Doctor Who and Love

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonGuy3076. Show BostonGuy3076's posts

    Doctor Who and Love

    Do any of you watch Doctor Who, a British sci-fi series?  I watched it growing up in the 80s, and I’ve seen this year’s series.  This year highlighted the fact that the Doctor, a male character, almost always has a young, attractive, female companion, but these relationships never become romantic. 

     

    While the presence of these companions may be partially explained by the realities of attracting a tv audience, do any of you feel like the interactions work, do you believe them?  There have been Doctors and companions who have been closer than others.  How does this fit with your feelings about the motif in general?  Has this season brought light to this issue or clouded it completely?  Any takers? 

     

    By the way, Comcast has it OnDemand if you want to check it out. 

    -BG

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from diamondgirl. Show diamondgirl's posts

    Re: Doctor Who and Love

    Twocent does....   Twocent, where are you?!?!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from TwoCentDonation. Show TwoCentDonation's posts

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    I'm here!  I just wanted to watch the season finale before responding, and I avoided reading this in case there were spoilers.

    I think the show addressed this in first season with David Tennant as the Doctor.  He told his then companion that he will outlive her, and being around her (and other companions) at the end of their lives would be too painful.  Another aspect of the Doctor the new series has raised is his non-humaness.  In several episodes we see the Doctor failing to relate to humans the way humans would relate to other humans.  Obviously, this would cause problems in a relationship (Dear Meredith, I'm seeing this amazing gentlemen who's several centuries my senior who sometimes seems very distant and fails to pick up on the most simple and common emotional cues....).  The show also makes it apparent that if the Doctor were to fall in love with a woman she'd have to be exceptional, and more excpetional than the usual companion (who have to be exceptional to get the privilege of hanging out with the Doctor).

    I could go on, but then I'd be giving spoilers to other seasons in the new series you haven't seen yet.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from two-sheds. Show two-sheds's posts

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    "This year highlighted the fact that the Doctor, a male character, almost always has a young, attractive, female companion, but these relationships never become romantic."

    They also poked fun at this a few years ago when a previous companion made an appearance and was jeoulous of the new younger one.   It's sort of like Will and Grace in that they can build in a certain amount of romantic tension, but there's a barrier (as Twocent mentions) that will keep it from ever going anywhere.  To keep it from getting stale they get a new companion every year or two.


     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from TwoCentDonation. Show TwoCentDonation's posts

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    Yes - that was a really good episode, Two Sheds.  And I think the newer companion was a bit thrown that there had been others before her.  That episode also did an interesting job of exploring what life is like after being with the Doctor, and how everything pales in comparison.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonGuy3076. Show BostonGuy3076's posts

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    Well it sounds like I need to watch the 10th  Doctor episodes before we should talk about this.  That’s disappointing because there’s so much material with this season and the Dream Lord, etc. 

     

    It’s funny because I turned to the show recently  because I had been think about how one handles the evil plans of powerful people.  Instead, I get hit over the head with my biggest personal issue: as a committed married man, how do I interact and relate to women who I care a great deal for, am attracted to,  and who under different circumstances I’d act on my attraction towards?

     

    Do you agree that the Doctor is a lone shinning example of a close male/female relationship that is appropriate and not romantic?  Can you think of other examples?  Or is it simply a narrative convenience? 

     

    My self serving answers are a) yes and b) no!  The Doctor realizes his attraction, see Dream Lord, but also realizes its impropriety (over the entire series I say more due to the power imbalance and difference in life situation, though I’m excited to see what the current writes dreamed up).  With that in mind he navigates the tricky path and realizes the benefit of having both close male and female friends.  Do you agree, or should we just wait until I see the other episodes? 

     

    [By the way, I’m hetero and I think the Doctor is hetero too, but I think the principles would apply to almost any sexual orientation, I’m just not adept enough at using orientation free language.  I’m sorry for the PC intrusion, if you find this overly sensitive.]

