Twatty New Who review- The Doctor the Widow and the Wardrobe


Like a proper twat, Hagan rants about some of the worst adventures in Doctor Who history- this time, The Doctor the Widow and the Wardrobe.



  1. Excellent review once again.

    Loose notes:

    I like it when you add a bit of background info on both the story and the real-life facts-or-nots that come up. Also, the pointing out of the horribly sexist and otherwise degrading implications really hit home.

    In hindsight, I think I should’ve done a sigh count.

    Man, that “sad christmas memories” gag really gave me some serious mood whiplash. It lashed out with a big laugh of… I don’t know… relief? at the end. But the journey there… aw man.

    They way you deconstruct these episodes really makes me wish that you had the chance to likewise construct some. While I imagine that you’d come up with controversial episodes that would bewilder quite a few whovians (particularly the younger ones), those same episodes would be remembered by others as some of the best of the show, period.

  2. 1-2 Nitpicks:

    1. I don’t think the mother was portrayed to be a bad driver because she is a woman. I actually think that never even crossed Steven Moffats mind. Seemed to me like she was portrayed as a bit of a dreamer and a klutz in general, not because she was a woman, just becuase it was her.
    I doubt that Moffat has that sterotype in his mind somehwere. In fact it was established a few times that River can drive/fly the Tardis better than the Doctor, who has been doing it a looong time. She is a natural and most certainly a woman.

    2. There are plants that have sexes and those sexes are male and female. For example canabis. But there are also a few trees that have sexes. I don’t know of any conifer, but these are alien conifers, so anything is possible.

    The rest: Yeah I have to agree with you. But it’s a christmas episode and I usually give those a pass (unless it’s “the next doctor”, that episode needs to burn!).

    • 1, I dunno how prevalent it is anywhere else but the women cant drive stereotype is very big in the UK. There’s no way he couldn’t have known about it. Either he had a massive (weeks long) brainfart, didn’t care or it was all deliberate. I didn’t talk about River because I was only talking about the character of Madge. Having a non-steteotype character doesn’t negate a stereotype.

      2, yeah they have both. the ones in the ep had one. I really shoulda been clearer about that. I go into waaaaay too much detail in some areas and no-where enough in others. As for trees that do have a single sex, have any info on them? Sounds like it’d be interesting to learn about.

      • well they just can inserminate themselves. But that means the plant has female and male organs(eg the thing in the flower, i dont know the english names.. stigma, gynezeum, antheren etc)

        just look for Dioecy and this here might help?

        i am not fluent enough to explain botany in english, sorry. but every run off the mill botany-book will do, really.

  3. How are Enid Blyton books sexist and racist?!

    • They were fairly normal for the time they were written. By modern standards their normal was racist, sexist and a few other things.

  4. Funnily enough, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe is the only episode of New Who that I haven’t seen yet. If it’s as awful as you say, I think I’ll keep it that way.

    As well as that, I’m interested in watching some episodes of the Classic Who, but I’m not sure which ones to go for first. Which ones would you recommend?

    • 1st Doctor- 1st ep of An Unearthly Child and the Time Meddlar
      2nd, The Mind Robber and the last episode of the War Games
      3rd, Inferno
      4th, Horror of Fang Rock
      5th, Caves of Androzani
      6th, Revelation of the Daleks
      7th, Curse of Fenric.

      Just my suggestions, and try not to be scared off by bad special effects.

    • For 7, you also have to watch “Remembrance of the Daleks”. It features Ace hitting a Dalek with a baseball bat, a.k.a. the original Crowning Moment of Awesome.

      • Really that has to be one of the stupidest moments from one of the least intelligent companions ever. While trying to escape from a small tank she decided to charge it and hit it with a small piece of wood. The Dalek was not really fazed as he was show to still be able to aim and shoot her. Granted I have never liked companies that were unintelligent murderesses like Ace and Leela. They were the worst companions I had ever seen when they joined and while they did eventually develop into better characters there were still much better companions.

    • Really I will not argue against your choices mistress but I must warn Dave against some of these.

      I was shown Horror of Fang Rock when I was in high school and it put me off to Doctor Who for about six years and the fourth Doctor for 3 more. Even going back and re-watching it I find it dull with uninteresting characters a depressing mood and a lot of deaths. Granted this did seem to be a theme with episodes of that era like the equally bad The Talons of Weng-Chiang and The Robots of Death. (yet strangle a lot of people seem to like these)

      IMHO you should start with the Pirate Planet or The Stones of Blood which were exciting witty and filled with much better supporting characters.

