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    CloisterBell @replies

    I think that Walsh could be great. I think that he would have made a superb Doctor actually.

    CloisterBell @replies

    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?

    CloisterBell @replies


    CloisterBell @replies

    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.


    CloisterBell @replies

    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.

    CloisterBell @replies

    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.


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