Doctor Who has returned for yet another season in its historic run. For only the second time since the show originally debuted in 1963 the Doctor will have an ethnic minority as his primary companion. Bill Potts is a black openly lesbian character played by Pearl Mackie. The only other ethnic minority to be a primary companion for the Doctor lasted just one season. It’s a bit disappointing considering how progressive the show has been, especially in its most recent run, that there would thus far be just one completed season since 1963 that a person of color had a lead role on the show.
Yet of course the character is already getting some blowback from fans. The critique is not openly about the character’s color but rather her sexuality as some are openly complaining that the character is needlessly sexualizing Doctor Who. Still it’s hard not to believe that the character’s color is not playing a role because the fact is that the show has been overtly sexualized since its return in 2005.
The Doctor has had multiple love interests throughout time and space since the show’s return and he has even gotten married since then. The show has even had an openly pansexual character, Jack Harkness, who was so popular he got his own spinoff show. It is also stated that in the future human beings leave Earth and travel across the galaxy to mate with every species they find. And the show’s most recent companion, Clara Oswald, was heavily implied to be bisexual. Yet somehow these story lines and characters didn’t receive complaints that they were needlessly sexualizing the show.
I wonder why it’s suddenly an issue?