Monday, July 17, 2017

Doctor Who: A Fond Farewell

*photo from internet

Now that the BBC and Chris Chibnall has unveiled the new Doctor to be very female and gorgeous in the person of Jodi Whitaker, comes the question for true blue Whovians as to whether a female Doctor (as in Doctor Who, for those not cognizant with the brevity) is going to sink in at all.

We get the clamor for female-power taking precedence but I have always seen the female-equality crisis as a male problem. By this I mean, there is a rise in feminism because there are not enough men in the world that rightfully respect women for who they are; however this dilemma cannot be solved by replacing men with women in positions where males ought to be and that includes the Doctor in Doctor Who.

I have remained an avid fan since 2007 and have appreciated The Doctor for who he was, an affable, adventurous and capable friend every time I either binge watch or see him every Sunday evening. He was this dependable male role model whom I could count on to take me through the dregs or the apogee of space and time travel battling all sorts of malevolence in various interplanetary species and celebrating the good ones as well. He was fatherly when older, avuncular when middle-aged and a dish to crush on when young and agile. The Doctor respected and hailed women as his equal, as his good friend, granddaughter, daughter, wife, companion, queen, prime minister, love interest, co-warrior and inspiration and at times nemesis, so why replace the man? His persona was not emblematic of misogyny in the pop-culture world at all, in fact it was one that actually made an ideal example on how gratifying a male and female relationship can be. This move by the new team behind Doctor Who saw a problem and elected to solve it where there was none to deal with. The backlash for this decision in turn has created a discord instead of a statement and a disconnect instead of bridge.

Moreover, the TV show in my eyes was a place where distressing religious wars, grimy geopolitical personages or conflicts or PC dictatorships could not permeate through, exactly because of its otherworldly theme. It was truly the last frontier of escapism where the exploits in the episodes did not require logic or responsibility as what imagination should be in this world where realities are more rancorous by the day. With the announcement of a female as the new doctor, we close this book of a dream world unmolested by propaganda. No disrespect to Jodi Whitaker, a fine specimen of an actress indeed but this a misplacement for her. We are not afraid of her gender, The Doctor quite simply is male that's all there is to it. Just like a “Wonder Man” is not necessary in lieu of Wonder Woman herself.

The new show runner Chris Chibnall of the “Broadchurch” fame does not understand the Who universe or the fans clearly. A questionable trail follows him as a creator who has bled “Broadchurch” (which had the prospect of becoming a true cult classic the likes of “Twin Peaks,”) bone dry, replacing value with bankroll as was the case of Broadchurch's US version, the disgraceful “Gracepoint.” This man clearly does not have the heart, just the bottom line, the very thing that robs devotees of that which is unique and endearing about something they love like Doctor Who. For certain it is an end of the Doctor Who world as we know it and that sincerely has nothing to do with female-phobia or male chauvinism or any other sort of “phobia” or “ism” that will be pegged on to those who will find this move disagreeable. I won't even hypothesize about the future, an iconoclastic deed has been done which is irreparable to a steadfast icon. There is no rectifying that.

Suffice it to say, it's end of the line for many of us, the ones that will take over as fans will embrace something that is not even remotely connected to the prototypal, beloved character that has provided a fantastic diversion from our real lives. As for me, perhaps it's time I grow up anyway, holding on to an ideal doesn't pay. Allegorically speaking, the eleventh hour has rung and this is what's left for me to do. I will hijack the TARDIS, set it up to travel to Transelore, the place where we all know our time lord dies and where The Doctor embodied by Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee, Baker (Tom), Davison, Baker (Colin), McCoy, McGann, Ecclestone, Tennant, Smith and Capaldi, sits to face his demise, I will hold the hand of this beautiful mad man with a blue box, I will thank him for the fun ride all these years and I will see him to his end and now is that time. RIP Doctor. 

*not my photo