Sunday, 16 July 2017

DOCTOR WHO: The 13th Doctor – Adventures Are For Everyone


With the wonderful news that Jodie Whittaker has been cast as the 13th Doctor has come a flood of positivity from fans around the world, along with a flood of outraged ranting from a lot of people who have forgotten that the Doctor is an alien. The Doctor is not a man. The Doctor is not a human being. The Doctor is a time-travelling alien from the planet Gallifrey who hurtles through time and space from one misadventure to another in a ship which is a 1950s wooden police box on the outside and a potentially infinite multi-dimensional time machine on the inside. When injured or at the end of a life cycle, the Doctor can regenerate into an entirely new person.

It's just that this time that person is a woman. Get over it.

I've been a Doctor Who fan for 29 years, since 'Remembrance of the Daleks' first aired. I made a living selling Doctor Who merchandise for several years. I watched, collected and obsessed over Doctor Who. In 2016 I became involved with the Doctor Who pantheon in a small way by having a story published in Doctor Who Adventures. What I'm trying to say is I know my Who, and I know that with the casting of Jodie Whittaker the right choice has been made.

It's been mooted for years that the Doctor should regenerate into a woman, or a non-white guy, and both of those ideas are perfectly valid. I mean, why not? We saw Romana regenerate several times at will before she found the form she was comfy with. We saw a Time Lord general regenerate and change gender towards the end of the Matt Smith era. We've had Missy reveal herself to be a regenerated Master (and absolutely steal the show). Female Time Lords (or indeed Time Ladies, as Romana may correct you) are not a new idea, and this first ever female Doctor isn't a way to pander to the so-called 'PC Brigade' that life-long complainers have invented.

What this is, to me, is a perfect example of showing that a series about adventures without limits doesn't have limits itself. In a show which defies physics at every turn, has the lead character trapped in a nightmare for a billion years or multiple versions of the same character working together without ripping apart reality, why not have the lead switch gender? Here's a show which once had our planet stolen in order to be part of a circuit which would allow a bomb to detonate all of reality itself. Now that Jodie Whittaker is the 13th Doctor, the only thing being detonated is the stuffy notion that the TARDIS should only be flown by a white guy. Hell, the TARDIS herself is female.

As a man who has loved Doctor Who far deeper than is possibly healthy for almost three decades, I can't wait to see where the Doctor takes us next.

Welcome on board the TARDIS, Jodie. I'm certainly along for the ride.

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