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Feature Article: Should The Next Doctor Be A Woman?

OK everyone, let’s get
this out of the way before I continue. The idea of the Doctor being a
woman is a touchy subject these days and there are many sides to
every story. However, I will be bold (ducks away from flying objects)
and say this: The character of The Doctor in our (both male &
female readers included) much loved Doctor Who, is male and should
continue to be so.
Please don’t leave just
yet. I really hope to get a point across, by actually providing a
balanced look at things unlike a bloke I heard on the radio today

 ‘It’s Doctor Who, not Nurse Who’! 

That summarises
some poor misguided views from certain ‘fans’. However, this ‘man’
was very mistaken in his approach to the argument, an ‘old school’ view that
needs to be taken away from the modern discussion. So what valid
points can I draw on? Well the prime argument I have seen this past
week has been this:

“Well you wouldn’t change Cat Woman to Cat Man, Superman to Superwoman (technically they have) or Batman into Batwoman/girl (see last brackets)”

The answer to these
statements have been basically followed along these lines:

“Yea, but those characters don’t have the ability to regenerate into somebody else, man or woman”

I can see both sides,
however both points above are for me completely invalid. What? You
mean you’re arguing the case against and you think the first ones
wrong? Yes, yes I do and here’s why. Lets replace the top argument
with this:

“Well you wouldn’t
change Cat Woman to Cat Man? Yes because she began as Cat Woman, part
of an already successful Batman comics series, she became a character
in her own right. Superman and Batman, spawned female characters on
the exact same basis”.

If we want to move away
from the comic theme, Miss Marple is known as the original female
sleuth in her own right. Did Agatha Christie ever think: “This is
terrible I’ve been writing these books for all these years and I’ve
never introduced Marple as a man, the exact same thoughts that ITV
had when casting new Miss Marple’s all these years? I think not.
Now for the
re-imagining of the counter argument:

“But even Miss Marple
doesn’t have the ability to regenerate into another body and possibly
a change of gender whilst there.”

Indeed she doesn’t,
however (and for those of a staunch pro-gender approach, please hear me out) The role of The Doctor has been portrayed by a man for the
past fifty years. This has been the ongoing theme for all that time
and to reach it’s fifty year Anniversary without a female lead seems
to have worked quite well, The Doctor and his companion(s) through
all of time and space exploring the galaxy’s and having a bloody
great time whilst doing so.
Am I a sexist? Oh
incredibly so… I have a wife who has brought me unlimited happiness
since we first met, an utterly wonderful, talented and loving woman,
who I admire as someone who I would one day like to emulate. The
point here is not: ‘WOMEN, tssscc!’ it’s the fact that The Doctor has
always been portrayed by a male and why change now? The show is
reaching countries far and wide like never before, this is nothing to
do with a male leading the show, but the fact that a
successful/proven format has worked for fans all over the world.
I’m a regular user of
Twitter and the amount of female followers and those who just like
their views to be known, say to me: ‘I love it as it is, please
don’t change it’ is phenomenal.
I feel personally that
somewhat this argument is very rarely touched upon by the female fans
of Doctor Who, but by those who feel they must have an opinion on
something they don’t actually have an opinion on in the long run. I’ve heard a few
radio interviews today from female hosts seething at the attitude of
Doctor Who fans (both male & female) saying The Doctors a man:
please let it stay that way. For my money, the wider audience has no
view on the show, but decide that the time is now right to demand
change on something they feel is a moral issue rather than a creative
As I say, I’m a massive
sexist, who abhors the role of woman in everyday life. My favourite
actor/actress is the sublime Dame Helen Mirren, my wife is my role
model and my daughter is becoming a ‘right little lady’. Do I care
what gender they are? Nope, I value them for what they are. Actress’
are what drive TV forward. Take Olivier Coleman, wonderful. Is she
next in line for The Doctor Who role? Nope and nor should she, not
because of a lack of talent, because she is a woman and Chris
Chibnall wouldn’t cast Olivia’s part in Broadchurch to Matt Smith.
Just like Miss Marple’s not a man. Stick to what works and what has
been the norm since day 1. In 1963, we began a journey, lets not make
a wrong turn because ‘the commentators’ say so.
I completely understand
that in writing this article may ignite a heated debate and that is
fantastic. I really can’t wait to talk to you all. One request,
please keep comments civil and clean. See you soon.

Written by Graeme Bentzen for The Gallifrey Times
(These are the opinions of myself and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Gallifrey Times)