Pixel Scroll 7/16/17 Doctor Whoa!

(1) SHE’S THE DOCTOR. The casting of Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor Who hit all the mainstream news outlets.

However, the reaction of some Daily Mail readers left a lot to be desired. But as they say, when you have lemons make lemonade. That’s what comedian Aaron C. M. Gillies did:

And just before the Whittaker announcement, this meme was getting a lot of play on Twitter.

(2) OH NOES! Matthew Foster has also been taking soundings and shared what he found with his Facebook readers.

Fun with sexism. So I just had to go looking to see what the dim set had to say about Doctor Who, and it is amusing. Most that I peaked in on want to keep their sexism on the down low, so while they always object to the Doctor being female, it is never due to her being female. No, no. That’s not the problem… exactly… So there’s lot’s of:

  • I don’t like the Doctor being a woman, but because that’s pandering. Yeah.
  • I don’t like the Doctor being a woman, but because it isn’t for a good story reason… You know, the way choosing a male for have been for a good story reason.

Plus 9 more…

(3) RIVER SONG. Radio Times reports actress Alex Kingston was given the news while onstage at a con in North Carolina: “Alex Kingston’s reaction to a female Doctor Who was SO River Song”.

“Jodie Whittaker? Oh my goodness!” the actress told the crowd, after making joke kissing noises. “God, I’m always the damn cradlesnatcher!

“Oh, that’s lovely. She’s a really great actress. She’s fantastic. Oh my God that’s so exciting! Ohhhh! How fabulous.

“Well, we’ve all discovered that together,” she concluded. “That’s marvellous.”

(4) THE FIRST WOMAN DOCTOR. Some argue there’s already been a woman Doctor Who. (Besides Doctor Donna, that is.) It happened in 1997.

Lily Savage (Paul O’Grady) is The Doctor in a comedy sketch from The Lily Savage Show back in 1997. Features Gayle Tuesday (Brenda Gilhooly) as her companion and a classic impression of Liz McDonald from Coronation Street.


(5) SCAMMERS LIVE IN VAIN. My latest strategy for finding news is to hang around Camestros Felapton’s blog. He had a bunch of good links in this post: “Is the Kindle store broken?”

And far from living in vain, the scammers are running away with the store, according to David Gaughran: “Scammers Break The Kindle Store”.

On Friday, a book jumped to the #1 spot on Amazon, out of nowhere; it quickly became obvious that the author had used a clickfarm to gatecrash the charts.

The Kindle Store is officially broken.

This is not the first time this has happened and Amazon’s continued inaction is increasingly baffling. Last Sunday, a clickfarmed title also hit #1 in the Kindle Store. And Amazon took no action.

Over the last six weeks, one particularly brazen author has put four separate titles in the Top 10, and Amazon did nothing whatsoever. There are many such examples….

How Clickfarms Work

As I explained in my post last month, unscrupulous authors and publishers are now adopting scammer tactics, and it’s pretty obvious this guy used a clickfarm to artificially borrow his book. Those fake borrows are equivalent to a sale for ranking purposes. A few thousand of them at the same time can be enough to put you at the top of the charts.

For those who don’t know what a clickfarm is, read this or this, but the basics are as follows. Clickfarms can do a number of things for those with flexible morals. Depending on what the author is trying to achieve, they can download free books, or borrow KU books, and/or page through borrowed books to generate reads – which will then be paid out of the communal KU pot. These services are easy to find, they are all over Google and Fiverr. They are especially popular in shady internet marketing circles and places like Warrior Forum.

We aren’t taking about the darknet here. These services are open to the public and incredibly easy to find. I’m not going to link to them directly, but here’s an example of the kind of services they offer:

  • 100 guaranteed KU borrows for $59
  • 200 KU borrows with a guaranteed Top 100 ranking for $109
  • 1000 KU borrows with a guaranteed Top 5 ranking in any category for $209

They also provide paid reviews, ghostwriting services, the works. Fake authors, fake books, fake borrows, all parlayed into real chart position stolen from genuine authors and significant funds paid out of the communal KU pot.

(6) STAR WARS LAND. You can learn preliminary details about Disney’s forthcoming attraction, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge from The Verge.

There will be two main attractions: one that lets guests captain the Millennium Falcon on a secret mission, while the other places thrill-seekers in the middle of a “climatic battle” between the First Order and the Resistance. The images released show rugged terrain, lush forests reminiscent of scenes on Endor in Return of the Jedi, and metal cantina structures. According to Bloomberg, the new Star Wars lands will cost about $1 billion each….

Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, revealed the official name of the Star Wars-inspired lands that are currently under construction at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, and shared details on the immersive experiences guests will be able to enjoy when the lands open in 2019!


(7) MARTIN LANDAU OBIT. He won an Oscar playing Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood, but Martin Landau, who passed away today at the age of 89, was first seen by fans in Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone (both the Sixties original and again in the Eighties relaunch). Having turned down an offer to play Spock in the original Star Trek series, the pinnacle of Landau’s science fictional success came while playing Commander John Koenig in Space:1999.

He worked constantly over the decades, and appeared in many genre productions — The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (one episode, 1966), Mission: Impossible (76 episodes as “Rollin Hand”, 1966-69), Get Smart (one episode, 1969), The Fall of the House of Usher, Meteor (both 1979), The Return (1980), The Being (1983), The Return of the Six-Million-Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1987), Spider-Man (voice, 1995-96), The X-Files (1998), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Frankenweenie (voice, 2012).


  • July 16, 1952 Zombies of the Stratosphere flickered briefly through theatres.
  • July 16, 1955 — The TV serial Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe blasted into the popular consciousness.
  • July 16, 1958 — Audiences gasp for the first time at The Fly.
  • July 16, 1959The Alligator People was released.
  • July 16, 1969 Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida, to become the first manned space mission to land on the moon.


  • Born July 16, 1928 – Robert Sheckley

(10) AND THEY’RE OFF. With Game of Thrones Season 7 starting, the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog gets its kicks by imagining how each character will die. First up —

Daenerys Targaryen

After finally saying goodbye to noted hellhole Meereen, Dany will be cut down in a tragic boating accident, lest her plot line advance. The tragedy will be of Titanic proportions, with Dany and Missandei struggling to share space on a door before both drowning. Varys will float by moments later and note there was plenty of room on the flotsam for both women. 

(11) TOP TEN. And The Daily Beast it getting its clicks by publishing the list of “‘Game of Thrones’ Author George R.R. Martin’s Top 10 Fantasy Films”.

  1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

The frightening thing about Holy Grail is that it may very well be the best version of the Matter of Britain ever put on film. King Arthur has not been well served by the movies, I fear. Yes, yes, there’s John Boorman’s Excalibur, a flawed film with with some great parts. Beyond that and Holy Grail, what do we have? Knights of the Round Table (some gorgeous spectacle, but a ham-handed script–the Timpo toy knights issued as tie-ins to the film were better than the movie), Prince Valiant (I liked the Singing Sword, and those pigskins full of boiling oil, but it’s hard to get past Robert Wagner’s wig), First Knight (gag), King Arthur (yes, let’s just let all the Saxons through Hadrian’s Wall and fight them on the other side, what a clever tactic)…. I do have a certain fondness for the film version of Camelot, but only because I never got to see the stage play. But back to Holy Grail. Back to Brave Sir Robin. The Black Knight. The Knights Who Say Ni. The Frenchman on the ramparts. The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. Castle Anthrax. Coconuts. (They still sell coconuts at Castle Doune in Scotland, where much of Holy Grail was filmed). What more do I need to say? Let’s go to Camelot! Yes, it is a silly place, but that’s what I love about it.

(12) WAIT UP. io9’s Germain Lussier’s post “This Mysterious New Droid Is Rolling Around the Star Wars Section at D23 Expo” has photos, though apparently they weren’t easy to get.

Disney loves a good surprise, and fans at the D23 Expo in Anaheim got plenty of those over the weekend. One of the more subtle ones featured a brand new droid, rolling around the display for the new theme park additions called Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.

The droid definitely resembles other Star Wars droids you know, kind of a R5 droid’s body with 2-1B arms. But, according to Walt Disney Imagineers in the area, it does not yet have an official Star Wars distinction. In fact, the may not even be part of Galaxy’s Edge when it opens in 2019. It’s just kind of an experiment at how droids and humans who are just mulling around can interact. And let me tell you, it’s not necessarily a smooth relationship.

The Imagineers call this guy “Jake” and he would not stand still for a photo. You’d set up to snap one, and he’d just start going the other way. Here’s what it’s like.

(13) CONTAINS SOME NUDITY. In fact, that’s what it mostly contains. Chip Hitchcock is convinced fans could break the record at Worldcon 75 if they put it on the program — “Finland naked swimmers bid for biggest skinny dip record”.

