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Articles > Entertainment August, 30, 2017

Everyone’s Going Crazy Over The New FEMALE Doctor Who

Izzy Sanders
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For years I have been a huge fan of the British sci-fi classic, Doctor Who, which has been on our screens since 1963. However, I have always found it disheartening to see that the only major role in the show for women was as the sidekick.

Don’t get me wrong – I loved them all. Rose, Donna, Amy, River and Martha were all badass women that I couldn’t get enough of, but there was always something missing. So, when it was announced that the 13th Doctor will be played by Jodie Whittaker, as a huge advocate of women’s rights, my heart skipped a beat.

Jodie Whittaker as Doctor Who

The new female Doctor Who will shake things up… (Pic: BBC, Doctor Who)

The latest announcement comes at a crucial time for women in TV and film. Feminist issues such as equal pay have been brought to the forefront of Hollywood news with the likes of Emma Stone revealing that her male co-stars have taken pay cuts to earn the same as her.

In addition, Wonder Woman has become Warner Brothers’ third biggest grossing domestic film, showing that the popularity of women in the roles of powerful saviours of earth can prove to be an extremely good decision for writers. It is often claimed that in 1986 the creator of Doctor Who, Sydney Newman, wanted a woman cast in the role, but BBC writers and producers simply did not go for the idea. 31 years is a long time for this to have become a reality.

Women have always been a driving force of the show, which, since 2005, has had 10 series, won many awards and inspired multiple spin offs. For example, the theme-tune, which is widely regarded as one of the most famous theme tunes in history, was first arranged and recorded by Delia Derbyshire. She is simply one of the many women who have made the show so successful.

The impact of having a female Doctor is extremely significant. The Doctor is an undeniable role model for children across the globe, as the character combines strength, power, courage and unbelievable intelligence. Such traits are often portrayed as stereotypically masculine traits, whilst kindness, compassion, nurturing and a desire to do good are associated with more feminine characters. The fact that these personality traits are all combined within the Doctor’s character is encouraging, as it conveys the message that personalities cannot be gendered and that everybody can possess a little bit of every character trait.

In the last decade, the Doctors companions have become less 2D as writers have attempted to give them more gritty and complex story lines. However, in the end, it is always the companions that tend to lose out. They are killed, left behind or decide they’re travelling days are over. The Doctor is the ongoing, undying and unbeatable character who can now inspire young girls further to make a change in the world just as the Doctor does.

Some see the Doctor as a specifically male character, but as any fan will know, the Doctor can regenerate into any person, not just exclusively males. It has already happened in the show, when Michelle Gomez joined the 2014 cast to play the female Master. Doctor Who is known for being progressive – with the introduction of LGBT characters such as Captain Jack and Bill – thus it seems about time that a woman is given the opportunity to play the lead role.

Jodie Whittaker previously starred in the internationally acclaimed and riveting crime series Broadchurch, along with countless other stage and screen roles. She is an extremely talented actress who is certainly qualified for the role, bringing diversity and a fresh approach to one of the nation’s most well-known characters. Although there are those who have stated on various social media that they will no longer watch the show, I hope that Jodie’s performance will change their mind, as well as bringing new viewers to a wonderful series, taking the show in a new direction.

You only have to watch the video posted on twitter by author Jenny Trout of her daughter watching the announcement (scroll down) to see what a positive impact this decision has already had on young girls seeing a female role model on their TVs. I wish Whittaker the best of luck in the role of fighting off the aliens, as well as the misogyny that still attacks our society. I have a feeling this will be the Doctor’s most exciting adventure yet. #GRLPWR

 

 

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  1. Sox

    female representation is important!

  2. Mollie

    I think that having a female doctor was not necessary and isn’t a great move. The doctor has taken on a male appearance for the past 50 years. The show is already an open show with gay characters throughout (Captain Jack). Therefore i don’t see why such a move would be necessary. The doctor has been a boy his whole life and therefore i do not understand the need to make the new doctor female.

  3. John

    Personally I don’t really see it as important for the Doctor to be female because I think the qualities of the character should be able to inspire anyone despite their gender, but I can see where people are coming from when they say girls lack a role model and it is a big intriguing step admittedly. At first I thought it would be odd to see this happen since we’re so used to seeing the character as a male, but after seeing Jodie’s first appearance I’m a lot more optimistic about her tenure. I was already optimistic going to watch her anyway because I don’t see the need to stop watching a show solely because of a new actor, Doctor Who thrives on change and it’s why it’s still going strong today. Whether or not she’ll be a great Doctor is what I’m more concerned about if anything, which does depend on a lot like her acting and the show’s writing which has definitely dipped in recent years. I’m very optimistic that the new production team will breath fresh life into the show. I just hope Jodie was chosen for her acting ability and not solely for publicity, which was probably the case since Chibnall’s worked with her before.

  4. Malachi

    I am looking forward to the prospect of Jodie characterising her own doctor, but I don’t think it should be done just because there are SJW’s crying at home. It should be done solely as a new actor. The casting isnt just to empower a feminist who feels like she is put down even though she is in the same posituon as everyone else – not to say small are – it is just another actor playing the role and character we all love.

  5. Asma

    i love this article, keep it up!!

  6. Madison

    I think this is a beautiful step forward for female empowerment and equality in the world. Already, female actors earn significantly less money than male actors of the same stature. So, to go against the social norm and embrace female lead roles is a step in the right direction. Plus, because the new female doctor is portrayed as strong, cunning, and intellectual, this already challenges the typical stereotypes set for women. Change is healthy and it is important to embrace it.

