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New York Times article on Russell T. Davies

by Brad Trechak, posted Jun 17th 2008 9:02AM
Russell T. DaviesThe New York Times has an article up profiling Russell T. Davies, the man who brought Doctor Who back to television. Davies is openly homosexual and the article describes Davies' sexual orientation as it relates to Doctor Who and Torchwood, the Doctor Who spin-off he created. As a reminder, any gay-bashing comments will be removed.

The article goes on to discuss a situation in which he responds to some homophobic comments. It also discusses Captain Jack Harkness, one of his "omnisexual" characters from both Doctor Who and Torchwood.

"He has basically changed the face of television in the U.K.," said John Barrowman, who plays Captain Jack. "He has taken subject matter that nobody else will touch, and he has put in characters that nobody else will bother doing."

Even though I think he's a good writer, I've often felt that other writers for Doctor Who could do it better (most notably future showrunner Steven Moffat). However, he brought the show back to the masses and for that I will always be grateful.

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Joe Bua

"Openly homosexual"?

Really, openly gay is fine, the other is somewhat clinical, and it's also the phrase used by those who would degrade our rights, citizenship, etc., so I just thought I'd share that.

The other thing is this, once again, there is NO GAY AGENDA other than to live our lives like the rest of you, with the person we love in a relationship that has all the rights and benefits of yours.

And if you have a problem with that, or RTD or my comments, you can ...

... aw, just fill it in yourself.

June 18 2008 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jomar hilario

Doctor who started off as terribly terrifying stories (specially season 1 and 2) of the new era. Nowadays, it's not much (exception: blink) but it's still full of interesting stories and if it weren't for the entire franchise and it's spinoffs I'd go daft at not having anything to watch because of that horrid american strike and their penchant for signing off for months!

from Asia.

June 18 2008 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doug Nelson

I'd have no problem with Captain Jack being gay, but they constantly remind us he's omnisexual, yet he only hooks up with guys. When Spike guest-starred and started to chase after a poodle I thought to myself "now THAT'S omnisexual".

June 17 2008 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I did not like Doctor Who at first either, thought it was silly. The episodes got me hooked was the two-parter: The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances. After that I became a big fan. Highly recommend you to watch these two to see what this show is about.

June 17 2008 at 4:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

Russell T Davis tenure on Doctor Who was marked both ground breaking highs and abysmal lows. He brought us the wide eyed innocence of Rose. Martha Jones the first non-white in major recurring role of the series who as Doctor Jones to his Doctor Smith was a pairing of equals. And of course the ever scene stealing Capt Jack Harkness.

At the same time he gave us stories with heart wrenching stories, and a deep understanding condition they were also rift with plot holes and a lack of understanding of basic science.

He was not afraid to tackle stories about pollution, racism, diet fads and even cell phone. Unfortunately he was rather ham-handed and one dimensional in his treat of the complex issues.

At times he would display and almost pathological hatred of the 'traditional' ways. His stories are full of his hatred of Politicians, Corporations, Religion and especially the military.

His view of the world was skewed just as badly as "Leave it to Beaver". In Gridlock (S03Ep03) for instance there are dozen of cars stuck in a traffic jam, yet there is not one human, same race, opposite sex couple. He also deliberately tried to push buttons such as in Torchwood when he stated the Virgin Mary's immaculate conceptions was due to aliens, or when Capt. Jack kicks over crosses and spits on a church.

But to dismiss him as a 'Gay' author would be a great disservice. The first episode of the new series Rose, is simply the best story of Doctor Who ever written. His reworking of the Daleks, his use of the haunting Time-Lord melody are nothing short of brilliant.

His work on Doctor Who has made it a better show, and I wish him well on his new endeavor.

June 17 2008 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The fact that he is gay is the only reason why Doctor Who is on.

He did Queer as Folk which did amazing, so then BBC let him do Doctor Who. I'm very happy about that.

That said I'm glad he's leaving the show, it's time for change. He has done some wonderful stuff, but also some really bad episodes.

June 17 2008 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Oreo's comment
Brent McKee

it was time for a change. Historically a "Who" producer usually lasted only three or four seasons. The big exception was John Nathan-Turner and there are a lot of people (like me) who are convinced that he stayed on too long for all the good he did.

June 17 2008 at 11:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I know nothing about Doctor Who history, I was rather young when it ended in the 80s. However both Stargate and Star Trek have ad people stay on for too long. Every few years you need to shake things up otherwise they will get stale and boring. I started feeling that way last season with Doctor Who, but I think it might just have been that Martha was a terrible companion.

