Tag Archives: doctor who

The Lib Dems (and Labour) could learn from Russell T Davies

Christine Jardine wrote about the 60th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination earlier this week. The day after, 23rd November, marked 60 years since the first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast.

For me, ever since the very first episode I watched in 1974, it’s been a  constant source of joy, inspiration, curiosity and adrenaline rushes. There seems to be quite an affinity between Lib Dems and Doctor Who. We identify with a socially awkward eccentric travelling through time and space saving peoples and worlds and universes, a lot of the time from themselves.

Last night marked a new era for the show. Or, more accurately, a reboot of one of the most successful ones. Russell T Davies is back as head writer and has reunited much of the team who brought the show back so brilliantly in 2005. Much as I love the Doctor and all his companions, it simply hasn’t been as good since RTD left in 2009.

David Tennant, the first actor to return for a second stint as the Doctor is reunited with Catherine Tate who played his last regular companion, Donna Noble. The way her character developed over 13 episodes was outstanding, but then the Doctor, against her will, wiped her memory to save her life.

Russell T Davies really knows how to play with your emotions and not just in Doctor Who.  In the drama It’s a Sin, he just breaks you as he contrasts the  horrendous cruelty of discrimination against people with HIV and AIDS with the love and support of friends.

Last night’s Star Beast had plenty tugs on your heartstrings. Joy, apprehension, fear, optimism, love, the fierce, protective love of a mother for her daughter being just a few.  The one thing he is not is subtle. You are in no doubt about what he is saying, and those of us on the progressive side of politics could learn a lot from him.

Right wing politicians have been dividing and ruling us for too long now. They are not known for hiding their rhetoric under a bushel. Look at how Conservative politicians treat vulnerable asylum seekers, set about removing benefits from sick people who can’t work and demonise trans people because they think it is politically expedient to do so. And some of them, like Nigel Farage, do so while portraying themselves as the jokey bloke down the pub that everybody loves.

While we are on the subject of Farage, rumoured to be pocketing £1.5 million for going on I’m a Celebrity, I will never forgive Have I Got News For You for showing that clip of him naked. If you haven’t seen it, you have been warned.

Sadly, those of us who want to see a more liberal and equal society  too often shy from challenging the right wing. We murmur round the edges, too timid to take them on in case we scare people from voting for us and we shrink back when the right shout at us. Even when our policies are much better, and pretty much all the  time they are, we don’t use our creative skills to appeal to the better, more compassionate side of public opinion. It’s there, but it needs to be nurtured.

And every time the right go unchallenged, they pull the political agenda a little bit more over to their side. We all lose when that happens because the country becomes a nastier, unhappier place to live, particularly for those whose lives become a lot worse as a result but the toxicity affects us all.

And so back to last night’s Doctor Who. 5.1 million people saw it, the highest for the first episode of a drama this year.  It was woke as hell, and much the better for it. You see, woke, explained properly, is all about making sure everyone can take part in life. It’s about kindness, generosity and seeing the best in our fellow humans. No wonder the Daily Mail hates it.

I’m wary of too many spoilers, but the joys included a TARDIS that anyone could access and a  scientific adviser being given the perfect tool she needed to do her job.

It was clear from the get go that Donna Noble has a brilliant relationship with her daughter, Rose. We learn that Rose is trans, confirmed by boys from her school yelling transphobic abuse at her. Every parent will recognise the furious love Donna has for Rose in that moment. We all want to protect our children and Davies evoked that beautifully.

Russell T Davies manages to get you in the gut every time. And that’s what we need to get better at.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 10 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 15 April 2020

Are you sitting comfortably? I hope so, because we might be locked down for quite some time to come…

2 big stories

There’s no avoiding what is the biggest story of the day, the suggestion by the Office for Budget Responsibility that the United Kingdom economy could shrink by 35% in the second quarter of 2020, with 2 million joining the ranks of the unemployed. And yes, it will bounce back to some extent, but as the IMF’s economic counsellor, Gita Gopinath says;

the size of the hit to the global economy, uncertainty about the how long the shock would last, and

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Some interesting features of Lib Dem ad targeting

I have not had one single ad on Facebook encouraging me to vote for the Liberal Democrats. Not one.

But, when you think about it, what a waste of money it would be if I had.

Let’s face it, my vote for the party was never in doubt, and this one will be the proudest I have ever cast for the Liberal Democrats. Not only are we right on the biggest issue of our time, I’ve learned over 15 years’ acquaintance that Jo Swinson is ideally suited to be our Prime Minister. 

