The new Doctor - Happy or annoyed?

Personally I'm over the moon, so many comments on how he should be male 'Do you see James bond being a woman anytime soon?' and many other comments on how shows/movies that start with male models should remain male, in the end this alien regenerates and that's the beauty of it all,

What are your thoughts?  


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Well, Tony, you've heard my arguments before. In principle, I don't care if the Doctor is male or female. Here's the "buts."

    The show implied for decades and made explicit in Series 8 that the Doctor's Regenerations are guided by the subconcious mind. At the moment of regeneration, the Doctor effectively judges his life and decides how to change. This is why the pacifistic Five became the brash, boorish Six, who'd kill you and quip about it--Five's pacifist nature got him killed after all.

    So, all these regenerations, the Doctor has obviously identified as male.

    And let's be very clear--gender changes in regeneration are obviously possible as it's been shown, but it's also obviously NOT common. Gallifrey has been shown to have clear gender divisions, and you damn well DON'T have a "Sisterhood of Karn" if your sisters become brothers all the time.

    Don't bring up Missy and the General--I've already factored them into this. Y'really want another long batch of paragraphs?

    So--whatever happens to cause the Doctor to change his obvious subconciously male gender to female has to be pretty tragic and it's going to have to be supported by the regeneration story. It ALSO means that the first half of the season has to be about exploring this. Make no mistake, this should and MUST be traumatic for the Doctor and can NOT be "Oh, I'm a girl now!" Doing that is not treating the storyline and character with proper respect.

    I haven't really seen this set up in the last season, so the Christmas special has a lot of ground to cover.

    Otherwise, no performer playing the Doctor has been less than stellar. My worries are always more about what the showrunner and story editor give the actor. Grand Moff "reset everything, no one dies but Danny Pink," Steven is an example of this. Matt Smith's era is my absolute least favorite of all. Too damn many reset buttons, too many killing and resurrecting companions, and (#*!*$ing AMY was the (#&^$! protagonist for two series, and don't even get me started on why I don't like Amy at all. And with Moffat's track record did anyone at all actually think that Bill was going to remain a Cyberman, or was it all about waiting for Moffat to Moffat her out of that in his Moffaty way?*

    *Thank Omega Moffat is gone. I guarandamntee you if he did one more season he'd do a crossover where Clara, Me, Bill, Heather and Cyberbig all had a big crossover adventure ending with Clara ripping Danny Pink out of time to share adventures and make babies so that Orson Pink can actually exist.

  • @Triem23  I agree with your assessment even though I have only followed the show since the 2005 reboot.  I felt like they set in motion the Doctor becoming a female in the last episode of season 10 very subtlety when the Doctor and Missy touched hands as they parted and he gave a strange look almost as if something had passed between them.   I had hoped that the actress who played Missy would be the next Doctor even before that moment but I was damn certain it would be a gender swap after it.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    The main reason I've said let's not bring up Missy is the Master's primary motivation since the 70's has been to stay alive.... The Master has stolen bodies to stay alive. The Master has been in a Trakanian body, a snake thing and a human. The John Sims master had that scene screaming "Never Die! Never die, never die, neverdie, neverdie, neverdie neverdie neverdie neverdie NEVERDIE! NEVER! DIE!"

    Master wouldn't care about being a female. Female is Not Dead! Frankly I'm more shocked the Master killed Missy! The "neverdie" Master found a cause worth dying for, and that was not aiding the Doctor! Wow!

    The General? I figured (as, remember, Gallifrey has been shown to be a gender divided society) the General rose in the ranks as a woman, always feeling she had to work harder than her male peers, thinking "They wouldn't treat me this way if I were a man." Became a man. Hated it. Back to female. Happy General. 

  • Female doctor no problem, but this actress leaves me feeling worried, feels a bit safe. We will see but trailer after tennis did nothing to excite me.

  • For me this feels sadly like just another box ticking exercise. There is no other actual compelling reason to have done this. Certainly the story didn't require it. It really felt the same with the Bill character. Ticking the gay and non white boxes in one character.  Not really advancing the story just done for the sake of it. I have to admit I never really saw missy as the Master. I saw her as a brilliantly evil character in her own right played superbly well. I didn't buy the end at all. The Master was too much about self preservation for that to have done that, not of course mentioning the paradox that if he didn't regenerate then she could never exist. Oh and the John Simm body died twice of course. 

