Facts and Fun with ‘Paper Dolls’

Always imagined what the Third Doctor would look like in the Ninth Doctor’s clothes? How Sarah Jane would style a look like Rose’s? Well imagine no more!

Paper Dolls is your number one source for costume knowledge and fun. Featuring every Doctor and their companions, each character has multiple outfits they can be changed into, complete with facts on their costumes! Introduced with cosplay tips from ‘Doctor Who: The Fan Show’s very own Christel Dee, this book covers every angle of dress up fun. Here’s some things we learnt about our favourite time ladies costumes whilst scouring the pages and dressing up the dolls…

Jo’s gorgeous high heeled boots worn in Day of the Daleks were chosen due to the height difference between Katy manning and Jon Pertwee. Katy was only 5’1 and Jon 6’3, making it much more practical for her to wear high heeled shoes!

Jo

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Sarah Jane’s fun, child-like dungaree outfit from The Hand of Fear is supposed to contrast with the events of the story. Sarah is possessed by the evil Eldrad, meaning she’s not quite herself (!)

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sarah jane

 The Blue Peter badges on Ace’s amazing bomber jacket were Sophie Aldred’s that she earned as a child.

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ace

Donna’s beautiful dress, worn in The Unicorn and the Wasp, was an original 1920s dress hired especially for the episode.

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Clara Oswald often looks pretty smart during her time on the TARDIS. This is because Steven Moffat wanted her to always look like a school teacher, even in the middle of crazy adventures! We always wondered why Clara looked so classy ALL the time.

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clara

Lalla Ward hoped that having Romana wear a school uniform would make children happier to wear their own… not quite sure if that worked. Maybe if teens were allowed to wear incredible long pink coats!

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romana

Ace was originally styled in bumblebee style yellow and black leggings, amazing! They couldn’t go ahead with the look because it caused strobing on the tv cameras, drat.

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Osgood’s wardrobe was a lil’ testament to all Doctor Who cosplayers! Steven Moffat wrote in her costume as a ‘sort of love letter to the Doctor Who fandom’. She’s totally one of us.

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And they ALL look great in each others outfits:

rose as clarabill as acemissy as osgoodamy as jo

Why not assemble your ideal Sarah Jane Adventures episode with all the classic Who companions? Or ever wondered what a Victorian dress would look like on Ace? Have some fun assembling some dream teams of your own and send them to us on Twitter!

For more costume facts, cosplay tips and fun, get Paper Dolls, out Aug 24th in all good book stores and online.

p.s. Look out for us Time Ladies cosplaying real soon…

July favourites

Phew! The end of Moffat’s last Doctor Who series, the announcement of our first female Doctor and fantastic tit bits from comic con; July was a crazy month in the Whoniverse. Yes, we’ve missed a month of favourites, but even Time Ladies need a break! So now we’re back with our favourites from July, and what a month it was…

Time Lord Reads

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Missing your favourite Time Lord and bored on a Saturday night? We love curling up on the sofa with a good old book, especially when they’re all about our favourite show! Take a look at our favourite reads from July:

Explore the history of our favourite Gallifreyan’s in A Brief History of Time Lords. Featuring stunning artwork and everything you could possibly want to know, this gorgeous book covers all of Time Lord history in one handy little package. From The Eye of Harmony to Trenzalore, it’s perfect for all Time Ladies!

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Read the tales and legends from throughout time and space in Myths and Legends, a collection of short stories from around Gallifrey and its surrounding planets, it’s the perfect book to unwind and relax with! With beautiful art and brilliant adventures, we love this incredible read!

Buy them here:

A Brief History of Time Lords

Myths and Legends


Doctor Who Magazine

It’s the end of an era in this month’s Doctor Who Magazine! This issue is Tom Spilsbury’s last as he moves on from editing our favourite mag. This month’s pages are filled with emotion, also including a goodbye interview with Steven Moffat and features on the end of his era as show runner. If you can manage to read through your tears, the mag is on sale now!

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Series 2 Steelbook

Wanna see something prettttty? We are obsessed with the series two steelbook boxset! Beautifully designed by Lee Binding, the steel case gives us emotions alone. The brilliant 2006 series has been re-released onto blu-ray and looks seriously good. Reliving our favourite stories AND staring at the pretty free art cards? 2006 never looked so good!

