Dr Who Is Dying Because Its Phresh Creators Are Too Woke
Dr Who is a sacred identity.
Since he burst onto television screens in 1963 he ceased being the property of the BBC and was adopted into the hearts of fans across the globe. Dr Who is for everyone as he represents the universal principles of justice, peace, defending the defenceless and self-sacrifice.
Yet what makes the Doctor so appealing is that for all his (and now her) ancient knowledge and advanced alien tech, the character is still torn by very human emotions and dilemmas.
Of course the Doc has often needed a refresh to appeal to new generations of Whovians. In 1974, Tom Baker was seen as a younger more vibrant actor choice to play the Time Lord, who’d previously been cast as an elder statesman. The BBC went further still, casting a young Peter Davison to take the character into the '80s.
The latest refresh of the Doctor was a gamble for the BBC, regenerating the Doctor as a woman played by Jodie Whittaker. Would fans accept the Time Lord being played by a woman?
The ground was tested by regenerating the Doctor’s arch-enemy, The Master, as ‘Missy’ played by Michelle Gomez. Missy soon became one of the most popular characters of the show’s modern era.
Whittaker is brilliant, matching the serious problem solving, justice seeking edge the Doctor needs with masterful delivery of the quirky fast-paced dialogue introduced to the reboot in 2005.
Unfortunately, Whittaker is being let down by the writers and the BBC itself. There’s even rumours she may walk after only one season.
Yes, the Doctor is dying a slow death at the hands of a woke BBC that is so tangled in trying to comment, placate and pontificate on every social issue at the expense of good story telling and adventure.
Of course there will be real-world issues that touch the world of fantasy whether they be environmental, political or social.
However, when this becomes the driving force behind storylines and character exploration, the overall experience suffers. Seriously, back in the day, no one gave a tinkers cuss about what Sarah-Jane Smith or Harry Sullivan’s sexual identity and preferences were because they were too busy running away from a bloody Dalek!
The BBC has made a great deal about their ‘new’ and ‘diverse’ line-up of writers. It shows.
While some of the concepts of the new series start out interesting, they eventually fall into bland-land and engage in silly plot devices, but apparently as long as they tick all the diversity boxes, then that’s fine.
In the very first episode, two random retirees suddenly become engineering experts and are able to electrocute the giant alien ‘squiggle monster’ with 'that conveniently placed electric cable over there'. When the character of ‘Nan’ dies, there’s a passing acknowledgement of her husband Graham’s grief before he jumps in the Tardis and joins the Doc’s crew.
Examples of flaccid story telling are growing in number as the season progresses; episode four…, space spiders, really? The 1960s called and want the midday matinee returned.
The most recent episode took the cake.
King James the First, for all his faults, united ‘Great Britain’ and produced the first ever Bible in English. However, according to the BBC, old King James actually wandered around villages in Northern England ‘looking for witches’ and rabbiting on about ‘Satan’. And by the way, he was also ‘in the closet’. It was just silly.
What’s galling for fans is that these ‘new’ and ‘phresh’ writers have lost the ability to reference Whovian Lore. David Tennant’s Doctor would hark back to the Ice Warriors or the War between the Rutans and the Sontarans. In the new series, there’s nothing to give a nod to long-time fans.
In fact, the new writers have even broken the golden rule of the Doctor Who Universe and contradicted past episodes. “Never had much belief in Satan,” the writers have Whittaker saying in the latest episode. Except that one of the most popular past episodes was ‘The Satan Pit’ in 2006, where the Doctor actually met the devil. It’s just sloppy story telling that shows a disrespect for the fan base.
And as good as Jodie Whittaker is there’s still no explanation for fans as to why the Doctor has regenerated into a woman.
Until the BBC gets back to the Doctor’s roots of strong characters, suspenseful plots and stories of high adventure, the show’s ratings will continue to spiral into the Time Vortex.
Main image: BBC