Sunday, 4 August 2013

You Can't Please All of the People All of the Time...


As far as I'm concerned, all I wanted from Sunday evening was the announcement of a bloody good actor to replace Matt Smith. And in Peter Capaldi I believe we have got one.
Seems some people are not happy that the part went to white man who isn't just out of nappies.
Let's be clear about this. Doctor Who is not about recasting. It is the same person, regenerating their body over hundreds of years. Sometimes that means he's a bit tall, other times a bit short. Sometimes he looks a bit young, other times a bit older. One day, he might even be ginger. But always it's the same person.
Just because of a throwaway line in a Neil Gaiman script, why should "he" suddenly become "she"? The Doctor is a Time Lord - a male title. A simple fact that existed long before the current incarnation of the series, and one that will be around long after.
I've made my views on the ethnicity of the role clear before. I would only want to see an actor from an ethnic minority if he was the best for the role - but would have serious concerns about tokenism - giving it to a black actor just because there hadn't been one before. Positive discrimination is, well, a different form of discrimination. A white actor would be denied the role because of his colour.
Are the people arguing for a black Doctor, applying the same logic, equally arguing for a black Monarch? We haven't had a black king or queen before, so we really should have one next?
As for the age thing, apparently some fans are unhappy that an older actor has been chosen. I've seen a quote: "55! No, no, no!". This is ageism, pure and simple. A knee-jerk reaction from a "Young Person" who claims to be a fan but doesn't know their Adric from their Eldrad. They should try watching Hartnell, or Pertwee some time.
The Doctor is not a 55 year old actor, or a 26 year old one. He's an alien over 1000 years old. If you are incapable of suspending belief and can't see past the actor's appearances in Heat Magazine or wherever, then I suggest you ditch Doctor Who and concentrate on soap operas or reality shows that might closer match your intellectual capabilities.
The argument that the Doctor should be a woman / black just because they haven't been before, or that they should always match your own personal demographic and no-one else's simply does not hold water with me.

9 comments:

  1. Absolutely spot on.
    I'm so sick of influential celebrities and people who don't even watch the show properly saying that "it's time for a woman" or "oh just make the next one black! I'm sick of white males!"
    It's not like Moffat's gonna go "right, we need a black Doctor this time. Peter Capaldi? He's a brilliant actor, but he's not black! get me a black Doctor!"
    If the best person for the happens to be another white male then bloody cast him!

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    1. Glad you see where i'm coming from on this.

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  2. I agree lads.
    As a fan of the show(classic and now modern who)there is nothing more annoying then having people who have never really watched the show,don't understand the concept of it and couldn't care less. Suddenly feeling they have to pipe up and say,

    hey,you know that show you've loved for the last 50 odd years. Well isn't it time you change it's whole dynamic and make the main character a woman/gay/black/asian/dwarf/wheelchair bound/obese/7 foot/teenager,with two heads.

    hey sure it won't bother me i don't really watch the show,but isn't it about time,I mean,come on..50 years.

    And you as a fan go..yes,yes perhaps it is. And that's what in the television world is called as a "spin-off show" under the DW/BBC brand umbrella and promoted as such but called a different name because it's a different show.

    So if that's what their advocating....2 shows to watch,how cool is that and power to them. If not,there are many other shows out there for them to watch who would welcome there opinion.

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    1. Well I'm a fan and I would like to see a female or ethnic minority Doctor. You will find other fans who feel similarly.

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    2. And power to you and them for wanting a spin off show.

      A similar thing happen with Star Trek when "Next Gen" came out. Cry's of 'oh can't we have for once a star fleet captain that's a woman or black, or that Spock character why can't at least he be a woman or black..... and ya know what,all those things happen...in spin off shows (sadly if only a fraction of those people who called for those changes had actually watched those shows maybe the ratings would have been better)

      But this time round the producers where casting not for a starship captain or a new companion or even a new pilot of the TARDIS but for an Actor who can represent not a position but the one same person. A person called the Doctor who as live over a 1000 years, two hearts and who has had many faces because he is from a race called the 'Time Lords' who can regenerate, not reincarnate into another body , but regenerate his own body. Time Lords are not a race of hermaphrodite.

      Now sure you can throw the whole mythology of the show out the window,but as a fan why would you want to do that, and risk going back to those dark series ending JNT years.

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    3. You know, the mythology of the show is very flexible.

      The regenerations we have seen in the new series do look rather different to the ones in the classic series. I didn't see much sparkly gold fairy dust when Six turned into Seven.

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    4. Have been away from the PC for a couple of days, and am just catching up on comments (always gratefully received). I'm in that camp that thinks of the Doctor as the same person throughout 50 years - an alien who looks like a white male human and has always looked like such. I feel entirely different about Bond or Sherlock. There are just as many people who think the name and number are simply passed onto someone else as there are those that think it's the same man, just recast. I would be more than happy to see a female Sherlock Holmes or a black Bond. Somehow, it just doesn't feel right with the Doctor.
      One other thing I would just like to mention is, if the Doctor is going to be white / male, what about the companions or other recurring characters. RTD gave us Mickey and the Jones family - and the omni-sexual Captain Jack (invented by SM but never used since he took over). It's all been a bit white heterosexual recently.
      And when are we going to see another female or the first BME writer?
      We need to look beyond just the lead actor.

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  3. We already have Romana and Iris Wildthyme, who are wonderful Time Ladies. Both of the actresses Lalla Ward and Katy Manning are still actively performing their roles in radio plays produced by Big Finish and officially licensed by the BBC. People who want a Time Lady instead of a Time Lord would do well to clamour for those characters to have their own televised episodes or even series rather than try to change Dr. Who himself.

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