Well after months of speculation and guessing, we FINALLY know WHO (see what I did there?) is going to be the next Doctor on Doctor Who and it’s a BIG deal!
On Sunday July 16, it was revealed who would be playing the 13th Doctor on the BBC Sci-fi series Doctor Who. After a lot of speculation that Phoebe Waller- Bridge (Fleabag), Kris Marshall (Love Actually, Death in Paradise) and Jodie Whittaker (Broachurch) were the actors who were in the running to get the part, it turns out Jodi Whittaker won the role.
After this casting, I know that whenever a new name pops up closer to the announcement of the casting of a new Doctor, chances are that is actually the person who won the role. It happened with Peter Capaldi and now with Jodie Whittaker.
As to my reaction, I watched the clip of the reveal on Youtube (because I live in the states and was working and waiting to find out the announcement) I was shocked and confused.
My initial reaction was shock and worry because a female Doctor in the wrong hands could be written horribly and really change the character but in a very bad way. I am glad that this is happening during a changeover to a new Executive Producer, Chris Chibnall.
I think the announcement just came as a surprise to me because I was always knew they were going to cast a female Doctor, because Sydney Newman (the creator of Doctor Who) wanted to make the Doctor a woman way back in the 80s. Also Neil Gaiman established in the Series 6 episode “The Doctor’s Wife” way back in 2011 that Time Lords can change gender, which makes reproduction a bit confusing.
Steven Moffat also *SPOILER ALERT* made The Doctor’s old friend and now nemesis The Master a female, played by Michelle Gomez. So whether you like it or not, this was coming. Steven Moffat left the groundwork for it to happen and Chris Chibnall decided to make a quite frankly ballsy move and cast a woman in the role of an iconic male character.
After giving myself time to process this big announcement, I am excited. I realized if this is done well, it could actually give the writers a chance to take the show in so many exciting directions! It’s been clear since the end of Matt Smith’s era that Steven Moffat was running out of steam and ideas.
Doctor Who more than ever needs a new direction and new showrunner to give the show new, fresh and exciting ideas. Series 11 has the potential to be what Series 5 was for Steven Moffat and Matt Smith, kickstarting a new and exciting era for the longest running science fiction television series.
My only concern is changing the character so much so that it doesn’t even feel like THE Doctor anymore. All Chris Chibnall and his writing team have to do is simple:
1) Don’t change the fundamental ideas surrounding the character. Make 13 feel like the Doctor to the point where the audience forgets that Jodie Whittaker is on screen. That is how I have felt with every Doctor up to this point.
2) Don’t constantly remind the audience that The Doctor is a woman. Maybe in her first scene post 12’s regeneration a little joke referencing it would be fine, but don’t beat us over the head with it.
3) Make 13 a complete badass akin to Ripley in Alien. The Doctor no matter who plays them should always be a badass, it should be no different with 13.
4) Make the Doctor socially awkward at times and a bumbling Professor without being sexist. This can be accomplished and I think it is an important facet of the character. The Doctor is a genius, but misses social cues and can be slow on the uptake, which makes for some great comedic moments.
5) A great first scene after the regeneration and a great first episode that really shows to me and the audience that this IS THE Doctor. A grand speech or an awesome introduction showing the new companion the TARDIS.
6) Well written episodes and great solo adventures. Peter Capaldi suffered from poor writing and I would hate to see that happen to Jodie Whittaker.
7) If at all possible give us an explanation as to why after 13 regenerations, The Doctor is NOW a woman. Maybe it’s because *SPOILER ALERT* 12 is holding back his regeneration. Just a quick explanation, even if the Doctor says “I fancied a change being a man got a bit boring.” It’s not vitally important to have it explained but I think because it’s such a big change on the show, a quick explanation would help. Maybe this regeneration cycle is a bit more unpredictable.
I am just curious to see where Chris Chibnall takes the show and what the 13th Doctor is going to be like. Will she be friendly, goofy, silly and whom will Jodie Whittaker base her performance off of, will it be a completely new take or will she take ideas and personality traits from past Doctors?
Will Jodie Whittaker be what David Tennant was for the new generation of Doctor Who fans?
Needless to say I cannot wait to see Peter Capaldi’s finale episode and see what 13 has in store for us!
What say you? Do you like the casting? Are you upset/angry/confused? Whatever your thoughts let me know!