a large family and he enjoyed having consistent work, but he was also he was a character actor and he didn't want to become too familiar. He didn't. Yeah, he left after three years exactly because he did not want to become typecast and he's advised other actors to do that as well. So it's actually called the trout and rule where a doctor.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Will do three seasons or three complete series and then they will depart. So because.

CRAIG NORRIS

And if you stay longer, you will. Get time cuts. Absolutely. Yeah. So.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Tom Tom Baker.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, they can stay longer. He's very type cast, he.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Played the doctor. For seven years and he, his mental health and his ability to distinguish reality from fiction. Was not great. And so I ended up doing a huge number in his personal life towards the end of his tenure. And it really affected his ability to get work in the. 1980s. He should have followed the training.

CRAIG NORRIS

Rule if he had, what would? We what would three seasons of Tom Baker? That would have ended with the.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Would have ended with. It would have. Ended on a high because his first three seasons are his best. It it becomes a bit lighter and fluffier and a bit tackier after his third season cause.

CRAIG NORRIS

They sure Fang rock. Is that the kind of horror stuff is that?

MARCUS JOHNSON

I think horror of Fang Rock is it's a horror. It's a horror cereal from later in his tenure, but they basically replaced the head writer and the head producer after Tom Baker's third season because they're getting a lot of complaints from parents that it was too dark and so he he sort of goes through three errors as the first three seasons, the next three seasons in the last season, they've all got different production teams and they all feel very different.

CRAIG NORRIS

Wow. All right. Well, so the term rule. Three seasons? Well, we're pretty much at time we'll have. To bring you back to. Do the 47 cause we've got the practise trial and affairs just I know and as.

Speaker

Oh wow.

CRAIG NORRIS

You say it's. Probably worth going through these just to unpack the repetitive nature of the debate today that the the debate we're heading in, the idea that Doctor Who's going. To be cancelled. Or is being cancelled by a group of fans that you know, Oh my God, there's no recovery. That you put a historical lens on this. And yeah, Doctor Who has a history of.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Even even with new, there's been no there's it's been going downhill and in in danger of being cancelled. Ever since David Tennant came in, when everyone loved Chris Freckleton during his one season at the start of New who, everyone said he was the best doctor. And they were upset when he regenerated and thought David Tennant was gonna be on there.

CRAIG NORRIS

Was good one last thing on that then is Peter Eccleston. Christopher.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Christopher Eccleston.

CRAIG NORRIS

It's been a. Little media coverage of his. Answer to a a kids question about if you'd ever come back by Doctor and he said, you know, he'd only come back if Russell T Davies wasn't involved or something. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So very toxic. It seems that that kind of end and is, I mean, famously never spoken about it, but seems to have. Have now said more about it than than.

MARCUS JOHNSON

For to make A to make a long a complex story very short. Essentially, Eccleston felt that he wasn't treated well by Davies on set. He felt that Davies blacklisted him from getting more work, which is the reason why he's come back to do the big finished audio dramas and new conventions he's gotta provide for his family, and he'd be open to coming back cause he did enjoy playing the doctor and he, but he didn't enjoy working with Russell.

CRAIG NORRIS

Davies. Wow. But Rossetti Davies is back now. Yes, I'm going. Oh, well, not Matt. Maybe. Good, maybe. Who knows? All right. Well, that's been medium other. For another week. TuneIn next week. More exciting media stuff. Keep listening to its radio coming up next is is music.

 

 

 

 



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