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The Thirteenth Doctor has just been announced as ...

Jodie Whittaker!


Yes, finally we have a female doctor, not a big surprise given the hints dropped in the finale, and also not a surprise in the new Doctor being from Broadchurch, who new showrunner Chris Chibnall has spent the last three years working with. Broadchurch can now claim 3 Doctors in its cast, with David Tennant as a past Doctor and then both David Bradley and Jodie Whittaker who get to play the Doctor after Broadchurch.

Be interesting to see what she brings to the role, as she showed great range in Broadchurch.

The nature of the announcement was interesting, with a teaser on Friday to indicate the new Doctor would be announced after the men's final at Wimbledon, but no real fanfare or event as with the last two announcements, just a very short teaser video of the new Doctor walking through the woods in a hoodie, before a turn and reveal. Makes me wonder if with Andy Murray out of Wimbledon, this was an attempt by the BBC to boost viewing figures of the men's final, and there will be a bigger program to follow to really introduce Jodie.

Or perhaps the casting had leaked and this was the BBC getting out in front of it.

Whilst Jodie is the first woman to play the role in the main series, she's at least the third woman to play the role in an officially licensed production of Doctor Who. Joanna Lumley famously played the Thirteenth Doctor (bit of a prediction perhaps) in Steven Moffat's Comic Relief special, The Curse of Fatal Death (1999), and Arabella Weir played the Doctor in Big Finish's Doctor Who Unbound story Exile (2003).
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Jul 24, 2017
Well we had dinner yesterday with my goddaughter, her family and her boyfriend, (Don't get too attach I have decided yet how much longer he has on earth), She is very excited about the female Doctor so regardless of my feeling I guess I will be watching. It has been our thing since she was a baby. My 2 godchildren are fans, I have 3 nieces who are fans yet none of my 3 children are fans. Where did I go so wrong?
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Jul 24, 2017
Glad to hear it. I'm treating this just like any other change of Doctor, I'll watch it and I'll either like it, or I won't, and if I don't I'll just wait for the next Doctor to pick it up again.

Only ever had one I didn't like and that was the Fifth Doctor, or more precicely what they did with the show and writing for him. So I didn't watch his stories quite so regularly, but I have watched them all since. I love Peter as a Big Finish Doctor.
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Jul 18, 2017
This is no more than trying to be politically correct by giving into the fringe groups. I have said before that if they wanted a female Doctor or a gay, female, person of whatever color Doctor there were better ways that fans would have support. The Doctor had already used up his number of regenerations. They could have done this without changing the rules on regeneration. He could have ran across another Time Lord and as he was dying he could have passed the keys over using the Time Lord mind connection to pass on his history to her. Steven Moffat will go down in history as the second man to kill Doctor Who along with JNT. As a fan since 1977 this may be my last season. Let’s see how long these fringe fans stay with the show now that they have gotten their female Doctor. My guess they will move on to the next show on their list.
Moffat has a win, win with his leaving. He can take credit for giving in to the fringe fans by giving them a female Doctor. When the show dies he can say it was not on my watch its Chibnall fault.
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Jul 18, 2017
Well to be fair, if you want to dish out blame, it is Chibnall's fault, as incoming showrunner, he cast Jodie having worked with her for the last three years, nothing to do with Moffat. In pretty much the same way Moffat cast Matt, even though he appeared in RTDs last story the incoming show runner choses his Doctor. But as with every new Doctor it's about credit, for finding something new in a show that under normal rules would have died in 1966.

But it's got nothing to do with political correctness, it's about change, the whole show is about change and reinvention, and has been since it very began. It's no more about political correctness than casting a young person in the role (yes that complaint was rolled out then too).

Even in 1966 you had the "you can't change the Doctor" brigade, then in 1974 "you can't replace a talented actor like Jon with a bricklayer", in 1986 "you can't cast a Scotsman, the Doctor is English" and again as recently as 2009 "you can't cast a kid in the part, the Doctor is over 900 years old", yet that "kid" steered the series to it's 50th anniversary and got the second highest AI (Appreciation Index) of all the Doctors EVER, second only to David Tennant. Yet back in 1966 the overall opinion was that it was TV suicide to change the leading actor, the audience won't accept it - and yet they grabbed it with both hands and loved it.

This happens over and over again at every regeneration.


And it's not a new idea either, the original co-creator of the show, Sydney Newman, wanted a female Doctor at some point, so no rules are being broken here, it's in the original concept. After leaving the show, when it ran into trouble, he even lobbied then BBC Controller Michael Grade to first bring back Patrick Troughton for a period of stability, and then replace the Doctor with a woman. This certainly wasn't PC in action, it was after all 1986, this was about reinventing and reviving a flagging show. Grade ignored his advice, cast Sylvestor McCoy and 3 years later the show was cancelled.

