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"Well Doctor Who is Now a Female" Topic


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07 Dec 2017 6:41 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Patrick R18 Jul 2017 3:03 a.m. PST
Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2017 5:18 a.m. PST

You keep trying to make this about tolerance and equality when that's not the issue. Most of us here already said that, but you keep trying to paint any opposition to the switch of the character as if it was a if it was opposition to tolerance or equality.

Then what is it ? The Doctor has frequently regenerated from one actor to another. This time he will regenerate from one male actor to a female actor.

the change isn't part of a natural plot development but, instead, PC driven. THAT'S the issue

The series has already made it abundantly clear that Time Lords can regenerate as male or female. Master becomes Missy, The Doctor has said it's not an issue for Time Lords. So it is now part of the established lore of the show – this is a thing that can happen and is completely normal for Time Lords.

So – this time the Doctor is female, and this is completely consistent with the criteria of the show as it has evolved over more than 50 years.

So why reactions like "I've had my childhood destroyed" or "this will end up killing the series"? How does casting a female Doctor in any way change what Tom Baker did in the Seventies? It doesn't.

I think Dr Who will carry on just fine. If the actress happens to be no good then another Dr will be along in 3 years or so.

I understand that you fundamentally disagree – I suppose we'll just have to compare notes in 2020.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2017 5:41 a.m. PST

Childhood destroyed?
Your Childhood wasn't destroyed when what used to be a children's program became quite violent and not a kids program at all? That is a far bigger change from your childhood than that the Doctor becomes another doctor who has more estrogen than testosterone.(if Time Lords have close to the same biochemistry as homo sapiens. )

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2017 5:48 a.m. PST

That has a lot of truth in it – Dr Who is certainly no longer the childrens' show it was originally conceived to be. The rot set in under William Hartnell – originally Dr Who was going to be a way to have adventures in diverse cultures and historical eras. It was supposed to be moderately educational under the guise of entertainment.

Then Terry Nation invented the Daleks.

Cacique Caribe18 Jul 2017 6:13 a.m. PST

Sounds like you still haven't gotten over those changes.

Dan

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2017 6:31 a.m. PST

No…quite the opposite. I'm just pointing out that "change" and "Dr Who" go back to the very first series in 1963.

No-one thought it would be such a big hit, and when it was there was no "plan" on how to replace Hartnell – the regeneration idea was literally made up to allow the series to continue, it was never part of the original "story arc" as we'd call it today. There was a lot of doubt that it would work with the audience. Seems to have done all right.

So, Dr Who has been changing and mutating from virtually the black and white episode 1. This latest "change" is just that – the latest change. If they can change the actor a dozen times, have the Council of the time lords limit the Dr to travel solely on Earth (Jon Pertwee – the budget cut years), destroy Gallifray, exterminate the Daleks forever, bring back the Daleks after they've been destroyed forever, continually change the look of the cybermen (mainly it would seem because the silver sprayed leather jackets were starting to rot), and so on and so on then this is just one more little tweak.

You can now tell me I'm wrong. Although clearly I'm not.

Cacique Caribe18 Jul 2017 9:25 a.m. PST

So I guess the rot in the "silver sprayed leather" cybermen suits is what you meant here then:

"The rot set in under William Hartnell"

Either that or some change wasn't to your liking, though now you are acting as though you adjusted well with every change, and as though everyone else better be fine with this one or risk being categorized as something undesirable and archaic.

Anyway, that was my final comment on this matter. Enjoy the series.

Dan

Great War Ace18 Jul 2017 9:58 a.m. PST

Turning "The Doctor" into a woman is clearly driven by modern aesthetics of inclusivity. Nobody wants to be labeled archaic and boorish, or worse. Medνa drives the cutting edge of what is trendy. And sex changes, in fact making SEX a core topic of character development, is a modern thing. Very modern. Sex was always assumed to exist, but to splay it in the audience's faces continually and in novel ways is very recent. The "need" to include every variety of sexual nature and preference is what is driving this change, not some "part of the established lore of the show" crap, that is finally getting its turn.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2017 10:38 a.m. PST

So I guess the rot in the "silver sprayed leather" cybermen suits is what you meant here then:

"The rot set in under William Hartnell"

Nope. Under Hartnell they wore cloth suits. Very low budget. The phrase is ironic – if one wants to see Dr Who as never changing then one would have been disappointed from 1963 onwards.