Buy it here

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Pearl and Michelle at Comic Con 

These amazing 80s power-esque photos of Pearl and Michelle were taken at Comic Con for Buzzfeed and look how FIERCE they are. We now think all cast members should be photographed looking like they’re auditioning for new roles in Gladiator. Are we all in agreement?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jodie Whittaker

If you haven’t noticed by now, Jodie Whittaker IS THE DOCTOR. Yes we’ve talked about it a million times, no we aren’t going to stop. July 2017 was the month the first female Doctor was announced, which will forever be our fave!

Catch her in Broadchurch, Black Mirror, Attack The Block and currently starring in BBC One’s Trust Me, Tuesday’s at 9pm.

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Please note, the books were kindly sent to us but enthusiasm is all our own.

Time Ladies Debate: Why I’m Adjusting to the Idea of a Female Doctor by Lippmannette

Here at The Time Ladies, we LOVE a bit of debating and swapping opinions. Opening each others eyes to new sides and ideas and hearing what each of us loved and hated is all apart of being a fan of Doctor Who. And so ‘Time Ladies Debate’ is born; A brand new feature in which we pick a topic and discuss either side of the argument! This weeks theme is the recent news of The Doctor becoming a woman. Guest contributor Jenny Lippmann discusses why she was against the idea, and how she’s slowly coming around to it….

NMKHCLA.pngI think, if people had seen my reaction to Jodie Whittaker, and I’d been a man, they would have laughed at me.

As a woman, I’m expected to be delighted with the news. One unnamed tweeter said women who don’t like it are ‘the worst ones’. I’ve come to terms with lots of things since the announcement, and one is that I shouldn’t be ashamed for how I feel.

I don’t think you have to be delighted by the announcement of a female Doctor (though obviously, it’s wonderful that so many people are!) I don’t think you have to accept it right now. It’s a big change. People are excited and scared and even Jodie knows that and that is all just fine.

This post isn’t about hating on a female Doctor. I want to focus on how I felt before the casting, immediately after, and how I’ve grown in my views.

People have asked me why I’ve never wanted a female in the role. In those moments, I’ve yammered about ‘strong, passive male role models’ – something I have since realised is a rather silly excuse, and I expressed apprehension about the handling of female characters as a whole (there are exceptions, but we are still learning). I think I was searching for something that sounded more impressive than this: I am very, very attached to the mad man in a box. It’s simple, it’s boring, it’s stubborn. That’s that.

Since the announcement, I’ve been quietly coming to terms with ‘the big change’ and becoming more and more okay with it as time passes. I drew fanart, I imagined what Thirteen would wear, I thought of Jodie delivering a rollicking ‘I am the Doctor’ speech, and yes, it started to fall into place in my head.

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It’s been a long time coming, really.

The moment I started to question my reasoning behind not wanting this was at a Doctor Who finale party I attended, with Time Ladies Beth and Kezia in situ. We got into the discussion on a potential lady casting, and they all listened very carefully as I explained why I didn’t want a female Doctor (reasons I have since realised make no sense)…. Then, after my mini rant, Kezia very gently said to me, something along the lines of: “well, we’ve had over fifty years of that, it’s time a woman did it now”.

And that really made me think. And it really changed my view.

Because why can’t a woman do it?

Let’s flashback to the announcement of an all-female Ghostbusters team. I was mortified. “NO BILL MURRAY?” I shrieked, waving my fist at my laptop screen, then later cringing at the first image of the four of them by the new Ecto-1. “HOW DARE THEY.”

Then they released the trailer, which I watched… and for me, without question, those four women were the Ghostbusters. The trailer had everything that Ghostbusters is to me, right there, and that wasn’t changed by the fact we had women in the roles. Not in the slightest. Later, I came out of the cinema wanting to punch a new crater in the moon: I can be a Ghostbuster too!

So, I asked myself, after having a little (or big, shhh) pathetic cry over Jodie’s casting, why the hell is this any different?

Answer: it’s not. Not really. I always loved the idea of being the Doctor’s companion, but being the Doctor? The thought amazes me. Maybe I could punch a real crater in the moon that way.

As for bad female characters… The Doctor is not a male character, I’ve finally acknowledged. The Doctor is not a female character, either. The Doctor is the Doctor. Jodie must have been the Doctor when she walked in that audition, and I am sure Mr Chibnall will write… you guessed it, the Doctor.

