The Moffat era has always been, for a lack of better word, very meta in its approach. It makes it a joy to analyse, there’s always new perspectives to consider, new hints to notice, in the rich tapestry in this story about stories.
The first two episodes of series 8 open an entirely new dimension to this. There’s such a colourful web of parallels, of relating the plot to the characters, of relating one characterisation to another. It lives and breathes meta in a way that is utterly captivating, because under the surface multiple levels of interpretation are just waiting to invite you to take a look.
The theme of masks and revealing what’s beneath in Deep Breath, for instance. A stolen face on a clockwork droid, the veil hiding Vastra, the Doctor’s new appearance and the question of whether what lies beneath can still be the same. Will we see him? And at the centre of it all, arguably the true focus, stands Clara Oswald - the girl with the “bubbly personality masking bossy control freak”, so used to projecting an image to the world which hides her less desirable trait, who the Doctor failed to truly see for so long. Pushed to her breaking point, Is she not the person who is truly revealed here?
And Into the Dalek… wonderful, striking Into the Dalek, with its exploration of soldiers and Daleks, of preconception and hate, and the meek light of hope. It asks the question of whether Daleks can change, but as its core, it’s about whether the Doctor can. Has he changed from the good man he once was? Has he found himself stuck in his own version of the truth? Is it the Dalek’s immovable drive towards destruction which makes them fail or is it the Doctor’s inability to let go of his own deeply-rooted loathing for his worst enemies, even for just this moment? Maybe, possibly, the Doctor has found a better teacher in Clara than the Dalek found in him. He rejects a (fellow?) soldier, but she doesn’t.
And these two perfectly constructed, self-contained universes are connected by common threads. Who are these people? What is their basic programming, just what are they capable of? What do you see when you get a glimpse at their souls?
This is, without a doubt in my mind, truly spectacular writing.
Something that bothers me about Moffat hate is that when women who know and work with Moffat (Sue Vertue, women at the BBC, actresses) give him praise or support him against the sexism claims, their opinions are largely ignored or derailed, and if you don’t think that’s the most hypocritical shit you’ve ever seen then fuck you.
Well we all know that women are too weak to speak against Moffat. But Capaldi can, because he is a man and males always fight for dominance, laws of nature.
This is a joke by the way.
I will never be over that time when one of these people, rather than ignore my comments, just flat out denied that what they’re doing is derailing and talking on behalf of (or possibly talking over, can’t remember my exact wording) women who work with Moffat. It was so stupid that I just raised my hands and gave up on that discussion.
It really hit me after Moffat called them out for completely ignoring Jenna’s agency in the whole “Capaldi and Moffat are arguing about the Doctor and Clara flirting”.
And their response was “Well she should have said something.”
Nice try, anon.
First of all, the term PoC has its origins in anglo-american usage, but it’s not an internationally acknowledged one. Mostly because international organisations and global institutions simply know better than to divide everything literally into black and white - and because the artificial dichotomy between white and non-white doesn’t do justice to the complexity of racism in large parts of the world. So unless you want the whole world to adopt a term that makes even Hitler’s raciology look like a sophisticated attempt at acknowledging diversity, please stop using it in a global context.
PoC cannot be racist. Prejudiced, but not racist.
That’s a very convenient excuse, wouldn’t you say?
Unfortunately it’s nonsense. Racism is universal, it doesn’t depend on color of skin. That’s just the most obvious and, in the USA, the most prevalent form.
But, hey, according to your logic, the Holocaust wasn’t motivated by racism, because guess what, Jews were, to the majority, white. They were considered a different race, which had nothing to do with their color of skin and everything to do with their ethnicity and religion. So, good to know that my ancestors weren’t really racist when they burned down synagogues and sent people to Auschwitz.
Clearly racism only happens to PoC.
The invasion of European countries by Germany during WWII also had nothing to do with racism, yay! Russia, which lost roughtly 27 millions of people during the war, will be relieved to hear that all of that had nothing to do with Adolf Hitler’s conviction that the people belonging to the “Slavic race”, despite being what is largely considered white, were inferior to “Aryans”.
