Poll: Doctor Who: Female and/or Non-White Master, Yay or Nay?

LittleWings

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BrotherRool said:
I'll admit Moffat would be a horrific writer for this, his women characters are the worst and he can barely write an episode that passes the bechdel test, never mind anything actually sophisticated. Luckily both plans co-incide with my 'don't let Moffat show run Doctor Who' plan.
Hey, at least we agree on something :p

My main problem is that I can't see this happening without it basically being a big publicity thing. The internal logic of Doctor Who makes it different to re imagining a character like Sherlock Holmes, for instance.

Tbh, no matter what either of us think, it's probably going to happen anyway, and it's not like I'm going to stop watching the show cause they did something I didn't like (If that were the case I'd have stopped a loooooong time ago)
 

BrotherRool

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LittleWings said:
My main problem is that I can't see this happening without it basically being a big publicity thing. The internal logic of Doctor Who makes it different to re imagining a character like Sherlock Holmes, for instance.
For something to become normal it needs to be abnormal first. We'll just have to take the punch and then get over it and in the end it will be better than it was before
 

SuperSamio64

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thaluikhain said:
OTOH, if you let the villain be black before the hero can be...yeah, careful with that.
Well luckily the Master is (generally) one of those villains that everyone likes despite themselves, so unless he was suddenly turned into a Black stereotype it wouldn't actually be such a bad move. If I remember correctly there was a Black incarnation of the Master in the comics whilst the show was off the air, though that was a body-stealing type deal so I don't know how much it 'counts'.
 
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Zachary Amaranth said:
TheVampwizimp said:
The only way the Master can come back is if the Doctor returns Gallifrey to our universe.
Never, ever, ever say "the only way."

Have you seen how many times they've brought back the Daleks and cybermen and, hell, Rose? They can undo the Master's final moments, they can introduce a previous version, they can even pull something completely out of their ass. In fact, I would wager on the last one, possibly combined with the first one.

Hell, think of all the times the Doctor has stopped being "The last of the Time Lords," even if briefly.
You're right, never say never is a rule that will keep you in good stead with DW. I'm sure they could come up with any number of ways to return the Master to us.

My issue is that it would be a bad idea. Doctor Who may play fast and very, very loose with the rules, but the faster and looser it gets the more I find myself losing my investment. I'm tired of insane, unforseen ass-pulls. Where's the tension when we know that the solution to a problem will likely be a ridiculous new trick that breaks the rules we are familiar with? It's all becoming technobabble rather than critical thinking and clever problem solving.

For example, in the Christmas episode last year: Eleven is 400 years old or whatever and feels his death coming. Because of Ten's shenanigans he has no more regenerations left; he will be the last Doctor. So how does Moffat solve this? He has Gallifrey somehow send him more regeneration energy, rebooting his system and giving him at least 13 more lives.

Tell me, if the Timelords can just throw unlimited regenerations at any bloke who runs out, then why the hell are we told that they only get 12? It's a hard rule of the DW universe. Even the Timelords are not immortal. Eventually their bodies run out of energy, and they die. Don't try to tell me that they can refill on regenerations when they get low. That just made me mad when it happened.

Anyway, tl;dr, Sure they could, but should they? I really think not.

Captcha: fezes are cool. Well, I guess we know where captcha stands on this issue.
 

Riff Moonraker

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Zachary Amaranth said:
Rowan93 said:
The word "Master" is gendered, and that on top of the character historically being male would make a female one just kind of weird.
The title may be, but it doesn't mean the Time Lord has to be.

Riff Moonraker said:
I personally think that after Capaldi's run, the next doctor needs to be...... A..... GINGER!!!!!
Okay, I'm fine with a black Doctor, a Female Doctor, etc. But I will NOT stand for a GINGER!

....I kid, of course.

weirdsoup said:
The thing is, the character of The Doctor is male. You wouldn't have Richard III played by a woman, you wouldn't have Evita Peron played by a man.
You would, however, have Othello played by non-black, non-venetians, despite being the "Moor of Venice." You would cast Jesus as white, you would cast white people in "Samurai" movies, black the Kingpin black, make Katniss white and gender swap John Watson.

