I wasn’t planning on posting anything today – I’ve noticed the traffic on WordPress is quite slow on Sundays and I’m afraid my next big masterpiece gets missed. But when I stumbled onto this article I felt I had to write something before the sense of indignation left me.
In short, the article is about a book entitled Doctor Who and Race, which “…says the BBC programme is based in attitudes ‘that continue to subjugate people of colour’”. That’s right. Apparently Doctor Who is racist and classist.
The reasons posed by the bunch of “academics” who contributed to the book? The Doctor fights against Daleks but not against slavery. He likes cricket. He has never been an Asian or African. Martha Jones, the first black companion, was apparently treated as “second-class”. The Doctor refers to unscientific races as “primitive”.
The writers are also accused of being ignorant about “…historical racial violence and contemporary white privilege”. For example, the episode Let’s kill Hitler did nothing to promote understanding of the Holocaust.
To which my response is, “So $&@^%# what?” It’s a story, for crying out loud.
So what that the Doctor likes cricket? It’s a British show. Most Brits love cricket, and so do millions of people from all races around the world. It’s about the only sport outside of the Olympics that I’m willing to watch. I say hurrah to the English for teaching us this wonderful game (because that’s what it is – a game, not a clandestine form of oppression).
So what that the episode mentioned didn’t promote understanding of the Holocaust? It wasn’t about the Holocaust. Also, Doctor Who is a science fiction show. It’s not a documentary. It’s not based on real events. It’s purpose is to entertain (and make tons of money by selling advertising spots), not to educate or promote understanding of anything. Slavery? Same thing. The Doctor defends the earth from aliens, not from humans. But then, his killing of Daleks is genocide, so that also makes him evil, I suppose.
And then there’s the statement by Lindy Orthia, who compiled the anthology. “The biggest elephant in the room is the problem privately nursed by many fans of loving a TV show when it is thunderingly racist.” I’m sorry to say Doctor Who has never bothered me, so I have no idea where she’s found this elephant.
In my opinion (and I concede, I don’t know much) these “academics” should find something worthwhile to research, rather than over-analysing a show created for entertainment and enjoyed by many.
And I thought fans overthought(not sure if that’s a word) this show.
8 thoughts on “On what happens when someone too clever for their own good watches Doctor Who”
Didn’t read the article but how exactly is Martha second rate? She’s a doctor and literally saves the world single handedly. Or is it because the Doctor wouldn’t snog her right after losing Rose? I’ve never seen anything remotely racist on that show in my opinion..
I don’t know. The article actually calls their claims “bizarre”. As I say in the title – people too smart for their own good. Apparently it has to do with the way the doctor treats her.
Maybe they should find something worth while to do and not watch anything. Glad you came out on Sunday.
I think there are some people who make it their mission in life just to put others down. Like the people who downvote every video and comment on youtube, no matter what it is.
Yeah or like the US Congress
Wouldn’t know about that, but it can’t be much different from the SA parliament.
Haha I agree with you both. I’ve stopped watching TV for a long time now. Our time is limited, best not to waste it on TV shows—or over-analyzing one!
What ticks me off is that here we have a bunch of incredibly clever people who could be making a real contribution towards improving society, and they’re wasting that ability breaking down what is essentially a form of art…a creative work.
Very true what you say about wasting time on TV.
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