Either that or some change wasn't to your liking, though now you are acting as though you adjusted well with every change, and as though everyone else better be fine with this one or risk being categorized as something undesirable and archaic.

You don't have to be fine with it, but Dr Who will be whether or not you are. You're right though, quite clearly I have adjusted well to every change in Dr Who over the last 50+ years. Well done me.

ordinarybass18 Jul 2017 1:36 p.m. PST

What everyone is forgetting is that once they turn him into a female there is no going back.

First of all, "back" to what?

Secondly it just doesn't hold water. Of course it can go back, and forth and back and forth…. I'm only an occasional watcher, but I look forward to Dr Who's of various nationalities in the future as well. Maybe it will be a bit before we see another white, male Doctor, but as was mentioned before, this isn't the 60's anymore, the kids have moved on and so has television.

I guess in that way, there is no going back!

The series has already made it abundantly clear that Time Lords can regenerate as male or female. Master becomes Missy, The Doctor has said it's not an issue for Time Lords. So it is now part of the established lore of the show – this is a thing that can happen and is completely normal for Time Lords.

So – this time the Doctor is female, and this is completely consistent with the criteria of the show as it has evolved over more than 50 years.

This is the most germaine point I think. It's been established as cannon and normal so why the big uproar?

Dr Mathias Fezian18 Jul 2017 3:12 p.m. PST

I don't understand the uproar either. Any fan that follows the show already knows that regenerating into the opposite sex is a possibility.

Must be some other issue upsetting them because it should be no surprise really.

Mithmee18 Jul 2017 5:09 p.m. PST

First of all, "back" to what?

Being a Male

You can make Male a Female

But you cannot make a Female Character into a Male Character.

But I expect this change to kill the series due to Ratings dropping due to viewers leaving.

Mithmee18 Jul 2017 8:44 p.m. PST

I understand reruns of Everybody loves Raymond or the Cosby show are available for your viewing.

Well first off I never watched the first show so it looks like not Everyone Loves Raymond and Cosby is a Rapist so I would never watch anything of his.

ordinarybass19 Jul 2017 10:15 a.m. PST

Mithmee,
That doesn't make sense. Of course you can go from a female charachter to male.

It's a pretty good bet there will be another male doctor along in a few docs or so. I'd almost put money on it being a non-white male actor first, but who knows what the writers and directors will do? That's part of the charm of Dr Who.

Mithmee19 Jul 2017 5:40 p.m. PST

Mithmee,
That doesn't make sense. Of course you can go from a female character to male.

No because the PC'ers would be screaming bloody murder.

But first the show would have to survive and I not so sure that it will.

ordinarybass20 Jul 2017 6:21 a.m. PST

I think you're wrong about the show's survival and the "PC'ers.

One question I would have for the naysayers:

Clearly between the female doctor, the gay companion, Torchwood and various other devlopments, the writers/directors/etc have made a concious choice to make the show reflect an England that is more diverse, accepting and liberal than it was in 1963.

Do you folks think that it is a bad thing for a show to change to reflect changing times?

Vigilant20 Jul 2017 10:27 a.m. PST

The most important fact is that the new Doctor is from Yorkshire, clearly the most suitable source for a time grovelling genius. Like Professor X, the obvious choice for the leader of the next stage in human evolution being a Yorkshireman!

As for the sex of the Doctor, it is neither a man or a woman, it is a humanoid alien with the ability to change appearance every few years.

Khusrau20 Jul 2017 1:57 p.m. PST

I think you will find that they are not from Yorkshire, but as explained by eccy thump man, loads of planets have a North.

I really don't understand what the fuss is about. Time Lords can regenerate as male or female, there's no reason not to have a female Doctor, so why shouldn't 50% of the human race get represented?

The whole stereotype of Edwardian period gentleman with attractive female 'companion' is so old-fashioned. Why not change it up a bit? You don't expect contemporary characters to accept 19c attitudes so why not?

I really am a bit puzzled as to why some people seem to be so set against a female Doctor. It's not as if our local ARMY men are going to complain that a female Doctor couldn't carry a 180lb pack up hills in Afghanistan, because he never has been an 'Action Man'.