And these are all more relevant because, like the Doctor, they are fictional characters. However, we have had white people notoriously playing Native Americans, Yul Brynner playing the King of Siam, etc. Historically, so I'm not sure that's a good argument, either.
Ok, ok... I will meet you in the middle on this, then...

Could we agree on Idris Elba, and give him red hair? Best of both worlds? :) :) :)
 

Tono Makt

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Keoul said:
As long as there isn't any sexual tension I'll be okay with it.
Jeez, they even did it in that Sherlock Holmes reboot, arch nemesis for centuries but now that they're a girl you just gotta bang em.

Why can't they just be evil?
I wouldn't mind some sexual tension as long as it was well written, acted and directed. But I'm not entirely sure I trust the Dr. Who writing team to write sexual tension between the Doctor and the Master, so I would approach any hint of that with wariness.

Now, if they decided to put some sexual tension in between the Doctor's companion and the Master? That could be interesting, and not just because "Lesbians! Woot!". Introduce the new Female Master in an episode without the female companion, with no hint of homosexuality or bisexuality at all. Don't introduce any sort of h/b with the female companion either. Then when the two come together, they feel something for each other that they did not anticipate and don't quite know how to deal with. You could have a bit of a stereotypical "Seduce her to the Dark Side! Seduce her to the side of Good!", where neither side seems to be able to get the upper hand. It's so new to both of them that the centuries of lives the Master has lived doesn't give her an advantage over the companion.

It could also be that the impossible has happened to the Master - that the canon truly is "Same Gender every time" but something went "wrong", and now the Master is Female. Or is she? Is she really a lesbian in this regeneration or is it that the regeneration is incomplete, and her preference for females is an indication that the Master's mind has remained the same while the body has swapped genders, so maybe the Master is actually transgender - literally a man trapped in a woman's body? (if anyone finds that to be offensive, I apologize - it isn't my intention to be offensive, demeaning or otherwise belittling. I'm just brainstorming possible scenarios for how storylines could go with a female Master. Or female Doctor, for that matter. And the exploration of gender identity is something I can totally see happening with a female Master/Doctor)

Being Dr. Who, we are pretty sure it's not going to turn out well for any of them. But it could be an interesting sub-plot for an entire season or even the rest of an entire Regeneration. Ironically, I would trust the current show runners/writers with that sort of storyline far more than a Doctor/Master sexual tension.
 

Something Amyss

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TheVampwizimp said:
My issue is that it would be a bad idea.
Well, I agree. It's just, it's in a show full of them.

Not every idea is bad, mind. But it's been around for fifty years, and there have been some real bad ones.

I agree with the overall idea of "just because they can, doesn't mean they should," though. That's my opinion on like 80% of their Dalek use in the new series, for example.

Tell me, if the Timelords can just throw unlimited regenerations at any bloke who runs out, then why the hell are we told that they only get 12? It's a hard rule of the DW universe.
It's not, though. Even in the classic series, they could grant new regeneration cycles. They did it with The Master. It was implied that it might even be more of a "speed limit" thing. This isn't an ass-pull, and people had been speculating on it since the Ninth Doctor first came on the scene.

It does remove tension, but so does knowing that Matt Smith was going to be replaced, or seeing Peter Capaldi on screen before the fact. It's not really about the tension, though, and it's safe to assume the hero survives.

The question was never "will he regenerate?" but "how will he regenerate?"

Now, again, we can go back to "should they?" But I think this goes back as far as the Third Doctor in one way, shape or form. It definitely goes back as far as the Fifth Doctor, which means it is clearly not a new thing Moffatt just pulled out.

Is it a bad idea? Meh. As I said in another thread, if I were writing the post-revival show I would have explicitly removed the regeneration limit. It was a cool idea when they had no idea the show would last fifty years (albeit some of it not on the air), but it's clear that it's now a hindrance. And since The Master has already beat the system, we knew it wasn't a hard rule.

Riff Moonraker said:
Ok, ok... I will meet you in the middle on this, then...

Could we agree on Idris Elba, and give him red hair? Best of both worlds? :) :) :)
Done! Ginger Idris Elba for ALL!
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Colour Scientist said:
Anachronism said:
Before Peter Capaldi was announced, there was that rumour that Idris Elba was going to be the Doctor. Let's face it, that would have been amazing.
I don't think that was ever taken seriously.

