I got a cell phone holder shaped like a couch with two stuffed animals on it. I think this one is a chick… Continue reading Harry is a chick magnet?
After several bodies and uncountable mods, smallerverse Bill is complete! Continue reading Recent doll work: smallerverse Bill is finally finished!
It’s been a while since I worked on my smallerverse DW dolls, mostly because I can’t find a decent, highly articulated base body. I finally put Missy on an Obitsu24, which works pretty good for her. Even the comparative heights between her and Thirteen are accurate, as she’s slightly shorter than Thirteen.
As for Bill, she’s currently on a Hasbro Descendants Jordan [daughter of the genie] body. It matches her light golden brown skintone very well. Unfortunately, it’s single-jointed all around, and the knees can’t even do a right angle. The legs are also way too long, making her more like 11″ rather than 10″. I’ll deal with that later. For now, she has shoes [a challenge to find for those large heeled feet], and she can hang out with the other smallerverse persons until I have the energy to cut her down.
No, I don’t know when I’ll get around to the rest of the smallerverse Dork fam. SIGH.Continue reading Smallerverse update: Missy and Bill
Got some 1:6 scale stuff recently. Clearing out my phone, I found these photos. Continue reading New 1:6 scale stuff — record player, mini vending machines, etc.
I made a collared shirt for Alison from @dollsahoy‘s pattern @ 115% and proved two things. 1) My sewing skills have improved immeasurably since the last time I made a collared shirt a few years ago. 2) My characters, like me, have, at best, dubious taste in clothing.
This was going to be a showcase for Alison’s painfully bright shirt, but it digressed into a commentary on gold eyeliner…Continue reading Alison’s Loud Shirt
Alison, Bill, the Master, and the Doctor have New Year’s sentiments to impart. Continue reading Happy 2019 from the Dork fam!
Acme Magnets, now sadly defunct, issued a wide variety of kitchen magnets in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. A lot of them were household items, including furniture, appliances, and food. Some of them even had sound features. Anyway, Acme magnets, while popular on Ebay, can be had for decent prices [$5.00-$10.00 apiece shipped], and they combine sturdy construction with realistic detailing and, in some cases, obnoxious noises. :p Today we’re looking at a boom box magnet!
Continue reading Acme Magnets: a source of small-scale props
I am now the proud owner of a 1:6 scale newspaper vending machine. It’s actually a diecast metal bank by Liberty Classics, a company mostly known for their scale models of vehicles. They also produce newspaper machine banks so that companies can commemorate various occasions with souvenirs. When I searched on Ebay for this one, which was commissioned by Shell Oil, I also saw ones commissioned by the Kiwanis Club, St. Petersburg Times, and Chevron/Texaco. I chose this one because its bright color scheme reminded me most of the attention-getting machines I have seen in my travels.
Made entirely of diecast metal except for plastic bottom and back, this bank is a sturdy, solid piece. It measures 13.4 cm high without the coin machine and 18cm with the coin machine. It is 7.5cm wide x 6.5cm deep. It’s beautifully detailed down to the diecast rivet heads, the branded graphics on the side, and the customized text, including the name and price of the paper, a preview window to the Petroleum Post, and a framed advertisement window below that. This piece is so well-made that I will not be able to remove the Petroleum Post and Shell copy, since they’re on pieces of metal. I’m just going to paste my own graphics over them.
The front of the bank even opens just like a real newspaper machine! Of course, there’s no place to store papers in there, as that would interfere with the bank reservoir. But it’s still fuckin’ cool. With some customization, this machine will show up in a future photostory as a convenient way of setting the stage.
Photos with 1:6ers Alison and Bill below. Both durian and tomatoes are resin pieces purchased from Aliexpress. Tomatoes were billed as “1:12 scale,” which seems not to actually mean “1 inch scale,” but “suitable for dolls; take your chances on size.” Durians all have an area of skin cut off to show pulp, but I have put that area facing the table so no one notices. Voila! Continue reading The Goblin Market got durian and tomatoes!!!!
Yellow peppers and bok choy! This time, 1:6ers Alison and Bill show scale.
This set is the most detailed I’ve ever made. Even my forest and cemetery sets, while they contain many parts and customized pieces, don’t have the sheer number and variety of things as this produce section does.
