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Published on August 26th, 2012 | by Christian Cawley

Female Doctor Dismissed by Moffat

Steven Moffat must sometimes wake up to “I Got You Babe”, such is the Groundhog Day nature of the questioning he receives as the ringleader of the TARDIS-shaped media circus. “What is it this time? Ah, the Lady Doctor question…”

When quizzed at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival yesterday about the likelihood of a female incarnation of the Doctor, Moffat conducted a quick straw poll by asking the assembled fans and press for a show of hands as to whether they would keep watching the show.

However, he remains unconvinced.

“It is a part of Time Lord lore, it can happen. I don’t know, who knows? The more often it’s talked about, the more likely it’s going to happen.”

Not all fans want this, of course; only the ones who perhaps need a different show to watch (after all, who demands that we suddenly discover that the Doctor is still in the Matrix? No one, but the concept is part of Time Lord lore…). While one audience member reckoned he might be able to “take it for a couple of episodes”, The Grand Moff joked that it…

“…wouldn’t be very nice on the young lady involved.”

Now listen, don’t get all riled up at Moffat on this. He’s the only guy in Doctor Who‘s 50-ish years who has given us a sniff of a female Doctor thanks to the 1999 Comic Relief serial The Curse of the Fatal Death; if anyone knows how it’s going to work (or not) it’s him.



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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

6 Responses to Female Doctor Dismissed by Moffat

  1. avatar Rick Lundeen says:

    Yeah, this goes ’round and ’round and ’round—-they should finally come up with more questions or hell, have Smith regenerate into a woman and be done with it.

    I’ve never actively campaigned for a woman in the role but you know what? If she’s a good actress and can pull it off? Go for it. There was a time that people were horrified that someone under 30 would play the part, too.

  2. avatar TonyS says:

    I can’t really add to what Rick says. But I agree with him completely.

  3. avatar Doc Whom says:

    I’ve yet to hear anyone come up with a credible reason why it would be such a good idea. I’d certainly want something a bit less clutching at straws than “There was a time that people were horrified that someone under 30 would play the part, too.”

    I suspect that too many people are a little too scared of being accused of sexism if they come out and say what a daft, jump the shark, idea it is. Regeneration is a plot device to extend the life of the show, not to let everyone have their turn.

  4. avatar Gavin Noble says:

    If Time Lords or Time Ladies can change sex when they regenerate then David Campbell and Leela must have woken up one morning and been shocked to death!

    It’s a stupid idea. There are plenty of shows on TV where the lead is a woman. There’s no need to make the Doctor a woman just to be PC. I genuinely mean it that if the makers ever make the Doctor a woman that is the day I stop watching. Not even casting Halle Berry would make me continue watching!

  5. avatar Mugen Pharoah says:

    Whatever anyone ever says or thinks, it will happen one day.

    Patrick Troughton’s casting and performance as Doctor was far more risky.

    As for it being PC, that’s not the reason at all. Looking at comics you have female verisons of all main male superheroes – hence Batgirl, Supergirl, Spider-woman. Yes these are separate characters, and were originally created for copyright reasons but have evolved into interesting characters in their own rights. With the Doctor, the twist is the female reinvention could be the same character – and that’s something other franchises couldn’t get away with. Romana II is essentially a female Doctor anyway – just look at how much story she carries in the closing years of Tom Baker’s tenure.

    Something’s that muddied the water for a lot of fans is silly gender swap ‘comedies’ over the years that Who would have to avoid like a ten-foot Bandril.

    Sydney Newman was always for the idea, and looking to Greek myth Teiresias is a fascinating character whose power and wisdom derives from the fact that he lived life as a man and as a woman.

    A female Doctor Who is a far less silly idea than when corners of the media suggest a female James Bond….

  6. avatar Andrew says:

    It’s a man’s part. Deal with it.

    Sexist? What’s wrong with being sexy?

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