As much as I love Idris Elba, people do want him to play every role ever. :p
Yeah, like when everybody wanted him to be the next Bond. Elba wisely expressed disinterest, claiming he didn't want to be "the black Bond". He probably wouldn't want to be "the black Doctor" either.
 

The Lunatic

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I guess it really wouldn't make any difference to me.

I'd just be glad if they get an actor whom can act decently, and a writer who can write decently.
 

makano

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My thoughts on this is it can never be done with out the moaners coming out. Remember by current standards females are not allowed to be hurt in any way,never mind be evil or a villain in someway. Else it would offend the "vocal" people.

Imagine what would be said if "evil" straight white male doctor who defeated a strong brave female master the tear's would be immense.
 

sumanoskae

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Let me address this specific case first; Timelords can in fact regenerate as an alternate gender and/or ethnicity, so there is no reason that this could not happen, and it would be a nice gesture towards diversity. Now onto the other issue, because this whole line of thought is just getting silly.

Will it affect the character's underline nature in any meaningful way? No? Then why would I have a problem with it, who the fuck cares?

Seriously, every time someone suggests that a character who is normally one race or gender could just as easily be another race or gender since, you know, the color of your skin and the contents of your underwear aren't that big of a fucking deal, someone gets upset and says "Why are you changing it? You're just trying to be politically correct".

I will answer this question with another question; why do you care? What tangible effect will The Master, or Link or that guy from Thor being black/white/gay/straight/male/female/secretly a sock fetishist have on the actual story?

Now, I understand being upset when somebody makes a choice like this that eliminates a good acting opportunity from a group of people who have less than others, but people throw fits about characters like Link, who has virtually no personality whatsoever, being a chick; that's the type of obsession over meaningless shit you would see in somebody with OCD (Or maybe mommy issues, in this case).

Why the fuck does anybody give a damn if a developer wants to make a character female or black just for the sake of their agenda? Isn't "Just because I felt like it" the most widely respected reason to create art? How is this any more arbitrary than any other reason?

How bout next time somebody announces something like this for their game, we do something different, how bout we just do nothing? How bout we just buy the same games we would otherwise? How bout we just ignore it? It doesn't matter.

I realize the OP may not be an example of this frame of mind; my comment is addressed towards the issue as a whole, not any particular incarnation of it.
 

Reaper195

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I have less of a problem with this than I do with a different gender/race of James Bond. James Bond is written as a specific character. The Doctor explicitly says multiple times he can change randomly into anyone. It's a bit of a 'coincidence' that he's been a white male the last twelve times. But as one of the first posters said, I don't really care who plays the Doctor. I want the Doctor to be written well. In fact, I want the whole show to be written well. And better. Which is ridiculous, when you see that a lot of people who worked on the Doctor go and work on Torchwood, or Sherlock, which easily surpass Doctor Who in quality. They have the talent. Makes me wonder whether it's actually the writers who get better later, or if they are being reigned in by someone.
 
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I wouldn't like it, I think continuity is important. I realise that Who of all people, whose changing is actually explained in lore wouldn't be as bad but I think he should stay as a man at the very least.

I would also be firmly against swapping a white man to play Blade or a white woman to play Storm. Yes, all people are equal in society, but a man is still a man and a woman is still a woman. I don't think it's necessary or desirable to substitute women for male characters, just make a new fiction entirely with a woman in the first place.
 

Michael Kirley

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sumanoskae said:
Why the fuck does anybody give a damn if a developer wants to make a character female or black just for the sake of their agenda? Isn't "Just because I felt like it" the most widely respected reason to create art? How is this any more arbitrary than any other reason?
The problem is that it's not arbitrary at all to change art for no other reason than to satisfy some lame social agenda. When artists justify their work by saying they "felt like it," what they really mean is that that's the way the artistic vision came to them and that that's the form the end product came out as. You're advocating adding another step in there (namely, the part where we gender/race/whatever swap characters at random) for no real reason. If someone actually does have a brilliant story for the next Zelda game, and if that idea happened to come to them packaged with Link being a female, I'm all for it. What I am against is this insistence that artists "should" simply replace "he's" with "she's" since it wouldn't affect the story. Artists have full authority over their own work, and they're under no special obligation to satisfy diversity quotas; trying to convince artists to do so (which is the entire point of these kinds of threads) smacks of tokenism.

