Back in January, Peter Capaldi announced that his time in the Tardis would come to an end this Christmas. But for every fan of doctor who fan old and young, Nu Who fans and classic Doctor Who fans. We were all united in asking who is next? With the media throwing out names like Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the front runner or Kris Marshall. Social media came alive with some intense debates. Is it time for the Doctor to be of colour? Is the Doctor going to be a woman? Firm fan favourite seemed to be an LGBT* Doctor. For me, I just wanted to see my show live on as I remember when it was cancelled the first time around after the 7th Doctor (Sylvester Mccoy)
After a short clip posted by BBC a few days ago. The clip told us we would find out today and told us all to watch a sporting event called Wimbledon, Something about two men grunting and groaning as they whack a ball over a net. Well, that’s how it appeared to this geek. The clip promised our first look at the 13th Doctor.
So somewhere after the men's final in the tennis. Well done to Rodger Federer for winning and lifting the golden trophy. A short but very revealing clip was played revealing that Jodie Whittaker would become not only 13th incarnation of the Time Lord known as the Doctor, but she would become the first female to play the coveted role in the show's 54-year history. We here at the Pulse Entertainment wish her massive congratulations and the best of luck in her new role as both the Doctor and as an ambassador for the show.
So WHO (pun intended) is Jodie Whittaker? Well, I have to say she is a new name for me and something of a dark house when I was seeing names pop up during the run up to her announcement. A quick check on IMDB tells me that she was interestingly in Broadchurch which is run by Chris Chibnall. And it's Chris Chibnall who will be taking over the reins of Doctor Who By the Incumbent Steven Moffat. So it seems as well as picking Doctor Who's first female, Chris Chibnall has decided to stick with someone who he has worked well with before which makes perfect sense.
Speaking of perfect sense. We were always heading this way, and by that, I mean the first female Doctor. The clip released strongly hinted a female name taking over the role. From the statue of liberty to an image of number 10 Downing Street, currently occupied by a female Prime Minister. But the clues may go further than this if you would allow me to put my conspiracy theory hat on for a moment.
So what were the clues? Well, let's go back to before Peter Capaldi became the Doctor. There was a big clambering for a Doctor of colour or a female doctor. The BBC would need to test the waters first. Step Forward, the Day of the Doctor (the shows 50th special). In which we see a Time Lord change not only race but gender for the first time. As I recall not much was said there. Next up, they needed to do a bigger test and so we got the Master turning into Missy. There was a lot of love for Missy especially towards the end of her arch and with throw away lines along the lines of I remember when the Doctor was a girl. Something that we have never on air screened, which could make Missy long in the future of Doctor's personal time line. The seeds were placed, not only by the BBC but by the show runners and they just waited for the right moment. One might say "But the moment has been prepared for" as Tom Baker famously said as he handed the keys to Peter Davidson's Doctor.
So what are my thoughts? I have to say I believe the show needs a big change. However, I will confess I don’t know what kind of change the show needs. Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall will bring a huge change and lets not forgot all this wouldn’t be done without the BBC's say so. So if you're not a fan. DON’T blame either Chris Chibnall or Jodie Whittaker. I think it should be allowed to go through this change as life depends on change and renewal. Patrick Troughton called it all these years ago in Power of the Daleks. Life depends on change and renewal. It's true of a human as much as it is a Time Lord. I was once a baby who changed into a toddler from a toddler to a child to a teenager to young adult and so on. You have maybe gone through change and renewal yourself. From age to looks. And this is what the show is going through. I will say as a fan of the 54-year show. I feel sad that this change has come and it feels like it might be the result of a protest or the need for rating growth in some shock factor casting effort. Rather than something a little more natural. You can argue that this might be natural and you would be right. Both sides would be right. It depends on your view.
So be brave and take a deep breath and let's see what Jodie Whittaker can do with the Doctor? But I do now worry that the actress will receive a lot of hate from the "no the Doctor should be a man" crowd. Don’t view this change as a victory for feminism but as I said a case of change and renewal. Don’t let hate kill the show. If this Doctor doesn’t work there will be another I am sure and if not maybe you can revisit a few of the old faces. A lot of the past incarnations live on through the BBC Big Finish Audio Books which is amazing.
As a fan, I want to believe in the show and the character moving on. I do have my worries like some. I would hate to see the Doctor change and then she goes starts making jokes about having breasts! Treat the character as alien and I think the rest will fall into place. Now that we have Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor. I can't help but wonder what we will get as a companion. Will we get a male companion? Will the Doctor have a male companion fall for him like Rose did? Will this become an all-female show? A lot of question will be answered in just over a years time when we see the first full episode as I believe the BBC is aiming for an Autumn run for season 11.
It's only fair I end this article with words of 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi "Everything ends. And it’s always sad. But everything begins again too, and that’s always happy. Be happy"
By Graham Leslie