So apparently, according to Comic Con, only real fans know Doctor Who well enough to realize that, thanks to Steven Moffat – Doctor Who’s thankfully now departed showrunner – Time Lords can change gender during regenerations. Ladies and ladies I give you the Corsair, the General and the abomination that was the Master/Missy. So a writer wrote it, therefore it is true. If you disagree you are a sweatie subhuman nerd-thing living in his mum’s basement, permanently in semen stained underwear because you prematurely ejaculate when a woman – any woman – looks at you. You have mummy issues and you only masturbate sadly and bitterly before going to sleep weeping into your Pot Noodle stained bed clothes. You misogynist, right wing, white, Tory bastard. I bet you’re actually suppressing your real sexuality aren’t you?
The fact is, whether we like it or not, the same diversity ridden car crash themes that destroyed the dog mess that was Class are now turning their attention to Doctor Who proper, and if you don’t agree, I’m going to smash your Victorian, Neanderthal head in with a unicorn on a rainbow. Bastard.
I don’t care if you’re the DOCTOR himself. If you’ve lived and breathed the role for nearly 40 years and know the character better than only another 8 men alive, you’re wrong. You’re a dinosaur. I bet you hate Kylie too don’t you? What a cunt. So let’s stand at the world’s biggest Nerdfest and lampoon you, let’s laugh at you. Let’s call you as asshole and dismiss your opinion.
When Steven Moffat wrote Curse of the Fatal Death we all thought he was joking. I mean, he’s a right wag, this Moffat guy eh? Storming out of Big Finish meetings because he’d wrote somefink off the telly, or being a bit smug about an odd Doctor Jekyll reboot, just made him hilarious! Let’s do fart jokes! Let’s talk about the Doctor’s tits! Stop! Oh no, stop! I can’t breath. It’s hilarious.
But suddenly it’s not funny anymore, is it? Suddenly Doctors are turning on each other, suddenly fans are turning on Doctors, and suddenly Peter Capaldi’s exit has been stained by a nasty, bad tasting resonance. Suddenly the parody has become a reality. Suddenly, Tom Baker’s and JNT’s joke – that’s joke – is wearing a hoodie and holding the TARDIS key next to a lazily researched and badly photoshopped Police Box. And suddenly fandom goes crack.
Let me make two statements, very, very clearly.
- I like Jodie Whittaker as an actor. I have no issue with her ability. I think she’ll attack the role with vigour and gusto and I think she’ll do the very best job it’s possible to do. I wish her well and I will 100% support MY Doctor, as I always have.
- I completely agree with Peter Davison.
I think it’s very sad that the BBC have decided to go down this route with the Doctor. It’s another example of diversity over creativity. And I feel it’s just the start. Now, again, I have no issue with diversity being an integral and important part of any creative process, and if you look at programmes like The Walking Dead, Star Trek, Arrow and Buffy the Vampire Slayer you will see diversity in action, in a classy, natural and proper way. It’s a glorious thing. But diversity is a two way door.
It’s very concerning that the BBC’s – and Chris Chibnall’s – first instinct was to look to cast a female in the role of the Doctor – not the best actor for the job, but specifically a female. That’s positive discrimination. And, like any discrimination, it’s wrong. It excludes people. And diversity isn’t about exclusion. So again, for a clear agenda, it’s missed the whole point of what it tried to do. The BBC have missed a huge trick here, a massive own goal has been scored its desperation to be “right on”. Imagine the glory of a brand new adventurer in space and time! A show about River, or Romana, or Susan or Jenny, set up in the parent series and cast with the finest actress, off in a TARDIS on her own adventures. A positive, glorious, empowering, exciting female hero for girls and boys. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Kara Danvers, aka Supergirl, able to do all that whilst being magnificently female whilst not being undershadowed by her big cousin, Superman. I give you Wonder Woman. I give you Batgirl. I give you Harley Quinn. The BBC had an opportunity to create that, but the big lazy, misunderstood diversity hammer hit us over the head again and we changed the gender of one of Britain’s most beloved heroes.
But is it only the gender I find a bad idea? Well, no. I’m not going to say it’s a bad idea, and I’m sure Jodie will be awesome, but we lose – for the first time since 1989 – a hero for small boys. Britain doesn’t have many without faults. Robin Hood was a violent thief, Sherlock Holmes was a heroin addict, but the Doctor is faultless, and as such perfect for children to look up to. And as it is has been proved by the Rise of the Fangirl, him being a boy didn’t alienate them. If anything particularly Matt and David accentuated that. What a female Doctor may do is placate the calls of the right on minority, but it won’t increase the young male majority. And whilst America revels in their own Hulk, Iron Man and, particularly Captain America as an untouchable, upright and deliciously good male role model, Britain now has none.
Now, I’m sure Jodie will do a grand job at relaying the Doctor’s ambiguous gender (but if she actually mentions it, at all, the writers have entirely missed the point), and I actually am looking forward to seeing what she does. I have always, and will always, support the programme, but, just as the BBC tried to sanitize Top Gear with some vanilla ginger-pop, Doctor Who is now a different beast, a beast with less bite, and a beast with a minority appeal. That’s a shame. It really is, because the BBC could have had both. And how they could have flown.
So whether we like it or not, Jodie Whittaker’s appointment as the Doctor will fundamentally change the dynamic of the show. It’ll change the Doctor’s relationship with companions old and new, it’ll change her relationship with other Time Lords, with her old enemies like Davros and the Master, with her/his wife, River Song, with her children and grandchildren. With her previous incarnations. To NOT make that happen both proves and disproves the choice. If nothing changes, what’s the point, but if nothing changes, what was the point?
Look at Missy – and whilst I was particularly disparaging at the top of this piece regarding her, I mean that in relation to the character of the Master, not Michelle’s fab turn as Missy – herself a character who could have been brand new or something else, without having to disrupt a 40 year old dynamic. Even Simm’s Master was incredulous at her out of character choices and her motives were mercurial and badly defined.
Creatively it will colour future casting choices. Do we get another girl just to prove it wasn’t a mistaken abhoration? Or do we continue to with positive discrimination? Because when they recast the 14th Doctor as a white male, make no mistake, we’ll have an uproar. So do we continue to allow the show to parody itself?
I really feel for Jodie. She seems like a lovely person, with a genuine love for the series, and I really, really want her to succeed, but she has to really succeed, and pounce on something very Doctory, very quickly, because, despite what will be a large viewing figure at Christmas and again when S11 starts, if she is not shit hot straight away figures will tumble.
I really, really hope I’m wrong. Prove me wrong Jodie. Prove me wrong, Doctor.
But in the meantime, it’s very important that fans are allowed to not like the idea of a female Doctor – and have many and varied reasons for that – without being shouted down and bullied by a left wing right on diversity hammer, whether that means not being lampooned and called names at Comic Con by panel hosts and former showrunners, or TwitterTwats turning on a kind, gentle and humble man like Peter Davison. Remember what Capaldi said in his first interview about the wrong – “Doctor Who belongs to us all”. “Us all” is not just you.
And remember, just because one writer writes it, it don’t make it canon. Because if that’s the case, the Doctor is half human on his mother’s side and turns evil sometime between Peter and Jodie. Or between Matt and Peter. Or David II and Matt. Or something. And Sarah comes from the 80s whilst UNIT comes from the 70s. And Vogans and Time Lords share the same graphic designer.
Sometimes it’s ok to just say “aye well, that was a mistake”.