Jodie Whittaker announced as the new, 13th Doctor

Home Forums Episodes The Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker announced as the new, 13th Doctor

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    wolfweed @wolfweed
    janetteB @janetteb

    @wolfweed. Thanks for the link, for all the links. I really must find those earplugs now so I can listen. I have so much to catch up on.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Thanks, @janetteb – You’re welcome.

    I can now link in my sleep!


    If people outside the UK can’t access the interview, just say so & I’ll look out for an alternative source…

    janetteB @janetteb

    @wolfweed I just plugged in the earphones and it works, so good for Oz.


    wolfweed @wolfweed
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Cheers for that link. She comes across brilliantly. Really enthusiastic. And I really hope she gets to keep her accent as Capaldi and Eccleston got to keep theirs….

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Another one…



    And some video for a bit of the radio 6 interview…

    Paul Ferry @paul-ferry

    The thing that surprised me most about the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor was my own reaction to it. I was never against the idea of a female Doctor but I pretty much 100% believed that the BBC wouldn’t go down that route at this time. It’s a brave decision to make such a big change at a time when Doctor Who’s casual audience is wavering, but I can’t help applauding the BBC for making it.

    The announcement trailer completely sold me on the idea of Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor. I never really liked the kind of studio-based reveal that they did for Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi, because it tells you nothing about how they might play the character. In fact, I couldn’t picture Matt as the Doctor until I saw him acting the part in The Eleventh Hour. Jodie’s trailer, wordless as it was, nonetheless gave me a clear indication of how she might play the part – and I felt that the Doctor was in safe hands.

    My hope now is that the casting will be part of a bigger change for the series. It might not be a popular view amongst Doctor Who Fans, but I think the series’ format needs a bit of a tweak. In our modern multi-platform TV world, it needs a bigger hook to bring back viewers week after week and it’s my belief that Chris Chibnall will go for an ongoing storyline, rather than the traditional ‘monster of the week’, to bring it in line with the likes of Game of Thrones. As I said, a lot of fans won’t like it, but it’s the modern way and I think Doctor Who has to adapt to survive.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Thanks for the links.

    She comes across really well; aware that this is almost certainly going to be the role that defines her for the rest of her life, enthusiastic, and excited about the creative freedom the part offers.


    Yes, let’s hope that ‘lots of planets have a Yorkshire.’ 😀

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    The whole shebang…

    Also, Ray Holman will be the costume designer for series 11…

    Anonymous @


    thank you for putting up all the links and clips and vids. I loved the long one where JW spoke about being excited to take on the role -the history, the character. And yes she talks about being the 1st female doctor but she concentrated more on the possibility of the stories? That you literally had the whole universe to explore and how exciting that is going to be.

    Also thank you for explaining JNT to me -I hadn’t clicked the notification box so didn’t realise you answered that and @nick thank you -you gave me a really long explanation. @jimthefish post #61061 with the Amerix guys reading out the sad tweets about ‘Nurse Who’ was awful but I had to laugh -because they’re SO twatted! Don’t they get that the fact their mothers are working is down to those who allowed a married woman to work, never mind vote and that they too with their dimtwit behaviours 300 years ago  couldn’t vote because of their social position. I kinda wish they couldn’t vote now though I reckon they couldn’t read the ballot anyway.

    And if anyone’s in doubt I’m not referring to articulate people who explain why they object calmly to a female Doctor but to those who tweeted things like episode 1: she gets her period, episode 2: she crashes tardis (even though tardis crashes several times a season!); Episode 3: she goes shopping and goes on a diet. Or “doctors are never men” and the guys said: “this dude has never been in a hospital in his entire life”.

    Then I read the stuff about SJW -I had no clue what THAT even was. That social justice is somehow bad? Where the heck do these wierdos  come from?

    Anyway, weird days my dad says: that much of the work of feminism has to be crash coursed  😈


    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @Thane15  You’re welcome (To be honest, I’ve never noted the notifications!)

    ‘Trust Me’ starts tonight…

    ichabod @ichabod

    Oh, man, she’s got to keep the accent, in the show!  She comes across, to me, as very fresh and energetic — a bit like Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, in fact.  And I like it.  A lot.  That will make missing Twelve easier, in a way.

