Chaotic Casualty one-shot episode illustrates the demands of working in a hospital

bbc casualty one shot episode 30th anniversary paul unwin jon sen

And so, the one-shot format became more than just a simple gimmick or feat of cinematography – it’s part of the text of the episode. In doing the episode in a single take, it serves to accentuate the chaos onscreen. There’s a series of different emergencies; resources are thin and time is short. It’s a busy and involved episode.

I don’t think this is actually necessarily a very good article, even if the point it makes is basically okay. But, you know, that’s what happens when you’re writing it an hour before the deadline after wracking your brain to figure out what you’ve watched recently. Basically, I need to manage my time better.

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Peter Davison is wrong about a female Doctor Who, but he’s not being sexist – so stop saying he is

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Davison said “if I feel any doubts about it, it’s the loss of a role model for boys, who I think Doctor Who is vitally important for”; in the past, he’s said that he thinks a female Doctor with a male companion might mean “you’ve got more of a stereotype than anything else”. Essentially, Davison considers the Doctor a good example of a non-traditional, non-stereotypical male role model. 

The character is, broadly speaking, counter to a lot of the facets of toxic masculinity and patriarchy; he’s openly emotional, driven by curiosity, intellectual rather than violent. Referring to, say, the various male superheroes of cinema – all of whom, when you break it down, solve their problems with their fists – is rather missing the point a bit. It’s perhaps the only coherent and cogent argument against a female Doctor that isn’t actually a sexist one – one that can be argued from a feminist perspective.

Yeah, this was a difficult one, in hindsight. Especially that title – it’s much too confrontational. Should be something closer to “wait, hang on, slow down”, but I was rather cynically trying to play to multiple crowds at once, getting clicks and shares from both pro and anti-female Doctor crowds. And, I suppose, both pro and anti-sexism crowds. It’s less than ideal, but hey, I don’t get paid a lot for these if they don’t hit 10 000 views. (Actually, that said, I’m almost certain I pitched the more tentative “he’s not necessarily being sexist”, but still.)

Anyway, so. Basically, as I’m sure some will remember, a few different newspapers took a quote Peter Davison gave out of context, and essentially tried to paint him as an out-of-touch old guy in an attempt to get a few extra clicks. This apparently went exceedingly well, because lots of people felt the need to jump in and explain how wrong he was, etc etc. Eventually he left twitter because it got so out of control.

Now, far be it from me to think he needed defending as such – though again I suspect there was a slightly cynical attempt to, I don’t know, befriend him or something going on on some levels of my thinking – but I do find his actual objection to a female Doctor, on the basis of a male role model thing, actually quite interesting. At least, that was how I interpreted it; I was almost certain I’d seen a quote to that effect from him making it more explicit, but I couldn’t place it in the end. Which was a nuisance.

Anyway, though, yeah. So this was just an article basically to the effect of, you know, back off a bit, he said he thinks it’s a good idea, but expressed a brief caveat. (Which I suspect he wouldn’t have bothered with if he realised this would grow beyond a quiet convention interview.) In the grand scheme of things, there are probably quite a few other things to critique.

(Though it would be a pretty fair accusation to level at me that there are definitely other more important things to defend, and I’d accept that.)

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Why it’s a shame we’re not getting a surprise regeneration in Doctor Who

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It wouldn’t be entirely unlike Jenna Coleman’s early introduction in Asylum of the Daleks, four months before she was expected to appear as the new companion – surely the most successful and memorable twist of the Moffat era?

It’s an exciting prospect to consider, and one that would really heighten the drama of the regeneration – in a real sense, it’d be exactly as unpredictable as it’s meant to be.

I am, of course, utterly over the moon about the 13th Doctor casting. This is something I wrote before we knew who it was – not bemoaning, but lightly lamenting, the fact we were finding out at all.

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Does the Doctor have to be a male role model?

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There’s only really one argument that is, if not convincing, worthy of some genuine contemplation: that the Doctor should be preserved as a male role model, being one of the most prominent fictional heroes who isn’t reliant on violence and aggression, but instead is a template for teaching curiosity and compassion to children.

It’s an understandable stance to take; obviously, children’s media is important, and it’s important to have role models in that media. There is something important in having a character who subverts more traditional norms of masculinity – a character who uses his brain rather than his fists. The argument goes that the Doctor is largely unique in this regard, and in turn that’s why the character should continue to be depicted as a man – because he’s the only man in fiction who is like that.

And yet…

I am, of course, still going on about the possibility of a female Doctor. I fear I’m really setting myself up for disappointment when it ends up being… well, Kris Marshall! (I hope not.)

However, this idea of the Doctor as a male role model is the only argument that’s ever given me pause in my otherwise unrelenting viewpoint. So, I wrote an article about it!

(A year-ish later, and I have genuinely no idea what I concluded about. Well, I know what I concluded, just not how or why. Don’t suppose it matters much now exactly, though it might be interesting to see what anecdotal accounts spring up during the actual series itself.)

Oh, and the cosplayer above is Jacklyn Black, who is seemingly never credited whenever this very cool picture is used, so I figure I should make the effort to acknowledge her.

