Jodie Whittaker announced as the new, 13th Doctor

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

This topic contains 546 replies, has 81 voices, and was last updated by  Craig 4 years, 3 months ago.

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    wolfweed @wolfweed


    JNT produced from between 1980 & 1989. Before that he was the PUM (Production Unit Manager). Season 23 was his sixth series as producer. It’s the one that aired after the hiatus, so there was a lot of anticipation to see if it would be brilliant enough to fend off Michael Grade’s desire to finish the show…

    Not sure about Pip & Jane Baker prior fandom…

    Quality is in the eye of the beholder. (I quite like it as a season.)


    This one is a cracker:

    Nick @nick


    @wolfweed has given the basic facts of who JNT was. Pip and Jane Baker were a husband and wife writing team, who had (I think) a decent cv as writers. I’ve no idea how they came to end up writing for Who.

    JNT, who had worked on Who behind the scenes over the years, took over as producer for Tom Baker’s last season as the Doctor and was instrumental in getting him to move on. I think he did a pretty reasonable job that season and cast Peter Davidson, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. He ran into a few problems of his own making. He was extremely interested in promoting Who, especially in the US, where he spent a lot of time. In some ways he was instrumental in formalising Who fandom.

    But, he started to do the stories he thought the fans wanted (and was listening to a rather small group of people, lead by Ian Levine). “Canon” and Past story continuity became a big issue around the alongside bringing back old foes (many of whom the core audience didnt know or care about). It was alost story ideas by lot drawing. The Doctor’s costumes were meant to call back to Tom Baker’s zaniness, but putting question marks and silly colours rather than more every day clothes was a really poor idea.

    He also started celeb guest star performances. Whilst this might not have been a bad idea, some of the casting didnt make much sense from a character point of view, which when combined with comic or overacted performances, meant that it didnt work very often. Most of this was done to promote Who, and increase ratings.

    He didnt have any writing back ground. Whilst that shouldn’t have been a problem, I understand he left that side of things to his script editors (one of whom – Eric Saward – he felt out with in a very large way), who weren’t always on the same wave length as him. A lot of stories ended up being confused and confusing as a result.

    Broadly speaking, the Peter Davidson years were ok (with one or two notable exceptions). It went down hill with Colin Baker. Colin’s characterisation of the Doctor (starting out as unlovable and somewhat nasty and finally ending up as nice) might have been ok, but Colin was too unlikable. A lot of the stories around this time were quite poor and even the ones that werent, often got a bit confusing. Things were often over-lit as well, so there was often a lack of atmosphere and suspense.

    None of these things helped the ratings. BBC bosses thought the show was out of ideas and wanted (and did) to cancel it. There was a public campaign (by Levene and JNT supported by the newspapers) to get the show back that worked – at the price of getting rid of Colin Baker and making some significant changes. Around the same time, JNT was told (I believe) that if he left (as he wanted to) he would be replaced so stayed on. In a final effort to turn things around, he appointed Andrew Cartmel as script editor, who brought in new, younger writers (some of whom were fans). Broadly speaking, the turnaround was working, but it was too late.

    No doubt others will correct my mistakes and disagree with my menory, but that’s my potted history of the JNT years.

    Nick @nick


    At the time, I thought the Terror of the Vervoids (if that was what it was called) wasnt a bad story, although it seemed to get confused in the middle and scenes were included but then never followed up. I wasnt that impressed with the first story and I think i missed an episode of the second story, but I remember that it wasnt that bad (but not that memorable either). The end was ok, but I think Pip & Jane did as good a job as anyone could when Robert Holmes died without completing both parts of the end.

    lisa @lisa

    I just read that rumor about Kris Marshall in the Sun.  Without going into details

    (because I tend to think in big swatches )   if they make Kris NOT human I think that could

    be quite good.   We don’t get a lot of non-human companions in nu who and they’re great !

    Or !   part human ? Like Susan’s kid?

    Nardole worked out  wonderfully  so possibly that’s a  formula  they should consider keeping.

    tardigrade @tardigrade


    …maybe the transition (in universe/story and in reality) will be easier to accept if he CHOOSES to regenerate into a woman (perhaps in an attempt to honor missy’s and bill’s sacrifices)?

    It’s a little difficult to see the Doctor getting to a position of making that sort of choice (and has had precious little control over previous regenerations). Perhaps he might have some unconscious control- there was a suggestion that his current form was unconsciously chosen. However, at present, he’s struggling with the prospect of repeated change to who he is, and him deliberately choosing to depart even further from his current identity doesn’t seem to sit that well with that. Perhaps he’s trying for a ginger and this is the result 🙂


    I’d prefer to see Jodie play a Doctor who is female (rather than a female Doctor). Whilst I don’t think the gender element should be down played, I do think the essentials of the doctor’s character and behaviour should remain essentially the same. I think the point of having a gender change character should be to show that gender is not the primary thing going on.