Yellow Admiral20 Jul 2017 3:59 p.m. PST

Clearly between the female doctor, the gay companion, Torchwood and various other developments, the writers/directors/etc have made a concious choice to make the show reflect an England that is more diverse, accepting and liberal than it was in 1963.

This goes way beyond "reflecting" a diverse England. Doctor Who specifically and the BBC generally have been pushing modern Deleted by Moderator identity politics for quite some time, using their programs as a platform to confront audience prejudices head-on with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. The Doctor's gender switch is just the most recent and noticeable example of this. Politically and socially I'm all for increasing tolerance and inclusivity, but aesthetically I find most of these socio-political jabs at the status quo contrived and disruptive. I would actually rather they left micro-contemporary politics *out* of Dr. Who and stuck to making quality science fiction with better attention to historical plausibility. I find even the changes of the Doctor's accent to be annoying and disruptive. I think there are tasteful and aesthetically pleasing ways to explore topics like racism, homosexuality, gender roles, etc., and in fact Dr. Who itself has done this with superb alacrity in the past (e.g. several Martha Jones stories explored racism and/or sexism quite elegantly), but too often I feel like the writers are choosing a hot topic for shock value alone and failing to write a good story that lever the issue properly into the series context. I feel the same way about the Doctor regenerating into a woman – they're manipulating and confronting the audience, not making an interesting artistic decision. Meh.

All that said, I'm sure the Dr. Who series will be fine through its first run with a female Doctor, if the writing and acting are good. As mentioned, there's already plenty of precedent in the series for a Time Lord gender switch. I found the change of the Master's gender to be an overwrought exploitation of identity-politics prejudices for shock value, but I really like the character of Missy (and the actress playing her) and I loved the way they leveraged the gender switch into a stealth re-introduction of the character, so I forgave the minor trampling of artistic purity.

In the long run, I think the series suffers far more from other writing issues: overreliance on deus ex machina resolutions (the sonic screwdriver should not be a *&^%$#@! magic wand!), unimaginative or contrived story arcs that began with immense promise (River Song, Clara Oswald), overly romantic tensions between Dr. and companions, overscaling the threat level of events (can we stop saving the entire universe over and over, and just go back to saving vehicles or stations or races or planets…?), ruining good villains after a great start (weeping angels), mishandling character development (Clara Oswald – multiple times!), and on and on.

- Ix

Yellow Admiral20 Jul 2017 4:00 p.m. PST

PS: …and I still miss David Tenant.

- Ix

Cacique Caribe24 Jul 2017 8:02 a.m. PST

Just thought of something different …

I wonder how fans would have reacted if the new female doctor had been played by an American actress, and if the new doctor spoke with a distinctive regional US accent (perhaps a NY or NJ accent?).

Would those who objected to the change be called sexist, "racists" or both? :)

Dan

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2017 9:33 a.m. PST

Has Doctor Who been a "man" all this time. I thought it was some kind of an alien creature appearing as a human man. It was never referred to as "Mr. " Doctor Who.

So in this season it appears as a female human. Does it even have sex organs. Have we ever seen them. Maybe in future episodes it will appear as Vulcan or as a human of color.

RTJEBADIA24 Jul 2017 12:05 p.m. PST

Yeah I always thought it was weird that the Doctor always would appear human, male, and British. Of course Time Lords have always been portrayed as humanoid but Eccleston saying he might regenerate with two heads got me excited…

malleman24 Jul 2017 9:37 p.m. PST

I think Kirk would take her

So in this season it appears as a female human. Does it even have sex organs.

I don't think that would stop Kirk:)

I kind of agree with Dan on this one.

How about this as the next female Dr.
link

All joking aside, how about a female conservative for the next Dr. Isn't that a minority?

Cacique Caribe24 Jul 2017 11:11 p.m. PST

Malleman,

LOL. You are absolutely right. Fran Drescher's NYC accent would be a fantastic example!

Dan

Thomas Thomas25 Jul 2017 10:08 a.m. PST

Entertainment reflects its current culture even if set in the future or derived from an alien culture. In Gone with the Wind, african americans are portrayed as childlike and happy to be slaves. Very offensive and totally untrue. In New Hope all the rebel pilots are men, now that we have female pilots (and soldiers) in the real military suddenly Star Wars has them too. Occasionally a popular entertainment will attempt to nudge us forward – hence Star Trek had at least bit female roles (the idea of the 2nd in Command "Number One" being female or ordering men around was nixed from the pilot version by the network – the character became a nurse).