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Kris Marshall would be a fine Doctor Who, but nothing more – and we can do better than that

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Kris Marshall is the very definition of a safe choice.

He’d be competent, certainly. Really, he’d be fine – the sort of choice that makes you go ‘yeah, alright, I guess’. But then, that’s exactly what should disqualify him from the role.

Casting next Doctor should make you sit bolt upright – surprise you, catch you off guard, but still make you go ‘ooh, that’s an inspired choice’. When casting the Doctor, a ‘safe choice’ isn’t a good thing. Indeed, a safe choice is tantamount to a boring one – there should always be something exciting and compelling about the new Doctor.

I wrote a little bit about the possibility – it’s not a certainty yet – that Kris Marshall might be the next Doctor. To be honest, I’m not hugely fussed by the idea. I watched an episode of Death in Paradise today, just to check him out. He was alright. I stand by my judgement of him as broadly competent, but largely uncompelling.

(Thankfully – well, for us, maybe not for poor Kris – we now know Jodie Whittaker was cast. But, you know, golly. For some time I was worried I might end up having to write an apology article if Kris was cast and ended up being decent in the role.)

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Doctor Who – Top 5 Moffat Moments

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Steven Moffat has had a long association with Doctor Who, stretching as far back as July 1996, when he wrote a short story for the Virgin novel line; today, of course, his primary association with Doctor Who is as showrunner, a role he’s occupied since 2010. The tenth series, the first episode of which will be broadcast this evening, is going to be Moffat’s last as head writer – so now seems like a good time to take a look back across the past seven years, and celebrate some of his greatest triumphs.

This article was quite fun to write! It’s a selection of five YouTube clips from the Moffat era, with a little explanation/analysis of each one underneath. Of course, in testament to how great Moffat is, it’s the ones that I didn’t include that speak volumes – there are so many to choose from!

Writing this article really did make me appreciate Moffat more. Even I’ve had a few moments where I lost faith and struggled with some of his work (almost but not quite joining the STFU-Moffat bandwagon), I’ve come back around again in the years since. He’s bloody great, his Who has been great, and I’m going to miss it; hopefully, before Christmas, I’ll be able to write a few retrospectives about his era and why it’s so great.

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3 Things I want to see from Doctor Who Series 10

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As far as I’m concerned, Doctor Who should be a show that’s constantly reinventing itself – much as the TARDIS takes its occupants somewhere new each week, so should the show give its audience something new each week. Strange new worlds, exciting characters, innovative stories – Doctor Who should always try to be pushing the boundary of genre television. After having seen a lot of Doctor Who, I’m always on the lookout for something I’ve never seen from the show before.

A few thoughts on what I’d like to see from the next series of Doctor Who, inspired by an article from one of my Metro colleagues.

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Is a sequel to The Night Manager a good idea?

the night manager tom hiddleston hugh laurie olivia colman tom hollander elizabeth debicki bbc one hd john le carre

For one thing, one has to consider the integrity of the piece – given the ending of the first series, what reason is there to reunite our three leads again? It’s obvious that this is happening because of the success of the first series, and it’d be churlish to denigrate the follow-up on that basis – but the question as to whether it’s the only reason for a sequel is worth asking nonetheless.

Perhaps I’m just biased – after all, I was one of the few people who didn’t love The Night Manager, or even particularly like it. From the nasty fridging as the show began, to the thin writing and poor characterisation of Tom Hiddleston’s Jonathon Pine, there were quite a few flaws to the show that stood in the way of my enjoyment of it. And, indeed, they continue to stand in the way of my interest in a sequel.

Short answer: Probably not.

Long answer? Well…

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How accurate was BBC One’s alternate history thriller SS-GB?

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It’s the BBC’s answer to The Man In The High Castle – an adaptation of a popular novel that posits an alternate reality where the Nazis won World War Two.

SS-GB has been a high stakes thriller – but just how accurate was it? If the Nazis had occupied Britain would it have looked like this?

Obviously, it isn’t, and was never going to be, massively super accurate, because it’s about a fictional alternate history. So, a clear limit there.

I didn’t even watch the show. Meant to. Never did though. Ifunanya and Zak watched it. I can’t remember which of them liked it. One of them definitely did. I think. Maybe neither did.

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With Peter Capaldi leaving Doctor Who, it’s finally time for a female Doctor

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Bringing in a female Doctor would change the dynamic and open up a whole new field of storytelling potential. Every aspect of the show that has, up until now, felt so familiar will change entirely – giving the show a whole new unpredictable energy once again.

The fact is, one of the many reasons why there’s a call for a female Doctor is essentially for the same reason why people eventually begin to call for a new Doctor, or a new showrunner: Change offers potential.

It just so happens that this particular change is one that offers a huge amount of potential that Doctor Who has never tapped before – and that’s a really exciting prospect.

Once again, I’m writing about this topic, and continuing to bang the drum in support of a female Doctor. I am really, really hoping we get one this time around – in many ways, it really does feel like the best possible move for the show.

If anyone happens to have a way of putting Phoebe Waller-Bridge in contact with Chris Chibnall, that’d be great…

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