A woman Doctor? Are you mad!? It’s only 1848 not 2017, for Heaven’s sake! Isn’t being a Doctor a man’s job?
After the Wimbledon Grand Final on the 16th of July, the world waited eagerly to find out who exactly would be the 13th Doctor in the British hit series Doctor Who. Fans and their families gathered around their TV sets and watched as the 13th Doctor appeared, slowly revealing who they were. The world took in a deep breath as Doctor Who smashed the gender conventions and its audiences expectations, revealing Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor. The first ever female to take on the role.
The first female Time Lord caused quite a stir amongst fans of the show. Many stating that the Doctor should ONLY be a MAN. And that this was the end of a brilliant show, because feminism and political correctness has gone completely mad and ruined the sacred show. This was the general vibe of many fans reactions. But why? Why are people so mad that a woman has a role in a TV show about an ever-changing alien from a galaxy far, far away? The previous 12 Doctors have all been men. Brilliant actors took on the role and made it their own. They were seen as iconic. Jodie Whittaker takes on the role, and people see it as idiotic.
So again, I’ll ask why? Why are people so angry? Shouldn’t girls watching the show aspire to be the Doctor too? Shouldn’t we be encouraging each other instead of sending the message that there are ‘boy jobs’ and ‘girl jobs’? Many fans stated that the show will never be the same as it once was. And that’s very true. The show has developed into much deeper and darker storylines, the CGI has changed considerably and is a LOT more frightening than it used to be in the days of Tom Baker. So that’s right, the show will never be the same as it once was. But that ship has sailed. Time to move on and accept that the show was brilliant then, and will be brilliant now. It’s us, the fans, that gives it that brilliance and the excitement that surrounds it.
My reaction to the 13th Doctor was a mixture between shock, confusion and excitement. I was utterly convinced Kris Marshall (one of my absolute favourite people on this planet) was going to be the next Doctor. I psyched myself up for him to be number 13 and he’s exactly who I expected to see holding the key to the TARDIS. My shock came from the fact that the producers finally cast a woman Doctor! After hints and rumours of other Time Lords that change genders during regeneration, the Doctor was finally going to be a lady. And it wasn’t who many people thought it would be if a woman were to be cast as the leading role. The reason behind my excitement is going to sound a bit nerdy, but bear with me. I work for the media. I’ve studied the media and created content for mainstream and alternative audiences. I was excited because finally, a mainstream show, broke gender conventions. It challenged the Doctor Who stereotype. It pushed the shows limits further than they’ve ever been pushed before. They actually left fans flabbergasted. That for me is extremely exciting. If anything it intrigues me to watching the show even more now.
A lot of fans are worried about the show and its future with a female Doctor taking the lead. But why? What’s different between a female or male Time Lord? Personally, I don’t see a difference. I see fear. I see the fans fear of change. Even Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory says ‘Change is never fine. They say it is…. but it’s not.’ Every singe fan has an idea of how the show should go. And not just fans of Doctor Who. But fans of everything! I have my theories and ideas of how The Walking Dead will end and sure, I’ll be miffed if it doesn’t come true because I think my theory is solid. But at the same time, I would be so annoyed and angry that the producers would make it that easy for me to guess the ending!
People are expecting their opinions to be heard as if they were spoken by a prophet. Social media gives everyone a voice they might not be able to use in some situations. But it also provides an air of importance that is extremely damaging to people who think everything they say is a fact. Jodie Whittaker is a renowned actress and has starred in many shows, such as the hit series on ITV Broadchurch, and won over thousands of fans. To turn around and say ‘well she only got the job because she’s a woman’ is incredibly insulting and inaccurate. But also, to turn around and say ‘she’s clearly an awful actress and won’t be able to deliver a credible performance as the Doctor’ is equally as bad.
Casting Whittaker has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with her gender. It has everything about her ability to become the Doctor. If the producers didn’t see something in her, she wouldn’t have been cast. Doctor Who is about adventure, love, action, science fiction, imagination, pushing boundaries, saving lives, breaking stereotypes, and more than anything, it’s a family show. Showing only male Doctors can make little girls question why they can’t be a Doctor, and wonder why people think it’s cute if they dress up like David Tennant or Matt Smith, and not take them seriously. Whittaker is going to be a completely different Doctor. She will be unlike any other we have ever seen or encountered before. She is going to be the 13th Doctor, and there is nothing anyone (apart from the producers and the makers of the show) can do about it.
So my advice is to just sit back, take a deep breath. Let go of your anger, ask yourself why exactly you’re angry. Is it because you envisioned the show going in a different direction? Or is it really because an actress has taken the role of an alien from a galaxy that doesn’t exist, who has previously been male 12 times? Is it because you’re afraid of the change? Or is it really the fact that this Doctor has a foof and boobs? I also advise for you to watch the first couple of episodes. Get the vibe of this new Doctor. See if Whittaker’s ability is really credible and to what extent her talent travels. What have you got to lose?
Let me know your thoughts on the new Doctor Who! If you couldn’t tell by this post, I’m excited to see what Whittaker has to offer as the beloved Doctor. I’m curious and overall looking forward to the day Whittaker’s first episode airs. Do you have any theories or answers as to why fans and people are angry with the choice of leading actress? If you do, comment your thoughts below! And until next time, have an awfully big adventure for me!