Dr. Who neepery: The God Complex

So this season of Doctor Who is really just not gelling for me at all, in spite of the usual nifty bits along the way. Not just the oddly weak plotting (I mean, an entire episode based on someone not asking which button to push before trying to follow the others? Who failed to wait for her for no good reason in the first place) and the odd disappearance of the overarching plot, but also a surprising amount of … female character fail.

The usual: spoilers below. Highlight to read. Spoilers welcome in comments, too, but only up through The God Complex, please!

So we already know that apparently pregnant women can’t have adventures from having watched A Good Man Goes to War. In this episode, the Doctor calls Amy by her husband’s last name instead of her own for the first time, and then he … sends her home, telling her the greatest adventures that await her are there.

We know he had to break her faith in him and that this was somewhat manipulation (which fails quite nicely at the very end of the episode), but even so … I’ve always found the “a woman’s greatest adventure is her domestic life” thing–which has informed everything from woman-focused chicklit to male-focused adventure movies (don’t get me started on Up)–deeply, deeply problematic, especially since this is something we tell women often and men rarely.

This is all made odder by the fact that the show is so very much succeeding in writing Rory as a non-alpha sort of guy who actually does care for and prefer the details of everyday life. (His bit about how he’d forgotten there could be victories that aren’t about saving the universe was lovely.) It would have been lovely to see something done with this, that tension between Amy’s legitimate desire for the Doctor’s adventures and Rory’s just-as-legitimate desire for ordinary life, for all that he copes with non-ordinary life pretty well when it happens.

And maybe that’s lying ahead in the next episode. But with two episodes left to the season, I’m skeptical.

It’s sort of like the writers just can’t quite handle writing a married adult woman, and so keep flinching around matters of how her both married relationship and potential childbearing/rearing interact with her adventuring, instead of exploring them.

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