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Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who
June 1, 2013 3:58 PM   Subscribe

After four years as the Doctor, Matt Smith will be leaving Doctor Who at the end of the year.

"It’s been an honour to play this part," Smith told the BBC, "to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the TARDIS for a spell with ‘the ginger, the nose and the impossible one’. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls. Thank you guys."

Now the frenzied speculation begins about who will get the role of the 12th Doctor.

"Of course, this isn’t the end of the story," showrunner Steven Moffat told the BBC, "because now the search begins. Somewhere out there right now - all unknowing, just going about their business - is someone who’s about to become the Doctor. A life is going to change, and Doctor Who will be born all over again! After 50 years, that’s still so exciting!”
posted by Ursula Hitler (890 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Plot twist: Moffat declares himself the 12th and final Doctor for all eternity.
posted by elizardbits at 3:59 PM on June 1, 2013 [34 favorites]


Rats. "Stephen" should be "Steven," and I'd really like to put a paragraph break in there. Ah, well...

I'm going to miss Smith in the role. Tennant was a hard act to follow, but Smith did a splendid job.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:02 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


It turns out the 12th Doctor IS US.
posted by The Whelk at 4:03 PM on June 1, 2013 [14 favorites]


Hooray! C'mon Mulder!
posted by RollingGreens at 4:03 PM on June 1, 2013


I'm confused... I've known he was out after the Christmas special for a while.

That being said, his Pandorica speech has always been one of my favorite bits.
posted by Cyrano at 4:05 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I would like to register one vote for Richard Ayoade; thanks. (Or Dylan Moran; that would be epic)
posted by NiteMayr at 4:05 PM on June 1, 2013 [45 favorites]


Fingers crossed for a female Doctor!
posted by Starmie at 4:06 PM on June 1, 2013 [52 favorites]


Somewhere out there right now - all unknowing, just going about their business - is someone who’s about to become the Doctor.

Soooo...Dr. Who becomes Gallifrey Idol?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:08 PM on June 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


*scratches head* So the whole John Hurt thing was some kind of sick joke, then?
posted by Token Meme at 4:09 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


There won't be a new Doctor. Or at least, next season will be the Companion hunting for the new Doctor who regenerated somewhere unknown due to Reasons only to find at the end of the quest/season that she's been the new Doctor all along.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:09 PM on June 1, 2013 [34 favorites]


Fed up of him, so happy to see him go. Kane tho...
posted by biffa at 4:09 PM on June 1, 2013


[Fixed formatting, enjoy. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 4:10 PM on June 1, 2013


robocop is bleeding : But then how will she sacrifice herself in a contrived way during the season finale?
posted by Grimgrin at 4:11 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Female doctor. Come on. Female doctor. You can do it, UK. Female doctor...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:12 PM on June 1, 2013 [21 favorites]


I am stating right now, formally and for the permanent record, that if they cast Benny Crumbles as the next doctor I will flip out and break shit.
posted by elizardbits at 4:13 PM on June 1, 2013 [19 favorites]


Can we please see Sue Perkins as Doctor?
posted by pipian at 4:13 PM on June 1, 2013 [22 favorites]


I want David Tennant back.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:13 PM on June 1, 2013 [53 favorites]


Everything is River Song and nothing hurts.
posted by liquorice at 4:14 PM on June 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


She'll remember who she really is at the Moment of Sacrifice, thus breaking the Reasons the Master put on the Doctor so she would not know who she is. Thus Doctor'd Up again, Twelve will be victorious and things will keep rumbling on.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:14 PM on June 1, 2013


The next doctor will be Benedict Cumberbatch. In the future, all characters will be played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
posted by Green Winnebago at 4:14 PM on June 1, 2013 [80 favorites]


THE NEW DOCTOR IS... AXE COP

Seriously, though, they need new showrunners. I feel like this crew has kind of done what they can do.

And I absolutely vote for a female doctor. tilda swinton
posted by selfnoise at 4:14 PM on June 1, 2013 [41 favorites]


Perhaps this will ease the sense of loss, just a bit... The third episode of Doctor Puppet is now online. (Previously.)

Thanks, restless_nomad!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:15 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am stating right now, formally and for the permanent record, that if they cast Benny Crumbles as the next doctor I will flip out and break shit.

