Jinkx Monsoon on Doctor Who proves drag race stars can go mainstream
With drag shows becoming the latest target of conservative wrath, a non-binary queen joining the BBC’s long-running series is a huge godsend.
If anyone knows how to make the absolute most of their fifteen minutes, it’s a drag queen. While an appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race can catapult a showgirl to a new level of fame, most of the former contestants can still be seen vying for tips at the club long after their season is over. That’s just how the game is played, and the smartest know that if they want a lasting career, they have to keep the show going.
Since it first launched on LogoTV in 2009, RuPaul’s Drag Race has brought global recognition to the art of drag and introduced a new generation of drag artists and innovators. Shangela, Trixie & Katya and Bianca del Rio have all turned their drag race fame into lasting and successful careers. But for every former contestant who has built lucrative comedy, podcast, and reality TV careers, there are dozens more who have never been heard from again.
As with all disruptions, it’s only a launch pad if you know what to do with it.
A two-time winner and fan favorite, Jinkx Monsoon was always a step ahead with her flair for the theatrical. The loveable spinner won Drag Race Season 5 and All Stars Season 2 (which featured a very memorable Judy Garland in Snatch Game), so it’s no surprise that she’s one of the most successful queens was past her Drag Race tenure. Monsoon, an accomplished cabaret singer and performer, made her Broadway debut earlier this year as the matron “Mama” Morton in “Chicago,” and received rave reviews for her whimsical rendition of the Sapphic prison warden.
Now she’s about to push yet another new frontier when she has a “leading role” in the BBC’s popular and long-running sci-fi series, Doctor Who, according to Deadline. Without detracting from the success of other beloved Drag Race alumni, Monsoon clinching a major role on a wildly popular scripted show could be the most significant crossover milestone for any former contestant.
“In a galaxy of comets and supernovas, here comes the biggest star of them all. Jinkx Monsoon is on a collision course with the TARDIS and ‘Doctor Who’ will never be the same again,” said showrunner Russell T. Davies of the casting.
“I’m honored, thrilled and absolutely excited to announce ‘Doctor Who!’ to join! Russell T. Davies is a visionary and a brilliant author – I can’t wait to get in the weeds with him and the crew! I hope the TARDIS has room for my luggage,” said Monsoon.
Doctor Who has taken on a significantly stronger LGBTQ+ slant since Davie’s return as showrunner in 2021 (he previously oversaw the series’ relaunch in 2004). In May 2022, the BBC announced that “Sex Education” star Ncuti Gatwa had been cast as the titular doctor, an alien known as the Time Lord who has human appearances.
Gatwa, who also played a very proud gay character on “Sex Education,” is the first black actor to direct the series. With the non-binary Monsoon in the mix, there’s no limit to how fun, fabulous, and weird the future of Doctor Who will be. Also breaking new ground in Season 14 is Pete MacHale, the first trans male in the Doctor Who cast history.
With the introduction of anti-trans legislation across the country, drag shows have become the latest target for conservative politicians. A spate of anti-drag laws have been introduced in at least 14 states, targeting “adult cabaret performances” that featured “male or female impersonators” to appeal to trans people.
With renewed attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, news of Monsoon’s Doctor Who casting is a much-needed boon for queer audiences and their allies. If only we could get this memo across the pond.
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https://www.indiewire.com/2023/04/jinkx-monsoon-doctor-who-drag-race-1234825201/ Jinkx Monsoon on Doctor Who proves drag race stars can go mainstream