A Different Doctor

A Different Doctor August 6, 2013

There has been a lot of discussion of whether a future regeneration of the Doctor could be black, or female.

I would like to see humanity reach a point at which this would just be another difference, like whether or not the Doctor turned out to be ginger, or going from the very tall Colin Baker to the rather shorter Sylvester McCoy. Or having an accent that makes him sound like he’s from the north, or even further north than that in Scotland. Or appearing older or younger. I would like to see us reach a point at which the argument “the Doctor’s skin cannot be darker” sounds as ridiculous as “the Doctor cannot be played by a younger actor” or “the Doctor cannot be played by a Scottish actor” or any other objection of that sort.

The Doctor’s character is a Gallifreyan. Whatever he looks like, he is more different from any human being than humans with darker or lighter skin, and male and female humans, are from one another.

Perhaps reflecting on the Doctor’s alienness may help us get there?

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  • None of those options seem out of the question to me. The real taboo, I think, would be an American Doctor.

    • I wonder whether the North American Master in the movie was an attempt to break us in gently to having the same happen to the Doctor? Perhaps it is just as well that that didn’t happen.

      Here’s one vision of what a completely American version of Doctor Who might look like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrlZCm2GnXI

      • Funny concept! Jack Black Doctor Who!

      • Guest

        Maybe it was revenge for all the movie villains with British accents. I was watching a rerun of Stargate the other week and even though the villain was a clone of an alien who had been born on a planet lightyears away from earth, he still spoke with an upper-class English accent.

    • Jack Collins

      Lot’s of planets have an America!

      • And as we learned with Michael Shannon in Man of Steel, Krypton apparently has a Chicago.

    • le Dr Qui

      I think a Frenchman would be worse.

  • Personally I’d like to see the Doctor played by a dog or perhaps a spider monkey. Now that would be different.

    • Guest

      Dr. Woof? Dr. Howl?
      Or an equine. Dr. Horse?
      Or a bovine…Dr. Moo!

      Obviously the Master would be some sort of cat. Although you could also have…Doctor Mew.

  • Jack Collins

    Romana was briefly blue when she was “trying on” new regenerations, and K’anpo Rimpoche regenerated into an embarrassing “yellowface” Asian stereotype in “Planet of the Spiders,” so there is precedent for changes in skin color, even in the original series.

  • Maybe we’re being a little xenocentric in our considerations. How about an Ood Doctor?

  • Damon

    I think one of the reasons they’re hesitating is that it would make it harder for the Doctor to operate in the past, at least in Europe, which is where most of the time-travelling stories are set, lets face it. A black man in Europe before the last couple of centuries would have stood out and been seen as obviously foreign by most of the population. Of course they could just ignore the issue, but then they might be accused of whitewashing history. It’s the same with a woman. A woman would have been treated radically differently than a man in the past, pretty much no matter when you go. It’s only in the past 40 years or so that it’s even become possible for women to become doctors. And it’s only a kid’s show, after all, so maybe they don’t want to tackle heavy issues like racism and sexism? At least we had Martha, a black female doctor, as a companion for a while.
    I would like more variety in the companions as well. So many of them have been young, attractive women. How about an older woman? And I mean 50+, not in her thirties. Or an older man. A child. A lesbian. I’m bored of the current formula, they really ought to mix it up a bit, insteaf of ‘white male and his young sexy potential love interest’.

    • Jack Collins

      I suspect the Doctor’s race would be no more of a problem in the past than his clothing or language. The TARDIS just kinda makes it all blend in. (Which, as a language-geek, I always found depressing. If I got to go back to Ancient Judea or whatever, I’d want to hear how the languages sounded!)

  • Right on…