Steven Moffat says the 12th Doctor on Doctor Who really could totally be a woman (maybe)

Quick and thought-provoking item concerning a quote by Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat. Our current 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, is signed on through about 2014. But what about after that? During the Edinburgh Television Festival, Moffat fanned the flames on the rumor that our beloved Gallifreyan Time Lord could regenerate into a lady. "It is a part of Time Lord lore that it can happen. Who knows, the more often it is talked about the more likely it is to happen some day." And to that, I say sweet TARDIS in the sky, everyone keep talking about this. (via Blastr)


      1. Well, if one Doctor can be female, then there’s no reason we can’t have the next 11 Doctors all be female.  Maybe it’s just as likely for a Doctor to regenerate as a female and the 11 males in a row were just a statistical fluke.

        I mean, why the hell not?

        1. I think it’s pretty clear that the next Doctor won’t be female, but perhaps the one after that.  (Unless Smith has a particularly long run, which I don’t think he will.)  I don’t think Moffat’s quite ready for it.  Hopefully, if the show survives, we’ll see more than one, though.

    1.  I have been a DWO fan all my life and I cannot and will not see Dr Who generate from male to female. He’s our classic hero without the brawn. You may as well ask for Superman to change into Wonderwoman! No way!

    1. Joss Whedon took over the show in 2005; he didn’t even have to be there.

      Davies and Moffat have both repeatedly cited Buffy as a major influence in how they’ve run the show.

      1. Davies was even going to do a “Buffy” style show that, thanks to the Doctor Who revival, turned into “Torchwood.”  You can see Buffy’s fingerprints all over it. You can also see the “replace text” updating of his original scripts/ideas pretty clearly – where “monster” and “magic” got replaced by “alien” but the original logic and story remained.

  1. Back during Colin Baker’s stormy tenure I remember reading a tantalizing rumor that Patricia Quinn was being considered for the next Doctor. I thought, “Yes, please!”

    Perhaps it’s because I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Whovian that I find something likable about anyone who takes over the role, though. A game I like to play with friends who are also fans, though, is: If there were an 11 Doctor reunion, who would best fill the roles of Doctors who’ve passed on or can’t fit their old costumes?

    So far I’ve only got the first three:

    First Doctor-David Bradley
    Second Doctor-Tony Slattery
    Third Doctor-Sean Pertwee

    Let the firestorm commence.

    1. Patricia “It’s so dreamy, oh fantasy free me so you can’t see me, no not at all. In another dimension, with voyeuristic intention, well-secluded, I see all” Quinn?

      1. Back in the late ’80’s when Colin Baker was the Doctor the Doctor Who Magazine did a readers’ survey as to whether the next Doctor could be a woman. There were some long-winded responses about the Doctor being male and having to stay that way, although I was pleased to know I wasn’t the only reader who thought, “Why not?”

      2. Well, as I say further down, do you want to explain to an eleven year-old boy why his fave sci-fi character is now a woman, but it might not be a good idea to still try and dress like him/her, and, yes, there are some people who were born as men who became women, and, yes, some of them used to like girls and now like boys and…

        I’m sure a lot of parents settling down for a Saturday night in front of the television would be extremely happy about having that conversation forced on them when they might not want it.

        Besides… isn’t wanting to change the standard characteristics of a character showing a basic dislike for everything that makes the character what it is? How exactly does making The Doctor a woman improve the show? Wouldn’t it be better to create a show around an original concept with a female protagonist, and provide it with the same level of support?

        Oh, and if they did have a female Doctor, it would have to be someone who can run down corridors. This rules out Maggie Smith and Dame Judi Dench (who I believe is retiring (rumour is that this is because she is losing her eyesight and can no longer read scripts)).

        1. OHNO. People might have to TALK to their CHILDREN. 

          Come on. That sort of thing is often called a teachable moment. It’s a golden opportunity, not a disaster.

