Doctor Who's Steven Moffat is pushing for diversity, and, as it turns out, this isn't the first time.
Peter Capaldi, Matt Smith, David Tennant, and Christopher Eccelston have dominated the TARDIS in the New Who era, but at least one of these actors nearly lost their roll to another contender. Either Steven Moffat or Russell T. Davies made the move to cast a non-white star in the titular role, but their offer was rebuffed for undisclosed reasons.
"We've tried. The part has been offered to a black actor, but for various reasons it didn't work out. Should the Doctor be black? Should the Doctor be a woman? So long as the Doctor is still the Doctor, anything is possible," Moffat, the series' current showruner, informed Doctor Who Magazine (via BBC).
This news comes as a surprise to many fans who thought the BBC execs were merely ignoring their campaigns for a female or POC lead. The topic of racial diversity in the TARDIS was raised once more in light of Pearl Mackie's (Bill) casting, with viewers praising Moffat's decision. The EP only has one season left in the world of Time Lords and sonics, but he hopes his successors will also seek to make Doctor Who's version of Earth more in line with what a typical viewers sees in the real world.
"We decided that the new companion was going to be non-white, and that was an absolute decision, because we need to do better on that. We just have to," Moffat said. "I don't mean that we've done terribly - our guest casts are among the most diverse on television - but I feel as though I could have done better overall."
In fact, Moffat would be more than happy to see two non-white leads steer the series into the future.
"Two non-white leads would be amazing. In fact, a lot of people would barely notice," Moffat explained. "I certainly don't think there's ever been a problem with making the Doctor black, which is why it should happen one day.
Do you think the next Doctor will help broaden the series' horizons? Sound off in the comments below!
Doctor Who will return to the BBC and BBC America on Dec. 25.