No one seems to doubt that Time Lords can assume any gender, age, race upon regeneration and that its a bit random. Up till now, however, the culture could not accept a female in charge but only as a side kick (usually younger and better looking). So somehow the Doctor always regenerated into our cultural expectation (perhaps to suit the "humans" Doc had to work with – not sure why Daleks or Cybermen would have cared).

So the BBC has tip toed forward to reflect our changing culture. The ad hoc regeneration "solution" to replacing Doctors has created this cutural oddity. The Doctor is many characters – neither old nor young, white or black, male or female but a concept that can change theoretically totally. And the process seems a bit random (the Doc doesn't choose his new look). Hence unless your going to change the rules of regeneration (admitdly just made up to fix a casting problem), the odds are Doc had to come out female eventually. We just had to wait till the culture was (almost) ready.

TomT

RTJEBADIA25 Jul 2017 4:16 p.m. PST

In fact unless there is some level of "cultural camouflage" to the regeneration process (you could argue that in the 60s or whatever it was somehow "less conspicuous" to be a white man in Britain than to be a woman or minority) you'd pretty much expect the Doctor to "be" a "woman" about half the time, no?

malleman25 Jul 2017 6:05 p.m. PST

Up till now, however, the culture could not accept a female in charge but only as a side kick (usually younger and better looking)

I don't think that is the case. I Love Lucy/Rosanne are examples. I believe that when it comes to entertainment, if it is to be sold by an industry, it is what they think will sell and not so nobly driven as to coerce the peons into their political mindset(even if they are saying that is the reason and may be able to trick some of their own into believing). In other words I believe that they are trying the inclusive value believing that is what will sell. Kinda, like the shock value, but without guts to be real artist about it. Money grabbers!!

One reason I believe that people are frustrated is because that the changes are disingenuous. It they were sincere, why not introduce new shows with original content. Why not be bold and stay true to their views of the new society and trust viewership instead of being safe and ride on the back of another? If you build it they will come….maybe/hopefully?

I personally don't have a problem with the Dr. being female. In fact I think it is a good twist. I do wish that they would follow Dan's suggestion about the accent.

Oh and Mithmee may be right. Just look at what happened to the Star Trek series when Kirk became a woman. Just saying:)

malleman25 Jul 2017 7:09 p.m. PST

Okay,

Sorry for the double post, but I got to thinking….

With the change in all, what if the Master was the Dr.'s Ex lover? Not sure if the Master is even a man anymore, but think of the possibilities. All the tension they could introduce with their relationship.

And how about the new companion also being a female who the Dr keeps around to help her keep her "straight".

This would include everyone (and I mean everyone) in the romantic tension. I think that this could be a win/win situation for us all!

I haven't watched the series in about 10 years, so you guys will have to fill me in. Last time I tried to watch it my wife said NO because of the Weeping Angels were too scary for the little ones.

Mithmee25 Jul 2017 8:21 p.m. PST

So just how many episodes before she is "Pregnant".

Got to push this Gender thing the whole way.

Than they could push this story line for almost the whole season and have every guessing on who is the "Father".

Cacique Caribe26 Jul 2017 8:03 a.m. PST

Mithmee,

LOL. I beat you to it! Go to the first page, about a third of the way down:

TMP link

Dan

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2017 11:51 a.m. PST

I have not read all the posts above, sorry if I double up.

The new stuff is simply fan fiction. If I want fan fiction I will hunt down Ace and the sontaron movies. Have to do that one day.

As far as this new change?

When the ninth started you could forgive initial problems, but they never sorted them out. I think they got worse. But classic fans watched to see what happened.

The tenth got real popular with new people jumping on board creating a mega fan base not seen before.

The eleventh saw a lot of people who did not understand regeneration get upset with David Tennent leaving. Luckily he had the 50th anniversary to keep things sailing.

The twelfth came along and lots of people were, he's old, this must have done some damage. I stopped watching here somewhere, too much teeth grinding, seriously.

