The internet is in an uproar after it was announced this past Sunday that the next Doctor on BBC’s beloved sci-fi adventure Doctor Who will be played by Jodie Whittaker – a woman!
— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) July 16, 2017
Reactions seem mixed. Some people are elated or excited. Some are skeptical but hopeful. Some are just glad that it’s not Kris Marshall. There are some people, however, that are full-blown angry or scared that the next Doctor will be female. To help sort through these feelings, I’ve put together a FAQ to answer your questions and hopefully help you feel better about all of this change.
The Doctor is a woman now?
No, the Doctor is still currently played by Peter Capaldi. However, at Christmas, he will regenerate into his next incarnation, which, yes, will be played by a woman: Jodie Whittaker. Her TV and film credentials include Attack the Block, Black Mirror, and Broadchurch, among many other great British shows.
But he’s always been a man! Can Time Lords even change gender?
Yes, they can. Here are a few examples:
- In season 6, episode 4, “The Doctor’s Wife,” the Doctor receives a hypercube that he believes is from his old friend, the Corsair, another Time Lord that he knew across several incarnations, at least two female.
- You know that Missy is short for Mistress, right? Well, “mistress” is the female version of “master” – AKA the Master, the Doctor’s long-time friend-nemesis.
- In the season 9 finale, “Hell Bent,” we see a Time Lord called the General regenerate in front of our eyes. He starts out as a white man and regenerates into a black woman. IN FRONT OF OUR EYES.
So, yes. Time Lords are gender fluid.
Won’t the TARDIS just be full of bras now?
Yes, I’m sure the Doctor will need to wear a bra. But, considering that the Doctor’s companions through the years have largely been female, the TARDIS is likely already full of bras.
Can women even fly spaceships?
What if the Doctor has her period and crashes the TARDIS into the sun?
I hate to break it to you, but women on their periods all over the world are currently operating heavy machinery without causing catastrophes. They are operating fork lifts, bulldozers, tractors, and even driving cars. Without crashing! Imagine that.
Isn’t this choice just PC SJWs trying to force a feminist agenda on us?
Here’s a fun fact that you may or may not know: in 1963, when Doctor Who began, the show was produced by a woman named Verity Lambert. It was also directed by Waris Hussein, a British-Indian gay man. So, putting a female in the role of the Doctor is not about “being PC” – the show has diverse roots to begin with.
Even the creator of Doctor Who, Sydney Newman, urged the BBC to “give the character a sex change” in the 1980s to revive the slumping ratings and keep the show running:
“Had the advice been accepted, actresses who could have been considered for the role include Frances de la Tour, Joanna Lumley and Dawn French.
Instead, the BBC played safe and replaced the incumbent Doctor, Colin Baker, with another male actor – Sylvester McCoy, a little-known children’s entertainer.
The show’s decline continued until 1989 when it was pulled from the schedules, not to be revived for another 16 years.”
If the creator of the show says it’s okay, then it’s more than okay.
If you still have more questions that are left unanswered, or are still feeling angry or afraid, watch this video to learn more about the Doctor Who Helpline, where operators are standing by to listen to any questions or concerns you might have, no matter how silly they may be.