Y'know, the standard joke about Ben Cumberbatch is that his name, however distorted, is always recognizable, but this still went over my head.

Also, yes, definitely do not cast Sherlock as the Doctor, the BBC is not Channel Moffat
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:16 PM on June 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


Tina Fey! Tina Fey! Tina Fey!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 4:18 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


TILDA SWINTON PLEASE.

AND MAKE HER A GINGER.
posted by Windigo at 4:19 PM on June 1, 2013 [43 favorites]


Somewhere out there right now - all unknowing, just going about their business - is someone who’s about to become the Doctor.

Gender neutral pronoun seems promising.
posted by you must supply a verb at 4:19 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


if Zawe Ashton - I'm begging the Beeb - becomes the new Doctor, I vow to watch this show
posted by Bwithh at 4:19 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Two words. Idris Elba.
posted by KingEdRa at 4:22 PM on June 1, 2013 [63 favorites]


Tina Fey! Tina Fey! Tina Fey!

I would watch every episode of this season a hundred times.

For people who are more versed in Who lore than I: Is it true that Time Lords have 13 lives? So, theoretically, the Doctor Who story would be over when the 13th Doctor left (except for whatever ridiculous plot contrivance they come up with to make him have more lives or to bring in alternate Doctor who still has eight left or whatever)?
posted by IAmUnaware at 4:23 PM on June 1, 2013


TILDA TILDA TILDA.

Sometimes she can be David Bowie, too.

... and then she can also be the Valeyard, which if ever there was a role for Tilda in the Whoniverse it would be that, and it'll be an epic faceoff between Theoretically Good Tilda and Theoretically Evil Tilda, and we will never really know which is which.
posted by cmyk at 4:23 PM on June 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


YES Idris Elba for everything, everything at all times. All roles must be filled by Idris Elba.

IDRIS ELBA FOR PRESIDENT of my pants
posted by elizardbits at 4:24 PM on June 1, 2013 [27 favorites]


TILDA AND IDRIS TOGETHER ON THE TARDIS.

They can awesome it out over who shall be the Doctor and who shall be the Companion.
posted by Windigo at 4:26 PM on June 1, 2013 [13 favorites]


James Urbaniak!
posted by drezdn at 4:28 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


#teamtilda #tildaswintonforthenextdoctor
posted by juv3nal at 4:28 PM on June 1, 2013


I kind of want Robert Webb in his Peep Show as the next Doctor.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:30 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


James Urbaniak!

"whatya mean what does it do? It's a TARDIS! It does the ...flying and the spinning and bleeping and the other things...., I actually have no idea how it works , there, fine, are you happy?"
posted by The Whelk at 4:30 PM on June 1, 2013 [13 favorites]


Damnit! I've absolutely loved him in this role. Even more than Tennant. But then, when they replaced Tennant I was really upset, so hopefully it'll all be fine...

But, shit. Smith's run began SO amazingly and the past season has just been... not as good as it should have. Wish he was going out on more of a high note.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:30 PM on June 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


Dylan Moran! Except his lungs keep regenerating over and over and over and over...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:31 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Tilda is the Doctor and Idris is Romana, and a certain ugly segment of fandom fucking explodes.

(Or they are both different incarnations of the Doctor -- there's no reason they couldn't hang out together a lot probably. Meeting yourself is against the first law of Time, but it's not like the Time Cops are around to enforce the rules.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:31 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


ridiculous plot contrivance?

It's 13 in base 40.
posted by lathrop at 4:32 PM on June 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


Token Meme: "*scratches head* So the whole John Hurt thing was some kind of sick joke, then?"

-- Spoiler alert for the Series 7 finale that aired a few weeks ago --

It really seems like John Hurt is an earlier incarnation of the Doctor, not the next incarnation. Matt Smith's Doctor says he's not "The Doctor" because he did something that is not worthy of the name.

DOCTOR: I said he was me. I never said he was the Doctor.
CLARA: I don't understand.
DOCTOR: Look, my name, my real name, that is not the point. The name I chose is the Doctor. The name you choose, it's like, it's like a promise you make. He's the one who broke the promise.