I also think that this is the most expensive set that I’ve created. Most people who follow my work know that I tend to use simple, cheap, multipurpose objects in my sets. While I used this principle with the counters [made of a table, a miniature crate, cut-down box lids + dowels] and some of the produce holders [mini box lids and screw-top lids], the majority of the pieces, being food, are very specific. That means a lot of money sunk into single-purpose props, insofar as pieces of food are counted as single-purpose things. Someday I’ll add up how many objects are in this set and how much they set me back, but today is not that day.
Still to come: Rocket Fuel Foods snacks, cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots. Ugh, I need more counter space…
More stock arrived today for the Goblin Market: oranges, yellow grapefruit, and more juice for the fridge. Continue reading The Goblin Market gets citrus and a full juice fridge!
I have decided that my produce section is part of a local market called the Goblin Market. Its eldritch name derives from the off-world foods it sells. The addition of fictional foods makes the Goblin Market a much more interesting set, as well as a perfect place for my DW dolls to hang out. Recent additions below. Continue reading Progress on the Goblin Market
A while back, I got a Crescent cast iron stove for my dolls. Continue reading Crescent cast iron stove has been spiffed up
Here’s an update on the produce section… Continue reading Alison and Bill and the produce section in progress
1:7.3 scale Bill and 1:7.3 scale Missy pose with two recent acquisitions, a Crescent cast iron toy stove and a Rement kitchen, to show scale. Half in the frame of the first pic is another project in progress: a small-scale produce section for when I want my characters to go to a grocery store.Continue reading 1:7.3 scale kitchen — Crescent cast iron stove and Rement kitchen
I worked today on my 1:9 scale Doctor Who gang… Continue reading Updates on 1:9 scale Doctor Who dolls
I got a Barbie skirt in the mail recently for Missy, shortened it an inch, and it fit perfectly. I made a raggedy bow out of some gauzy purplish stretch net, and I was done. Then she posed against a selection of Halloween/Gothic art papers I got from Michaels recently.
I just finished 1:9 scale versions of Bill and Missy today. Both of them are hybrids, combining heads from the 3″ Titan mini figures with bodies from ToyBiz’s Famous Covers series of Marvel action figures. They’re 9″ high.
For Bill, I painted her body to match her head, filled in her irises, dry-brushed her hair to show up the detail, glossed lips and eyes, ground the neck off the head, and modded the crotch and tops of forearms for greater flexion. She wears a dress from a Mattel Skipper Babysitters Inc. doll, a bolero from a Fresh Dolls Mia, leggings from a Mattel Made to Move Fashionista Barbie, a Rement sunflower, and bracelets made from a bubble tea straw.
For Missy, I removed her original hair and replaced it with a combination of a hand-sculpted scalp [with Aves Apoxie Sculpt] and a ponytail of Mattel Barbie hair, which I curled with a boil perm. I swapped out the default ToyBiz Famous Covers hands for those from a 10″ Disney Elite Princess Leia figure. I filled in her irises, repainted eyebrows, gave a very light brown wash to the nasolabial creases, and repainted eyebrows. I also carved out top of forearms and inner sides of crotch to increase poseability. Missy wears a shirt from an unknown female action figure, a Mattel Barbie skirt [shortened by 1″], leggings from a Mattel Made to Move Fashionista Barbie [not shown], and a cravat that I made. Her umbrella is a large cocktail umbrella painted black with acrylic paints and sealed.
Coming eventually in the 1:9 scale world: Alison Cheney [Scream of the Shalka], Shalka Doctor, Delgado Master [=Shalka Master in my mind], and the Third Doctor!
I finalized 1:9 scale Missy’s hair and faceup over the past few days. More detailed pics later, including shots with 1:9 scale Bill, when it’s not so late.Continue reading 1:9 scale Missy done except for clothes!
Pictures of the latest adventures in 1:9 scale — i.e., hybrids with 3″ Titan vinyl heads and action figure bodies — below. Continue reading 1:9 scale news: the Doctor and Missy
Charlie is a Cyber person that the Dork fam encounter on Newland, the Mondasian colony ship from which they rescue Bill. She experiences the Doctor’s first experimental refacement procedure, in which they created a 3D printed flexible face from her memories of what she used to look like, then hitched it up to her brain [the only organic part of her remaining besides spinal cord] so she could make faces. Anyway, though she has her face back, her body remains obviously Cyberized, so I’ve long wanted a sort of clunky armored robot body for her. Now I have one!!! Continue reading Other projects I: fkin Charlie and her appropriate fkin body!!
