Jinkx Monsoon Sparks Controversy as Doctor Who Ratings Dip

Jinkx Monsoon makes debut as villainous Maestro in Doctor Who's musical episode, sparking controversy with comments about transphobic fans. The episode's low ratings coincide with backlash against the show's new queer direction and lead actor Ncuti Gatwa.

author-image
Trim Correspondents
New Update
Jinkx Monsoon Sparks Controversy as Doctor Who Ratings Dip

Jinkx Monsoon Sparks Controversy as Doctor Who Ratings Dip

Jinkx Monsoon, a two-time RuPaul's Drag Race winner, has made waves with her debut as the villainous Maestro in the second episode of Doctor Who's Series 14, titled "The Devil's Chord." The episode, which premiered on May 10 to 2.2 million UK viewers, marks the first brought, musical episode in the show's 61-year history. However, Monsoon's comments about transphobic fans have sparked controversy amidst the series' low ratings.

Monsoon's Maestro is described as an all-powerful being who can exploit the fabric of space and time, serving as the main antagonist of the episode. The drag icon brought her own style and flair to the character, working with the show's designers to create a unique look that incorporates her own hair color and personality traits. "I wanted to look at past Doctor Who villains to kind of match that level of over-the-top... It's kind of like Shakespeare where you've got to make it feel natural even though it's larger than life," Monsoon told Variety.

The episode's debut coincides with low ratings for the series, with the premiere episode "Space Babies" attracting 2.6 million viewers in the UK. This marks a significant drop from the 4.73 million viewers who tuned in for the 60th anniversary special "The Church on Ruby Road" featuring current lead Ncuti Gatwa as the 15th Doctor. Gatwa, a Black, queer actor previously known for his role in Netflix's "Sex Education," has faced backlash from some fans.

Addressing the negative reactions, Monsoon did not mince words. "Who gives a fuck what bigots think?... For every transphobic, racist, bigoted 'Doctor Who' fan that we lose this season, there are going be three to five new fans who are coming in for the representation. So to those fans – who are not fans – I say, 'Don't let the door hit you on the way out,'" she told Variety. Monsoon's comments have been seen as combative and divisive by some, leading to calls for a boycott of the series.

Despite the controversy, Monsoon expressed her admiration for showrunner Russell T. Davies and his work on the series. "Russell [T. Davies] is just one of the nicest and loveliest people I know. As far as writers go, he's one of my favorites," she said. Davies, known for his work on LGBTQ+ productions like Queer as Folk and It's a Sin, has prioritized representation in the show's upcoming cast. The Doctor Who series has a history of representation, with 14 previous actors playing the role, establishing that the Doctor can be male, female, or nonbinary.

As the dust settles on Monsoon's debut and the ensuing controversy, the show's ratings and fan reactions remain in the spotlight. The next new episode of Doctor Who, "Boom," is set to air on May 18. While Monsoon's performance as Maestro has been praised by many, her comments have reignited debates about representation and inclusivity in the long-running sci-fi series. The impact on viewership and the show's future direction remains to be seen.

Key Takeaways

  • Jinkx Monsoon debuts as villainous Maestro in Doctor Who's Series 14.
  • Episode "The Devil's Chord" is the show's first musical episode.
  • Monsoon's comments on transphobic fans spark controversy amidst low ratings.
  • Series ratings drop to 2.2 million UK viewers, down from 4.73 million.
  • Monsoon praises showrunner Russell T. Davies' work on representation.