The best sci-fi storytelling holds up a mirror to our own world, so it’s no surprise that Doctor Who has sometimes veered into the political.
For decades the BBC series has been telling parables about immigration, the futility of war, the importance of environmentalism and the creeping rise of technology, confronting whatever issues were relevant at the time and becoming an important pop cultural reflection of society.
However, one issue that has largely been dodged by the series (except in an early draft of this year’s Empress of Mars) is Britain’s upcoming exit from the European Union, aka Brexit, with the Doctor’s stance on the dicey political issue left unknown.
That is, until now – because Twelfth Doctor actor Peter Capaldi has now revealed exactly what the Time Lord adventurer thinks of Brexit, with the Scottish star (soon to make his own Dwexit after his final episode this Christmas) asked about the topic while appearing at Portland’s Rose City Comic-con over the weekend.
“I don’t think he’d be very happy,” Capaldi told the crowd. “But I think he would know that it’d be alright. That it’s going to be sorted.”
A measured response, we’d say – but then again, the Doctor may also have a bit of insider info when it comes to a post-Brexit UK, having visited one waaaay back in 2010 episode The Beast Below when he was played by Matt Smith.
Or at least that’s what we argued a few years ago, suggesting that the episode’s specific context – presenting a UK that must have legislatively separated from Scotland and the rest of the world, given that it was the only country unable to send itself into space – could only be possible in a world where Brexit had already happened (and space whales also existed, but hey. Anything’s possible).
And given that the Doctor DID manage to save that society, we’d guess you could say that the sci-fi Brexit was “sorted” – though the Earth had also been burned up by solar flares while humanity was terrorised by spinning-head fairground robots, so there’s pros and cons on all sides really. Fingers crossed the Doctor's around for the real thing, eh?
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this Christmas