Count Zero wrote:
In fact, that's actually what Martha's concern was about in that episode (if I remember correctly). She was dressed in modern clothes and was wondering whether they wouldn't totally stick out to which the Doctor replied that she should walk as if she owned the place. I can see how this whole exchange could be seen as insensitive but as far as I remember the Doctor's line wasn't a direct response to the slavery concern but rather to a number of concerns she raised regarding time travel to the past.
No, I rewatched it earlier because of this thread. She directly mentions slavery as a fear.
(copied from a transcript)
Oh, but hold on. Am I all right? I’m not gonna get carted off as a slave, am I?
Why would they do that?
Not exactly white, in case you haven’t noticed.
I’m not even human. Just walk about like you own the place. Works for me. Besides, you’d be surprised. Elizabethan England, not so different from your time. Look over there.
They’ve got recycling.
A man shovels manure.
THE DOCTOR (CONT'D)
Water cooler moment.
Two men conversing at a water barrel. They walk past a man preaching about the end of the world.
... and the world will be consumed by flame!