Women in Doctor Who

Damsels, Feminists and Monsters


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About the Book

Over the past half-century Doctor Who has defined science fiction television. The women in the series—from orphans and heroic mothers to seductresses and clever teachers—flourish in their roles yet rarely surmount them. Some companions rescue the Doctor and charm viewers with their technical brilliance, while others only scream for rescue. The villainesses dazzle with their cruelty, from the Rani to Cassandra and Missy. Covering all of the series—classic and new—along with Class, K9, Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, novels, comics and Big Finish Audio adventures, this book examines the women archetypes in Doctor Who.

About the Author(s)

Valerie Estelle Frankel teaches English at Mission College and San Jose City College. The author of 90 popular culture books and more than 100 stories and essays, she lives in Sunnyvale, California.

Bibliographic Details

Valerie Estelle Frankel

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 253
Bibliographic Info: appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7222-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3154-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 00
Introduction 1

Sweet Girls
The Innocent: Susan and Friends 5
Kid Power: Maria, Rani and Jorjie 19
Loyal Assistant: Jo Grant 26
The Disciple: Martha Jones 35
Sexy Damsel: Peri and Mel 43
The Heart: Rose and Charley 48
Sacrifices and Fridgings: ­One-Off Companions 56
Childlike Wonder: Amy Pond 64

Warrior Babe: Leela 70
The Scientist: Zoe and Liz 73
Seasoned Professional: Barbara Wright 79
Wisewoman: Evelyn Smythe 81

Bad Ladies
Collaborator: Sara Kingdom 88
Margaret Thatcher: Helen A 97
Evil Ice Queen: The Rani 104
The Fool: Missy 106
The Monster: Miss Quill 110

Tough Girls
Galactic Orphan: Ace and Lady Me 118
Brash Equal: Donna Noble 123
Feminist: Sarah Jane Smith 127
Hero Mom: The Sarah Jane Adventures 132
Adventuress: Bernice Summerfield 137
Soldier: Roz Forrester 141
Sovereign: Erimem 149

The Alien: Destrii and Izzy 156
Cyborg: Compassion and Feyde 162
Perceptive Minority: Bill and Anji 168
The ­Shadow-Self: Gwen, Suzie and the Mara 176

Companions’ Mothers: Jackie, Francine, Sylvia 182
Family Unit: Nyssa and Tegan 188
Controlling Caregiver: Clara Oswald 191
Time Lady: Romana 199
Trickster-Seductress: River, Trix and Iris 209
Love Interests: Grace and the Tardis 219

Conclusion: The Female Doctor Question 226
Appendix: Doctors and Companions 229
Works Cited 231
Index 239