1:9 scale Bill improved exponentially this morning when I cut the stem off a Rement plastic sunflower and put it in her hair! The Master, who never calls people by their given names, refers to Bill as Heliantha clarissima, or most brilliant sunflower. And now she truly is a Heliantha, waiting for her Alisonshine!
Here she is! I made her some bracelets out of a bubble tea straw. I enhanced her faceup just a bit by darkening the line of her upper eyelashes and filling her irises and pupils with brown to make her look more innocent and friendly. Continue reading 1:9 scale Bill is done!
Since I last took a picture of 1:9 scale Bill, I performed several minor mods. The tendons on her right hand stood out prominently, so I filled in the back of her hand with some Aves Apoxie Sculpt and painted it to match. Fortunately, Craft Smart Golden Brown acrylic paint allowed me to match her hands to her head [and other painted parts of her body] without mixing. I sealed her hands with matte varnish.
I then turned my attention to her hair. When I ground down her jaw, I also chipped paint off the bottom of her hair. Therefore I started with a layer of blackish brown to cover all of her hair. Then I dry brushed a layer of Folk Art 940 Coffee Bean acrylic paint over her hair. This gave the impression of light touching the ends. It also brought out all the detail in the sculpt, which had formerly been obscured by the flat black paint.
For my final work, I’m going to enhance her faceup. She needs eyeliner, bags under eyes, more defined smirk brackets, and some eyebrow texturing. Probably some lip texturing too. The basics are there; they just need a little help. I’m really appreciating the Titans vinyl figures. Many of them [not all, but most] combine a recognizable likeness with a great caricature. The simple, but accurate, details of the sculpts are lost beneath indifferent paint jobs.
This 1:9 scale Bill doll has started me on a scale that I never thought I’d get into. But now I have embraced it with enthusiasm. As I mentioned before, I have a Titan First Doctor that I will make into Shalka Doctor, and I’m getting a little Delgado Master next month. I have also prepared my digital version of Alison for printing in 1:9 scale so I can make her, thus completing the Dork fam.
I’ve also ordered a Third Doctor, just because a Delgado Master needs a Third Doctor, and a Missy. I was planning to do Three and Missy in 1:6 scale just like everyone else [i.e., my main dolls], but the 1:9 scale sculpts were too good to pass up. I think I’ll do 1:9 scale Three and Missy. Not sure about a 1:9 scale Ten, though. The sculpts for Ten are great, but a 1:9 scale Ten would need a 1:9 scale Harry, and the Titans of Simm Master are just ugly.
My 1:9 scale Bill had a thigh gap that was bugging me. People tend to sit with their thighs side by side, but the first picture below illustrates that the Toybiz 8″ Famous Covers Storm body could not put its thighs together. Continue reading Closing the thigh gap on a Toybiz 8″ Famous Covers Storm body for 1:9 scale Bill
1:9 scale Bill is wearing a Mattel Babysitters Inc. AA Skipper jumper, Mattel Made to Move Barbie leggings, and a Fresh Dolls Mia bolero. She needs a sunflower for her hair, some decorations for her boots, and some jewelry. But she’s definitely rockin’ the look. <3 <3Continue reading 1:9 scale Bill Potts is TOO CUTE!!!
The three best companions ever in the history of Doctor Who are tied for first place: Alison Cheney, Bill Potts, and the Master. Alison and Bill suffered truly shitty adventures, so I paired them off, and now they are living happily.
Anyway, I’m always looking for little 3D representations of Bill, so I was checked online to see if Character Options had made her yet. No, of course not. But I did discover a Titan vinyl figure of her with a wonderful caricature that captures the essence of her lively, curious, upbeat personality. It also looks amazingly like Pearl Mackie, so of course I had to get it.
Further research into the DW offerings from Titan revealed more of my favorite characters, including the Third Doctor, the Tenth Doctor, and [coming in September!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] Delgado Master. I began to consider the possibility of dolls in this scale, especially since there were headsculpts for two of my core fanfic characters, Bill and the Master.