And we're back there again right now, despite being hugely popular with the aging Who audience, Peter Capaldi is not so popular with the UK audience at large, classic Who fans stuck in their ways are not the main part of the audience, we're the fringe viewers. Average viewing figures for the recent Doctors are Nine 7.95m, Ten 8.36m, Eleven 7.98m and Twelve 6.38m. AI (Appreciation Index) shows Twelve 82.72 pretty much the same as Nine 82.23 (who only had one season for folks to get used to him), a good 4 points below Ten 86.32 and Eleven 86.02, and audience share has gone from 40% down to 27%. Capaldi's last season features the only 2 episodes in the 21st Century run of the show to ever drop below 5m viewers. So it's time to shake things up again.

If you've watched the show from the very beginning you'd know that the Doctor doesn't see gender as anything other than a biological mechanism for genetic diversity, no more no less, and the selection of which is just a random happenstance. But don't just take my word for it...

"It feels different this time" - Fifth Doctor

"I might never make sense again, I might have two heads, or no head... It's a bit dodgy this process, you never know what you're going to end up with." Ninth Doctor.

But let's leave the last word, to one of your favourites, the Sixth Doctor Colin Baker, talking about this very subject this weekend.


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Jul 21, 2017
I think your vast knowledge of the history of Doctor Who may prevent you from seeing the present. My bet would be 99% of those who pushed for a female Doctor never heard of Sydney Newman and only know Tom Baker as one of the old guys and never seen any of his stories or read his quotes. Their knowledge the companions you referred to even less so. Also if you read the comments here and on other sites you will find fans who have only been fans since the reboot and even after dislike this move as well as other events. So it is not just the older fans who are set in their ways. Of course I could be misreading your argument. It may be that it is for the older fans. Still I think you have underestimate the political correctness of this move. You have to look at the supporters and where they are coming from. Just as they have done with the super heroes and now the push is for the next James Bond to be a female.
As I have said before I have no problem with a female Doctor nor do I have problem with rewriting a show and changing the roles. It is how they did it. They could have had the Doctor regenerations come to the end and he could have passed on the key to a black gay female Time Lord and I would not have had a problem. With many fans this is not a one event issue. This has been building up with pass events including but not limited to the Master/ Missy change.
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Jul 21, 2017
I see the present very well, and look to the future, and can see that this is well inline with current direction in modern society, not some fringe campaign of Dudley or Dierdre Dorights. As was Sarah when she was introduced, yet the disgruntled minority treated her appointment with similar resentment. The problem is largely misogynistic mass media try to convince you otherwise, that society doesn't want this fortunately we live in a era where you can see plenty of evidence to the contrary, thanks to social media.

The mentions of the past are simply to dispell the misconception that this is anything to do with Political Correctness, this is an idea long in the making, long before PC became the go-to thing to blame. The arguments for and against the change are coming from all quarters, old, new, male and female.

Each successive creative team that make the show have long toyed with the idea of changing gender, purely for the dramatic possibilities it gives, and have largely been disuaded by thinking the time may not be right. We know JNT and Moffat considered it, I imagine RTD did as well, but suspect he feared it would be criticised as some gay agenda. Pretty much each one has taken the Doctor's stand over the Pandorica "Let someone else go first". Well now someone has.

Of course, his natural regenerations HAVE come to an end, so we are most definitely on new ground right now. We have no long established pattern in the show, to show whether "gifted" regeneration cycles produce gender changes, as the only precedent we have of a gifted cycle is The Master. The Master of course having a gender change on his second gifted regeneration as well.

Chances are the General was also on a gifted cycle, given he's in the middle of a Time War. Which also probably means the gifted cycles are re-engineered too, to take the Time War into account. Normally it would be just your soldiers needing replacing, but as we know the Daleks have no qualms at slaughtering unarmed women and children, and we also see in the War Doctor stories that Timelords have some fairly creative ideas to rebalance their population for example as in Legion of the Lost.

So it's extremely close to your suggestion anyway, just not exactly to your specification, but then what in life ever is.
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Jul 21, 2017
Everyone has some type of hang up that she/he cannot get over. This may or may not be one of them. Time will tell. I’m not at 100% never return. And to honest I have been through a lot with Doctor Who since 1977 including, and this will be hard to believe for some of the younger fans, a time with it was not on TV and there was no internet or DVDs. Not even VHS or beta.
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Jul 21, 2017
This comment was a great read! I was one of those weird viewers who is female, but still wasn't so sure about a sex change. A skin color change wouldn't phase me (completely surface deep, certainly less of a big deal than an accent change, haha. Not just English/Scottish, but even London/North England makes less sense than a skin color change).

