Just Sociology

The Eleventh Series of Doctor Who: Politically Correct or Preachy?

The TV series ‘Doctor Who’ has been a fan favorite since its inception in 1963. However, the eleventh series of the franchise, which aired in 2018, sparked a lot of contentious debates surrounding its politically correct agenda and an inconsistent portrayal of the lead character, the Doctor.

This article delves into these controversies with a critical lens, analyzing the portrayal of minority characters in the show, the moralizing episodes, and the deviation from the original character of the Doctor. The aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of these issues, their implications, and their reception by the show’s audience.

Minority Inclusion of Sidekicks

The eleventh series of Doctor Who introduced a diverse set of characters as the doctors companions. Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin Khan, and Graham OBrien are depicted as a black British man, a British Pakistani woman, and an older white British man, respectively.

While the intention to include diversity was commendable, the execution was criticized for being heavy-handed and lacking nuance. Ryans dyspraxia and Yasmin Khans ethnicity are brought up too often and too prominently, making the characters seem one-dimensional.

Furthermore, the working-class background of these characters appears to be perpetuated as passive recipients of the doctors heroism. Despite the best intentions, including diversity by turning the companions into tokens and prosthetics is bound to have a limited appeal, and critics have expressed disappointment with their characterization.

The shows adherence to political correctness often overshadows character development, making it difficult to engage with the characters as human beings with personalities, motivations, and ambitions beyond their minority representation.

Preachy Moralizing in Episodes

Another issue that plagued the eleventh season of Doctor Who was the profound preaching on morality and contemporary politics that often bogged down episodes. Episodes such as ‘Rosa,’ ‘Demons of the Punjab,’ and ‘The Witchfinders,’ attempted to tackle sensitive subjects like racism, minority rights, and patriarchy, only to reduce them to heavy-handed morals that are too obvious and too preachy.

While the show was known for being socially conscious in the past, the eleventh season left audiences disappointed due to the lack of subtlety. For example, “Rosa” portrays Rosa Parks as a passive recipient of the Doctor’s heroism, who tries to solve social issues without resorting to fighting.

The pacifist stance of the show is welcome, but the episode fails to provide a genuinely insightful and nuanced view of the character or the issue. Similarly, “The Witchfinders” attempts to tackle the issue of women’s oppression in the historical context of witch-hunting, but only to portray it as if today’s standards of gender equality were the solution.

The show often simplifies nuanced issues for the sake of preaching and moralizing, which detracts from the show’s entertainment value.

The Character of the Doctor in Early Seasons

When the character of the Doctor was first introduced in the series, he was portrayed as a solitary, chaotic, and often dark figure. His tragic past, coupled with his capacity for heroism, made him one of the most compelling sci-fi protagonists on television.

The Doctor was an enigmatic figure, rewriting the boundaries of the show’s sci-fi universe with his every move. The early seasons of Doctor Who were built on moments that challenged the viewer’s understanding of the universe, and the character of the Doctor was central to this dynamic.

Current Characterization of The Doctor

In contrast, the current version of the character has morphed into a hyper-politically correct and preachy moralist, who seems to have a universal moral code that she quotes every chance she gets. The Doctors character has been trivialized and reduced to a vehicle of social change, which not only contrasts with her earlier complexity but also detracts from the show’s entertainment value.

The constant preaching is shallow and fails to evoke the nuanced explorations of morality present in earlier seasons. The eleventh series of the show has offered viewers a doctor who is too obvious and too straightforward, who does very little to challenge our preconceptions of the universe.


In conclusion, the politically correct agenda and the departure from original complex characterization have marred the eleventh series of Doctor Who. The show’s attempt at increasing diversity is admirable, but the execution has been criticized as heavy-handed and superficial.

Similarly, the moralizing episodes disappoint audiences in their lack of subtlety and failure to offer nuanced takes on sensitive issues. The characterization of the Doctor has also undergone significant changes, with the current character being a far cry from the solitary and dark figure that captivated audiences in the past.

The eleventh series of Doctor Who is certainly not without its admirable qualities, but the political correctness agenda may be doing more harm than good when it comes to the entertainment value of the show. In conclusion, the eleventh series of Doctor Who has been a topic of contention owing to its political correctness agenda and changed characterization of the Doctor.

While diversity and social consciousness are respectable goals, heavy-handed execution and lack of subtlety detract from the show’s entertainment value. The significant changes in character and storytelling have challenged viewers’ reception, with mixed reactions.

The controversies, however, indicate the importance of representation and storytelling in popular culture and the need for responsible and nuanced balancing of social and entertainment values, a topic highly relevant in today’s world. FAQs:

Q: Why has the inclusion of minority actors in Doctor Who been criticized?

A: The inclusion of minority actors has been criticized for being heavy-handed and superficial, turning the characters into tokens and prosthetics. Q: Why have some episodes been criticized for being too preachy?

A: Some episodes have been criticized for being too preachy because they oversimplify complex issues for the sake of preaching rather than offer nuanced insights. Q: Why have some fans been disappointed with the current characterization of the Doctor?

A: Some fans have been disappointed with the current characterization of the Doctor because it is hyper-politically correct, preachy, and trivializes the complexity present in earlier seasons. Q: What can we learn from the controversies surrounding the eleventh series of Doctor Who?

A: The controversies surrounding the show indicate the importance of responsible and nuanced representation and storytelling in popular culture, balancing entertainment and social values.

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