    Yes- I think that’s rather well put. The Doctor is fundamentally the same character underneath, regardless of external appearances and the twists on that character that each regeneration brings- the Doctor’s gender is a part of that, but not a defining feature. In that respect it was a piece of good fortune that the Doctor happens to have a gender neutral name.

    I think it wouldnt have caused anything like the same impact as today.

    We’re talking the days before Twitter and YouTube, so it’s easy to forget the relative difficulty of “outrage” getting kicked off in any case. A female casting for the Doctor would have been unlikely to have made much, if any, appearance in the mainstream media then- it would have below the radar and there wouldn’t have been easy access to as many comments as you please dragged from social media to generate a story from. Letters to the BBC wouldn’t have had much visibility.


    Gallifrey is obviously a classist society which is one of the reasons the Doctor keeps running so I think keeping the elitist titles is justifiable.

    I agree that on Gallifrey, it makes sense for the elite to refer to themselves as Time Lords. It’s the Doctor running around the universe at large and taking that title that niggles- he obviously doesn’t have much truck with that hierarchy. It seems to me that he might have chosen to drop that title after the Time Wars and not taken it up again.

    geoffers @geoffers


    Perhaps he might have some unconscious control- there was a suggestion that his current form was unconsciously chosen. However, at present, he’s struggling with the prospect of repeated change to who he is, and him deliberately choosing to depart even further from his current identity doesn’t seem to sit that well with that. Perhaps he’s trying for a ginger and this is the result

    very true, but he did force the regen to stop, before the first doctor appeared, and i don’t think he’s ever been able to do that (or even tried)? so i can imagine a scenario where, if he’s convinced he absolutely must go on (and change again), that he might grit his teeth and decide to do it how he wants, this time (“and now, for something completely different”), in a direction that is unique from every other regeneration before. (and not just as a ginger!)

    and, perhaps the original him can help him do it?

    Frobisher @frobisher

    Wow. So many comments.

    I have never seen Jodie Whittaker in anything before, so I have no idea about what she will bring to the role (I am sure it will be lots, though). I am super excited to see D13 in action. Bring it on!

    CloisterBell @cloisterbell

    Hello! I am new to this site- having only found it through Googling the furore about Jodie Whittaker. I wish that I had found you sooner!

    Although my opinion on her casting is not a popular one, I hope that you will bear with me and perhaps try to show the encouragement that Peter Davison called for, for those of us who are uncertain about the change (please!).

    I am a life long Dr Who fan and have all of the available DVDs / audio CDs from the classic series. I also have all of Eccleston, Tennant and Capaldi’s seasons on DVD. I never got to grips with Matt Smith, partly because the start of his tenure in the Tardis coincided with the birth of my first child and meant that I was hopelessly confused as to what was going on, as I only saw occasional episodes. This meant that I never saw the introduction of Missy or the revelation as to her true identity. As a result of this, I tend to just think of Missy as another enemy – rather than a regeneration of the Master.

    Unfortunately, I cannot get to grips at all with casting a female to play the Doctor. I don’t have an underlying hatred for women (after all, I am one!). However for me, the Doctor is male.  I believe that after casting thirteen men to play the Doctor, it can only be a political move to cast a woman. Chibnall himself said that he only wanted to cast a woman and Jodie Whittaker herself has said that it pleases her, “as a feminist”.  There are a sizeable number of people on social media who state that they will start watching the show purely because the Doctor is now female, whilst at the same time calling those who don’t want to watch a female Doctor, sexist!

    Whenever a Doctor is cast, there are invariably a lot of comments that state that the actor is a brilliant / terrible choice based on whether people have enjoyed their previous work or not. However, in this case everyone- whether in favour or against – is commenting on Jodie Whittaker’s gender, not her acting abilities. There is hardly anyone stating that they are in favour of a female Doctor, but think that she is a poor choice. Therefore, casting a woman has undoubtedly politicised the role- she has become synonymous with a gender argument, rather than being judged in her own right.

    I am fully aware that it is now canon for timelords to be able to change gender. This is something that always made me wince, because, as far as I am aware, this was never referred to in the show for 47 years (between 1963 and 2010) and to me, was an unnecessary change made for political reasons. I always felt that Dr Who had some superb female role models / strong characters anyway, without the need to cast a female Doctor. Zoe, Liz Shaw, Romana, Sarah Jane, Nyssa and Tegan all stood out for me. I personally struggle to understand the argument that this is a great casting for young girls as it gives them someone to look up to. As a girl, my heroes were all male- not because there was a lack of female role models, but because the people that I admired happened to be male. If a little girl can only have a female as a hero, isn’t there also something wrong there in terms of gender attitudes?

    I would have preferred that Romana came back to the Tardis alongside a male Doctor or that she was given the lead role in her own spin off series.


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @craig– That’s a lovely little short too, isn’t it? I definitely prefer the full feature though and I’m really impressed that they managed to extend it without it feeling like a smallish idea that’s just been padded out. JW aside, I’m just surprised that I hadn’t heard of it before because it really gladdens my heart to see there is still a film-making culture (I hesitate to call it an industry any more) that produces stuff like this.