      Caves of Androzani is also a bad place to start with the fifth doctor because he has lost most of his companions by that point and like the above mentioned episodes they are full of death. I would start with either the first one after regenerating or the black guardian saga.

  5. Hold on, give me one example where a male has been pregnant, that one that was given isn’t a good example because he was originally a female and had a sex change, or hormonal treatment. I don’t remember the specifics, yes, point is, when it comes to human beings only females can have children.

    • If you refer to transsexual men as females you’re being transphobic by denying their manhood. Knock yourself out but I will never agree or join in.

      • I didn’t know that, I assumed that they would want to be referred to as females due to the sex change or what have you, but if say that’s an incorrect assumption fine, I learned a lesson. Still the point is (unless there are examples I don’t know of) only the females of our species can have children.

        Also, wouldn’t that be an individual’s choice of wanting to be considered male or female? I’ve never met a transsexual as far as I know, so what do I know?

      • I agree with you, Diamanda, but I don’t think the trees would understand.

        We can’t tell male and female plants apart [unless you’re a SPECIAL kind of horticulturalist ;)], except by their reproductive properties, so I’d assume that the trees won’t recognize gender-centric qualities in us any better than we could in them, and have to go by gross anatomy to make the judgement.

        As far as we know, the doctor has never had the right parts for inception and incubation, so the tree assumes he’s “male.” In fact, I don’t even think they care about inception. I’ve always seen it and figured they’re looking for a womb… or fruit, I guess, from their perspective. A protective nurturing environment capable of carrying many potential members of a future generation. He’s not “strong” because he doesn’t have the womb’s walls, which translates to them as the hard, silvery, protective shell of their fruit.

    • General definitions of male and female need to be expanded upon. Females are ot the only people who can and do get pregnant, a small percentage are male. Albeit not cisgendered males.

    • The stacking wont let me answer in your last comment. People are all different but as a rule of thumb you should called female to male transsexuals men and male to female transsexuals women. They spend years and thousands of dollars on being who they are, its just polite.

      There’s never been a case of a male to female giving birth but there have been female to males (hence my ‘men can give birth’ because some men have wombs).

      The ep was very muddy about what exactly made it possible for Madge to take the forest in her head. Its possible they meant the presence of a womb but they didn’t say that, they tried to make it a ‘woman thing’ which its not exclusively.

      When you say males cant give birth I have the feeling you mean cisgendered males (men born with cocks and xy chromosomes) and yeah they cant but their not the only type of man/ male out there.

      • I did actually call him “he” in my original comment. That said, we agree on the overall episode being, well, shit and for most of the same reasons. Looking forward to your next Who review.

    • It was referring to him as female because he could give birth that bothered me.

      But yeah the ep was shit. and I hope to be less controversial with my next one.

  6. THANK YOU for addressing the biological essentialism bullshit in this episode.

    Maybe you could someday take a look at the train wreck of awfulness that was The Angels Take Manhattan? Despite the sometimes-enjoyable noir homages, it’s so weak in terms of character, sense made, plot threads that just vanish, and horrifying implications.

    • I dunno if I’ll end up doing Angels take Manhatten. I try to limit my Twatty Who’s to the eps I really hate and while its far from perfect, its not brilliant but I didn’t hate it as much as many others.

      I think my next Twatty Who will be an Eccleston. Just for a change of pace.

  7. I’m glad you tackled the whole “Moffat sucks at writing female characters” thing. Just curious, do you watch Sherlock? If yes, what are your thoughts on the women in that show, mainly Irene Adler and Molly Hooper?

  8. I have to say I’m glad you tackled this.
    Your previous reviews I have been mixed on. I agree about some things but disagree on other things. I like the tenth doctor and I wasn’t too bothered by RTD’s indulgences but I see the plot holes and the bad writing and I also HATE rose. So I’ve taken your reviews with a grain of salt.

    This I knew was bad right after I watched it. Stupid characters, stupid doctor, stupid resolution and stupid writing.