    I do read rumors, thought, that Chibnall has expressed no interest in inviting Rachel Talalay back to direct, and I don’t think that’s good news, at least not til we see what he comes up with instead.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @ichabod yes I love the accent too. Must be preferable for the actor too, especially I would think when playing the Doctor as each actor does bring something of themselves to the part. “Chibbers” not inviting Rachel Talalay back would be consistent with the rumour or statement that he is bringing in his own “team” from Broadchurch.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Don’t forget that Chris Chibnall may be thinking that he needs to stick with people he already knows he can work with in his first season – before he goes a bit wider and re-invites other Who directors.

    The directors he already knows include James Strong, Euros Lyn, Alice Troughton and Colin Teague. That’s a pretty strong, experienced Who team.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @bluesqueakpip  That’s a good reminder, and makes me feel more confident about the coming change.  Thanks.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @bluesqueakpip and @ichabod while choosing to stick with the team he is familiar with might seem rather restrictive it also reflects his loyalty to his “team” and shows that they are happy to continue to work with him so there are positives there. I liked the way Jodie W’ referred to him as “Chibs”. That gave me a little more confidence. I am sure there will continue to be episodes that we will love and some that won’t make the mark but it won’t be like the past eight years but there has to be change and we have been fortunate to have had Moffat at the helm for so long. It is time to give “Chibs” a chance and we have plenty of wonderful episodes to re watch.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    It’s worth remembering that until TV came along, working with a team over several productions was the normal way of doing things in drama. In some countries it still is.

    TV adopted the West End/Broadway method of ‘one-show contracts’. That gradually became the norm as agents became more and more reluctant to have their actors stuck in Pitlochry for a year, unavailable and largely unseen.

    Broadchurch was full-to-bursting with Who and Torchwood alumni. As you say, it works in a number of ways: firstly, it shows that Chris Chibnall’s production style is ‘team-builder’. Secondly, some very in-demand actors and directors are happy to be part of that team, and work with him through several different productions.

    But thirdly, if Chris Chibnall is the sort of person who brings his Who and Torchwood ‘team’ over to Broadchurch, why is it surprising that he’s bringing his Broadchurch team over to Who? Especially since a lot of them came over from Who/Torchwood originally…

    I think his ‘team’ is one of the big positives. He’s got a group of creatives who trust him and enjoy working with him. That’s a good sign.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @bluesqueakpip  Thinking about it, I see that my reservations about Chibnall are rooted in my negative reaction to “Broadchurch”, which implies a judgment on his team as well.  But I’m clearly in a minority in disliking that show (and I haven’t seen the third series yet — Dish network kept switching my BBCA service on and off in an effort to get me to pay $30 extra per month to secure it, and I balked, but I’ve seen encouraging comments about the final series).

    I’ll do a re-watch of “Broadchurch” on Amazon or Netflix, see whether that alters my opinion.  I really want Chibnall and co to succeed with DW — first female Doctor, after all: high stakes!

    DWISPCCRAP @dwispccrap

    I was rather saddened but not surprised at the announcement of JW as the new Doctor. I think it was first hinted at  the end of DT’s run when we saw a cloaked female figure leaving the scene of John Simm’s Master’s demise and the ability of Time Lords to change sex has been reinvented in the last couple of years. You could see it was coming a mile off, but it wasn’t a “brave” decision. Western society or at least Western media types seem to be obsessed with “transgender issues” and people involved in producing the show will no doubt think that they have been very brave and forward looking in their decision. The thing is I like narrative consistency and he was after all a “Time Lord” for hundreds of years and if they were always transgender/transsexual they would have been called Time People wouldn’t they? And the Doctor you would think would have given it a whirl already if he had always had that ability rather than wait hundreds of years.

    I agree with PD’s point about male role models. I think some little boys will be confused by the Doctor changing his sex after all this time, I know I would be. Confused and a bit disappointed. And the irony of JW in the first episode of a drama (Trust Me)about a woman pretending to be a Doctor.

    I have seen JW in dramas before, I like her she is a good actress. I like “Trust Me” but I just don’t think she has sufficient charisma/gravitas to take on the Doctor. I think ratings will plummet. They can of course just reincarnate him again if that happens, but I think it’s a bit of a shame anyway

    wolfweed @wolfweed


    DT in pink socks…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    The thing is I like narrative consistency

    Are you sure you’re watching the right programme?

