2MTL 313: A Non-white-male Doctor Would Be the Second Right Answer

Borrowing from Roger van Oech's books on creativity, I suggest that it's time for DOCTOR WHO to make a brave change in casting the next Doctor because it'll evolve the show in an important direction.

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  1. Your wacky, handwringing, feel good liberalism is showing through. No one wants a black or female doctor. The Doctor started out as a white male and should always be a white male.

    Moffat and others know that changing that dynamic will be the death of the series. I'm done if any of that changes. I'll just watch my old DVD's if the dynamic does change and I need a Doctor fix.

  2. I appreciate your articulate explanation. The Second Right Answer is an interesting concept. I would love to see some diversity in the casting. But then, I'm mostly just very excited to meet our new Doctor, and to see the new interpretation of this beloved character. Matt Smith was unexpected and wonderful, I hope the next Doctor is too.

  3. I would tend to agree with Steve to a certain extent.

    I have long past the point where I turn to the 2MTL podcast for the hosts view on a particular subject. I have to accept that Chip tries instead to showcase multiple viewpoints, while at the same time agree with them all (liberal, dunno, can't stand politics so wouldn't have a clue).

    Change for changes sake is not worth it. I don't think it smacks of white mans privilege to want to have the Doctor as a white male. Doctor Who wouldn't be Doctor Who without that central, male, caucasian character.

    If a producer, or writer, or director, or television network wants to make a series featuring a lead character who is black or female then create a series to showcase the ideas you want to get across.

    If its a good show people will watch it. I will watch it. I am not against black or female actors. I just don't think either of them is well suited to the role of the Doctor.

    I would have thought those campaigning for such a character in Doctor Who would be offended by the token inclusion of such a change in the lead. Change for changes sake, token changes to say a big MESSAGE.

    Not in Doctor Who.

  4. The top priority for me, the crucial element, is that they cast the best actor for the part. If the production team are smart — and they clearly are — this is what they're doing or have done: auditioning the strongest actors they can find and choosing the one that fits the best. The most dangerous way to go about it would be to start with a template they're intentionally trying to fill that will restrict their choices to a very narrow field.

    For historical reasons, they have more white males to choose from than any other demographic, so that would be the widest possible field.

    …unless you make it even wider by adding non-white and non-male actors to it.

    So while I think the ONLY right answer is "the best and best-fitting actor available who auditions," I would love it if that actor turned out to be a woman of color, for example. It would take some getting used to, but that's precisely the point.

    My only fear about such a thing is that it would be SO easy to mishandle the casting choice by calling too much or too little attention to it, either within or outside the show. Good taste would demand that it be treated in a way that doesn't simply gloss over the significance of the change, but also doesn't make it the punchline of jokes, a sanctimonious refrain, or a gauche cliche.

  5. "No one wants a black or female doctor."


    Yeah, Steve A., you're an [EDIT]. A sexist, racist one, if you can't see that a whole bunch of people, particularly not white or male, would LOVE to see the Doctor being different again in a different way, just to be fresh and a bit more like them. What's the big deal about skin colour or gender? Really? Someone's personality, who changes bodies as an alien, would be sooooo different with a different skin colour? That's kinda offensive to insist that it is. And if you think that genitalia must define personality, I'm just going to laugh.

    Anyway, great points and thanks for your podcasts!

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