Ladies First: Dr. Martha Jones

Spiraling further into my heroine addiction, I’ve been looking forward to this specific post for awhile now. My boo, Dr. Martha Jones who was portrayed flawlessly by Freema Agyeman.

Which by the by Freema, you and I are going to be together forever and ever and ever and ever.

I don’t give a fuck what that restraining order says.

While each companion represents the audience as we travel with the Doktah, I’ve noticed they’ve also personified different aspects of humanity.

Take Rose Tyler for instance. Not only was she the eyes and the voice of the audience and we traveled with the Doctor vicariously through her, but she was very childlike and represented humanity’s innocence. She was there to inspire the Doctor and heal him from his emotional scars from the Time War with the Daleks and pull him away from the ever-looming darkness. Her warmth always motivated him and it was little wonder that he fell in love with her. Her childlike innocence was also why she was able to selflessly release the power of the Tardis after she garnered it, without hesitation or a second thought.

But as much as I adored Rose, I loved Martha even more. Whereas Rose represented humanity’s innocence, Martha represented humanity’s potential and power. Even though she was human, Martha repeatedly proved herself to be an equal to both the Doctor and Harkness. She was resourceful, smart, self-reliant, hell she was already a doctor and there were several times throughout series 3 where the Doctor got taken out and Martha had to save the day and had Rose been with him in those predicaments, that would’ve been their asses. Martha’s journey also represented the minority experience to me. While humble yet precocious and superior to most of the people she encountered, she was often denigrated and underestimated by legions of myopic humans because of her gender and her race. Like most minorities, Dr. Jones used their bigotry and ignorance to her advantage. Because of their bigotry which forced them to dismiss and underestimate her, Jones would easily outwit and defeat her foes and save the world, again and again.

While other POCs mileage may vary and yes there were areas of opportunity in the narrative (such as Ten needing to be called out on his dickery more than he was), I was for the most part pleased with her story.

Unfortunately said bigotry played out too often in real life with fandom. While there was going to be outrage regardless with pairing Ten with anyone other than Rose, they really broke out the white sheets, dropped their trousers and waved their swastika branded asses when Dr. Jones was introduced. A buddy said it best. You had a bunch of white fangirls who were outraged and going batshit and BAAAWWWed about their special alien pretend-boyfriend being stolen away from his pretty blonde audience insert twu wuv by that shamelessly uppity black girl?

Because heaven forbid that beautiful brilliant, compassionate and powerful black girl think she be worthy of being a romantic interest to an exceptional white man.

Thankfully I wasn’t involved with the Who fandom online at the time and missed most of the fustercluckery. But for POCs who strive for greatness, this is nothing new for us. But this also proves that we desperately need more POC heroes and heroines like Dr. Jones to both expose and debunk these failed mindsets.

I loved at the end of series 3 when Martha realized that she was always the Doctor’s equal and probably more powerful than any timelord. After all, she repeatedly saved one and defeated another.

Humanity’s potential and power, her name is Doctor Martha Jones.

6 thoughts on “Ladies First: Dr. Martha Jones

  1. So much yes! I loved Martha Jones! Ten was a complete jerk to her and that really bothered me throughout, especially because, as you said, that jerkery didn’t really get called out, so it seemed to me that it was considered acceptable by the writers. Which, imo, not cool.

    I didn’t get into Who until season 4 was finished (with the specials about to come out) and due to personal circumstances plus how much we loved it, my husband and I basically watched the whole four seasons within the span of a few weeks. So I wasn’t around for the fuckery online around Martha either, though I heard inklings from friends afterward that Martha was disliked, which blew my mind a little bit (I mean, yeah, I was sad to see Rose go too, but, so?).

    Since then though I’ve run into some of it and I just don’t get it. How can you not love Martha by the end of season three? HOW?

  2. I loved Martha Jones and Rose Tyler. Martha Jones was my favorite companion because she was so self sufficient.

  3. Martha deserved a lot more screen time than she ended up with. I liked having an active and skilled companion with her and her guest role on Torchwood was quite fun.

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