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Representation of Gender Doctor Who clip

Sophie Boston

In the Doctor Who clip the representational issue of Gender is displayed through the use of camera. At the beginning of the clip, the scene is set through a wide angle establishing shot which also displays the setting and location which appears to be a sort of secret underground basement not the sort of a place a woman should be. There is also a canted shot which shows The Master at the top of stairs which then changes to a low angle shot illustrating Martha, the female protagonist, at the bottom of the stairs. This difference in levels already illuminates the contrasting levels of control, power and authority. As well as this, there is a low angle shot taken from Marthas level which shows the throw of the item going from Martha (lower) to The Master (upper) to display the change of authority and defeat. Another high angle shot presents the Doctors cage is placed on a lower level than The Master but when he transforms back into himself, The Master goes down a level till he is equal to the Doctor, illuminating the now equal status in power but Martha is still on the lower floor, which suggests that even she is inferior to the Doctor. A high angle used at the beginning showing The Master standing up tall on the highest juxtaposes with the low angle of him at the end of the clip as he trembles on the stairs, fallen and defeated could suggest that there can only be one alpha male at one time. A wide shot of The Master during mid conversation also shows the audience a woman, The Masters supposed wife, standing on a level even above The Master which could suggest that she has womanly power over him, but he never stands directly next, he doesnt even acknowledge her which also proposes an idea that they may be in an allegiance together but it could easily change clearly they have a rocky relationship. A close up of the clock ticking illustrates that there is not much time, but Martha, a woman, manages to save the world typically a males job. There are a lot of camera movements in this clip as well, such as zooms when the desire for a facial expression is wanted, and dolly tracking movements are used to show the Doctor in the cage and Marthas family either side of the protagonist are threats. There is a Dutch tilt shot of the earth and the aliens that threaten to annihilate the planet which puts pressure on Martha. Secondly, the audience see that there are gender related issues through the employment of body language and facial expressions. The audience can guess from the way The Master just casually walks around as if he owns the place, swings his arms dramatically, and rolls his eyes at what he thinks is a pathetic attempt from Martha to save the world indicates his mockery of her, however he knows has lost when she starts her explanation but tries to laugh it off. This is where Martha regains control of the situation. As well as this, Martha is told boldly and mercilessly by The Master to first kneel which already implies that she is giving into his commands and he is in power at this point, but then he tells her to bow your head an ultimate sign of defeat and recognition of lost power and embarrassment as he humiliates her in front of her family. Also, the flashback scene where Martha goes travelling across the world to spread the message portrays her scared and tired body language and facial expressions e.g. the arms wrapped around her, pained eyes, but feet still stepping forward display her strong and much enduring character- she is a stereotypical woman. Martha also gains some defiance and fire in her when she scoffs at his rather dramatic excitement about the potential to take over the world and then lifts her head- breaking the hold he has over her shes fighting back. Clearly, he is not a man to be reckoned with and mocked as her family stare in what looks like horror when she chuckles softly.