I believe that John Hurt is the incarnation of the Doctor just prior to Christopher Eccleston — the one that committed mass genocide of the Time Lords and the Daleks during the Time War.

posted by whitecedar at 4:34 PM on June 1, 2013 [21 favorites]


The next Doctor is American and Britain re-invades the Colonies.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:36 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


No no no. Brandenburgt Concertoband will be narrating ALL THE THINGS FOREVER along with Stephen Fry. He doesn't have time to be the Doctor too.

(New life plan: make him an offer he can't resist to record Things To Listen To When We Have Insomnia, get obscenely wealthy.)
posted by cmyk at 4:36 PM on June 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


Tilda Swinton cannot be the next Doctor. I think there's a rule against casting an actual citizen of Gallifrey.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:38 PM on June 1, 2013 [50 favorites]


The next Doctor is American and Britain re-invades the Colonies.

Oh please $DEITY no, wasn't the 1996 movie enough?

I want to know what the recast is going to do the air dates for the next series.
posted by immlass at 4:38 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


the past season has just been...

Awful, IMHO; it used to be appointment TV, but recently it's felt like a chore to get through. Not Smith's fault.

A woman would be terrific; otherwise, I think they should buck the hyperactive eye-candy trend, wink back towards Hartnell, and cast an older actor. RAY FUCKING WINSTONE for Doc 12.

(although they've already just gone and done old-and-grizzled with the John Hurt stunt.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:40 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


How about Tom Waits?

I know I link to that picture again and again but sweet mercy Tom Waits being a Time Lord makes so much damn sense
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:41 PM on June 1, 2013 [20 favorites]


I think there's a rule against casting an actual citizen of Gallifrey.

"Good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many."
posted by juv3nal at 4:42 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Alright, I'll say it: the next Doctor should be an older, white, male and a citizen of the UK.

If they go for some stunt casting, fine, but I likes my tradition and would prefer to see it unaltered.

(Also, Moffatt should leave. New Doctor, new showrunner, new direction.

Clara can stay if they give her a personality.
posted by Mezentian at 4:43 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


For people who are more versed in Who lore than I: Is it true that Time Lords have 13 lives?

It was established that the Time Lords could regenerate 12 times, and it was said that if the Fifth Doctor sacrificed his 8 remaining regenerations, he'd die. However, the Time Lords also offered the (regenerated past his limits due to Traken Keeper technology) Master a "brand new life cycle" to rescue the Doctor, so there's an argument to be made that the Time Lords were responsible for the 12-regeneration limit and that without them, the Doctor could regenerate as often as possible (which, despite what others might say, doesn't limit the drama of the show, because it is not always guaranteed that a Time Lord will regenerate when they die anyway.)

What I'm saying is low ratings and BBC funding is a lot more of a danger to the end of the Doctor than anything that couldn't be easily explained.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:43 PM on June 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


If you're going older... Sir Patrick Stewart.
posted by drezdn at 4:44 PM on June 1, 2013 [13 favorites]


Sneak peak of new direction for the show.
posted by Artw at 4:45 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


In the Sarah Jane Adventures the Doctor quipped time lords had 512 lives. It was played as a joke, but there you are.
posted by Mezentian at 4:45 PM on June 1, 2013


Dylan Moran or Tilda would get me watching again, for realz.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 4:52 PM on June 1, 2013


Moffat is such a sexist douchecannon that there's very little chance of a female doctor being cast, no matter how awesome that would be.
posted by elizardbits at 4:52 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


We can also recast Moffat with Tilda, while we're at it.

EVERYTHING'S COMING UP TILDA.
posted by cmyk at 4:55 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Benidorm Campervan

Benelux Cabbagepatch

Bronislaw Cookiepuss
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:58 PM on June 1, 2013 [35 favorites]


Moffat is such a sexist douchecannon that there's very little chance of a female doctor being cast, no matter how awesome that would be.

I'm willing to believe he'd do it, but the male Companions would suddenly get a lot more capable to make up for it.
posted by Etrigan at 4:58 PM on June 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


You people won't be happy until Jaden Smith is the 12th Doctor, will you?
posted by Mezentian at 5:00 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


An American Doctor?