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonGuy3076. Show BostonGuy3076's posts

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    Our, more scandalously, is the Doctor polyamorous?  The obvious answer is no because I don't think he's had multiple relationships at once.  In fact he's had next to none.  But he's had multiple close relationships, and, with his ability to travel time, they are all in a sense going on at the same time!  I think I might change the title of this thread.  
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from two-sheds. Show two-sheds's posts

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    Dr. Who is just a TV show, and a rather silly one at that.  (I am a big fan, though).  Hardly the place to get relationship models from.

    As far your dilemma, just don’t do anything that you feel you need to hide from your wife.  That’s generally a good litmus test.  Also, as soon as you start feeling you need to hide something from your wife, you start closing her off from part of you.  That’ll poison your relationship with her. 

     

    If you don’t know what your wife thinks is or isn’t appropriate, then you should probably ask.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from TwoCentDonation. Show TwoCentDonation's posts

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    Ahhh... Now I see your real question ;)

    I don't know.  Because I take as a given the Doctor isn't going to get involved with his companions I don't pay attention to how he treats them.  I'll have to think about this one.  As for the poly angle - I'm not seeing it.  I think of his companions more as his best friends.

    Having said that, however, we haven't been told exactly what River Song is to him.  All we know is that she knows more about him than any other companion.  Her calling him "sweetie" and "love" suggest a romantic relationship, but because the show's British those terms could also just be meant platonically.  At least my sense of the British use of English is that sweetie and love aren't exclusively non-platonic.

    And I'm fine with using standard hetero language - it does make things easier to write out.  English is a great language but inadequate for being thoroughly PC.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonGuy3076. Show BostonGuy3076's posts

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    Two-Sheds,

    Yeah, as far as actual advice, how I should act in my marriage is quite clear.  Something happened yesterday which was big for me, and I was thinking of writing to Meredith again.  But as soon as I thought about what I would write, the answer, which is what you gave, was obvious which made me think that the hardest questions are the ones you already have the answer to because you obviously have a hard time with that answer.  As far as background, so far I've always done everything above board with my wife's full knowledge.  Sometimes she's been fine with it, other times not.  Now I want to do something that I feel I shouldn't have to hide, but know she wouldn't want me to do.  Argh.  I kind of stepped in it yesterday.  It's a sticky situation have to do with some who works in my field.  I don’t want to close my wife off from me, but she won’t be open to me!

    More background re talking to my wife, we have a ton of issues including major communication, control, and trust issues.  Right now I'm working on our financial issues which is very difficult.  I think I'm making progress on the financial issues and don't want to sabotage that progress.  So, I think we'll be restarting relationship therapy in a 2 or 3 months after the financials are in place.  I'm in my 30s and can't believe the mess I've made of everything in my life!  I'm just trying to hold on and address my problems step by step. 

    As far as the show, it is silly, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t serious too!  I mean we all have to be careful not to ascribe too much importance to things from our youth.  But, the show has always been emotionally resonant for me.  One thing that always resonated for me was how great the relationships were between the Doctor and his companions.  I’d like to have similar relationships.   

    Also, in my experience, “serious” entertainment tends to be the most stultified by society’s current group think.  On the other hand works that eschew “seriousness” are the ones in which deeper meanings can be explored without threatening conventional wisdom, thereby allowing challenging thoughts to be introduced to the greater public.  Charlie Chaplin is my example of a great artist whose work will have lasting meaning but wasn’t properly recognized in his time due to the work’s “silliness.”  I don’t have the time right now to objectively look at Doctor Who, so I’m kind of wondering how other people feel the series falls on this measure.  My gut says silly, good, thought provoking, and meaningful. 

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonGuy3076. Show BostonGuy3076's posts

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    TwoCents, alright no title change.  I always felt the Doctor loved his companions with a true and deep love, and that he was a very noble character.  So when I read commentators say you should never have these sorts of feelings for more than one person, it makes me say why not!  And if that isn’t monogamy maybe it’s polyamory!  Or to use your statement can the companions be the Doctor’s best friends, because realistically he’ll also be thinking about shagging them.  By the way, what did you think of the Dream Lord episode?  Isn’t it clear he has feelings for Amy he isn’t acting on? 

