Whirr2008-03-05
Russell T. Davis

Even after consuming all three seasons of Dr. Who's Ninth and Tenth Doctors in less than a month, the novelty of seeing interracial dating has yet to wear off. It really brings to light how much of an issue ethnicity really is in my life. I mean, I've never lived in a hardcore racist city, and I do have a few black friends*. Nevertheless, I'm consistently surprised to see black folks and white folks dating each other on TV.

Most recently, in the episode Blink, the female protagonist is a white woman. During one (pretty fantastic) scene, she is heavily flirted with by a black cop with--get this--a thick Jamaican accent. It's like he wasn't even pretending to be white! He uses the line, "Life is short and you are hot, come get a drink", which presumably only works if you are a) extremely attractive, and b) a character in a TV show. Mind you, that accent didn't hurt anything, either.

I should clarify that, as I hope you've understood, I think this whole thing is great. It isn't at all that I'm upset by it, just that every time it happens I'm a little surprised. I can't figure out whether the script writers are just daring the audience to react, or if (perhaps) it is really, truly, genuinely No Big Deal in England for black folks and white folks to see each other first as hawt, and... well, if the show is to believed, they never do see each other as black or white.

Part of me wants to believe that other countries really are so progressive, but I bet the English are also a little surprised. This is a long, long way from Buffy, which is the only other popular TV show that I can think of to show explicitly that it was non-bigoted. A few episodes ago it was made explicit that the two old ladies, driving along and knitting, had been married for twenty years. Captain Jack Harkness, a recurring character in Dr. Who and, I believe, the lead in Torchwood, is explicitly bi. Myself, I blame Russell T. Davis, the producer of both shows. He also wrote and produced Queer as Folk, so there you go.

For what it's worth, I think I'm slowly coming to realize that, while this Dr. Who (and I've only ever seen these two incarnations, I I haven't watched the previous series) seems fluffy and popular and not-like-real-Art to me, it's actually quite well written. It might very well be that I prefer it to grittier, seemingly-more-complicated stuff like Firefly. Yep, I said it. Maybe I just haven't seen River Tam recently enough.




*One of whom is, potentially, moving into the 'nidge--I hope, I hope! That would rock, not because he's black, but because he is a geek. I might very well get to play D&D again, woot!

Comments
Sleepykins2008-03-06
The movie _Secrets and Lies_ does a great job exploring some of the issues of race in British culture. I highly recommend it if you are interested in the different ways race plays out there versus in the US.