But what about Alison and the Doctor? I decided I could get a decent Shalka Doctor out of the First Doctor Titan. Then I discovered Toy Biz Famous Cover 9″ action figures of superheroes. One of them, Storm, looked in the pictures like she might approximate Alison’s sharp features, so I ordered her.
Well, Storm’s head turned out to be small, asymmetrical, and un-charming, so that was a bust. However, Titan Bill’s head looks great, accounting, of course, for eventual skintone matching.
This was not enough to console me, however, because I was still pissed off my by lack of Alison. Then I realized that I’m a digital sculptor with access to a 3D printer, and I have also made a digital Alison. I can just print her out at the correct size. With 1:9 scale versions of all four members of the Dork fam in the offing, I was finally pleased. Pics below. Continue reading Adventures in 1:9 scale, or, I blame Bill Potts!
I decorated some of my 1:6 scale scenes with cards from my Tarot of the Sweet Twilight by Christina Benintende. I like the twisty, humorous, phantasmagorical designs on almost all cards, so I selected cards for each set based primarily on pictures.
I also gave 75% of the Little Dorks, Alison, the Little Witch, and the Little Fixit, new hands with which they could hold things. Little Bill will get new hands when I have the time. By drilling the holes bit by bit on a low Dremel setting and testing the new wrist pegs frequently, I achieved securely fitting pegs. That’s more than I could ever do when turning the Dremel up to highest speed. No melting plastic either!
Continue reading Today’s 1:6 scale work: new hands and Tarot deco
I walled off a corner of the living room with two bookcases to create a place where I can hang out in my new recliner and have [the illusion of] privacy. Here are the new scenes on these shelves:
Do your small populations need some totally blinged out desserts of questionable aesthetic value? Look no further. BC Mini, purveyor of Japanese novelty erasers, keychains, squishy food replicas, and other necessary things, sells overdecorated circular cakes and candy houses, perfect for all your small-scale baking competitions. Continue reading Recent 1:6 scale activities part I: BC Mini cake and candy house keyrings
We hit Target before I flew out this morning. I was looking for the Fresh Doll with boingy hair, but didn’t find her. I found some other stuff, though… Continue reading Day 7 with natalunasans — stretchy clothes, bits and bobs
We took some dolls and went to South Mountain State Park, NC for pictures. Continue reading Day 6 with natalunasans — South Mountain State Park, NC
I used to have just my dolls hanging out on shelves, talking to each other so that they wouldn’t get bored. Back in February of this year, though, I realized that I also had lots of nifty furniture, props, accessories, etc., that languished in storage. I could arrange them into vignettes for my dolls so they could do activities besides talking! Below are overviews of each scene, then detail shots. Continue reading Small sets in my bedroom and bonus Shalka dorks
These two are adorable together! I added stylized reflections to their eyes. Frankly they probably should have been heart-shaped. 😀 Continue reading Little Alison + Little Bill = WUVS junior
I finished my repaint/restyle of Fresh Dolls Mia as Pearl Mackie’s character Bill Potts from the most recent season of Doctor Who. I completely repainted her face and cut her hair. I also moved her to a Takara/BBI Cy Girl 1.5 action figure body. The head is lighter and yellower than the body, so I painted the neck and bust with acrylics to match. As a nod to her loud and awesome clothing style, she’s wearing an OJI magenta leotard under a Mattel Chococat dress, with Hasbro Shoezies modified to fit Takara/BBI Cy Girl bootfeet. I made the horrible/fascinating felt sunflower fascinator. In the last picture, Alison and Bill are having WUVS!!
As long as I’ve been interested in making dolls, I’ve been interested in making likenesses. My interest in likenesses led me to digital art using Daz Studio, a program where you can customize 3D models, arrange them into scenes, and render the results. In other words, Daz Studio is like playing with digital dolls. Continue reading 3D printing 1:6 scale heads for 12″ dolls/action figures I
I’ve been improving my 1:6 scale power wheelchairs in recent months, and I finally finished my steampunkish power chair. Pics below. Continue reading 1:6 scale power wheelchair upgrades: steampunk style!!!
Members of the Dork fam Alison and Bill have a little adventure with Anima [the Doctor’s TARDIS]. Continue reading Last week’s photos — Alison, Bill, and Anima have an adventure
More work on my Bill doll. It’s a constant balancing act between the features of the headsculpt and the features of the character I’m trying to depict. For example, Fresh Dolls Mia has big eyes. Pearl Mackie does not have big eyes. She does, however, have an amazing set of dramatic, expressive eyebrows, kind of a long nose, and a wonderful round mouth. I tried to evoke these features as much as I could within the confines of the existing sculpt.
