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A spectacular electrical storms light up the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle range after the massive 8.8-magnitude Puyehue volcano erupted in Chile which had laid dormant for over half a century. The eruption belched an ash cloud more than six miles high over the Andes and cause a flurry of earth quakes. Photos by: Francisco Negroni | Flickr | 500px
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"They’re all women, on the side of good, in a sci-fi world, so their speeches aren’t going to be radically different. It’s not so much what they say, as why they say it and when."
Russell T. Davies on companions Rose, Martha, and Donna.
I posted about this already, but I just want to post this quote separately for the sake of the main tags. Stop with the acting as though RTD and the RTD era were so much better. He and Moffat fail in different ways - RTD didn’t do the pregnancy or Impossible Girl woman-as-puzzle plots, but he also doesn’t focus on the female companions’ agency the way Moffat does. Eleven meets a lot of women whose lives have already been irreversibly shaped by him, but they still manage to want and to keep lives that don’t revolve entirely around him in a way that RTD’s Rose and Donna, who were ordinary before meeting him, do not. Moffat glorifies the femininity of women as mothers in a sketchy way - RTD demonizes the femininity of women as sexual beings in a sketchy way. And surprise! RTD has categorically denied the possibility of a female Doctor while in Moffat’s run it’s become canonically possible for the first time.
This isn’t even a Moffat defense post. This is a “take off the nostalgia goggles and stop being idiots about RTD” post. If your guy answers a question about how he writes his characters with “well, they’re all women, you know,” he is not the bastion of feminism you’re looking for.
Except he didn’t say his characters “were the same since they’re all women!!!1”, all this quote is saying is that because of the roles these characters have on the story, they are going to have similar lines at some point (since they are all, indeed, female heroes in a sci-fi show,) And that becuase of that, if you’re screenwriting their dialogue, you shouldn’t try to “inject” differences in the way they speak since that will make for dialogue that won’t sound organic.
But judge by yourself, here’s the full quote, in its proper context:
BC: Now that you’re into 4.12/4.13, with its not
inconsiderable cast list, I’m interested in how your
approaches to writing, say, Rose, Martha and Donna
differ? Is it what different characters say or how they say
it that defines them, makes them ‘come alive’, makes
RTD: That’s tricky. I don’t type ‘DONNA’ and then think,
now, how would she say this… ? The fact that I’ve typed
'DONNA' means that she already has something to say.
You can worry too much about speech patterns, about
imposing different styles on the words, one for Rose, one
for Donna, one for Martha, one for Sarah Jane. They’re
all women, on the side of good, in a sci-fi world, so their
speeches aren’t going to be radically different. It’s not so
much what they say, as why they say it and when.
But I suppose there’s a basic characteristic that I bear
in mind. An essence. Rose is open, honest, heartfelt, to
the point of being selfish, wonderfully selfish. Martha
is clever, calm, but rarely says what she’s really thinking.
Donna is blunt, precise, unfiltered, but with a big heart
beneath all the banter. But we come back to what I was
saying ages ago about turning characters. If Rose can be
selfish, then her finest moments will come when she’s
selfless. If Martha keeps quiet, then her moments of
revelation - like her goodbye to the Doctor in Last of the
Time Lords, or stuck with Milo and Cheen in Gridlock
- make her fly. Donna is magnificently self-centred
- not selfish, but she pivots everything around herself,
as we all do — so when she opens up and hears the Ood
song, or begs for Caecilius’ family to be saved, then she’s
This isn’t about their damn characters being the same, stop comparing apples to oranges [ie I see u trying to equate this to Moffat saying "all the people who run away with the Doctor will fill this (incredibly tiny and specific) mold because of ~~dramatic reasons~~]. What he’s saying is that actions and context in the story are more important than the speech patterns of the characters. And then he goes on a huge rant about how they are not the same,and all have in fact very different personalities. It’s just a very elaborated and detailed way of saying “actions (in the script) speak louder than words”.