A great Christmas for women on TV

What a great Christmas for women on TV.

In Dr Who, Steven Moffat managed to change the gun-carrying, space-ship-driving female character into simply a womb, suitable for carrying life.   If Dr Who can really no longer save races from destruction as he doesn’t have a woman’s strength, this hopefully means we can look forward to a female Dr Who?  I doubt it somehow.

Then Michael McIntyre’s BBC special couldn’t find a single woman to say something funny.  Kylie and Pixie looked fetching in their pretty dresses.  And the usually-brilliant Miranda Hart played a simpering romantic fool – which was funny, because she doesn’t look like Barbie and …  Oh wait, that was it.  Not one funny word from anyone who wasn’t male and white.  And that much-hyped return of Rob Brydon to stand-up – oh it was funny.  He threatened Carol Vorderman with sexual violence, and then – the laughter – reduced Holly Valance to a couple of holes.

To top it off on the BBC, Sherlock then reduced Irene Adler – one of the great early-feminist pop-characters – to a pawn in the men’s game.  (If you want to read more about this, I recommend this post on Another Angry Woman and won’t try to rewrite this as it’s brilliant).

Over on ITV in Downton Abbey, Lady Mary suddenly went off her equal-match Sir Richard (who the writers had to make extra-mean as everyone realised he was much more fun than simpering Matthew) to become a loving-wife to Matthew.  Gone was her chance to build something, to enter a partnership.  She instead chose true-love, which should be enough of an aim on it’s own for any woman of course.

What has happened to women on TV?  Was this a recession-Christmas-nostalgia thing – back to the good old days when women high-kicked behind the male-stars?  Whatever it was, I really hope it is a Christmas-thing.

I hope when Dr Who replaces Amy this year, they find another strong side-kick not just a walking-womb.  I hope that the BBC starts to think about diversity on it’s prime-time panel shows.  I hope drama-writers can think of one or two genuinely interesting and well-developed female characters.  But I have a horrible feeling these are dreams rather than new years resolutions.