Doctor Who Actor Fires Back At Backlash Over Political Correctness
The introduction of Jodie Whittaker as the latest Doctor received backlash from certain people believing that the BBC had diverted from their idea of Doctor Who. This unfortunate angle continued as the series tackled racism and other issues in its latest season, including the episode “Demons of the Punjab.”
Actor Hamza Jeetooa, who appeared in this installment, has now spoken out about why claims of political correctness weakening the series are wide of the mark. Speaking to Digital Spy, he commented as so:
“There’s always going to be people with opinions saying we don’t see it this way and we don’t believe that, but I felt really confident about it and really excited to be a part of it and make a little bit of history.”
The actor goes on to explain the thinking of the creative team behind the series, explaining:
“They wanted to change things up and they wanted to open it up to a whole new audience as well. So there may have been some audience lost, but there has been so much gained as well, for the better.”
“Demons of Punjab,” the sixth entry in season 11 of the new Doctor Who, tackles the partition of India in 1947 as part of companion Yaz’s desire to know more about her family history. Jeetooa’s character Manish is a Hindu nationalist trying to prevent his brother from marrying a Muslim neighbor and the story eventually ends in tragedy, despite the Doctor and her companion’s best efforts.
The episode was nominated for a Hugo Award, and was joined by episodes that season like “The Witchfinders” and “Rosa” that directly dealt with oppression, sexism and racism. We’d expect the next run of Doctor Who to continue exploring these themes, too, with new episodes likely to arrive in early 2020.
So far, we’ve seen a few glimpses of classic monsters, a possible environmental storyline, and rumors of a darker tone for the series, but details have been mostly kept under wraps. Those keen for new(ish) Doctor Who content though can check out the BBC-endorsed fan recreation of a classic episode, which we looked at earlier this week.