    On the general discussions of how JW will ‘be’ the Doctor — while the title ‘Time Lord/Lady’ doesn’t bother me that much, I definitely agree that it’s perhaps time that it was retired — although I doubt it will be as it’s become such an integral part of the show. It was originally introduced to convey the idea of a vague ‘space aristocracy’ (which I guess tells you a lot about still-prevailing attitudes in Britain at the time) but is now a little problematic, I think. I’d argue that part of what SM was doing in Hell Bent, as well as re-establishing the Doctor as a renegade from his own people, was cutting the Time Lords down to size, and deliberately siding the Doctor with ‘the people’ rather than the aristocracy.

    While I like the idea that the Doctor might not notice she’s female initially (and I really hope we don’t get a ‘look at those’ boob-squeeze scene) I don’t think it’s feasible or desirable for the Doctor’s new gender not to be addressed. I agree with @nick that it shouldn’t be the character’s defining characteristic and the approach should be ‘this is still the Doctor who just happens to be female now’. But every Doctor is defined by an extent to how others perceive them — T Baker by his googly bohemianism, Pertwee by his assumed ‘authority’, Davison and Smith by their youth. One of the best and most compelling reasons for there being a female Doctor is that it opens up new avenues of story-telling, creates a different dynamic. Referring back to an earlier discussion about the recent questioning of the Doctor’s old ‘patriarchal’ demeanour, is the 13th Doc going to be able to stride into situations and assume a position of authority or command without being questioned on it. Or does it mean a resort to the psychic paper (which I think is suddenly going to become problematic)? I think the sheer fact of the Doctor’s gender and issues of power and patriarchy within SF tropes are going to bring something new and interesting to the show. (I suspect that CC might be (re)reading Banks’s Culture novels even as we speak for some inspiration.)


    Welcome to the site! There’s really to my mind nothing to suggest that the casting of a female Doctor is a politicised decision. But be that as it may, does it really matter? At this point, casting another male Doctor would have been just as political. And I’d argue it’s a fallacy that Doctor Who somehow exists outside the realms of politics (of the identity variety or otherwise). It doesn’t and it never has.

    There is hardly anyone stating that they are in favour of a female Doctor, but think that she is a poor choice

    I’m afraid that’s demonstrably untrue. You only have to look at this site to see that the majority of opinion is favourable. And as far as I can see, if you venture beyond the ravings on the right wing news sites (which can safely be discounted), then the reaction has been overwhelmingly, even on occasion joyfully, positive.

    If a little girl can only have a female as a hero, isn’t there also something wrong there in terms of gender attitudes?

    Well, if anything this whole episode has shown that there is something shamefully wrong with gender attitudes, particularly among sections of the fan community. But you only have to talk to some of our long-standing members like @scaryb and @juniperfish to see that for the duration of the show girls have been able to take men as role models. Why should it be that this is not the case for boys? I fail to see how a boy viewer won’t be able to take JW as a role model. The values that the Doctor personifies are not gender specific and never really have been. It also begs the question, that while girls can clearly take men as role models, does it necessarily follow that they should be obliged to have nothing but male role models? I don’t think it’s unreasonable for them to have their own from time to time.

    I would have preferred that Romana came back to the Tardis alongside a male Doctor or that she was given the lead role in her own spin off series

    But isn’t that still just ring-fencing the character of the Doctor? Placing him on the pedestal and continuing to position Romana as ‘nearly as good but not quite’ as him. Plus the spin-off idea is pretty much a non-starter to my mind. The Beeb can barely afford to make one Who show at the moment, let alone what would essentially be two.

    Personally I think it would be more interesting to have Romana return as the male companion. That would be an interesting reversal of a previous dynamic. I wouldn’t be crazy about Kris Marshall being a companion (I don’t have anything against this guy, honest!!) because a BT-esque or Rory-like dopey guy companion would further incense the already-hurting broflakes and I don’t think a ‘huh. stupid men’ vibe is really going to work at the moment. I think a male companion is definitely required but I think he’s going to have to be more on the capable side, without being overbearing. Marshall would be a great and welcome addition if they steer away from a ‘bumbling oaf’ vibe. The characterisation of the male companion is going to have to be smart — Bill Potts smart.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    Hi @cloisterbell, wellcome to the site!

    The most negative comment’s I’ve heard from pro-female (or indifferent to female) Doctor have been about it being a safe choice or mentioning other women allegedly in the running who they would prefer. By and large I think that people who don’t object to the idea are reacting to the tantrums, not by any means always but frequently hateful that have accompanied the casting.  Whittaker is an actor of proven ability as well. In a way she is quite a safe choice for this bold move.

