Feminists rejoice! The 13th Doctor will be a woman. Jodie Whittaker is her name, and the new head writer, Chris Chibnall worked with her on Broadchurch so he will know how to get the best out of her in terms of writing the stories and nailing the new Doctor’s attitude.
However, this decision has split Whovians around the world, hell even I am split. Yes having a woman be the new Doctor adds new opportunities and can take the show into an interesting new direction. But my reservations lie in 2 places, 1 why was this decision made, and 2 the lore of the TV show from the classics do not give the creators any credence to say they can do this. Only since Moffat added this new premise that it can happen. Something I can make a new blog about nearer Christmas when I look back at the Moffat era of Doctor Who. A sorry in advance as it may not be pretty.
But let us look at these 2 issues I have. 1 why was this decision to turn the Doctor into a woman done, the pressure to be more politically correct, given that certain circles of television have been asking for this for a few years now, and picked up more and more traction at the last 2 regenerations. This then adds a new question to spin off, who made the decision? Me personally my initial reaction when watching it live, given the constant hints from Moffat’s scripts in the last series or 2 points to Moffat himself been involved in the decision to make the Doctor a woman. Again I will go into more detail in a future blog about the issues I have had with Moffat scripts lately my series 10 review and How I improve the 12th Doctor blogs offer small insights into my thoughts, links at the bottom.
Did the BBC themselves give boundaries to who they were looking for, Moffat himself could have done the same, given how a lot of media around Doctor Who recently seem to make him look like a god, yet his nowhere near that status. All these factors make me think that making the Doctor a woman is something that wasn’t made in a natural way, more of this is what you got to work with pick someone and Chibnall may have just picked something familiar.
Now I am sure anyone reading this would say, speculation you do not know any of this, which makes you spot on, but the good thing about doing a blog like this I can freely put my thoughts down on the internet and some will disagree and some agree in whatever percentage. But given what I have read from interviews, what I have seen from the last series of Doctor Who it just gives me that feeling in the pit of my stomach that things are not as they seem.
The 2nd issue is lore. Nowhere in the classics do we see anything remotely like a gender change, at least not to my knowledge. The 1st Doctor was called Grandfather by his grandchild Susan. Of which there are several accounts that he was her Grandfather. Which indicates that he is male even in terms of the Time Lords. Now newer fans of the show will point to Missy and the General on Gallifrey regenerating into women. But one we not seen the Master regenerate into Missy, despite the opportunity to do so at the end of series 10. Also, it has never been explained why this is possible, it just happens. Now in some peoples mind, this might be fine, but for those of us who are older, watched the old classics and have loved Doctor Who for a long time we need more, we need that lore to back it up, the explanation. You need those lore rules to give
You need those lore rules to give credibility to a story, credibility to an enemy to a character to a phenomenon. It makes it more believable and is no different to when a character is well written that you find that character more believable, more connectable because that character has done something that you can relate to, something you yourself has experienced or witnessed, been apart of or simply believe. The lore adds that dimension of I understand the story and where we could be going or how we have reached this point in the story. Yet here we have no credible lore to give the Doctor regenerating into a woman, except hints throughout the last 2-3 series of Doctor Who that this could happen, of which the question is why have we not seen it before in the previous 50 years.
This sort of change can take the show in one of two directions, why, well using my love for wrestling as a means to describe this, controversy creates cash, as Eric Bischoff would say.
Turning the Doctor into a woman was always going to be controversial. So now it seems to be bingo or bust. People will tune into the Christmas Special this year and see what all the fuss is about, much like why GTA became popular, that want to see the controversy for themselves. So if the Christmas Special and more importantly the first episode or two of the new Doctor is not up to standard, hell it is going to have to be very good, people will tune off completely. It won’t be Jodie Whittaker’s fault unless she is dreadful. But if all of the elements do not click into place Doctor Who will be going on another hiatus, one I cannot see it coming back from. But on the flip side if they do click the show could be propelled into the stratosphere of legendary TV shows.
So the world will be watching very closely come Christmas, come the first few episodes of the next series because now it is do or die time for the Doctor on television.