For years, fans of Doctor Who have been waiting for this moment. The moment where the BBC takes a big leap of faith and makes The Doctor a woman. Now, we finally have that moment and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Chris Chibnall, the new showrunner for the long running series, is bringing one of his Broadchurch star along to steer the Tardis. Jodie Whittaker is set to take the role of the 13th Doctor. The first teaser comes to us when the new Doctor is walking through a forest, teasing us with the small features at first, the Tardis key appears in their hands, then the hood comes off, revealing it’s Jodie Whittaker. This is when I lost my sh*t.
I cried a lot, shouted at Billy and tried to remain calm as I wiggled like an idiot around my apartment because THE DOCTOR IS A LADY. This is one of the most exciting things to happen in Doctor Who for a very long time.
Jodie Whittaker is more than a fantastic actress. She’s a goddamn shapeshifter, which, if you’re familiar with Doctor Who, is just one of the many criteria you have to have. She’s appeared in so many amazing shows and movies. For example: Black Mirror (2011), Accused (2010), The Assets (2014), Attack the Block (2011), One Day (2011), Good Vibrations (2013) and Spike Island (2013). Jodie’s role as the 13th Doctor will probably be the biggest role that she takes on. It’s the one that’s probably going to push her and drain her, but it will also be so important for fans who hold the show near and dear to their hearts.
The importance of this moment is so monumental, especially female Whovians of the show. As I’ve said before, fans have been craving something different from the dawn of Doctor Who time. We’ve always known that The Doctor can change into anything. He is granted a number of unknown regenerations so that when he dies, his appearance is always different. In the episode “Hell Bent”, we actually see a Time Lord, not only change gender but change race as well. It’s been hinted before that gender and race have been a part of the Time Lords. So why not do something with that information? Fans beg them to show, don’t tell. It continued to be a cringeworthy experience to watch new Doctor announcements and get the same type of Doctor that always emerges from behind the smoke. A white guy.
Now, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with that. The men that have taken the title role have been absolutely amazing throughout the years. All of them deserve the highest of praise for how they’ve made the series what it is today. From the 1st Doctor to the 12th, there have been some strong men as The Doctor and each of them carry their own personal pizzazz to the role, making it even more important to us all. However, for women and POC, it always feels as if we’re left out of the Whoniverse. It feels like only Caucasian men can steer the Tardis, fly in space, know the laws of time. Even if we learn what the functions are, we’ll still never be deemed the role of The Doctor, we’ll always be The Companion.
Doctor Who has progressed so much throughout the years and within the years of Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat as showrunners, we have slowly, but steadily inched up to this moment. The teasing of a woman or POC in the role was finally coming, but it took for our new showrunner Chris Chibnall to finally show and not tell. It took him to make that leap of faith and go, “A woman will be The Doctor, deal with it.”** Jodie Whittaker in this role is something that fans thought would never happen. We’re not The Companion anymore. Women can look at this Doctor and be like, I can actually BE a Doctor. I can actually drive the Tardis. I can know its functions and do the timey wimey science stuff. Women and girls can finally see themselves as a Doctor because representation is much more important than we could possibly and truly imagine. We need more women and POC’s taking on these amazing lead roles because we need more moments like this:
I believe in this new Doctor Who. I’m absolutely excited for what’s to come. I think I can also speech for the Tardis Team when we say we’ll miss you Peter Capaldi and congrats to Jodie Whittaker. You’ll be absolutely incredible in this role and we can’t wait to see what you do. <3
Also, gonna go binge watch Broadchurch now. 😀
** He didn’t actually say this, but I like to imagine he did.