nyxelestia asked: Can you provide info on black merchants in Venice in the early 1400's? (Or if you already have, link me? I thought you did a post on this but can't find it.) I ask specifically because of the Doctor Who episode "Vampires in Venice", which guest stars a black merchant and his daughter. A friend of mine is convinced doing so was them just trying "win race points" and I want to be able to tell him otherwise, and you provide some of the best historical resources around. Please and thank you! ♥
I mean it’s not early 1400s but by the 1500s the friggin Duke of
VeniceFlorence was Black so there’s that.
P.S. what the heck are “Race points”????
In support of your point, I’d like to mention that I often respond to these questions by pointing out that people had boats and there was healthy trade all over the Mediterranean. I think people forget that trade routes go in more than one direction and that as a result, people of colour got around just like white people got around. You have trade empires and people of a variety of skin tones owning or sailing ships. Large coastal cities pretty much anywhere during the high middle ages had populations of people of a variety of national origins. It is in the nature of sailors to fraternize with the locals. Some people will take a liking to another city in another country and end up staying. Some large trading concerns will find it convenient to send agents to do business in their name in cities where they do a lot of business. Those agents may bring families or marry locals.
Even the English, who were comparatively xenophobic and had laws about where foreigners were allowed to live had populations of native born descendants of people originally from over seas and had a small, but thriving population of native Londoners of African decent by the late middle Ages.
Venice had a massive trading Empire that included routes to parts of Africa and Asia. of course their were PoC living there as there where in major port cities all over Italy.
— Steven Moffat (x)
Why my love for RTD and Ryan Murphy comes from exactly the same place. Ha!
once, looking at me with absolute incredulity; he
couldn’t believe it. He said, ‘Tom Baker?’ A man in
his late thirties. I said, ‘Yes’. He said, ‘Tom Baker?’ I
said, ‘Yes!’ And he looked at me and in his brain he
catapulted back in time and he said, ‘You know, when I
was a boy, I was in a home for children; nobody wanted
us, you know? It was terrible. And you made Saturday
night good.’ And I went to say something to him and I
could see him so close to tears that he couldn’t speak.
And he shook his head as if to say, ‘Don’t go on, don’t
remind me’ and he just did [a thumbs up]. Such a
common thing, isn’t it, but suddenly backed up with
an expression on his face through his tears that was
a knighthood. It was a knighthood. Just thumbs up,
meaning it was great, and thanks. It’s incredible, isn’t
it? Just a gesture."
— Tom Baker (via timewandererdavid)
Spoilers: You’ve been warned:
Hah! I guessed where the Hurt Doctor fell in the Timeline back when the previous episode aired! (Logged at BPAL’s Doctor Who Thread.) It is logical, and still is. I loved the hurt Doctor asking ten and eleven why they were so afraid of being grown ups and them giving him The Look. I’ve written before about the various regenerations and the sense of age in the the later ones despite the young bodies and how much younger the earlier incarnations genuinely feel, and the way that speaks to me. It was weirdly affirming to have various canonical commentary here along the lines of Clara talking about the Doctor’s eyes. I think this story needed telling. It really did bridge the old Who Doctor always trying to solve things peacefully where possible, with Nine’s Bad Wolf Doctor who was willing to blow up the earth to destroy the Daleks because he’d done it to Gallifray once, the same one who turned Captain Jack Harkness first into a classic Old Who optimistic companion and then into the dark mirror that could do what he did in CoE. The two versions of Jack that war in Miracle Day: Immortal Sins really do seem to me a shadow of a similar tension between old and new Who that makes for some of the more interesting twists in the Doctor’s character. This was beautiful for me that way, because it spoke thematically to the whole of new Who in Torchwood and it’s running dialog with old who’s legacy.
Less over arching things:
*I never much liked the Zygons as villains. It wasn’t just the particularly bad design of the rubber suits of my childhood, but because they always seemed two dimensionally villainous without virtue of speaking direction to/about/with the zeitgeist. The better Who villains either did what they were doing for a reason, had an interesting perspective or culture, or were simultaneously talking about something else if you dug a little deeper. (Side Note: I also like a bit of spacing between repetitions. I think Who just generally uses Daleks and Zygons too often, much as Star Trek came to use the Borg too often. I really liked that they dug up a Classic Who villain that is way less common for a plot designed to commemorate the 50th Anniversary, and i get that the Zygons were just generally a side issue to the central conflicts, but still, not my favorite).
* Who continuity is never particularly good over time. Historically it has been always terrible around Elizabeth I, stretching all the way back to at least Pertwee. It still sucks here, as it does around things like fixed points and regeneration overlap.
* I guessed that someone smashed the statues and was hiding in their places the second I saw the set up in that room. How come the Doctor and all those other bright people in the room didn’t?
* Things like Four’s scarf on the fan scientist and all the old carefully culled clips, and body double/CGI stuff warmed my burnt husk of a wicked old heart as did seeing the Four Cameo. I know, I know, fan service and I should know better, but I’m not used to being the fan being serviced, so I’ll take it.
* I still miss Ten, damnit, and it really was fun to see Ten and Eleven behaving exactly the way Doctors always do in these crossovers.
* I now have a pretty good idea what Moffat’s up to with Clara, but I’m hoping it’s not as obvious as it seems. Please, Moffat, surprise me. I want to be wrong.
In sort, flawed in the usual ways, but oh so relevant to my interests.
1. A Torchwood episode somewhere between Season two and COE in which the team investigates Jonathan Rhys Meyers’s Dracula, who has become fixated on Gwen. Alas, there was no actual sex in this one, though there was some nudity. 2. A dream in which there was a massive expo to honor the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who with all these gorgeous coats inspired by the Doctors and Torchwood characters for sale in various sizes.
I want both these things to exist.