Yesterday the BBC’s Rory Cellan Jones offered an insight into how we were targeting our ads in individual seats:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 3 Comments

The 13th Doctor: 3 reasons why the BBC have made a brilliant choice

There is only so much excitement Liberal Democrats can take. The prospect of a new Doctor and a new Leader in the same week is testing us to the limit. I suppose it’s just as well we had a General Election campaign to build our stamina. We should perhaps also be grateful to our MPs for sparing us the extra adrenaline rush of a contest. Just to get this out of the way, I know that there have actually been 14 Doctors, if you count John Hurt, the “War Doctor”, but the BBC aren’t going to screw up decades of merchandising by mucking about with the numbering.

There is something about the quirky, socially awkward time lord, traversing time and space, saving entire races from themselves over and over again that appeals to Liberal Democrats. So many of us would have been waiting for the announcement this afternoon. And so it came:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 31 Comments

The first big Conference clash – Doctor Who or the Rally?

Well, the BBC has given a little bit of a gift to the many Liberal Democrat conference goers who are Doctor Who fans. The new series starts on the Saturday night. Unfortunately, this presents a little bit of a dilemma to inveterate rally goers like me. Do I go and see the new leader at his first big event of the Conference, or do I go and watch Doctor Who with the other fans?

Conference is full of such clashes. In any given time slot there is likely to be at least 3 things you want to go to. To have one so early in the event, though, is unusual.

It would be really lovely if the Federal Conference Committee, at their meeting tomorrow, could look at the possibility of providing Doctor Who fans with a room and a screen somewhere so we could all watch it together. We never get the chance to do that and it would make us all very happy if they could. Here’s a taster of what we might see:

Posted in Conference and News | Also tagged | 13 Comments

This will upset some Lib Dems …


Last week, Nigel Farage told a public meeting in Rochester:

I would like to see the BBC cut back to the bone to be purely a public service broadcaster with an international reach, and I would have thought you could do that with a licence fee that was about a third of what it currently is.

According to The Independent:

The move could see the end of more frivolous entertainment programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 20 Comments

Let’s match up Doctors and (Liberal) Democrat leaders

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 16.13.30Tonight is the finale of Peter Capaldi’s first season playing the Doctor. I have been a very poor excuse for a Doctor Who fan this year. I had to cram in four episodes last night to catch up. It’s been difficult to watch them live due to the Referendum, Conference and, ironically, a Doctor Who convention keeping me busy. The added complication is that our house and lounge where our only television is, has been taken over by teenagers every week.

Anyway, I’m now caught up and am livid and awestruck in equal measure. Don’t get me wrong, Capaldi’s Doctor is brilliant – and played fantastically. I hear from people who know that he is so immensely professional on set with every single aspect of his performance fully prepared and worked out. He’s also great at supporting other members of the cast. I also love the fact that we’ve seen different aspects to Clara from grief-stricken derangement to superb leadership. It shows he can write decent female characters (though he managed it with Kate Stewart) so if we could have more of them and fewer of the River Song/Tasha Lem types,I’ll be happy. It’s not that I don’t like River and Tasha, but Moffat’s women come from a very small range.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 8 Comments

YouGov asks: What is it about Lib Dems and Sci-Fi?

TARDISYouGov has the hard evidence for something that a lot of us have suspected for a long time – that “There is a strange correlation between supporting the Liberal Democrats and being a fan of Science Fiction“.

YouGov regularly polls its panel of 400,000 people (including me, as it happens) so has built up some rich data. The survey last year on Doctor Who showed that while 31% of the population are interested in the programme, that jumps to 41% for Lib Dem supporters. (Nick Barlow blogged about the survey at the time)

Time and time again the Liberal Democrats appeared as the most correlated political party for Sci-Fi related topics. Movies like The MatrixBlade RunnerAlienThe Fifth ElementStargateBack to the Future and Close Encounters of the Third Kind and sci fi classic books like Hitchhikers’ Guide to the GalaxyDune and I Robot – ALL show positive correlations to support for the Lib Dems.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 29 Comments

Liberal Democrats bring Doctor Who into the Lords

Yesterday, Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords held a debate on broadcast media. Falling in the week after the triumphant 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, it’s hardly surprising that the BBC’s flagship drama was heavily referenced during the contributions.

Olly Grender was one of a trio of Liberal Democrats to make their maiden speeches during the debate. We’ll put them all up in full separately as is our custom, but here are some highlights of Olly’s. First of all, she talked about the advice she’d received about her debut:

 I am sure, like me, most will have received a great deal

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Catherine Tate’s top tips: Be nice to everyone and don’t be late…

Catherine Tate? On a politics site?  Really?

Well, this is a lovely Summer Saturday morning, Parliament has just broken up for its holidays, so I just thought I’d do something a little bit different. You can tell me to take a running jump if you like, and this is something I would only ever do sparingly, but I thought I’d give it a try. Please don’t worry. My fixations with Doctor Who, Strictly and F1 will be confined to my own blog.