Now unlucky thirteen. What do they have left? The show is now old again, no mega fan base, no anniversary. Just one thing. A drastic change in doctor. One with no presidence except for a quick regeneration flung in the season or two before to serve the purpose. Remember you never saw the master regenerate into a lady. If you watch the 8th doctor you will know he can slide up anyone's nose. Or is that ear? Can't remember. Romanna regenerated at will into several different species, but to my knowledge remained female.

If you want a female time lord bring back the Rani, Susan, or create a new one. I find it extremely sexist these days that the only way some people can see women achieve power or influence is by taking the place of a man. Esentialy becoming a man. These people do not understand womens true power or potential.

I find the latest change very disrespectful. Long before the current fad of self butchery there were already different people waiting to play the doctor. They are called colored and Indian British. Long a hallmark of British telvision and the country in general, they should have been the change. At least, if romanna can change species the doctor can change race with bout being to extreme. This new person is still white. With the choices available for an big change, I find their choice racist. And just plain weird. Of course.

ced110610 Dec 2017 8:24 a.m. PST

> Essentially becoming a man.

Good point.

Me, I was hoping for that actress who played Hetty Wainthropp. You know, Mrs. Bucket. :D

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2017 4:49 p.m. PST

"The doctors residence. The ???? Of the tardis speaking"

I simply don't get the fascination with having a female doctor. It proof I found the modern show being in its death throws. Most normal format us Sci Fi shows go weird after season six. Contracts end and they get new characters. The shows get so popular they start paying themselves out andtaking iinspiration from their earlier seasons rather than from other places. Star trek mostly avoided this by only doing seven seasons. Lost ended at six. Star gate sg1 got new characters and went weird after season six or seven. The X files the same.

Is it bad luck to have the thirteenth doctor in the thirteenth year of the new tat? Also a woman behind the wheel of the tardis? Stereotypicaly dangerous?

I still wonder if the doctor will actually be a woman or if it will just be in looks or a ruse or such trick. Or just publicity.

I do suspect they may return to a white set, in an attempt try to normalize it for classic fans? Won't work for me. I'm well over the new stuff. You can only watch someone kick a dog so long.

Akalabeth14 Dec 2017 4:59 p.m. PST

It was suggested as far back as David Tennant's first episode that the doctor could be a woman, this casting change should absolutely come as no surprise.

That said I thought the series went off the rails as far back as Matt Smith's last season when the stories became a lot of attention deficit drivel.

Wulfgar27 Dec 2017 7:33 p.m. PST

Speaking as a close observer of the target audience, I'm thinking that kids will enjoy the change. They used to love Matt Smith because he was humorous in a way that they appreciated. They also seemed to enjoy David Tennant. I never saw the same connection with Peter Capaldi, though I enjoy Capaldi, myself.

Knowing the average 12 year old pretty well, a woman will be something the girls will like, and the boys won't mind. There is nothing irreversible about casting a woman in the part.

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2018 5:46 p.m. PST

Good comments.

However, for the new show at least, it is irreversible. They have set a precedent that they will more than likely want to revisit, if the modern production mind set is anything to go by (River song popping up is to be expected, pushing their barrow further, a kids show you say? More like propaganda to me). The doctor changing was a necessary evil to change an actor and made for a fun plot twist. This seems to go beyond that.

TV 101: don't mess with your formula.

Though, of course the modern production team threw all the shows formula in the bin when they started this is whole mess (when it came back in 2005).

King Monkey14 Jan 2018 5:10 a.m. PST

It would be nice if the new team took Dr Who back to it's roots and just had stories of a group of travellers having adventures in time and space.

Not bothered who is playing the Doctor as long as the episodes are well writtten/ acted and it keeps me entertained.

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2018 6:19 p.m. PST

Maybe next he'll regenerate into a dog. Give Inspector rex fans a reason to watch.

"Three barks? What does that mean doctor?'

There are still a few straws left yet for the production team to clutch.

"Dang, the Tardis turned into a shoe box. Bother'

They can pretty well make up any old tat, as they have been doing for 13 years with surprising success.

I have not seen any comedy spoofs of the new shows (there were many of the classic series) Possibly because the new shows are actually spoofs of the classic series, but instead of laughing, you cry.

tkdguy01 Apr 2018 5:47 p.m. PST

It isn't the first time a woman has played The Doctor:

YouTube link

If you're interested in seeing the entire skit (done during the Christopher Eccleson era), here you go:

YouTube link

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