If you ignore the fact that every single Doctor has been a white male, then yeah, they’re all different. But not anymore. Sunday, the BBC announced the new Doctor and millions of voices were heard all around the interwebs. Some screaming in joy and some screaming in melt down mode. Sorry Fanboys, y’all gonna have to take a sit for a wee bit.
Meet the new Doctor, Jodie Whittaker.
I am totally stoked about having a female doctor. I think it’s about damn time that we see a different side of the Doctor. I love the idea of the show changing up and being something different. I loved Matt Smith as the Doctor but just couldn’t get behind Peter Capaldi, even though I think he’s an amazing actor, he just doesn’t do it for me as the Doctor. I have a lot of hope that I’ll fall back in love with this series with Jodie as the Doctor.
But, I need to rant about something. When I was looking for pictures for this post, I came across the above image and quote. I loved it at first but as I sat on my couch typing out my happy feelings about a female Doctor, I reread that quote a few more times and it began to anger me. She hasn’t even started yet, hasn’t even stepped into the TARDIS and yet, she has to ask the fanboys of the world to hold their asses and not freak out. She has to make a comment about how change is exciting and to not be afraid of the fact that she’s a woman. *insert eye roll emoji here*
Please, Jodie, don’t start out catering to those “fans” that can’t deal with a female Doctor. They’re not worth your time. And as a Time Lord, you’ve got a lot of it….
Lorena’s Thoughts on the New Doctor
I’m so thrilled that the new Doctor is not only female, but also an actress I really admire. Her range is incredible and I have no doubts she’ll rock the Doctor role no problem. Plus, the new showrunner, Chris Chibnall, was in charge of Broadchurch… the two already have a lot of experience working together.
Speaking of Chibnall (which totally looks like Chinball, I know), I am really excited for him to take over and Steven to hang up his hat. Sure, Moffat gave us some great things like Weeping Angels, the Silence, and the Madame du Pompadour episode (which becomes problematic the more times you watch it, btw), but he also wrote way too much enigmatic weirdness and plot conveniences that still don’t make sense when you watch it again. It’s those moments on Sherlock where you can’t solve the puzzle because information was not revealed to you the audience, and even though it is shiny and fun and omg, you still feel cheated the proper experience. It’s that writing. I’m soooooo bored and tired of that writing. And it seems to be all Steven Moffat knows how to write…
Please Chris, give us a companion we can care about and relate to. I don’t need an Impossible Girl or a Girl Who Waited. I just want a normal companion like, oh, I don’t know… Rose Tyler or Martha Jones or Donna Noble or Season 5 Amy Pond or Rings of Akhaten Clara Oswald. Someone who shows up for adventure, demonstrates bravery and compassion, and loves her family back on Earth (even if they are difficult).
That companion can be a guy, too. Guys are 50% of the population and also want to feel like they’re part of something exciting, that they’re going on adventures and changing lives around the universe. They too love their families back on Earth (even if they’re difficult) and can be brave and compassionate.
Look at Mickey who stayed for his Gran and came back from parallel Earth to stop the Cybermen invasion. Look at Rory who collects alien medical supplies on their travels and doesn’t care if that woman was a ganger or an original. Look at Danny Pink who… became more compelling than the Doctor because none of us cared if the Doctor died that season because he was the biggest jerkface ever (ok, nevermind on Danny, bad example).
I need the companion to be a plucky male assistant who admires the Doctor steadfastly, laughs at her silliness, and also can call her on her shit. I need that. And I need the male companion to have a romantic interest on Earth who is made to feel insecure about the companion spending so much platonic time with the Doctor. Because honestly, who wouldn’t feel threatened by how all encompassing and epic the Doctor is? I need this, Chris. Please don’t fail me.
Representation Feels Even Better Than Expected
Most exciting though is the fact that I can cosplay the Doctor finally. Sure, I could before, but not as a female being a female. Things I can’t wait to do (note, usually only 1 of these applies):
- Buy this Doctor’s sonic screwdriver.
- See her outfit and figure out how to recreate it.
- Watch her go be the Doctor.
I love the Doctor. I love Doctor Who. And now, finally for the first time ever, I can actually BE the protagonist I admire and love.
Every woman I know had an emotional experience watching Wonder Woman. I went to the movie expecting to feel moved in a profound way by equality and representation and womanness or something — and I felt LITERALLY NOTHING. I felt like “Why has no one felt they’ve seen this before? It’s woman warriors. We’ve seen this before. I’ve written this before. Stunningly beautiful women in scantily clad outfits go save the world.” It did not feel new to me. It did not feel relatable to me. But I didn’t want to say anything because it had a lot of meaning for everyone else and I felt excited by their empowerment. I felt happy for them — despite feeling nothing myself.
Then the TARDIS key materialized in a very female looking hand and Jodie Whittaker gave a little “oh good, I’m home” smile at her blue box and I was like…. there it is. There’s the feeling.
I won’t lie, once I realized it was a woman, I was sure it wasn’t real. I was waiting for it to be a fan video or a companion reveal and the new Doctor would already be inside the TARDIS and come out. I didn’t believe it. It took multiple watches for it to sink in. This was real. The Doctor was finally a woman. My Time Lady hearts skipped a beat and I started to cry. The protagonist I knew and loved and trusted was representative of me. And I wondered if white men even knew what this emotion felt like, because it’s all they’ve ever known. Seriously, this representation thing feels even better than I expected.