In the first of Russell T Davies' Doctor Who 60th-anniversary specials, we were reunited with Catherine Tate's Donna Noble...and her family. Among them was Rose, Donna's daughter who we quickly learned was transgender.
The episode did a good job of exploring what it means to have a trans child and, despite some relatively heavy-handed non-binary talk in the final act (which factored into how Donna ultimately regained her memories), it's hard to understand why anyone would complain about Rose's introduction.
Well, they did.
According to Deadline, the BBC received more than 100 complaints from Doctor Who viewers who argued that the inclusion of Yasmin Finney's transgender character Rose was "inappropriate."
144 complaints were received in total, with some going so far as to say Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney's Rose was "anti-male" and an "inappropriate inclusion of [a] transgender character." It's reportedly commonplace for the BBC to receive anti-trans complaints, and we wouldn't bank on these doing anything to change returning showrunner Russell T Davies' wider plans for the sci-fi series.
Last month, Davies made it clear he intends to better reflect today's world in Doctor Who moving forward and shared his disappointment with how transgender representation is often vilified in the press.
"[There are] newspapers of absolute hate, and venom, and destruction, and violence who would rather see that sort of thing wiped off the screen destroyed," he said. "Shame on you, and good luck to you in your lonely lives."
The second Doctor Who special suggested the Fourteenth Doctor may be gay (or, more likely, bisexual) and some believe Ncuti Gatwa's Fifteenth iteration will be as well. The franchise's fanbase appears relatively open to diversity, but we're sure you'll recall the backlash to the introduction of a female Doctor a few years back!
Doctor Who is the longest-running action-adventure television series in the world spanning 60 years and winning over 100 awards. This quintessentially British show has a massive global following, with 9.6m fans across social platforms/channels and 100m video views on YouTube in the last year alone.
The 60th-anniversary specials are written by Russell T. Davies and directed by Rachel Talalay, Tom Kingsley, and Chanya Button, respectively.
A new clip and poster have also been released for this Saturday's final Doctor Who special titled "The Giggle."