Impossible Worlds, Martha Hate & 13th Doctor Casting Rumour

Oh yes, it is that time of the week again, as the podKast team of Christian Cawley, James McLean and Brian A Terranova bring you a range of topics and conversation, ranging from insane rumours concerning the Thirteenth Doctor to why fandom doesn’t seem to like Martha Jones. This is particularly baffling, as we love her!

Look out also for talk on TV marathons, some interesting new Doctor Who merchandise, our recollections of 1980s Doctor Who toys, and the possibility of spoiling Star Wars: The Force Awakens by buying all of the 13″ figures and listening to the dialogue they play…


Kasterborous PodKast Series 5 Episode 30 Shownotes

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10 thoughts on “Impossible Worlds, Martha Hate & 13th Doctor Casting Rumour

  1. I wouldn’t go so far as to say hate. I wouldn’t even say dislike. And it’s nothing against the actress – or the idea of a non-Caucasian companion – but I just never thought the Doctor and Martha gelled. The chemistry I felt just wasn’t there. Part of it was they overplayed the “unrequited love” angle a bit too much and I say that as someone who is all for Doctor-companion romance and think the Ten-Rose and Twelve-Clara (yes I said it, so sue me) pairings are the most romantic we’ve seen since Four-Romana II. But it just didn’t work with Martha. She actually became more interesting as a character when she went to Torchwood.

    1. My lawyers (the leagues of them that I have waiting in my immense mansion basement) are filing their papers. But seriously, how do you see romance between those two? I see more as siblings. Twelve loves Clara for sure, as an older brother would, a little uncomfortable to talk about emotions and not have that “macho / masculine” persona. I don’t think of it as a romantic thing in the least. I am curious about your perspective though.

  2. People don’t like Martha because of the unrequited love element to her story which results in her coming across as a useless spare part. All of her time in the TARDIS was about how she was NotRose, it’s as if RTD knew people would resent her for being NotRose and decided to point it out to us every other scene.

    It speaks volumes that her two best stories (you can’t deny that they are her best) are “Human Nature/The Family of Blood” and “Blink”. In the former she’s for all intents and purposes without the Doctor and forced to fend for herself (proving how good she could’ve been without the love story) whilst in the latter any randomly selected companion could fill her role. Then there’s stories like “The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky”, “The Doctor’s Daughter” and “The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End” which all see her given a pointless side-plot that doesn’t go anywhere.

    Freema Agyeman played the part well. It’s a shame Martha was so poorly served by the overarching storyline she was given.

    1. The unrequited love story was a bit pointless. Especially, by her second episode she is whining that the Doctor is still mentioning Rose. I’m far from the biggest fan of that arc, but why wouldn’t someone grieve the loss of their friend for some time. And yes, those are her best stories – and some of the best damn stories overall in Doctor Who as well.

      I wondered what she could’ve done in two seasons. We can all see how the actor portraying the Doctor can mature in the role with some time. The said should be said of companions. Naturally, their stays should be shorter, but who can say what they’d be like with more time. What would’ve Katarina be like with a few stories unders her belt? A proto-Leela? What would Sarah Jane been like with just a season?

    2. Very well said. While I still like series 3 and find it the only bearable part of the Tennant/RTD era, the writing and story arc was very clumsy (LotTL is a bit like watching someone take a perfectly useful piece of furniture and set about trashing it, spitting on it and then throwing it into a fire). It’s a pity that we couldn’t have seen the character of Martha under a better set of writers/showrunner. Martha’s resourceful, intelligent and capable (sort of the anti-Rose but in a more positive way, rather than how she was envisaged by RTD) and I would have liked her to make a return with 11 as I think she would have really shined working with a doctor who didn’t treat her with contempt and who would have acknowledged her quiet competence. Ah well, that’s for fan fiction or Titan comics or similar I guess. Ultimately though, Martha was yet another aspect of new Who during RTD’s era which was sacrificed on the bonfire of vanities that was RTD’s infantile obsession with Wose and her wuv for Doctor 10.

  3. I think Martha’s character had some promise in Smith & Jones, and her characterization deteoriated a bit afterwards (not enough to warrant hating her or disliking her). And I don’t want to lump all her character’s opponents into one group (some have valid criticisms), but there is a lot of racism involved. I’ve seen on less reputable “fan” sites than Kasterborous.

    I remember reading one woman’s posts, going on and on about how the Doctor should never have taken on a new person as a companion. She would occassionally hint at some weird racial things, but was just bewildered by the fact that the Doctor could have a companion that was not an established character in a prior season. It was just incomprehensible to her, and she was just fanatical about Rose. That plays into to: the Rose romance obsessers (again, if you have liked that aspect or not, I’m only talking about the vocal minority who insist that Doctor Who was only ever and only will ever be about the 10th Doctor and Rose and nothing else); they were going to crucify whatever companion came next.

  4. I rather liked Martha – not as good (in characterisation that is) as Donna, but infinitely better than the Dreaded Floral One (as I believe Moo called her: I love it!). Freema’s a good actress and she made a good job of a tricky story line.

    Actually, I can’t think of any of the actresses who’ve played companions as being anything but good. I don’t particularly like the characters of Rose or Amy, but the actresses themselves played the parts well.

  5. Martha is by far my favourite of all of the RTD era companions. It’s a shame that the dead hand of the Rose story arc lay over much of her time and even when she came back briefly in series 4, she had to cede ground to the dreaded floral supreme being. I like that she’s not ‘special’ in a sci-fi way that Rose, Donna and Clara series 7B were made ‘special’ because of some plot element (absorbing the Tardis energy, two way meta crisis, time splinter) and although not as well rounded a character as Amy or current Clara, like those two her impact on the action of the plot is her common sense and loyalty, not some special powers she has. I personally would have liked to see her used better in series 4 and indeed, much prefer her to Donna. I guess a lot of the hate directed at her is probably from the usual Ten-Rose squee briqade and to some extent, RTD encouraged this by making Martha so obviously the ‘not Rose’ in most of series 3 until she had won 10’s approval. Series 3 remains the only one in Tennant’s run I think has more good than bad and that’s mainly because of the marvellous, unfairly maligned and rather magnificent Martha!

  6. Billie Piper is more well-known to genre fans in the US, I believe than Freema due to Penny Dreadful. Yes Freema is part of Sense8, but not everyone has Netflix and her other major US role was the drama “The Carrie Diaries” on the CW. Also Disney XD is showing the Martha series currently, so perhaps there is a contractual thing between XD and BBCA.

    If someone is a casual viewer, television marathons are great. Also I like them just because it is something to have in the background while I’m online. Since BBCAmerica edits their episodes you can also “see” what they cut.

  7. Leaving aside the extremes of the fanbase, where will be found a degree of hate for anything in Doctor Who, I wasn’t aware that there was much hate for Martha. If anything, her problem is beigeness, her character didn’t create much of an impression.
    1) The Doctor wasn’t interested in her for much of S3, and if the Doctor isn’t interested, then that’s not a good start
    2) I never got the feeling that David and Freema clicked like he did with Billie and Catherine. You can see the off screen chemistry between Peter and Jenna for example, it makes such a difference.
    3) She left too early, she needed a second series to establish herself. Those appearances in S4 were completely overshadowed by Donna.
    4) Freema wasn’t very famous at the time, and still isn’t. If she had become a big star, then her episodes of Who would have got more public interest subsequently…

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