I’ve fallen hard for Sleepy Hollow and the diversity is teaching me so much about my own racism. It’s about time white people got to look at a room with four black characters in it and say, “That’s funny… I’m not there.” Surprise!
Yes, apparently this is very difficult for white people to cope with:
I’m genuinely hoping to see a shift in demographics represented back towards a lot of the shows that used to be on. But even more, I love the fact that this is on a supernatural-horror-historical fiction-urban fantasy show, a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer or True Blood, which generally seem to be genres allergic to casting actors of color.
The cheese factor and deus-ex-machina plot devices are somewhere around Xena: Warrior Princess levels, but hey, that didn’t stop me from liking Xena.
I know a lot of people have been reacting to Sleepy Hollow, but I’m hoping it’s making even more people *think*.
The sheer fact that the above screencap is an actual scene that actually happened in a genre show is making me pay attention. Plot-wise, story-wise? Meh. But in terms of representation, of both POCs and women, Sleepy Hollow is actually giving me a little bit of hope. We’ll see.
I’m only casually following things, and I’m worried about all the focus on the hot British white male hero that’s going on (like, WHO CARES when you have motherfucking ABBIE MILLS). But even so….these actors above are selling it. Their presence on the screen is so convincing. Its so easy for me to believe that they’re not just side characters, that they’re every bit as damn important as Ichabod-holy-is-his-name-Crane. I feel, right now at least, that the show is deliberately being set up to give these characters and their stories just as much weight as anything else going on. Ichabod’s funny when he’s trying to figure out lamps and all that and sure, Katrina’s story is just vague enough to keep audiences tuned it, but this is what I’m really interested in. Give me Jenny and Abbie and their dysfunctional sister relationship. Give me Irving and Cynthia and their daughter and that relationship. Give me fantastic character arcs for Luke Morales and Andy Brooks.
In short, give me a show (a genre show, at that) that doesn’t sideline its non-white characters but instead highlights them and puts them at the forefront of the narrative. Give me that, and I’ll happily take any crazy, Xena-esque plot twists and melodrama you want to throw at me.
But wait, how can we even be sure Gallifrey would want the Doctor back? The Time Lords on the War Council, at least, didn’t enjoy seeing him. He doesn’t exactly have a history of friendly relations with Gallifrey. And if/once he does find it, won’t it still be trapped in that single moment when the Daleks were firing on the planet? In other words, in the middle of the chaos and death of war? And what about the High Council and their plan to wipe out literally everything else in the universe? What about the Master?
In a fitting move for an episode celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who, ”The Day of the Doctor” began with the opening visuals and music used by the very first episode of Doctor Who, which fade away to show a police man passing by a familiar old junkyard before the camera focuses in on the Coal Hill School, where inside is…
Clara Oswald. Teaching. With no explanation for how the last episode was resolved, how she and the Doctor escaped his timeline, how they left Trenzalore, where the Paternoster gang is, or why she’s back on Earth.
Still it’s nice to see some character development in Clara. It looks like Clara’s left her job as a nanny and is now working as a teacher, which is another nurturing position, but it probably meant that she had some ambition and took the initiative to make a career for herself. Mind you, it would have been nice to see her move beyond the Impossible Girl and make a new life for herself instead of trying to guess what happened to her between “The Name of the Doctor” and “The Day of the Doctor.” But I guess this is what passes as character development in the Moffat era.
This was just the first of many problems I had with the 50th anniversary. There are, of course, many things that I did enjoy about the special. The interaction between the three Doctors was superb, the dialogue was witty and engaging, Billie Piper turned in an absolutely stellar performance as the Moment, and the inclusion of Tom Baker and clips of the other Doctors (including Capaldi!) had all of the Whovians at my viewing in a puddle of feels. But it’s important to talk about the problematic elements, because they have strongly detracted from my enjoyment of what should have been an incredible anniversary special. From the horrible characterization of Elizabeth I to the undermining of Series 1-7, there was a lot that had me cringing throughout this episode.
So, below the jump is an extended review of “The Day of the Doctor.”
"Not as bad as it could have been" I think is actually pretty accurate. Again: it was good enough, but in the hands of a (frankly) better writer/showrunner it could have been mind-blowing. I think I enjoyed certain moments more than the overall product. And there were definitely problems, the same problems that are in everything Moffat writes apparently. I can’t even talk about what they did to Elizabeth I without flying into a blind rage. I was severely disappointed in how Kate and Osgood’s stories played out (and were left unresolved). I wasn’t upset with the final outcome of the episode per se, but I definitely get why people are. I am also wondering how difficult it will be for me to go back and watch Nine’s episodes now, knowing what I know. (And how much I will just not give a shit about Eleven’s angst fest in S5-6.)
I also agree that the Moment was probably the best aspect of the entire episode.
Also, THANK YOU for bringing up the very important question of what the hell happened after The Name of the Doctor?
And, I mean. Would it have killed them to give the black Timelord on the War Council a speaking role? Really?
I live in a house with ten other people, and right now all ten of them are gone, so I have this big house to myself and its storming outside. Its both creepy as all get-out and really awesome at the same time.