Doctor Who‘s eleventh season introduced Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor to the world and, as is usual with the show, the new Time Lord’s first outing caused fans to rile against the change in approach to the series. While some praised its increasingly diversified cast and emphasis on socially and politically aware stories, its critics described the new Who as becoming “too politically-correct.”
Whittaker and her co-stars have previously defended season 11 against this particular criticism, and now former Doctor David Tennant has stood alongside them in dismissing the argument. While speaking with The Observer, the erstwhile Tenth Doctor poked holes in the flimsy phrase and suggested that “inclusivity” is not something that only Whittaker’s era has brought to the show.
“Is it possible to be too politically correct? What does that even mean? Inclusivity has always been one of Doctor Who’s strengths.”
Mandip Gill, who plays companion Yaz Khan – the first Muslim time-traveller that Who‘s ever had – has said something similar to Tennant on the subject. “Having the words ‘too’ and ‘correct’ in the same sentence is really bizarre to me,” she explained about her feelings on the criticism during an interview last year. “How can you be too correct about something?”
Circling back to Tennant though, and in the same chat, he also opened up about how he advised his good pal Jodie Whittaker about taking the coveted role of the TARDIS-owning Time Lord. He revealed that he didn’t offer any acting tips, but they did discuss the outside factors of playing such a popular and high profile character. For more of the two Doctors chewing the fat, you might want to catch the latest episode of David Tennant Does a Podcast With…, which features Whittaker as a guest. You can find it here starting tomorrow.
And as for those aforementioned criticisms, well, it’s worth pointing out that episode 11×03 “Rosa,” which saw the Doctor witness the Rosa Parks bus incident, recently won a Visionary Honors award for its “positive social impact.” It’s also considered to be one of the series’ finest outings in years. As such, I think it’s safe to say that Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall and his team know what they’re doing.