Tag Archives: scifi

The New Time Lady: Observations on a Legacy

Jodie Whittaker is The Doctor

July 16th, 2017 proved a momentous day for Whovians the world over. Not only were we introduced to the thirteenth Doctor, but it was the day we learned that everyone’s favorite Time Lord had, indeed, become a Time Lady. However, amidst the shock and excitement, Jodie Whittaker’s reveal prompted the posting of countless comments and videos with content ranging from rude to outright sexist. This post is for those fans as well as any fans who find themselves concerned with what a female lead could do to the show.

It pays to remember that sci-fi has a long and proud history of challenging social norms in ways that, plainly, would not work in other genres. Be it with diversity in the casting of lead roles, (Uhura and Sulu, Star Trek) or broader commentary on society in general as explored in Orwell’s 1984. As one of the BBC’s longest-running shows Dr. Who is no different.

Although, even some hardcore Whovians may be surprised to learn that Sydney Newman, C.E. Webber, and others, dreamt up the BBC classic as a purely educational program. The Doctor would use his phone box time machine to travel through the past and teach young viewers about history. This idea got scrapped after the show aired in 1963 in favor of a science fiction adventure. However, Dr. Who has never abandoned its educational mission.

Classic Who, (1963-1989), is beloved by many for its campy nature. But, hidden beneath the comically simple props and delightfully over the top characters, are some rather weighty truths concerning human nature, equality and the importance of not taking oneself so seriously. It is within Classic Who that we also meet the show’s first Time Lady. Susan. The Doctor’s granddaughter. She traveled with him regularly from episode one (An Unearthly Child) until she was left in the 22nd century at the denouement of The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964). Susan paved the way for many more Time Ladies within the original series and set a precedent for their roles in the reboot.

Susan Foreman: The Original Time Lady

The 2005 reboot introduced legions of would-be fans to the Whoverse turning the beloved British institution into a worldwide phenomenon. With this new audience came, better graphics, more laughably absurd villains, and a renewed willingness to confront the issues of today. Doctor’s nine through twelve carried on a long tradition of boldness, when they championed the sanctity of all life, regardless of race, creed or culture. Why? Because that is what doctors do, they educate, and they heal.

Anyone who chooses to regard Ms. Whittaker’s casting as little more than ‘bending the knee’ to feminism betrays their ignorance regarding the show. Setting aside the fact that The Doctor is a fictional character and that the transition to a female Doctor has been in the works since Tennant, I assert that Thirteen is a woman because she needs to be. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past several decades, or more recently 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, you will have noticed the rising tide of people who refuse to remain marginalized. A show as beloved as Dr. Who has the responsibility to take a stand on the issues and let the world know: ‘We hear you; you are not alone.’ Don’t like that? Well, don’t let the T.A.R.D.I.S. door hit you on the way out.

To the fans who worry Thirteen will become a license for clique and misandry, I encourage you to be like the Doctor and choose hope. Give the new kids a chance. Adjusting to both a new lead and a new producer, (Chris Chibnall), is undoubtedly a tall order. However, if we can withstand the mistreated characters, convoluted plot lines, and abandoned story arcs hurled at us during Moffet’s reign of terror, we can survive anything.

Moreover, Chibnall and the BBC announced plans, back in November of 2016, to bring in all new writers. The goal is clear, a new show with a strong revival of the Tennant era format.[i] Season eleven is a fresh start, not abandonment. If you are someone who prefers more concrete evidence, take a stroll through the plethora of praise and well wishes offered to Chibnall and Whittaker by Dr. Who alums. Or better yet, rewatch reaction videos from reveal day. The sheer joy is contagious.

And while she will likely never see it, I would like to decorate the closing of this piece to Ms. Whittaker herself. Thank you for choosing to take up the mantle and guide the show into a new era. Whether you realize it or not, you are already fulfilling your role by offering us something we desperately need. Hope. Hope that our show can return to its roots; but most of all, hope that one day the adage ‘you can be anything you want to be’ will ring true for us all.

Allons-y!