Whether chuffed about a female Doctor or scared, like me, it is all a big shock. Remember that’s okay! The Doctor has been a bloke for over fifty years!

You know what’s not okay, though?  Not giving Thirteen a chance.

What is not okay, is being nasty about Jodie, about women.

Be apprehensive, sure, be shocked and alarmed that things are changing… change is tough. But if you love the Doctor that much, you’ve got to stick with him, or her, because ultimately, the Doctor is the Doctor.

And that’s the jumbled conclusion I’ve come to.

That’s the crux.

Lady bits or no, the Doctor will always be my hero. How great to have a female role model in the Doctor!

Come at me Thirteen. I’m nervous, but if you’ll have me in the TARDIS, doing things wrong and probably getting into a lot of trouble, I’d love to join you.

5 times Doctor Who proved a female Doctor would work

As you’ve probably heard by now, series 11 will see our first ever female incarnation of The Doctor. What’s that, you didn’t notice from our multiple posts on the subject? Well we’re about to talk about it some more! Time Ladies have always been prominent in Doctor Who history; from the very first companion being a Time Lord herself, to the latest incarnation of the master regenerating into a female. If you’re still unsure about the casting of Jodie Whittaker as 13, here’s 5 times the show proved it will work!

Romana

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“It’s funny, you know, but before I met you, I was even willing to be impressed.”

The above quote is from Romana I, played by the brilliant Mary Tamm. Originally Romanadvoratrelundar, Romana graduated from The Time Lord Academy with a triple first (our gal got BRAINS) and out-smarts the Doctor at every opportunity. Heck, we’d be as smug as her if we could constantly laugh at the Doctor’s stupidity. Although she grows into one of the Doctor’s closest friends during Lalla Ward’s stint as Romana II, she always stays as the Doctor’s equal and feels significantly different from his previous companions. She’s cleverer, more skilled and more charming than him in nearly every capacity and is the first glimpse of what a female version of the Doctor could be.

The Rani

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“You and the Doctor are a well-matched pair of pests. You bring nothing but trouble.”

The Rani grew up with the Doctor and the Master when they were time tots and is another renegade Time Lord. This makes people automatically associate her with the Master but the Rani is a menace in her own right. A brilliant neurochemist obsessed with experimenting on the human race, the Rani tries to perfect a formula to take back to Miasima Goria, the planet she rules. Her and the Master attempt to work together to thwart the Doctor but she ends up laughing at them both whilst they show off their hyper masculinity, and subtly points out that they just can’t exist without each other. Aww. She’s the perfect mix of evil whilst having impeccable logic and reason behind her plan – a perfect villain. Her brains and wit equal her with the Doctor and Master, and proves how Time Ladies are more than a match for Time Lords.

Missy

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“I couldn’t very well keep calling myself The Master now, could I?”

First appearing in Deep Breath (2014), It took the whole of series 8 for the character of Missy’s true identity to be revealed. In the explosive finale we see her once again causing havoc in The Doctors world, madder, scarier and more evil than ever before. Michelle Gomez brings a wonderful craziness to the role, proving that done correctly a change of time lord gender can work. She has been a massive highlight of The 12th Doctors era, appearing multiple times as his main adversary. There is no doubt that the character is still the master and is translated onto screen perfectly, laying the perfect foundations for a female Doctor to take to our screens!

The General

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“The only time I’ve been a man, that last body. Dear God, how do you cope with all that ego?”

After being shot by the 12th Doctor in Hell Bent (2015), The male General regenerates into a woman. This is the first time we’ve seen a Time Lord regenerate from one gender to another on screen, a massive moment for the show.  There is no question that it is the same character and works flawlessly, normalising the process of regenerating into different genders. This scene is more groundwork for the future of our hero, and proves that there is no limits for our favourite race of time travelling aliens!

 

The Doctor and Bill discuss gender politics

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“We are the most civilised civilisation in the universe, we’re billions of years beyond your petty human obsession with gender and its associated stereotypes!”

