Boring. Perfectly acceptable choice, perfectly fine actor, perfectly predictable result. No spoilers, just another white male Doctor Who. Like I said, boring. I mean, sure, instead of being a young white dude this time we have a slightly older white dude. Huuzah! Because middle-aged white men get so few breaks in this business, you know?
But it’s no so much the news from this weekend about 55-year-old Scottish actor Peter Capaldi taking over as Doctor Who that’s upsetting. And, yes, I know he’s a very good actor and very funny and very all of those good things. It’s that once you’ve been offered a glimmer of hope at a smorgasbord of endless wonder, to be given the same – albeit slightly older – dish seems a terrible disappointment. Really, mashed potatoes, again? I mean, I like mashed potatoes – who doesn’t. But, again?
That’s the thing about the world, the more we see the more we grow. And the more we’re exposed to, the more we want to see. I want to see great shows with great diversity because it opens the door to a whole new world. More can mean more interesting. Sure, not always. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes. But more gives us the chance to tell a different kind of story. A female doctor, a doctor of another race, a LGBTQ doctor. Anything, something. Just not more of the same. Same can be quite good, but it will never be more.
I watch shows like “Orange Is the New Black” and “The Fosters” and, yes, even “Glee” and I see racially, culturally and sexually diverse casts not led by a single white male and it is glorious. But they are still the exception, not the rule. NBC’s new fall lineup is entirely shows built around male leads. Time yourself and try to name 10 shows on broadcast primetime TV with non-white and/or non-male leads (that are not primarily a large ensemble show without a definitive lead) in less than a minute. After Shonda Rhimes creations, it gets damn complicated.
Look, TV producers, the time is now. The world is big. Take a chance, be different. Stop giving us mashed potatoes and expecting us to keep getting excited with each subsequent dish. And stop insisting it’s us ladies who keep telling we will only accept mashed potatoes (Really, Stephen Moffat, really?).
What I lament in the latest Doctor Who announcement isn’t the actor, who I am sure will do a fine job. But the missed opportunity to give us something so very new and so very exciting. Just like our taste bus, our minds need new flavors to stay alert. In a world that’s always bigger on the inside, why keep giving us the same superficial outside? Seems a shame, sweetie. A damn, damn shame.
p.s. I for one think they should have bent space and time and made River Song the next doctor. I mean, they fly around in a blue police box with a swimming pool in the basement, anything is fucking possible.