This weekend, BBC announced who would be taking over the roll of Doctor Who once Peter Capaldi stepped down (though I wish it has been made this upcoming weekend at San Diego Comic Con, but I digress). By now, you all know the new Doctor is Jodie Whittaker. A woman!
I know we’re supposed to make a big deal about this one way or another, but sorry to say, I’m not. Oh hell yeah, I’m all for it, and my comment to a friend when asked about it was “It’s about time.” I’m excited to see how a change in gender will affect the character and the stories, but this should not be earth shattering news at all.
The modern series of Doctor Who has always been progressive. The casting has always been ethnically diverse and the show never hides from sexual diversity. It is truly a utopian show. Yeah, we’ve not seen much diversity in the casting of the lead role (never a ginger, either), but now that it has, it should fit right in to the world of possibilities the show lives in.
All the arguments have been made, we’ve seen a female Master (aka Missy). The Doctor is not human, so this is in the realm of possibilities of their nature. And with apologies to Jodie Whittaker, she’s not ever the first female Doctor. That was Joanne Lumley. OK, so it was for a parody of the show called The Curse of Fatal Death, featuring Rowan “Mr. Bean” Atkinson as The Doctor. And hey, it was written by outgoing show runner and weeping angel creator Steven Moffat. But at the end, after a few regenerations in a row, The Doctor becomes a woman. So, it was in the realm of possibility even back in 1999.
I understand some hesitation over the change in the character, we all feel this way every three or so years when the actors change. Will the new person be any good? Was Matt Smith too young? Was Peter Capaldi too old? So, it’s OK to have doubts about Jodi Whittaker. That doesn’t make you a misogynist. But once a new Doctor finds their groove, we forget ever doubting them. So have faith.
I just hope they don’t start off trying to make us accept a woman doctor. I feel they kind of did that in the first Capaldi episode. Yes, there needs to be some stories that address the change of gender, but I don’t think the shows should plead the case of The Doctor being female. It is what it is.
More importantly, I think it’s going to be a refreshing change for the show. I’m sure it will motivate the writers to tell new and unusual stories. And for the first time in a long time, I can’t wait for the next season.
What are your thoughts on the new Doctor?