In the most recent series finale, World enough and time (2017), The Doctor and Bill discuss The Doctor and Missy’s history on the rooftop of the university. Casually dropping in that Missy used to be a man, the two discuss the flexibility of Time Lord genders. Bill is not phased, other than that they still call themselves Time LORDS (Well, she has a point!). Here we see an almost representation of the audience and peoples opinions on gender, including a reference to stereotypes. The Doctor is an alien from outer space who travels around in a blue box saving the universe, what does gender have to do with it? A perfect scene and incredible foreshadowing for what is to come, it portrayed finally that gender doesn’t matter, and a female doctor could indeed be fantastic.

And finally:

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The Hooded Woman (A 13th Doctor story)

Callie Wright paced the dark, dank alleyways around the backstreets of London, itching to get out of the pouring rain. Looking up at the lights, she paused briefly and admired her surroundings. She had always loved London. No matter how dark, grey or scary it looked, she saw beauty in it. The land of opportunity they called it. Some opportunity, she thought. Forty plus hours stuck in the four boring walls she called her office, getting paid *just* enough to cover rent and bills. She pushed the thought out of her mind as she crossed a busy street teeming with traffic and Londoners who were also manically trying to get home during rush hour. Figuring out the quickest way to get home to her small, cosy flat, she took a shortcut down a tiny cobblestoned alleyway. The tapping of her brogues on the uneven ground comforted her, as all other noise seemed to disappear entirely. It was eerily black. Shadows upon shadows climbed the patchy stone walls around her. Speeding up, she almost ran around the corner to a better lit, slightly less terrifying road. An old, blue police telephone box sat under a flickering yellow streetlight, battered and weathered. She wondered how long that had been there. It didn’t look terribly out of place but there was something just… Off. Realising she had stopped in her tracks, her mind drifted toward the bottle of Pinot Grigio calling her from her kitchen. Just a few more minutes and she’d be tucked up on the warm sofa, forgetting the woes of her day. 

A group of teenagers passed loudly screaming profanities at no one in particular, and she thanked her stars that they had left her alone. The wind and rain picked up suddenly, making it almost impossible to move through. Callie felt a chill down her spine as her whole body went cold. Rounding a corner, she stopped suddenly as a hooded figure moved towards her. Dark and outlined in a long cloak, it was as if time had stopped. Callie couldn’t take her eyes off the rapidly approaching shadow. Slowly, the figure stopped and reached for their hood, revealing a woman. Startlingly beautiful, she had deep brown eyes and blonde hair cut into a perfect bob. There was a strangeness about her, almost as if her eyes were older than the rest of her. ‘Callie Wright?’ The woman said. Frozen to the spot, Callie felt a strange sense of trust towards the stranger, as if they had met before. ‘Uh… Yeah. Yes, that’s me,’ Callie replied. The woman’s expression suddenly turned deadly serious, and Callie noticed a small red question mark on the collar of her shirt peeking out from her cloak. ‘I have an important message for you. Please, whatever you do, listen to me. Callie, your life could depend on it’ Callie felt her heart beating so hard that it might burst right out of her chest. The woman carried on. ‘You have to remember, Callie. Whatever you do… Don’t blink!’ 

(Image credit to Sam Bentley!)

The Time Ladies Press Tour!

The announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor made the internet go next level #HYPE.

We were in the thick of it as a blog which focuses on celebrating women who have been part of Doctor Who and as advocates of female fan engagement. Female fans are often quickly labelled or questioned on their ‘credentials’. It can be hard to get rid of that label and be taken seriously as a fan and we’ve all been there, we get you.

As a result of us existing we were asked by Radio 5 Live to interview about Jodie’s casting and the more controversial nature of some of the opinions from fans. I, (Kez) woke up at the crack of dawn to speak on behalf of The Time Ladies at 6:50am!

BBC 5 Live:

Myself and Beth then co-ordinated (Beth whilst in Greece, what a superstar she is) a full Time Ladies press tour day, speaking to local BBC radio stations about the casting and our thoughts.

BBC West Midlands
“It was only a matter of time and only right that a woman was given the chance.” -Kez

BBC London
~where I debated with Vanessa Feltz on the subject of female role models

BBC Sheffield
Speaking about the press using pictures from sex scenes in Jodie’s previous roles (ugh, we h8 you Daily Mail)

BBC Newcastle
Aka where Beth SLAMS an opposing fan’s views by calling him out on his BS.

Woman’s Hour – Radio 4
The One When Kez lives her dream and fulfills her life’s destiny just for being on Woman’s Hour.

