Let’s get one thing clear. The Doctor is an alien entity. The Doctor has never been a man or a woman. The Doctor is part of a race (more on that later) where gender boundaries simply do not exist. The Doctor is a being that takes its very self and conforms to look like a human male or human female in order to get the job done. The suggestion that a Doctor could not be a woman is a ridiculous one but, actually pretty spot-on. The Doctor cannot be a man, either. The Doctor is a thing. Something we cannot comprehend.
Now, a female PLAYING the Doctor; that’s something we can really get behind. It’s an exciting step for the world’s most famous sci-fi show to take. “But it’s TIME LORD!” shout the misogynists, hoping to cling to anything they possibly can because they’re so scared of a Doctor with breasts. They say that ‘Lord’ is a word that’s associated with males, and whilst they’d be right, in the actual, real world, in the world of Doctor Who, Time Lords are actually a race, made up of both men and women. We’ve already met some female Time Lords in Doctor Who, believe it or not!
Doctors being able to change gender via regeneration is something that’s been a part of Doctor Who canon for some time now. If you needed any more clarification of this, Peter Capaldi’s words in a recent episode called World Enough and Time should have put your mind at ease, after he told his companion Bill – played brilliantly by Pearl Mackie – that Time Lords are beyond gender norms and stereotypes, because they’re the most civilised civilisation in existence.
Then of course, we get to the obvious. This is, as far as we’re concerned, the biggest sci-fi role on the planet. It’s now one being played by a woman, for the first time in 13 regenerations, aka reboots. Finally, the young ladies of the future have a positive role model in this genre to look up to and aspire to be. Finally, little girls around the world who enjoy the show will be able to say, “I want to be the Doctor when I grow up.” We should be happy that the geeks of the future will be able to look back and see a rich history of Doctors, played by both males and females.
This isn’t something to get upset about. In fact, the very fact that upset around something like this exists is one of the primary reasons a female is necessary for this role. Doctor Who is finally taking a positive step forward to break down unnecessary, ridiculous gender barriers. It’s time the public stood forward with it.
Doctor Who returns to BBC One at Christmas for a special episode ahead of a new series led next year by Whittaker and new showrunner, Chris Chibnall.
Tagged in Doctor Who