Interesting discussion but some strange assumptions made and seeming ignorance of the UK. One of the panelists seemed to think the show was failing in terms of diversity because it doesn’t accurately represent the ethnic makeup of the USA. Rather than African American(?) and Hispanic characters DW should have a larger proportion of South Asian, West African, Afro-Carribean, Eastern European and Irish characters to have a more accurately diverse cast. Reply
Interesting discussion but some strange assumptions made and seeming ignorance of the UK.
One of the panelists seemed to think the show was failing in terms of diversity because it doesn’t accurately represent the ethnic makeup of the USA.
Rather than African American(?) and Hispanic characters DW should have a larger proportion of South Asian, West African, Afro-Carribean, Eastern European and Irish characters to have a more accurately diverse cast.
Love the show and have become an avid listener over the last 6 months or so. So much so that I now often ponder, what would life be like without Radio Free Skaro? (And Verity!, I have to add.)
Anyway, looking forward to the Colour Separation Overlay discussion (haven’t got that far into the ep yet) but just wanted to comment that Robert Picardo, superb chap though he is, probably isn’t a Doctor Who fan. There’s a RedLetterMedia interview with him on YouTube conducted at (I think) ComiCon in which he’s standing right next to a bronze Dalek but claims to have no idea what it is. I know, shocking to think there are such people in the world.
Long Time Listener – First Time Caller here.
I instantly felt I had to jump on to comment after finishing this fascinating episode only to find that Morton had pretty much beaten me to it.
This I feel is probably the toughest subject matter that I as a Brit find hard to listen to. When the predominately American-Canadian podcast circuit (and fan writing) discuss terms of how this British show is treating ethnicity and race it’s always, always discussed in terms of an North American perspective, not taking into account the immense difference in culture and history of immigration and representation on this side of the pond.
Having been an Assistant Director on British TV for 17 years (and worked for the BBC) I’ve been close to Producers and Directors who consistently strive to include diversity. In fact my last job for the BBC, Holby City, revolved around a Nigerian Wedding and family. But as Morton says diversity is different here and I felt the commentators never took this into account. On this topic, any British TV show will suffer if it’s not considered as an animal of it’s own environment. There are 1.4 M Black British (The correct term alongside Afro-Carribean. Afro-British is not.) whilst there is 4.3M of various Asian descents. There’s 0.1M Hispanics. In a population of 63M. There also may be an argument that there is under-representation in the acting profession rather than the visibility of roles.
I hopefully offer only a constructive criticism. I hope Colour Separation Overlay continues and it is a much needed part of DW fandom, but a British voice would add a large and critical context, much as Liz does over at Verity. I wish Lindsey all the best in his endeavours.
Also a (very) long time listner and first time poster.
I just wanted to echo Morton and Jarrod’s comments here. Thought the discussion was genuinely fascinating but that is not to say that, as a Brit, it made for strange listening to at times. Always good to hear a different perspective but a lot of the points raised seemed to be North American in tone. That is not to say that Doctor Who had a wider responsibility now that it is a international behemoth – however, for me, part of its charm is its particular (and perculiar) Britishness.
Wow, you guys all beat me to the punch! I too am a lifelong listener to the podcast. I love your show and found this episode extremely interesting, but I must say, I was very disappointed to hear only North American voices discussing cultural diversity on a British show. Now, that’s not to say that valid points weren’t made, but without the voice of someone of colour who can truly speak on diversity on the show AND it’s relation to current cultural diversity in the UK then all the discussion served to do was imprint North American cultural and societal norms on a show that is not filmed, cast, or written there. Considering the modern makeup of today’s UK, boiling down a discussion of diversity to the more typically American black and white situation does a disservice to the show, and to the discussion (while other diversity was discussed the vast majority of the podcast fell along those lines). Again, that’s not to say that there isn’t a need to discuss things like the marginalization of the idea of male black companion, but I also wonder if that was a prevalent issue throughout fandom or just American fandom. As a black American male, i’m more than curious to see not only what diversity means to a person of colour in the UK, but how those ideas stack up against Doctor Who’s presentation.
I’m very interested in hearing more from this topic, and I don’t want to tread more on what’s already been mentioned above, but maybe next time we can focus on diversity that’s less a reflection of race relations in America. I’d be interested to hear a discussion about the need for characters like Rita (a muslim female character played beautifully by Amara Karan) in “The God Complex”, which is a character type that you don’t see often on tv.
Thanks again, love the podcast!
Haha – looks like everyone beat me to the punch ! :o) I’m another Brit who found the panel discussion very US-centric. I’d be interested to hear the views of non-Caucasian British listeners, but for me the panel seemed quite removed from my experiences in the UK. (One of the panellists even at one point hoped that more “Afro-Americans” are included in the next series – no doubt that was a slip of the tongue and unintended, but it did seem reflective of the general tone.)
As others have said, I don’t want this to sound overly negative. It was still an interesting discussion, and kudos to the RFS podcast for allowing them time to (hopefully) kickstart their own podcast.
Thanks for the comments, everyone. And I agree about the lack of a UK voice on this episode, but it was intended to (hopefully!) be a kickstart to a new podcast from Lindsey that would look at several issues over the course of the show. In fact, just after recording, we touched on at least six other topics that would make for great episodes (The Talons of Weng-Chiang could fill up two hours worth of discussion alone!) that will hopefully cover a wide variety of subjects in the future.