    To be the point of girls having someone to look up to ties into your comment about growing up with all male role models yourself, Girls are good at that, yes, and used to it. And do, in fact, nowadays, have more female role models than at many times in the past, as you point out. Boys on the other hand tend, it seems, to relate to role models of their own sex. Couldn’t this become a disadvantage at some point in life? Less practice relating to a person of the opposite sex can effect empathy with the opposite sex. It can, in some cases, of course not in all, make it harder for grown men to take a female boss/company superior as a kind of role model and learn from them. Little girls, and little boys, should be able to have both sexes as a hero, and an example.

    When you make the point that people you admired as a girl happened to be male, that makes me think. What were the qualities that appealed to you? Did you find a shortage of female figures that had those qualities? And does the fact that you were drawn more to your male heroes indicated that these qualities were not, after all, integrally ‘male’? And might it be beneficial for children of any sex to see people with qualities they admire and aspire to of any sex. It’s good for children to see Doctor Who, see when he is wise and strong and kind and think they would like to be like that. As well as see when he makes mistakes, and learn from that. As I said, girls can do that with male figures, and it seems, more easily than boys can with female figures. Having a hero like the Doctor, who changes form and personality, played by both sexes helps underline that these are qualities anyone can possess. In my opinion.

    I do think there is a difference between being drawn to and being repulsed by a series for casting a female in the lead role. The people saying they will start watching now might suffer from the lack of imagination that enabled them to see a male doctor as a role model; all the better for the children watching it now.

    And yes there are plenty of string female characters who could have been used. Romana returned, River Song (with Timelord genes). There’s the Doctors Daughter- though someone pointed out, for the Doctor to have a female clone strongly indicates the possibility of gender change in TimeLords. And we are going to need some strong male characters now. Rory was, in my opinion, fantastic. I liked Danny more than a lot of people. But we probably need a male character with the significance of Donna, Bill, Clara, Amy, Rose or Martha, and preferably the dynamic of Donna or Bill.

    CloisterBell @cloisterbell

    There is hardly anyone stating that they are in favour of a female Doctor, but think that she is a poor choice

    I’m afraid that’s demonstrably untrue. You only have to look at this site to see that the majority of opinion is favourable. And as far as I can see, if you venture beyond the ravings on the right wing news sites (which can safely be discounted), then the reaction has been overwhelmingly, even on occasion joyfully, positive.

    Thank you @miapatrick and @jimthefish for your welcomes and for engaging in reasoned debate.

    I probably didn’t phrase the above quote very well, so I think that you have misinterpreted me, Jim. Apologies for that. I do realise that most people are in favour of her casting. However most of the comments that I have read, view her casting favourably because of her gender, rather than because of her acting ability.  There are only a few people who comment that she is a good actress but very many going down the “It’s a woman- hooray” kind of route.  (I am not referring to this site, which seems to be one of the few exceptions,  calmly and intelligently debating the issues in question instead).

    However hardly anyone seems to be saying, “I am in favour of a woman, but don’t think that she is a good choice”. Yet when a male actor is cast, plenty of people cast negative opinions on the actor’s ability / suitability for the role.  There must be some people out there who don’t think that she is the right actress for the job, but don’t seem to be speaking up.  It’s as if no one dare state that she isn’t a good choice, for fear of being accused of being sexist.

    wolfweed @wolfweed
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    That’s excellent news. Mind you, there would have been a positive uproar if it had been otherwise. But am I the only one surprised at how low Capaldi’s salary was?


    I’m sure there are many who would have preferred, say, Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the part. And I myself was a bit worried that she might have been a bit ‘girl next door’ when the possibility of her getting the part was first mooted. But having just watched her in Adult Life Skills, I’m now totally sold. I’ve seen her in a few things now and she’s been uniformally excellent. I’d say of all the names I’ve seen bandied about and going by her track record, she’s probably the best choice for the role, man or woman.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    ‘Confirmation’ downgraded to ‘hope’…


    Kris Marshall will NOT be the assistant

    CloisterBell @cloisterbell

    I’m sure there are many who would have preferred, say, Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the part. And I myself was a bit worried that she might have been a bit ‘girl next door’ when the possibility of her getting the part was first mooted. But having just watched her in Adult Life Skills, I’m now totally sold. I’ve seen her in a few things now and she’s been uniformally excellent. I’d say of all the names I’ve seen bandied about and going by her track record, she’s probably the best choice for the role, man or woman.

    Funnily enough, I’d never heard of her prior to the announcement, (or Phoebe Waller-Bridge either!) The only  drama that I watch on a regular basis is Doctor Who, so I’m not familiar with most actors / actresses. I had a quick look at Jodie Whittaker’s list of work, and couldn’t see anything that especially appealed to me. However, I might give something a quick go over the next few weeks to see what she is like.


    Nick @nick


    I have seen Jodie in Broadchurch and in Attack the Block (but I didnt realise that was her until she was cast as the Doctor). That’s enough for me to know she’s a good actor. However, I’m not yet convinced she is the right choice. I can only make my mind up on that when I’ve seen her in the role delivering her and Chibnall’s vision next year.

