1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Doctor Who - "Rosa" S11E3 10/21/2018

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by trainman, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. trainman

    trainman Nice to see you

    10,656
    440
    Jan 29, 2001
    Sherman...
    This could have been an episode of "Timeless" without that many script alterations -- give Ryan's lines to Rufus, make the villain a Rittenhouse agent instead of the Racist in the Year 3000, and you're two-thirds of the way there.
     
    Tony_T, vman41, aaronwt and 2 others like this.
  2. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

    45,256
    3,673
    Oct 17, 2000
    Minneapolis
    This struck me as being WAY too preachy for Doctor Who. They could have made the same point without hammering it so bluntly...and it would have been much more effective, I think. They also could have used a villain who wasn't such a cypher, and such an obvious stand-in for 21st-century racists...or really, such a 21st-century racist just dropped into the story wihtout explanation.

    I was also a little perplexed by the people of color in the Doctor's entourage being so taken aback by experiencing blatant racism. Really? Like they haven't experienced it already, over and over? I've seen the YouTube video of the guy on the airplane yelling at the black woman, and I'm a white guy from the Minnesota suburbs. And yes, it's a TV show, it shouldn't be expected to be realistic, yadda yadda...but they started it! ;)

    I think this was the weakest of the D13 episodes so far...and that each one has been weaker than the previous. I hope they get their footing soon...
     
  3. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    10,875
    998
    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    No matter how many you tube videos you see, the blatant societal racism of the south in the 1950s is much more over the top. Remember, this wasn’t just one person using the N word, this was just about everybody. That kind of blanket is a lot different. It feels suffocating even when shown in documentaries or enacted legitimately like it was here in drama. The folks in you tube videos are the oddity today. That is why they are all over social media. This was stitched into the fabric. Quite different.
     
    LlamaLarry, Beryl and aaronwt like this.
  4. stile99

    stile99 Well-Known Member

    400
    303
    Feb 26, 2002
    While we have the advantage of being able to watch the Ryanair fiasco and the latest Who episode premiere almost simultaneously, it (Who, not Ryanair) was actually in the can months ago. It's a bit depressing that if that hadn't happened, something else would have. Had this aired last week, we'd be comparing it to "Cornerstore Caroline", or the woman harassing a black man for daring to enter his own apartment building. Had this aired last month, we'd be comparing it to the white student in Monroe LA who actually put a noose around a black student's neck. Had this aired in August, we'd be comparing it to the school superintendent in Georgia who used the 'n' word, and when he resigned the community was sad at the loss of such as "strong leader", or lest we think this is restricted to the south, the teacher in California who also used the word.

    Additionally, as pointed out, this is nothing compared to 1955 Alabama, where a black person getting slapped for picking up something dropped by a white person is actually lucky it was just a slap. At the risk of being 'preachy' myself, people should probably look a little deeper into the Rosa Parks story than just the common knowledge that she refused to give up her seat because she was tired (untrue, BTW). What we saw was second only to going back in time and witnessing the actual incident ourselves. Other than the future racist trying to mess up history storyline, there really wasn't much fictionalized here. I don't see a possible way for the point to be made without hammering it so bluntly, they described it as it happened.
     
  5. nirisahn

    nirisahn Well-Known Member TCF Club

    7,893
    144
    Nov 19, 2005
    Denver area
    I didn't like the resolution of just zapping the guy into some unknown future or past and just kind of forgetting about him. Seemed a bit pat. And what future does he come from that such blatant racism is still such an issue? Too much background missing on the bad guy.
     
  6. morac

    morac Cat God

    10,789
    408
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    I find it someone ironic that in an episode about racism that whoever captioned this episode considers a Georgian accent “South American” and a British accent “normal”. That’s what it said when the ex-prisoner switched accents.
     
  7. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

    37,541
    1,189
    Jul 24, 2001
    Milwaukee, WI
    I think there is still some debate, but from everything I've heard, her refusal to give up the seat wasn't a planned action. It was one of those "I'm here, I'm sitting already, I am kind of tired, and I really don't see the need/justice in moving... so I'm not going to" type of deals.
     
  8. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    10,875
    998
    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    What is undisputed is that she was not the first but was instead what appeared to be the best case they could use to push the issue. A hard working woman with nothing in her closet to use against her. Which is just good strategy.
     
  9. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    10,875
    998
    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    And, it appears the episode worked. We are talking about racism, progress and lack of it, and Rosa Parks’s importance to history.
     
    stile99 likes this.
  10. cheesesteak

    cheesesteak Meh. TCF Club

    32,311
    1,314
    Jul 24, 2003
    15 mins...
    There has to be more to the future racist guy, right? What was his ultimate motive for nudging history in a different direction? He knew about TARDISes and probably Time Lords but the Doctor didn't press him on it. He can't be just a one off character. If so, it was poorly executed.

    I really liked this episode. The original concept for Doctor Who was as a show to teach children history. This episode was obviously designed for the show's American audience but it made me wonder about who the civil rights activists
    were for Ryan's African and Yaz's Pakistani predecessors. Good on you, Doctor Who.

    It doesn't matter a bit to me whether Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat was a calculated ploy or just happened because she was just tired and said "F*ck it. Not moving.". She helped sparked a movement that made America a better place. I've read a lot of accounts of musicians and baseball players traveling through the segregated Deep South in the 1920s through the 60s. It was an extremely nasty period in this country's history. And those were entertainers. It must have been much worse for civil rights workers trying to make things better. All of my relatives are from northern cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Newark, NJ but I remember as a kid being terrified that somehow I'd have to spend time in the south. I didn't think this episode was preachy but if it made some people uncomfortable, I'm cool with that. I'm closing in on 60 years old. The Rosa Parks incident was before my time but only by a couple of years. It's not ancient history.