    What's really needed is a new female lead sci fi show, Something new and fresh rather than something very divisive like this which even some feminists don't like.  For me any character be they black, white, male, female, gay, straight, disabled (is that the correct term these days?) should be there in a show if the story requires it. If that's the case then you as the viewer don't even notice because they just fit. They should never be there just to fill a quota or tick a box.  There can be nothing more insulting for those that character represents. There is no such thing as positive discrimination because every positive has a negative.  Being white and male is not a crime. There's a lot of us about. 

    I will watch and see what it's like but for me it won't be the same show or the same character knowing that she is only there because of external pressures rather than being there simply as the best choice for the role. 

  • I just had a thought, in The Flash Harrison Wells used a hologram of Caitlin to save her from her (Spoilers!!!!!) ................

    ....Death, If this same principle was to be used on the doctor it would be the biggest global troll I've ever heard of from the BBC xD  

    I only thought this because after watching the trailer again when she opened her hand it looked like a males hand with short nails. 

  • @NXVisualStudio  Do you think they've gone for gender reassignment as well then? Another box ticked?  

  • Am I glad they cast a woman? Who cares.

    Am I glad they cast Jodie Whitaker? Depends on whether Jodie Whitaker is any good in the role, and we won't know that for months... so I'm going to reserve judgement until the next series is actually underway.


    In regards  to the Master killing themself rather than help the Doctor... well a) John Simm's Master made a similar choice back in series 3, after he is shot and then chooses not to regenerate, and b) having different bodies is irrelevant to the Master, as long as the person inside remains pretty much the same. The way I see it, Michelle Gomez' Master had changed to the point where John Simm's Master no longer recognised her as a version of himself.


    I'm going to respectfully disagree with @Triem23 - it makes no sense at all for a species of inherently genderfluid shapeshifters to have clear gender divisions.

    At the end of the day gender divisions are not really any different than "racial" divisions - in both cases you're ascribing unnecessary significance to physical features. So for me the idea of Time Lords having gender divisions is as ridiculous as the idea of Time Lords having apartheid.

  • JMcAllister  one would assume asexual reproduction is one of their traits then I guess. Regenerating from woman to man during pregnancy would play havoc one might think too

  • One thing I seem to recall is something the Doctor once said, that he can sometimes choose or get insperation for his next appearance from others, maybe Missy has some impact but clearly he/she wanted to err be in a younger frame?

    Oh it's getting very messy.

  • @DreamArchitect I think it's fair to say that sustaining fatal injuries during pregnancy also plays havoc with humans. 

    And the Time-Lords are supposedly a super-advanced, ancient, alien civilisation. Nobody knows how they reproduce. But from what we have seen their population seems relatively small and exceedingly stable. Considering that individuals can easily live to be thousands of years old, I would argue that reproduction of any kind is probably pretty rare. 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @JMcAllister Gallifreyans are NOT inherently genderfluid shapeshifters. Regeneration is an artificial process bestowed upon Time Lords artificially (created by Rassillon), and not all Gallifreyans are Time Lords. The Anthony Ainley Master--the Master after transferring his consciousness to a Trakanian (non Gallifreyan) body--in "The Five Doctors" was working for the Time Lords in exchange for a new regeneration cycle (of 12). 

    The majority of Gallifreyans aren't Time Lords and do not get regeneration cycles. 

    An inherently genderfluid race probably wouldn't have developed specific gender terms. As a said above, you don't form a "Sisterhood" when your sisters become brothers randomly. Especially as the Gallifreyans evolved as a gender divided, one life race long enough to develop space travel and learn to harness black holes. Only then did Rassellon develop regeneration. In short you have millions of years of evolution and civilization as a gender-specific race followed by an indeterminate time of having an elite class gifted with artificially bestowed regenerations. In the 36 production seasons of Doctor Who we've seen exactly three gender swaps--the Master, the General and the Doctor. 

    @Andy001z the show implied for decades the Doctor's regeneration is guided by his subconscious. "Deep Breath" (the first Capaldi story) makes this explicit. 

    Time Lord reproduction is tricky. Novels and Big Finish audio states Gallifreyans are now genetically engineered. Source DNA samples are rewoven in "Looms." However, these are "secondary" canon and can be superceded by TV canon. 

    That said, we'll assume Gallifreyan anatomy is, um, compatible enough with humans... Otherwise, poor River and poor Rose... 

    Here's a very interesting classic clip...

    Note Romana consciously chooses a form. Note on form is a little blue thing. Implication, regeneration can shift a Time Lord to an "alien" body, so a gender change isn't a big deal. Although I still maintain it's uncommon for reasons detailed above. 

