The question our group has chosen is: How have the portrayals of the female companions of the Doctor in the BBC television show Doctor Who changed over the course of the show’s run, including the old and new series? We arrived at this question after first selecting the show we wanted to talk about. We chose Doctor Who because it is a long standing show that spans many decades, and since the female companion is such a significant and constant aspect of the show, we felt that Doctor Who would be a good litmus test for the changes of societal attitudes as regards female representation in television. We decided to research societal changes in attitudes regarding women because understanding the history of sexism is necessary for understanding sexism today. Doctor Who is an especially good way to explore this question because fiction can be an unconscious reflection of the majority’s opinions as shows are often calculated to appeal to as many people as possible. Our question is important because we can understand the historical background of today’s attitudes towards women as represented by fictional female characters in a show that is enjoyed by many demographics, and has been airing through many more generations than the average television show does. We are looking forward to diving into this research project and discovering how women have been portrayed throughout the decades-long run of Doctor Who.
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