Really, I’m so glad we could clear this up. History, re-written because the USA presented the world with a new definition of racism. Congrats! As a German, I’m fully on board. We were just prejudiced. Maybe the tiniest bit nationalist, but it’s not like that was in any way related to racism. Except, maybe, in Africa, because clearly that was racism, yes?
I’m also glad to hear that the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis isn’t motivated by racism in the least - or is it? Depends, I assume, on whether you define one of these groups as white and the other as non-white. Are the Israelis white? So does that make them the oppressing group, according to your logic? Or are the Palestinians? Funny how it’s that easy to tell the racist guys from the non-racist ones by looking at whose skin is a tad lighter, huh?
How about a bit more of backward logic while we’re at it?
"My ideology says that there is no such thing as racism against white people. Ergo, everyone who experiences racism cannot be white."
The Turkish must also be white then because they were racist toward Armenians (to the point of genocide, just saying.).
But if Turkish people are now white, then they cannot possibly victims of racism themselves, right? As someone living in Germany, with a large Turkish minority, I’m so glad to hear that. Nothing to see here, folks, just a bit of prejudice, obviously.
Oh, and clearly the Hutu in Ruanda were white too when they slaughtered up to a million of Tutsi in the culmination of a racist conflict that had been brewing for decades.
But I’m sure you want to blame colonialism fort that? I mean, clearly it’s not as if these people had any agency when they started slaughtering their neighbours, right?
Srebrenica ring any bells to you? Former Jugoslawia? It’s really hard to tell someone’s color of skin based on their skeleton, but according to your logic, based on the fact that this skeleton belongs to the victim of an internationally acknowledged genocide, they have to have been a PoC.
Really, I’m having fun with your theory, because it leads to such really enlightening statements like that the Irish are PoC, or that Eastern European people are PoC, and sometimes Italian or Spansih people too, depending on who you ask. So much fun to be had with white and PoC, like you wouldn’t believe.
All PoC now?
Funny how someone is labeled as white when you want to point out that they have privilege, and as PoC when you want to explain that they are victims of oppression and racism. Like, people from South America which was colonialized by white Europeans, who are now considered Latino/Hispanic and therefore PoC within the USA?
Like, this guy:
Is he white? He’s a Spanish football player. The Spanish are usually considered white, right? But as soon as you find out he’s been born in Argentina, that makes him a PoC, yes? That’s Lionel Messi for you, an enigma.
This guy with the slightly doubtful expression:
He’s white, right? Unfortunately, he’s a German late repatriat born in Poland, and let me assure you, there’s plenty of prejudice and systematic racial discrimination happening against people like him in Germany. Miroslav Klose. I think he’s looking that way because he just found out he’s now considered a PoC, something that probably never occurred to him before.
But, again, how convenient for every single PoC living in northern America and Europe. What a great opportunity to claim solidarity with every other marginalized group on this world and blame it all on white supremacy.
Like, this woman, much oppressed, so sad:
Just like these people:
There’s no difference, really.
Guess what? That’s a really fucked-up way to deny the agency and responsibility of PoC in our western society. Because PoC make up half of the USA, but as long as you call it white supremacy and break it all down to a white/non-white dichotomy, the fact that all these PoC are directly benefittting from and contributing to western supremacy can be ignored.
Last time I looked, US American PoC were very much a part of their nation. Unless you want to claim they are not. Unless you want to claim that they are not actually a part of the country they are living in, were born and raised in. Unless you want to claim that they are not actually demanding a long overdue fair share of their country’s wealth and power - only that both wealth and power are a result of yes, supremacy, and they are actually an active part the oppressing group. Global exploitation. Capitalism. Western supremacy, if anything.
But, hey, I’m sure the people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, countries severely affected by US military intervention, will be able to tell that all US American PoC are just poor oppressed, powerless creatures - especially Barack Obama, who is really nothing but a brainwashed tortured soul weighed down by racism, it’s not like he’s in a position of power or something. I’m also sure the Chinese will be very grateful that they’re labeled as PoC, meaning that the way they’re oppressing their own ethnical minorities is just prejudiced. I’m also sure Vladimir Putin has white privilege whenever he’s meeting the president of the United States. Unless, of course, you want to call Putin a PoC too.
