She’s not even stepped foot in the TARDIS proper and the
jury is already out as to whether or not Jodie Whittaker will cut the mustard
as the Doctor. In that respect the reaction is no different to that experienced
by any other actor immediately after they’ve been unveiled as the next Doctor.
But with the added significance of becoming the first woman to play the Time
Lord, there’s been more intense debate than ever.
After Roger Federer made short work of Marin Cilic in the Wimbledon
men’s single final (was he as eager as the rest of us to find out the news?), excited
Doctor Who fans watched with baited breath as the new Doctor was revealed in a
specially shot film. Teasing us with the camera following the Doctor, it was
impossible to tell the actor’s gender until she removed the hood.
Two nights before, the BBC broadcast another video short to announce
the announcement. As it turns out all the clues were there, at least as to the
gender of the next Doctor, and the seeds had in fact been sown even earlier in some tantalising lines of dialogue
in The Doctor Falls:
“Is the future going to be all girl?” says the John Simm
Master, to which the Doctor replies “We can only hope.”
The future for the Doctor is actually now in the hands of
Chris Chibnall and his new star Jodie Whittaker. But will she make a good Doctor?
Paul Driscoll is a freelance writer and author across a range of subjects from Cult TV to religion and social policy. He is a passionate Doctor Who fan and January 2017 will see the publication of his first extended study of the series (based on Toby Whithouse's series six episode, The God Complex) in the critically acclaimed Black Archive range by Obverse Books. He is a regular writer for the fan site Doctor Who Worldwide and has contributed several essays to Watching Books' You and Who range. Recently he has branched out into fiction writing, with two short stories in the charity Doctor Who anthology Seasons of War (Chinbeard Books). Paul's work will also feature in the forthcoming Iris Wildthyme collection (A Clockwork Iris, Obverse Books) and Chinbeard Books' collection of drabbles, A Time Lord for Change.