Let's also make his companion a lovely young woman who, oddly, never changes out of her tennis outfit.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 5:00 PM on June 1, 2013 [22 favorites]


Why does he have to be human?

Super Intelligent Sea Cucumber Doctor!

yea, I know...
posted by sammyo at 5:06 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh sweet so does this mean I can just wait a year or so and just start watching the new Doctor and pretend Matt Smith never existed?

Because I'm like four episodes into the 11th Doctor years, and I just keep not caring about any of it, and then feeling like I need to catch up so I can talk to the cool kids about post-David Tennant Doctor Who. But if Matt Smith is leaving, I can say I "skipped the 11th doctor" and just jump in with the latest stuff.

(Not Matt Smith-ist. Actually, kind of Matt Smith-ist, I guess, though I have no particular problem with him. I'm just finding all his episodes really dull.)
posted by Sara C. at 5:06 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Say what you will about the Smith/Moffatt era (and people do), think The Eleventh Hour might be the best post-regeneration story ever. It might even beat The Spearhead from Space.

(We don't talk about The Twin Dilemma).
posted by Mezentian at 5:09 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


EVERYTHING'S COMING UP TILDA.

Tilda Swinton does not come up.

Up comes to Tilda Swinton.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:10 PM on June 1, 2013 [18 favorites]


Sara C, have you hit "Vampires In Venice" yet? That's the worst one. It's like a bad student film. Worst, I mean, until you hit the ones that just aired.

Personally I want Shawn Parkes to be the next Doctor. Or have them actually do a whole season with John Hurt and then come back and give us a new Doctor.

But the british press are like harpies, there's no way they'd be able to cast a new Doctor and keep it a secret long.
posted by Catblack at 5:11 PM on June 1, 2013


If they go for a female Doctor, my vote is for Helen Mirren.
posted by Melee Loaf at 5:12 PM on June 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


Super Intelligent Sea Cucumber Doctor!

"Amazing! It's bigger on the inside!"
"I know. Everyone says that."
"Hey, aren't you a marine invertebrate?"
"Yes. So? Marine invertebrates are cool."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:13 PM on June 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


Yeah I think that's where I gave up, actually. I hated the Van Gogh one too.
posted by Sara C. at 5:13 PM on June 1, 2013


You people won't be happy until Jaden Smith is the 12th Doctor, will you?

Based on the theme of many of the comments here, it seems Willow Smith would be more appropriate.
posted by The Gooch at 5:21 PM on June 1, 2013


You are correct. I confused my Smiths.
posted by Mezentian at 5:23 PM on June 1, 2013


Super Intelligent Sea Cucumber Doctor!

Alpha Centauri for Doctor.
posted by immlass at 5:25 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I knew there had been some crabbing about the Moffat era, but I didn't know it had gotten this bad. Judging by this thread, you'd think the last few seasons had been a total disaster. I'd say Moffat hasn't hit the same highs as Davies, but he hasn't hit the same lows either.

The timing of Smith's departure is a bit unfortunate, because whatever epic stuff they were planning for the 50th anniversary (I'd been hoping Tom Baker would at least do a cameo!) will probably take a backseat while everybody's speculates about the next Doctor.

Doctor Who is the only show I can think of where we watch the protagonist die tragically, over and over again. No matter how many victories each Doctor enjoys, we know eventually that he's going to end up on his back, gasping for air while the big sad music plays.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:29 PM on June 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


If there is going to be a female doctor, the only way I see them doing it, with very few complaints, would be to focus on Riversong.
Hell spin-off. (granted-am not up to date on new episodes, maybe there is something already established that makes this not work)
posted by QueerAngel28 at 5:30 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


You are correct. I confused my Smiths

That's because the repetoire for defeating aliens of a Smith Doctor would be limited to: opening the door to their ship, welcoming them to earth, and then punching them in the face.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 5:31 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Alpha Centauri for Doctor.

One step forward, one step back. On one hand, hermaphroditic alien; on the other, shaped like a dick.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:33 PM on June 1, 2013


If the age pattern holds, the next doctor will be the twelfth AND 12 years old.
posted by _paegan_ at 5:33 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Definitely needs someone a bit older this time. I'm bored with the PYT's.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:33 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can they woo Eccleston back? Please?
posted by spinifex23 at 5:34 PM on June 1, 2013 [25 favorites]


Simon's personal wishlist - and it's not a long one - on what he wants from Doctor Who series 8....

