Today we’re extremely happy to host a special episode of The Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcast presented by Talia and Lucia. You can listen to it right here and they’ve also provided a transcript of the episode too!
You can also listen to a special extended version of this episode over on The Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcasts Patreon page.
Lucia Kelly: Hello, and welcome to the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcast!
Talia Franks: I’m Talia Franks, media critic, fanfic enthusiast, and I’ve got a whole shelf over there, all about the Doctor, everything I could gather. A lot of inconsistencies, but it’s very, very interesting. Do you wanna have a look?
Lucia Kelly: And I’m Lucia Kelly, expert at applied analysis, and welcome to the Sisterhood.
Talia Franks: We’re here today for a Wibbly Wobbly minisode.
Lucia Kelly: And today it truly will be a minisode because Cloister Bell reached out to us and they gave us a time limit.
Talia Franks: Yes!
Lucia Kelly: We are on the clock.
Talia Franks: Yes, we are on the clock. And today we’ll be talking about queerness in the Master/Doctor relationship because like we said, Cloister Bell reached out to us to participate in their Advent project.
Lucia Kelly: And we said yes, because despite the fact that everyone who listens to both podcasts can tell that we often had different takes on the show, the nature of discourse is disagreement.
Talia Franks: Any tangents hearin will be put on the Patreon version of this episode because goodness knows there is no way that we’ll be able to keep the raw recording of this to 10 minutes.
Lucia Kelly: And a reminder that time is not a straight line. It can twist into any shape. And as such, this is a fully spoiled podcast. We might bring things in from later in the show, the comics, the books, the audio dramas, or even fan theories and articles.
Talia Franks: With that out of the way, it’s time to stand with the Doctor. So let’s get in the TARDIS.
Talia Franks: Okay. So the Master and the Doctor, we wanted to talk about this. We addressed it a little bit in our 60th Anniversary teaser trailer episode. But we thought this would be a good topic for us to expand on.
Talia Franks: Right now we’re about to launch our Season Three. We’re planning to launch it around Christmas because we’re starting Season Three with Runaway Bride, and it’s Christmas episode. And season three, has the Sim Master, Saxon Master, whatever. And as anyone knows, that Master/ Doctor relationship is very gay.
Talia Franks: Lot of homoerotic undertones between them. But as we were watching the Power of the Doctor episode, we remarked in that recording that the Sacha Dhawan/ Jodie Whittaker Master/ Doctor relationship was also a very queer relationship even though those Doctors are supposedly of the “opposite gender” to whatever extent there are two opposite genders. But then if we think about the other major Master/ Doctor relationship in NuWho between Missy and the 12th Doctor is also a “opposite gender” relationship that is a very heterosexually coded relationship.
Talia Franks: And we just wanted to discuss some of the differences between these Master/ Doctor relationships and how even though the Doctor and the Master are like, supposedly same gender or opposite gender, how the Master and the Doctor are portrayed differently.
Talia Franks: One of the things I’ve noticed is that Sims Master and 10th Doctor, it’s a very homoerotic, gay relationship. They’re very much “burn the world down for each other at all costs.” They’re definitely in love with each other, but they also like really hate each other.
Talia Franks: That’s definitely the Master and the Doctor’s relationship the whole time. But Missy and the 12th Doctor, I think, definitely fall into a very gender dynamic. ‘Cause Missy is a very hyper-feminine character and we’ve talked about on the podcast before that the 12th Doctor is very cis coded.
Talia Franks: And so their relationship falls very much into a sort of very heavily gendered relationship. Whereas Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor, the 13th Doctor, and Sacha Dhawan’s Master fall much more into the gender chaotic realm. So what are, what are your thoughts?
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Dhawan and 13 are very much gender chaotic as opposed to gender roles. The thing that struck me the most, when I was watching the Missy episodes, was how… you, you talked about it before on, again, our Power of the Doctor episode, but I feel like the entire time that the Master is Missy, they’re experiencing like, intense gender euphoria all the time. I feel like being Missy is the first time that the Master has ever experienced true peace with their own body and their own self.
Talia Franks: Mm-hmm.
Lucia Kelly: Interestingly, it’s also the first time, at least in the new series, where we see the Master, kind of, grappling with this idea of quote unquote “becoming a good person.”
Lucia Kelly: And it introduces this idea of how much has the fact that the Master has felt at odds with themselves, and their body, and the way that they present — how much does that influence the level of chaos and terror they’re willing to inflict on the world.
