So, I read an article from ABC News (the number one source for news down Under) and there was an interview on why Doctor Who should not be a woman, from the 5th Doctor himself, Peter Davison. Interesting topic to discuss, so I felt I could tackle it.
It has been established in the show that Timelords can and HAVE transformed into women. Either in throwaway lines, or even some of the characters becoming women. Most recently, in 2014, when The Master returned in the god awful finale of Series 8 in which the Cybermen were supposedly villains, and they didn’t do much (neither did The Master either). But the point is that there WAS a female Timelord at the end of the day. Many fans have argued for a female Doctor, preferably with a MALE companion. We even had a female Doctor in The Curse of Fatal Death Comic relief special (written by young Steven Moffat, who already had a penchant to retroactive continuity). Funnily enough the same thing happened as I say later in this post (but lets not travel too far to the future).
But here’s Davison’s arguments:
I have trouble with the idea of a female Doctor, only because I reckon if you’re born on Gallifrey a man, you’re probably a male Time Lord…It seems to me if you reverse that, if you have an uncertain, fallible female Doctor with a really strong male companion, you’ve got more of a stereotype than anything else.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t disagree. Not that I don’t see the benefits of a gender swapped Doctor. Millions of people watch Doctor Who and it is vital that we try and reach as many people in our attempts to reduce this prejudice. Particuarly of late the male doctor, young female assistant has led to may episode which has led to significant sexual tension within each episode. the Doctor has always been male. So why can’t it be a woman it adds variety and more colour to the show. I mean it would be brilliant and she could be ginger even. It would be nice for Moffat to do that, finally bring Doctor Who into the post modern world where Gender matters less and less. Peter Davison didn’t say that a woman COULDN’T play the Doctor. A woman would be just as good, maybe better, than any other man. But the case is this, Doctor Who shouldn’t be played by a woman, not because it couldn’t happen, but look at this from how I see it.
Picture a man and woman Timelord (or whatever gender you want). One of them regenerates, and BANG. They’re a different gender. I know the doctor isn’t dating any Timelords, but can you picture how strange that will be. Obviously, that doesn’t mean that Timelords cannot love each other because of a gender change, but it is certainly weird.
In a real world view, can you imagine trying to market a female Doctor. Since 1963, The Doctor has (at least in Canon) been male. He has ALWAYS been male. Now, we have moved a long way forward since 50+ years ago, women are the most equal that they have ever been, but can you picture The Doctor being a woman?
Imagine the news headlines, and the fan outrage. Besides the feminist/Tumblr fanbase (Don’t shoot me, Tumblr, I’m making an observation) can you see what mainstream media would do. ‘OH THE OUTRAGE, THE DOCTOR IS A WOMAN! WHAT A POINTLESS MOVE. POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD’. Imagine, the child fanbase, and their confusion (I know kids probably would understand regeneration, but I’m talking younger kids) as to why the Doctor now had ‘boobs’. Sad to say, there are people who would react like that
And then, I even picture the Tumblr fanbase backlashing. Saying too little, too late, It is all about appeasing us etc.
Personally, I feel you’re making the gender of a character too much of an issue. It never has been an issue until now. I don’t see why it is now. Just because women are equal, that doesn’t mean we should upset a majority to appease a minority opinion. Not that it is wrong to do that, ultimately these things can lead to good outcomes, but I see no real positive outcome in making a female Doctor. In a sense, making The Doctor as a woman would be a disaster, and could potentially kill the show. While it would be interesting, and is not a bad thing really, I couldn’t picture them doing that. Now a BLACK Doctor, an Asian Doctor, or heck, an AMERICAN Doctor…That would be even better. I’d like that.