ZELLA COMPTON: Have Dr Who’s writers shot themselves in the Tardis?

Doctor Who (Peter Capaldi) and Pearl Mackie as his new companion Bill Potts
Doctor Who (Peter Capaldi) and Pearl Mackie as his new companion Bill Potts

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My eldest daughter has a habit of coming out with bizarre questions.

I don’t know if she makes them up or stores them up from other places, but today’s was challenging.

Would you rather travel anywhere in space (meaning the universe), or travel to any time (on Earth)?

Of course there are pros and cons to both. But when you sit down to consider whether you’d rather be an explorer of space frontiers, or one that could witness amazing moments in the past and understand where the future is heading, it becomes very difficult to make the decision.

Not so for Dr Who of course who, with his new assistant Bill Potts, is busily doing both.

I was intrigued to read that Bill was to be the Dr’s first lesbian assistant, and groaned my way through this season’s first episode as every reference possible was made to her preferring women.

We got the idea in the first couple of minutes but, just to make sure we had it 100 per cent, we were told again in the second couple, and the third, with a few more ‘did you knows’ sprinkled throughout the rest of the show.

I wonder if this is thought of as progressive for children (hope not – Channel Four‘s first pre-watershed lesbian kiss was in 1984). Or is it because actually the creators have shot themselves in the Tardis by introducing the concept of romance to the Dr with David Tennant?

It was all fine when he was young and handsome, but now he’s an old geezer who can they put him with?

It was okay that he was 2,000 years old and has a young lover when he looks 30, but how can that be visually acceptable to be in love if he’s wrinkled and grey – that would look too ‘sugar daddy’, right?

Even though it’s the same character, we couldn’t forgive a man of Peter Capaldi’s age having a two-hearted ‘thing’ with a much younger assistant.

And who wants to watch a middle-aged couple romancing their way through the Milky Way?

Having a lesbian on board neatly gets rid of the romance potential can of space continuum worms that a previous Tenant/Piper romance opened up.

EDUCATION SHOULD ENCOURAGE CURIOSITY AND THINKING MINDS

We’re heading into SATS season at speed and there’s the annual dismay about what the tests are doing to our children, their teachers and their schools.

But isn’t that what most of education has become? My youngest daughter in Year Eight is already worried about the amount of reference made to her GCSEs – three years away.

It’s a fundamental question, whether education should be about the joy of learning and building curiosity and thinking minds, or a conveyor belt for an economy.

I strongly believe in the former. So let’s use the election to help our schools and teachers do what they do the best – teach – and vote for the party who we believe will return education to a specialism.

I THOUGHT THIS WAS A JOKE, BUT IT’S ACTUALLY A GRIM REALITY

Seven hundred wooden paddles were distributed at a mass wedding in India for women to beat their husbands with.

It appears that the gift of the paddles is to help highlight the issue of drunken men raping, beating and stealing from their wives.

I thought this was quite funny at first.

It seemed like a joke gift, a novelty for a newly-married couple.

But on reading further it turned out that there is an acute and viciously widespread issue of wife-beating, rape and theft of money to pay for alcohol in some rural communities.

What a grim situation this is.

There is an expectation that women will be attacked, or that they will be forced to protect themselves.