I think she’s mostly done in terms of paint. I want to make a sunflower hair clip for her and, of course, move her to a more poseable body.Continue reading Fresh Dolls Mia as Bill Potts — further work
Deciding recently that my current Fresh Dolls Mia repaint did not adequately resemble Bill, I tried again. Continue reading Fresh Dolls Mia as Bill Potts, take 2
The Little Shalka Dorks get busy with a new project: an old toy horse of my mom’s that we rescued from my parents’ attic around last Xmas. Little Alison is the one playing with dolls. Little Bill is the one reading pulp fiction. The Little Witch, in the cape and top hat, is my version of the Master when he was a little girl. The Little Fixit, with alien T-shirt and tool box, is my version of the Doctor as a kid. None of this information is really necessary to understand and enjoy the story.
Part I: The Dorks Gather.
The TARDIS cats have very demanding lives, okay?! An excuse to showcase some felted sleeping kitties by Awa of Nitwit Oddments, my preferred source for TARDIS cats. Order yours today!Continue reading Alison, Bill, and some TARDIS cats
Whenever possible, I like to work with doll supplies on hand, rather than buying new. Therefore, since I wanted to make a Little Bill with the recently released adorable Mattel Skipper Babysitter Inc. AA doll, I used an articulated body that I already had from Mattel Made to Move Gabby Douglas. I yoinked the Babysitter head off the original body and spent several days hacking the MTM body to the appropriate size.
I am never modding an MTM again. Unlike a Spin Master Liv body, which has partly [but not fully] solid limbs and a hollow torso, the MTM body has solid limbs and nearly solid torso pieces. That’s a lot of plastic to cut through.
Furthermore, the proportions of the MTM don’t lend themselves to creating kid bodies. While the Liv’s limbs are largely tubular, thus shortening without much deformation, the MTM’s limbs are just weirdly shaped throughout. The MTM’s elongated ankles are the worst. I cut down the core and limbs until the proportions looked good, then gave up on the ankles. I took out the feet and jammed the stumps into shoes that I filled with Aves Apoxie Sculpt. Covered by clothes, the reduced MTM looks convincingly like a chubby kid.
Another 1:6 scale kid is done chez Modern Wizard. It’s the Little Witch! Continue reading “I am the Little Witch, and you will obey me!”
The 1:6 scale Shalkaverse crew expands with two new members of the extended Dork family. One of them is [fuckin’] Charlie Foxtrot, a repersoned, refaced Cyber person that the Dork fam rescued from Newland, a Mondasian colony ship. The other is Reeve, humanoid robotic form of the Stylist’s TARDIS. Continue reading Two more for the Shalkaverse: [fuckin’] Charlie and Reeve
I made a broom. The handle is a wooden chopstick painted red and sealed with Mod Podge. Bristles are made of string, of which I cut many individual lengths, attached with micro rubber bands and Mod Podge, then trimmed to be even. I glued some stiff folded manila folder at the core of the bristles to make them stand up. Then I wrapped some more string near the head and near the base of the broom and unleashed my creation into the wild. Pointless photostory resulted. Note: Scintilla, who’s all in blue, is the humanoid robot form of the Master’s TARDIS.
There was a point to this photostory, but I forgot it in the midst of Alison and Bill being darn cute. Oh yeah…I found some felt witch hats as earrings. They are 1:12 scale, but they work well as “accent hats” for people like Alison, who have floofy hair!Continue reading Shalka Dorks in hat competition
The cat saga takes a more psychological turn. And Bill shows up!
She and Alison are in so many WUVS. 😀
I went to @natalunasans’ house for a long weekend, coming back today. My DW dolls met her DW dolls and had several photostories. I also helped her sort some of her massive amounts of 1:6 scale stuff and chose those items that I wanted for myself. Continue reading Small populations from @natalunasans’ house!
Alison is in the center. Bill is on the left. The Master is on the right. Still having fun with body language!Continue reading Thee quarters of the Dork Quadrangle: Alison and her partners
I had the eyebrows too thick and >:[ on my Bill doll, so I repainted them tonight thinner and more uplifted. I wanted to capture her friendly, wondering expression. She kicks ass too, but I think of her more as an open-hearted character. New version below.