I am down with many of these suggestions, and I am not a frothy Moffatt-hater like so many.

(I'd like to see a series, or two, with McGann. Make it 90s retro.)
posted by Mezentian at 5:35 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Naveen Andrews. By tradition (and the fact that it's a British show, of course) the Doctor is played by a British actor. But there's no reason at all the actor can't be a Brit of immigrant parentage. And he would make a seriously swashbuckling Doctor.

But I'd be thrilled if it was Sue Perkins as well.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:40 PM on June 1, 2013 [14 favorites]


I'm the first to say Eddie Izzard? Look, he may be disappointing on Hannibal, but c'mon, people.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:41 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Husband just voted Anthony Stewart Head. Ooooooh.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:41 PM on June 1, 2013 [13 favorites]


I'm still hoping for Patterson Joseph.
posted by AtalantaPendragonne at 5:44 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Anthony Stewart Head would be great, but K-9 killed him.
posted by Melee Loaf at 5:45 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Sure..in THIS universe....
posted by The Whelk at 5:46 PM on June 1, 2013


Whoever it is, it'll be a lesser known actor. It usually is.
posted by Mezentian at 5:46 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]



Hmmm..
posted by nimsey lou at 5:46 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


If they were gonna go older, I'd say Jared Harris (but I'm pretty sure they won't).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:47 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


If there is going to be a female doctor, the only way I see them doing it, with very few complaints, would be to focus on Riversong.
Hell spin-off. (granted-am not up to date on new episodes, maybe there is something already established that makes this not work)


Well, technically, River is actually dead. So, there's that. But, of course, timey-wimey stuff, and all that...
posted by Thorzdad at 5:47 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm hoping John Simm gets the nod.
posted by Apoch at 5:47 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd say Jared Harris

That episode where he travels to New York in the late 60s would just write itself.
posted by The Whelk at 5:49 PM on June 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


Dudes, for this set of regenerations, every doctor is 'younger' than the one before. So we need a hotshot 20ish British actress.
posted by persona at 5:51 PM on June 1, 2013


I'd be surprised if they don't go a bit older than Smith, but still male, still British, and still good-looking in an unconventional way. Smith (lord love him) was a lot less sexy than Tennant and they've dialed back the sexual tension stuff quite a bit from the Davies era, but I think they'll always want a sexy-geeky Doctor that teenage girls can crush on. Much as I'd love to see Patrick Stewart or Anthony Head as the Doctor, it just wouldn't quite click right for either of them to get flirty with a cute, twentysomething companion. Picard or Giles getting swoony with Rose Tyler (for example) would just seem kind of weird.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:52 PM on June 1, 2013


Well, technically, River is actually dead.

She still gets around.
posted by Artw at 5:52 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not a huge fan of 11, but that's because he's a Moffat character, so all this will do is ruin 12 and also guarantee that Moffat never leaves.

I go back and forth on wanting an actor I like to appear or not, but dislike of a character often bleeds into dislike of an actor for me, so I don't want to poison anything.
posted by jeather at 5:53 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


How about Tom Waits?

If that means that the TARDIS would make broken-concertina noises whenever it appears/disappears, I'm all for it.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:54 PM on June 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


Michael Caine. And all his companions should be Muppets.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:57 PM on June 1, 2013 [20 favorites]


Obviously, Alison Brie playing a British actress playing the Doctor.
posted by Atreides at 5:58 PM on June 1, 2013 [12 favorites]


Enough with the hyperactive energybunnies. I want someone with a bit more gravitas...
posted by asra at 5:59 PM on June 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


Paddy Considine.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:03 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Enough with the hyperactive energybunnies. I want someone with a bit more gravitas...

Ah. In that case, he's already applied for the job.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:04 PM on June 1, 2013


Much as I'd love to see Patrick Stewart or Anthony Head as the Doctor, it just wouldn't quite click right for either of them to get flirty with a cute, twentysomething companion.