  9. DAMN YOU! You even mention the pilot being Armstrong (which I noticed the first time) but NOT the RAF sketches he did with Ben Miller! I was waiting for a reference for ages! Oooh, you’re cruel, you are. Great review apart from that, though.

  10. Oh god I want an IRN BRU tap!

  11. Great review as always, but maybe a classic one next time for a change?:)

  12. Not much to say really. Better than Torchwood and in many ways feels more like Classic Who than new Who does. And it gets a salute for having The Brigadier in a story.

  13. How is it that I’ve just now discovered Doctor Screw? Brad Jones doesn’t review Doctor Who but you do. It gets 27,500,000 hits on Google. I’m thinking this is a missed opportunity.

  14. You said the dad will get in trouble, but I keep remembering all the other visits the doctor has had to this era. Why not just get him transferred to the squadron those space-faring spitfires, for instance? He may not have the reflexes to fly, but he’d be out of the way as ground personnel. With his connections, the doctor can have an easy time making this sort of thing go away.

    Honestly, my first thought when I saw the plane was on their lawn: Those kids are gonna be messed up when they pull what’s left of Anderson off his gun. One assumes he’s still ‘In a bad way.’

    • I assumed Anderson died and the ep couldn’t have been bothered to mention it!

      • So, really, still a bad Christmas for his family.That’ll teach them for not making incidental friendships with the Doctor!

        Actually, the more of the new series I watch, the more I get the feeling that association with the Doctor may be the only reason anyone survived either world war, in that continuity.

  15. Do you like Turlough? You seem like you would like Turlough.

  16. Ah yes the bad rendition of “Chronicles of Narnia”…Actually I’d call it a ripoff. As fan of the books I must say this episode is awful just Godforsaken mess . The only resemblance to Narnia is that they flee from the Blitz, portal to a snow covered world and trees that move. That’s IT, Seriously I think Moffat was focusing on “Scandal in Belgravia” not Doctor Who. Fortunately the Snowmen was better or at least I thought so. Feel free to disagree.

  17. I have to say that when I watched this episode I too went with a biological aspect on the strong/weak for the reasoning but I probably gave them too much credit. I went with the simple reasoning of they would need a woman for capability of magic pollination because… quantum. You pointed out the sexism aspect of it and made me take notice I admit that going from a soul/mind aspect that yes it is bullshit. As for the “men getting pregnant” argument… let’s look at someone who is born 100% biologically male. They cannot get pregnant without invasive and dangerous surgery that most of which does not exist to my knowledge. I may be out of date with this information as I am not a doctor and do not plan on getting those surgeries. When it comes to showing someone the respect they deserve as a person acknowledging how they identify is important if you don’t want to be an asshole. When it comes to basic biology I default to chromosomes because if I don’t I recall that awful Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. Looking up Charley Parkhurst did yeild this which was an interesting read although I doubt it is the Carley you are referring to.

    • Then we disagree, am firmly on the side of ‘you are whatever gender you say you are’. Maybe their soul carrying-thing was based on chromosomes but that wouldn’t mean women (not all men (even cissexual men) have Y chromosomes and some women (even cissexual women) have them. There’s been some cases where women have kids and later discover they have a Y chromosome. Its not a hard and fast thing. Nothing to do with sex is hard and fast (except for the comedicly obvious).

      If it was chromosomal then why was the doctor affected? He’s not human, has different chromosomes. There’s a load of species with compeletly different chromosomes than humans just on earth. The chances of him having human-like chromosomes are insanely small. some interesting stuff about chromosomes-

      It seems plain to me they were going for a not-very defined ‘woman’ and ‘man’ thing without giving any thought to it. I mean it could have depended on self-identification but I doubt it.

  18. I can’t believe it took me this long to get around to watching your Twatty Who reviews. They’re great. I haven’t been able to get into your other reviews (mostly because you review works I’m not interested in) but I’m glad I’m able to enjoy these because you’re a pretty great person. So keep it up and I look forward to more of these.

  19. well my grandfather died on christmas, -i never met him but he bled to death before the eyes of my 11 year old mom and her mother-my grandma. They never told me so I asked myself why they were such intollerable shitpricks every christmas until someone just told me.

    so yeah. good way to ruin christmas is just be silent about shit, dont be able to control deepseated emotions(well thats okay) and then letting your depression out on people who are happy because they dont know. blagh,

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