Making mini vintage sci-fi pulps is too much fun, so I made another four. Here are the Shalka Dorks engrossed again.
Here’s Bill! I finished the repaint this morning. She’s a Fresh Dolls Mia head on a temporary body: a tan Cy Girl 1.0. I customized her by giving her a full repaint, a haircut, and a pin-back of some of her hair. She’s wearing an action figure fem shirt, a vest by Dolls Ahoy, pants from Fashionista Ken Color Block, and shoefeet made from Hasbro Shoezies.
While only single-jointed right now, she can still cuddle with her girlfriend Alison. Awwwww, lookit the WUVS! <3 <3
Alison is a custom cast resin action figure fem by Eric Barclay on a Triad Toys “Hispanic” skintone. I customized her with a full faceup and addition of a [shittily styled] wig. I also modified all major joints for greater flexion. She wears a Triad Toys leotard, arm sleeves and skirt from Mezco Fashion Victims, and her favoritest yellow sneakers, even though they do not match. I made her choker.
For context, Alison Cheney is the companion of an alternative Ninth Doctor in a [crappily animated] web series done for the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who called Scream of the Shalka. Bill Potts was the companion of the canonical Twelfth Doctor in the latest season of Doctor Who, otherwise known as A Tragic Waste of a Wonderful, Compassionate, Curious, Level-Headed, and Overall Adorable Black British Lesbian Character Played by the Talented Pearl Mackie. I disapproved and fixed things in my head by moving Alison forward to the present day, having her rescue Bill, and then having them get together. See? They’re so happy together! And, when Bill gets a body with better articulation, they’ll really be able to snuggle!Continue reading Fresh Dolls Mia repaint as 1:6 scale custom Bill Potts done
Added eye bags and lips.
This morning I erased the Fresh Doll Mia’s eyebrows, most of eyelashes and eye makeup, and lips. Current status of repaint below. At least needs better eye bags, as well as gloss to eyes and mouth. Hanging out with Alison below.
Well, the Integrity Toys Janay head, which I previously thought would be a good base for my 1:6 scale Bill Potts, ended up having an irredeemably sharp jaw, so I gave up on it. Thanks to @natalunasans, I am now in possession of a Fresh Doll Mia, who has a much better face shape. Below is a picture of Pearl Mackie at the DW season 10 photocall in London in April. Below that is a photo of Fresh Doll Mia after I braided some of the top left of her hair and then clipped back some of the top right. Looking good… Still needs redone eyes and lips. Also more eyeliner. Unsure about body, as this light brown/golden skintone is nowhere available in action figures.Continue reading 1:6 scale version of Bill Potts take 2
I just got an Integrity Toys Janay head to make a 1:6 scale version of Bill Potts as played by Pearl Mackie the amazing.Continue reading 1:6 scale version of Bill Potts forthcoming
Now that I have had time to concentrate my rage into the long-smoldering core of righteous fury that burns within my core, fueling both activism and fixit fics, I would like to mention two more ways in which Season 10 of Doctor Who was horribly wretched.
It’s especially shitty, particularly in in World Enough and Time and The Doctor Falls.
Think of the Cyber people as people with disabilities: difficulties in communicating, in gross motor control, in feeling/connecting with their emotions, and/or people with chronic pain. You will soon understand how disgustingly they are portrayed.
A. They look dead. They are shown at first as motionless figures in wheelchairs. Their white costumes and head masks recall either body bags or bags over people’s heads when they’re going to a firing squad; either way, they carry connotations of death.
B. Their voices are silenced and treated as irrelevant. The first Cyber person who does have a voice, saying, “Pain, pain,” with their communications device, is treated as an annoyance; the nurse deals with them brusquely. Even further, Bill turns down the device’s volume so she doesn’t have to hear the disabled person speak. Her action suggests that the disabled person’s voice as scary and objectionable.
C. They do not want to live; they all want to die. After the pain Cyber person, we hear two other Cyber voices in the hospital. One person says, “Die me.” The other says, “Kill me.” Viewers are expected to take this death wish as applicable for all Cyber people; even Bill, in The Doctor Falls, says something like “If I can’t be me, I don’t want to go on living.” In this case, “me” means the entirely organic, able-bodied person that she was before. These statements from Cyber people imply that life with a disability is so hopeless and miserable that even those with disabilities don’t want to continue living.
