Why Doctor Who Isn't For My Daughter
I've recently been thinking about what geek TV I should introduce my daughter to when she gets older. Yep, I am a planner. I mean, I'm already thinking about our 19-month-old when she's age 4, which should be the perfect age to start gaming (but that is a future post).
An array of shows went through my mind that were kinda staples for my geekdom:
Doctor Who: Old School (which I grew up with) and New School
Deep Space Nine
The Greatest American Hero
Kindred: The Embraced
Land of the Lost
The Walking Dead (Muhhh haaaaa.....haaaa......)
Marvel's Agents of Shield (ha ha ha ha ha...)
...and on and on...
My first thoughts go to Doctor Who, my favorite show for ages and ages; I even worked Doctor Who into my wedding vows to give you an idea of how much I have loved that show. To give you more evidence, when I had the opportunity to ask one question of author Neil Gaiman (at one of times I got to see him in person), I asked him who his Doctor was. His answer? The 2nd, Patrick Troughton. And I swear he told me this before this article came out. (In case you're wondering, my Doctor is the 7th.)
But even given all my history with the show, I hesitate showing this series to my daughter. This thing that I love(d) so much! It struck me as the list was coming together, that most of my list does not have any really strong representation of PoC, and I'm revisited by the lingering memory of how much I wanted to see that when I was watching each of these shows. Growing up, I kept waiting for the Doctor to have a black companion or to regenerate into a PoC or a woman (and initially before a massive ton of FAN BACKLASH, Mr. Moffat had made it clear that the Doctor will not be changing that much and will remain a white male. Though now he seems to be teasing that that could change. My gut tells me that is just a ploy to appease fans for a few more seasons.).
Of course the new Doctor Who has had Martha and Mickey. But both of these characters were unwanted by the Doctor and had to prove themselves time and time again before being accepted. We could also look at their characters . . . Martha (who, in my opinion, is one of the best companions) was brilliant and creative, but also lovesick for the Doctor and lived in the shadow of Rose during her tenure as companion.
And Mickey . . . poor, poor Mickey . . . I so wanted to like him but they made him a bad boyfriend, and little more than an idiot at the start of the new episodes, destined to lose his girlfriend to the Doctor. Even though they tried to make him into a hero in later episodes, it was too late. To add insult to injury, the show's creators had the two get married! Because only a PoC can marry a PoC? WTF! WTF! Why . . .
Based on all of this, I just can’t do it to her.
But . . .
At the same time, I remember sitting in the dark watching PBS and waiting for that familiar theme song to come on and the sound of the TARDIS filling my small living room. Everything else faded away and it became the Doctor and me. Or, I remember reading the Virgin New Adventures novels and reading about my favorite Doctor--Time’s Champion--play chess with the evils of the universe. The show influenced so many aspects of my life, my gaming, my approach to things and, helped developed a deep understanding of intelligence. All of these things would be great for my daughter but . . .
The Other Contenders
I hear you saying "Ok. So if not Doctor Who, what about Buffy or Angel, dude?!" And you know, Joss is great, and for a while those shows were on my list. But I've thought about his work and it is not very diverse-friendly. I am glad that he has stepped down/been let go for Avengers 3 (yet another blog post).
Much to my surprise Veronica Mars is pretty high on my list to show her. Veronica is a brilliant, strong and versatile character, teamed with a diverse cast that surrounds her. It's on my list, but it's a show I can't show her for quite a while. My favorite Star Trek, DS9, is also on the list. But none of these are great for right now, or the next couple of years. Red Dwarf . . . just thinking about the show has me smiling and thinking back to some of the great episodes.
For now, she is loving Fraggle Rock, Daniel Tiger and Sesame Street. I have recently heard about Tinga Tinga Tales and Rastamouse, which will need some looking into before showing them to her. The list will come together and whatever I find, you can rest assured it will be shared to help other parents.
The search continues . . . as does my hope for a Black Doctor. Psst, Mr. Moffat! I've been told I have a great voice for television.