Doctor Who series 11: Julie Hesmondhalgh says political correctness criticism is ‘bollocks’

There’s been recent mutterings about the new series of Doctor Who, Jodie Whittaker’s first in the title role, being too politically correct – and incoming guest star Julie Hesmondhalgh has some thoughts..

Hesmondhalgh, known for Coronation Street and Broadchurch, was asked by Digital Spy and a handful of other press members what her thoughts were on the criticism that Doctor Who might be getting ‘too PC’.

“I think you can probably imagine my thoughts on that!” she said. “It’s just such a load of bollocks. It’s just hilarious.”

“[It happens] as you soon as you get a little bit of diversity, which to me is really exciting. To watch that first episode and see proper representation was absolutely brilliant for me. I was buzzing off it, because that’s the world we live in and when you see it reflected on-screen, it’s like, ‘Oh, finally, this is great!'””

The actress, who plays Judy Maddox in next Sunday’s Pete McTighe-penned episode, noted that there’s “always going to be naysayers” but she had “read a couple of things [about the new series] that are just absolutely preposterous”.

“I mean, slagging off the series for doing an episode on Rosa Parks? I thought that was one of the powerful bits of young people’s telly that I’ve seen ever.”

“The conversations that will have sparked in houses all over the country… because people might have a perfunctory knowledge of Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights movement, but to see Ryan in that situation, to land him in the middle of it, only Doctor Who could do that.”

“To land him in that position, for him to politely pick up a glove that a woman’s dropped and for him to be punched in the face, it was absolutely shocking. And it’s like, ‘Right, this is where we were only a few decades ago, and this is where we’re heading again’, and what an absolute perfect place to discuss those issues.”

Regarding the recent episode, Demons of the Punjab set in the 1947 Partition of India, Hesmondhalgh said, “my kids haven’t learned about Partition, I know barely anything about Partition, and I’m a fairly political person. To be bringing that into all these homes, to start that conversation, and to put Yaz in the middle of that story and to see it through her eyes, it’s just brilliant.”

“It’s just everything I want in television. I mean, that term ‘political correctness’ just means, for me, things moving forward a little bit, in the way they should be doing.”

Doctor Who series 11 continues next Sunday at 6:30pm.

Digital Spy