It’s amazing that a ‘simple’ children’s drama can shape how we think and feel about the world. Admittedly this series that started out to educate children in the UK has been going for fifty years now. It’s moved on over the years to be a phenomenon that is loved by both adults and children the world over. Through its clever scripts though, it makes us see the world differently. It makes us think ‘outside’ our comfort zone, challenging our comfy views of the world.
Even the old series, lost in the realms of the time vortex, had the power to view the world through a different point of view. However it was with the 2005 reboot that the writing constantly challenged views and the diversity of characters became more powerful. The old series was often criticised for being very white, middle class. It had a male character as lead with the female characters often being seen as subservient. However the twin powers of Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat had other ideas for the franchise.
This time, instead of the Doctor being all conquering, he was more vulnerable. The casting of Rose as his companion was genius. Here was a girl who was bang up to date, questioned him and made him think. The stories showed a subtle change as well with the way aliens were treated. No longer were they evil (although to be fair the old series never assumed this).
The Doctor is always seen as the paragon of virtue, always willing to accept those who are different. He’s compassionate, caring and willing to help anyone. He stands up for injustice across time and space. He’s not bothered what colour, creed, gender or sexuality you are. He stands above such things. He judges people by their actions, without labels or prejudice. It sees the good in everyone, even the evil force that was or is the Daleks. In fact in a very early episode he has the chance to kill their creator but stopped short of doing this. Most of us would have taken that option to stop them spreading and killing, but not the Doctor. He reasoned that the Daleks had one purpose to the universe, they made people come together, put their differences aside and rally against them, much the same as the world did in World War Two against the fascist armies of Germany.
The gender or sexual preference of characters in the series isn’t important to the Doctor. As I said before he judges a person on their worth, not on some arbitrary label imposed. It doesn’t matter the race, and there are literally millions in the series, but how respectful they are of each other. The Doctor will never judge a person based on sexuality, race, colour and creed yet we do it all the time putting labels on people and using this as a way we think about that particular group. None of these things matter and rightly the Doctor doesn’t care or be prejudiced.
The Doctor is a very clever construct to make us think about the world differently. He is someone who we should all look to and maybe foillow his example. he doesn’t define himself by his sexuality, race or religion but by his actions. A good place to start.