The next Doctor

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Why the next Doctor must be a white male

Steven Moffat
Executive Producer, Doctor Who

Dear Steven

I’m sorry to hear that Matt Smith is leaving Dr Who. I thought he did a pretty good job during his time as the Doctor. He wasn’t quite up there with Jon Pertwee or Tom Baker, and I still think David Tennant was a (marginally) better Doctor, but I enjoyed the zany energy Smith brought to the role.

Anyhow, that’s not what I’m writing to you about. I have penned this letter because I have a proposal for you.

I know you’ll be under immense pressure to find a replacement right now, and you may even have your eye on a particular actor for the role. You are also going to be put under immense pressure to break with tradition and make the next Doctor a woman or a black man, or both!

But I urge you not to be too hasty. It may be true that every Doctor to date has been a white man, but would one more white male Doctor be such a bad thing? Just one more?

I’ve nothing against women and black people, you understand. Heck, I even met some women once, and they seemed fine to me. So you certainly won’t be able to accuse me of being sexist or misogynistic. And as for  minorities, I’m all for equal rights, so long as my privilege can be maintained.

If you’re wondering why I’m telling you all this, please be patient. It will become clear in a moment.

Anyway, here’s my proposal: make me the next Doctor.

First, let me be up-front about a few things. I have no acting experience, I’m certainly not telegenic, and I have personality traits that would make me an extraordinarily demanding person for you to work with. I also live in New Zealand and am not prepared to emigrate to the UK, no matter how much money you offer me.

But put aside those minor issues for a moment and let me sell you my vision for Doctor Who.

The show is going great right now, but you can’t seriously expect this success to continue unless you are prepared to allow it to grow and adapt. We all love the way the Doctor travels through space and time saving planets and galaxies from oblivion in all sorts of crazy ways, and often when it seems all hope is lost. But maybe people are growing tired of seeing the Doctor escape from utterly impossible situations again and again.

I think the next Doctor needs to be a bit more down to earth and believable.

This is where I come in. I understand the mundane. I spend hours a day in front of a computer screen, and when I’m not working at my desk or blogging, I’m usually doing the dishes or other chores.

Imagine a Doctor who, instead of saving the Earth from a Dalek invasion yet again, devotes an action-packed 42 minute episode to rescuing his front lawn from the choking horror of overgrown grass. Imagine a character who, far from doing amazing and almost impossible things to save lives in the nick of time, misses an appointment with his accountant because he’s stuck in traffic.

I can also do intense drama, if that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for. In Genesis of the Daleks, Tom Baker’s character was tormented by the terrible decision he had to make: did he have the moral right to destroy the entire Dalek race? Compare that to the terrible decision I have to make at some point in the next couple of days: do I admit to my wife that it was me (and not the kids) who broke the trampoline?

Some people won’t like this new Doctor, but he will appeal to a whole new audience because he’s all too real. He won’t face death on a daily basis, but his life won’t be entirely risk-free either. I have attached a separate sheet with some plot ideas, and you can see that this new Doctor is going to get into a lot of scrapes. Like walking across a child’s room barefoot in the dark, knowing that even the slightest misstep will result in a horrid and painful Lego-related injury. Or spilling his trim flat white over his shirt only moments before an important client meeting.

And that’s why you need me. I can do the mundane. I practically invented it.

Please choose me. I really need this. This is my last shot at the big time. Go on, please. Please please please! Don’t leave me here! I’m begging you.

Look, forget all that other stuff I said. I will emigrate to the UK. If you need me to do nude scenes I’ll do nude scenes. Anything you want, name it, I’ll do it. Just give me this role!