    Just asking, given that the Doctor’s ability to regenerate was rather hurriedly shoehorned in to the Tenth Planet three years after the programme started. The Doctor’s race arrived another three years after that. Which wasn’t narratively consistent in any way, shape or form, because he had previously described himself as human.

    Gallifrey doesn’t turn up until ten years after the programme started, and the Time Lords are apparently all male. If it hadn’t been for Susan we’d have been deeply convinced they were all male, because we don’t see any women on Gallifrey until The Invasion of Time (fifteen years after the series started) – and even then there seems to be a male/female ratio of about 6 to 1.

    This may explain why Andred was so keen on Leela, of course. Poor lad hadn’t seen that many girls, then one turns up in a leather bikini. 🙂

    But you basically appear to be complaining about a retcon of a retcon of a retcon. Possibly of a retcon.

    Actually, the really good thing about the decision to make the already-shape-shifting Gallifreyans capable of gender-swaps is that it does explain the weird on-screen gender imbalances.

    Anonymous @


    It sounds like you’ve created an account to complain about this ‘move’ that’s so extraordinary no-one at my school is even talking about it beyond saying “it’ll be great to see what the costume will be and what stories they’ll have”  so I thought I’d add my 2 cents.

    A smart man once told me that people who use PC and shame it are basically saying that tolerant views about gay people, women in the work place, smoking in the work place are wrong to have -in other words saying something is politically correct is saying basic manners  are wrong.

    So, yay for PC! Because it’s your ‘sides’ way of actually putting down the good manners people in your generation were trying to teach us (but stopped).

    As Pip says above there’s very little stuff in Who that started off like a ready-made meal. Things were made up as they went along including the whole of Gallifrey and if Susan IS a Time Lord then the entire notion of a female Doctor was made right there in 1963 -and 62 when they thought it up.

    Peter Davison is saying some pretty silly things -I’d ally myself with someone who is more thought provoking. As a 15 year old I have plenty of role models -in fact waaay too many. There are plenty out there who also use their brains not brawn but I would also add (and it’s been said upthread already) why do men and boys need ‘male’ role models?

    Why do girls need female role models? When Mum was growing up she was saying she had wonder woman and the witch from Bewitched which was WOEFUL! -Wonder woman was great, obviously, but until Buffy came along girls didn’t have a teenage female role model and now they’re appearing everywhere but  you guys still have heaps of men from the Marvel universe for example.

    Also, what about books? Plenty of fantastic men in The Hobbit or other Tolkein books….

    So, PC isn’t “crap” at all. It’s movement further in the direction of what is right.

    3 Cheers for JW (and I don’t think you can say she hasn’t  the gravitas to play the Doctor when she hasn’t said 2 words: and, really,  a skinny guy in a suit having gravitas? Matt Smith with gravitas? No, I think not. Other than Capaldi it would have been Pertwee with the cape and so much gravitas and bearing that he pooed marble!) 😀

    Thank you,


    DWISPCCRAP @dwispccrap

    Bluesqueakpip, maybe you are right and Dr Who isn’t the programme for me anymore. Even without the Doctor’s change of sex I have found myself increasingly expecting to be disappointed. In the 12 years of the new show the stories have become less exciting and less memorable.

    For me narrative consistency is not contradicting yourself and I think after over 50 years of the show as a Time Lord (and hundreds of years in DW terms), not a Time Person it’s a bit late in the day to be making such a radical change to his identity. A Time Lord, as distinct from a Time Lady, the first of which saw and named as such in the Key to Time series with the late and much missed Mary Tamm.

    The ability to regenerate, existence of Time Lords and Gallifrey were all later additions to the story without contradicting what had gone before.

    I have not heard of this word retcon before please explain? And why would Gallifreyans favour male identity over female?

    To Thane15

    Maybe the fact that nobody at your school is even talking about it (other than the couple of comments you mentioned) is a bad sign, a symptom of a programme in terminal decline.?