        2. If you don’t want to be explaining things to children, don’t have children.

          That’s pretty much the same reason people give for why I shouldn’t be allowed to kiss my girlfriend in the park — because they /gasp/ might have to explain why two women are kissing to their children!!  I’m really getting rather tired of it.

          Standard characteristics?  What “standard characteristics” make the Doctor inherently male?  Do tell.

        3.  Let’s see…

          “Da-a-ad, the new Doctor is a girl ?”
          “He really is a girl ?”
          “Well, he’s a she now and more of a woman really.”
          “How ?!”
          “She regenerated, you’ve seen it.”
          “But he… she’s so different!”
          “Yet less than Matt is from David Tennant.”
          “Yeah!…” :D :D :D

          There, done.

        4. WOW! you make a great point!  we can’t have the Doctor as a woman to disappoint a 12 year old because you won’t let him dress like a woman!  ( I have much younger kids, but generally they pick gender “appropriate” cosplay, and quite possibly yours would too since you want it that way) 

      3. Granted that the changing nature of The Doctor makes it less likely to be a disaster. But it is a big change in the formula, you can’t deny that there is a lot of style centered around the male doctor/female sidekick tradition there. If you mess that up, or fail to make the reversed roles as compelling as the original, you probably can’t put things back the way they were in less than a season. Could the show survive that?

    1. Really, more than Matt Smith?

      I really want this to happen.  Also, I love what this would mean for the River Song story arc.

      1. Really, more than Matt Smith?

        Well, absolutely; Smith was a safe choice.

        Not a BAD choice, mind; I happen to quite like him.  But a safe one.

  2. So it would be “Nurse Who” right?  Get it?  j/k y’all.

    On a serious note, my vote would be for Julia Davis or Tamsin Greig.* Kick ass funny-women.

    *even though she was in a episode once..

    1. Wouldn’t be the first time an actor has been in one role on DW and then come back starring (both Freema Agyeman and Karen Gillan had single roles before becoming companions.)  I am sure there are some from the old series as well.

      1. Colin Baker appeared in an episode with Peter Davison as the captain of the Gallifreyan guard. He even shoots the Doctor.

        So it wouldn’t be the first time an actor has started in one role and come back as the Doctor. 

      2.  Totally, with the way UK tv recycles the same small number of actors, it seems unavoidable.  I almost always recognize characters on DW from other British shows I like.

        1. Or, as one person put it, “This Blake’s 7 episode has more Doctor Who actors than a Doctor Who episode”

  3. Heck, I’d be happy if sometime in the future somebody figured out sound levels when actors are delivering their lines.  I have a horrible time deciphering what mumbly joe is saying when both he and the background sounds are blaring at the same time.  Male or female, I just hope the next doctor can enunciate more clearly. :(

  4. Yeah…

    Like Russell T. Davies pointed out, I’m sure parents will enjoy having to sit down and discuss gender identity issues with children because of a prime time family television show.

    The Doctor, as a character, has always been male. Just because they could is no reason to do it. Further, feminizing a male character… that isn’t promoting equality. Creating an original character and devoting as much support to it as possible would be an equal act.

    Otherwise, you just get Supergirl, Batgirl, Spider-Girl… Characters that are, essentially, just cheap knock-offs of the male characters. Are you telling me a female Doctor doesn’t raise a huge amount of issues? It would politicise the show – will The Doctor now like male characters? Or still like female characters?

    It is the same a last time when the BBC wanted a black Doctor – no-one is proposing this because it is a good story idea, or will take the show anywhere it should go (do we really need ‘Doctor Who’ exploring gender-issues?), but because it is to do with a perceived lack of equality.

    This isn’t making Starbuck a woman – the old Starbuck still remained a man, completely untouched as it was a completely different reality – this would be making Bill Adama into Billie Adama, in the same episode.