Hundreds of naked swimmers have taken to the water in Finland in a bid to break the world record for the biggest naked swim.

Some 789 people at a music festival in eastern Finland went skinny dipping on Saturday, organisers said, beating the previous record set in Australia by just three, reports said.

Organisers were waiting for Guinness World Records to confirm the record.

It is the third Finnish attempt at the record, Yle news website said.

(14) KING’S SECRET IDENTITY. Mental Floss remembers: “Known Alias: How Stephen King Was Outed as Richard Bachman”.

King’s cover endured for a surprisingly long period. But the 1985 release of Thinner would usher in fresh suspicion about Bachman. Unlike the other four novels, Thinner was contemporary King, a hardcover written with the knowledge it was a “Bachman book” and perhaps more self-conscious about its attempt at misdirection. And unlike early-period Bachman, which often featured nihilistic but grounded scenarios—a walking marathon that ends in death, or a game show where prisoners can earn their freedom—Thinner took on more of a horror trope, with a robust lawyer cursed to lose weight by a vengeful gypsy until he’s practically nothing but skin and bone.

When Stephen Brown obtained an advance copy at Olsson’s, he had an innate belief he was reading a King novel. To confirm his suspicions, he visited the Library of Congress to examine the copyrights for each Bachman title. All but one were registered to Kirby McCauley, King’s agent. The remaining title, Rage, was registered to King himself. It was the smoking gun.

(15) IN THE ARCHIVES. The Verge tells you where to find Galaxy —“One of the greatest science fiction magazines is now available for free online”.

If you like classic science fiction, one of the genre’s best magazines can now be found online for free. Archive.org is now home to a collection of Galaxy Science Fiction, which published some of the genre’s best works, such as an early version of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man.

The collection contains 355 separate issues, ranging from 1950 through 1976. Open Culture notes that it’s not quite the entire run of the magazine, but it’s got plenty of material to keep fans occupied for years. It includes stories from science fiction legends such as Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Clifford Simak, and Theodore Sturgeon. There are also some underappreciated authors who deserve re-discovery, such as Kris Neville, Alan E. Nourse, or John Christopher. (Sadly, like most publications of this era, female SF authors were underrepresented.)

(16) LAST-MINUTE VOTING. Spacefaring Kitten got in under the wire with a second set of Hugo recommendations.

(17) NAME ABOVE THE TITLE. Stan Lee is rebranding his Los Angeles convention. The Hollywood Reporter has the story: “Stan Lee Reintroduces His L.A. Convention: New Name, Even Greater Ambitions”.

Stan Lee is putting Los Angeles on the map in a new way.

The legendary comic book creator is not only getting a citywide day named in his honor (Oct. 28), he is also rebranding his popular pop culture convention Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo and giving it a new name: Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con.

Comic book fans area rejoiced when Lee launched his convention in 2011, and for Lee, the name change makes sense when major cities from New York to San Diego have flagship conventions bearing their cities’ names.

“I felt that a lot of people didn’t know what Comikaze really meant or what it was. And I didn’t think we should hide under a bushel,” Lee tells Heat Vision of the con, which runs Oct. 28-30. “Los Angeles is, to me, the center of the world’s entertainment. It has to have a Comic Con.”

(18) FUNNY AND DIE. Reason TV is getting in on the new season, too, with Game of Thrones: Libertarian Edition.

As HBO’s blockbuster series Game of Thrones returns for its seventh season, Reason offers its own freedom-filled parody. A libertarian paradise north of the wall? What’s happened to Westeros’ social security trust fund? Should it take low-income Dothraki four years to get a hair-braiding license? Watch!


[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Carl Slaughter, Colin Kuskie, JJ, Cat Eldridge, and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Paul Weimer.]

99 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/16/17 Doctor Whoa!

  1. (7)
    And when Nimoy was part of Mission Impossible, he was Landau’s replacement.

  2. Just watched the season opener of Game of Thrones. No spoilers, but they definitely set up the chessboard for the next season…..

    ♪ BUM-bum-da-da-BUM-bum-da-da-BUM-bum-da-da…. ♪

    (sacrificial fourth)

  3. “Tardis Full of Bras” is my new band name!