  7. Marina

    Honestly i keep failing to understand what problem could people have with this. It just proves that our society isn’t as evolved as we like to think it is. Cool article!

  8. Mykayla

    I don’t know how I feel. I feel like it was a strange thing to do because the Doctor has been a male for years. I feel like there is already enough female representation on the show, so therefore, I don’t understand what the motive was for making the Doctor a girl. But I’m eager to see how it goes

  9. precious

    I think mental health issues are a main problem in the world because its increasing rapidly day by day, like depression and other issues which are more dangerous then physical problems. The solution of this problem is meditation I feel. By doing meditation we can reduce mind stress smoothly day by day…

  10. Cynthia

    The step taken to have a female doctor is a huge and bold move,it will bring more viewers. Most of my friends who didn’t like the series before now like it because of the new female doctor.

  11. Cynthia

    The importance of having a female Doctor is really significant. The Doctor is a big role model for people all around the world , as the character combines strength, power, courage and unbelievable intelligence. Such traits are often portrayed as stereotypically masculine traits, whilst kindness, compassion, nurturing and a desire to do good are associated with more feminine characters

  12. Chloe

    Doctor Who has the genuinely rare opportunity to try this and actually make it work – within the parameters of the shows own continuity, and I think that’s brilliant! The show, at its heart, has always been rooted in change, and nowhere is that more obvious than in the very fact that the Doctor is able to change his face. Regeneration is such a wonderful concept at the heart of the show, enabling actors to successively put their own stamp on the role rather than having to interpret what the actor before them has done. In recent years we’ve seen the show commit to this idea that Time Lord’s can change gender – The Master has been a woman now for several years, played by the wonderful Michelle Gomez. There’s even been smaller roles – such as a Time Lord General in the ninth series who was seen to change gender upon regeneration, marking the first time we actually saw it happen.

    I think it’s a wonderful addition to the capabilities of the show that can only serve to widen the variety of actors available for the role. Some have raised issue with the fact that it deprives young boys of a role model that is for one not a conventional superhero, but rather one who uses his intellect and compassion to save the day. And whilst those traits of the character are very much true, there is nothing in there to say that the Doctor must be male to possess those character traits. As a guy myself, I always found characters like Buffy and Dana Scully to be far more compelling and inspiring than many of the male characters in their respective shows. The point here being that women can be role models for young boys just as much as men can. The hang-up on gender is imposed on children by adults, when in reality kids will adopt the fondness of their favourite characters into their personas regardless of gender when you enable them to.

    Whilst being ‘Doctor Who’, I’ve always thought the show has been more about the companion than the Doctor himself, at least when it’s being done right. You don’t get half-a-century out a show that asks a question about the identity of the protagonist in the title if you actually focus on him – and so it’s been far more about Rose, Martha, Donna, Amy, Clara and Bill since it came back in 2005. All of them have been well-written female characters that have lead the show and that’s superb. Now Jodie Whittaker is to head the show, and in doing so will take it one step further in that regard. And being that show that’s all about change, I think it could be very great for it to finally take this bold step.

  13. Josh

    Doctor Who has the genuinely rare opportunity to try this and actually make it work – within the parameters of the shows own continuity, and I think that’s brilliant! The show, at its heart, has always been rooted in change, and nowhere is that more obvious than in the very fact that the Doctor is able to change his face. Regeneration is such a wonderful concept at the heart of the show, enabling actors to successively put their own stamp on the role rather than having to interpret what the actor before them has done. In recent years we’ve seen the show commit to this idea that Time Lord’s can change gender – The Master has been a woman now for several years, played by the wonderful Michelle Gomez. There’s even been smaller roles – such as a Time Lord General in the ninth series who was seen to change gender upon regeneration, marking the first time we actually saw it happen.

    I think it’s a wonderful addition to the capabilities of the show that can only serve to widen the variety of actors available for the role. Some have raised issue with the fact that it deprives young boys of a role model that is for one not a conventional superhero, but rather one who uses his intellect and compassion to save the day. And whilst those traits of the character are very much true, there is nothing in there to say that the Doctor must be male to possess those character traits. As a guy myself, I always found characters like Buffy and Dana Scully to be far more compelling and inspiring than many of the male characters in their respective shows. The point here being that women can be role models for young boys just as much as men can. The hang-up on gender is imposed on children by adults, when in reality kids will adopt the fondness of their favourite characters into their personas regardless of gender when you enable them to.

    Whilst being ‘Doctor Who’, I’ve always thought the show has been more about the companion than the Doctor himself, at least when it’s being done right. You don’t get half-a-century out a show that asks a question about the identity of the protagonist in the title if you actually focus on him – and so it’s been far more about Rose, Martha, Donna, Amy, Clara and Bill since it came back in 2005. All of them have been well-written female characters that have lead the show and that’s superb. Now Jodie Whittaker is to head the show, and in doing so will take it one step further in that regard. And being that show that’s all about change, I think it could be very great for it to finally take this bold step.

  14. Joe

    Personally I don’t see why people always compare men to women. Personally I won’t watch the new doctor who because I don’t like the person playing the role now, I watched 9, 10 and 12 skipping 11 and now 13. With earnings too there aren’t many good actresses around. The only one who I could say is good enough to earn top wages is Anne Hathaway. Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone are massively overrated. Emma Stone got an Oscar in a musical even though she can’t sing OR dance. Personally I feel if there isn’t a performance deserving of an Oscar they shouldn’t give one out.

    Also no shit Wonder Woman was a high grossing film, its WONDER WOMAN. Part of the trinity. Age of ultron made boat loads because of the name and it was shit.