    All words and expressions have multiple meanings and I don’t believe that “PC” is so well defined, that it would be right to imply that anyone that uses the expression other than in glowing terms is a racist/sexist/homophobe/islamophobe etc. My username derives from a distinct feeling that the programme makers are more interested in showing how modern, forward thinking and “cool” they are in changing the main character than making the show better. It’s arrogance and virtue signalling. Then we have all the sycophants going on the net trying to out do each other in their praise for this “brave” decision.  PC, if it simple meant doing the best for minorities, would never be crap and I’m clearly not using it in that way.

    Put simply Doctor Who was one of my favourite fictional characters, he was my hobby, I invested a lot time and money into it and I don’t like the character being messed about with. I think I could have lived with a female taking on the part if they had got someone a little less bland and girl next doorish than Jodie. She just looks so dull. She may not have said two words on DW yet but I’ve seen her on lots of other dramas and I can’t see her range being so great that she can raise her game to the new role.  I never liked Matt Smith maybe because he had no gravitas? Tom Baker was the best of course. There hasn’t been much discussion on here of the different personalities of the various incarnations of the doctor which is surprising given the topic heading. Maybe gravitas was the wrong word. Certainly he needs charisma, an otherworldliness, peculiarity, something alien. Jodie just doesn’t cut it. I think I might have been ok with a female taking it on if they’d chosen someone like Phoebe Waller-Bridge, now that would have been brave, someone that looks a bit unhinged and volatile. Yes, she would have been good I reckon.


    Anonymous @


    Mr Noit’snotcrap 🙂

    Nah, mate, you’re putting words in….. Generally when people dislike ‘their’ show they refer to “the show in decline.”

    I never said we don’t talk about the Doctor  – we talk about the show (in the 80s and 90s Mum never talked about it. with mates. Not EVEN in the 70s as a child).

    So we discuss new monsters;  new story lines.  Certainly the teachers who I ALSO talk to admit that only since 2010 has it become such a global phenomenon -we have an Adv. Eng. Module in it from 2013.

    Your comment

    <i>She just looks so dull</i>

    ‘signals’ to me a possible sexist ‘flag’ -her  ‘looks’ have nothing to do with it and it might be just basic discrimination. All your expounding on ‘PC’ and I’-have- nothing- to- do- with-it-in-the-way-you-say excuse has been thrown to the wind by a sad and uncomplimentary statement about her ‘dullness’ -it has to be physical, as you admit,  because she’s never acted AS the Doctor yet.

    Perhaps wait till you’ve seen three episodes and reserve judgement. I know it can be hard to adapt to change. In the last 10 years since the show’s re-boot many of the mangy ideas of the 80s have been tied up re-creating a new show because if you didn’t do that it really would end. 🙂 The only fantasy show still on, globally for 54 years!

    The show was made specifically for change. But the biggest concern is this Time Person thing. Time Lords sound like the bunch of woolly peers separated from the actual ‘dust’ dwellers on Gallifrey that they are.  ‘Lord’ sounds cooler than ‘Person’ and the last thing -as Colin Baker said (& every Doctor apart from Davison), “they could be hermaphrodites, they could be neuters. They’re an alien race who look human but to them we look Time Lord (Baker and Tennant took some of that from Moffat).

    But our Doctor Who club has actual members. First time that’s ever happened in the 65 year- old life of my school.

    Cheers, Thane


    janetteB @janetteb

    One thing I have learnt is to never judge who an actor will fit a role until seen in that role. I thought Matt Smith was not going to work as the Doctor. My S/O thought that Tennant was bad casting, until he saw the Christmas Invasion. There is always concern at the casting of any actor in any roll of a well loved character. For instance I recall the shaking of heads over casting announcements for LOTR and there were plenty of people who objected to the casting of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy. We tend to judge actors by the roles we have seen them in and not by their acting ability. So anyone judging Jodie Whittaker now is clearly objecting to her on grounds of gender as there is no other valid reason for objecting to her casting at this stage. In fairness to Jodie wait until seeing at least two episodes if not the end of her first season before judging her.
    AS for whether this is talked about I have to say that for the last couple of weeks people were discussing the news that never mentioned Dr Who before and not one comment I heard was negative. It was a good time to be a fan. I felt rather proud of my favourite TV show and I hope that people who have not watched for years will switch on again and discover just how good “Who” is.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I have not heard of this word retcon before please explain?