A few weeks ago, I missed both the Social Liberal Forum Scottish conference and the British Grand Prix to …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 2 April 2010

2 General Election/statistics-themed stories

Holding general election on May 6th would save £7m says Government
Which is nothing compared to, say, scrapping the Child Trust Fund – but Gordon Brown’s timing of the election has only ever been about saving political skins, not money.

Figures disclosed in a Parliamentary written answer show that it will cost £82.1m to stage the election on the most likely date, five weeks today.

But if the country went to the polls on any other day, it is estimated that the cost would rise by more than £7m to reach £89.6m.

The 2005 general election, which also coincided with regional votes, is said to have cost £80m.

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment

Which Lib Dem MP would you want to be the next Dr Who?

The news that David Tennant is quitting his role as The Doctor in the BBC series Dr Who has prompted a flurry of speculation in recent months about who might succeed him: David Morrissey, James Nesbitt, David Walliams, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Catherine Zeta Jones have all been suggested.

To date – and perhaps not so very unsurprisingly – no Lib Dem MPs are yet in the frame for the job. But that didn’t seem any reason for Lib Dem Voice not to set our readers a different kind of Christmas quiz while we eagerly anticipate tomorrow’s special (BBC1, 6.00 pm): …

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged , , , , and | 18 Comments

Bloggers’ summer reading (Part II)

Imagine you were going on holiday this summer: which two books would you take with you? One should be a political book – whether you want to re-read it, or try something new you’ve been recommended. The other should be your own choice of summer reading – the book you’re most looking forward to reading (again, could be something new or something old). That was the question I put to some of the Lib Dems’ leading bloggers. And here’s what they said:

(Click here for Part I).

Jonathan Calder – Liberal England

The Killing of the Countryside
Harvey shows

Posted in Books | Also tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Bloggers’ summer reading (Part I)

Imagine you were going on holiday this summer: which two books would you take with you? One would be a political book – whether you want to re-read it, or try something new you’ve been recommended. The other would be your own choice of summer reading – the book you’re most looking forward to reading (again, could be something new or something old).

That was the scenario I put to some of the Lib Dems’ leading bloggers. Here’s what they said:

Paul Walter – Liberal Burblings

1. Asquith. by Roy Jenkins I have now read Jenkins’ Churchill (wonderful), his

Posted in Books | Also tagged | 13 Comments

OPINION: An Elephant’s Voice

Millennium Elephant, a 2006 finalist in Lib Dem Blogger of the Year, has written exclusively for Lib Dem Voice on the state of politics today.

Hello! That nice Mr Lord Deputy Lord Mayor Lord Stephen has asked me to write a special diary for his august organ. This is a PUN… because it is AUGUST!

I think that I should begin by explaining, for any readers who have not already read my famous Fluffy Diary. My name is Millennium Dome and I live in the East End of London. Obviously, I am a white elephant. I am seven years old because I am the same age as the Millennium !

Mr Lord Deputy Stephen has asked me to explain to him about POLITICS, and I can understand why he is confused! It is VERY complicated!

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Shock news: Lib Dems aren’t Dr Who fans

From reading Lib Dem blogs like Alex’s and Will’s, you might think that there are a lot of Dr Who fans amongst the Liberal Democrats – and indeed, the Brigadier himself has been a leaflet deliverer for Lynne Featherstone.

However, I’ve been perusing the lists of what people have purchased through the party’s affinity deal with Amazon (the party doesn’t get to see individual orders, but we do get overall sales totals).

Amongst DVD purchases, the most popular TV shows have been:

1. West Wing
2. Sherlock Holmes
3. 24
4. Star Trek
5. Inspector Morse

Not a Doctor in sight.

(And a reminder about …

Posted in News | 14 Comments

Recent Comments

  • David Allen
    We should support the ICC prosecutor, who rightly seeks to charge both Hamas and Israel for war crimes and crimes against humanity. https://www.theguardian.c...
  • Geoff Reid
    We all speak as fools in guessing General Ellection results. That being said I can’t help thinking ththat one of the best outcomes might be a Labour small to...
  • Neil Hickman
    I’m not convinced about this supposed non-aggression pact with Labour. One of the few successes for the Tories this month was in a by election in a seat near ...
  • James Fowler
    Holding the balance of power after the forthcoming election would appear so improbable as to be absurd. However, if we do secure ca. 30+ MPs it's possible that ...
  • Peter Davies
    The coalition should have taught us that what you initially negotiate is not that important. Government is mostly about reacting to events and the larger party ...