BBC Hereford
When Beth speaks about female fans having more of a voice because of Jodie and we all cry.

BBC Wales
I explain the concept of regeneration and why the Doctor most probably won’t regenerate into a dog.

BBC Three Counties
The infamous “But Peggy Mitchell isn’t an alien” line. Need we say more. Beth the legend.

BBC Coventry
Where the presenter is great and accidentally says he loves me and I say K-9 should make a come back.

Lastly, we were asked to be on BBC Global News! We’ve made it! Here’s me below speaking with the wonderful Gail Renard who’s an advocate of female screen writers. We talked about the backlash after the announcement, female role models, possible future companions and the queen, Verity Lambert.

So it was a pretty mad day but we loved feeling v important for 12 hours. Here’s to more female Doctor Who fans being asked to speak about their opinions.

-Kez

Why Bill Potts Proves Positive LGBT+ Representation Matters

On 31st March 2017, actress Pearl Mackie announced in an interview with BBC News that her character, Bill Potts, would be Doctor Who’s first openly gay companion. Although Captain Jack, played by John Barrowman was pansexual (or omnisexual meaning aliens and robots are fair game!), he wasn’t a full-time companion so this was a big milestone in the show’s 53 year history.

Steven Moffat and the team didn’t make any fuss about it in any way, Pearl mentioned the character’s sexuality in an interview with BBC News, they ran with the story and it blew up. The media made a fuss because LGBT+ representation in film & TV isn’t yet commonplace and Bill being the show’s first out and proud lesbian companion was a big milestone for the show; it was newsworthy.

Within the show, being gay isn’t a big deal to Bill herself but in the real world, where homophobic hate crime is on the increase and where young people can still feel scared or embarrassed about coming out, it’s a big deal that one of the most popular TV shows in the country has done this. As a long-time Doctor Who fan and lesbian, I can’t begin to describe how much it’s meant to me to see someone like me in a main role on my favourite TV show. We all need characters that can inspire us and that we can look up to and I knew from the day of her announcement that Bill Potts was going to be a positive role model to so many.

I didn’t have any female gay role models growing up.

Like many other gay women, I grew up in a very heterosexual environment. As a teen, the chat in the playground was always about which boy you fancy and at home I was constantly getting asked “have you got a boyfriend yet?”. To add to this, I was only being shown hetrosexual relationships in films, TV shows and books. With heterosexuality as my only point of reference, I didn’t even consider that the fact that my disinterest in in guys was because maybe I liked girls instead – I just thought there was something wrong with me.

When I got older and eventually began to realise I was gay, I was very frightened of it. My upbringing had taught me it wasn’t okay to be gay. I grew up in foster care for the latter half of my childhood and teenage years but my real Dad, who I lived with during my formative years, was very homophobic and made fun of gay people. Later, living with my foster parents, the conversations were always about guys. My foster mum would often say “Ohhh, isn’t that guy off the telly hot” and I’d go “Is he? Erm… if you say so.”. I never once expressed interest in guys but they would always quiz me about it, especially if I was hanging out with a friend who just so happened to be a guy. Being in their mid-70s, I feel I can’t blame them for their traditional way of thinking, they were just doing what was normal to them. That said, it would have been nice to not have guys thrust on me as the only option. It only made me feel more weird about myself.

I should probably mention that I didn’t have social media when I was at school and there wasn’t as much awareness about LGBT+ issues amongst young people as there is now. It certainly wasn’t spoken about in class. Not only was it not taught as part of the curriculum but you’d also be badly bullied if anyone thought you were gay. I remember once a boy at my secondary school came out as bisexual and he was absoutely crucified by the other students. No one else was going to come out in my school after that.

Coming to terms with my sexuality whilst growing up was a long and difficult process and I strongly believe if there were some female gay role models like Bill Potts who I could look up to, I would have felt more comfortable with my sexuality and accepted myself a lot quicker. The great thing is, young Doctor Who fans today have Bill as a role model and that makes me so happy. She’s been wonderful to watch and such an inspiration. To celebrate our lovely queer companion, I’ve asked people on Twitter to share how Bill has personally inspired them. I’ve been blown away by the responses and I think they really prove how important representation is. So, without further ado, here’s 10 reasons why Bill Potts proves LGBT+ representation matters.

