Diversity in Doctor Who

The long running television show, Doctor Who is not know for having too many diverse elements will on the air. Yes, Old Who does try to have some different backgrounds for some episodes but for the most part, the writers and casting directors failed miserably.  Old Who has gotten a lot of backlash for the lack of representation; however, this backlash was only given to the  Old Who writers  after years of the show being of the air. Why is this? Why does it take years for someone to speak up against the under representation of minority characters? During the time the first season of Doctor Who was air, which was in the 1930s, underrepresentation was a common feature for television programs everywhere, especially in America. Even though Doctor Who has always been a British television program, it probably would never get the proper airtime in America if there were minorities featured in the show, which is sad to say the least. Also, female representation was not a huge deal during that time period as well. For the most part, from what I have seen from Old Who, diversity was not a key factor in the production of Doctor Who. When the show started again, Doctor Who writers attempted to be more diverse through different writers, more female character(still no female Doctor), and even a racially diverse cast in many episodes. I believe this has a lot to do with the evolution of the Sci-Fi genre. Since Sci-Fi focuses more on space, aliens, science, and time there is not limit to who the character are. It is important for shows like Doctor Who to show more and more characters of all backgrounds. The idea of Sci-Fi focuses on being who you want to be despite being judged for it: the idea that everyone can be amazing. The Doctor Who fandom consists of people who come many kinds of backgrounds. The current Doctor Who should continue to strive for diversity because it means a lot to the fans.

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The Doctor’s Age Jumping

While the Doctors are obviously going to change from time to time, all the Doctors on the reboot tend to have be showing a pattern when it comes their doctor selection. The 9th doctor was a little past middle age and the third oldest of the four new doctors. While he was old for the new doctors, he is probably considered young for the doctors in the old Who.

I believe the producers saw the response to the younger 9th doctor and decided to continue with the trend of an even younger doctor by choosing David Tennent to be the 10th doctor. While I my knowledge of reactions to doctors extends to that of our class, it would appear that many peoples favorite or top doctors is Tennent. Once again I believe that the producers saw this increased positive reaction to a younger doctor and took it one step further. The brought on the 11th doctor who is Matt Smith who is the youngest doctor to date and while I have heard people express that they do like Matt Smith, I have heard people make jokes about how young he is and that he is a “child”. A lot of this push back on the youth fullness of the doctor I believe comes from the “Old Who” fans who believe the doctor should be older. After some pushback however, I believe that the producers went ahead corrected heavily be choosing Peter Capaldi who is much older than any of the last couple of doctors.

While I haven’t seen any of the episodes with Peter Capaldi, I believe there are no relations with the doctor and anyone, unlike any of the other especially like Smith and Tennent. That is why I believe the that with the new doctor being selected they will go back to younger doctor so that they can incorporate that component back into the show.

The 9th Doctor’s Personality Pattern

From the few episodes of Doctor Who that I have seen, both old and new Who, it would seem that the 9th Doctor tends to show a pattern of personalities throughout episodes. In the beginning of episodes, the 9th Doctor appears not serious in the slightest bit and very goofy, this reminds of the old doctors very much. However, as the episode progresses the Doctor turns to a more serious character. While I have made this observation, it could also be said that as episodes progress the plot turns more serious and therefore requires a more serious Doctor. However, that does not discredit the continuous pattern that occurs with the doctor’s personality.

During the first episode in season 1, Rose, the Doctor is extremely goofy in the beginning for example when he is walking with rose and the plastic arm he acts very weird and is not serious whatsoever. Then later on in the episode when he is trying to find the main transmitter he becomes very serious and even slightly angry, even saying the human race are apes. This transition can also be seen in the second episode, The End of the World, when in the beginning he is laughing with Rose about what time to go to and is joking and laughing. Then as the episode progresses he becomes more serious and even ends up crying when his home planet is brought up. Him and Rose even get into a fight when he won’t tell her who he is, something that would never happen in the beginning of an episode. While this my analysis of solely watching a hand full of episodes, I am interested to watch the rest of the new Doctor Who series and see if this pattern in the 9th Doctor’s personality continues or changes as the show proceeds.

New to Who

As we are coming to end of the semester, I thought I would reflect on my feelings about Doctor Who now that I have seen so many episodes of the show. Before I took this class, I had never seen Doctor Who, so it was definitely all new to me. The Classic Doctor Who was a little difficult to enjoy at first. However, I did like the fist Doctor! I think the first episode I really like was “The Green Death”. There was a little bit of romance, which I love, and a bit more action.

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I continued to enjoy most of the other Classic Doctor Who episodes, but I was very excited to start the newer episodes. I had a few friends who had told me about the newer seasons and about actors like Tennant and Smith. From their descriptions, it sounded like the show gained a lot more romance and action! They were definitely right. The 9th Doctor was okay, but I really started to like the show when I was introduced to Tennant. His goofy attitude on and off the screen was great. I also loved the connection between him and Rose.

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Overall, I have enjoyed watching Doctor Who, but I’m not sure whether or not I will continue to watch it. The characters are great and the plot is intense, but it just isn’t my type of show. I’m glad I was able to be introduced to it, and I’m excited to be able to talk to my friends about it now that I actually understand what the show is about!