Doctor Who News John Barrowman, Captain Jack Harkness himself.

Published on July 10th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Barrowman Wants Female Twelfth Doctor!

Torchwood star John Barrowman – who recently tied the knot with his long-term partner (so congratulations) – appeared on TV this week declaring that the Twelfth Doctor should be a woman…

John Barrowman, Captain Jack Harkness himself.

The Captain Jack Harkness actor, a regular on sofas on ITV and BBC shows, was this time appearing on the Daybreak show, where he asked, “why shouldn’t we have a female doctor?”

We’ve had great guys playing the role. The character of River Song was so popular in the last part of the series and it was such an impact.

Give it a whirl, if it doesn’t work she can always regenerate, she can always regenerate back to a man – I’ve been there, I’ve watched them do it.

These comments are hardly likely to endear Barrowman further with Doctor Who fans already baffled by his headline-grabbing claim of being cast in the 50th anniversary special before backtracking. Does this self-confessed fan mean what he says, or is this just a quick and easy way to grab some publicity?

Either way, we think David Tennant put it best…

Radio Times.


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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+.

24 Responses to Barrowman Wants Female Twelfth Doctor!

  1. avatar krumstets says:

    If humans change sex why not a TimeLord? There are always new things we learn about the Doctor – such as his hidden past self – . Can you imagine Susan coming back and having to get used to calling him Nan?
    That would be quite amusing.
    Maybe she could regenerate into a man – that really could shake things up!

    • avatar Bob James says:

      It’s not just like changing into a different set of clothes, krumstets. It’s not anything like just trying on a different outfit. The very real issues of gender equality and gender dysphoria are trivialized and done a real disservice by this silly, needless debate. How about creating some strong female characters in the first place? How about creating some strong LGBT characters and placing them in stories that display how they struggle and deal with and resolve their issues instead?

    • avatar LD says:

      Last I heard, humans don’t just “change sex.” They might undergo surgery to have their internal organs and outward appearance altered, but that’s not quite the same thing as spontaneously changing gender…

      You might find such a change amusing – at first – but after the initial novelty has worn off, what then? The “joke” would have a pretty limited life. After two or three people say “Gosh, Doctor, didn’t you used to be a man?” it would get pretty tiresome pretty fast. At that point, the new female lead had better be one phenomenal actress blessed with really incredible scripts or the audience figures would drop like a rock. The people who say “why not a woman?” every time the role comes up for recasting would then be among the loudest voices asking “what were they thinking?”

  2. avatar Paul Blume says:

    ‘Does this self-confessed fan mean what he says, or is this just a quick and easy way to grab some publicity?’ Need you EVEN ask? We are talking about Barrowman, here.

    • avatar Bob James says:

      Next feature on Barrowman to be titled, “Barrowman Needs To Shut Up!”.

  3. avatar TonyS says:

    If a female Doctor is going to work, she must be cast because she is exactly right for the part. Casting on grounds of fairness or equality is just tokenism and must be resisted. Personally I would have no problem with a female Doctor and I repeat my suggestion that they should cast Amanda Abbington.

    • avatar Neu 75 says:

      She could do with the money!
      The only other issue with regenerating into a woman is that the transition, no matter how much you explain in with the appropriate gobbledygook, is still at the end of the day a transsexual change. The Doctor would be a transsexual. Try explaining that to a five year old…

      • avatar Bob James says:

        The issues here are issues that will someday have to be discussed and explained to children by their parents at some point. If they aren’t, the ignorance, prejudice, and discrimination will just be passed forward. But this won’t be accomplished by or through arbitrary forced gender reassignments to television characters.

  4. avatar Lozzer says:


  5. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    Barrowman should really just finally shut up. If that’s possible.

  6. avatar TimeChaser says:

    Sorry Capt. Jack. I love ya, but in this case you’re wrong.

  7. avatar Spider-pope says:

    I love ya’ John but no. Just no.

  8. avatar joesiegler says:

    No. One of the few things that might make me consider not watching the show.

    • One of the few things that would make me consider closing this site.

