Poll: New Doctor Who - what should they change?

Forobryt

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Bill Bailey is who i want as the doctor, he can be serious yet still be making a joke at something whilst dishing out the serious.
That or someone who is on the older side of the scale. all the recent doctors have been pretty young and im sure there are some older actors begging for a chance to play the Doc.
 

The Event

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Changing The Doctor's race or sex brings more problems than it's worth.

Yes we live in a time that aspires to equality, but The Doctor is a time traveller. He doesn't just visit the present and the future.

So if female Doctor arrives in the 12th century is anyone going to listen to her or is she a mere woman good for only one thing?
Black Doctor arrives in mid 19th century America, who then was interested in what a black man had to say?

So we stop doing historical stories thus limiting what can be written about,
or have every story addressing the racism and sexism of history which we already know about and can't change,
or we completely rewrite history and pretend that sexism and racism didn't exist.

Let's just stick with the white male because that's what makes the show work best.
 

BrotherRool

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Gatx said:
I'm actually not a fan at all but the idea of the show approaching a preset limit despite being super popular and after a modern revival at that was intriguing so I googled a bit, and apparently they just retconned it. According to the Guardian, in an episode of a Doctor Who spin off series, Sarah Jane Adventures, during which Matt Smith guest stars, he is asked how many times he can regenerate, to which he replies that it's infinite. I don't watch either show though so, just gotta take the Guardian's word for it.
I think what the Guardian is basing it off is pretty shaky. Basically some kid asks the Doctor how many lives he has and he replies '562' in a really flippant 'bajillion' kind of manner.

Ever if it were the case, it wouldn't satisfy the fanbase. With the 13th I reckon they should write a series long arc explaining why he can regenerate more. It actually be a really nice thing to do for the show, there's a lot of cool ideas involved in the 13th Doctor and how he lives, thinking it might be his last days

Sixcess said:
And the Escapist is a relatively liberal, open minded site. Take a look at the comments section on any tabloid newspaper website and you'll see any number of narrow minded comments about the Doctor being white and male, and "Transexual Doctor? It's political correctness gone mad!!!" Disgusted from Tumbridge Wells would have a fit.

Well fuck those people, except the BBC can't say that. That's their core audience, and it's a big risk to use one of their flagship shows to screw with that audience's expectations or, if you'd prefer a more loaded word, prejudices.
I mean the latest Torchwood was a big fuck you to homophobes. And that was the series they were banking on pushing to an American audience. And that was dealing with an issue that the majority of politicians for our governing party actually still trumpet the wrong side for. Whereas racism and misogyny are recognised as wrong by pretty much every party outside the BNP (and maybe UKIP).

Having a female/black Doctor isn't such a big deal as a gay doctor (as sad as that is) and I think there's a good chance that the fuss could actually die down in only a little more time than in took people to accept that Matt Smith was replacing David Tennant. As long as whoever they pick is really good and can show they're really good, most of the fans would quickly accept it and within a year it could be pretty normal. I agree the BBC would have to be aware and think about the fuss it might cause, but there's probably a greedy controller up there who sees the controversy and thinks it would be a great way to bring back views after a slow season (incidentally that person isn't a good guy, and if he had creative control we'd be in for a horrible season, but as long as he's only one of the producers arguing with the others who want to avoid the fuss, it'd work out fine)

The Event said:
Changing The Doctor's race or sex brings more problems than it's worth.

Yes we live in a time that aspires to equality, but The Doctor is a time traveller. He doesn't just visit the present and the future.

So if female Doctor arrives in the 12th century is anyone going to listen to her or is she a mere woman good for only one thing?
Black Doctor arrives in mid 19th century America, who then was interested in what a black man had to say?

So we stop doing historical stories thus limiting what can be written about,
or have every story addressing the racism and sexism of history which we already know about and can't change,
or we completely rewrite history and pretend that sexism and racism didn't exist.

Let's just stick with the white male because that's what makes the show work best.
In any other series I might agree with you. But in Doctor Who it really wouldn't matter. They handwave everything about time travel. The women issue is already technically a thing and the show already deals with the problem by completely ignoring it. In the same way they ignore clothes and breaking social customs and the fact a madman in a box really shouldn't be able to show up and boss everyone around.

And I also agree that just ignoring the problem would be an issue for another show, but it so completely fits the light silly adventure fun of Doctor Who that it wouldn't be here. When going back in time involves fighting aliens and eating jelly babies, not dealing with the social issues of the time doesn't seem like such a big deal.
 

FalloutJack

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Nov 20, 2008
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Quaxar said:
This poll is awful. No "make him ginger" option? Booo!

