Brainiac On Banjo: Who Dis?

Who are you? Who, who, who, who? Who are you? Who, who, who, who? Who are you? Who, who, who, who? — From “Who Are You” written by Pete Townshend. Of The Who.

Truth be told, I don’t think there’s a single person who’s been cast as the lead in Doctor Who whose work in that role I have not enjoyed. Double-negative much?

The writing, howsoever, is another thing. And before you overstimulate your hackles, I am in awe of the writing on this season’s run thus far. I am also aware of the controversy that surrounds this season, but I am hardly in awe of the incredible stupidity and hatred within all too many of those in the ethersphere who pound on keyboards with anger from the safety of their internet-given anonymity.

(That by-line you see on everything I write? That’s not simply my ego shouting at you; that’s also my sense of responsibility that I’m shoving in your face.)

The previous Doctor was a woman and the little bitty incel community (if, indeed, living alone in your mother’s basement makes you part of a “community”) completely lost their minds. Their petty, hate-filled minds only can handle binary decisions: man or woman, war or peace, conservative or Communist. They cannot process anything in between. They are so black-and-white even Ayn Rand would tell them to grow up.

Some blame it on their religion, as if hatred of those who don’t smoke the same brand of cigarettes as you matters in any way. If your Supreme Being is a hater, exactly what is it about him that you find so goddamned supreme? And, yes, I said “him” specifically.

But actor Jodie Whittaker and the rest of her talented cast deserved better scripts. Sure, I’ve lived through worse writing, but many of the stories during her run seemed illogical, unhappy and unending. There were a number of good villains, but that has been the case in the most poorly written seasons as well.

So this time around the BBC engorged itself on Disney Dollars and gave 21st century revival writer/showrunner Russell T. Davies back the keys to the Whomobile. His approach was to continue the trend established by Whittaker by expanding the definition of just who the Doctor is. The current doctor, brilliantly performed by Ncuti Gatwa, is Black, gender-fluid, and solidly canonical as Davies established everything that happened previously still counts. The most entertaining part is his magnetic relationship with his companion Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson, in whatever “real life” may be) that brightens the screen even when the two are not together. At any given moment in “time” the number of the Doctor’s companions is hard to count.

So the little insecure neverlaids who have rebelled against a show that they believe to be several crimes against nature, who have been accusing the show of becoming woke (they mutter that with the panache generally deployed when discussing various types of vomit) declared an international holiday about ten weeks ago when the story was announced that “the BBC confirmed Gatwa was out after next season and Matt Smith would return as the 16th generation. For these haters and getalifes, it was Armistice Day all over again.

Except for two things. First, the BBC confirmed no such thing. Second, this announcement was made on April 1st.

As you may know, the holiday we celebrate on April 1st is not Armistice Day. In this case, it could be called “you’re an idiot and a moron and we already confirmed you’re gullible as hell” day. I can hardly wait to see the postage stamp.

If you simply cannot tolerate a lead performer who portrays a character who is Black, or queer, and/or a woman, then you don’t know shit about acting. If you think The Doctor — you know, the alien with two hearts and a pocket deus ex machina dispenser — must be a White heterosexual man, then you don’t know shit about Doctor Who.

But the neverlaids should not despair. I’m sure they can find plenty of clips of that fat ugly Whiteman’s man Alex Jones and his pathetic swan performance song to amuse themselves.