[preface: I apologize for this fluff piece, but you wouldn’t be reading it probably if you didn’t care.]
I would like to introduce you to Freema Agyeman. She is effortlessly charming and has a commanding (but contrary to your workaday ass-beating superhero) presence. She is British and has appeared in a part of the Dr. Who franchise before. She could have been cast as the doctor, but she wasn’t. This role gained her three award nominations. She is fresh and fun and authentic and you should watch anything and everything in which she appears.
Now that we’ve gotten out of the way that “there has never in the history of the show been the right candidate out there” argument, let’s rattle off five reasons why it’s worthwhile to bother casting a black woman doctor.
1) Lewis’ Law applies. 99.9% of the internet has divulged the sexism and racism of the genre and its culture.
“The change would be more than just skin deep, the general swagger the Doctor has which can be best applied to a male character would have to be removed.”
“Let’s hope this doesn’t mean we will have some random black actor cast as the next Doctor, just for the sake of it.” (always the implication that equality efforts should take a backseat, always the implication that black and female actors aren’t very good and don’t have characters for that reason)
“please don’t hijack someone else’s established mythology to push your agenda!” (whose mythology is it? Why is that “mythology” intrinsically white and male?)
“If is was so racist I doubt they would have a black companion at all. Stop all the fussing” (inevitably how people view discussions of race. Know your place!)
” just so you can see *yourself* in him? Seems selfish to me.” (Black women don’t deserve narratives?)
“some women never get over penis envy, and never truly appreciate who and what they are, and must ever and always be proving they are as good as men by seeking out something a man has done or is doing and go after it”
“It’s all very well saying the doctor should be Asian, Black or female, but it really defeats the entire character of the doctor”
“A female doctor will just ruin it”
“it’s a good job nobody really takes any notice of these tired old academic windbags and their shopworn left wing slogans.” (inclusion: the perpetual fun-wrecker)
2) Yes, males do need action serials that do not include a bloodbath in every episode. Much more so, black people need them.
3) We’re bored!
I’m sorry to say it, but if doctor who isn’t available, you can go to a number of other similar franchises to get the same kind of fix. The relationship of the scifi media community to the black and female populations is the relationship of someone who prattles on endlessly about himself and never asks you how you’re doing, and most certainly does not listen when you speak of yourself unsolicited. We’re tired of hearing every slight permutation of your narrative. It’s blah.
4) This is not race and gender pandering. Race and gender pandering is what the scifi community does in being too scared to cast or write a main character that doesn’t have a lily white penis, for fear of reprisal.
Really? Absolutely every doctor must be white and male or all is lost? 11, and now 12, were not enough? And you don’t think that has anything to do with why they wrote him that way in the first place, and why they write so many of the other in-genre heroes that way?
5) It might prompt the show to hire a few black female writers.
That’s right. You heard me.