This will probably be a quickie, and it is not on my usual post day, but this is also too big to wait.
The 13th Doctor was announced today, and to lots of people’s surprises, it is a female, Jodie Whittaker, rather than the usual male pattern that has been held for quite some time.
Leading up to this announcement, there were a lot of rumors floating around about who it would be. One side thought they heard it would be some red-headed person I have never heard of, nor can remember the name of right off. This apparently was a completely false rumor since Chibnall stated he “always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman.” Another was that it would be a female, but that Olivia Coleman was high in the running. Somewhere else said it would be David Tennant returning to the Doctor role, which is both absurd and would’ve been a huge misstep I think. It would be looking back at just the wrong moment.
As it happens, some parts of the rumors, and guesses were true. The pick was female and was someone that Chibnall had worked with closely before. Moreover, it was someone from the Broadchurch cast. But it was also the last person on that cast I would’ve guessed (which is always the way), and I can’t imagine anyone better. No offense to Coleman, but I don’t think she had the chops for this role. However, I feel that Jodie absolutely does.
Lots of people, or at least some faction, will be crying over this announcement I know. The outcry has already begun, and I feel it is fans who are strangely resistant to change, that are butthurt the worst. And I do feel it is that because as far as I can see, this was always going to happen from the moment that Smith regenerated and thought he was a girl. Which was the line that inspired Neil Gaiman to write that tiny detail into his script The Doctor’s Wife, which is largely credited as kicking off the whole idea that Time Lords can change gender.
I feel like weaving this in slowly, like they did, first with a quip, then a character detail line, then with the Master changing to Missy, and seeing several other, powerful, Time Lords change on screen, and one even being happy they changed back, all helped to set up for this. I admit my hesitance was high when the same rumors floated around about 12 changing to a female before Capaldi was announced. Neil Gaiman even said, wisely I feel, that a female Doctor was going to happen, but that the time was not right.
The time is right now.
I think this will drive away some people, though again, I feel it is the vocal minority, and I also feel it will drive out some of the toxicity that has built up in the Doctor Who fandom over the years. If they can’t accept this change, they don’t need to be in the fandom. That’s how I see it. Conversely, I think it will also bring back old fans who dropped out over the course of Moffat’s time, and possibly even bring in new fans because they see this strong character turn into an equally strong female version.
One person I talked was surprised, pleasantly, stating that she honestly thought they’d change the Doctor’s race before his gender, but was very happy to embrace a female Doctor, especially considering they had picked such a fantastic actress.
I hope that the naysayers don’t get her down. I think there is honestly more love out there than hate. I hope others accept her as readily as I already have. Even if you’re not sold on this idea yet, give it a chance. She will be amazing.
I for one will be eagerly awaiting her to take center stage. I will still be sad to see Capaldi go, as I really do like him, but damn, what a thing to look forward to. The reveal was just excellent. I’ve seen it several times already. I don’t get tired of it. I just get so giddy when I see it. I just keep thinking “This is amazing. She’s going to be marvelous!”
Welcome! Welcome Jodie Whittaker! Welcome to Doctor Who as the best role ever.
You are the female Doctor so many have been waiting for. And you will be fantastic.