It feels somewhat odd to be blogging when I have yet to properly watch Peter Capaldi’s final episode from two weeks ago, but the news today that incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall has chosen a woman to helm the TARDIS is important and wonderful.
Like most of you, I know of Jodie Whittaker through her role as Beth Latimer on Broadchurch. It doesn’t faze me that Chris Chibnall, who created, wrote, and was an executive producer of Broadchurch, chose someone he’d worked with previously. Whittaker’s talent aside, perhaps she was one of the few who never forgot the password to the email attachment with her series episode, or kept major plot points close, or maybe she mixes a mean sangria. It doesn’t matter.
For me, what does, is that I have a teenage daughter and an infant granddaughter. It’s about time that Doctor Who, the current series having been a weekly staple in this house for almost ten years, gave them a front-and-centre heroine.
To suggest that The Doctor should always and forever remain male – and in the interest of full disclosure, I was one of those people, not long ago – is ludicrous. Among other things, it tells young girls and women that:
- Kathryn Janeway had no business steering the starship USS Voyager. (Gosh, why didn’t someone tell Gene Roddenberry? /sarcasm)
- Women have no business working in space. I’ll just leave this link here, with the reminder that in 1963, the year Doctor Who first aired, the Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space.
- We still have a long way to go before women are completely accepted as students and workers in STEM subject areas. This is 2017, people. This is why we cannot have nice things.
Furthermore, for those who may have allowed their prejudice over today’s announcement to blind them, the TARDIS is female. Her name is Idris. River Song and Missy could both pilot the TARDIS, and often with greater ease than the male Doctor. I know I wasn’t the only fan of Doctor Who relieved beyond measure that the relationship between Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor and Bill Potts didn’t even boast a whisper of sexual energy. He liked and appreciated her for who she was, her curiosity and her intellect, a welcome change from the nauseating Impossible Girl/Clarapaldi (even if the latter was only the product of wishful dreaming from Twi-hard fan girls everywhere).
Right. Onwards and upwards. I wonder who the new companion(s) will be?
And the last word goes to: