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Old June 7 2013, 10:22 AM   #115
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Re: Predict who will be cast as the 12th Doctor

Sci wrote: View Post
Starkers wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post

One of the things to remember about casting people is this: Much of the time, there is a point at which your casting choices become somewhat arbitrary. I've cast or helped cast theatrical productions, and often you hit a point where neither Actor A nor Actor B are truly "better" than one-another. You have to make a choice, so you go with your instinct, and it's probably a bit arbitrary.

If the Doctor Who team were to make an effort to find the best actors out there who are not white Englishmen, obviously they would have to pick one person, and at some point their choice may well be somewhat arbitrary. That's okay. The goals would be to find a great actor, and to break out of the mindset that one should see "white English male" as the "default" setting.
So if they then choose the white Welshman over the black Englishman this is ok because at least they've broken out of the default setting of a white Englishman? I mean seriously is a white Welsh or Scotsman really that different from a white Englishman?
I don't know, is there a difference between the dominant ethnicity and two minority ethnicities with their own distinct languages and active separatist groups?

I'd love to see the casting call as well, and I'd love for a white English actor to then take, perfectly justifiable, umbridge.
It is not justifiable if the Twelfth Doctor character is conceived of as being a minority. No white actor would be justified in taking umbrage at not being cast as Captain Benjamin Sisko. No black actor would be justified in taking umbrage at not being cast as Tony Soprano. Etc.

No, it needs to be the best person for the job or the person cast risks having no credibility,
Again, I reject this notion that there's usually a such thing as one particular "best person for the job." More than likely there are going be multiple "best persons for the job" who would all be equally right in different ways. And if you're not making a special effort to find that caliber of quality in minority populations, you're probably only ever going to find that level of quality within the majority population.
Their own separate languages? Interesting. That’ll be Welsh (which approx. 20% of Welsh people actually speak) and Gaelic, which just over 1% of Scots speak (going by 2001 census info, it’s probably gone up but not by much). By your definition you’d reject someone from Cornwall yet they have their own distinct language and active separatist groups…but they’re also English. I’m curious as well about your concerns for the nationality of the actor vs. the portrayal. So the fact that Tennant is actually Scottish is irrelevant because he’s putting on a cockney accent. Does this mean it’d be acceptable if we have an English actor who puts on a Scot’s accent? I’m guessing no, but it’s amusing to see the knots you tie yourself into.

I’m not disputing that if the 12th Doctor is conceived as being a minority from the outset this is a problem, so long as this is made clear during the casting process that they’re looking for a black or south Asian actor I have no issue. It’s when you get into the muddy waters of no white Englishman but if you’re Welsh and Scottish that’s ok that I see a problem, because frankly at times that kind of ethnicity is a very subjective thing. You just have to look at how many footballers who are technically one nationality but play for another because their grandfather was Scottish/Irish/English…. Just look at Owen Hargreaves born in Canada, English father, Welsh mother.

It’s interesting as well that you bring up Sisko given that my understanding was always that Sisko’s ethnicity was not set in stone, and that Avery Brooks auditioned against people of all colours, but then part of the reason DS9 is my joint favourite Trek series is because ethnicity doesn’t seem to have been an issue during casting, and because of that we got perhaps the most diverse and natural seeming crew of all and the only white man in the main cast (not in makeup) is the curmudgeonly Irish guy! DS9 is the very antithesis of a cast hired by committee/to tick boxes, so very different to how it’d be just a few years later. “Black guy who won’t do much, check. Asian girl, check, chick with big tits, check, handsome white guy, check, check, check…beagle, er check…”

I hope the next Doctor is Black or South Asian, I'd just prefer it if he beat a bunch of white guys to get there. Of course whatever he (or she) is I’ll keep watching.
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