NuWho Accessibility

Ok so, Doctor Who is great, and extremely different, and there’s so much to talk about with it, but for this post I just wanted to talk about the dialogue. There’s a lot of stating the obvious, which some people I know are getting annoyed with, it miffed me in the last episode but just for second. Unlike Moffat-era which felt very “you couldn’t possibly understand what I’ve done here so let me explain it”, these episodes are stating at appropriately spaced occasions what it is that is happening right then, so no one is left behind if they struggled with one thing they aren’t lost for the rest of the episode and need the grand explainy spiel that we’ve grown used to towards the end of the episode. The other thing, and as a seeing-person I don’t have the right or ability to judge how useful this is, the way the dialogue points out things that have happened visually, like a new screen appearing in the console room last episode, has reminded me of audio description. Instead of leaving the visual signs to speak for themselves, the characters dialogue acknowledges and describes what they can see, much like a radio play as a family member commented to me. Personally, I think it’s great. I read a news article, think it was on the BBC, about how such productions are being encouraged to consider how the sound design and dialogue can be made more accessible instead of having to be audio described after the episode or series is complete. I think, and hope, this is the reason why the dialogue is the way it is. It may take a little adjustment for seeing-viewers, though I’ve only heard a couple of grumbles at it, but after the popular reception of the TARDIS subtitles, it seems likely that these accessible changes will be embraced and hopefully encourage more programmes to consider their own accessibility.

Sidenote: The National Theatre are bringing in Smart Caption Glasses and as a hearing person I’m again not able to comment on their usefulness or appropriateness but the feedback I’ve seen so far has been positive. It’s nice to see people using to technology to increase accessibility to stories.

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