    Finally, I’d been assuming the River thing was from previous seasons.  Glad to hear I’m not the only one in the dark.  As an anglophile whose never visited Great Britain but watched BBC my whole life, I’d say River is very flirty with the Doctor, and when she says “sweetie” and “love” I take that in as flirting and I think Amy does too. 
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from diamondgirl. Show diamondgirl's posts

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     "I care a great deal for, am attracted to,  and who under different circumstances I’d act on my attraction towards?"

    Please let me know if anyone solves this problem.  We could make a mint. 

    Meaning 'a metonymy indicating as much money as one could make in a coin minting factory,' not 'a small piece of candy flavored with an extract from one of the many species of mentha plants used for flavoring.'
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonGuy3076. Show BostonGuy3076's posts

    Re: Doctor Who and Love

    Diamond,

    I'm proposing the Doctor as our savior.  Why don't you watch a few episodes, including "Amy's Choice" with the Dream Lord (which come to think of it, is there a compare and contrast to Sophie's Choice?, which I know little about)  and "The Big Bang," and see if you agree!
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from TwoCentDonation. Show TwoCentDonation's posts

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    I original took the rivalry between the Doctor and Rory as a rivalry for her attention, platonic (the Doctor) and otherwise (Rory).  The Doctor knows he needs a companion, and Amy is an excellent companion, so he doesn't want to lose her.  Plus, he knows Amy won't quite be satisfied with a humdrum life in in England.

    "I always felt the Doctor loved his companions with a true and deep love, and that he was a very noble character.  So when I read commentators say you should never have these sorts of feelings for more than one person, it makes me say why not!"

    I think you, or the other commenters, may be confusing the different types of love.  I don't remember all the Greeks words for the different types, so I'll just stick with platonic vs. non-platonic.  I think it's fine to care deeply for someone platonically.  I think the issue with respect to marriage is when you let an outside relationship interfere with your spousal relationship.

    I'm sorry to hear about your marriage problems.  It sounds complicated :(  Good luck on straightening out the financial bits - and don't be too hard on yourself.  You may have made a mess of things, but now you're doing the clean up!  Many don't even get that far..... Better now than later, or never.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonGuy3076. Show BostonGuy3076's posts

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    TwoCents, I googled it and I think we use Platonic love in a way that Plato wouldn't recognize.  Also I found on wikipedia the 4 ancient greek words for love.  I didn't think any of them really linked up with modern platonic love which I understand to be "intimate and affectionate but not sexual."  Then there's ideas about love on wikipedia from biologists and psychologists. 

    But I don't really care about all that because I don't really find them all that compelling.  I did some research on the topic while at college and felt I learned something, but specifics have slipped from my mind.  I'm interested in learning what types of love you think exist?  Convince me you're right, bonus points if you do with tv or movie references, double points if you weave Doctor Who into it!  

    I'd argue that "When Harry Met Sally" was right on about men wanting to sleep with friends, but wrong when it argues that such friendships are therefore doomed.  Instead I hold the Doctor and his companions as the great example of a man able to love without Love, and feel that this season in particular shows that he is consciously choosing this path despite other instincts.  Personally, I haven't had a female friend who I really liked who I haven't thought about sleeping with.  I've never done it though.  I guess I'm assuming the Doctor is the same way. 

    Re my wife, her feelings about this are most important to my life and the decisions we will make.  But, I'm exploring the topic here in a relatively safe environment, because I'm not happy with the way things are at home, and I'm looking for perspectives other than hers and mine.   
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from TwoCentDonation. Show TwoCentDonation's posts

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    I'm not surprised I"m misusing "platonic" since I never studied the classics beyond reading the basic myths in high school ;)

    I think you and I may be of two different types.  Those who can be friends w/ the opposite w/o any sexual attraction and those who can't.  I'm the former, and you're the latter.

