Doctor Who Has No “Anti-Ginger” Agenda, says BBC

Doctor Who is not, to paraphrase Hillary Rodham Clinton, part of a vast anti-redhead conspiracy.

Remember, in The End of Time, Part Two, when the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) regenerated into the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith)? And he’s becoming acquainted with his new body? He says to himself, “I’ve still got legs. Arms, hands, lots of fingers, eyes, hair…I’m not a girl. I’m still not ginger.”

Well, that last little comment outraged parents of red-headed children, according to The Times: “Angry parents complained to the BBC that the comment, made in an episode seen by 11 million viewers, would encourage bullying of their ginger haired children.”

The BBC, quite rightly, has responded that the Doctor didn’t mean it as an insult. He meant it as an expression of disappointment. Here’s the BBC statement in full:

“We would like to reassure viewers that Doctor Who doesn’t have an anti ginger agenda whatsoever. This was a reprise of the line in the Christmas Invasion episode in 2005, when David Tennant discovers that he’s not ginger, and here he is, missing out again – disappointed he’s still not ginger.

In addition, the Doctor’s previous companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) and his new one Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) are both redheads.”

Very true, Beebs. Very true. As they note, the Doctor’s desire to have red hair has been a running joke since “The Christmas Invasion”, when the Tenth Doctor asked Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), “Am I ginger?” Watch the clip below:

My theory: this is all a big setup for Rupert Grint to be the Twelfth Doctor, when the Time Lord will finally have his gingerness fully realized.

By the way, Doctor Who fans will be ecstatic to learn that The End of Time, Part Two gave BBC AMERICA its biggest primetime rating ever. According to a BBCA press release, “Over 1.335 million viewers watched the program on Saturday, ranking BBC AMERICA #8 in coverage rating during the premiere among ad supported cable nets for A25-54.”

Also, Demons, which followed The End of Time, Part Two on January 2nd, was the most-watched BBC AMERICA premiere for a new series ever. That’s damn impressive. Congrats to Philip Glenister.

In other news:

  • Katy Perry will go down in history as the woman who tamed Russell Brand: they are engaged. (CNN)
  • Kings of Leon could “Use Somebody,” but that somebody is not Leona Lewis. (NME)
  • Sam Mendes is directing the next Bond film. No, not joking. (Guardian)
  • The first portrait featuring Princes William and Harry together has been revealed. (Guardian)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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