    She will most probably deliver a “good” performance, but maybe not a great one. The great portrayal’s have been by actors who have found something else within themselves that has elevated their performance delivering a convincing alieness (the best three in my opinion are Troughton, Tom Baker and Capaldi). Right now, I haven’t seen anything in Jodie’s performances I’ve seen that suggests she was that quirky unknown factor, that I thought Phoebe Waller-Bridge had (out of the favourites list).

    We’ve never had a post dealing with say, who we would like to have seen cast as a female Doctor. I don’t think there’s much point in saying great it’s Jodie, but I would have preferred X or Y instead anymore. However, if you spent time on the spoilers thread, you’ll see many of us suggesting we’d like to have seen Michelle Gomez or Pearl take over. If Alex Kingston hadn’t played River, she would have been on my potential list as would have Parminder Nagra also of ER fame. Romola Garai and Andrea Riseborough are other actors who’d have been on my potentials list.  However, we don’t get to choose. Chibnall and the actors themselves do.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @nick and @cloisterbell

    It’s true that we won’t really know until Xmas at the earliest what JW will be like as the Doctor one way or the other. PC’s Doctor, for example, was not quite what I was expecting but he still surpassed my expectations. I was dreading Matt Smith and he knocked it out the park in his first 20 minutes.

    But as to JW being able to do quirky, I recommend you both watch either Adult Life Skills or the short Emotional Fusebox on which it is based (and which @craig has posted above) as I think they prove that Jodie is more than capable of quirk, perhaps more so than PW-B

    whoever @pstrong

    I’m sure the actress and the show will be good..they would not have made these choices otherwise  but I do have anger and sadness about a long standing male that I used as a role model and shared generationally with family has been just taken and made some how generic.. my very close bond I felt to the show is no more. I’m not a woman.. can feel the same connection. It would in my opinion never have been done if a generational  female hero that was loved and shared by mothers and daughters was changed to male…I think the outrage would be massive.. but it’s ok to take a kind non violent and somewhat unconventional male role model…of which there are so few, and change him to a woman. I feel I have lost something far more that we have gained.. and fear now the issue will become more and more what gender race ect will the actor be…  and always some one feeling slighted. Its as if my hero has been made generic, and  that too is a loss. I have loved females in television  strong vulnerable, and inspiring. Played by outstanding women as this will no doubt be.. but I still have lost something very important.. the grinning man that made me feel less alone even on my darkest days. that stability is lost. what ever will come I will see.. and likely like.. but always now.. it will never be the same for me. I had no idea I would feel this way till it happened but for now ..I greave the loss character I loved most of my life in books tv and movies alike. I feel the he was taken away, and handed off to someone else and that I don’t like. perhaps a main character should not be handled this way even if you can do it. I feel alienated from the show I loved for decades now  and the pain will take a lot of time to heal

    Mirime @mirime


    As a young girl I had a strong connection to and hero worshipped many men and male characters. As I’ve already said, I wanted to be Luke Skywalker, to be a Jedi. I also wanted to be a Ghostbuster, to be the Ring Bearer, to be the Doctor. I don’t think I’m alone in this, but why can’t it work the other way? Why can’t boys want to be a female character, admire and identify with a woman? Especially with a character that most likely will be male again in a few years.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @pstrong seconding @mirime here.

    I do get it when people are saying what made the Doctor a great male role model ‘kind, non violent and somewhat unconventional’ is rather well put. He didn’t fall into the category of many male hero roles. He’s a professor, he uses his words not his muscles and so forth. It’s a good version of what being a man can be. And I think a good male companion is absolutely essential now to continue showing this good version of a man. Rory was a good example also, both a nurse and The Centurion, he’ll provide compassionate emergency care and blow the heck out of a cyber fleet to get his wife and baby back…

    But the Doctor also has a kind of power and authority, a little arrogance (sometimes a lot), can get a little out of hand and needs raining in. He’s a member of a powerful elite who has thrown is lot in with so called ‘ordinary people’. Or people, as he calls them. He is usually kind and non violent, though there are exceptions, and it’s usually a great portrait of someone dealing with their privilege and responsibility. The Doctor’s status and struggles are not of the kind confined to men. To have him for ever as a male, mostly being reigned in or taken down a peg by smart women still plays into a lot of stereotypes. Having Rory and Danny challenge him felt interesting, something of a shift. Having a female doctor is an even bigger shift.

    I hope boys can still take the Doctor as a role model. Many men end up with female mentors at some point: teachers, university tutors, female line managers and bosses. Accepting a female role model at an early age can be excellent practice.

    There is still a lingering sense that for a female child – or woman – to have what are perceived as ‘masculine’ traits is more acceptable than vice versa. It’s something that needs to fade out. It’s unfair to males with so called ‘feminine’ qualities, its unfair to females who resent the implication that it’s fine for them to seek a ‘promotion’, but not for men to seek the ‘demotion’ of a ‘feminine role’.