1. Bill has helped people feel comfortable and confident with their sexuality

One of the most inspiring things about Bill is how comfortable and confident she is talking about her sexuality. In fact, her sexuality is revealed right away in her second line of dialogue of her first episode, “The Pilot”. She just embraces who she is.

2. Bill reassures us that it’s okay to be gay

As I mentioned earlier, I grew up thinking it wasn’t okay to be gay because of the lack of LGBT+ representation in the media, school bullies and because at home and in the playground, heterosexuality was the only thing that was ever spoken about. The very presence of a gay main character (and one who is portrayed so positively) in one of the country’s most popular TV shows, reassures me, as a lesbian viewer, that it’s not weird or wrong to be gay; I feel included rather than excluded (which is usually the case) and therefore, normal.

3. Bill’s sexuality isn’t treated like it’s a big deal – because it’s not!

Bill’s sexuality is never made a big thing of. That’s because one’s sexuality isn’t (and should never be) a big deal. No one ever questions Bill on it (well, apart from Lucius, the Roman in “The Eaters of Light” who is bisexual and finds it cute that Bill is “so selective”). Her sexuality isn’t important and she’s treated like any straight character would be. Bill’s openness about her sexuality and the positive way that people around her respond to her says you can be awesome, save the world and who you fancy is irrelevant.

4. Being gay doesn’t define Bill’s character

Sexuality can play a big role in one’s life and it may even shape your political views, your social circles and how you view the world. But being gay isn’t the only thing about you and it’s not the only thing about Bill either. In fact, it’s a really unimportant piece of information; it’s just something that’s part of her, just as is her height, her eye colour and what she likes to eat.  Her personality isn’t in any way defined by her sexuality, certainly not in a stereotypical sense. She’s a human being, first and foremost!

5. Bill has given people the confidence to come out

Coming out can be really scary and the fact Bill is giving people the confidence to do so is awesome. Bill has to come out a few times, particularly to the guys who fancy her in “Knock Knock” and “The Eaters of Light”. Coming out to guys because I’m getting hit on is something I’ve found I have to do regularly and it isn’t always comfortable. That scene really resonated with me and the way Bill handles herself in those situations – calm, collected and confident – is so great. Representation isn’t just including a gay character and being done with it. If you’re writing a gay character in a realistic way, then this sort of stuff is going to come up too, because it happens in real life. It would be kind of odd if it wasn’t there. I’m sure many people will have felt inspired by Bill’s confidence.

6. Bill highlights Doctor as a positive example of how to treat LGBT+ people

Positive representation isn’t only about how you write the character in question but it’s also how others respond to them. As the Doctor tells Bill in “The Doctor Falls”, Time Lords are billions of years beyond our petty obsession with gender and its associated stereotypes. The Doctor is a positive role model in so many ways, my favourite trait being that he sees the best in you, regardless of where you come from or who you’re interested in. The Doctor is very supportive of Bill; at the end of “Extremis” the Doctor calls her up and tells her that Penny (a girl she goes on a date with in the Monk’s simulation) isn’t out of her league and encourages her to arrange a date with her immediately. The Doctor is a wonderful role model because he treats Bill like she’s no different to anyone else. Because she isn’t. We can learn from him!

To add to this, the Doctor isn’t only a positive example of how to treat LGBT+ people, he’s also a positive male role model and Bill really brings this out in him. The Doctor is, in fact, a father figure to Bill. I particularly enjoyed this final exchange between Bill and the Doctor in “The Doctor Falls”;

Bill: “Uh, hey, um, well, you know how I’m usually all about women an-and kinda people my own age?” the Doctor: “Yeah?” Bill: “Glad you knew that.”.

The Doctor was well aware that Bill likes girls; he knew she had a crush on Heather (other names include “Puddle Girl” and “Drippy Bae”) and that she was dating Penny so Bill making sure he knew did seem a little odd to me at first. But then I thought about it a bit more and realised this is her own way of saying she really admires, trusts and perhaps even loves him, platonically, as a father figure. She comes out to him (again) and is accepted by him (of course, she would be!). The Doctor’s supportive and accepting nature is something loads of young boys watching will pick up on. We will never not need male role models like this!

