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Media studies comparative Essay

Over the last twenty-five years the television series ‘Doctor Who’ (and others) have altered massively. Different styles of presenting television shows, the way actors act and the certain way the story flows ultimately means that the new Doctor Who series is shown in a brand new light. This essay sets out to outline and highlight similarities and differences between the old Doctor Who of the 1980’s and the brand new series that was recently aired. Many techniques have changed over the years; the new series is a prime comparative example of what’s changed, and what’s not.

Russell T Davis, the writer of Doctor Who has written the story in such a way it reflects current society truths. He wrote Rose Tyler’s part on par with the Doctors own story; he later said neither was more important than the other. However in ‘The Leisure Hive’ the author gives the Doctor a much more superior role compared to Romana who isn’t that important and doesn’t do very much. In the new series Tyler is given a much bigger part, she has more to say and do and is vital for the Doctors plans to succeed. Tyler and Romana also get very different times on the screen.

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For instance in the Leisure Hive the Doctor and Romana are in the shot. They both have equal space, the doctor is standing and is ready for action, but Romana is sitting down looking casual ready to sit and watch it all. (This is the scene where the space ship goes over their head). As I have already deduced Romana isn’t that essential in the Doctors plans and so naturally doesn’t spend as much time acting as the Doctor, whilst Tyler, the Doctor’s close assistant does. It’s all down to the fact that society has changed the way we portray and look at women on television.

Something else that has also changed is the way Tyler acts. She is a lot more masculine than Romana who can be described as ‘girlie’ and ‘weak’. Tyler wears more casual and unisex clothes like jeans, trainers and a tee shirt while Romana is wearing a much more eccentric dress and heels. Tyler and Romana also contribute very different narrative. Tyler has more to say and do than Romana who is basically a background support actor. Because Tyler is invaluable to the story line she is given much more action than Romana.

Most key points and advances in knowledge are made by Tyler, Romana on the other hand does help but she is also a slight hindrance. This is due to her weak attitude and the way she shows herself to the audience. Romana seems to be the person to ‘go with the flow’. She comes across to the audience as someone who means well, but is very lazy and doesn’t want to be there. This is also something else that makes Tyler seem more genuine and realistic. Over the years people have slowly began to stop speaking in Standard English.

They began talking in a much more ‘slangeey way’. Romana still speaks in Standard English. She is very posh, and thinks highly of herself, Tyler on the other hand is much more forward chatty and seems down-to-earth the average person you’d see in the street. This attracts us in, as Tyler is someone we would like to know, she behaves and acts, as we would like to do ourselves. Many things have happened since the release of The Leisure Hive. Romana was told to act in a certain way – and she did. Now we can look back and discuss what has not changed.

In some cases they can be very similar, but mostly they act both as they are expected. In general both characters have got the characteristics to be successful assistants. They are brave, heroic and clever these are some of the type of abilities needed – which have not changed over the years. Tyler and Romana are the same in the sense that they both want to help, but overall Tyler swings it with the authentic acting, and genuine personality with really makes differences to the viewer and how he or she portrays women now.

Many different things have happened, that have affected the way we watch, and portray women in British society. Women are now shown to be leaders, people to stand up and fight for righteousness and oppose evilness, and this follows the typical plot of a drama series (or film), which is why Doctor Who is such a popular and enjoyable series to watch. Richard Callus Media Studies Comparative Textual Analysis Coursework

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