D. They’re treated as cannon fodder. The Cyber people look dead, have no voices [according to able-bodied people], and say that they want to die. It’s very easy to jump from these observations to the conclusion that they are not people, but mere objects. Their deaths don’t count as deaths of people because they’re subhuman and…well…they were essentially dead already, right? As a result of this dehumanization, we get torture porn of the people at the orphanage blowing up Cyber people because killing nonpersons isn’t really killing, so it’s not a real problem or anything. It’s so kind, brave, noble, compassionate, admirable, and heroic for the Doctor to indiscriminately slaughter crowds of disabled people. This show really sends the message that we should respect all people’s worth, dignity, and integrity. I love it in shows and movies and books when all the disabled people die. I find it inspirational and uplifting.
For another ableist treatment, refer to the depiction of Eyeliner Master, as played by John Simm. Last time we saw the dude in the End of Time, he was insane on account of the Drums. Yup, that counts as being disabled. When he reappears in the Season 10 finale, he acts more like Roger Delgado’s Master: mentally disturbed and disordered, but much more restrained in speech and action. He presents as being sane[r]. Notably, he makes no reference to the Drums that so deranged his earlier life and plot arcs. What’s going on here? The character gives no explanation for the change, and all supporting media portray Eyeliner Master as a return of EoT Master, which leads us to conclude that they’re the same person. So EoT Master = Eyeliner Master – disability.
What the hell, fuckos? You can’t just wave a Magical Wand of Disability Deletion! After years and years of making the Master’s Drums and consequent Insanity a key part of his character, you can’t just remove them because you feel like it. The cheating is especially transparent because there’s no in-story explanation for his reappearance, his changed behavior, or indeed what the hell he was doing circling the drain in a Mondasian colony ship in the first place. An in-story explanation could have made his personality change more plausible and acceptable. For example, maybe he’s still insane, but he has learned how, at great mental and physical cost, present as “sane.” Or maybe he adapted some Cyber technology to partially inhibit his explosive rages and so restore some measure of his beloved self-control. However, without an in-story explanation, we are left with a deus ex machina Magical Disability Deletion. The form of the character remains, but not the content. In a way, disabled EoT Master was dehumanized and discarded just like the disabled Cyber people. The character is lost, and so is his [highly problematic] representation.
BILL POTTS DIED FOR YOUR SINS
Those squealing with unalloyed joy over Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor should note that a white woman came on as the Doctor just as Pearl Mackie, a woman of color, departed.
@stardust-rain points out that the timing is no coincidence:
also everyone ignores the fact that we are getting a female doctor in the expanse of getting rid of an amazing black lesbian character. that’s right, this is the reason why Bill Potts isn’t coming back, bc having a female doctor AND a black lesbian would have given a heart attack to the bigoted fans all at once. they had to make a sacrifice and Bill was it.
When I say BILL POTTS DIED FOR YOUR SINS, this is what I mean. The show has had an overall craptacular history of representing women and/or queer people and/or Black people and/or disabled people. Attempts to make the show more accurately reflect the demographics and identities of the viewers have been piecemeal and insultingly small. Bill, as a queer Black woman, had the potential to significantly improve the show and make it more relevant, interesting, nuanced, and overall better. But she was done in by a poorly organized conception [seriously, what’s her backstory beyond chips, Moira, and a mum about which we know nothing, not even her fucking name?] and horrible, stereotypical writing.
Bill became a liability to the show, not because of her underdevelopment and shitty lines, but because she was a queer Black woman. Here’s the thought process at the BBC: “Whoa there! That’s just way too much representation; the straight cis white dudes won’t stand for it! If we stick a white female Doctor in the mix along with a queer Black female character, the straight white cis dudes will pitch shit fits. We need to think strategically and make it look like we’re actually representing our audience when we’re not. So Bill’s gotta go. There aren’t that many queer and/or Black people who watch this show, so it won’t be a big deal. We can just turn her into LITERAL SLIME and send her off with her space stalker and call it a happy ending. THEN we’ll have a female Doctor. We can’t have a queer Black female Doctor because that would be too much representation. But we can have a straight white female Doctor. Yeah, that’s just enough representation. We’ll look edgy without really making substantive change. [Plz fanboys don’t hurt us. D: ].”