    ‘Retcon’ is short for ‘retroactive continuity’. It’s a piece of new information that allows you to re-interpret previously described events. For example, an SF author might decide that they don’t want a particular character to ever be a ship’s captain, but do want them to take on jobs normally only assigned to Officers – and so inserts a previously unknown ‘Warrant Officer’ rank into their SF navy.

    You have to wonder why no one in the previous fifteen books had ever served with a Warrant Officer – but then again, no-one ever said there wasn’t such a rank. Retcon.

    Similarly with the Gallifreyans. No one has ever said that this race of shape shifting aliens can’t change gender. It’s just that the possibility was first raised upon David Tennant’s regeneration into Matt Smith. 🙂

    And why would Gallifreyans favour male identity over female?

    Dunno. Why are you favouring a male identity for the Doctor over female?

    Given that the Sisterhood of Karn appears to regenerate as entirely female, maybe choosing to regenerate as a female Time Lady hinted that you had Sisterhood sympathies. It was a suspicious, possibly political choice. [There’s an episode in that one…]

    The ability to regenerate, existence of Time Lords and Gallifrey were all later additions to the story without contradicting what had gone before.

    Check out the Sensorites, and you’ll discover that they all massively contradicted what had gone before; The Doctor in that story describes himself as human. Furthermore, the First Doctor has his heart listened to in several different stories and nobody, ever, refers to the double heart-beat. Because it wasn’t there; he was presumed to be a human scientist from a different planet and a different time.

    Truthfully, there isn’t any logical objection to casting a female actor in the role of the Doctor. Male actors have been cast in female roles for over a thousand years, female actors have played men for a couple of centuries now, and roles get gender-swapped all the time. In the case of Doctor Who, the ability to gender-swap at regeneration isn’t that big a retcon – of the order of the ‘nobody ever mentioned that’ variety, rather than some huge contradiction to previous established events.

    Even if it was a huge contradiction, the Whoniverse has been rebooted a couple of times now. Maybe Amy thought the Doctor was serious when he told her about his regeneration, and joked that he thought he’d regenerated as a girl. 😉

    So I’d guess that your objections may be more emotionally based. It’s not unreasonable to say that you don’t want your childhood hero to change this much, but you do have to realise that the current generation of children are very unlikely to feel the same way. Conversations with any ‘bewildered’ five year olds are likely to be along the lines of:

    Child: Why is the Doctor a girl now?

    Adult: Because Gallifreyans can do that when they regenerate.

    Child: Why didn’t he do that before?

    Adult: Dunno. Maybe he liked being a boy? But he’s two thousand years old now, so maybe he wanted to try out being a girl? See if he likes it?

    Child: Can he change back if he doesn’t like it?

    Adult: Yup. He tried being human once, and changed back. Would you like to see that story?

    Child: Yes!
    [End of conversation as we haul out Human Nature].

    stevethewhistle @steve-thorp

    It is looking like this site is being spammed by mater and pater’s precious little snowflakes as they complain about an episode that hasn’t even been screened yet,and hopefully they will not watch, although that will probably not stop them from commenting,as in the past comments have been posted before episodes have started.

    winston @winston

    Eccleston was too intense  and Tennant was too handsome and Smith was too young and Capaldi was too old and now Whittaker is too female to be the Doctor. Not too young or too old or even too intense but too female?

    In the future the 13th Doctor may be my favourite ,or not , but before we see her how can we know. I am always unsure of every new actor playing the Doctor but I watch and usually within the first episode sometimes in minutes I think “there’s the Doctor” and I expect the 13th to be the same.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @thane15  Yes, the PC thing “but that doesn’t mean I’m a reactionary jerk” is one flag.  Another is “virtue signaling”, a tern that’s been showing up from alt.right and the like, meaning “Oh, you *say* you’re for pay parity but you’re just saying/doing that so people will notice you and applaud you for it!”  It makes me think of somebody who feels not noticed and applauded enough themselves, but is dang-nabbed if *they’re* going to give a beggar a buck even it the whole world is watching to get some approval.  Liddle bit hyperbole there, but I think you know what I mean.  Sort of, um — Scrooge McDuck-ish, in so many ways . . . That is, of course, an “if the shoe fits” comment.

