I’m sure you’ve heard the news that Matt Smith has made the decision to leave his role as the eleventh Doctor in this year’s Christmas special. After an astounding tenure on the show, he’s moving onto fresh new projects where he can show off his phenomenal talent and boundless enthusiasm. As fans, we can be sad about his leaving but excited at the idea of a brand new Doctor and a brand new actor, bringing something new and interesting to the show.
Speculation as to who will be chosen to portray the next incarnation of this iconic figure began long before the news was made official. The UK has had a recent explosion in acting talent, with those relatively unknown just a few years ago – such as Eddie Redmayne, Idris Elba, and Tom Hiddleston – all being named as potential candidates. Others have opted for older favourites, like Bill Nighy, Paul Bettany, or comedian Eddie Izzard.
However, there is a small group within the Whovian fandom who are suggesting rather more… radical candidates.
Why can’t the next incarnation of the Doctor be female?
Now, the suggestion is met with anger and outright hatred in many quarters, but why shouldn’t the twelfth Doctor be female?
But the Doctor’s always been male!
Only so far. Remember, he comes from an alien species capable of re-writing their own DNA sequence so they can avoid dying. There’s nothing to say that he can’t be another race or another gender – or even avoid the whole messy business of gender altogether! The potential of a Time Lord becoming a Time Lady has been brought up in show and it is possible. Just because the Doctor has been male so far doesn’t mean he can’t be female the next time.
It would ruin the show forever!
This is the same TV show that had the villains for three episodes be farting aliens, a man in a relationship with a face in a paving slab, and the Doctor restored to full health and vigour by the power of belief. Having the Doctor be female is not as bad as you think it is.
Making the Doctor female would upset the character dynamic!
Changing the gender of a character has proven itself to be a really interesting way to explore and develop character relationships in a long established franchise. Elementary, with Joan Watson, and Hannibal, with Freddie Lounds and Alana Bloom, have both shown that changing a character from male to female provides an impetus for some stellar story telling.
Besides, I’d like to see two women kicking ass and saving people across the universe – wouldn’t you?
I just don’t want the Doctor to be female.
If the prospect of a female leading character in a sci-fi TV show is so worrying to you, then Doctor Who is not the programme for you. The show has got a long history of women in leading roles who are clever and just as good at taking down invading alien forces as any bloke can be.
Let’s not forget that one of the show’s main messages is that everyone is special, unique, and worthwhile. If you think a woman can’t promote these messages, you might have to consider that you don’t understand how important they are.
Making the Doctor a woman is just a gimmick.
Maybe it might be. But would you label casting Colin Salmon or Idris Elba as ‘gimmick’ casting because of their race? There are no good reasons why the Doctor shouldn’t be female, and if the casting team decide to cast an actress in the role we should all support her and be excited for what she can bring to the role.
Top 5 Potential Ladybros to Play The Doctor
1. Anna Friel
For this ladybro Whovian, Anna Friel won me over in her portrayal of quirky and funny ‘lonely tourist’ Chuck Charles in Pushing Daisies. Friel has a wonderful warmth as an actress, and she is as adorable as a button button. However, she is an immensely talented actress, with a wealth of steely reserve that could be called in to play the last survivor of the final great Time War.
2. Lenora Crichlow
The role of Annie in Being Human has always marked out Lenora Crichlow as a potential Doctor to me. Annie was a difficult character to play, but Crichlow brought such love, such endless enthusiasm, such cool reserve, and such great sorrow, that playing the Doctor would be an absolute piece of cake for her.
3. Helena Bonham Carter
Wonderfully eccentric, funny, charming, drop dead cool, clever, and oh so capable of potentially destroying a few planets… and HBC is an amazing actress.
4. Naomie Harris
Harris has shown an amazing diversity in the roles she plays; from the vengeful goddess Tia Dalma, zombie survivor Selena, to Winne Mandela in an upcoming biopic. Smooth, sophisticated, and smart as hell – she’d bring a touch of elegant class to the sometimes chaotic role of the Doctor.
5. Rose Leslie
Rose Leslie has become known for her role as fiery and unpredictable Ygritte in Game of Thrones. With her, the Doctor could finally be ginger.