While there are always many opinions on who should be cast as the next star of Doctor Who, according to showrunner Steven Moffat, the casting choice should not be about “casting a gender.”
Since the character has always been portrayed by a man, the thought that a woman could one day occupy the role is a divisive topic in the fanbase.
In a now much-quoted interview with YouTube channel Nerd³, among such topics as how many viewers the show really has with the use of DVRs and downloads and when we might see the Weeping Angels again, Moffat was asked his thoughts on the possibility that the Doctor would ever be female.
One day I’m reasonably confident somebody in this role – whether it’s me or someone else – will say not, ‘Let’s cast a woman’, they’ll say, ‘That person, that’s the one who could the be the Doctor’.
You’re just casting someone that you think will set that role on fire. I think for now that is Peter – I thought it was Matt before – it’s not about the gender thing.
To know that someone so important to the life of the show thinks there will come a time when the right person for the role is female is an exciting thought. Changing the gender of a main character that has historically been portrayed as specifically male would be a major step in the life and history of the show as well as the whole television landscape. Is the fandom, or the world even, ready for such a monumental step? Only time will tell.
A shame we can’t just hop in the TARDIS and find out the answer!