The new Doctor has been announced (Peter Capaldi in case you haven’t heard), and the fact that he is yet another white male in the role annoyed a few fans. Neil Gaiman recently answered some fan questions on his Tumblr about the decision – specifically how he felt about a female Doctor Who – and besides those thoughts, he also discussed the notion of diversity in the role. When he asked if he thinks there will ever be a non-white Doctor, he said:
“Of course. (I thought I’d said that I was disappointed that it didn’t happen this time, and that there are some amazing actors out there. I was rather disappointed that Paterson Joseph didn’t get it last time, although I’ve loved Matt’s Eleven.) And yes, I have no doubt there will be. (I know one black actor who was already offered the part of the Doctor, and who turned it down.)”
Interesting. Very interesting. Now we’re extremely curious to know who it is and why they turned it down.
As far as that question about a female Doctor, Gaiman doesn’t think it’s time yet.
“If I were show-running (I’m not) I wouldn’t cast a woman as the Doctor yet, and it would absolutely be on my list of things to do in the following regeneration. (I was the one who wrote the line about the Corsair changing gender on regeneration, in “The Doctor’s Wife” after all, and made it canon that Time Lords can absolutely change gender when they regenerate.)
Some of that is stuff I’d find hard to articulate, mostly having to do with what kind of Doctor you follow Matt Smith’s Doctor with: someone harder and much older and more dangerous and, yes, male feels right to me, as a storyteller. Where you go after that, ah, that’s a whole new game…”
I see his point of view, and I think we’ll get there one day. Until then, let’s see what Capaldi can do.