    But our Doctor Who club has actual members. First time that’s ever happened in the 65 year- old life of my school.

    And that’s just *grand* — thanks for talking about it!

    @janetteb  . . . for the last couple of weeks people were discussing the news that never mentioned Dr Who before and not one comment I heard was negative. It was a good time to be a fan.

    An excellent time!  But also the kind of time that tends to shake out the less flexible, and it’s not reasonable to expect them to be happy about that.  On the other hand, remember that poor little wretch who posted here briefly about throwing away all his (or her) DW memorabilia and never watching again because JW?  Many of the nay-sayers haven’t exactly been cutting a fine figure on the boards where I’ve come across them . . . On the other hand, someday that might be me, more or less; you never know.

    @dwispccrap  In the 12 years of the new show the stories have become less exciting and less memorable.

    To you, clearly, but not to many, many others.  I’m the sort of fan who really doesn’t care about stories spanning 50 yrs being internally consistent with each other.  As a writer of fiction myself publishing since the ’70’s, I have a pretty good idea of how realistic that expectation is, with all sorts of writers and actors and show runners on the show changing all the time.  The result has been that some fans have taken it upon themselves to wrestle it all into a coherent whole after the fact, but that doesn’t mean current creatives of DW are, or should be, bound by those efforts.

    I could have lived with a female taking on the part if they had got someone a little less bland and girl next doorish than Jodie. She just looks so dull.

    As it happens, I share your trepidation.  I too saw JW in Broadchurch, and it bothers me a lot that *I do not remember her from that show at all*.  It’s also true that nobody much made an impression on me in Broadchurch — I found them all stiflingly dull and dreary and their story basically idiotic in any sort of real world terms, except the Woman With A Past living with her dog on the beach.  So of course JW should get the benefit of the doubt, assuming a new role in a very different show etc.

    Except it’s going to be with the same writer (and his team) as did Broadchurch, frequently referred to in various commentaries as “a safe pair of hands” — which doesn’t reassure me either, frankly.  I wish they’d chosen a spikier woman, someone more challenging and a bit off beat.  On the other hand, I suppose they feel they can’t afford to take that kind of risk right on top of the basic risk of a female Doctor: some fans were very vocal about CapDoc being “too unlikeable” in S8, and all a female character has to do to be called “unlikeable” is stop smiling, let alone speak up for herself and her opinions (C.F. Clara with Capaldi).  We’ll just have to see.

    @wolfweed  Thanks so much for the Tennant clip!  Speaking of “likeability!”  I like him much better off-duty than I liked his Doctor.  That was fun!

    @bluesqueakpip  maybe choosing to regenerate as a female Time Lady hinted that you had Sisterhood sympathies. It was a suspicious, possibly political choice. [There’s an episode in that one…]

    Yes!  It’d be worth putting up with the stuffy old TLs to have some serious time with the Sisterhood and their doings.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I too saw JW in Broadchurch, and it bothers me a lot that *I do not remember her from that show at all*. It’s also true that nobody much made an impression on me in Broadchurch — I found them all stiflingly dull and dreary and their story basically idiotic in any sort of real world terms, except the Woman With A Past living with her dog on the beach. So of course JW should get the benefit of the doubt, assuming a new role in a very different show etc.

    Yes, it’s hard when you didn’t like the new showrunner’s previous show. The only thing I can say is that I found Jodie Whittaker’s performance as Beth Latimer very memorable. And I’ve liked most of Chris Chibnall’s work, from his early Born and Bred, to United, to Broadchurch. Plus I really like 42, and Hungry Earth (part 2 fell down a bit) and Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (even though it was very obviously the ‘kids’ episode). I also liked Pond Life and P.S. – which showed an interesting appreciation of the Doctor’s effect on ordinary lives.

    If anything, I’d say Chris Chibnall is a better showrunner for The First Official Woman Doctor simply because he’s a lot better at writing ‘ordinary’ women who do extraordinary things than Steven Moffat. Steven Moffat tends to write extraordinary women who do extraordinary things. 🙂 This may simply be a reflection of the sort of women they each know. 😈

    Which has interesting implications for the way the Whittaker Doctor will go. In the finale, Steven Moffat was hinting that Missy may have had more empathy than the Master – which fits with longitudinal studies in humans, where females have measurably more empathy (on average) than males.

