Was Doctor Who's "Eleventh Hour" Too Sexy?

One aspect of Doctor Who is quite interesting, and that aspect is very difficult to find on American television. The British sci-fi series has proven itself to be consistently appropriate and entertaining for children, while remaining engrossing to adults as well. That explains the show’s massive appeal — it’s one of the few shows for which you can find specially-themed Doctor Who USB hubs (for adult geeks) and specially-themed Doctor Who lunchboxes (for smaller geeks).

But some parents are complaining that “The Eleventh Hour” tipped the scales a little to far on the adult side.

Most complaints of that nature are directed toward Karen Gillan’s character, new companion Amy Pond. A headline for British newspaper Daily Mail featured an article calling “Doctor Who’s new girl ‘too sexy’.” The Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, featured complaints from viewers about some aspects of the character, which they found too racy.

“They’ve completely demeaned Doctor Who by replacing good episode stories with slutty girls,” one offended viewer stated, referring to several of Amy’s actions, including her refusal to turn around while the Doctor changed clothes (instead, she looked on with interest while her boyfriend turned around). Complaints were also directed toward the show’s inclusion of Amy’s career as a “kissogram,” someone who is hired to kiss people. As part of her job, Amy dressed as a policewoman, which is the costume she wore for most of the episode (though references were made to her having various other costumes).

“Why did she dress up as a tarty policewoman? Surely that’s not fitting for a family show,” complained another viewer.

In my opinion, the allegations of Pond’s sexiness were all true. However, I disagree that these actions had a negative affect on children. Concerned parents often seem to forget how much can go completely over children’s heads. The statement of Pond’s career as a kissogram was done with such brevity that children barely had time to ask for a definition before being confronted with images of an evil-looking snake creature.

So, while there were certainly sexual undertones in “The Eleventh Hour,” I don’t think there’s much reason for complaint. Sure, adult viewers might have caught these references or even the overt foxiness of Gillan’s character, but it seems unlikely to me that many children understood or even cared about Amy’s career or why she was even dressed as a police woman.

What do you think? Did Doctor Who have too much innuendo? Sound off in the comments below.

  • SamMcPherson

    Never suggested the complaint level was abnormal. The only reason it's of note is because the complaints are about a new character in a new series of the show.

  • My 2 cents

    Part of the Doctor has always been an avuncular asexuality and this business of 'romance' for the Doctor is patently ludicrous and has always been. It's addition is a sop to that part of the audience that thinks two people cannot be close friends without being romantically involved. It's an insulting idea, lazy writing and demeans the decades-old series history.As to tartiness, there was plenty of skimpy clothes on the girls back in the old series (Leela? Fur bikini?) but no pretense was made that the Doctor was romantically involved with them. This turns him from a gentleman adventurer with a spunky companion to a pervy old man with a penchant for abducting young girls (and occasionally boys). The notion is offensive and demeaning to all involved.I truly hope, since the entire series is already filmed and there's no changing it now, that the 'romantic/sexualized' elements are easily ignorable. Every show on television has some trite romantic element. The Doctor doesn't need any.

  • Nnvyrbzwx

    In short, yes, I do think the episode was "too sexy". Amy Pond's character could have been introduced in a hundred other ways, without having to bring semi-lewd content into what is supposed to be a family show. But actually, the veiled reference to pornography disappointed me more than Amy's behavior. Did we really need that in an episode that millions of kids were watching? At least it wasn't condoned, but it still wasn't necessary.However, two things go a long way to redeeming "The Eleventh Hour": one, it was (unfortunately) something of an improvement over many episodes from the Russell T. Davies era (I'm sorry, but he was a pervert). Two, I doubt very much that Amy will have much chance to be overly "sexy" in the episodes yet to come. I don't think the producers intend to make her a sex symbol; they're far more interested in exploring her rather complex personality – which is something that Davies would never have taken the time to do.

  • http://scottfogg.blogspot.com/ tsfogg

    Regardless of what people think, the entire season's already been shot. Not much they can do now tone it down. I didn't have a problem with it, but I've never seen the show as much of a children's show (but I suppose it is).

  • Maia

    Didn't the Doctor himself get upset about the fact that Amy is a kissogram? I just don't see the big deal.