    I watched some of the end credits and noticed that they listed a South African crew. I'm curious if that was just for this one episode or are major parts of the season shot in South Africa. If just this episode, was Montgomery, Alabama substituted by a South African city?

    I did a google search on Rosa Parks just to check thedates and the top three hits are for this Doctor Who episode. Interesting.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  11. Shakhari

    Shakhari Well-Known Member

    1,138
    58
    Jan 2, 2005
    Am I the only one who feels like this episode and the last ended rather abruptly, despite the fact that each of them was 70 minutes?
     
  12. stile99

    stile99 Well-Known Member

    400
    303
    Feb 26, 2002
    I just want to make clear, since I think it may have been taken incorrectly, when I said the urban legend about her refusal was because she was tired is false, this was not intended to imply it was a planned move. What was meant was exactly what was said, the tired reason given is false. There may be some debate on this, in the sense that there is 'some debate' about the shape of the Earth. No need to read anything more into it than that, since not only is what happened (and why) public record, we're here in a thread discussing something that showed us.

    I'll repeat it, people should probably look into what happened rather than just accept the usual story. What happened was the bus driver took her money, told her to get off the bus and re-enter through the 'negro door', and then drove off when she got off the bus. She vowed never to ride a bus driven by that man again, and 12 years later on December 1st 1955 did not initially notice Blake was the driver. When she saw it was him approaching her with the "Get off my bus!" crap, she basically told herself the 1955 version of "Aw HELL no!". The only 'tired' in play was she was tired of the BS. She had no intention to spark a revolution, her only intention was to ride home on the bus for which she had paid the fare.
     
    aaronwt likes this.
  13. pgogborn

    pgogborn Well-Known Member

    8,268
    76
    Nov 11, 2002

    As cheesesteak has already mentioned Doctor Who originated as an educational program for children, specifically an educational program about history. This episode was a return to the true original Doctor Who.

    Having Malorie Blackman co-write the episode was an excellent choice. She is a black woman who has won awards for her science fiction books for children exploring love, racism and violence.


    You were not listening and looking hard enough, Malorie Blackman made the blatant racism they face explicit.
    Ryan: How come I get stopped way more by the police than my white mates?
    Yaz: I get called a Paki when I'm sorting out a domestic or a "terrorist" on the way home from the mosque.

    And more subtly:
    Ryan: Thank God me nan taught me how to keep my temper. Never give them the excuse.
    Yaz: Yeah. My dad tells me the same.

    And somebody included this message in the opening title sequence "In this episode, there are familiar prejudices to face for the Doctor's friends".
     
  14. pgogborn

    pgogborn Well-Known Member

    8,268
    76
    Nov 11, 2002

    As far as I know only this episode and the previous was partly filmed in South Africa,

    And the cast have been commenting how uncomfortable it is to film episodes on cold, wet, winter nights, particularly because their official costumes restrict adding warming underlays,
     
  15. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

    45,256
    3,673
    Oct 17, 2000
    Minneapolis
    But I think you missed both my points. A) Yes, the show was originally intended as educational, and there's nothing wrong with returning to those roots. But that doesn't mean they have to be preachy about it. They can accomplish the same goals without a sledgehammer. And B) Yes, they acknowledged having experienced blatant racism. So why were they so surprised to experience blatant racism? Because the story demanded it for the (white) audience's benefit.
     
  16. cheesesteak

    cheesesteak Meh. TCF Club

    32,311
    1,314
    Jul 24, 2003
    15 mins...
    So your argument is over the fact that Rosa Parks may or may not have been tired when she refused to give up her seat? She'd worked a full day. She probably was tired. Fatigue may not have been 100% the reason why she didn't comply with the bus driver's demands but it shouldn't be dismissed either.
     
  17. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    10,875
    998
    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    I don’t see why you think it was a sledgehammer. It was REALISTIC for the 1950s in the south. I am so sorry that you don’t get that. And no matter how much you think it should be accepted by people from 2018, you are wrong. It WAS a different time and world. Are you saying things are no better now? Then you need to check yourself.
     
  18. stile99

    stile99 Well-Known Member

    400
    303
    Feb 26, 2002
    Again, read what I said, and nothing else into it. I never said she wasn't tired. I said that wasn't the reason she didn't move. As for if this urban legend should or should not be dismissed, it was dismissed by Rosa herself. I'm giving her opinion on this matter more weight than anyone else's.
     
  19. cheesesteak

    cheesesteak Meh. TCF Club

    32,311
    1,314
    Jul 24, 2003
    15 mins...
    Yes, there's blatant racism today but the racism that the Doctor's young companions would face nowadays pales in comparison to the blatant, overt and legal racism of 1950s Deep South. Even with the ridiculous racist crap we've seen in youtube videos in the last couple of weeks, it doesn't compare to a United States governor declaring "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation." The "good ol' days" really sucked for some people. A real life version of Ryan very plausibly could have been lynched for tapping a white woman on the shoulder and the kid involved in the Cornerstore Caroline incident should thank his lucky stars it didn't happen in the South in the mid 50s or before.
     
  20. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

    45,256
    3,673
    Oct 17, 2000
    Minneapolis
    I'm not saying the racism as portrayed was unrealistic, nor was that what I meant by "sledgehammer." What I object to is using messaging about racism as a substitute for telling a good story. E.g., the villain, who is utterly inexplicable except as a stand-in for modern racists...he had no in-story reason to exist. And I'm not saying things are no better now, just that modern people of color wouldn't be that shocked to experience racism. Again, an example of messaging trumping storytelling.

    Obviously, it's a matter of taste. But for my part, I would much rather watch a story about the evils of racism than a lecture about the evils of racism. And for me, this was far too much the latter and not enough the former.
     

Share This Page