    But the Doctor is already considerably more empathetic than most of his fellow Time Lords. Now it’s possible that one reason the Doctor might be regenerating as a woman is a subconscious feeling that the Capaldi Doctor was a bit lacking in the old empathy stakes – and it took him ages to get that back. But what would an increase in empathy do for the Doctor’s ability to fly off in his little blue box, as Father Octavian angrily tells him, leaving others to explain things to the grieving relatives? Does the Doctor need that ability?

    ‘Chibs’ is good at that sort of writing. Not just the event. The impact of the event.

    CloisterBell @cloisterbell


    CloisterBell @cloisterbell

    So anyone judging Jodie Whittaker now is clearly objecting to her on grounds of gender as there is no other valid reason for objecting to her casting at this stage

    I do consider that to be a little unfair, @janetteb. What about the fact that I’ve watched some of her shows, and to phrase it delicately, was less than blown away by her acting abilities?

    nerys @nerys

    @bluesqueakpip Yes, it’s hard when you didn’t like the new showrunner’s previous show. The only thing I can say is that I found Jodie Whittaker’s performance as Beth Latimer very memorable.

    I agree. I was blown away by her performance in Broadchurch, though far less blown away, overall, by Season 2 of that series. Season 1 was fabulous, in my opinion, and Season 3 mostly redeemed that promise. So I’m excited about what she will bring to Doctor Who.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @cloisterbell I have also seen Jodie Whittaker in several roles and was as surprised as most others at the choice because judging by what I have seen her in she isn’t an obvious pick for the role of the Doctor but then I thought the same of Matt Smith who I had previously seen in, in,, (name of series escapes me). I expressed my own doubts about her suitability before the announcement was made which is not the same as making a judgement about her as the Doctor. after all, she is an actor which means or should mean that she is capable of playing many different characters. My comment was in to people who outright state that she will be terrible in the role. Give her a chance. Likewise I am uncertain about the choice of Chris Chibnell as showrunner but to say now that he will be terrible is unfair. Let’s see what is delivered by both Chris and Jodie before passing judgement. (And I find it is always better to expect the best rather than the worst.)


    janetteB @janetteb

    And to add, if Jodie Whittaker has the courage to take on the role then I think she has something of what it takes to be the Doctor.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    What about the fact that I’ve watched some of her shows, and to phrase it delicately, was less than blown away by her acting abilities?

    What about the fact that she has seven more award nominations than Matt Smith had when he was cast as the Doctor? To say you dislike the roles she’s been in, or her acting style, is fine. But that’s not the same as being unable to act; she can act.

    To put it bluntly, there’s no way of telling whether or not she can play the Doctor until we see her on-screen in more than one scene. All we know at the moment is that Chris Chibnall, Who writer, Torchwood showrunner, previous employer – thinks she can.

    Oh, and that she took the role because she sees the infinite possibilities of Doctor Who as considerably more exciting than a future of playing housewives and nurses. 🙂

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


     if Jodie Whittaker has the courage to take on the role then I think she has something of what it takes to be the Doctor

    Amen to that.

    With regards to JW in Broadchurch, it’s a very specific role and Beth Latimer is in a very particular place and JW plays it brilliantly. But it’s in no way going to give you an idea of how she might be as a Doctor — any more than just watching Eccleston in, say, Jude the Obscure would have prepared you for his Doctor.

    I initially shared some of the ‘girl next door’ misgivings of JW but really all it took was a couple of hours of looking at some of her other performances to put that to bed for good and her recent round of interviews have only reinforced my belief that she’s a perfect choice.

    As to the SJW drivel that it still rearing its head — is there any more clear-cut or enduring poster boy/girl for being a social justice warrior than the Doctor? That’s pretty much been the character’s mission statement for the past 50 years. If the Doctor has had an overriding arc, it’s his gradual socialisation and growing awareness of fighting the ‘dark corners of the universe’, initiated by Ian and Barbara but continued by every companion since. To complain about SJW’s is to complain about the Doctor themselves and makes me think that the complainants have been watching some other programme to everyone else all this time.

