Question of the Day

How large is the intersection of these two sets of people:

A: People who are praising actor  Ed Skrein for withdrawing from the Hellboy reboot because he is not of the same ethnic background (Asian-American) as the original character in the source material;


B: People who want Idris Elba cast as the next James Bond.

I think Idris Elba is a fantastic actor.  I love his work, especially in the BBC series Luther.  I think he could also be a tremendous James Bond. But the fact remains that he is not of the same ethnic background as the original character in the source material.

You can’t have it both ways.

And another thing: it is my opinion that the Doctor is and always has been a unique character in the science fiction universe. For fifty-five years the Doctor has been an ever-changing male character, but coming soon, she will be female.  One of the wonderful things about sci-fi is the number of possibilities and choices that are available to the writers and showrunners. The freedom to take risks like this (and it is a risk to offer such a change to an audience overwhelmingly familiar with a male Doctor) is what creating art is all about.

I like Jodie Whitaker too.  I think she could be a fantastic Doctor.  Much will depend on the strength of the stories she is given and of the supporting cast.  A new showrunner with
new ideas setting new expectations makes this the perfect time to make this change.  I hope it brings a new demographic to the show, and I hope she succeeds in the role. But I’m not so foolish to think that if the ratings suffer, she won’t be replaced. Doctor Who is not ars gratia artis, it’s art for profit, and the goals are different.

But nothing ever remains static in television or movies.  Change happens all the time, whether we like it or not. Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead have made a separate art form within an art form of shocking their audiences with the unexpected deaths of major characters.

In the long run, I think it is simply foolish for those people who believe casting choices should conform to some arbitrary and capricious social justice agenda.  That cheapens the art. Let the artist have the vision and bring it forth as he or she desires.

If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

Look for yourself and see what Marvel Comics has learned in the last three or four years about this.


Author: Paul Krendler

The Thinking Man's Zombie

12 thoughts on “Question of the Day”

  1. The asinine social politics are the least interesting aspect of what's going on. This is the kind of thing that happens when everybody decides that stupidity is a virtue.

    What everybody should really want to know is why the only movies anyone is capable of making anymore are reboots and sequels.

    1. Because the story tellers are all now social justice warriors having the incredibly stupid belief that by rebooting series with the notion of correcting past 'contrived' injustices will make us all better people.

      Liberal contamination of the education system has brought us to this point.

  2. I agree that Idris Elba is a terrific actor, and I was first impressed by him as Stringer Bell. He's fully capable of inhabiting a secret agent character and making it work very well, but I'd rather see him as agent 009 [or something] who has to fill the shoes of a retired James Bond. Respect for the story, and character, the universe of Bond.

    The Doctor, though, from the time they came up with regeneration to explain re-casting, has theoretically been capable of becoming basically any sort of Gallifreyan, and Gallifreyans seem to appear in at least as many sorts as humans. So both sexes, and any ethnicity fits the universe as it already exists.

    1. It's never been established that Gallifreyans can change sex, and the actual evidence is against it. Romana regenned and always came out female; the Doctor always male, the Master always male.

      I miss the days when men could be action heroes.

  3. Female Doctor Who is fine, James Bond is a spy and can be anybody with sex appeal, but who was the idiot that placed Tom Cruise in the Reacher Role??????

      1. If Tom Cruise can be a samurai, he can be pretty much anything, one supposes.

  4. Any new Bond should be a relative unknown. He should also be a white guy because James Bond is a white guy. Idris Elba is a hell of an actor and could probably do a great job playing a randy spy type dude. But to cast him as Bond is to make Bond someone who is not Bond for the sake of injecting diversity into a character who's gotten along just fine without it for decades.

    This leftist impulse to rewrite characters in their own vision is both stupid and annoying. If this is not patently obvious to you, allow me to demonstrate: All-girl Lord Of The Flies.

    Just. Stop. It.

    it's OK to write new characters with new stories. Try it.


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