Tuesday, June 23, 2009

HH2 - The Moonbase 2

Doctor Who could never be called a flagship for the cause of feminism, to be sure, but the show had its moments where women weren't portrayed as inept waifs who only understood how to sit still just long enough for them to get into trouble and be rescued by men. Not many moments, but it did have them. Most of them involve Sarah Jane Smith.

The Innes Lloyd era of Doctor Who has to be the most chauvinistic era in the programme's history. There are not only few strong female characters in the stories of this era; there are few female characters, period. Apart from Polly, there are no female characters in The Moonbase (nor its earlier clone, The Tenth Planet). Obviously, in the eyes of the people who made Doctor Who at this time, the future was purely a male driven society, and the women are kept well out of the way. Polly manages to scream a few times and then make the coffee (the latter of which, at least, serves as a plot point).

There is an achingly long scene where Hobbs and his staff work on fixing the Gravitron, interrupted by a pep talk by the most snivelly of civil servants over the radio. It seems to go on for ten minutes, and all that happens is a bunch of scientific busywork that must have been fascinating to noted scientist Kit Pedler, who wrote the episode, but interminably dull to everyone else. But it took ten minutes out of the script, and was shot on one set, so into the story it goes.

I'd talk about the new Cybermen and how much I like them, but they've barely appeared in this story, and it's already halfway through...


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