Lucia Kelly: And there’s a whole other conversation to have about how I think it’s an interesting choice to have the first Master grappling with this question also be the first Master who regenerates as a woman.
Lucia Kelly: Because that’s messed up. Just a little bit. The fact that moral responsibility is the female regeneration’s responsibility.
Talia Franks: Yep.
Lucia Kelly: Which then introduces — getting to Dhawan, when Missy regenerates into Dhawan — Dhawan’s Doctor is so bitter. (Transcriptor’s note: Lucia meant Master here, sorry!)
Lucia Kelly: He’s so angry all the time. And there’s a whole nother level of drama and personal hurt to their relationship, between themselves and the Doctor, because even though Missy is presumed to be dead at the end of her run, very clearly we are meant to read Dhawan as post-Missy.
Lucia Kelly: So the fact that he has gone back to these chaotic, sort of terrific — in, in the sense of terror — ways is a personal betrayal on that trust, which lends all kinds of new complications, as well —
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: — to their relationship.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And there’s also something to be said for uh, the possibility that part of the anger that Dhawan’s Master has with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor is rooted in the fact that she presents as a woman.
Talia Franks: He has that anger that he’s no longer Missy and is no longer in that body that he felt more comfortable in. Especially because it was a involuntary regeneration. And we don’t have time to get into everything that we like, truly wanted to get into because this is a very limited minisode. But this is definitely something that we are going to keep in mind going forward as we continue to discuss the Master in future episodes. As we continue to discuss Missy and Dhawan’s Master. It’s entirely possible that we are going to continue this discussion so definitely keep an eye on our podcast.
Talia Franks: One thing I wanna put out there before we go is that I really do think that part of the reason that the relationship between Sacha Dhawan’s Master and Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor is so queer is that it’s because it’s at the point where both the Doctor and Missy have gone through that transition where they’ve both experienced that fluidity. One thing that I really have noticed is that Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor is a very queer Doctor on a level that we just have not seen in the previous Doctors, just because they were Doctors in a time when the Doctor was, for the most part, seen as only regenerating as a man, all of them fit into a very masculine role. And when I say masculine role, I mean, there’s an argument to be made for what is masculine, what is a man’s role. What I mean to say is that for the most part they fit into a very gendered role, and while they sometimes break out of it, they do not break out of it as intentionally as Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor does.
Talia Franks: They’re not as explicitly gender fluid as she is, and so just, the fact that she’s an explicitly gender fluid Doctor, the fact that she embraces that in a way that the previous Doctors did not, and just as I said, the fact that Sacha Dhawan’s Master is so obviously struggling with this gender dysphoria and that they are such a chaotic, um, and I mean every, every relationship between the Doctor and the Master is very chaotic.
Talia Franks: Just the nature of their relationship makes it very intense and we’ve been talking for way too long.
Talia Franks: But yeah. Thank you for joining me on this, Lucia, and thank you to Cloister Bell for giving us this opportunity to talk. Sorry for taking up so much time. I hope that we fit within the time limit and we don’t have to chop this up too much. Thank you patrons for listening to the longer version. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: Talia said it all. Thank you so much for having us and hosting us, and we hope to see all of you on our own pod where we talk about all this in even more convoluted depth.
Talia Franks: Yeah, we’re gonna be focusing on Season Three in future, but don’t be surprised if we release a much longer form bonus episode about this post Season Three. At some point. We’ll release it at some point. We’ll get there. We’ll get there.
Lucia Kelly: We’ll get there. All right. Bye!
Talia Franks: That’s our tagline. We’ll get there. Bye.
Lucia Kelly: Thank you for listening to the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey podcast.
Talia Franks: We hope you enjoyed this adventure with us through space and time.
Lucia Kelly: You can find us elsewhere on the internet on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram @WibblyPod. Follow us for more Wibbly Wobbly content.
Talia Franks: You can find out more information about us and our content on wibblywobblytimeywimey.net, and full transcripts for episodes at wibblywobblytimeywimey.net/transcripts.
Lucia Kelly: If you’d like to get in touch with us, you can send us email at email@example.com.
Talia Franks: Please rate and review us on Apple podcasts and other platforms as it helps other people find us and our content.
Lucia Kelly: That’s all for now, catch you in the time vortex!