Changing the gender did in some ways strike me as more of his "being a different person". Multiple Doctors have TOLD us that when he regenerates, he in some ways feels like a different person, but I just still wasn't sure if I could see a woman as the same character. I don't even know exactly how much I believe each previous generation was really the same character. It worked pretty well with Missy, though I was recently thinking that, although it was fun at her introduction (the Mistress), I would prefer that as time went on they had started just calling her "the Master", rather than always Missy, to make it more obvious that it's the same person. If it's skin (well, ok, organ) deep, a name change is not required.

Now I've thought more about it, I'm on board. A) because this is a show that always reinvents itself, which is fun, B) because really, the fact that he changes PERSONALITIES in each regeneration is obviously a bigger deal than changing genders, and C) the Doctor has made clear on multiple occasions that he doesn't care much about pesky human hang-ups in regards to gender or sexuality.

I do wonder a lot how they'll handle it. I really can't imagine what she will say about the matter, after every other regeneration being male. Will she say she likes it more/less/the same? Will it be a major plot point, or will she barely notice and just go about her business? Haha, do Timelords have a genderless pronoun we can call her so we don't get so hung up on he and she while writing comments which encompass multiple Doctors? Will she alternate regenerations in the future, to see both sides of things? Or will it be a one-off, or willy nilly? The Doctor has always been either asexual seeming, or interested in women. Will they address or avoid that topic? He did explain to Rose one time that 51st Century humans don't really care, man, woman, or alien. Does the Doctor feel the same way? He himself has been a straight-seeming, if lonely, male. Will they have her continue this trend and seem like a lesbian? Or ignore that aspect because, truly, the Doctor has never really gotten much action, and Rose and Sarah Jane are so far in the rearview mirror?

But see, I'm curious. Which I guess is part of the point. The other part being, why not? And to that I can now say, "Can't think of an reason why not. So let's go!" The truth is, I mostly just hope the writing is well-handled. And I'm going to plan to continue with my crush on the Doctor's massive. . . brain.
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Jul 29, 2017
Don't forget what the Doctor told Sarah Jane in School Reunion. "You can live the rest of your life with me. But I can't live the rest of my life with you." If it is true love and not just lust or for conveniences or due to loneliness or the number of other reasons someone would get into a relationship it must be hard to know you will watch each one die as you continue.
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Jul 21, 2017
That's exactly it, it's a big "What if?" with so many new narrative avenues that can be explored. To me the biggest lesson to take from the past is the initial reaction to Sarah Jane Smith, receiving many complaints as "pandering to women's lib" yet went on to be one of the most loved, and spun-off, characters in the history of the show.

As for Master/Missy, to some degree it was part of the narrative of introduction, to give the character a name that implies but does not explicitly reveal the characater. The Master has always liked disguises and aliases, such as Mr Magister in The Daemons, and to be fair not much different from the Doctor being called Professor for three seasons by Ace.
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Jul 21, 2017
Don't forget the Doctor was a father once and his lack of action could be his choice as the result of him no longer being with his wife and children. We were never told what happen to them.
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Jul 29, 2017
I can't believe I completely spaced on River when I made my initial comment. And I love her! But yeah, I totally think his disinterest in romance for the most part is intentional on his part. Even human beings get less interested in dating as our lives go on (or at the very least, less interested in dating someone who doesn't really stand out as something special). He has had a lot longer to meet people, so it makes sense that he would make few exceptions. Plus, it must hurt to know that he can never actually be with a member of his own race ever again. And even more than that. . .. he lost his planet and his race. I doubt he relishes the idea of getting involved with someone just to have another person leave/die.

But mostly, it's a family show, and they just don't like to go there. With Rose, you pretty much get the impression (I do, at least), that they never even kissed until she got her a Doctor duplicate (Lip passing of time energy/New New York Cassandra hijinks notwithstanding). But there were definitely feelings on his part. River is the only one that really seems to have had a relationship with him, New Who wise (I have massive amounts of pre-2005 stuff still to see).
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Jul 21, 2017
Yes, I've always found it curious that neither the BBC, or Big Finish (at least not in the hundreds I've listend to) have ever explored the family leading to Susan. Big Finish DID go beyond Susan and introduce his Great Gransdon, Alex.

RTD did leave Moffat the thread of his Mother to pull on, but Moffat left it well alone, and no follow up on Jenny either.

Though we do know that the Doctor has Married at least 4 times since (River, Marilyn, Elizabeth I and Cleopatra) and been betrothed at least once (Cameca), though not on purpose.
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Jul 18, 2017
I think this English/Scotsman/etc. is more of a UK thing. The rest of the world see a white, black, Asian, female, male.
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Jul 19, 2017
Well it is a UK programme, and the UK's opinions count first and foremost on whether more Doctor Who is made, since it's funded by UK TV License payers.

The point is whether it be clown, bricklayer, Scottish (of which we've now had 3) young, or woman, there are always boundaries that some members of the audience feel shouldn't be crossed.

Fortunately the Doctor doesn't have any such boundaries.
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