Not only this, not everyone in the LGBT+ community has parent figures that they feel will accept them. I found it really lovely that Bill has an elder figure that she looks up to and feels comfortable opening up to him to about her sexuality (unlike her foster mum who she attempts to come out to but it goes right over her head). It gives me hope that there are people out there who will accept you. As Steven Moffat said, “Doctor Who is a big hearted, optimistic show that believes in kindness and love and that wisdom will triumph in the end.”; this scene really demonstrate this.

7. You can have adventures with the Doctor regardless of who you are

It can be a little tiresome when everyone fancies the Doctor and a huge part of loving the show for me personally, is imagining that the companion could be me. This is a little difficult if the companion is in love with the Doctor because it’s hard to relate if you don’t see him that way! I think it’s much less alienating as a viewer when they’re just a mate (o, hai Donna “you’re not mating with me, sunshine” Noble). I feel it opens up the TARDIS doors a little wider, allowing anyone to join the Doctor and his companion’s adventures.

8. Bill isn’t broken 

There aren’t a lot of shows that include LGBT+ characters without them falling into stereotypes and clichés. Queer characters are so often portrayed as broken – either destined for nothing but a life of tragedy or simply, killed off. This is pretty damaging because basically what it says is that if you’re LGBT+ you’re never going to be happy. Bill’s sexuality is very much part of her story but it’s a positive one. She’s smart, funny and saves the world on more than one occasion. Plus, she gets to live happily ever after with her love, Puddle Girl Drippy Bae Heather!

9. Bill has a happy ending 

As mentioned in #8, LGBT+ characters have a seriously high mortality rate. It’s important LGBT+ people feel like they can live happily ever after too. Imagine being a young person trying to come to terms with your sexuality and all you’re seeing on telly is queer characters having terrible lives and horrible endings? To quote Steven again,

“I don’t’ believe it’s the kind of show that says there are bitter, twisted and nasty endings because it’s not, it’s not gritty. It’s aspirational. It says, it can work. Wisdom and kindness will triumph. Love will always come through in the end. There aren’t enough people and enough shows saying that and I’m dammed if Doctor Who is going to join in with the general chorus of despair.”

Well said, Steven. And two girlies kissing on a prime-time BBC family show? Thank you, Doctor Who.

10. Seeing yourself positively represented in the media generally means a lot 

At a time where positive LGBT+ representation is still slim, having a character like Bill has meant so much people, especially those who are gay. If the tweets thus far haven’t yet proved that, here are a few more testimonies that demonstrate what a positive thing Bill Potts has been;

I’ve absolutely loved seeing Bill on screen. Not only have I related to Bill massively because of my background, she’s made me feel more confident talking openly about my sexuality too. And knowing that she’s inspired so many people, just fills me with joy!

It still seems bonkers that Bill is the first lesbian companion in the show’s 53 year history but I’m so glad we’ve finally got her. Doctor Who is a wonderful example of a TV show doing LGBT+ representation right and I hope other shows can follow in it’s example. But for now, a huge thank you to Doctor Who for creating Bill Potts, a character who has inspired so many people and who will continue to inspire viewers for years to come.

A big thank you to everyone who sent in tweets and thanks to Graeme Neil Reid for letting use his wonderful artwork. Has Bill Potts inspired you in any way? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

– Christel Dee.

Find Christel on Twitter or on Doctor Who: The Fan Show

Time Ladies Support Time Ladies

As a feminist, I think it is absolutely the duty of every woman to support one another rather than tear each other down.

As a female Doctor Who fan, a minority in a fandom made up of predominantly men, I believe the same.

We live in a society that supports negativity between girls, that encourages competition and profits on female insecurities. If you follow this diet, you could look like Britney! If you talk quieter, if you swear less and use prettier words, boys will like you better! In everything a girl does, they are subsequently pitted against another girl.

It shocked me recently to realise that this even happens in Doctor Who.

With the eagerly anticipated arrival of Bill Potts in The Pilot, the most recent companion to join the TARDIS, I have realised that this happens more than ever. Like many fans, I have my favourite companion (to anybody that had been living under a rock for the past few years, it’s Rose Tyler) and I am absolutely thrilled whenever there is a reference of parallel made of her time in the show. Because that’s the beauty and also the hardest thing about being a fan of Doctor Who, it is ever changing and adapting, but it also means the show that you fell in love with when you first started watching will undoubtedly be a completely different show a few years down the line.

