We open on a forest with a figure clad only in black walking forward, their back to the viewer. We hear nothing but the sounds of nature around this mysterious figure. Suddenly, ominous music begins to play as the camera switches to the image of a hand opening and a key suddenly appearing into their hand as the sounds of an all too familiar spaceship starts playing. The view flickers to a corner of the individual’s face before returning to their back facing the camera. Slowly but surely, the mysterious figure pulls back their hood to reveal their face to the world.
The Doctor will see you now.
The Thirteenth Doctor has finally been revealed to an eager and awaiting public. After months of speculation and various actors of all walks of life being considered for the role, the titular role of the Doctor from the British science fiction show Doctor Who finally has a new actor that will take the place of Twelfth Doctor actor Peter Capaldi and become the Thirteenth Doctor.
..and he is a she.
That’s right; For the first time in the longest running science fiction show in history, the actor playing the role of the Doctor will be played by someone other than a male. Actress Jodie Whittaker will be the first actor in the long line of seventeen different actors (look it up) to take on the part. At Christmas time, the key to the Tardis will officially be placed in her hands.
The reactions, after a few hours of the news being released, are mixed to say the least, but then again they always are when this happens.
Some fans are welcoming the different casting choice. There are those who are just happy to see change. There are others who aren’t fond of the current Doctor. Some are praising the choice to make the character a female, especially after the success of gender swapping one of the show’s antagonists. Some like the actor.
Then, there are the naysayers of this casting choice. There always are.
Doctor Who is a show that hinges on the concept that the main character in the titular role can change his and, now, her form when the lead actor needs to vacate the role. This has been the norm for fifty years, and it always caused a bit of a panic over the thought of change. It’s a bit funny that a show that revolves around the idea that anything can change and everything is possible has a fandom that is one of the worst at attempting to any sort of difference in the design of this show. They resist when faced with the Doctor’s new face.
It’s a cycle.
A new actor is cast as the Doctor, and this person earns the undeserved hate of fans before a single scene of their reign has aired. The first few episodes air, and the new Doctor still receives negativity for their portrayal. A season or two passes by, and the number of naysayers have dwindled. By the time this individual is leaving the role and a new Doctor is to be announced, these people are clinging to the person they initially hated for dear life and ready to hate the newest individual. It’s a cycle that will always repeat itself.
However, this time around has brought a different type of naysayer of the new Doctor into the mix
Then, there are those who are “hesitant” to accept an individual of the female gender piloting the TARDIS. It’s tradition for the role of the Doctor to be played by a male actor.
Yes, this role has traditionally been given a man, but just because something is tradition doesn’t mean it should stay that way. Things like racial prejudices and gender norms were once simply our traditions, things that have always been a certain way because so many have repeated them overtime. Still, just because things have always been a particular way or done in a particular style doesn’t mean we shouldn’t attempt or try for change in these things.
Change is scary, but it’s necessary to progress and keep going.
Look, I’d be lying if I said I’m not a little excited that the main character of one of my favorite television show, a show that has only seen a male at the helm, will now be played by a woman. Shows that have been on as long as this one has have a tendency to become stale and repetitive after being on for so long. We need to change the norm in order to survive and keep going.
The Doctor is a character that travels around space and to the past and future.
Right now, the future is female.