Doctor Who season 11 has been back on our screens for a few weeks now and overall, the relaunch of the show has gone down a treat. Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor appears to be practically universally beloved and her team of best friends have been well received, too. There’s just one thing, though. Due to the majority of the cast being from the North of England, viewers not used to the accent are having trouble understanding them.
While speaking with Stylist, Mandip Gill – who plays Sheffield born-and-raised Yasmin Khan, a police officer now traveling with the Doctor – explained that she’d been forewarned that American audiences may have issues keeping up with her Northern accent. However, the actress pointed out that she doesn’t see the problem as there are other Northern English celebrities that US viewers will already be familiar with.
We were made aware that could be an issue from the beginning, but how I justified it was like, ‘You’ve got Scary Spice in the States, and she’s way more Northern than we are. So if you can understand her, which you completely do ‘cause she gets that X Factor job again and again, you can definitely understand us!’”
The topic of the broad accent of Gill’s co-star Jodie Whittaker became a viral sensation earlier this month when subtitles from the star’s spot on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert totally failed to replicate what she was saying. When the actress told Colbert that she was from Huddlesfield, the closed captioning translated it as “Hoodezfield.”
A valiant attempt by the American subtitler.. pic.twitter.com/EiVJOcvV0U
— The Frightful Hobgoblin (((Dotski))) (@dotski_w) October 4, 2018
Of course, this problem isn’t a new one. Back in 2014, some had difficulty deciphering Peter Capaldi’s strong Scottish accent. However, you rarely heard about this after his first season so presumably, people got the hang of it and it ceased to be an issue. No doubt the same thing will play out here over time.
Speaking of which, Doctor Who continues this weekend with 11×03 “Rosa,” in which the TARDIS lands slap bang in one of the most important moments of the American civil rights movement.