No spoilers for this weekend’s episode, but warning for nerdery and for being a buzzkill (I am Britta Perry).
When I rediscovered Doctor Who in 2005, borrowing a bunch of classic series VHS/DVDs from a friend, it was pretty thrilling. Having only vague memories of the Troughton era from childhood to go on (Ice Warriors and the corridor foam attack are deeply embedded in my psyche) it was basically new to me.
Particularly fell in love with the communist propaganda of the Seven & Ace era, but every era has its highlights (Barbara! Jamie! Zoe! Jo! Romana! …I do hit a bit of a blank spot between Romana and Ace, but try not to hate on other people’s favourite eras too much).
But mostly it’s the concept. A character who can be anyone, travel with anyone, to any place, any time - in theory. While recognising that’s a bit liberal-colonial, it’s got a lot of potential. Doctor Who can tell any story; murder mystery, romance, horror, or even as intended by the earnest left-snobs of the ’60s Beeb, historical education with some space opera to keep the kids watching.
Even as the mythology becomes increasingly established, everything has its time and everything ends; the Time Lords rule over everything? Nope, all gone.
I was pretty excited by the idea of Idris Elba as the next Doctor, and the bookies were predicting it for a while. But, this is where my fantasy of the show meets the reality of the show. A show where anything can happen, is actually a show about a white dude and his friends saving the universe, every time (meanwhile Martha’s story was all about being compared to Billie Piper). So now it’s Peter Capaldi, and sadly it’s unlikely he’ll play the role as Malcolm Tucker.
On a global scale, the demographic make-up of a quaint BBC show is perhaps not the top priority. But I’m a fan, I lack a sense of proportion. Also, back when I hung out on the Gallifrey Base forums, (then Outpost Gallifrey) the fan-wars over the possibility of the Doctor regenerating into a woman, black man or even (*gasp*) woman of colour were pretty revealing. The Doctor needs a sense of “gravitas,” apparently, and only a white man can bring that to the role. A lot of people are quite invested in Doctor Who, including white fans and fans of colour, and one casting change could throw a spanner in the works for the better.
But no, they’re taking the safe route.
So at half a century the honeymoon period may be over, but we’re still married. I can’t leave my show. Every so often the spark is rekindled, briefly (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship hit some buttons). Mostly it’s just quite predictable, and the nicest parts are all about remembering the more passionate love (suppose a lot of fannery is based on nostalgia, and Star Wars fans hate Star Wars).
tl/dr: wake me when he regenerates into a woman or POC.