A standing ovation for the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor. But what does it mean for the Doctor Who story?
Doctor Who is one of my all time favourite shows, even if it’s not always the best thing on television. It’s the only show that has been with me my whole life. Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker were my first Doctors (mostly via reruns and the 100 or so novelisations in the public library). I was a small kid with no chance of ever being cool, and I loved that the Doctor saved the day by being super smart and a bit weird. It never mattered if he was old, young, good looking or utterly mad.
An important fact about Doctor Who is the Doctor is always the Doctor. Anyone who actually watches Doctor Who will know what that means.
I’m an avid, nerdy fan of the new series, especially Capaldi’s run as the 12th Doctor. When I saw the reveal of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor, I confess I shed a tear of joy. A female Doctor makes so much sense at this point.
Much has been said, and rightly so, about the significance of casting a woman as the lead. But also, this is where the story has been leading for several seasons. It’s the perfect and obvious way for the character to go. If you’ve been following the progression of the story, then a female Doctor feels exactly right. This is the organic next step after Capaldi’s Doctor.
Yes, it’s a bold, landmark decision. It’s a big deal for all sorts of reasons that have been discussed elsewhere. But it’s not stunt casting. Gender politics aside, it’s a brilliant move creatively and from a storytelling point of view. I couldn’t be more thrilled. I can’t wait to see where this new Doctor takes us.
P.S. For some hilarious foreshadowing this is worth a watch, written by Moffat long before the new series.