Last week I left the northern english stereotype in a pretty sorry state. As we move into the nineties things didn’t look great, the North was seen as a place full of drinkers, pie eaters and generally lazy people who weren’t intelligent and were instead fighty and insecure. I used Dave Lister as an example last week but it can be seen in a lot of comedy series from the time. But at the turn of the century the stereotype began to shift again. Last week I talked about how Dave Listers redeeming quality was his integrity and his loyalty. These qualities became the backbone of a positive northern stereotype that evolved on screen with the reboot/reimagining of the BBC TV series Doctor Who in 2005.
Picture source: http://image-cdn.zap2it.com/images/christopher-eccleston-doctor-who-50th-anniversary.jpg [acessed 26/05/2015].
When Russell T Davies was brought on board to direct the series he decided to chooses a northern actor to take on the role of the Doctor. Actor Christopher Eccelston was brought on to the project as a character that knew all about time and space but also had loyalty and integrity. Eccelstons Doctor still has hints of that old nineties stereotype, there are points in the series were he is intimidating and fighty displaying qualities rare in previous iterations of the character. It’s also interesting to look at Eccelstons Doctor in comparison to his southern companion, Rose, she is absent minded and vain at times but is still shown to have positive qualities that she learns from the Doctor, such as loyalty. This created a subtle shift in the stereotypes of the north/south relationship that is now being explored in a very big way every sunday night on Game of Thrones *cue opening titles*.
…and that is what I will be discussing tomorrow in the finale of Northern English Stereotypes and Pop Culture!