This defiance pays off when the audience see the panic painted on The Masters face when he realises the truth of what she is saying and the knowledge that he has been defeated by a woman no less. The Doctor on the other hand appears more reasonable and kind though he becomes superior to The Master at the end, he seems to regret what he has to do and has an almost vague and pitiful expression when he raises his hand to destroy The Master. Another tool used in the process of making the gender issues brought to life is sound. Diegetic dialogue is used continuously throughout the entire clip, and part of what the characters say can lead to assumptions of superiority over gender. For example The Master commanding Martha to kneel and bow her head indicates that he is superior over her and has the power to tell her to do these things. Perhaps if he did not have her family threatened she may even resist doing these actions. Some of The Masters other comments such as You had companions Doctor, that managed to absorb the time vortex, but this one is useless! is very demeaning to Martha, makes her feel useless and weak, but also makes the Doctor sound almost promiscuous hes had all these other companions which have all been female fans of Doctor Who will wonder why? However his comment backfires on him as Martha is the one that has the last laugh. As well as this, Martha a first remains silent and her voice is shaky but once she scoffs at his evil plan and interrupts him, her voice in the following conversation employs strength and fire into her voice shes a fighter. The Doctor says something for the first time as a creature: As if I would ask her to kill. this implies that Martha or women generally are too weak to kill, its not in our nature, we couldnt possibly do that. Though its not shown in this Doctor Who clip, films, TV programmes, plays and books such as Macbeth by Shakespeare and The Agamemnon by Aeschylus say differently. When she travels round the world, Martha tells people of the greatness the Doctor emits and then she pauses before adding I love him. this could be her weakness and her downfall later on. Also, the scene where it shows all the people round the world chanting simultaneously Doctor displays men and woman, showing that both sexes have an equal chance and power to bring the Doctor to bring the Doctor back to life and even The Masters wife whispers it too, as if she has realised which side is good. Non diegetic background music sounds very westernised, like the sort of music that occurs when two cowboys prepare for a duel this suggests and forebodes a fight. This music changes to a deeper, more meaningful tone as the clip goes on. The representational issue of gender is also portrayed through the utilization of editing. Flashbacks/cross cutting shots are used to view the scene where Martha travels across the world in order to help the Doctor this little clip, which has been tinted slightly in what looks like a bluey/grey hue, gives the audience a break from the intensity of the situation and also allows them to see other surroundings, which makes the clip more interesting. It also helps the audience to see the hardships that Martha went through in order to save to the Doctor. As well as this, shot reverse shots are used to convey the flowing and quick witty responses the characters give each other. This is how the audience sees the gradual defeat of the villain and how Martha rises up. Shot reverse shots are also used at the start of the clip Martha, Master, Marthas family, Master, Martha, Captain Jack to highlight the danger she is in and the consequences she could trigger. There are plenty of eye line matches, especially when Martha defies The Master and looks him straight in the eye she is not afraid of him. The entire clip (except for the flashback) is created by invisible editing the shots all flow together so the viewers do not really register the different sequences.

Parallel editing is used when the viewers see what is going in the basement location but also where the missiles and alien ships are seen the audience gets a bigger picture and extremity of the situation. Special effects are used for the Doctors transformation used to emphasise the power he emits, and also the power males and females have emitted across the world to save the Doctor. The special effects used on the Doctor, to make him look like a alien, also says to the audience that Martha and her family are strong enough and adapt to new situations quickly she is unfazed by the inhumane being in the cage she loves it even. Lastly, through the exploitation of mis en scene, the audience gets an impression some representational issues of gender. Through the establishing shot at the beginning, the viewers see the location, as said previously, some secret basement with an assortment of props machines and switches. It looks like some sort of control room and gives an impression that if a switch is pressed, something bad will happen. The other location we see are the alien ships swarming over the earth, and it is Martha that stops them she is a heroine, and the missiles, which immediately connote danger and death. Lighting as well, tells the audience something about position for example Martha is in darkness until she rises up while The Master has a spotlight on him which shows where the authority lies. Also in the flashback scene there is a candle in the foreground which represents hope, a light in the darkness. Props include the guns that the burly security guards hold when Martha runs to her family during the transformation the security guard does nothing, though he is a man, and is probably stronger than all of them as well as holding a gun, he does nothing because he seems to know that his source of authority (The Master) has been defeated so has his position. As well as this, even the Doctor is meant to be invincible, he, as a creature, is being kept locked in a cage suggesting that he is not as powerful as he seems. Costumes and makeup also help present the issue of gender. The woman that is supposedly the wife of The Master wears a scarlet red dress a colour that connotes love and passion but also danger and blood. She is being sexualised and is clearly an owned object, property of The Master, who is dressed in similarly smart class a properly smart business suit. Martha herself in dressed in very spy looking clothes dressed completely in black, wearing army like trousers instead of a skirt or dress which suggest she is strong like a man. Captain Jack is wearing a simple T-Shirt and jeans which are all muddy and filthy like his face, which proposes he is enduring like Martha. The Doctor, before transforming, is dressed in simple brown rags, displaying his inferior status.