So glad we had this talk, anon. Now kindly fuck off.
I noticed something recently. Something I haven’t seen anyone talking about (and if you have been talking about it and I’ve missed it, feel free to link me).
Has anyone noticed the parallels between Lilly and Larry’s relationship in season one (and their relationship with the group), and Kenny and Clem’s in season two?
One of Lilly’s most intimate moments comes in episode two, where she defends Larry when Lee takes her aside to discuss his spitefulness. It’s a conversation intentionally placed in the game to give players pause to consider Larry as a whole character, to give weight to the choice later on in the episode as to who you help or hinder.
"Look. My dad can be an ass sometimes, I know that. But he’s not a bad guy. He just… he’s got a lot of pain. He’s been through so much… and lost… pretty much everything. And it’s hardened him, y’know? Yeah, he’s bitter and hateful, but that’s all just to protect himself. And me. All he’s got left in the world is me. And that goes both ways. So yeah, he’s probably going to keep treating you like crap, but that’s just because he still has one thing left to care about.
"So don’t judge him. And don’t judge me for sticking by him. He’s my dad, and I love him.”
As I played season two, I couldn’t help but feel that Lilly’s speech almost perfectly fits Clem’s defense of Kenny to the group throughout E3-5. We’ve seen Kenny, a hard-working, genial family man, become this jaded, bitter husk of the man he once was. We see him willing to do increasingly twisted things to protect himself and the people he cares about. We see him being spiteful over and over again to the people around him, no matter how likable or rational, and only spare kind words for his ‘kids’. And we see Clem respond to criticism against him in a similar way to Lilly protecting her dad.
The analogy’s not perfect, but it’s interesting to note that the person Kenny once despised almost exactly mirrors the person he’s become.
And it’s also interesting to note some parallels in their deaths:
- both had a pre-existing medical condition exacerbated by stress (Larry’s by being trapped in a meat locker by a band of cannibals vs. Kenny’s by Clem’s injury and AJ’s apparent death)
- both of their conditions came to a head after being triggered by reacting to a situation (the heart-attack after Larry worked himself into a rage over the St. Johns vs. Kenny’s mental breakdown when Jane told him that AJ was dead)
- both characters are presented in a way that makes their condition seem dangerously permanent (cardiac arrest vs. psychosis)
- both characters’ triggered episodes are presented in a way that suggests that if they’re not a danger to the group now, they will be in the immediate future (Larry’s potential for reanimation vs. Kenny’s rage turning on Clem)
- both deaths (and Jane triggering Kenny) are suggested as a necessary preventative measure before the protagonist/cast are trapped in a situation they can’t escape from (whether or not the protagonist/player agree with that viewpoint)
- the protagonist has the opportunity to try and intervene before the fatal blow is struck (helping with CPR vs. trying to break up the fight)
- ultimately, the protagonist’s attempts to intervene are in vain (Kenny kills Larry himself vs. the fight doesn’t end unless someone dies)
- the protagonist’s decision ultimately decides who is on your side in the future (Kenny/Lilly vs. Kenny/Jane)
Seeing those parallels, I have to ask:
Did the players who chose to help kill Larry also support killing Kenny? If Clem has the right to mistrust and abandon Jane for her role in Kenny’s death, does that change anyone’s perception of Lilly’s mistrust for Kenny and Lee for their roles in Larry’s death? Did the players who helped kill Larry feel Jane was still trustworthy after her role in Kenny’s death? Given that they both did something drastic and ultimately fatal to someone’s father figure in order to negate what they perceived as a threat, and they both did it in the presence of a young girl and the guardian’s charge, is one more forgivable than the other? Why or why not? Why is one circumstance understandable while the other is considered the ultimate betrayal?
it’s incredible how a video game can have so much personal meaning and importance to you
but then when you talk to another person who played it they’re like ‘yeah it was ok’