    And I've been assuming the Doctor is more like me - he isn't making a choice not to pursue Amy.  He's just not that into her.  Or into her in that way.

    FWIW, when Doctor Who first aired one of his companions was his granddaughter!  So at one point he must have been married or something and fathered a child.  But I don't think I've ever seen any of the William Hartnell episodes.  Sadly, I read that first season episodes of Doctor Who are gone for good - some sort of mishap when storing the tapes at the BBC.  The film either degraded or the tapes were accidentally thrown out.  Something like that.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from TwoCentDonation. Show TwoCentDonation's posts

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    Oh, in thinking about paying for therapy... If you belong to a church/synagogue you could get counseling from your minister/priest/rabbi for free, or at a very reduced rate.  Maybe give a little extra at pledge time or something.  Of course, that would only work if you were comfortable getting marriage counseling from them.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonGuy3076. Show BostonGuy3076's posts

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    I have a friend who's a Doctor Who nut and has video tapes of the 1st Doctor.  The episode I saw was kind of bizare.  It was more like an educational show and the Doctor was really old.  So, I think, as far as I can tell, the series changed alot and quickly. 
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from two-sheds. Show two-sheds's posts

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    In Response to Re: Doctor Who and Love:
    [QUOTE]I can't really be close friends with anyone without feeling somewhat physical, at least to the point of snuggling.  I tend to pull away from close friends because I don't want to spoil the friendship, and because I do not like being overly physical with people.  It's very weird and conflicting, and prevents me from having many close friends.  It also means my close friends tend to be men, because a certain amount of tension is acceptable.   
    Posted by diamondgirl[/QUOTE]

    I don't think it's unusual to want a physical connection to close friends.  A lot of what attracts us to a partner also attracts us to friends - a personality we like and an emotional connection.  It's unreasonable to expect that these qualities in a lover will get us excited while these qualities in a friend will have no effect at all. 

    I understand your conflict, but it's sad that the presence of these feelings keeps you from having close friends.  I hope you can find a way to have more close friends in the future.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from TwoCentDonation. Show TwoCentDonation's posts

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    Interesting.  I've never felt the urge to snuggle with any friends.  I only get touchy-feely with boyfriends.

    But I do think there's something to the idea that we're attracted to friends and lovers for similar reasons. In my case, I have to like my boyfriends enough to be friends with them as well as like them in "that way."  I never understood how people can be in love with someone but dislike them.  I know couples like exist, but I have a difficult time fathoming it.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from TwoCentDonation. Show TwoCentDonation's posts

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    I <3 you platonically, too, DG :)
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonGuy3076. Show BostonGuy3076's posts

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    DG, (it's hard for me to call you that as DG are the initials of a particularly cruel boss of mine) I think we have very similar issues and I was really moved by your post.  I have one really close guy friend, he's the person I'm closest to out of anyone family and wife included.  We definitely hug, but I've never had a sexual impulse or felt tension.  But in general I'm more likely to be friends with women as I'm a fairly emotional guy, a bit shy, and more interested in emotional intimacy than bravado and macho stuff.  So, as I've said, I do feel a sexual tension around female friends, but to me it's just minor and to be accepted.  But my wife doesn't accept it.  So neither of us can be close friends with women because of tension.  I'm sorry that this is so hard for you.  I kind of think that you may be able to find some women who understand.  Have you actually had awkward situations that turned out really bad?  Sometimes people are more understanding than we may think they may be, and other times less.

    BTW, I love Jonathan Richman and was stoked to see you know him too.  To bad his love life has been so disasterous and his songs reflective of that because that means there's less reason to talk about him on LL!

