I have a new piece up at Global Comment: Heroes, bumblers, abandoners, and patriarchs: Fatherhood on Doctor Who (don’t be scared by the title, my non-geekling friends; it should be entirely1 accessible to those who have thus far avoided sullying their gaze with my dorky obsession):
Fatherhood strode from the sidewings to center stage in the form of the Lone Centurion (aka Rory Pond, nee Williams) in “A Good Man Goes to War,” and continued in “Night Terrors” and “Closing Time”. In these episodes, we see first a portrayal and then subversion of the most common tropes of fatherhood; respectively, the Hero (the aforementioned centurion-slash-nurse Rory), the Abandoner (Alex), and the Bumbler (Craig). Assisting each we have, of course, the Doctor — a man who, 10 incarnations and nearly 50 boringly linear human years ago, was himself a grandfather. Although most versions of the show between 1963 and now have glossed over the central character’s implied fatherhood, here he is portrayed in full Wise Patriarch mode, taking these three men — and the viewer — on a transformative journey that amounts to a guide to Moffat’s vision of Enlightened Fatherhood.
Finish reading at GC, because it’s good and because I managed to write it with a newborn — often one handed — so click over if only to be amazed that I formed cohesive sentences and semi2-cogent arguments.
Speaking of, one day I will write a memoir, and in it will be a piece about sitting in the living room holding a sleeping baby over the potty with one hand (because she fell asleep immediately upon finishing her business and if I moved her she might wake up again and that would just be unacceptable), breast hanging out of the nursing tank, laptop balanced on the arm of the chair, typing with the other hand because I was In the Middle of a Thought and also On Deadline. Because if there is a more perfect metaphor-and-example of balancing parenting and paid employment, I haven’t heard it.