And apart from that, I agree with the general consensus that the only thing that is really in need of change is Moffat's position.
Agreed! We must carry this running gag to its conclusion!
 

Foxblade618

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Idris Elba/David Morrisey would be a cool choice - one of those actors you could believe would be able to bring the universe to it's knees but chooses not to. I love Smith, but I feel he have to work up to that point over a long period. I want the Doctor that necessitates the Silence.
 

takemeouttotheblack

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Meh, it doesn't really bother me on the following counts:

1.) Unless they get rid of Moffat and get some new writers (cough, Gaiman showrunning, Whedon guestwriting, cough), I'm not going out of my way to watch it. Some of the episodes in the last series have been all right, but really Matt Smith's tenure as the Doctor has been affected hugely by a very iffy use of scripts and some very hamfisted use of villains, as well as an overarching focus on nought but sentimentality in order to win the day; we rarely see the doctor in the situation where he's dictating terms, instead he basically acts very passively as stuff goes to hell around him, and then relies on some facet of the quirky companions to solve the problem.

2.) If they do decide to change some fundamental element (e.g. gender or race), then the casting will have to be superb, otherwise people will always claim it was simply a PC move to try and attract a different base. And if it's a good bit of casting, I have no problem watching a Doctor played by anyone as long as it's interesting. The one thing I'd beware of is saying 'oh, we're going to make the Doctor a woman' and have that and that alone be the identifier for the however-many-it-now-is-th doctor.
 

The_Echo

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Durzo_Blint said:
Change the show runner. Show's sucked since Steven Moffatt got the top job (which I always felt was a real shame since Matt Smith could have far outshone David Tennant if he'd had better stories)
Yes please. The show's been significantly worse since Moffatt took over. I genuinely disliked the 11th until this season. Figures it's his last.

Besides all the little things (like that gross Weeping Angels two-parter that ruined the monster for me), overall the show just hasn't been quite as fun as it was with RTD at the helm. I think Clara fixed this issue a lot this season, but prior to that... everything was just taken soooooo seriously.
 

Lilani

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May 27, 2009
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Flatfrog said:
I'd like an older Doctor, maybe in his 40s or 50s. Somebody who's a bit older to feel like a unique Doctor from the last couple, but still young enough to handle the action bits. And either let him be ginger and get that out of the way or somebody who's not white. It's time we broke out of the 60s conventions of television protagonists and go all the way in bringing Doctor Who to this generation.
 

Lilani

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The Event said:
So if female Doctor arrives in the 12th century is anyone going to listen to her or is she a mere woman good for only one thing?
Black Doctor arrives in mid 19th century America, who then was interested in what a black man had to say?
They didn't have a problem with Martha, I think they only briefly mentioned that in just a couple of episodes. The only episodes that really did anything with that were the Family of Blood episodes, and that was only because the point of those episodes was to explore different aspects of the Doctor and Martha's characters (the Doctor as a human and Martha on her own). And they never address fact that the female companions would face the same problem in many time periods. In the way that the show already deals with this exact problem, this is a total non-issue.
 

OneOfTheMichael's

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Maybe someone older and more serious but at the same time I would love to see a twist with a female doctor. OR even a older female doctor..... I'm fine with whoever comes next, as long as the shows still awesome.
 

Lilani

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Sixcess said:
I think a female Doctor would be problematic on multiple levels. Who isn't the most terribly subtle show when it comes to social commentary, and I suspect we'd be in for endless 'lessons' on sexism and gender equality - especially in stories in a historical setting. They can (mostly) sidestep this stuff with companions or other supporting characters, but not with the lead.
Sorry to the OP for the triple post, but I feel the need to call this out one more time. The show has had female companions throughout pretty much its entire run, and that remains true for the New Who. While the Classic Who may have done more with this, the New Who has simply ignored gender politics from the start. Whether they're in ancient Pompeii, or 1945, or Victorian London, or 1930s New York, or 17th Century Venice, or a pirate ship, or the house of Vincent Van Gogh, or a Soviet Submarine in 1983, the social standing of the female companions maybe gets mentioned, but more often than not they just carry on. There are countless episodes when the gender or color of the female companions could have been questioned, but wasn't. Or if it was, then the comments were made and not made a big deal of. I can't think of a single episode in the New Who in which the central theme of an episode was proving the female companion was equal to men, regardless of the time period they were in, or planet they were on. It may have been a little side-lesson or minor plot point, but in no episode was the primary action and character arcs dedicated to somebody learning a lesson in gender politics.

