…but once the press got involved, I didn’t feel I had much of a choice.
In last week’s post about the end of the Jodie Whittaker Era, I mentioned that breaks with established continuity tick me off.
I’ve just learned that there’s something that ticks me off even more.
One of those continuity breaks–the most prominent one–was David Tennant appearing in his own clothes, rather than in the outfit Jodie had sported for the last three seasons. Every regeneration to date has left the new Doctor wearing the previous Doctor’s outfit; part of the fun of the next episode has always been learning what the new actor will be wearing and seeing where the outfit comes from.
I’m sure there will be an in-show rationale for the change. Maybe it’ll even make it into a script.
But the real reason? Well, maybe “real” reason? According to showrunner Russell T Davies, it was done to avoid offending the transphobic and the bigots. Yes, the same idiots who have been offended for the past three seasons. Which, okay, we don’t want to get excoriated in the press any more than we have to. I can see that. But…
The other reason, Russell says, is to avoid offending the drag community. “To put a great big six-foot Scotsman into [a woman’s clothing] looks like we’re taking the mickey.” Fair enough. A better reason than the first, IMNSHO. But…
What about Sacha Dhawan? In the very same episode, Sacha, as the Master, forces a regeneration on the Doctor, effectively reshaping her body into his. Wearing–surprise!–her clothes.
Clothes which, I’ll point out, while tailored for a woman’s body, do not include a skirt, dress, burka, sari, or any other item of clothing that is not normally worn by men in Western European derived cultures.
Are the bigots or the drag queens going to be less offended by a five-foot-seven man of Indian descent wearing “women’s” clothes than the aforementioned six-foot-one Scot? Actually, the bigoted probably would be less offended by it. But if that’s also true of the LGBT community, that says something about that community I’d rather not know.
And yes, I’ll grant that Russell knows the British press far, far better than I do. But really, something’s just not adding up here.
I’m sure there was a good, valid reason why David didn’t wear Jodie’s clothes, but I’m equally sure the official explanation ain’t it. It smacks of a retrocon, and a particularly clumsy one at that.
Given that Jodie is only five-foot-five-and-change, it’s not impossible that the seams gave out when David tried on her pants (though a long jacket–and a well-prepared wardrobe mistress*–can cover a multitude of wardrobe malfunctions). Or maybe there’s some other innocent explanation.
* Is there a generally accepted gender neutral title for this role? My quick web search didn’t turn up any thing.
But clumsy attempts to cover Lady Godiva in a mantle of controversy avoidance? Nah, not buying it.