The Whoniverse needs a Change

The Whoniverse is ready for change.  With the announcement that Peter Capaldi will be stepping down as the Doctor, the search to replace the Time Lord is picking up steam.  I think it’s time that Doctor regenerate into a woman, or into someone that isn’t Caucasian.

Netflix recently released its own version of Lemony Snicket’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events.  The series is receiving sparkling reviews and a detail that is being identified as a strong point in the first season is the racial diversity of actors in the show.  This is the opposite of the cinematic version of the story.  In Jim Carey’s cinematic portrayal of Count Olaf, the actors opposite him in the roles of Mr. Poe, Uncle Monty, and Aunt Josephine are all portrayed by white actors in a mostly white dominated cast.  In the Netflix series, Mr. Poe and Aunt Josephine are portrayed by black actors, and Uncle Monty is played by an Indian born actor.  This difference favors the Netflix series not only because of better acting, but also as a stronger parallel to what the world is like.

Doctor Who could follow the lead of A Series of Unfortunate Events, and cast the first female doctor, or a non-white actor in the role.  A show that has been in existence for more than fifty years, and has had nearly three generations of viewers has a strong enough following that such a change is possible and could receive wide acceptance and praise.  A female doctor would show young women that a woman can be the hero and be a strong leader.  A black doctor would do the same for young black men and women alike.  The BBC would miss a huge opportunity by casting another white male in the role of the Doctor.  The fans are ready, and the time is now for something new in the Whoniverse.

The real problem with lack of racial diversity in television shows

With any television show, there are always going to be critics on racial diversity and whether or not people of different backgrounds are equally shown through the screen. However, I think people forget about the real meaning why actors are in shows. Companies do not hire actors because of their racial background, but rather because they fit the role of a particular character, or at least that’s the way it should be.

In order to get rid of racism in television shows we need to stop looking for it. As critical viewers, we are programmed to look for these kinds of things, but what if we are looking too far into it? It very well could be that the show is simply just looking for the right talent for their roles and showing no discrimination at all. We see this in the public sphere way too often. The media, for example, likes to put stories of acts that are portrayed to be racist that eventually end up being just a misunderstanding. I will acknowledge that yes, there is still racist people in the world but not as many as we make it seem. I think that our society as a whole is at fault and it will take a long time for us to fix the glitches.

I believe that a world without racism is a world that doesn’t focus on it. There is too much focus on what is wrong with our world and not enough focus on what is right. I hope that someday we put our attention on the talent of the actors rather than why the role wasn’t given to someone else. If there is to be a racially diverse actor on any show, it should be because their talents and qualifications got them there, not because of the color of their skin.