That being the show's proven and long-unquestioned method of dealing with that exact problem, what makes you think that'll change with a new Doctor? Perhaps they will use it as an opportunity to dedicate an episode to gender politics, but otherwise dedicating every episode to the Doctor becoming acclimated to a planet's people would be nothing less than a total change in the show's format. Given the Doctor also travels to other planets in which being a white male human makes him the odd race out, you could say we've also already dealt with the race angle. They've never stopped and spend an entire episode dedicated to the Doctor introducing himself to an alien culture and dealing with what should be glaringly obvious racial barriers. They just ignore all that and get straight to the adventure.

Let's be honest with ourselves, here. With the format of the show and its history of dealing with race and gender, the only issues that can possibly arise have nothing to do with its canon, and everything to do with projecting our own insecurities onto the show.
 

romxxii

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Durzo_Blint said:
Change the show runner. Show's sucked since Steven Moffatt got the top job (which I always felt was a real shame since Matt Smith could have far outshone David Tennant if he'd had better stories)
People seem to forget how totally shit RTD's run was most of the time: Bad Wolf was a terrible end to what seemed like an intriguing myth arc; nobody liked the crowdsourced Jesus power that ended Harold Saxon's reign of evil; all Cyberman appearances were lambasted for being clunky, nonthreatening, non-Mondasian, and unfashionably bell-bottomed; then finally, there's the extremely divisive Donna Noble.

Myself, I liked Moffat's run for the most part. Yes, the second part of Series 7 was spotty at best, the River Song plot got away from him eventually, and the payoffs to his big series arcs tend to be dropped in favor of newer and even more ridiculous arcs. I still wouldn't count it as any worse than RTD. If anything, both showrunners ended up being more or less equal in terms of the good and the bad they've done for Doctor Who.
 

norashepard

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I vote for a sassy elderly black woman as the doctor.

Of course, it would be up to the writers actually make any of those traits matter, and they probably won't do that. And something tells me most of Doctor Who's viewership doesn't really want any sort of race/gender examination getting in the way of their weird campy sci-fi.
 

Dryk

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takemeouttotheblack said:
we rarely see the doctor in the situation where he's dictating terms, instead he basically acts very passively as stuff goes to hell around him, and then relies on some facet of the quirky companions to solve the problem.
Sounds like most of the RTD finales too. Well the 1st and 4th, 3rd looks like it's going that way but he actually had a plan all a long.
 

kurokotetsu

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Foxblade618 said:
Idris Elba/David Morrisey would be a cool choice - one of those actors you could believe would be able to bring the universe to it's knees but chooses not to. I love Smith, but I feel he have to work up to that point over a long period. I want the Doctor that necessitates the Silence.
I'm a huge fan of Elba, but that wouldn't work. The Doctor may have a gravitas, but he is also an adventure loving person. And while Elba is a great actor, his frame, face, composure, everything about him goes against that attitude. He is always more of a brooder, a tortured soul. I don't see him. Same goes for Philip Glenister, too grave. They would make great villains, or even I could see them as a darker Companion, but not the Doctor.

And Morrisey has been featured in Doctor Who, making a great Tennant impression. But it would be weird to have him as a Doctor wannabe and the Doctor. He has both facets of fun and grave, but has been burned there

I wouldn't mind a black or female Doctor. It might even be fun. I just hope tey get e good actor.

FOr possibilities, I'm not that versed in British actors, but James McAvoy is a good option if they stay in somewhat young doctors, at least from what I saw in the Last King of Scotland and State of Play. Or Dominic West as a more cynical Doctor I think could pull it off. Or hell, going all out Kenneth Branagh is a superb actor and can be fun and intimidating.
 

Lilani

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Puck said:
I think Doctor Who should stay a white male, it's the way the character has always been written and they shouldn't surrender to PC demands for otherwise.
I don't accept this as an argument because it seems to imply the Doctor started out white and male because the creators wholeheartedly felt it was the best way to bring the character on screen. Do you really think if this show were newly established and airing its very episode today instead of in 1963, do you think anyone would find it okay that they've created a character that changes actors every time he dies, yet refuse to have him change into anything other than a white male even though there is nothing canonically holding them back? Hell no, they'd be called out for being racist, and rightfully so.