    For this reason, please let the Doctor continue to park the Tardis with the breaks on and retain her tendency for occasional Hubris. The doctor has often had traits that could be considered ‘feminine’, I hope she keeps the ‘masculine’ traits she has as well and we can all get on board with the idea that regardless of your prefix, a person is a person, flawed, with a varied character.

    genek1953 @genek1953

    @mirimeWhy can’t boys want to be a female character, admire and identify with a woman?

    In order for that to happen, there first have to be such characters presented, and there has been a dearth of them.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @genek1953 – disregarding for present several Joss Whedon characters…

    there’s one more now!

    wolfweed @wolfweed
    Antaus @antaus

    The 13th Doctor is a woman, am I surprised, no. Am I happy about this, no. Here’s the reason why. I don’t think the new Doctor was cast as a woman for the sake of diversity. I think the casting was about being ‘politically correct’. I’ve spent far too much time watching male roles go out the window for the sake of so called ‘diversity’ and ‘equality’ which is a load of horse sh*t.

    Yes I’m going to rant here, so be prepared. I am getting so sick and tired of television shows being attacked for having men in lead roles as needing to be more diverse and equal. Personally I’m just waiting for the episode where the male assistant is reminded how everything is better now that a woman is in charge. I know people will be up in arms in favor of this saying DW is about change and reinvention. That’s not what I’m talking about.

    There have been a lot of male roles being recast as women in recent times. I’ll list some as an example.

    Thor from Marvel comics is now female.
    Doctor Watson is now being played by Lucy Liu in Sherlock.
    Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica was played by a woman.
    All four Ghostbusters were recast as women.
    Helen Mirren as Prospera instead of Prospero in Tempest.
    The Ancient in Marvel’s Dr. Strange was a man in the comics.
    Ronda Rousey stepping into Patrick Swayze’s shoes in the new “Road House”.
    Julia Roberts to play in “The Secret in their Eyes”, a part played by Ricardo Darin in the original.
    The list goes on…

    I’m well aware of the fact fans out there would love to call me male chauvinist, girl basher, and a wide assortment of other names, but let me ask you this? How many roles with leading female characters have been recast for men? Try googling ‘female roles recast with male actors’ and see what results you get. My first four results were:

    Recasting some legendary male roles with female actors
    Recasting some legendary male roles with female actors
    13 Kickass Women’s Movie Roles Originally Meant for Men
    Examining Hollywood’s Gender Swap Trend And Where It Needs To …

    All relating to women taking over male roles in film and television. Has the television and movie industry truly degraded to the point there are no new films or roles that women can star in? Have the options dwindled so badly that women feel they can only get work by replacing male actors? Replacing male actors under the guise of ‘equality’ 99/100 is nothing more than bullsh*t. If that were truly the case, then why aren’t female roles that could be recast with male actors, being recast? Please, show me where the equality is.

    That being said, am I totally against a female Doctor, no. So then this begs the question, why am I so ticked about this? Because many things that were once male oriented have had female roles forcefully shoved into them in the so called name of equality. What put me off this Doctor? The word feminist mainly. Where it was once a rallying cry for gender equality, it’s now turned into a weapon to use against men. Believe me, I could cite a forum full of examples where feminism viciously opposed numerous things that would have made the playing field equal for men in female dominated areas.

    If this new female Doctor plays the role for the sake of the role, will I give it a chance, why not? I’ve been watching DW since I was old enough to know what television was, Tom Baker is still ‘my doctor’. However, if the feminist agenda begins to crop up, I’ll write the BBC a letter that will likely border on criminally liable, wash my hands of Doctor Who and not look back.

    Antaus @antaus

    P.S. I’d have preferred Tilda Swinton anyway, she just seems more… Doctorish to me.

    Mirime @mirime

    @antaus I think you’re actually highlighting another issue there, that of a reluctance to put money into anything other than a proven franchise.

    It must be much easier to sell, for example, the idea of Sherlock Holmes with a twist – Watson is a woman! – than sell a whole new creation.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    ‘Good grief! A Time Lord in high heels & lippy?’

    Terry Wogan on a possible female Doctor, in 2003 on Points of View (about the show’s 2005 return)…

    Antaus @antaus

    There’s truth to that too, the television market is so ruthless today people are afraid of innovation, so they take something that isn’t broken and try to fix it.

    wolfweed @wolfweed


    Nick @nick


    Give or take 50 % of the Earth’s population is female. When making films and TV stories based on what were once considered male genre (action, sci-fi, comic based stories etc) the producers are doing no more than maximising their potential audience by changing stories and characters to appeal to a broader audience. Much as I’d like to think their motives were different, in most cases I suspect its a mostly business decision for them (just like including asian or chinese characters and special versions which highlight some characters more than others depending on the region where it is being shown). Political correctness has nothing at all to do with this trend.

    Looking at the bigger picture, many of these long term/older characters were written/invented for modern western audiences 40 or more years ago. At that time, it was virtually unheard of for leading characters to be female. So they were written male, by a generation of mostly male writers who were born more than 70 years ago, when the society was very different from today.

