Character arcs   Leave a comment

A friend of mine – who is not a fan – shared some silly list of other characters that should now be feminized in the wake of the latest regeneration. It annoyed me right off, but at first I couldn’t figure out why. How is the Doctor any different from, say, Darth Vader or Frodo (the two examples I remember)? Why does it work for one to change and not the other?

(Of course regeneration is unique to the Doctor, but that’s not it.)

The difference is this: Each of the other characters on the list, as far as I can recall, has an arc. Beginning, ending, done. The song has ended, and the story’s over too.

The Doctor is infinite.

There is no beginning for the Doctor, and no ending. There is no story arc; it’s more of a sine wave, up and down and back to the start again. There’s only one other set of characters that in any way compares: characters born in the middle part of last century and who have ever since been reinvented, rewritten, reimagined, reborn. Those are comic book characters.

And what have those characters done? We have a Latino Spider-man, an Asian Hulk, a Black Captain America.

And Thor is a woman.

The Doctor will be brown one day. Thor will be a man again. Miles Morales could make it to the big screen. Their possibilities are infinite. They are infinite.

Frodo’s story is done, like Rose’s and Bill’s. But the Doctor’s goes on and on and on.

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Posted July 17, 2017 by Elisabeth in Commentary

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