Nine/Women (live show)

Young London woman Rose Tyler is at work when she is surprised by animated shop dummies, but she is saved by a mysterious man in a leather jacket who calls himself the Doctor. Though he tells her to forget him, she discovers he is a legend, the subject of Internet conspiracy theories: he has appeared throughout human history, and wherever he goes, death and destruction follow. Tough, resourceful, at times silly but with uncompromising morals, this Doctor has seen much and survived terrible losses. But he’s also alone – until he inspires Rose to realise her potential and save him, and the planet, in return…

Splendid Chaps is a year-long celebration of Doctor Who‘s fiftieth anniversary: eleven live performances recorded as podcasts in which your brains will be fed, your funny bones tickled, and your hearts opened (yes, both of them!). Our ninth major episode brings us finally to new Who, that time when the seemingly impossible happened and the show returned! Russell T Davies reinvented the Doctor by casting renowned TV and film actor Christopher Eccleston, famous for serious roles in dramas like Cracker, Our Friends in the North and Elizabeth. His simultaneously light-hearted and tortured portrayal of a man who has lost everything won over old and new fans alike, though the revelation after the smash success of the first episode that he would only be staying for one year took fans and media by surprise. Despite his short stay in the role, Eccleston defined the new era of Doctor Who and laid the groundwork for the format that persisted ever since.

Just as important to new Who was new companion Rose Tyler, played by pop star turned actor Billie Piper. For some she was a revelation compared to the “scream queens” of the past; but is this a fair assessment? We take as our theme women in Doctor Who: was having a proactive and near equal status companion for the Doctor really such a radical idea? Has Doctor Who been as terribly sexist as has often been claimed? Are the women in the show as varied and multifaceted as the men? And is the modern series really better in its portrayal of women than the old?

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by a panel including feminist organiser and writer Karen Pickering (Cherchez la Femme), author and podcaster Tansy Rayner Roberts (Galactic Suburbia, Verity!) and National Indigenous Organiser for the National Tertiary Education Union, Celeste Liddle (Rantings of an Aboriginal Feminist), plus a musical performance, giveaways and other excellence!

Space: The Gasometer Hotel, 484 Smith Street, Collingwood (corner of Alexandra Parade)
Time: Sunday, September 15; recording starts 5 PM
Accessibility: We regret that this venue is not wheelchair accessible.
Tickets: $15 (plus booking fee where applicable)
Bookings: via trybooking.com or at the door (subject to availability)
Podcast: not yet available; released 23rd of September, 2013.

10 comments

  1. Colin Russell says:

    How many Who fans does it take to change a light bulb? None, they sit around for 16 years and wait for it to come back on by itself! Ahh, the new series at last…

  2. Tony Flynn says:

    I noticed that the venue is not wheelchair accessible. No doubt steps have been put in place to defend against Dalek invasion. 🙂

  3. Sarah says:

    Yay! I’ve been so looking forward to you guys getting up to New Who!
    Lets hope they’re really good (long) episodes 😉

  4. Nathan says:

    I might finally come along, why do I get the feeling that 9, 10 and 11 will have larger audiences? 🙂

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but there’s been lots of talk on Splendid Chaps of peoples favourite Doctors, but I don’t think there’s been an extensive discussion of peoples favourite companions. I’m curious to know at least for John, Ben and Petra who your favourite is, or if there’s more than one. Perhaps name a favourite male (not to many to choose from) and favourite female? Any Adam fans out there? 😀

    Also a special request: I’m curious to know where people were and what they were doing when they heard Elisabeth Sladen had died, and how they reacted. I was getting ready for work when my partner yelled out that “Sarah Jane has died” after hearing it on the radio, I thought “What the hell are you talking about” and went online and found it was true, and promptly burst into tears. I never cried over any other actor or actress dying ever. As someone posted in a forum I visit, “For those of us of a certain age, this is an axe blow to the roots”.

  5. Sam Streeter says:

    In my eyes, companions are there to get into trouble, be rescued & provide the spark of inspiration for a solution. The good thing is that they get to grow & become better.

    The one companion that showed great potential was Martha Jones. On first look, she was training to be a doctor, with an apparently clever mind & internal strength. Why oh why then do you think that the writers immediately started writing her as a ridiculous love-sick & useless puppy?

  6. Koa Webster says:

    I’m so excited – just booked my ticket for the show & flight down to Melbourne! Looking forward to it. I think that Christopher Eccleston isn’t often given the credit I feel he’s due for a really interesting portrayal of the Doctor as an emotionally wounded man. And oh boy is there a lot to say about women on Doctor Who…

    P.S. Although like Nathan I’m interested in your favourite companion(s), surely that’s so much harder to choose than one’s favourite Doctor (and I can’t even decide on that!). Although as a teenage girl, Ace was hands-down my favourite companion!

  7. John Shea says:

    I hope your discussion includes the fan composition of Classic Who versus New Who. As a fan of both, I notice significantly more young women fans of the New Who. Is this due simply to the sex appeal of the 9th, 10th and 11th Doctors? Or do the story lines of New Who appeal to more women? Or are other factors at work?

    And for the record, Tegan was my favorite companion. Please share with us your favorites.

    Looking forward to the next podcast!

  8. Andrew says:

    It was a great show: very interesting discussion on a female Doctor. Despite the ‘frowns’ Moffat got from the panel he has at least opened the door to the potential into cannon with the line from “The Doctor’s Wife” about the timelord [who’s name escapes me now] who always got a certain tattoo during a reincarnation [with 11’s quip himself / herself]…. and yes i know that Moffat didn’t write the episode: but as the show runner he could have easily swept in and removed the line.
    Should there be a female Doctor? Why not: indeed YES there should!
    Are we ready for one? Well that is a different question… sadly I don’t think we are quite at the stage where one would be universally accepted.

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