    (Assuming that bastard Scalzi doesn’t steal it first.) 😀

  4. Actually, Martin Landau played Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. Johnny Depp played Wood.

  5. (4) There’s at least two others I know of. Seattle fan Ryan K Johnson did a mostly well done series of fan-made Doctor Who in 1984-1988 which featured the late and great Barbara Benedetti as the Doctor. I saw those shortly after I became a fan (in Seattle, and met Ryan) and they convinced me that a female Doctor could be done. However, I never expected to see an official female Doctor. The Companion in those videos, Randy Rogel, went on to write for Animaniacs among many other things.

    Then came the Red Nose Day skit Curse of Fatal Death, which ends with Joanna Lumley becoming the Doctor. Officially unofficial, it’s still a great little piece of Doctor Who history, and I would have LOVED to see Lumley in the role.

    Edit: My husband said there’s also a female Doctor in the Big Finish audio series “Unbound”. And he said he “hates to bring it up” but he’s fairly sure there was a Doctor Who porn parody that had a female Doctor called “Doctor Whore”. *sigh*

  6. (1, 2, 3) I haven’t seen much of her, but she seems a’ight, and I’ve either liked or loved all the Doctors since the reboot. Driving “the dim set” crazy is just a bonus. I wouldn’t mind River meeting this one. Or Missy or the Master. Hee.

    (4) What about Joanna Lumley?

    (5) And no matter how often he contacts them and/or blogs about it, nothing’s going to change. It’s a mug’s game. Spend the time and energy on your own stuff. It always looked like a bad idea to me, turning writers into crabs in a bucket and it’s been scammed since the beginning. It’ll change when Darth Bezos wants it to.

    (6) I want to go to there. Build faster!

    (7) I haz a sad about Landau. He was good even in bad projects.

    (8) That’s an impressive list.

  7. My cycle this time was start with disliking Capaldi, middle with disliking Capaldi, and end with disliking Capaldi. Nardole was the best part of this season.

  8. (1) SHE’S THE DOCTOR. Re. the two comments on the left of the first image – so they forgot the whole history of the show and the many female companions? I love the second image (the meme showing the regen cycle), though.

    (5) SCAMMERS LIVE IN VAIN. I thought only authors cared about Kindle/Amazon rankings? 😛

    (8) TODAY IN HISTORY. Wow, a lot of SF stuff (plus Apollo 11) (or is that SF? 😉 ) started on the 16th.

    – – – – –

    I realized tonight, “Oh, I don’t have to read any more Hugo nominees.” (Apologies to the categories I didn’t finish.) I’m not complaining – I found some stuff I loved! And there are some things I started for Hugo voting but didn’t finish, that I will finish because I like or expect to wind up liking them. Still, I didn’t stop buying books during Hugo-reading season, soooooo yeah, I have concerns about the structural integrity of Mount Jenga TBR. Lemme just slide this thin book out . . . ::crash::

  9. Random tidbit of interest to @JJ and anyone else who enjoyed Jennifer Foehner Wells’s Fluency and Remenance, like us.

    Wells’s latest book, Druid Gene (same universe; different story/characters), which I haven’t gotten yet, now has an audiobook narrated by the excellent Robin Miles! Miles narrated the first two novels of N.K. Jemisin’s “Broken Earth” trilogy. (I presume/hope she’ll narrate the third; Orbit likes to tease me by listing the narrator as “To Be Announced.”) I’m accidentally glad I hadn’t picked up, since – though my audiobook queue is a bit daunting – Miles is great, so I’ll probably get the audiobook, now that I see this.


  10. And now I have to start reading for next year’s Hugos.

    And the year after that.

  11. (2) good list. And right on cue, somebody pops up to say she dislikes the idea, using a simile comparing men and women to dogs and cats. What?

    (11) excellent list, including my old favorite Ladyhawke (which everyone apparently agrees had the worst score ever). Python’s Holy Grail is the best film version of the Matter of Arthur, and I would argue that Life of Brian is one of the best about religion.

  12. My only complaint about the new Doctor – and it’s a minor one – is that I was rooting for Tatiana Maslany, aka “everyone on Orphan Black.” I’m not threatened by the change in any way, and in fact am rather looking forward to see how the Doctor reacts (if at all) to this change when the regeneration finishes. There’s usually a good bit of “what did I end up with this time?” in that scene, and I have a hunch that Whittaker’s reaction will set the tone for her tenure in the role.

