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Reality Bites the Twelfth Doctor Press Circus

Not so much playing down rumours as shooting them down with a blunderbuss, mounting them in her study and occasionally hanging bits of washing off their formerly fearsome horns, Olivia Colman has denied that she’ll be the Twelfth Doctor in no uncertain terms.

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The actress who was one of the favourites with bookies has said that there’s no chance she’ll be boarding the TARDIS:

“My brother sent me a text saying, ‘Congratulations, they’ve released odds on you being the new Doctor Who’ – which we thought was very funny. It’s all on Twitter, isn’t it? I don’t have Twitter. It is all on Twitter, isn’t it?”

It is. But don’t worry, it’s mostly nice.

Cutting to the heart of the matter, the Broadchurch star added:

“No-one’s ever asked me about it. I assume they would have to ask me for it to be true.”

And there you go.

The simple heart of the matter is that we don’t really know at what stage the BBC and the Doctor Who crew are at with their hunt for the next Doctor other than we expect it to be announced at some point in August.

Everything else is at best guess work and at worse arbitrary choices based on a mixture of what is popular and what characteristics best sum up the Doctor to the causal viewer; even though we are seeing a lot of choices put forward that subvert that rudimentary understanding of his character.

None of which seem to be coming out of the need to take the show in new directions organically. There are some very interesting names being linked to the role that lay out a whole host of interesting routes to take the show down but if it were simply a question of waiting to see who was cast before planning what comes next the show would grind to a halt or be at the whim of one choice.

A change of sex for the Doctor would be one of those arbitrary choices. It would be like making Captain Ahab a woman just to freshen up Moby Dick or making James Bond a woman – he’s written as a man, it’s one of his defining characteristics unless there was a specific reason to change his gender, the choice shouldn’t be made.

That’s not a reflection on the names being linked to the role; if it was just a case of being a superb actor then every actor could be the Doctor. And we know that’s not true. It takes a certain something to be the Doctor. Though this isn’t to say that an actress couldn’t possess that same mixture of agelessness and whimsy that Matt Smith brought to the role but it means changing what is fundamental to the character.

You can argue (and should argue) for equality in our choice of genre characters but that doesn’t mean swapping out one gender for the other; that means crafting the kind of well written parts for female actors that Doctor Who has and continues to do.

Still, for better or worse, that doesn’t mean that the choice won’t ever be made; the sole hope is that when it does happen the story attached to that choice is a belter and that the performance is magnetic because it could break what makes the Doctor who he is.

(Via Digital Spy.)



About

Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.


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