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Saturday, 12 August 2017

My opinion has been requested, so here it is



A non-birding topic for you to ignore if you want to.

I wasn’t going to say anything…but. Anyone who knows me well is aware that I am a lifelong fan of Doctor Who – and I mean LIFELONG! I am a member of that disappearing generation who remember where they were the night Kennedy was assassinated and I also remember watching the first episode of Doctor Who the following day (and again the following week).

I thought that my silence on the selection of a woman to be the Doctor would speak volumes but several people have texted or emailed me and asked what I thought about it so, with calmness and after a cooling off period from the announcement I will say that in my opinion it is an indefensible and total debacle and I will no longer be watching the programme when it comes back next year (in fact I as things stand I am not going to bother watching the Christmas Special this year). 

Although you can say that it is just a television programme, it is one that I have been inordinately fond of and which has been a familiar theme throughout my life and I have seldom experienced such a strong feeling of betrayal as I felt over this announcement. Frankly I would rather they had finished the series rather than effectively piss over 53 years of its history in such a manner.

I feel really sorry for Peter Capaldi, I loved the guy from day-one but he never really had a chance with the role as the show runner (Steven Moffatt) had run out of new ideas several seasons before and for some weird reason, initially insisted on taking the focus off the main character and putting it onto a supporting character (who also outstayed her welcome by at least two series). In echoes of the Sylvester McCoy era, Capaldi was just making the character his own in this last series and could have gone on to be spectacular, but now it will never be. I have no personal dislike for the actress involved although she annoyed me the other day by saying that she hoped that fans would not feel threatened. Threatened? To the fans she is talking to, her feelings and opinions are probably perceived as nothing more than an unnecessary irrelevance in regard to this situation – this is just another acting job as far as she is concerned. I actually admire her courage for taking on the role; I just hope she appreciated how controversial it would be.

In my opinion this is just yet another politically correct innovation, put in to place in the hope that she will increase falling viewer numbers perhaps by appealing to the attention of teenage boys or by being a positive, heroic role model for gay women to admire (apparently two of the key demographics when deciding what should be on British television these days – I refer you to the awful Doctor who spin-offs ‘Torchwood’ and the more recent horrendous effort ‘Class’)

The new runner Chris Chibnal can’t lose. A place is established  in history for the maverick show-runner who decided that his views should take precedence over 53 years of loyal fan following (I will say very little about any ‘cronyism’ around the selection of the actress  concerned – watch Chibnal’s Broadchurch, and  make your own mind up).

As for me, am I a representative of the older generation opposed to change – yes if its change for change sake?

I am not closed minded, I had accepted that the character could (in principle), change gender – skin-colour etc. – in fact anyone who knows me well enough will tell you that as a white Anglo-Saxon (lapsed) protestant, I have been espousing the merits of Black actor Danny John Joules as my choice to play the character since even before Peter Capaldi’s tenure. The point is just because a woman is able to do something, doesn’t mean that she should. I don’t think that I am closed minded, just angry at the idiocy behind a really bad decision and suspicious that it is could be just a covert plan to let the show scuttle itself (not paranoia - they did a  similar thing in the eighties)

No – that is as much as I have to say, it was a programme that gave me much happiness and entertainment for many years and was one last tenuous link to my childhood that is no longer there.

I’m just seriously sick to the teeth of the increasing power of the P.C. liberal left in influencing everyone’s life these days, regardless of if it is a welcome interference or not ! I don’t think my feelings are unique? If we had a referendum on whether political correctness should be made illegal, I suspect that the outcome would cause as much surprise as Brexit! - Chaz