Steven Moffat was NOT sexuallizing Irene Adler by making her naked.
There is NOT A SINGLE POINT in that scene where she is viewed purely as a sexual object by either Sherlock or John.
If you actually pay attention you’ll see the reason she chooses to be naked is so Sherlock can’t deduce anything about her (as the majority of his deductions are done from clothes, etc.). THIS GIVES HER THE POWER IN THE SCENE. YES, SHE IS USING HER BODY AS AN ADVANTAGE BUT HER POWER HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SEXUALIZATION OF IT.
Seriously, if you think that because a woman is naked on screen, she is being sexualized then maybe you should take a good hard look at your own views on feminism and misogyny, rather than accusing writers of the latter.
Irene most definitely is framed as a sexual being - or at least a person very talented at using sex - and if one purely defines “sexualisation” in these terms than it does technically take place during A Scandal in Belgravia.
But as the OP points out, her nakedness does not make her a sexual object and it does not invite the viewer to see her as one. Instead, it is an expression of wit and power. She outwits the protagonist of the show effortlessly here by using every tool available to he.
Her body - or what she chose to cover it with, how she chose to cover it with - would have been a weapon in any scenario in which she meets Sherlock Holmes, full of hints, full of secrets. And with that one choice, she makes it her weapon. And Sherlock is quite literally clueless.
AnonymousI've been hearing rumors that twelve is going to be a bit like the seventh doctor (as eleven was a bit like the second.) What are your thoughts on the subject?
I really can’t comment. For one, I’m really not prone to speculation in the first place… also, my Classic Who watching never progressed that far.
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Deep Breath: “It’s a huge introductory show. What if your best friend was somebody else? It’s really about Clara trying to cope with that - and whether or not she even likes who he is, mixed in with a truly terrifying monster.”
2. “We’ve done a really good Dalek one by saying they’re nasty. It’s actually quite a gritty Dalek adventure. We go without question into the most dangerous place in the universe - the last place the Doctor should be, and you will know that by the end of the pre-titles.”
3. It’s the Doctor meets Robin Hood. And it’s about being a hero. The Doctor’s going through a period of his life where he’s worrying about whether he counts as a good man. It’s very, very funny. Everything you want in a good Robin Hood is going to be there.”
4. “A complete departure for me in terms of writing Doctor Who. A tiny guest cast, no CGI. It’s the story of a date and the Doctor having what appears to be a mild nervous breakdown. There’s a little germ of Coupling in it. It’s actually quite a scary one. I sometimes wonder: “What does the Doctor do when there’s nothing going on? Does he go and find something to poke a stick at?” Of course he must. Essentially it’s downtime for the Doctor. But don’t worry, it involves a monster.”
5. “It’s like a heist movie done with Doctor Who. It’s got a cracking monster in it, one of Neill Gorton’s finest creations. And Keeley Hawes.”
6. “An absolute hoot of an episode with some surprisingly serious bits in it. If you did know somebody like the Doctor and you did think it was okay to slip away with him, what effect would that have on your life? What would that do to the people around you? I sit and watch this one to cheer myself up. I suppose it’s not unlike The Lodger in certain respects.”
7. “Proper drama. With monsters and all the Doctor Who stuff that you could want. It’s probably quite a big statement of where we are now with the show. This might be where you can argue that the new approach is, for the first time, seen uncluttered by any of the old approach. It’s very strong. And there’s a callback to a past episode. Sort of. You’ll see.”
8. “Brilliant script. Brilliant idea for a monster. It looks stunning in a very glamorous way. And it has Foxes singing. There’s a callback to something from Matt’s first series. Sometimes I play a long game. And sometimes I just think “We never actually tied that off…shall we just go and sort that now?” Usually because I think it would be incredibly funny. I like the idea that the Doctor takes that long. “Yes, I’ll be there in a moment…” Several years later…”
9. “It’s a horror story. It starts off with a very …. idea and becomes really quite frightening by the end. A scary one. A proper scary one with one of our best ever sight gags in it. It runs throughout the episode and the climax of this particular gag, I think, is just glorious. I remember reading it out at the readthrough and everyone was just clapping and cheering at Jamie Mathieson’s idea.”
10. It’s a beautiful script; it’s really lyrical and poetic, and boldly so. A fairytale, but not in the sense that I’ve tended to write a fairytale. Heartfelt, eloquent, quite, quite different. The main visual idea is so clever. I think it’s going to be a stunner.
11-12.”The finale. Quite a strong emotional story to this. It’s about Clara and the Doctor and the fact that the way they interact might not be healthy for everyone around them. That sounds very bleak but don’t worry, there’s lots of nonsense in it too. It’s high octane action adventure, with Cybermen. And some proper UNIT stuff.”
This appears to be from a current issue of SFX by the way, in case anyone’s wondering, because I sure as hell was.
This all sounds amazing. And it’s the greatest kind of spoiler too - drawing on themes and atmosphere rather than giving away a lot of the plot.
Steven Moffat frequently asks the audience to think one thing about a character and then turns around to put it into question.
We are asked to laugh about Miss Evangelista and her lack of intelligence. It’s not an unsympathetic portrayal, but in the end comments like "couldn’t tell the difference between the escape pod and the bathroom - we had to go back for her… twice" are meant to incite amusement. But in the moment of her death, it comes back to haunt us: "Don’t tell the others, they’ll only laugh." There couldn’t be a more poignant reminder that this was in fact a person with thoughts and a person who suffered under the treatment of others at that.
Similarly, with the exception of a few glimpses which belie her perceptiveness and wit, Elizabeth I spends much of TDotD as comic relief and romantic conquest. It connects seamlessly to the caricature presented during the RTD era. But by the end of the episode, "the arrogance that typifies their kind" does not only apply to the Zygons, men in general or the Doctor in particular. It becomes a reminder of a misjudgement by the audience. Because Elizabeth not only defeats the Zygon disguised as her, but she figures out the Zygons’ entire plan and contributes considerably to saving her kingdom.
The Impossble Girl arc represents this scenario on a grand scale. "Right then, Clara Oswald. Time to find out who you are." - With The Snowmen at the latest, Clara’s story becomes a guessing game. The Doctor views Clara as a mystery and the audience is there alongside with him. But not only is this approach challenged repeatedly throughout the series, from Emma’s admonition ("She’s a perfectly ordinary girl… isn’t that enough?") to the Doctor’s behaviour scaring Clara in JttCotT, the final reveal is nothing short of a subversion. Because Clara wasn’t a mystery to be solved, wasn’t someone else’s daughter, wasn’t a trap or a gift… but just Clara, an ordinary woman, whose choice saved the Doctor’ life.
Ultimately, I think there are reasons to dislike these creative decisions. They play a deceptive game with the audience, after all, and while I personally enjoy that, I’d understand if it wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea. But critiques I’ve seen of these characters almost exclusively ignore that this reversal is even taking place. And that’s wrong.
Haha, well, I don’t really consider myself part of the Moffat defense business here. (It does happen… a lot… but it’s more about loving the show and appreciating characters than about rebuttals or disagreements. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.) But that is catchy.