    What I’d love to see happen next time out is for the announcement to be an introduction of the new central cast – Doctor and companion(s) – with no indication of who’s who (or who’s Who). That and a few NDAs should be enough to allow them to film episodes on location without spilling the beans, and then we’d actually have some suspense when the regeneration episode aired.

  13. I think it is time for an end to prejudice against lycanthropes in casting.

    Introducing, Dr Were!

  14. Msb: And right on cue, somebody pops up to say she dislikes the idea, using a simile comparing men and women to dogs and cats. What?

    Well, she’s a Puppy, as well as married to John C. “A Woman’s Place Is In The Home, Being Subservient To Her Owner  Husband” Wright, so it’s utterly unsurprising. 🙄

  15. I notice in the credit section that File770 now have a “contirbuting editor of the day”. Does this new position herald more, or less, appertainment in the future?

    I am a bit puzzled that there’s enough money in Kindle Unlimited to make these various scams a cost-effective way of generating income. I can understand cheats to get “bestseller” status and hopefully gain more legitimate readers, but earning money by putting together a fake book and pay people to “read” it? I would have thought there was better ways of investing your time and money.

  16. @Rev Bob:
    Tatiana Maslany is of course brilliant in Orphan Black, but it would pander to one of the things that annoys me greatly – casting people with a strong role in one Genre thing in others. See also the desire to cast John Boyega in every SF role that might suit a dark skinned character.
    I have no idea who Jodie W is. I’m cool with that. Let her he The Doctor, not be some other character pretending to the Doctor.

    Also: While cataloguing female Doctors, we should also be aware of Arabella Weir from the Big Finish story Exile.

  17. RIP George Romero, thanks for the nightmares.
    RIP Martin Landau, thanks for ripping your face off every week and somehow not giving me nightmares.

  18. 7) Mention should surely be made of Space:1999, which (when it was good) was one of the best-looking and most thought-provoking SF shows of its day, and (when it was bad) was one of the best-looking pieces of hilariously abject rubbish you could imagine. And in both cases, Landau was often the best thing in it. I can imagine few other actors pulling off lines like “It’s probably some kind of ultrasonic magnetic effect” with any sort of credibility. He’ll be missed.

    As for the Who casting… well, it’s brought the requisite squeals of offended outrage from the usual suspects; poor dears, I hope their precious feelings aren’t too badly hurt. I’m going to just wait and see what she actually does with the part. I sort of warmed to Capaldi, despite his deliberate prickliness; this one’s bound to be different, at any rate.

  19. (1) I’d seriously love to see a comparison between reactions to female Doctor, vs. reactions to Star Trek: Voyager or Stargate: Atlantis.

    Not that those weren’t a thing. They definitely were. But I feel like a comparison would be… interesting.

  20. Hey, I got a title credit today. Huzzah!
    (I’m still delightfully gobsmacked that they decided to go with a Female Doctor. I need to see Attack the Block and watch some Broadchurch, too, obviously.)

    4) As noted in the comments upstream, Curse of the Fatal Death ends with the Doctor regenerating into a woman, and she and the Master walking off into the sunset.

    7) Rest in peace, Martin Landau.One of my favorite roles of his was an early one in his career, in North by Northwest.

  21. Hmmmm, a certain internet “personality” (not genre) was the subject of an article saying his book had only sold in the order of 150 copies last week and this weekend suddenly shot to a #1 ranking at Amazon. Maybe he was doing some farming.

  22. Overheard literally just this minute in a cafe: “they can’t call it Dr Who anymore, they have to call it Nursie Who!”

    Jodie Whittaker’s been pretty good in everything else she’s been in. I think she’ll do well as the Dr.

    @IanP: in a weird coincidence I was listening to a podcast about language (well, specifically English mostly) and at the start of one episode the presenter explained the etymology of “werewolf”. It turns out that back in olden times, “were” was the prefix the denoted male, and “man” just meant “person”, and a wereman is just a male person. Wifman meant “female person”. So a werewolf is a man who turns into a wolf, which seems oddly sexist. Unless there are wifwolves too and language just evolved them into the same term over time, probably around the time “man” came to mean male and “wifman” morphed into “woman”.

    So anyway, tldr: are you saying you’d prefer to have a male Dr? 😛

  23. As an elderly male cumugeon, and fan of Doctor Who my whole life*: the casting of the 13th Doctor is great! Hooray!!!

    *And occasional writer of tie-in novels etc

  24. Overheard literally just this minute in a cafe: “they can’t call it Dr Who anymore, they have to call it Nursie Who!”

