Written by Louie Fecou
There’s probably going to be a meme going along the lines of “You know you’re a nerd when you watch the Wimbledon final to see who the new Doctor Who is” but that’s what happened!
The smart money was on Kris Marshall, the bookies had stopped taking bets on him 6 weeks ago, but they caught us off guard when forest haunting hoodie figure turned out to be the amazing Jodie Whittaker.
Now apparently the really big news is that Jodie Whittaker is a female. Honestly, go check.
From what I have seen in my tiny bubble, the initial response has so far been positive. I’ve watched two dozen reaction videos on You Tube and only seen one that was negative, he’s going to start a campaign apparently, bless.
Now I’m from an older generation than most of you, trust me I am, and I have what I like to think an extensive broad view of all of Who from 1963 onward. That offers no particular insight in itself, but perhaps the reveal for me was no more exciting than previous new doctor reveals of the past. You see a female Doctor has been the stuff of conversation since, well since forever.
There has always been speculation, and let’s face it, has there ever been any doubt that either Mary Tamm or Lalla Ward couldn’t give Tom a run for his money? When Mary regenerates into Lalla, she appears in an exact replica of Tom’s costume proving she was more or less a female Doctor, and that was back in 1979. Eventually Romana ends up in her own version of the Doctors costume, complete with boots and scarf.
There are plenty of instances when Romana actually assumes the role of The Doctor in later years too, The Horns of Nimon is particularly well known for Romana doing all the Doctor-ish things while Tom Baker was moving into a more darker portrayal, or a sulk, as some might see it. When Romana does move on, she takes K9 with her as a companion and sets off to help the Tharills in N Space where she no doubt had a great run of adventures that we never got to see, but still essentially a female Doctor.
The point is, older viewers were used to seeing female Doctor characters, so it really should be no surprise they have went the whole hog this time. Flash forward to 1999 and The Curse of Fatal death, written by Steven Moffat, who gives us a truly heartfelt version of new Who complete with a regeneration sequence that features Joanna Lumley as a female Doctor.
The sequence features Joanna as The Doctor, unperturbed by the regeneration and quite happy to marry her companion played by Julia sawalha. Add a Master with augmented Dalek bumps, an army of Daleks looking for help from The Doctor and another regeneration where The Doctor turns into a young, handsome and foppish Hugh Grant and you have most of Moffat’s big plot lines for his impressive run as head honcho in later years.
I guess the point is, that as an older viewer, I love Doctor Who, and I don’t care who plays the part. The Doctor is bigger than the conversation we are having about him/her, and that’s how it should be. What the character stands for, and what that character does is the crux of the show, and as long as the writers don’t mess it up, then I will be happy. I’m sure there may be SJW’s out there that are cock a hoop over the news, but they have also missed the point. There’s no agenda in doctor Who, it’s simply a well crafted piece of TV folklore, the like of which we will never see again, surviving in an arena that is so competitive and fickle, that honestly, i’m amazed it’s still on our screens causing so much excitement.
I love Jodie Whittaker and I am confident Chris Chibnall knows what he’s doing. Doctor Who has survived because it can change, so enjoy the hype and remember that if you truly love the ethos of the show, then you will support the new team on and off the screen and applaud the changes they are making. If you feel you can’t watch the show anymore then don’t, move on, there are plenty of other shows out there you can digest. For those of you, like me, that continue to engage without prejudice, then strap yourself in and enjoy the ride, I predict great things ahead!