Real people complaining about fictional people

The new Doctor Who has been announced, and it’s a woman. So of course, some fanboys (and some fangirls) are complaining. “But the Doctor is a man!”

No, the Doctor is fictional.

The biggest complainers are the ones who get an idea in their heads and decide that X version of a fictional character is the only one possible, and any variation is blasphemy. “Superman can’t be black!” they scream, ignoring the fact that Superman isn’t even human — he could be green and polka dotted (although that might make his secret identity a bit tougher to hide).

Sometimes it really matters whether a character is male or female, black or white … if it’s important to the plot. And sometimes the writer/director/producer decides to go against the expected to make a point or to do something different with the character.

Re-interpretations of fictional works happen all the time. Look at how many times Shakespeare has been done in a new way. Characters can change race and sex; the story can take place in the present or the future — it’s fiction. You can do that.

With Doctor Who, it’s even easier to change, because the Doctor changes. Since the show has been going on for 50 years or so, the same actor has not played the part and so the writers came up with “regeneration” where the Doctor sheds his old body and takes on a new one. I’ve never understood plot-wise why that has to happen, but I certainly understand why that needs to be done for TV’s sake. And there is nothing in the established history of the show to indicate why the Doctor regenerated as male the last dozen times (or, for that matter, why the aliens always seem to be attacking London, but that’s a separate issue). So what’s wrong with a female this time?  Statistically speaking, shouldn’t that have happened long ago?

For that matter, what’s wrong with changing real, actual history for dramatic purpose? Hamilton features minority actors playing the white Founding Fathers, and they did that to make a specific point, as well as to say, “Who cares what color the actor is that plays this part?”  The story is still plenty strong, the characters are believable and real, and so what if they don’t look exactly like the people they’re portraying?

So let’s stop complaining when we get a black Santa Claus or a black Hermione, or a female Doctor Who. It’s fiction.

Bohemian Christmas Tree

Is this a real tree?freddie santa
Is this the plastic type?
It doesn’t matter
As long as it’s one that Santa likes
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
Are those some sleigh bells?
Is that a reindeer noise?
Because I really can’t wait no more
Christmas Eve is at store
Anyway the sky snows
Doesn’t really matter to me
To me

Mama, I’ll say again
I just can’t go to bed
Santa’s coming in his sled
Mama, the night has just begun
I must stay up to greet him when he comes
Mama, ooh
Got some cookies and some milk
I’m just gonna sit by the fireplace and watch
Carry on, carry on
That’s all that really matters

It’s late, his time has come
Are those sleigh bells that I hear?
Does that mean that Santa’s near?
Listen everybody — are those reindeer hoofs?
Prancing all around on top the roof?
Mama, ooh (Anyway the sky snows)
I don’t want to sleep
I sometimes wish I’d never need sleep at all

I see a fat silhouetto of a man
Santa Claus, Santa Claus, Coming out from the chimney
He’s got a bag wherefore
I think something’s there for me
Dasher, Dancer (Prancer, Vixen)
Comet, Cupid (Donner, Blitzen)
With a package just for me – A nintendo?

I’m just a poor boy hoping for a gift or two
He’s just a poor boy with a lot of gratitude
We’re just the chorus pleading for his case

Here’s a cookie for you, would you like some milk?
Kris Kringle! Should be in bed I know
Kris Kringle! Should not be up I know
Kris Kringle! I broke the rules I know
Broke the rules I know
Don’t throw me in the snow
Into the snow
Ho ho ho ho HO HO HO!
Oh please Santa oh please Santa
Oh please Santa let me go
Saint Nicholas has a Krampus put aside for me
For me
For me

So you think you can stay up and act like a spy?
So you think you can be a bad boy and get by?
Oh Timmy
This just will not do, Timmy
You’re getting coal
You’re getting coal in your stocking

Nothing really matters
Just Krampus and me
Nothing really matters
I’m a prisoner for eternity

Anyway the sky snows