In Depth

Has Doctor Who become too ‘politically correct’?

Stars reject accusation and say storylines ‘create conversation’ about broader issues

The stars of flagship BBC drama Doctor Who have rejected claims that the programme has become too politically correct.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole, who play the Doctor’s companions Yaz and Ryan said that the show can provoke “extreme opinions” in some viewers who comment online.

Responding to the accusation that the show has become too politically correct, Gill said: “It makes me laugh, because having the words ‘too’ and ‘correct’ in the same sentence is really bizarre to me. How can you be too correct about something?”

“You do see some extreme comments under news articles. I’m only human and I do check and read them. But they don’t bother me and actually they’re creating conversation,” she added.

This series of Doctor Who “is the first to have a female lead, with Jodie Whittaker receiving glowing reviews since assuming the role of the Doctor”, says The Guardian.

But fans “have reported a change in tone since Whittaker stepped into the tardis, with storylines focussing on racism, intolerance and other social issues”, says the Daily Telegraph.

Two recent episodes in particular have dealt with sensitive historical issues. Demons of the Punjab saw Whittaker visit India in 1947 against the backdrop of partition while another episode retold the story of Rosa Parks and the struggle for civil rights.

Cole said that episodes such as these were useful as prompts to viewers to think about broader issues.

He said: “Everyone’s going to have their own opinion – it is what it is. The fact that we can give everyone a little friendly, entertaining reminder of these issues is great.”

Last month, Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh described the idea that the programme was becoming too politically correct as “such a load of b******s” ahead of a guest appearance on the show.

“To watch that first episode and see proper representation was absolutely brilliant for me. I was buzzing off it, because that’s the world we live in and when you see it reflected on-screen, it’s like, ‘Oh, finally, this is great!'” she told Digital Spy.

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