BY PAUL NEWALL
When I read about the gender reassignment of the Doctor, I confess I let out an audible groan. Not because I couldn’t cope with one of my childhood favourites becoming a woman – I’d already been prepared for that eventuality by the “Doctors wife” episode in the Matt Smith era. The new show runner Chris Chibnall apparently made it a contractual issue for his Doctor to be a woman, this was going to be an exercise in diversity and inclusion that makes for great equal opportunity stats but rarely makes for good telly.
When Doctor Who was conceived by Sydney Newman, it was envisioned that the medium of time travel could be utilised to teach about history, however as the series progressed this concept took a back seat and it became a great sci-fi series that tackled interesting moral and philosophical questions while remaining compelling viewing . It gave us the idea of regeneration to freshen plot lines and some of the actors taking up the mantel went from zero to hero as their particular takes on the role expanded the Whovian universe with great scripts from the likes of Terry Nation and Douglas Adams .
The series was notoriously retired by Michael Grade and made a return in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston relaunching the franchise. In the most part the series progressed quite well until the mantel was passed to Peter Capaldi.
I think that Capaldi is by a country mile the greatest actor to play the Doctor, it was a huge opportunity and by far the greatest disappointment to see this dramatic colossus trying to squeeze entertainment and meaning out of some lousy scripts, but the direction of travel was very apparent , the Doctor was already regenerating as a social justice warrior.
I decided that I shouldn’t prejudge the new casting and I’ve watched each episode right to the end hoping that my fears were unjustified. The series has indeed gone back to its educational roots but instead of informing about history it’s decided to lecture us about how racist and misogynistic we all are …. hardly a winning strategy in my mind but it’s indicative of the preoccupation of our media by evangelical progressives (we are two movies into the latest Star Wars trilogy and the franchise is starting to bomb because diversity and inclusion is trumping content and plot).
If the Doctor can change sex and the best Jedi are now wimmin then why can’t everything become gender fluid? Some years ago I remember reading about a transgender woman in the Daily Mirror called Stephanie Lloyd. The paper did a very sympathetic two page spread about her transition, it fascinated me and I’ve spent decades reading scientific papers about transsexuality and I’ve noted a distinct change in reasoning. At first it was proffered as a rare condition called gender dysphoria, where a female brain developed in a male body and even more rarely the reverse in a female body. The jury for a great time was split between treating the people with this condition with counselling or with a scalpel.
Fast forward to the present day and activist teachers are encouraging kids who crossdress in infant school to be prescribed puberty blocking drugs in preparation for gender reassignment in the future. A case has been recently highlighted where autistic kids have been selected by mentors to undergo transition. Johns Hopkins hospital in the US has suspended gender reassignment because their ethics committee have speculated as to whether they are actually treating depressives for an imaginary manifestation of their depression . At this point I have to explain that I have a transitional female to male in my immediate family and she or he is bipolar like her/his mother. The suicide rate amongst pre op and post op transsexuals is identical at 40% and the other day we had remembrance day for transsexuals, where apparently we have to bow our heads for the bigotry that caused their demise. But what if it wasn’t so much our lack of acceptance but the fact that the person concerned was actually pathologically depressed anyway?
It concerns me greatly that in a ham fisted attempt to bring about a world where everyone gets to be whatever they desire, we are allowing people with mental illnesses to mutilate themselves to create an aspirational new person. As I pointed out earlier, medical research implies that there might be an argument for allowing this in adults but propelling a tomboy female or a effeminate male into a program of puberty-blocking drugs long before they have any idea who they are has no ethical or moral basis.
Some of you out there might think that I’m being over-sensitive to changes that are occurring in our society but I envisage in years to come we will have a generation of adults that have been surgically augmented to fit a whim of currently dominant social justice theory and that those adults will be left to cope with decisions that they took as bright eyed inexperienced children. I view the colonisation of Dr Who and Star Wars by gender fluidity and virtue signalling political correctness to be for the indoctrination of our children … and some adults I guess … into an insidious cult of postmodernism and intersectionality and I’d like us to return to just getting entertainment and escapism from our entertainment.
Guest Writer Paul Newall is a child of the 1960’s from a traditional Labour-supporting household. Paul dabbled with Trotskyism in the 1980’s but then “grew up and thanks to having responsibilities I slowly migrated across the political spectrum until instead of hating Maggie Thatcher I admired her for beating my side in the miners strike”.