Happy Pride Month from Blogtor Who!

Doctor Who is such a wonderfully diverse show, with an abundance queer talent both on and off-screen. At times like these, we need the Doctor more than ever.

Pride Month, for those unfamiliar with the term, is a month long celebration and commemoration of LGBT Pride. Pride Month began after the Stonewall riots, a series of gay liberation protests which took place in New York in June 1969.

 

Waris Hussein revisits the TARDIS
Waris Hussein revisits the TARDIS alongside Peter Capaldi (c) BBC Studios

There has always been LGBT talent both on and off screen, even from the very beginning of Doctor Who. The director of the first ever episode, An Unearthly Child, was directed by Warris Hussein, who is openly gay. Hussein was also instrumental in, alongside Verity Lambert, persuading William Hartnell to sign up as the First Doctor. At the other end of Doctor Who’s 20th century run, another gay man, John Nathan-Turner, would become the show’s longest ever lasting producer, from 1981 to 1989. A record he still holds to this day.

 

 

Doctor Who: Stranded 2 - Hattie Morahan, Rebecca Root, Tom Price, Paul McGann and Nicola Walker (c) Big Finish
Doctor Who: Stranded 2 – Hattie Morahan (Helen), Rebecca Root (Tania), Tom Price (Andy), Paul McGann (The Doctor) and Nicola Walker (Liv) (c) Big Finish

Big Finish is home to numerous LGBT friends and allies for the Doctor

In 2020 it was announced that Rebecca Root would portray the character of Tania Bell in the ongoing Eighth Doctor Adventures at Big Finish. This was a significant casting, as she became the very first transgender companion in Doctor Who. Big Finish have a long history of celebrating diversity, with the Stranded range being a prime example. Tania’s deepening relationship with Liv, along with fellow companion Helen’s realizations about her own sexuality, have made the range a highlight of LGBT representation in the Whoniverse.

 

Doctor Who - The Church on Ruby Road - Press Screening - Ncuti Gatwa - BBC STUDIOS 2023, Photo by Jeff Spicer
Doctor Who – The Church on Ruby Road – Press Screening – Ncuti Gatwa – BBC STUDIOS 2023, Photo by Jeff Spicer

Present day Doctor Who continues to progress the show’s representation of the LGBT community

Fast forward to the present day, and our incumbent Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa, is the first openly queer actor to take on the role. This a monumental leap forward in terms of representation, proving that quite literally anyone can play the Doctor.

This season also features the return of Rose, Donna Noble’s trans daughter played by Yasmin Finney. The forces of darkness, meanwhile, have included trans-femme actor Jinkx Monsoon as non-binary force of nature Maestro.

Recent years have also depicted the development of a gentle love story between the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her companion Yaz (Mandip Gill). While only last month Pearl Mackie, who played the Doctor’s first openly lesbian companion, Bill, married her long-term girlfriend.

Behind the cameras, Russell T Davies, creator of groundbreaking LGBT dramas like Queer as Folk and It’s a Sin is responsible for the current era. But even more importantly than that, it’s thanks to him that Doctor Who is on our screens at all. It was his revival of the show in 2005 that paved the way for everything that’s followed.

Doctor Who has come a long way in showing its pride since the days of Masque of Mandragora when a gay relationship between Giuliano and Marco could only be subtly hinted at!

Once again, a very happy Pride Month from Blogtor Who!

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