    Two-sheds and TwoCent, that's kind of what I'm getting at.  The things that make me like a woman as a friend are some of the same things that make me like them as a partner.  The dilemma seems natural and unavoidable.  If you agree then do you think a lot of people live with it, or do more people, like DG, end up avoiding the situation?  What's the right thing to do?  What is socially acceptable?
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from diamondgirl. Show diamondgirl's posts

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    Oh, and you can just call me Diamond.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from TwoCentDonation. Show TwoCentDonation's posts

    Re: Doctor Who and Love

    In Response to Re: Doctor Who and Love:
    [QUOTE]DG, (it's hard for me to call you that as DG are the initials of a particularly cruel boss of mine)[/QUOTE]
     
    You could call her Diamond, or maybe D?

    [QUOTE]But in general I'm more likely to be friends with women as I'm a fairly emotional guy, a bit shy, and more interested in emotional intimacy than bravado and macho stuff.  So, as I've said, I do feel a sexual tension around female friends, but to me it's just minor and to be accepted.  But my wife doesn't accept it.  So neither of us can be close friends with women because of tension.[/QUOTE]

    *sound of record needle scratching*

    Huh?  Your wife can't have close female friends?????

    *blink*
    *blink*

    Ok, in order to respond to rest of your post I am going to compartmentalize and put that Moment of Zen off to the side for now.

    [QUOTE]Two-sheds and TwoCent, that's kind of what I'm getting at.  The things that make me like a woman as a friend are some of the same things that make me like them as a partner.  The dilemma seems natural and unavoidable.  If you agree then do you think a lot of people live with it, or do more people, like DG, end up avoiding the situation?  What's the right thing to do?  What is socially acceptable?[/QUOTE]

    I don't know, because I seem to be wired a bit differently than you and Diamond.  I don't feel any sort of sexual attraction to my friends, of either sex.  And, if a friend were to put the moves on me I'd feel really uncomfortable.  Actually, I have had women friends put the moves on me, and each time it was uber annoying, if not creepy.  The first case was from more of an acquaintence, and she was just generally annoying anyway.  Plus, she was hitting on me in an annoying manner.  She has no game.

    The second person was both annoying and creepy.  She had other boundary issues with me, but in terms of her wanting to move things out of the friend zone I was especially irritated because 1. she knows I am straight, therefore this amounts to harrassment and 2. she's MARRIED!

    And, no, it wasn't a case that she just wants to be physically affectionate with her friends in a non-sexual way.

    I'll have to think more about this...

    Well, the closest to this problem I've had is maintaining friendships with ex-boyfriends.  In my mind i've drawn a line.  I don't make any of the jokes we used to make when we were together.  I don't talk about my sex life with them.  Basically, I take what made us a couple and I put it in the past, and I just relate to them in a way that doesn't have the coupledom in it, if that makes any sense.  it's hard for me to get more specific than that since all my ex-bfs aren't part of my daily life (moved away, families of their own, was a long time ago, etc.).

    So, maybe consider how you act towards a woman when you're interested in her versus when you're not, and filter out the romantic stuff?

    Or, treat them like your sister/mother? But, obviously, don't expect them to make your favorite dinner on your birthday or pinch your cheek ;)
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from TwoCentDonation. Show TwoCentDonation's posts

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    In Response to Re: Doctor Who and Love:
    [QUOTE]But he has warned me occasionally not to get too attached to people, because other people frequently get too attached to me in return, which causes hurt, both emotional and gossipwise.[/QUOTE]

    Huh?  Are you saying people get crushes on you and then weirdness ensues?

    [QUOTE]I have also gotten in the habit of warning people, so they don't take it wrong when I don't want to talk to anyone for six weeks.  LL, consider yourselves warned.  Sometimes I get really antisocial because I don't know what to do with friends.[/QUOTE]

    OK, that's cool.  I tend to disappear as well, but more because I am definite introvert and relish my alone time.  I am also horrible at keeping track time and will think something like, "Oh I should have lunch with so and so next week" and don't get around to it until 5 months later.  The price I've paid in that is that I don't have a group of really close day-to-day friends, like in college.  But, I also don't get as annoyed at my friends since they're not in in my face every.single.day ;)
     

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