Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Who replacement was announced yesterday. New showrunner Chris Chibnall made a bold move by casting Jodie Whittaker as the first female doctor. Overall, the reaction has been positive, but like most things in life, there is a lot of focus on the negative. I think the negative reaction is ridiculous.
First off, Jodie Whittaker is a great talent, but is not a ridiculously famous star. This is exactly the type of actor that works well for The Doctor. She has given outstanding performances on two of my favorite TV shows, Broadchurch and Black Mirror. On Broadchurch, she worked with Chibnall for 3 seasons. This means that Chibnall knows how to bring out her strengths.
Second off, there has always been a precedent for The Doctor to regenerate into a woman. This was solidified by the timelord, The Master, becoming a female. I believe that they were actually testing the waters with that move to see how people reacted. Missy ended up being fantastic. The Doctor has changed age and accents many times over. Riversong has changed ethnicity. This show is about an alien that can regenerate every time he’s about to die traveling through time and space. The possibilities should be limitless!
Third off, spare me the accusations of this being solely a PC move or the stupid arguments about making James Bond female or Wonderwoman a man. This is something built into the show, not some universal law of gender-switching. Also, when is it okay to go in a new direction with a character or feature people that are marginalized without it automatically being “PC?” If every female, African-American, gay, etc character is going to be continued to be labelled an attempt to be PC, then how will these characters ever be featured?
Overall, I love the casting, I trust the showrunner and the detractors/trolls need to get over it!