    I’ve also seen the comment “and the plot of the first several episode will be The Doctor struggling to convince everyone she’s not the nurse.”

  25. (7) — I remember seeing some episodes of Space: 1999 back when it was initially airing — the episode Dragon’s Domain (where they find a graveyard of lost ships) terrified me.

    I started getting discs from Netflix a while back and determined that the series was something that really would have been better left as a childhood memory. I do love the design work, though — the Eagles are some of my favorite fictional ships.

  26. There were double features of THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE and RETURN OF THE FLY. both of them were downbeat and exaggerated pieces of work.

    My older brother told me THE FLY was a Disney film about insects. I had a front row seat. Haven’t forgotten that unmasking scene….

    Stopped trusting my brother too.

  27. Overheard literally just this minute in a cafe: “they can’t call it Dr Who anymore, they have to call it Nursie Who!”

    I’ve chosen my sarcastic name to be Doctor Whooters.

  28. Vintage Meredith Moment? Asimov’s Foundation is currently $1.99 on Kindle.

    Edited to add: Also, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is $2.99, but the other books in the series are all $7.99 so you’d be better served by The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide for $13.99 since it contains all five novels.

    And not genre, strictly speaking, but Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall is $2.99. (Which, to create a genre connection, I thought they should’ve used the cast & sets from the BBC miniseries to adapt Katherine Kurtz’ Camber of Culdi books — could totally see Mark Rylance as Camber.)

  29. 1-3) I really gotta wonder at those whose disbelief can be suspended to enjoy a show about a time traveling alien who can regenerate into different forms after death inside of a phone booth that’s bigger on the inside, but if that alien regenerates as a female, once, then that’s just too much.

    Much like when people threw fits about Star Trek more recently, people questioning the show just now tackling things like diversity, equality, and empathy I wonder what show have they been watching?

  30. @Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag: Produced by and starring a performer who goes by the stage name April O’Neil, and who is (outside of her day job) moderately well known for her geekiness and spends a lot of time at cons and so on. I was aware of her in that capacity for quite some time before I knew what she did for a living. I *think* she’s been on Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop webseries, but I may be mistaken. Seems like a good egg.

  31. Looked at the BBC Twitter reveal post and a common argument being presented as a ‘gotcha’ argument is ‘so then Wonder Woman should be recast as a man, right?!?’

    Which is dumb on so many levels they should have their nerd card revoked.

    This isn’t a reboot, this is a character that is an alien that’s continuity is in dying and regenerating. While that person has always been humanoid male they’ve canonically mentioned and shown Timelords can come back as Male or Female, and that they have little input on the regeneration process (will 13 be disappointed that she’s still not a ginger?). However it’s not a reboot in any way, The Doctor is still The Doctor, and the past Doctor’s are still her past. It’s an established change of appearance that happens to this character. The Doctor regenerating as a female humanoid does not affect the origins, pre-existing character and fits within the established lore of Timelords.

    Meanwhile Wonder Woman isn’t an alien who regenerates into a different form with every death. Her origin is that she was created from clay and brought to life by Aphrodite and raised by the Amazons. Her origin is tied both to her people and gender (Mythological Greek Amazons).

    Whereas you have room to play around with other superhero origins (if someone else got bit by a spider, or were treated with the super soldier formula, or if a different child survived krypton, if someone else was worthy of wielding the hammer of Thor, if a different scientist got gamma radiated, etc) Wonder Woman is still going to be raised among Amazons in Themyscira and it would need to fit within that narrative. You might be able to have Diana question her gender, and exactly what biological sex means for someone made of clay, and hey that might be a fascinating story. But I’m betting those that are freaking out over The Doctor regenerating as female aren’t asking for a Wonder Woman story that raises those questions.

    That’s one of those arguments that make me wonder if it sounded smart in their head before saying it and if that’s what rises to above the murk as a clever thought, good god.

  32. Which is dumb on so many levels they should have their nerd card revoked.

    Its extra dumb given that we essentially have a number of male “Wonder Woman” type characters – Superman, DC’s Captain Marvel, and so on.

  33. Msb

    “Wonder Woman recast as a man”
    I thought that was Captain America

    Like Captain America would fight Germans with super strength and a shield, pfft. Then again in Captain America they didn’t make it so that the only way for Captain America to find the strength to beat the bad guy was through the sacrifice of a love interest upstaging the main character. I mean unless you count Bucky.

