Let me start this off with saying that I am a big fan of Doctor Who. I enjoyed Series 8, can’t wait for Series 9 to come out next month, and Peter Capaldi is one of my favorite Doctors.
So as many probably know by now, last week on Twitter, actress Hayley Atwell (known for the character Peggy Carter in Marvel’s Captain America movies and “Agent Carter”) had an impromptu Q&A where she was asked if she would want to be on the TV show Doctor Who. And her response was “I’d like to BE Doctor Who”
As many could guess, not everyone is happy about the idea of a woman playing The Doctor. Many comments I have seen on the subject that are against this have mainly been “No, no, no”, “That would ruin the show”, and “Then let’s make James Bond a woman while we’re at it”. I do not agree with those people.
I’ve seen people say that a female Doctor will only happen because the show is trying to be “politically correct” and that it shouldn’t happen because The Doctor has always been played by a male actor. The thing is, Doctor Who has always been about change. Moving forward and not clinging to the past (which is why I don’t like it when people want so much for David Tennant to come back to the show). It’s just bound to happen that a woman will eventually play the Doctor. And I’m not saying it should happen right now.
Like I said before, Peter Capaldi is one of my favorite Doctors, and I hope he stays on as the Doctor for at least 4 more years. And it seems like the show is testing to see if a female could work with the current companion, Clara Oswald, taking charge for many episodes in Series 8 and the current incarnation of the Doctor’s foe, The Master.
And for those who don’t know yet, the new incarnation of the Master, now known as Missy (played by Michelle Gomez), was revealed in the Series 8 2-part finale, Dark Water/Death in Heaven. And while it has been mentioned before that Time Lords can change their gender when regenerating (“The Doctor’s Wife”), this is the first time we’ve seen it happen.
But since whovians fan-cast who they want to play the Doctor, I will talk about that a bit. I don’t think the actor (male or female) playing the Doctor shouldn’t be extremely famous. So I wouldn’t want Benedict Cumberbatch, Emma Watson, or Tom Hiddleston as the Doctor. So my choice for the 14th Doctor (I know Capaldi is technically the 14th Doctor but you know what I mean) is…
She’s a great actress and I think she would do great a playing an off-world, not so normal character like the Doctor. And some of my favorite roles of her are The White Witch from the The Chronicles of Narnia movies, Gabriel from Constantine (2005), and Mason from Snowpiercer. And while Swinton is my first choice, I do think Hayley Atwell would also be a great Doctor.
But there’s actually another actress I think would be a great Doctor…
But since she is currently 80 years old, she really wouldn’t be able to do the role (even if she were to be more like William Hartnell’s Doctor). But Smith, along with Swinton, are my top choices for a female Doctor.
But here’s what I think is most important when talking about who should play The Doctor. No matter what their race, gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, eye color, height, favorite flavor of ice cream, etc. The role of the Doctor should be played by the best actor/actress up for the role, not the best white, British, male up for the role.
But even if we were to get a female Doctor, I do worry a bit that the character won’t be written as the the Doctor
So what do you think? Should there ever be a female Doctor in Doctor Who? Should the Doctor always be male? Will people ever be polite and civil when discussing anything online?
This was originally written for Moviepilot on August 19th, 2015. You can find the original post here.