Bethany Killian

[i] http://www.gallifreyannewsroom.com/?p=4723

Haven Editorial: PVP in Elite Dangerous

Haven Editorial: PVP and Elite Dangerous 

Space the final frontier, a place where only the elite can live dangerously and die screaming. Which I have done a lot of when dying and lousing, my bounty vouchers. When farming for two hours. Never the less I had a discussion with a friend and one of my acquaintances, whom have issue to say the least. He is talks about it’s based on realism, when I say that space is too dark and an optional filter for the cockpit would be awesome. Yet he fails to consider that a cockpit made of glass is stupid to have on a craft in the first place and that space has no sound. So much for the realism look. On the other hand he has a one tracked mind, plays private and trades a lot. Which brings me to the main point of this editorial concerning, pvp in Elite Dangerous.

A virtual battle arena would be a neat thing indeed, since player versus player is very much dying and dead. Imagine entering a station then que up for a pvp session in a specialized zone, where you’re actual ship can be used and the re buy cost is greatly reduced. Where people can bet money or spectate matches. Or you have to pay a fee. Sure there is pvp with random strangers, but at this point and the current scale. It’s quite pointless or not worth it at all. Especially since anyone I shoot in a system will put a bounty on my head, causing the government to murder me. Especially on a resource extraction site. Essentially what is the point of blowing a billion on ship upgrades and min maxing with engineers, if I can’t fight some random people without having to pay a lot when dying.
The AI is unfortunately very boring and uninteresting to fight.

Combat zones makes little or no sense, I would really thing that someone would fight around a station, trying to occupy it at some point. Because the whole idea of fighting around a strategic structure with a clipper modded to hell and back sounds so much more fun that a dingy sidewinder.

I’ve talked a bit before about realism in space games, the usual thing people point out is there is no sound in space. Which is true, and can solved by turning off the speakers. Technically the only place to hear sounds is things hitting my ship, because it has an atmosphere. Then again if Elite Dangerous would be very boring without sound. Speaking of sound, I really wish there was an in-game stereo in the ship. Instead of dynamic sounds changing based on events. I really want consistent music. Seriously, every teenager dream of owning a car, cruising down the highway with wind blowing through the hair while blasting off their favorite music.

Njål Sand

Haven Reviews: Pokemon Reborn

Haven Reviews: Pokemon Reborn

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My less than glamorous Pokemon journey started with a blast; Some insane terrorist decided to blow up the train I was riding on. The nerve of some people. The call of adventure lured med into the region of Reborn. Little did I know that this place is a rundown carphole. A depressive and run down place. Where nature has run wild and the once tranquil Azure lake has turned into a toxic mire. There are more Muck in there than Magicarp, which is saying a lot.

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If you are reading this, then you are probably quite familiar with Pokemon already. Never the less here is a rundown.

Reborn is a fangame, which is in no way affiliated with Nintendo. However if this was an official release it would certainly bring the franchise to a new level. Story wise it follows the exact same set up. A trainer starts his journey with one Pokemon, which he use to capture more creatures. Which are used to fight gym leaders and a nefarious gang of thugs with an agenda. However unlike the mainstream games, this one is hardcore. It enforces the rules I seldom had think of and forced me to play outside my normal comfort zone. 16-11.png

The silver lining is that I could pick any starter. Amongst these rules I never payed much attention to, is the level cap on the badges. If I have only kicked the grass of one gym leader, then I can’t get a high level Pokemon to obey me in battle. Normally the camp is quite high, but with twice the number of gym leaders it become very tricky. If I have two badges, the level limit is 35. While Three is 40. This means that I can’t power level my way through them at all. Not only that but the move set and the Pokemons they use, is pulled straight out of competitive it seems. Besides that there is not that many Pokemon to find early on, that is not poison or normal type. Though I did get an appreciation for the toxic spike ability and the ways of using Trubbish in combat. All the special Pokemons are found all over the place, be it an abandoned building, grass or random events. They are all over the place. I feed my team with common candies to decrease their level, in order to have them obey me. A fun challenge but hard.

Though that being said, the most interesting feature is the field effects, which boost certain types. Within a forest, grass type will be strong, until I set the field on fire. This interaction holds true for all the other types as well in Pokemon.

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In most Pokemon games the music is a mixed bag, cant say I really like the music most of them. However the Reborn music is just up my alley, oh so catchy and cool. To me that is. Where the game fails a bit, is the inconsistency of the environment sprites. Some of them does not match the esthetics and are clearly out of place. Though it did not deter me from playing, It is highly recommended for any fan. But be warned the story is much, much more darker and serious. With some people dying amongst other things. Since it is made with RPG Maker, it runs fine on PC and can be found with a quick search.

Njål Sand