June 18 2008 at 1:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate to say it, but I think I will miss RTD at the helm of Who. Both Moffat and RTD have been hit or miss for me. That two parter last week was just aggravating and I don't know if I can forgive RTD for Jesus!Doctor. I love RTD for creating a character like Jack Harkness.

June 17 2008 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"but their is a difference between clever allegory and beat me over the head propagandizing."

Actually, as a gay sci-fi fan I really enjoy FINALLY being able to watch a sci-fi show with characters that reflect my own orientation. Your 'beat me over the head' argument might make sense if you had mentioned the complete ABSENCE of gay characters from the VAST majority of sci-fi over the decades. Seems in the Star Trek future, gays don't exist anymore. In BSG I believe there was some lesbian moments that seemed more about str8-male titillation (odd you didn't find that to be 'hitting you over the head with propagandizing").

I'm not trying to say you're responses make you homophobic (or even, "bristling with indignation"), but you clearly haven't really considered what it's like to have to watch endless TV/films that contain heterosexual relationships while not being able to personally relate to them. Or maybe you're just too uptight?

Also, your comments speak to your feelings about the gay content in these shows but not to the responses Russell makes to criticisms like yours. So I'm left to wonder if any of you actually read the article before commenting?

"the agenda"? By this do you mean a "writers agenda" or the "gay agenda"? It's odd how when the shoe is on the other foot, I'm not posting to complain about David Chase's "hetero agenda" in "The Sopranos". No offense, but open your mind a bit. I highly recommend some of you take a look at this original UK version of 'Queer As Folk' - quite different than the US remake.

Things will be different when a post for TVSquad can read, "As a reminder, any hetero-bashing comments will be removed." I appreciate that they said that, but it's a sorry state of affairs when gay-bashing needs a preemptive warning.

June 17 2008 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to UnionStayshyn's comment

I agree completely.

June 17 2008 at 12:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sorry, agenda was an overly harsh word to use. However I do wish the love was shared out of among many programs than all crammed into this one. I applaud what he's doing and it's Doctor and Torchwood which are breaking the mould, but as someone whose just there for the adventures, I find it irks me in the same way in-program product-promotion etc. does - it just pulls me out of the storyline for the moment. Again, I stress it's not to do with me thinking: 'Yuck, they're avocating gays!', I just find it pulls me out of the story each time because it's every episode - I start wndering whether it's part of the season-arc!

June 18 2008 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mj green

The great thing about the new Doctor Who is that they kept the spirit of the OLD Doctor Who. I grew up watching it, and always loved it, cheese and all. When the movie came out a few years ago, I was totally turned off, because it wasn't the Doctor. The new show is great. I find you either love it or hate it. And Torchwood is pretty darn good, too. I don't mind Captain Jack and his flings. It makes the character who he is.

June 17 2008 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really like the show - I don't love it, but it's very good.

I certainly agree there's stronger writers, such as Moffat. RTD can be clunky, but as a showrunner he's done a good job.

Regarding his love of putting gay characters in, I find it annoying because he does it with every episode and, for me, it always pulls me out of the episode while I tick the RTD checklist - it's nothing to do with his message, just the ham-fisted, repeated way of putting it in every episode.

Imagine if RTD was a die-hard environmentalist and every episode had a line similar to: "If only we'd listened at the start of the 21st century and stopped using oil, this wouldn't be happening". Once or twice would be fine, but if the same point was made every episode, irregardless of relevance to the plot, it would be annoying. That's how I feel about his continual use of gay characters - it not the content of the message it's the repetitive use of it. He's almost becoming a parody of himself, and that's why it pulls me out of the story each time.

So I'm a big fan of the show, but the agenda bugs me sometimes.

June 17 2008 at 11:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Edd's comment

"Regarding his love of putting gay characters in, I find it annoying because he does it with every episode"

Every episode? You're joking, right? Exaggerating for rhetorical effect? Because there's no way that there are gay characters in every episode of Doctor Who.

But if there WERE--um, so what? I go to work every day, commute, go home, socialize with friends, and I would have to say that literally every day I have contact with someone who is gay. Doesn't seem like an agenda to me. Seems like...real life.

June 18 2008 at 9:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Every episode? You're joking, right? Exaggerating for rhetorical effect?"

No, seriously, if it's not 8/10 I'll eat my Who hat! If you marathon the seasons you'll see what I mean!

June 18 2008 at 10:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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