Did 'Woke' Wipe Out the 'Dr Who' Season Openers?


Beege Welborn

That's interesting. As I don't watch myself, I had to do a little catching up to understand the chatter. 

I guess Dr. Who has always been a gender-fluid sort of character in terrific, story-driven series. But this 15th version is out of the closet and "openly queer." Well, that's pure Disney.

...As the fifteenth incarnation of the famous Time Lord, that tragedy, depth β€” and loads of colour β€” have already hit the small screen; the series released its first episodes on Disney+ this Friday. 

Though Gatwa only became a fan of the series after landing an audition for the role, he says he's now a committed watcher. But he's been thinking and talking about the new season for years, first making headlines when he started referring to The Doctor using they/them pronouns

It's a description that had been used by some fans β€” especially since Jodie Whittaker became the first woman to portray the character in 2018 β€” but had never been embedded into the show officially. 

Gatwa, the first Black and queer actor to take on the role, said that framing just made sense to him. 

"I mean, The Doctor is not from this planet, so who are we to know what pronouns they have and what gender they are?" he wondered. 

"They're a shape-shifting alien that can be anything or anyone. And so, for me, it makes the most sense to use they/them pronouns for this character that is not from Earth β€” or limited by any earthly limitations."

Part of the "modern audience" reference is the fact that Disney now has rights to the franchise, but doesn't for the previous years. So one thing they've done is start this latest iteration as "Episode One" even though there are decades of Who adventures. A nod, supposedly, to the "modern audience" who receives everything via streaming, but won't be able to watch all the prior years because "Disney" only owns the new series rights.

...This rebranding may also serve a practical purpose, catering to a modern audience that increasingly relies on streaming services for content. With Disney not holding rights to the previous seasons of the revived Doctor Who, this fresh numbering could provide a seamless entry point for newcomers and those hesitant to traverse multiple platforms to enjoy the show's rich history.

So, I didn't find any "Snow White" level disparagement of the old series from cast members, but honestly wasn't looking that hard. Didn't any of you watch?

If you did, what did you think?

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