    The fact of the matter is that no one knows how JW is going to approach the role, so any attempt to dismiss her performance now is pointless. Also its disingenuous to say any attempt to do is not based on gender. What else can it possibly be based on at this point? Neither Tennant, nor Smith, nor Capaldi, while they were met with reservations, were met with this continued wall of negativity before they’d so much as picked up a sonic and frankly I still have reservations about leaving this thread open. The news is well and truly out, everything that can be said has been pretty much said. Can’t help but feel it would have been far preferable to focus on the Capaldi thread, the Xmas special and honour PC’s last months in the role.


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    And just to echo @bluesqueakpip‘s estimation of CC’s ability to bring a Doctor (who just happens to be female rather than a ‘female Doctor’) to the screen. Barring RTD himself, I don’t think there’s any writer more capable of doing the interesting character nuances (I’d agree that SM had just that bit too much of tendency to make everyone Special — which I kind of like actually. Everyone should be — and is — special, but there’s also scope for other approaches too.) Anyone who doubts CC on this score should go off and watch Pond Life immediately.

    I do still have reservations about CC’s grasp of structure within individual stories but that’s a whole other can of worms.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Can I say Hear Hear to those saying let’s just give Jodie a chance and see how her first season goes I am purposely not including the regeneration scene as such a short screen time is not realistically giving her a chance and given the dramatic change it will probably take an episode or two to bed the new doctors character. Also JWs taking on the role of the Doctor is a very brave and courageous act because if she does disastrously it will almost certainly bar future females and possibly even a non white actor from taking the role in the future. Given this fact she should be applauded for her courage and CC must have been very sure of his choice as if it does not go well his run as showrunner will be very short. He could have possibly gone for “safer and more popular” female actors but has instead gone for someone he apparently believes can deliver the right female Doctor.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Just popped by to support @jimthefish‘s suggestion that this thread has probably outlived its use-by date. It seems to be sucking all the oxygen from what might otherwise be some really interesting discussions, reflections and outrageously bonkers theories on other aspects of the show we all love so much.


    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @blenkinsopthebrave @jimthefish I agree.  There’s little more any of us can add, pro or anti, until we can actually see JW in the role and see CC running the show.  I am sure there will be plenty to discuss then, but for now, we’re going round in circles somewhat I think.

    whofangirl73 @whofangirl-73

    I have posted my dissapointment in a previous couple of posts that a female is taking the lead of the Dr. I still feel this way and find it a huge gamble with the shows popularity. I do find however, with time, i am slowly warming to the idea. Slowly. It is still some months away until the regeneration. I will reserve any judgement until I see her in action. I don’t think her prior screen career /performances to view are necessarily going to convert anyone. The Dr is a unique role. There is an X factor. I would have personally loved it if Benedict Cumberbach played the role. Think he is perfect for it. But someone said to me he is too famous now for the role. Oh well. Time will tell how the New Dr will turn out. It always does! Be nice to each other in the meantime. For some of us BG followers of Dr Who, this is a major philosophical change in the way you view the show. Most from childhood.

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @whofangirl-73 I’m very open to a female Doctor, and thought it was an appropriate time for that casting to happen (even if I’m still apprehensive, by dint of not knowing Jodie Whittaker’s work). But if Benedict Cumberbatch had been available (and able to commit to more than one season), then, to my mind, he would trump literally anyone for the role. It’s very tough to see him clearing a schedule to do Dr Who any time soon though, so I think that’s only a fantasy casting. Beyond that, I don’t think his fame would disqualify him from the role, though perhaps it also means that it’s not an obvious career move for him.

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @blenkinsopthebrave @jimthefish @cathannabel I agree also that this thread has probably run it’s course, though not necessarily that it’s having a negative impact. I don’t think opinions are going to change or solidify very much until we actually see episodes with the new Doctor and showrunner, which is further off than I’d like.

    We should keep in mind that Peter Capaldi’s not done yet either, with the Xmas episode to come. I can’t quite work myself up to getting involved in the discussion of Peter Capaldi’s tenure until it’s actually completed.

    Craig @craig

    Not great, but I thought it worth posting.

    Craig @craig

    Now I am going to close this thread as that seems to be the consensus. If you want it opened again please post your reasons in the “On The Sofa” thread and I’ll reconsider.

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