The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Kinky Boots

Before I copy and paste today’s blog from the ‘rainy day’ word document, a couple of quick plugs. The BS1363 and SCART. No, but seriously. One of my Doctor Who audio adventure play things, Max Warp, is currently available for listening-to, free of charge, over on the BBC iPlayer, as it was recently repeated on BBC7. And there’s a new interview with me over on Joe Ford’s Doctor Who books blog.


There is one clear sign when you know a science fiction TV series is about to die. It’s when it has so little fuel left in the tank that the writers have to resort to the most corny, derivative plot cliche in all of science fiction.

The world ruled by women.

Doctor Who had a couple of near-misses; two stories with that idea, The Prison In Space and Mission To Magnus, were cancelled at the last minute. It wasn’t until the second-to-last season that we got The Happiness Patrol; and that was it, the bell of television death had been tolled.

It’s a rule that if a world is ruled by women they would immediately want to wear short skirts and high heels; to become lipstick lesbians, determined to persecute men in some sort of dull, reactionary, misogynist attempt at ‘satire’.

I’m also thinking of that episode of Star Trek The Next Generation which, at the time, was considered so dreadful that BBC 2 skipped it – ‘Angel One’. The original show had got their first, of course, with the legendary ‘Spock’s Brain’.

Apparently there was only one episode of Buck Rogers with this plot. I thought every episode of Buck Rogers had this plot.

But of course the finest example of this sexist nonsense is The Two Ronnies’ sci-fi adventure serial The Worm That Turned, which I can remember thinking was not-quite-right even at the age of whatever age I was when it went out. It was a heavy-handed parody of ‘Women’s Lib’ but it lacked the innocence and joy with which I associate The Two Ronnies; there was usually such a spirit of benevolent seaside-postcard naughtiness you didn’t mind the sexism or racism.

Still, people in charge of sci-fi TV shows; you have been warned. Don’t even go there.

2 comments:

  1. Funny to think that, within a very short time, ST:TNG was doing its "gay rights" episode; which, while heavily sanitised by sci-fi-ising the actual gender issue, was nonetheless fairly easily decoded, and very brave indeed for its time.

    And when I work out how to say things like that with full stops in, I'll be a proper writer.

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  2. Doctor Who also did a planet of women in Galaxy 4.

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