Doctor Who fans have been clamoring for a woman to take over the role of the Doctor for a long time and now that it’s regeneration season those discussions have come up again. It’s high time we see a woman take the lead.
It’s a conversation that keeps happening every time they announce the current Doctor’s leave. Will the next regeneration of the Doctor be a woman? Is it finally time? Our answer is yes.
When Steven Moffat had the reigns, he claimed that women didn’t want to see the Doctor change genders, but that was four years ago. Times are a changin’, and most importantly so are show runners.
Chris Chibnall is going to take over after this year’s Christmas Special, and luckily he’s the one in charge of who the next Doctor will be. Moffat always claimed it wasn’t the right time for a female lead but now, for the first time in 50 years, it finally feels perfect.
As much as we’re excited to see Moffat out and Chibnall in, we do have to give credit where credit is due. Moffat brought us Missy, who is living proof that Timelords can in fact change genders. Of course, we’ve heard jokes here and there about the Doctor possibly turning into a woman but Missy’s existence solidifies that canon. And now that the Master has switched genders, who’s to say that the Doctor can’t?
Additionally, in the season 10 finale the Master has a question for the Doctor, asking “is the future all girl?” The Doctor responds, ever so cheekily, “we can only hope.” And while this could be just a cruel joke from Moffat on the fandom’s expense it could also be a hint at what’s to come.
While Moffat won’t be in charge of the casting for the new Doctor, he is working with Chibnall on the regeneration, slated to happen at the end of the year during the Christmas special. When asked about the regeneration, Moffat revealed he’s working with the new showrunner on something that’s going to be “different.” He’s talking about the process of regeneration, but he could also be hinting that the Doctor is going to be changing into a woman for the very first time.
“And I’ve been working with Chris [Chibnall] about how we do the changeover in a new way. So I’m not going to tell you what that is – I’m excited by it, I think it’s going to work well – but it’s not… well every regeneration is different, but we are playing it slightly differently this time.”
So the hints are there, and if they were to have these hints all over the place but not proceed with making the Doctor a woman, why would you tease it in the first place?
And then there’s the fact that if Doctor Who stays on its path of a cis-white heteronormative portrayal of the Doctor in a time where media is still struggling to bring diversity on our screens, the fandom will likely be in an outrage. There aren’t many shows that start off with a cis-white male lead and get a chance to evolve with the times — Who can turn into something that is closer to what today’s society reflects.
Four years ago we posted a guest article explaining why the next regeneration of the Doctor can’t be a white male, and even though we were initially disappointed with Peter Capaldi’s casting, his portrayal really paved the way for some true change to happen this year.
From having the first open LGBTQ companion to seeing Missy and getting so many references to gender fluidity, this past season truly has paved the way for a woman to take the lead. If she doesn’t, then… I’m not sure how bright the show’s future will be.