  9. avatar Bob James says:

    I love John Barrowman, I really do. But I echo rickjlundeen above. In regards to this, just like his endless whining about not being in the 50th Anniversary episode, John just needs to shut up. Really, really just shut up. Even if this stupid issue and discussion ever dies, it’s probably going to come back as a zombie, and continue to eat up our brains and forum space. The whole notion that changing an established character from a man into a woman somehow strikes a blow for, or furthers the cause of gender equality, is just plain flat out ridiculous. Doing this with no narrative or dramatic reasons for it is just absurd. The Doctor just suddenly comes to the conclusion, out of nowhere that, he has really always been a woman inside, or that he’s really always felt that he was both male and female wouldn’t be credible. I’ve ceased to believe that there even really is a feminist rationale behind this. That it’s somehow remotely sensible to turn male characters into women, instead of just creating strong women characters in the first place, is something that anyone truly desirous of seeing gender equality should be insulted by. We feel that there aren’t enough strong female of LGBT characters out there so let’s just start forcing established characters to change into them? Let’s see these proponents of the Doctor undergoing a sex change actually step up and create some strong female, and LGBT characters, instead of demanding gender transformations from characters that have been clearly established as being of a particular gender. The continuous forcing of this issue accomplishes nothing of value, and does nothing but offer the same kind of injustices being criticized in reverse.

  10. Pingback: Doctor Who News Round-Up: Rory Kinnear Denies 12th Doctor Rumors, No Female Directors & Comic-Con Details | We Minored In Film

  11. avatar Taz says:

    Why the people who comment on this site need to bring their own insecurities into this I will never understand….”Doctor Who” is a show about the impossible being possible, for the feeble minded to place their own labels on that is very sad indeed…My hope is that they hire the best individual for the job and if people stop watching because it’s a girl….that’s fine, because I wish not to be lumped in with such individuals who would take such a grand show with such Grand ideas and minimize it with their antiquated ideas, because you lack the cognizant skills to expand your minds shame on you, you whiny scared irrational little child. How dare you have the audacity too try and turn “Doctor Who” into a show with limitations, because you are too afraid too think outside the box….Go watch the “CW” an entire Network built for the Feeble minded…Please “Doctor Who” hire the best person for the job if you listen too the so called fans you end up with Scrappy Doo

    • avatar Spider-pope says:

      It’s nothing at all to do with insecurities, it’s keeping the character we love and keeping one of the few good role models for boys that doesn’t spend his time racking up a kill count or sleeping with anything that has a pulse.

      And quite frankly, how dare you try to dictate what makes a fan. It’s the lowest form of argument and if it’s the best you can come up with, then don’t even bother.

      • avatar Taz says:

        I apologize if it seems as though I was dictating what constituted a Fan. We shall have too just disagree here, but why can’t a boy have a female for a hero, and I would state that the “will someone please think of the Children” as the lower form of argument, at no point and time did “Doctor Who” state that the Doctor would always be male it has been stated several times not to be the case in the new incantation (by the 9th Doctor being unsure if he would even have a head or maybe two…or the 11th Doctor when he talked about the fact one had come back as a girl on several occasions and what a bad girl she was) “Doctor Who” is and has always been a show about the impossible being possible and yes I’m sorry I will question a fans inability to understand that fact as not truly understanding what “Doctor Who” is as a show and as an institution..and insecurity is brought into play by any individual who states that this show has to fit into certain parameters just so that they can go on watching true point still stands, I wish for “Doctor Who” too hire the best person available….whomever that may be, I welcome your response and hope that I don’t come off as pushing your concerns to the side or belittling in any way, because I, like you and others am passionate about this wonderful show and only hope for it to continue too push the boundaries of excellent television.

  12. avatar Barry says:

    Suddenly I don’t care if you close it Christian. The site just seems to be full of people always saying we want something different for Dr Who and then complaining when they get it. “RTDs not as good as classic.” “we want Moff” “Moff’s not as good as RTD” ” We don’t like story arcs” “oh its not the same without the story arcs.” I take it that you’ve come out so obviously against a female doctor means you know we are getting one. Great I say. Lets keep the show moving forward. Lets keep it interesting. Its all about change. If you want something that stays the same just keep watching your classic series dvds.

    • avatar Taz says:

      Well stated Barry!!!!!!!!

  13. avatar LD says:

    A press release I would dearly love to see:

    The BBC would like to definitively announce that there are no plans whatever to cast a female in the role of the Doctor. The character of the Doctor has traditionally been a male role and “Why not?” is not a sufficient reason to make a change that would inevitably be deeply divisive among both committed and casual fans of the show. One of our most successful productions all around the world, Doctor Who is not in need of generating publicity through casting stunts. The BBC has no more intention of changing the gender of the Doctor than we have of casting a man as Miss Marple. Deal with it.

    I live in hope…..

  14. avatar Lozzer says:


  15. avatar Stewart says:

    no no no no no no NO!
    You just can’t meddle with iconic characters. Superman re-imagined as a woman? Hercules? Jesus?
    Why not cast a biopic of The Beatles, with them all played by girls? Or conversely, make Mother Teresa, Father Teresa! Laura Palmer, Larry Palmer. This is gender politics gone apeshit! If Miranda Hart was cast, this would be a death knell for an already shaky franchise.

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