    Society has changed, writers, producers have also changed. Characters which were originally written as male, may not actually be male “only” these days. Doctor Watson, an Army doctor, could be either male or female in the real world now. Why then shouldnt the character be capable of being played by either gender. When Conan Doyle was writing Holmes and Professor Challenger there were not any female detectives and very few female scientists (Marie Currie being an obvious example). This is not true any more.

    To address your other point, why would anyone recast Wonder Woman as Wonder Man, when we already have Superman, Batman, Captain America, Thor, Ant Man and the rest ? Why changer Miss Marple to Mr Marple, when there is Poirot, Father Brown, Holmes, Cadfael, Wallender and all the others to numerous to mention. This sort of recasting isn’t necessary and wouldn’t be particularly interesting to watch.

    I think you should ask yourself, just which female Film, TV or Book roles do you really want to see gender swapped ? List them and then we can discuss and you might just provide some evidence to support your argument. I have a lot of sympathy for the traditionalist argument that a role has been male and should remain male because that is what you feel most comfortable with. However, its not an argument that can support never experimenting, telling new versions of the tales by swapping gender.

    toinfinityandbepond @toinfinityandbepond

    I’ve got no problem with a woman doctor.

    Still more worried about Chibnall to be honest,

    Nick @nick


    I loved John’s Tardis dress. His speech was excellent. Its a shame the rest of it wasn’t posted as well.

    Antaus @antaus

    After having a debate with someone who tried to turn the argument around on me, and failing, I think I’ve found a better way of stating my previous, and rather long, post in a more dense and concise statement. Am I against a female Doctor, no. My main point of contention is that this feels more like a ‘pander to the PC pressure’ move, than it does in casting a female Doctor for the sake of the show.

    Antaus @antaus


    You do make a lot of valid points about the origins of a lot of things dating back to a time when women didn’t have lead roles. Perhaps I can condense this as well. In this day and age there are enough roles in Hollywood that gender flipping isn’t needed. As to a list of roles that could easily flip, pick a Disney movie pretty much. Frozen for instance, could have had Elias as a lead and with some story tweaks, and there you go.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @serahni  . . . What I’m actually hoping for, after all this outcry, is that The Doctor asserts the identity he’s always had and demands to be considered male, despite appearances.

    I think I’d rather have JW’s Doctor casually accept both pronouns, him and her, because now it’s established that TLs (including Doctors) can regenerate across gender lines, so (to an extent to be determined — or left open and fluid) the potentialities attached to both genders are accessible to her from within.  Or not?  To me, it’s an intriguing question, and I hope Chibnall follows its possible implications instead of just assuming some “rule” that shuts down questions from the get-go.

    There’s only so far I think he can go within the “family viewing” remit, but for pete’s sake, now that we’ve been let out of the house, let’s play a little with this new freedom!

    The Meddling Monk @themadmonk

    Thinking things over I have a theory that as others have said RTD and Moffit have been laying the foundations for there to be a female actor take on the role so when Chibnall was interviewed that would have been part of his brief and from there it made sense to choose JW having worked together on Broard Church and having had opportunity to together discuss and plan how it could be delivered ?

    Another theory is that the Master turns up and somehow interferes with the regeneration to get his own back and to let the DR see how he copes with being in a female body ?

    Ok just theories but interesting that when the Master regenerated as a women he chose to be known as Missy so maybe the DR could choose to be known as Ohhh Matron ….. just joking


    genek1953 @genek1953

    Doctor Who’s ratings have been declining for some time now. Whether that’s due to negative reactions to recent Doctors or is just an indication that the show is running out of steam, who knows. Either way, the predominantly male viewership are drifting away. So perhaps what is really going on is merely an attempt to attract a new part of the potential viewer base that has not paid much mind to the show up til now.

    Antaus @antaus

    I do agree DW has been sagging recently, Capaldi’s last season wasn’t all that great. However it wasn’t the actors or the acting, it was the writing. Rather than trying for shock and awe, or something ‘radically new’, why not get a better writer?

    toinfinityandbepond @toinfinityandbepond

    Well, they have a new show runner, so let’s see how the writing goes

    Orion @orion

    The series has not gone bad as such, just average and underwhelming. Mostly this is down to Steven Moffat who peaked a while ago and has outstayed his welcome. Similar to Sherlock, was Moffat spreading himself too thinly? Both shows have suffered.

    lisa @lisa
    wolfweed @wolfweed
    Nick @nick

    @jimthefish @craig

    Just watched the adult life skills short. Thanks for discovering this. Its fantastic – a very warm and charming watch. Great acting too. Definitely a must watch.

    I’ll watch the full film tomorrow.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @Conchobarre and @mirime  – You sound as if you have both done a great job explaining the change from male-presenting to female-presenting Doctor to your young sons. I look forward to hearing their reactions to the new 13th Doctor in action.

