Chris Chibnall defends Doctor Who’s focus on social issues: “It’s fundamental”
Jodie Whittaker’s first series as the Doctor was accused by some of political correctness, but the head writer says it’s “a response to the times we’re living in”
Doctor Who boss Chris Chibnall has defended the BBC sci-fi drama’s focus on social issues during the most recent series, telling fans that “you want to be writing about the world that we live in.”
Some of the series’ storylines, which saw new Doctor Jodie Whittaker and her Tardis team tackle issues including racism and sexism throughout time and space, had been criticised by certain viewers as too ‘politically correct,’ claiming that under Chibnall’s leadership the show had a more socially progressive outlook at the expense of storytelling.
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Many more fans, meanwhile, noted that Doctor Who has always been a show that examined issues of prejudice, hate and social justice, while some of the series’ actors (including Whittaker herself and companions Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill) argued that the storylines were an accurate reflection of modern society.
Now, Chibnall has also weighed in on the issue, telling fans at a screening for upcoming New Year’s Day episode Resolution that he thought touching on these topics was “really important” for Doctor Who.
“I think it's fundamental,” Chibnall said.
“I think you want to be writing about the world that we live in. The show is not a standalone thing, it's a response to the times that we're living in and the world that we're in.
“And when it comes to things that affect people's lives - I think particularly things that children and young adults are going through - that feels really important.
“I think the character of the Doctor, and [her friends] as well, is a great conduit into discussing all that...and then you add monsters as well,” he concluded.
So from the sounds of it, plenty more real-world issues will be tackled by the Doctor and her pals when the series returns for another run in 2020. Guess we can start this argument all over again in a year or so, then…
This article was originally published in December 2018