While there's nothing wrong with a white male being a lead protagonist, that was sort of thrown out the window when regeneration became a thing and the character gets to TOTALLY change every single time. The only reason he's remained white and male for so long is because until very recently the very thought of a non-white non-male being the protagonist in such a show was unthinkable. The Classic Who did a major change in how it treated women over the years, going from their main role being damsels in distress to them being independent and smart and strong. That in itself was a MAJOR format change for the show. Just watch a few episodes of William Hartnell's run and then switch over to Sylvester McCoy's run and Ace to see what I mean. That change completely altered the format of the show, not just in how the women behaved but in the role they played and the action around them that occurred. The plots themselves were never the same due to this simple change in attitude toward women.

And now you're telling me a change that is purely aesthetic is too much for you to handle? Please. Just spare me.
 

MeChaNiZ3D

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Definitely personality. While being old comes second from the hilarity that could ensue when he's having trouble getting about or mistaken for his companion's father or having a sonic cane or something, gender could be similarly situationally funny, and even as adjusting from being male, race is irrelevant unless they're going to address it in the series, and even then only a few episodes should deal with it. I'm not saying it shouldn't happen, but in terms of my viewing pleasure I'd rather something else changed. Personality would be good. I think if he was cynical or utilitarian or...grumpy (for lack of a better word), it would be a lot easier to take him seriously when he threatens something. They attempt dark moments occasionally, and sometimes it works, but it would work a lot better. Besides which, it's pervasive and can have an effect all the time without seeming like some sort of pandering, as race and gender would if they were factored into everything the Doctor did.
 

Thaluikhain

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Lilani said:
The Classic Who did a major change in how it treated women over the years, going from their main role being damsels in distress to them being independent and smart and strong. That in itself was a MAJOR format change for the show. Just watch a few episodes of William Hartnell's run and then switch over to Sylvester McCoy's run and Ace to see what I mean. That change completely altered the format of the show, not just in how the women behaved but in the role they played and the action around them that occurred. The plots themselves were never the same due to this simple change in attitude toward women.
I disagree with that, the show's attitudes to women jumped back and forth a few times. Barbara was a strong female character, for example.

In regards to your larger point, I agree. The only reason they don't do it is (charitably) they are afraid of the shitstorm from bigots or (perhaps more likely) they share those attitudes themselves.

If they had a black doctor...he'd be the black doctor, not a doctor, for many, many years.

One thing I'll give RTD is that he made an effort to not always have everyone by white and straight. Moffat doesn't seem to think this is such a good idea, though.
 

Lilani

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thaluikhain said:
I disagree with that, the show's attitudes to women jumped back and forth a few times. Barbara was a strong female character, for example.

In regards to your larger point, I agree. The only reason they don't do it is (charitably) they are afraid of the shitstorm from bigots or (perhaps more likely) they share those attitudes themselves.

If they had a black doctor...he'd be the black doctor, not a doctor, for many, many years.

One thing I'll give RTD is that he made an effort to not always have everyone by white and straight. Moffat doesn't seem to think this is such a good idea, though.
Barbara was strong and well-educated for sure, but her role more often than not was to either get captured or cause some sort of trouble that the men would have to fix. Any agency or competence she shows in the other parts of the show completely vanish when it's time for the drama to get ramped up.

But I will agree about your point with the black Doctor. He'll be "the Black Doctor" for a very long time, and it's very likely we'll never see a time when he isn't "the Black Doctor," at least not until the 50s and 60s generations die off and the show introduces a few more non-white Doctors.

And you know...I never noticed until you pointed it, but you're right. Moffat hasn't really done much with characters that are non-white or non-straight, at least in the way RTD did. Only recently has he really cashed in on the Vastra/Jenny relationship, and the only recurring non-white character in his arsenal I can think of is River.
 

SirCannonFodder

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suasartes said:
LittleWings said:
I honestly think a female Doctor would be interesting for about three episodes... There's no real reason to do it other than "oh look its a woman now!". Plus it doesn't make a lot of sense to me anyway, that Time Lord gender changes through regeneration.
Why not? The last time the Doctor regenerated, he touched his hair and immediately went, "Oh, I'm a girl." Not "Oh, I'm a man with longish hair." He seemed a little surprised, but the fact that his first assumption was that his gender had changed suggests that it's not unknown for Time Lords to change gender. If you know of an episode where they said that regenerations (i.e. the total and utter breaking down of every physical aspect of the Doctor, followed by a complete reconstruction in a different form) never change the Time Lord's gender, drop a reference.

Besides, I think there would be a little more to the casting than just a change in gender. After the first few episodes, I bet people would more or less be over the minor fact that the Doctor is a woman and get on with enjoying the show. They don't need a "reason" for it beyond finding an actor who'd be good in the role, who happens to be female.
They've actually mentioned Time Lords changing sex before, with The Corsair [http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/The_Corsair].