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Doctor Who, politically correct?

The very, very, very good news from my son Matthew’s point of view is that across the street lives a 17-year-old girl who is a fellow Doctor Who fanatic. We invited E. and her boyfriend, a fellow Doctor Who fan, over yesterday afternoon to watch the annual Doctor Who Christmas special, which Matthew had recorded from BBC America. I don’t watch any of this stuff, but I could hear them in there having a great time.

Today I read in the Telegraph a review of that episode faulting it for being boringly p.c. Here’s an excerpt:

Worst of all was the misandrist posturing. The message, yelled at full volume, was that men are weak and women are strong. I’m not paraphrasing. Only women could save the acid-rain-threatened tree-people, the Doctor declared, though whether this was something to do with their two X chromosomes or the gynecological consequence of that was never (thankfully) explained. Even the rapacious, acid-rain-producing trio of alien humanoids appeared for long enough only to display men as useless (one burst into tears) and women sensible (the female acid-rain-producing etc instantly threw off her alien background to side with the protagonist, a middle-class 1940s mother). It was so narratively lazy, as well as politically predictable.

Since its reboot, Doctor Who has had two talented writers in charge, but both have flaws. Russell T Davies had a God complex about the Time Lord which became wearing towards the end. Steven Moffat’s politics are his own business, but when one of the most-watched children’s television characters becomes a cipher for Harmanism, then I object.

Again, I’m not a Doctor Who fan, so I have no idea if this is right on or not. I know some of you readers are fans of the Doctor (what you do call yourselves, anyway?). What say you? Is the Doctor politically correct? I heard gossip in my kitchen yesterday that Billie Piper might be coming back to the series as a future Doctor. All fans present, male and female alike, seemed to agree that would be totally weird and Just Not Done.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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