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Patterns

Please excuse me for being a bit picky here, but it bothers me quite a bit that all of Kate Stewart's appearances in Doctor Who have been co-opted by the Brigadier.

In "The Power of Three", she's leading UNIT with science, but at the moment she's realizing that they're failing, the Doctor says, "Don't despair, Kate. Your dad never did. Kate Stewart, heading up UNIT, changing the way they work. How could you not be? Why did you drop Lethbridge?" He encourages her with the mention of her father, instead of simply pointing out her accomplishments so far.

In "The Day of the Doctor", when she facing down the Zygon, she's doesn't say, "You know I will let this bomb go off because you can see my mind and you know I'll do it." She instead references her father as the source of her steel.

In "Death in Heaven", while there was really nothing she could do to fight off the Master and the Cybermen, again, the Brigadier is brought up for no reason, other than to prepare the audience for the later scene, but again, he pulls attention away from the living characters.

Is there some rule that Kate is not allowed to be a strong character on her own? Must everything she does be weighed in reference to her father? It's ironic that she dropped the "Lethbridge" because she "didn't want any favours," and yet it seems that the scripts are only letting her into the show so that they can bring the Brigadier back in. It's frustrating, because she is one of the very few (the only?) recurring strong female characters in the last four seasons who isn't a femme fatale (except Osgood, who they killed off).

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
flowsoffire
Nov. 12th, 2014 10:22 am (UTC)
Good point :/ The tribute is nice, but it does keep reoccuring. To be fair, she is quite consistently kick-ass, and therefore we can safely say that the references to her father don't take away too much from her own brilliance. It also is clear that she is not only a heir fully up to stepping in her father's shoes, she even mentions at her very first appearance that she has improved UNIT a great deal. The Brigadier is a huge thing in classic!Who, but that doesn't mean Kate is some kind of repeat—she just carries the legacy, while being very much her own person.

As you said, this really wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't set in the context of Moffat's female characters all seeming to follow the same more or less problematic patterns. *sighs*
shivver13
Nov. 16th, 2014 10:52 pm (UTC)
I am very glad that Kate is a strong character on her own, and has brought UNIT much further than the Brig did. I just would prefer if she occasionally was a callback to the Brig, instead of every single instance of her appearance. I love the Brig to bits, but she deserves so much more.
flowsoffire
Nov. 17th, 2014 04:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with that. As her introduction kind of said—she might be a daughter but she is a woman, a leader, a mother and a multi-layered being. Tributes are good, but as a very interesting side-character she deserves room to develop.
a_phoenixdragon
Nov. 12th, 2014 09:16 pm (UTC)
Good point here. Though I must say, as much as I love Alistair, Kate is...so much MORE in so many ways. What Alistair was hoping the leader of UNIT would be. Who else, BUT her? And how could she be anything but BETTER?

*HUGS*
shivver13
Nov. 16th, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC)
Kate is definitely so much more. The Brig, while wonderful, was limited in his thinking - which, of course, is what endeared us to him: he played both the Doctor's great ally and his devil's advocate. Kate has definitely surpassed him, which is why they need to stop using her just to bring him back into the story.

Edited at 2014-11-16 10:54 pm (UTC)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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