    Aaron on July 17, 2017 at 9:09 am said:
    Which is dumb on so many levels they should have their nerd card revoked.

    Its extra dumb given that we essentially have a number of male “Wonder Woman” type characters – Superman, DC’s Captain Marvel, and so on

    It’s like some weird logic that if you switch the gender of a character male to female you have to do one female to male for even stevens or something.

  34. I do count Bucky.

    Every single time something like this comes up, from Star Trek to the new Doctor, with the thoughtless unwashed rising up in protest, a little bit of my faith in humanity leaches out. I know they’re just a small fraction of the population and that end of the bell curve has to be represented, but dammit.

  35. I browsed the main hashtags for the Doctor announcement a few times yesterday and today, and I’d estimate the dumbass idiot population at no more than 5%. Of course a noisy minority is more than capable of ruining things for the rest, but hopefully they’ll be drowned out.

  36. @ Kendall

    (5) SCAMMERS LIVE IN VAIN. I thought only authors cared about Kindle/Amazon rankings?

    I know you were just joking, but Kindle scammers are playing a shotgun con by gaming the system to get their titles to be the first ones in front of your eyes. They design their con so that they put as little effort as possible into creating the ebook files, which means they only need a small number of buys to profit.

    As a practical example, my girlfriend was telling me yesterday about going online to buy a reference book on Maine Coon Cats (of which she has recently acquired two). She bought a likely looking ebook title on Amazon, and later discovered that whatever the contents were, it had clearly originally been written for dog owners and the cat breed had simply been globally replaced. Contents like “how to keep your Maine Coon Cat from barking” were the tip-off.

    And, yes, she could complain to Amazon and get a refund. But if enough people have failed to notice that sort of thing (or don’t want to go to the trouble) by the time the scammer has gotten paid, packed up, and moved the books to another shell with a new ASIN, it’s still profitable.

  37. @HRJ: “and moved the books to another shell with a new ASIN”

    Oh, I despise that tactic. I see it far too frequently for my taste, even with non-scammy books.

    Case in point: I bought ebooks one and three of a trilogy a few years ago, when they were discounted, and was quietly watching for the middle book to go on sale. When I started dabbling with Calibre and tried converting them to EPUB, I discovered that they were in the old Kindle “Topaz” format, which basically means no-go on the conversion.

    A few months ago, I discovered that all three ebooks had been reissued – but under new ASINs. That means, of course, that the purchase history is broken; I can access the old versions in my Kindle library, but I’d have to rebuy the books to get the current versions. I tried contacting Amazon about this, but either I got a clueless agent or that’s not a problem they’re interested in fixing.

  38. My Facebook feed is full of friends saying “wow, it’s nice to know none of my friends are the type of people who would complain about the Doctor’s gender.” The only complaints are from a couple friends saying they’re sick of reading second-hand account of whinging from the manbaby crowd. I suspect my luck has to do with my more regressive geek friends not being fans of Dr. Who, though thinking on it, even the most MRA-ish of my friends would probably not be upset about this, despite eg. hating Ghostbusters.

    (5) This is why it’d be nice to have an indie recommendation site (which may exist, for all I know, but I just haven’t found it), but one that isn’t a group of indie authors attempting to pull each other up to success (which, from what I’ve seen, results in recommendations that reflect a social group rather than anything to do with quality). Not that I don’t already have enough on Mt. TBR.

    (15) This is fun. I’ve downloaded the PDFs of the three containing the serial of The Demolished Man. It’s nice to have no Hugo reading to worry about, and be able to read whatever I want.

  39. (18) Well now that right there was a hoot. I might not stop giggling until next week!


    I don’t recall there being much fuss back when Voyager premiered. I suspect there was some fuss, but nothing compared with today’s fuss.

    Of course at the time there wasn’t as much fuss about the captain being a woman. It just was what it was and they went about producing the show. (of which there were many other problems)


  40. @ Paul Weimer: I’m liking Broadchurch a lot — and it has David Tennant in it! Funnily enough, the spouse thought another female star on Broadchurch, Olivia Coleman, should be the next Dr. Who, and was gobsmacked when they chose Whittaker.

    @ Joe H.: I could see Mark Rylance as pretty much anything. He’s amazing.

  41. @kathodus: I’d love a degrees-of-separation thing, where you see how many links you need from your own account to reach somebody nonironically angry about the New Who.

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