Bill Potts was too real for the BBC to handle. Thus they killed her off, making her the scapegoat for their cowardice.
Oh look spoilers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The latest season of DW has treated Bill shittily, both as a WOC and as a lesbian, and The Doctor Falls was just the diarrhea sauce on a crap sundae of disappointment.
If you think it’s a “happy ending” that Bill, the first lesbian COC [companion of color] on Doctor Who, suffered medical violation for ten years by the Cyber conversion team and ten years of mental violation by Eyeliner Master, then ended up condemned to the equivalent of TOTAL NARRATIVE DEATH, flying off into the universe with a personalityless dead wet white chick with whom she had no substantive relationship just because the DWWC had been stalking her for a decade, go read something else.
If you feel like partaking of my rage, stay with me. Other people, I’m sure, will direct their rage, frustration, and sense of betrayal into far more eloquent and exhaustive essays than mine about how this entire season failed Bill. I’m only going to focus on two moments from the beginning of The Doctor Falls that epitomized for me just how racist, sexist, and anti-Black women the narrative has been.
Note: I’m quoting from memory here because I have better things to do than to go back and watch the show torture Bill.
Both moments of quintessential misogynoir occur early on in the episode when the Doctor is telling Bill about her Cyber conversion and its consequences.
1) The Doctor says to her something like, “You’re so strong,” then lists examples of Bill’s mental strength, including her survival of physical and mental rape for ten years. He then adds something to the effect of her having to resist her programming.
So the Doctor blows off Bill’s stated fears of both dying and of Missy [see World Enough and Time], then proceeds to get her thoroughly perforated and DEAD, tells her to wait for him, doesn’t come for her, leaves her to a decade of medical torture and mind-fucks from Eyeliner Master, then has the audacity to say that she’s so strong for having survived despite the fact that he failed her on multiple levels.
This is the equivalent of straight and/or cis and/or white and/or dude-type persons treating queer and/or Black women like subhuman objects for years and then saying that they’re so impressed by how the queer and/or Black women handle adversity. It’s the Strong Black Woman stereotype: the idea that Black women’s fortitude is an individual choice of personal responsibility, rather than a trait often developed out of the necessity of surviving in an oppressive society.
2) The Doctor also says to her in this conversation, “You’re a Cyberman now. You cannot get angry.” Of course, Bill, having been raped and tortured for a decade, then pulled out of hell too late by the Doctor, does become angry, so her blaster fires and something burns. “Because of that,” the Doctor says.
Right…so…here we have a straight cis white dude lecturing a queer woman of color. The QWOC has just spent a decade of her life being abused, raped, and tortured in ways that queer and/or Black women have been particularly vulnerable to now and throughout history. The QWOC is full of rage, pain, and sadness. The straight cis white dude tells her not to feel her entirely understandable emotions.
This is playing directly into the stereotype of the Angry Black Woman whose wrath scares white people [especially dudes] so shitless that they must prohibit it. This also plays directly into the tendency of straight people to do tone policing on queer people, claiming that, if queer people weren’t so loud/flamboyant/outraged/“openly gay,” they would attain their goals of equal rights more effectively.
Bill deserved so much better than all the objectification, humiliation, and cancellation she suffered, but she was doomed from the start. The story tied up her arc and identity in losing and then ultimately finding that dead wet white chick with no personality. However, there’s a stronger case to be made that Bill’s arc and identity may more accurately be linked to an anxiety about her identity, her parentage, and being seen for who she truly is. [I am indebted to irascible bogtrotter’s thoughts on the subject.]
But the narrative didn’t give a shit about that, so it deprived the character of a significant chance for true development and flourishing. Add to that all the flaming racism, sexism, and homophobia that the showrunners et al. heaped on Bill, and you can see why the way in which she was constructed as a character gave her no hope of any satisfaction or satisfactory development in-universe.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m never watching the new DW again. I’m going back to play in my Shalkaverse sandbox, where it is quite possible that Alison Cheney, the Master, and the Doctor will vworp over to an alternative timeline and extract Bill from that shitshow to help her achieve the dignity, respect, and happiness that she was never able to in her season.