    Now, another relevant clip:

    Russell Davies and Steven Moffat argue the Doctor is NOT half human. I have to argue he is... First, the TV show said it. Secondly, it explains why the Doctor cares so much about humanity when he has all of everything to explore. Third, it explains why the Doctor's regenerations always lead to a period of instability while Romana can consciously choose a form and every other regeneration of a Gallifreyan shown ends with the person basically shrugging and going on with their business. It's ONLY the Doctor we've seen have serious regeneration shock! This may also explain why the Time Lords treat the Doctor with so much unease--he's a "halfbreed" and the influence of the human parent takes the Doctor's psychology out of the "norm" for Gallifrey. 

    So, with all that said, I maintain that while gender swapping is obviously and canonically possible, it is still uncommon as the majority of Time Lords tend to self-identify with a specific gender the great majority of the time. That said, BECAUSE Time Lords change bodies, gender swaps seem to be viewed by other Time Lords as not that big a deal (note no one reacts strongly to the General changing genders). The biggest reaction we've seen so far is the Master to Missy, which I interpret as a bit of, "What the hell motivated me to do that?" The largest "stress" over a gender change is to the Time Lord swapping genders--which brings me back to needing to have the change properly explored in the setup and aftermath of the story. Fortunately it's not that much more of a big deal than standard regeneration shock stories. 

    One can always disagree with the above. I pull my arguments soley from what the TV show had shown (noting Looms only for completeness), but, ultimately it IS just a TV show, so give the audience good stories and the audience will watch. 

    What's sad is there IS a segment of audience that's going to drop the show over this, but I don't think new viewers will suddenly watch because of the woman. As a business decision it's really not the BBC pandering--they know they'll take a ratings (money) drop. It's the showrunner saying "we haven't done this yet, let's do it."

    I'm eager to see what Chris Chibnall, the writers and Jodie Whittaker give us next season. 

    For now, looking forward to the last Capaldi Christmas. I'll miss his "teenager in an old body" Doctor greatly. 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Side note: for Jodie's "new teeth/kidneys" moment I hope she gets something like "wider hips... That's going to change my balance."

    Jodie's very slender. If they'd cast (say) Hayley Atwell, I'd be waiting for *grabs breasts* "Oh, that's going to be annoying when running."

    Failing that, something similar to a line from the fan series" The Forgotten Doctor," where the Doctor regenerates into a black man and says, "I'm black! No one will recognize me! What am I saying, no one ever recognizes me..." 

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    Time Lord is an inherently male designation as pointed out by Bill when discussing gender fluidity with The Doctor. It's also worth noting Romana was referred to as a Time Lady as was The Rani. The Sisterhood of Karn is supposedly the remnants of the Pythia, the original Matriarchal rulers of Gallifrey overthrown by Rassilon. The Pythia also supposedly cursed the remaining Gallifreyans with sterility which led to Rassilon developing regeneration and cloning to sustain the Time Lords until the curse was broken. 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Aladdin4d although the Pythia storyline is a novel, so subject to revision if contradicted in the TV show. 

    Specific designations ofTime Lord vs Time Lady merely reinforce the gender divided society shown in the mythology. 

    Coming out of the fictional universe, obviously the gender divided society of Gallifrey reflects the times, biases and mores of the writers in the 1960's-80's. Sci-fi always reflects the times when a story was created, and if Doctor Who were created from scratch today, perhaps Gallifrey would be a true genderfluid society, but, one does need to treat a fictional history as "real" to a great degree. 

    Current trends in Doctor Who storytelling are undeniably driven by the writers/showrunner making a conscious choice to be LGBTQ inclusive (Russell T Davies, showrunner for Eccleston and Tennant,  happens to be gay. No accident he created Captain Jack!). That said, Rona Munroe, the writer who happened to write the final aired episode of the original run (1989's "Survival") has much lesbian subtext toned down by the BBC. Ms. Munro wrote this season's "The Eaters of Light" (which makes her the only writer to do a classic and reboot episode). That, of course, had that conversation with Bill and the 9th Legion. 

    It's all good with me. If creators of fiction want to bring in characters who aren't white, heterosexual men it's cool as long as we get good stories, and it's done in a way that's not disrespectful and destructive to the original material. Doctor Who, for the most part, is successful at this. Really the only thing this season that was too heavy handed to me was that aforementioned conversation between Bill and the 9th.

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