Doctor Who Showrunner Says The Political Stories Are Vital


Doctor Who season 11 was the biggest change to the long-running sci-fi show since 2010 – perhaps even since the series was rebooted in 2005 – and it’s fair to say that it didn’t please all the hardcore fans out there. A common criticism was that its batch of episodes were “too political.”

Who has always worked with themes that applied to our world, much like all good science fiction, but some have complained that this has swallowed up the fantasy element of late. For instance, “Rosa” and “Demons of the Punjab” had minimal alien/time travel aspects to them and were mostly period dramas which told stories of racism and cultural division that spoke to our troubles in the 21st century.

While speaking at a Q&A after a screening of the New Year’s special, “Resolution,” showrunner Chris Chibnall defended the socio-political focus of his scripts, explaining that he thinks it’s “really important” for Doctor Who to reflect the society around us.

“I think you want to be writing about the world that we live in. The show is not a standalone thing, it’s a response to the times that we’re living in and the world that we’re in. When it comes to things that affect people’s lives—I think particularly things that children and young adults are going through—that feels really important.”

“Rosa” and “Demons” are perhaps the most obvious examples of Chibnall’s approach, but several other episodes in season 11 also clearly hold a mirror up to the world in 2018 2019. “Arachnids in the U.K.,” for example, featured a wannabe U.S. president clearly modeled after Trump, while “The Witchfinders” spoke about a patriarchal society’s treatment of women.

As said above, using sci-fi plots to talk about issues we face in real life is nothing new, and certainly isn’t for Doctor Who. The show’s most famous monsters, the Daleks, tap into themes of racial persecution, for instance. Speaking of whom, perhaps their return in tonight’s special will mollify those unhappy with season 11’s approach. Maybe fans are just used to having their social commentary mixed in with monsters with egg whisks for arms.

Source: Radio Times