Doctor Who to tackle the issue of whitewashing in this week’s episode
Doctor Who will deal with issues of race and whitewashing history in the upcoming episode of the new series.
In Saturday’s episode, which airs at 7.20pm on BBC One and is titled ‘Thin Ice’, the Doctor and Bill find themselves in Regency-era London as they attend the last of the frost fairs. However, something sinister is lurking beneath the frozen Thames.
Showrunner Steven Moffat told TVGuide the show would deal with the issue of race and white-washing history in the episode through the character of Bill, a young Black woman.
Moffat said: “History is always whitewashed. How do we manage to have a diverse cast despite that? The way that we did it was … [to just] say that you will see people of different colours there. In fact, there were. People all didn’t arrive in the twinkle of an eye. It is bending history slightly, but in a progressive and useful way.”
He also explained that Bill would have difficulty with racism in the new episode due to the era.
“It wouldn’t be a pleasant place for [Bill] in several respects. Taking that on is just respectful of the audience really.
“It’s a chance to — I’m always reluctant to sound so pious and so do-gooding and all of that. It’s useful that these things are talked about. The evil in Doctor Who can sometimes be the evil in our real world, too.”