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However, I would also say that this companion-pitting is not merely the fault of the fans alone. These storylines of companions meeting other companions and ultimately having a frosty and jealousy fuelled encounter is canon to the show. Think of Rose and Sarah Jane in School Reunion, even Martha’s entire character arc through series three, arguably even in the first-time River and Donna met in Silence in the Library. Though they come to put aside these issues, the subtext of girl-on-girl hate is still there. And this isn’t good enough for Doctor Who. And it unsettles me that this is the introduction many new, young fans might be getting into the Whoniverse.

I remember being no older than 10 years old, and stumbling across a fanfic on the Doctor Who Newsround forums (I was 10 and Newsround was my only source of information okay?) about Martha being twisted into a cruel and malicious character, resulting in the Doctor dumping her back on Earth and zooming off to defeat the laws of physics to get his true love Rose back from the parallel world. I don’t think I realised the impact of this way of thinking until I grew up, rewatched Martha’s series and got to grips with what her character was really about. That it is negative, toxic and ugly. That it is founded in the classic trope of girl on girl hate that fed us all growing up.

If the Doctor can be read as an allegorical figure for God himself, pit against nobody unless it is a morally flawed counterpart to prove his worth, can’t the same be said for the companion?

I say: celebrate any references you wish to celebrate. I cried my eyes out when I was on holiday back in 2011 and missed the moment when Rose reappeared in the TARDIS as a hologram to Matt Smith’s Eleven. In an era that felt so foreign, she was a welcome reminder of the past. I was shocked to see a somewhat angry backlash on twitter after The Pilot aired by some fans in relation to possible Clara references in the episode, and even more shocked that some fans seemed to miss the point of Bill’s introduction completely and obsessed over the most minute detail that could be related back to another companion.

Is this the power of retrospect? The thing that my generation in particular as fans of the show, didn’t worry about with the show’s revival in 2005 as it was our first introduction to the world of Who?

I remind myself that to some little girl out there, Bill Potts is going to be their Rose Tyler.

That to them, this is all brand new. To countless little girls Martha, Donna, Amy and Clara will be their Rose Tyler. And that isn’t to say you can’t dislike a companion, everybody has the right to an opinion, but dedicating your time to tearing down another woman even though she may be fictional is a toxic practice in which to partake.

Rose and Martha (1)

Whilst ten-year-old me was more than happy to imagine Rose ripping Martha’s hair out, twenty-year-old me is much happier imagining them braiding each other’s hair as they bond over a cuppa tea in the TARDIS. Clara helping Bill sew the badges on her jacket or Donna showing Amy the best way to cover up an errant grey hair when you’re ginger.

Girls supporting girls across time and space.

By Em.

Welcome to The Time Ladies

I have been a fan of doctor who for 11 years.

I have grown up with the show through my childhood, teenage years and now, going into adulthood, my love for it is as strong as ever. It is a show that symbolises hope, love and acceptance. It has shaped me and countless others into the people we are today. It has spanned 50 years of TV, with spin-offs, audios, books and endless merchandise. It is a global success and watched all over the world. It is HUGE.

So why, especially in today’s generally accepted ‘geek culture’, are there hardly any aspects of the fandom aimed at a female audience? There is a general consensus, especially from male fans, that female fans somehow aren’t ‘proper’. We are quizzed on every bit of knowledge we know to prove ourselves, or we aren’t accepted if we love ‘girly’ things as well as Doctor who. There’s even a shortage of women behind the scenes of the show! Having experienced countless Doctor Who events and conventions myself, there is never any shortage of other female fans, and the same in the online Doctor Who community.  But there IS a shortage of spaces for female fans to talk and share their love for the show.

As a fan, I want somewhere to share my love for the companions makeup and fashion, as well as the storylines and monsters. I want to hear other female perspectives on the show. I want to learn more about and discuss the female characters of the Whoniverse. Sure, I love joining in on Twitter and forums, at cons and meetups. But I want to make the blog that I personally would love to see. So, here on The Time Ladies, we will share our love for Doctor who. From make-up tutorials and companion Look Books, to character analysis and episode reviews. Let’s fill the gap in the who community, and mix our love for beauty, fashion and feminism with our favourite show.

-Beth.