    @wolfweed – Thanks for the Barrowman clip. I love him and I love him for wearing his TARDIS glittery frock.

    @antaus and @nick  I agree with @nick that film and television likes to take a bet on an already proven loved property from a ££ point of view (which is why we get remakes) and that, combined with the social revolution enacted (partially – still a way to go) by feminism, has led to the recasting of some male characters as female in older but refreshed genre shows. Because, historically, women were more frequently cast in supporting roles in sci-fi film and television.

    Look, we all love original Star Wars and original Star Trek, but boys wanting to identify with male characters got to be Captain of the Millennium Falcon, or a Jedi Knight, and Captain or First Officer or Doctor on the Enterprise. Girls wanting to identify with female characters got to be a space princess who needed help (made awesome, nevertheless, by Carrie Fisher) or a Comms Officer or a Nurse. The male and female roles were not equal and that reflected society in the 1960s/ 70s. And yet these shows were ground-breaking in their time, and already impacted by feminism. Princess Leia was not a damsel in distress by any means and Uhura was groundbreaking as an African American woman treated as an equal by her crewmates. As the next iterations of these franchises rolled on, we got a female starship captain in Janeway and now a Jedi Knight in training in Rey.  Because these shows moved with the times.

    Doctor Who, like Trek and Star Wars, was born at the start of second wave feminism. As I mentioned earlier on this thread, Who was, for its time, very forward thinking, helmed (unusually) by a woman, in Verity Lambert. Nevertheless, boys wanting to identify with male characters on the show got to imagine themselves with ease as the Doctor for fifty years. Girls either learned to identify across gender in order to be the hero, or to accept that a woman’s role was as an assistant.

    So, I do find complaints of gender insult and unfairness regarding the casting of a female Doctor to be akin to a child who has been allowed to eat 100% of a cake for fifty years, now being asked to share 1/13th of it and throwing a tantrum.




    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    I do find complaints of gender insult and unfairness regarding the casting of a female Doctor to be akin to a child who has been allowed to eat 100% of a cake for fifty years, now being asked to share 1/13th of it and throwing a tantrum.

    I have to agree. I sympathise with the unease that some feel with the change from a male to a female Doctor but I do feel that it’s the kind of discomfort that needs to be examined sometimes . There’s something lazy about even refusing to keep an open mind about the possibility that this change might actually be to the show’s benefit, instead of this dismissal of it as ‘political correctness’.


    Craig @craig

    @nick Glad you liked the short. The feature is better as it has time for a bit more depth and width. Jodie Whittaker is great in it though, isn’t she? I’ve started watching more things that she’s been in and I just think she’s going to be amazing.

    whoever @pstrong

    as I said earlier…and I am grateful for the responses .. I do think it will work… I do think creatively its a choice that brings diversity to the role..  but there is still  a sense of loss there too.  I did share doctor who.. almost insistently with women and friends I love.. who now love it too.. there have been some good points made here all around. .. and its not unlike the fears of loosing David Tennant, or Tom Baker (folks thought it could never be Doctor who  without him once  .. and I had a feeling of loss there too)  Its bound to bring on a hefty case of regeneration jitters. I thought I’d never  get over David leaving.. and by the time Matt popped out of the tardis and greeted  Amelia  Pond.. I was loving him too  now Peter.. I have adored them all.. from William on.. shaky sets and all.. perhaps it’s the waiting to meet her, and know her that leaves us in a state. Seeing her doing the role will make a huge difference.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    A regeneration is definitely a jittery time.  I remember the sheer apprehension at losing Tom Baker and getting Peter Davison at the time and I ended up loving him in the end. Same with Matt Smith. But I somehow knew that Capaldi was going to be great and the more I see of her, the more I’m convinced of the same with Whittaker.

    But yes, the waiting is gruelling part.

    Nick @nick


    I knew from Broadchurch she was a great actress, but it was great to see her in a very different sort of role. After seeing that, I like her more than I thought I would. I’ll have to rewatch Attack the Block as well.

    @jimthefish @pstrong

    More jittery this time, because its all so new and because it might be easier to make the odd wrong step without any compass from the past as their is a new show runner as well. Even if it isnt perfect straight out of the trap, I have confidence that it’ll come good.

    Jim – One thing I don’t entirely agree with you, is that it must be a male companion. I much prefer multi-companions (with some tension between them) and I’d like to see how Jodie and Pearl would play off each other as well. I’m sure we’ll get a single male companion, but I’d like to see some variety before we do. The single, younger female companion (that has been the norm since 1970) really is getting a bit long in the tooth. Swapping roles for a younger (if that’s possible) male companion seems like a lack of imagination to me. If the male has to be older, then someone in their 50’s would be nice experiment.

    Craig @craig

    @antaus Actually, forget that, I deleted your post and link. I don’t want anyone even copying and pasting it if it risks them getting a virus.

    Still interested if you think SJWs have ruined Doctor Who?

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