WHY IT’S TIME DOCTOR WHO IS A HER
There has been an extraordinary, but not entirely unexpected, show of petulance from male fans of Doctor Who – and a few females – about a woman Doctor
Middle-aged man babies went into meltdown this week with news that the new Doctor Who is a woman.
They were fine with the idea of Doctor Who being a time-travelling, shapealtering alien with two hearts. They were also fine with the Doctor fighting Daleks, Cybermen and the malevolent force ready to snare mankind called Mandragora.
But the idea of a woman in the lead of their favourite fictional sci-fi series was simply unimaginable.
“And again the PC brigade get their way. R.I. P Doctor Who,” ranted one on social media. “Time LORD. I repeat the Doctor is a time LORD. Not a time LADY,” raged another Twitter user.
One even asked what the “word was for female doctor”? The answer is Doctor.
Thousands of such comments were issued around the globe. Clearly, there’s no stopping a couch-bound keyboard warrior when he wants to use his single-digit typing skills for evil intent.
Luckily, those standing up for the show’s new star, British actor Jodie Whittaker of
Broadchurch fame, are a collection of kind and witty nerds who quickly took to Twitter to defend her.
“Imagine getting passionately angry over an issue and your strongest argument is ‘The magical space alien has to be a boy’,” said one. “Just been outside for the 1st time since we’ve had a lady #DoctorWho. Everything’s on fire, the sky’s fallen in & there are bras everywhere,” said another. “Has the Daily
Mail run an article on how a female #DoctorWho13 will lower house prices and cause cancer yet?” said a third.
It didn’t help that Whittaker said being the first female Doctor Who was “completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human”.
The haters didn’t seem to mind Whittaker acknowledging the fact that she is, indeed, a woman, an actor and a human, but they died inside at the thought of the new Doctor Who being a feminist as well. One media site lost no time in trawling the archives to find pictures of Whittaker in the nude in a role she played more than 10 years ago just to even the score. Classy.
It’s been an extraordinary, but not entirely unexpected, show of petulance from male fans of the show – and a few females as well, I should admit.
The fact that in the mid 1960s Doctor Who was produced by a woman and directed by a gay Asian man was gleefully pointed out by those defending Whittaker.
The woman was Verity Lambert. As a sign of the times she was given a more senior male to oversee her work, and was widely praised in the press, not only for her production skills but for being “tall, dark and shapely”.
In fact, the question of Doctor Who being a female has been under discussion since at least 1980, when the fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, mused on the fact that his replacement “could be a woman”.
But not everyone agreed: in 1983 the show’s then producer, John Nathan-Turner said the idea of a female Doctor would be a “foolhardy mission”.
I’ve been a closet Doctor Who fan for years, stretching back to the late 1970s when Daleks and big maggoty grubs tried to take over the universe.
Doctor Who always felt like a weird thing for a girl to watch, but back then I didn’t think to question the lack of a female lead. At the age of eight I was more concerned with how I looked in my strap-on rollerskates and knee-high socks to be bothered by gender inequality.
As I saw it, the natural order of things dictated that a male lead with bad dentistry and wild hair did things while a pretty female sidekick looked on.
Forty years on, it’s time for a rethink for the sake of our daughters and sons. Man babies, wipe your tears, a new Doctor is in town, and she’s going to rock.