If, as you say, it makes no difference whether a character has some trait or another, and if, as you say, we should all just shut up about it, then why are you trying to defend agenda-based work? The thing is that nobody is "announcing" this "kind of thing" for their games. Instead, random people on the internet are piping up about how they wish Link were a girl, or how it'd be a "nice gesture for diversity" if, say, the next Doctor was a woman. The fact that these thoughts are essentially coming from community members trying to push social agendas rather than from content creators and/or owners of the IP is the problem.
 

Lilani

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jpz719 said:
The idea in general smacks of tokenism. If you took a character and change nothing but their sex you've effectively changed bugger-all. You haven't made some great sweeping message of change, you've just messed with some perfectly fine formulas.
I hear this argument also with making well-known superheroes a different race or color, or even sexuality. However, most of these stories (including Doctor Who) were made during a time when making the characters any other color or gender or sexual orientation wouldn't have been acceptable. All the classic superheroes and TV show characters aren't white males JUST because their creators felt that was the best model for the role. Another factor in that decision is the simple fact that they couldn't have put anybody else in print or on screen, at least as a serious, non-stereotyped character.

Now that we live in an age where other traits like that ARE acceptable, why wouldn't we make changes where it doesn't really matter? Was Superman really so great because he was white? Is the most important feature of the Master being white or male? Why must we continue to subject ourselves to the conventions of 1963 in this manner? I think there are key elements to the formula that make up the Master and the Doctor, but none of them have to do with race, gender, age, or sexual orientation.
 

Lilani

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jpz719 said:
Lilani said:
jpz719 said:
The idea in general smacks of tokenism. If you took a character and change nothing but their sex you've effectively changed bugger-all. You haven't made some great sweeping message of change, you've just messed with some perfectly fine formulas.
I hear this argument also with making well-known superheroes a different race or color, or even sexuality. However, most of these stories (including Doctor Who) were made during a time when making the characters any other color or gender or sexual orientation wouldn't have been acceptable. All the classic superheroes and TV show characters aren't white males JUST because their creators felt that was the best model for the role. Another factor in that decision is the simple fact that they couldn't have put anybody else in print or on screen, at least as a serious, non-stereotyped character.

Now that we live in an age where other traits like that ARE acceptable, why wouldn't we make changes where it doesn't really matter? Was Superman really so great because he was white? Is the most important feature of the Master being white or male? Why must we continue to subject ourselves to the conventions of 1963 in this manner? I think there are key elements to the formula that make up the Master and the Doctor, but none of them have to do with race, gender, age, or sexual orientation.
Because those conventions from the 60's don't cause any harm? Is there really that much lost from having the Doctor be a straight white british man? And I don't even watch Doctor Who that much, I just think that randomly changing a characters sex/skin color is beyond token.
I just keep hearing from people who are minorities how satisfying it is to see a regular character within a story that just happens to be black, or asian, or gay. Doctor Who has done this several times: in that mystery cube episode Amy and Rory are at a wedding, and the people who were wed were two women. Amy says to one of the brides "It's about time you made an honest woman out of her," just as you'd say that to a groom at a straight wedding, or "about time you made an honest man out of him" to a bride at a straight wedding. And then that's it, the wedding is just a place for them to be, not some big political statement. It could have been a straight wedding, but it wasn't, and it didn't change anything about the story.

It may not be important to you, but in the grand scheme, why does it hurt so badly to admit that people of other races exist? Black people born in Britain are just as British as white people born in Britian, and so are women. When Cheerios put out that ad a while back with the mixed-race family, while there was a shitstorm on YouTube that caused them to turn off the comments, there were also thousands of people who wrote to Cheerios saying how happy they were to see families like theirs in the media treated as perfectly normal families, not as tokens or "unconventional families." They said it was not only important to them but their children, who also don't often see families like theirs, and unlike other families are forced to come to terms with something that really doesn't matter at all. And therein lies the harm: children who grow up and have to deal with stares and questions about something that really isn't a big deal.

If we can normalize things like this, they will no longer be "token." They'll be normal.
 

Denamic

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I feel race and gender aren't even important. The most important thing is the casting and the writers. The roles and to be right and the actors have to fit the role, more so than any other character in any other show, because of the nature of the show and the characters.