I am not a happy bunny. Doctor Who has cast its 13th Doctor, and like I predicted, we’re getting our first Doctor played by a woman, which is not good, in my opinion. And I really hate to say that, but I am. And now, I am going to discuss my feelings and thoughts on the matter.
Jodie Whittaker is to be the 13th Doctor, after months of speculation and intrigue, and we are getting our first female Doctor ever. and I think it is too little, too late to cast a woman. First of all, I can see why Chibnell has picked Whittaker to be The Doctor, after working with her on the popular (though I’ve never watched it) ITV programme Broadchurch. Jodie Whittaker, from what cursory research I’ve done, has been in a few things, both of the St. Trinians remake movies (which were not very good, and by that I mean NOT good), quite a lot of stage work, and starred in Black Mirror, Return To Cranford, Broadchurch, and much, much more. I’ve not seen any of that stuff, but it is certainly an impressive portfolio of work, I will give her that, managing to do all that in her 12-year acting career. And now she is going to play Doctor Who, and I think that this is not a good thing.
Mythos wise, we know time lords can change gender, Missy did it after all. Missy was one of the best casting choices for The Master, in my opinion. I didn’t like it because she was a woman, but I like what she added to the role, and how it changed the dynamic of hers and The Doctor’s relationship. One would argue that if I am fine with that, then I should be fine with The Doctor as a woman, but the main differentiation is that it isn’t the main character we’re talking about when we discuss The Master/Missy. We are talking about the main character of the darn show, the person we want to watch, and the 13 people who played that role; including John Hurt, were all men! Having such a drastic change is like whiplash. It is too late to have a female Doctor.
If it were the 2005 relaunch, under Russell T Davis, it would actually be quite good, and it would be one of the revived show’s triumphs. You’d have had a role, played exclusively by men since the 60’s until the 90’s, relaunched in a modern era with a female Doctor. That would have been good. I like Christopher Eccleston, but he wasn’t a fan of the show, which made it suffer. A female fan of the show would have been great in 2005, with a new audience, as well as an old audience, that would have been the best opportunity to recast The Doctor as female. It could have been done with David Tennant; as much as people liked him, and at the latest, a female Doctor over Peter Capaldi in the new regeneration cycle would have been excellent. But now? It is too late.
The main reason I am against a female Doctor is that I feel that it is too much of a gimmick for the show. In my professional opinion, I feel this casting was done to prove a political point, which is a big no no. And people are turning against it now, rather than me who has been against it for years. My main fear is that this will lead to a loss of audience, and will lead to the writing, and the show, going backwards, and not experimenting with plots and monsters, in a desperate attempt to recapture glory days. To me, they did this as a marketing ploy, and I think that’s the wrong reason. I want to see change happen for the sake of changing things up and trying something new, not promoting ‘girl power’.
A good change was my idea of an androgynous Doctor, played by Noel Fielding. Someone who someone would confuse as a man and a woman! That would be interesting. But a woman being cast as The Doctor now is not a good change, it is too little, too late. It came after the best series in the revived show, and I fear that Jodie Whittaker’s career will suffer, as the show will suffer.