Well, I disagree. My interpretation of The Doctor was my interpretation of the Doctor, trying to fit him into a much longer line of alien “saviors” who aren’t necessarily “white saviors.” And, of course, you seem to have entirely ignored my final paragraph in which I point out that the Doctor often doesn’t do the saving.
Especially in New Who, there is a strong narrative running consistently through the show in which The Doctor is often the one who needs saving. The White Savior never needs saving; the White Savior is always superior, always the one saving the savage natives, if you will, from themselves. So while the Doctor does save the Earth, the Companions — who stand in more than the Earth as a whole does for Humans and, in a “white savior” narrative, Savages — save the Doctor far more often than the Doctor saves the Earth. That, more than anything else in the show, is anathema to the “white savior” interpretation. If you can name me a single white savior narrative that allows the savages to save the white savior, Anon, I’d like you to. I’ve never encountered one.
Different interpretations for different people; while 21st century racism, internalized by the people who write, cast, direct, and produce televisions and movies, is very much present in 21st century popular culture, there’s stretching for it — Doctor Who — and proper examples of it — like The Blind Side, or The Help, or Avatar (which, honestly, is one of the most mind-bogglingly racist and pro-colonial movies I’ve ever seen to a point where I just do not understand why the entire nation didn’t lose its shit). It’s very much a real thing and reading it onto everything product that has a hero and someone being rescued is part of why people don’t take real examples of it seriously.
My view of the Doctor as a flawed character who needs a connection to humans and humanity to keep him from believing his species properties (like the ability to travel through time and see/know other peoples/species/planets’ futures) makes him naturally superior to everyone else (aliens and humans) and thus keeping his instincts, especially post-Time War, to control the universe and make decisions on the behalf of everyone in check, runs counter to the idea of the white savior complex, in which the actions of the white savior (or in this case evolutionarily superior alien) are always correct and always wise and always Right. And beyond that, when the Doctor actually uses his superior powers to make decisions for humans, there are really, really, really bad consequences (see: The Waters of Mars). The white savior never has bad consequences. They can’t. Everything they think and do is right, which is why they’re saving all the savages.
So, no, I don’t think the Doctor is a white savior. I think there is plenty of that narrative going around just like it always has, not even changed that much from 50 years ago when segregation was the norm and the idea of a “white savior” not yet even called into question in the national conversation. Doctor Who — and to this I must limit to New Who cuz it’s all I’ve seen — is a show about aliens and adventures, with its own internalized racial narratives that come from England, not America, where the racial history and racial politics are different. If you ever want to have a real discussion about that, Anon, I’m down.
Thank you, and thank you! I love television.
Look guys! ANON HATE! Awwwww, I’m a real tumblr!