This Sunday, the 13th Doctor was announced for the new season of the BBC’s long-running show Doctor Who. If you’ve managed somehow to miss this show, let me explain. It’s been around since 1963 and there are 36 seasons. There have been 12 Doctors (well, more, but it’s complicated). The Doctor, however, is actually the same being (he’s an alien with two hearts) who regenerates into new bodies. The Doctor has always been played by a white man, but the 13th Doctor is a woman. (Technically, the first female Doctor was played by Joanna Lumley in a 1999 Comic Relief sketch, but that was just a sketch.)
Many, many fans have been calling for this for a long time. I mean, it makes sense. If you can regenerate into new bodies, why wouldn’tone of them be female? (We could talk about why one of them couldn’t be another race, but hopefully that will happen as well!) The new Doctor is Jodie Whittaker (“Broadchurch”) and I’m so excited to see what she does with the role.
There have been countless videos of little girls crying with happiness, little boys saying, “It’s about time,” and posts from around the world from people like me, who are thrilled. There have also been a ton of trolls, like the guys who posted, “Time travel is for men and men only,” which … there are just no words for the stupidity of that statement. Oh my god, dude, time travel isn’t real so there can’t…never mind. I’m not printing his name because he’s probably back in his little troll hole anyway.
I’ve made no secret of my love for “Doctor Who.” I love it with all my heart. I’ve loved all the Doctors (yes, I’ve watched every episode that exists), though I started with the reimagined series featuring Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. I won’t debate which of the new Doctors is my favorite because I can’t pick. I’ve interviewed many of them, I’ve been on panels with some (so hard not to fangirl!), I’ve hosted after shows for the series, I’ve contributed chapters to and assistant edited the book “Doctor Who Psychology: Mad Man with a Box” and I have a number of sonic screwdrivers in my house.
So, when I read things like, “The BBC are trying to brainwash your children,” I can’t do anything but laugh.
When I heard the news, I teared up. It’s time. It’s more than time. I am so excited to see what this version of the Doctor is like. I’m thrilled to meet the new Doctor. I’m thrilled to learn about her quirks. I’ll be sad to see Peter Capaldi go because I adore him, but this is going to give the writers and directors a whole new field to play in.
If you don’t like it, as has been pointed out all over the internet, there are 36 seasons with a male Doctor. Go watch those.