    Then there would be the question of romance… is The Doctor now a lesbian? Suddenly mother’s groups, happy their daughters have a role-model (even if their sons now wear skirts because The Doctor said, “Skirts are cool!”), suddenly get unhappy that an influential figure is encouraging same-sex relationships on a family show. Is The Doctor into men now? Suddenly, the fans are a little put out at such a personality shift, and gay rights groups – rightly – complain that the show has suggested that men should be with women because of biology… No romance now? Everyone complains about another female character (like Wonder Woman) banned from sex.

    The whole thing would just open a can of worms that would, possibly, damage the brand. It would either be a limited success by avoiding these issues, or it would seriously damage the show, or they would end it after a short amount of time, and every producer and their dad would use it as an example that the audience don’t like female protagonists in straight sci-fi (even though that wouldn’t be the case).

    Keeping a standardised, white, male Doctor tends to take the emphasis away from the political. He’s always been like that, like the comfy sofa in the front room, or that billboard that hasn’t been changed for years, or a landmark that remains comforting. Why does everyone want so desperately to turn a character they claim to love into something they aren’t and have never been? That sounds like the opposite of loving something, to me.

    1. I’m also trying to remember how many male protagonists on television encourage intelligence and pacifism, that this one can afford to be thrown on the scrap-heap? Speaking as a teacher, it is hard enough to find modern fictional role-models as inspirational as The Doctor, especially given that outside of ‘Doctor Who’, most of these kids play ‘Call of Duty’ and watch ‘Transformers’ movies and the like.

      I mean, lets put this another way… would you prefer a male version of Buffy Summers, still named Buffy Summers, who was the same character in continuity? If they’re so desperate to do this, then do it with a background character.

      1. I’d like to think that your Buffy comparison actually proves that a female doctor could work. At the core of it all, Buffy herself was just a female version of years of male dominated “monster hunters”

        1. Buffy was an independent character, though. She worked best because she wasn’t a feminized version of those male monster hunters. In fact, she wasn’t even based on them – she was based on the conceit that the female victim in every horror or slasher movie was able to fight back. Buffy kicked ass because they didn’t condescend to say, “Here you go, little ladies, have one of our big boy toys with longer hair and boobs and high heels!” Buffy kicked ass because she was her own person.

          1. You’ve seen the movie which was produced first, right?  In which creative control was denied to Joss Whedon?

    2. I remember a lot of playful banter hinting at some sort of intimacy between the Doctor and Jack Harkness, who is an established bi-sexual character.

      And I think the type of parents whose children watch the show are not the type of parents who will need a fainting couch if the Doctor changes something a little more fundamental than his teeth or hair.

  5. I’d love to see Miriam Margolyes as the Doctor. She’d definitely be a throwback to the Doctors of Yore. She’s eccentric, witty, and completely charming. They would just need to surround her with young companions that they can use to pad the episodes with all those shots of people running.

    1.  That’s not a bad idea – I really like her. But I’m not sure she’d be up to the action scenes (the same reason Maggie Smith & Judi Dench were nixed above).

  6. Go to any con and you’ll see so many female Doctor cosplayers, it’s obvious that there’s a big desire out there for such a character.  On the other hand, you see so few River Song cosplayers that I wonder if Moffat is the person to write her.

    1. Personally I wouldn’t mind engaging in a little River Song cosplay, but that’s just me. Then again what guy wouldn’t be proud to be brave enough to jump from a spaceship in high heels and able to shoot off a fez at thirty paces? 

  7. Jukeboxjt intrigues me with her/his suggestion of Miriam Margolyes.  I love her.

    But I’m holding out for Joanna Lumley myself!

    -abs is pretty sure that “Dr. Who and the Curse of the Fatal Death” isn’t considered cannon, but Joanna totally rocks as the Doctor in it regardless

    {edit} Damn, just scrolled up and realized I missed that Vickie Kostecki said the same thing. So, officially, I’d just like to second her and ask for a vote. {/edit}

Comments are closed.