Science fiction needs more queer women.
In sci-fi, women mainly exist to wear revealing outfits, shoot space guns and provide sexual frustration for the male protagonist. Very few sci-fi movies or TV shows pass the Bechdel test. If there happens to be a queer female character, she’s likely to die within a few episodes, or will probably be a shallow character with a D-cup. Probably both.
Dr. Who, one of the most popular shows on British television, is taking a step in the right direction. The show follows an extraterrestrial Time Lord called “The Doctor” who explores time and space in a British police box.
Dr. Who show started in 1963. It’s retained its longevity by having the doctor “reincarnate” with a new personality and new sidekick every time the writers get tired of the lead male actor. The current doctor is Peter Capaldi.
But finally, the sidekick – ahem, “companion” – is going to be a queer woman. And not just a queer woman, but a queer woman of color. In other words, something rarer than a unicorn on TV.
If you’re worried about the queer woman being relegated to a sidekick, don’t worry. On this show, a sidekick isn’t a lackey, like the pathetic LaFou whom Disney is touting as their first gay character. The Doctor’s companion is like the Watson to his Sherlock – beloved, insightful and, in this case, very attractive.
Pearl Mackie will be playing the companion, Bill Potts. She told the BBC, “It’s important to say people are gay, people are black – there are also aliens in this world as well, so watch out for them.”
Rumors are swirling that the next doctor may be a woman, another first in the show’s 50-year history. Could there be romantic tension on the horizon if Potts and the doctor find each other very attractive?
I hope so.
I sincerely hope so.
Dr. Who returns on April 15.