When I see people complaining about how “a fat person can’t be fae”, “a black person doesn’t look right as fae”, because the image in their head is an image of the current Western idea of slim, white, normative female beauty, I want to say…
There is something called the Bechdel Test. It’s a scale you run movies through to basically see how conscious of female characters they are.
The test is as follows: 1. It must have at least two named female characters. 2. They must speak to each other. 3. They must converse about something other than a man. Anything with a score lower than 3 fails.
I’ve run all of the episodes of NewWho through this test and here are my results:
Percent of failed episodes written by RTD: 9.7% By Moffat: 55.6% Percent of episodes in which there were two named female characters, but they didn’t speak to one another by RTD: 9.7% By Moffat: 16.7% Percent of episodes without two named female characters by RTD: 0% By Moffat: 5.6% Percent of failed episodes with RTD as showrunner (including those written by other writers): 20% With Moffat: 67.8% Percent of episodes in which there were two named female characters, but they didn’t speak to one another with RTD as showrunner: 10% With Moffat: 25% Percent of episodes without two named female characters with RTD as showrunner: 0% With Moffat: 25% Total percent of failed episodes: 35.2% Total percent of episodes in which there were two named female characters, but they didn’t speak to one another: 14.8% Total percent of episodes without two named female characters: 8%
RTD did a lot better than Moffat. This is not a go at him, just facts.
Over half of SM’s episodes failed. RTD neither wrote or was showrunner to an episode with less than two named female characters. Moffat wrote one episode with less than two named female characters, and a staggering 25% (1/4!) of episodes with him as showrunner did not include more than one named female character.
My data is here. You can check it if you like, and please tell me if you find any errors. Thanks!
it reached the point where I just started to say how much I wish Moffat would leave Doctor Who and let someone else take over… preferably someone who would do better with minority characters and writing plots.
Because as much as I love the twists and turns of Moffat’s plots… they don’t carry substance. And that is a sad fact.
I love it when my gut reaction is supported by data. yuummmmmm, *data*.
Also: Moffat, you can go now.
THIS. THIS is a major reason that I have stopped watching Who and am less than enthralled with Sherlock. And it doesn’t even dip into the stereotyping.