The BBC has recently announced the newest cast member to replace Jenna Coleman on Doctor Who. Pearl Mackie, who is best known for appearing the stage version of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, will be joining Peter Capaldi for the tenth season that will air in 2017.
Doctor Who has a loyal fan base that has being going strong since its premiere in 1963. Though Doctor Who may appear to have made significant strides in the representation of minorities in its cast, when it really boils down to it, it hasn’t come very far. William Hartell was the first Doctor of the series and his era held an all-white cast from the beginning. Now, this isn’t all that surprising for 1963, but what about the more modern Doctors?
Since the revamp of the Doctor Who series in 2005, we have seen significant strides in representation, for every character except the Doctor. Since 1963, only white men have played the main character of the story, even though it would be much more interesting and completely plausible when it comes to following the rules of the Doctor Who universe to have a person of color in the title role.
So why doesn’t this happen? Probably for the same reason that women on the show are treated as replaceable companions that are really just foils to show off the Doctor’s genius. That reason is current showrunner Steven Moffat.
Moffat has been cited numerous times for his sexism, but no one’s has ever looked into the possibility that he’s racist too. But why else would we still not see a person of color as the Doctor when fans have been asking for it for 11 years?
Mackie will surely add depth and interest to the show for season 10 and I can’t wait to see what she can bring to the table, but the show is over 50 years old and the old white guy solving everyone’s problems is getting old.