One thing I will say about 7x05 is that it sure did generate a lot to talk about (seriously, there's like a dozen different topics I am holding off making posts about) and I actually even started writing a fic, although naturally I am jinxing myself by saying that out loud. (On... the internet...) So... well done there I guess?

I told placebetween, who does not watch Doctor Who but remains endlessly fascinated by its fandom wank, about how Eleven "always rips out the last page of a book" because then the story doesn't have to end and he hates endings, and she replied "manic pixie dream Doctor" and I am telling you this because it remains one of the most accurate summations of Eleven I have read. I MEAN JUST THINK ABOUT IT. He rips out the last page of a book because he doesn't like endings ha ha ha oh Doctor you so quirky. Can't you just imagine Zooey Deschanel in a bowtie and suspenders crooning "I wear a fez now, fezzes are cool"? I KNOW YOU CAN.

Anyway Eleven's the worst is what I'm saying.

Anyway, both of those things sort of lead me to this, which springs from Doctor Who musings but is in no way limited to Doctor Who or DW fandom.

SO the big srs discussion question I pose to you all is: what makes a good character? Is it a combination of narrative and development or is it something at the core of the character, the basic idea and traits? Can a good character be a good character but be poorly written, or does being poorly written automatically mean they can't be? Can a good character be trapped in a poor narrative and/or poorly developed and still be a good character?

And I guess the flipside of that is: can a character that is well-developed and/or have a good narrative and still be a "bad" (as in, objectively poorly constructed, not "bad" as in "evil" or unlikable) character?

I ask because to me, I guess, having a good narrative/being well-developed/otherwise "well written" is what makes a "good character" -- but I think other people must not feel the same, because I often see people claim someone as a great character in spite of a poor narrative, poor development, whatever. I'm thinking specifically of Amy Pond here, but it's not just Amy -- Martha gets this a lot as well ("I love Martha, she's amazing, even though the writers didn't do her justice"), and I'm sure it applies to other characters and other fandoms. (Glee springs to mind, given how much Glee fans seem to hate Glee, but I don't watch so I can't pick out specific examples.)

It's not even getting into the argument of whether or not Amy or Martha (for example) are poorly developed/trapped in poor narratives, because what sticks out to me is when I see someone say both at once; they define the narrative and/or development as bad but also go on to describe the character as great in spite of this. It's also I think something different from people having a favourite character, because that's sort of a more personal thing and I can imagine latching onto a character and then not particularly liking what happens with them but retaining that fondness anyway.

I don't think there's a right answer here but I am curious what people think.
 
 
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