  • MarkOEstes

    Wow… I can't believe these comments about RTD's era of DW. I didn't find anything wrong with either Amy Pond's sexiness (she lives up to Rose and Martha's sexy appeal from the RTD era and previous sexy companions beforehand) nor did I find RTD's era "perverted" or "wrong" in the sense people are making a fuss over. Doctor Who has made it to the new millennium, when will we as a people do so as well?

  • Paladine

    I agree with MarkOEstes, we have had a number of very attractive female companions for Doctor Who in the past, are we not allowed to have one again? The setup for her is different than any of the previous companions but that doesnt detract from the story she will more than likely be swept up and along with. Which as Russell T Davies is no longer a writer on the series will more than likely be well worth watching.I will watch this series and find the media "outrage" to be a joke, its easy to find anyone thats upset by anything especially when they are uptight and too PC for their own good. It's TV, if you want the same safe garbage that keeps being spewed up there's some reality TV shows on most channels.

  • Paladine

    Where was the pornographic reference? I think I'll watch it again to see what you're on about.

  • JW

    I think everyone's getting a little bit carried away, It seems to me that parents these days are so scared that their children are not under their control for fear that the big bad monster called life will get them, they wrap them up so tightly in cotton wool they are shielded from any experience what so ever. My parents were quite relaxed with me, if they thought a show was a little too much, they stopped me watching it….but I still saw a lot of shows that were what may be consider too be too adult orientated, and I am fine. I have grown up, have a successful job and can interact with other human beings, which is a lot to be said given that children seem to spend the majority of there years hidden away in front of game consoles I guess. I've even adopted the same attitude with my own children…and shock horror they are fine too, both at university and both really well adjusted and fun loving young adults…..C'mon guys, ease up..it's just a TV show, and lets face it, a damn good one! At least all these concerned parents can take comfort from the fact that their little ones will probably ask their school teachers about it and not them…lucky escape huh? TUT!

  • Chloe Heffernan

    After watching Matt Smith play the role of Dr Who I was gob-smacked he was brilliant he fit the role perfectly. I think these complaints of the new series being too sexy are ridiculous so what if she wore a mini skirt (its not a crime people)and I certainly didn't mind when the Doctor got changed. Personally I think its about time they got a good looking Doctor and for our age too.Granted the storyline was a bit boring but I just think they were trying to show us what Matt Smith was made of.When David Tennant came on the scene I can remember all the complaint and people were saying they wanted the old Doctor and you all soon grew too him. Matt Smith deserves a bit of praise not people trashing him all over the newspapers. As for the complaints about the so called sexy scenes you people need to wake up and face the facts Doctor Who is turning into a teenagers program and there is a lot worse out there.The people that said the Doctors new sidekick was a slut just remember jealousy is a awful thing and maybe some day you will all grow up.P.S Congrats Matt Smith you deserve the role and as the Irish say good un ya.

  • Nnvyrbzwx

    It was very mild, really. Just not necessary. It was the part where the Doctor takes Jeff's laptop and tells him to "get a girlfriend".

  • http://twitter.com/SithLordMalak David Fischer

    This show has frequently shown murders on-screen, and only now do parents say its too adult?I guess murder, violence, death, and destruction are fine; but a sexy girl? HOW DARE THEY?!

  • Ron

    She's hot and it's great.

  • Dr Who fan in Americ

    As an American, who watches Dr Who faithfully, I can honetly say that I found nothing racy in the Eleventh Hour episode. However, I know other Americans who saw it and they become squeamish when men comment on other men being handsome, like when Dr Who said "the good looking one". Yet, many Americans don't think twice about letting their kids (any age) watch shows where divorce is treated as ok, violence is considered exciting, and out-of-wedlock babies are just fine and dandy. Funny how women in our society can comment on other women with comments like "She is so beautiful" or "She is very sexy" but a guy cannot comment about other men, unless there is a hint of a put-down in it akin to "He's a pretty boy" or jealousy with "He's a chick magnet". Nevertheless, I find that some of the monsters on Dr Who, are a bit frightening for young children, but certainly not any worse than some of the creatures seen in the Harriette Potter flicks.

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