I recently stumbled across a show from a few years ago featuring not one but two of DW’s fabulous lady guest stars: Suranne Jones (Idris, “The Doctor’s Wife”) and Lesley Sharpe (Sky Silvestry, “Midnight”). The two co-star as police detectives in ITV’s Scott and Bailey: Jones as erratic but brilliant DC Rachel Bailey, nicknamed Sherlock, and Sharpe as her steady family-woman partner and best friend, DC Janet Scott. Just watching them together is treat enough, but the show as a whole fills a role rarely seen on television: police procedural drama led entirely by women, in front of and behind the camera.
The two main characters are women. Their boss is a woman. Most of the writers and directors are women. Minor characters – cops, victims, perpetrators – may be men or women. But the major male characters are love interests, exes, and comic relief. It’s a big switch for the genre, and a welcome one. The scripts are strong, the acting flawless. This isn’t a bone thrown to women: it’s the real thing, done really well. It’s a model for what half of all television should be.
Recommended for fans of police drama, as well as fans of these two spectacular actresses.
The actor/comedian who appeared briefly as Patrick Troughton in ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ will be joining the real thing in S9:
The article confirms that Mark Gatiss is writing for S9.
This link is full of clips and other bits of fun. Osgood, Kate Stewart, writer and director videos previously posted, the mysterious Maisie Williams and hirsute Rufus Hound.
I love that people love this show. I love how excited they are to be a part of it. I love hearing a grown man use ‘squee’ as a verb. I love Jemma Redgrave flailing with delight.
It’s a wonderful thing.
This is actually the most reasonable and well-thought-out article on the topic I’ve yet encountered:
Women in NuWho
It also supports my theory that Moffat wrote his best characters for Davies’ era.
Still thinking on it, but imagine I’ll have more to say later.
ETA then there’s this, via Paul Cornell’s twitter: Moffat and the idea of a female Doctor.
When Peter Capaldi was announced, a clip of Moffat was included in the presentation. Someone asked about a woman playing the Doctor and he said he’d like to see a man play the Queen. It’s a false equivalency and insulting to boot. Given the above I wonder if that comment was taken out of context or if it was an expression of frustration with the question. It also didn’t occur to me at the time, but the producer/director of the presentation deserves at least as much side-eye as the Moff for including the clip, especially if it’s out of context.
I maintain that Moffat is a) marginally if any more sexist than the average straight white Western male in his position; b) by his nature inclined to the twelve-year-old boy point of view; c) subject to serious bouts of foot-in-mouth disease; d) disinclined to account for himself (justifiably, may I add, given the vitriol of some fans’ reactions); e) aware of what’s going on around him; f) not always capable of dealing with it. He’s a long way from perfect, in some ways not even all that admirable, but he is most certainly human.
He also has the distinct disadvantage of being the most visible figure at the helm of an incredibly popular show in an era of unprecedented access by thoughtful, intelligent fans and ranting trolls alike. It’s an unenviable position, and it’s unlikely anyone, however admirable, could manage it well at all times. Moffat is a writer and a super-geek, so it’s not surprising he’d be bad at this particular aspect of the job.
I still don’t much like him, but I don’t mind giving him credit where it’s due.