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04 September 2011 @ 01:37 pm
Doctor Who Debate  

Today's debate topic:

I seem to have mislaid my copy of John Tulloch & Manuel Alvarado's Doctor Who: The Unfolding Text (St. Martin's, 1984), but somewhere in there is a comment, originally made about Who Classic but possibly true of Who Lite Contemporary:

We will never see a female, black or working-class Doctor.


Current Location: Upstairs
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: Daughter's tap shoes on the kitchen floor
eaubry on September 5th, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
This does not address the question of whether there ever will be a black or female Doctor, but the current show, specifically in this season, has finally established that there could be a black or female Doctor. In two separate episodes, we have seen (or heard of) examples of regenerations that resulted in a change of race or gender. The Corsair is known to have been both male and female, and River Song has been at least two different races. As much as those are minor details in the overall story, it strikes me that they represent a conscious decision to open that possibility for future castings of The Doctor. It may never happen, but I am far less inclined to rule it out now.

With respect to "Working Class," The Doctor's educational and occupational background are not variables in his regenerations. That said, The Ninth Doctor did a passable job of conveying a working class aesthetic. So did The Second Doctor, in a very different way.
Ken: Hmmmmmken_schneyer on September 5th, 2011 01:38 am (UTC)
Interesting! I'm not up on all the contemporary episodes, so I don't have all this data. I didn't know River Song was Gallifreyan, and I hadn't heard of the Corsair. (*Time out to check Wikipedia* Okay, got it. That's a clear foreshadowing of a John Varley sort that I hadn't seen in DW before. Fascinating.

I'll have to think about your analysis of the Troughton and Eccleston portrayals. I know that Troughton's Doctor is often referred to as a "tramp", but I always thought that had more to do with his clothing (and maybe his lack of physical courage) than anything else -- he always spoke, to my ear, like one of the intelligentsia. As for Eccleston, I'm not sure that a Northern accent and a leather jacket equate with a working class aesthetic -- but I'm willing to be persuaded. Certainly it's a commonplace that the higher one's socioeconomic level, the less pronounced one's regional accent tends to be (at least in the U.S.).