Ten Things About Who: Aliens of London

It’s been a few weeks since we departed the Cardiff rift. Apologies – pressures of work, and all that. But we continue a revisit of 2005’s Doctor Who series with the TARDIS’ return to the Powell Estate.

A quick reminder that my collection of Ten Things About Who posts for the 2012/13 series is now available for Kindle devices and Kindle e-reader apps for the bargain price of £1.99 – that’s 14p per episode discussion Thanks to everyone who’s bought it so far – if you have, please do leave a review or, at the very least, a star rating. And if you haven’t bought it yet, you can do so at mtthw.mn/whoebook.

1. A quick recap…

OK, so I said that The End of the World starts with what is, for Doctor Who, a rarely-used device: a “previously…”-style recap, that has “rarely been needed since”.

And then, two episodes later, that device gets used again. Still, I’m right – it tends not to be used much after this. To be honest, its usefulness in a series where the setting can change so drastically from episode to episode is debatable. But notice, even here, that it’s a recap of events solely from Rose. There’s no glimpse of Platform One or Victorian Cardiff at all.

Conceptually, it fits – this episode is a thematic sequel to the first episode, and deals directly witht he consequences of Rose’s impetuous run into the TARDIS at the end of that episode. For me, the recap here feels alien, if you’ll pardon the expression.

While what we now call “classic” Doctor Who used the old B-movie serial of replaying the previous week’s hangover to remind viewers of where they’ve got to, this “remember this from three weeks ago?” style of reminder has never sat well with Doctor Who. And it really isn’t used much after this. I promise.

Continue reading Ten Things About Who: Aliens of London

Two broadcasters who get it about the gay thing

After all the [Moyles](http://www.matthewman.net/articles/2006/06/06/the-bbc-governors-are-spastics) business, it’s nice to see two broadcasters (both straight) who get it.

First off, [Andrew Collins](http://www.wherediditallgoright.com/BLOG/2006/06/this-man-is-gay.html):

> But if it is expected to use gay as an insult, aren’t we just ever so slightly sliding backwards, semantically speaking? What if the word “black” became twisted in the playground to mean “rubbish” and that entered the adult lexicon? Is _that_ cool? Suppose “Northamptonian” became shorthand for “lame”. That’s _so_ Northamptonian! Would I care? I sort of would, even if the use of it didn’t actually injure me personally. I think I’d care in priniciple.
>
> I know, the English language evolves and mutates the whole time, and that is a wonderful thing, but I don’t think this matter is as cut and dried as the governors do. Surely it plays into the hands of those who think being gay actually is rubbish. I saw a documentary on Channel 4 the other night about a college in America for Christians who really do think it’s rubbish. They think it’s wrong and deviant and unnatural and dangerous. They must be rubbing their hands.

Bless him. I love Andrew Collins anyway (in a butch, platonic way, of course. Anything else would just be a little bit _moyles_). This almost makes up for him being a pundit on _Doctor Who Confidential_ when they should clearly have invited someone from _The Stage_ in his place :)

Secondly, Jon Stewart of America’s Daily Show, who laid into right-wing pundit Bill Bennett on the hypocrisy surrounding politicians hawking round anti-gay marriage amendments to shore up their fundamentalist bases:

> Stewart: So why not encourage gay people to join in in that family arrangement if that is what provides stability to a society?
>
> Bennett: Well I think if gay..gay people are already members of families…
>
> Stewart: What? (almost spitting out his drink)
>
> Bennett: They’re sons and they’re daughters..
>
> Stewart: So that’s where the buck stops, that’s the gay ceiling.
>
> Bennett Look, it’s a debate about whether you think marriage is between a man and a women.
>
> Stewart:I disagree, I think it’s a debate about whether you think gay people are part of the human condition or just a random fetish.

Thanks to [boingboing](http://www.boingboing.net/2006/06/07/jon_stewart_tears_op.html) for the link to [Crooks and Liars](http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/06/07.html#a8614), which has downloadable video of the show segment.

Or, you can just watch it via [YouTube](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ru1M8VDpnAY):

If you’re part of the [72.5% of households with digital television](http://www.thestage.co.uk/tvtoday/2006/06/were_a_digital_nation_now.php), make sure you catch the Daily Show every weekday, 8:30pm on [More4](http://www.channel4.com/more4).

The BBC Governors are spastics

Does the headline of this post offend you? It should. It’s insulting not only to the subjects (the BBC Board of Governors), but to a whole section of the population. It’s an insult that was prevalent in the school playgrounds that I grew up in, but that’s no excuse. Quite rightly, if anybody bandied such an insult about on the BBC, they would find themselves in contravention of the Corporation’s guidelines on taste and decency in short order.

But now there’s another insult doing the rounds. It, too, has its etymological roots through associating a person or thing with a section of the community — and implying that, as a result, the subject of the insult is all the lesser for that.

This time, though, the BBC Governors have decided that, because it’s a term freely in use in school playgrounds, it’s perfectly acceptable for a Radio 1 DJ to use such a derogatory term.

That insult is “gay”.

Apparently, because schoolchildren now use “gay” to relate to anything substandard, it’s okay for Radio 1’s resident crap DJ, Chris Moyles, to use it too.

> The Committee noted that the word “gay”, in addition to being used to mean “homosexual” or “carefree”, was often now used to mean “lame” or “rubbish”. This is a widespread current usage of the word amongst young people. The Committee was familiar with hearing this word in this context.

The governors are well aware of why using “gay” as an insult is offensive; for some reason its ubiquity in this form excuses a racist, homophobic cunt (another offensive word, in common usage as an insult but with a very different meaning from its original one — does that make it okay, too?) like Moyles, who should be setting an example rather than following the rules of the playground.

* [BBC Appeals to the Governors Jan-Mar 2006](http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/pdf/apps_janmar2006.pdf) (PDF)