While “Doctor Who” has always been a very contemporary show, Peter Capaldi, who currently plays the titular role in the long-running British sci-fi series, feels that it could do more to feel even more modern.
With the recent outcry against the Oscars and its whitewashing controversy, as well as the underrepresentation of diverse actors in television and in film, the “Doctor Who” star said that the series should put its feet firmly in the 21st century and encourage and take on multi-cultural castings for its main characters.
When asked by Newsweek whether or not there have been candidates from diverse backgrounds for the show’s lead roles, the actor answered, “Yes. Definitely.”
According to Capaldi, “Doctor Who” has been actively moving towards being more diverse. “I think it’s important the show reflects the times,” he said. “The world’s in a tough place at the moment and the Doctor is a hero for all times. So I think he, or she, or it – because he’s not a human being – should reflect the times. But it also has to be somebody who works within the creative hub of the show.”
“Doctor Who” has been a cultural phenomenon since the 1960s and, like the equally popular James Bond franchise, has always starred white male actors. This, according to Capaldi, doesn’t always have to be the case. As the actor/director told Newsweek, the person who replaces him and becomes the Thirteenth Doctor should be someone from a minority group or a woman.
During the interview, Capaldi went on to criticize the BBC’s handling of “Doctor Who” during its last run, in which it was pushed back to a time slot that was too late for some of its avid fans. “The BBC is an incredible organization, but… sometimes people there think, [Doctor Who is] looking after itself,” the actor said.
“And it’s not being looked after,” he added.
“Doctor Who” season 10 will debut sometime in 2017. Before that, Capaldi will appear in the annual “Doctor Who” Christmas Special, which airs on Christmas Day 2016.