That's okay, Stewart just got engaged to a cute, thirtysomething companion of his own. But really, being captain of the Enterprise, Professor X and the Doctor would be too much for any one man, even Patrick Stewart.

I can't really even watch Tony Head in anything anymore without feeling deep, deep fremdschämen after having seen his talents go to waste in REPO! The Genetic Opera, so I have mixed feelings about having him be the Doctor.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:04 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Or just someone a bit more creepy/alien/off, like he's doing good but he's " not someone you'd want to leave your kids around."
posted by The Whelk at 6:05 PM on June 1, 2013


Daniel Radcliffe, if the doctors do keep getting younger. But Helen Mirren would be my top choice.
posted by jfwlucy at 6:07 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ok, what if Sir Patrick did the voice acting for (read in deep tones) Sea Cucumber Doctor?
posted by sammyo at 6:07 PM on June 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


Much as I'd love to see Patrick Stewart or Anthony Head as the Doctor, it just wouldn't quite click right for either of them to get flirty with a cute, twentysomething companion.

A positive thing all around then.

I’ve really liked Matt Smith, but haven’t loved a lot of the show the time he’s been on. Going forward I would love to see;
1. Less screaming unintelligibly
2. Less running
3. Less PYT, how about an older Indian man for a companion? Does it always have to be a cute young girl from the last decade?

I’d share my opinion on the next doctor if I had any idea who any of the people your talking about here were apart from Patrick Stewart and the Sherlock guy.
posted by bongo_x at 6:09 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


That teenage girls can crush on

Because no teen girls ever crush on anything but white dudes....and teenage boys never crush on older women? This reasoning, it has flaws.

We are well past time for some women Doctors or Doctors of color, or any combination thereof.
posted by emjaybee at 6:10 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Judging by this thread, you'd think the last few seasons had been a total disaster."

And you'd be right. I don't feel as strongly as many, but I've found my interest in DW wane during the Moffat years and my annoyance periodically spike and, overall, increase. For me, it has nothing to do with Matt Smith, who I think has done a great job. I even sort of like Clara (or don't actively dislike her, as many do).

I've never understood the twelve regenerations thing. It's my recollection that they implicitly violated this with other Time Lords. What was Romana doing when she tried on all those new bodies? As a practical matter, once they went to Smith, it was pretty obvious they were going to have to toss the twelve limit, anyway.

But it's more acute than that because I think it's almost certain that whitecedar is correct in his comment — the Last Great Time War Doctor was this John Hurt Doctor, and so that one was really the ninth regeneration, making Smith the twelfth. So this new Doctor will be the thirteenth.

Moffat has hinted at the possibility of a female Doctor and clearly there's a lot of fan interest in it. But I've also heard of surveys that found considerable resistance, too. But the time is right for it, really, and it would certainly generate a lot of publicity. It would be extremely cool if it were a middle-aged or older woman, but that's the one thing that's not going to happen, sadly.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:10 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hugh Laurie as he has experience playing a crazy doctor. Stephen Fry is optional as a companion.
posted by humanfont at 6:18 PM on June 1, 2013 [20 favorites]


If we're voting for the next Doctor, I say give Joanna Lumley another shot.
posted by heathkit at 6:18 PM on June 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


My wish list includes fewer aliens that are defeated by The Doctor yelling at them, companions that don't act like frenetic gerbils, and plots that have actual plot-type stuff in them instead of cursory character introduction, glimpses of monsters, and chases followed by shouting. Give me a script that makes fucking sense and a companion I don't want to bludgeon, and you can cast whomever you want.

And Strax. More Strax please.
posted by bibliowench at 6:21 PM on June 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


It's telling that Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, and Strax have been more consistently interesting and watchable than the Doctor and his companions.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:25 PM on June 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


I want Vidya Balan to be the next Doctor. Sure, she's not British, but she kicked all kinds of ass in Kahaani (which, if you haven't seen it, quit reading my comment and rent or stream it now), and I think she'd be fanTAStic.

Plus, it would make a whole lot of tiny reactionary heads explode.
posted by RakDaddy at 6:25 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


MITT ROMNEY FOR 45th AMERICAN PRESIDENT 12th DOCTOR WHO!

CYBER-LEADER WINS
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 6:27 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Assuming a somewhat conservative "same but different" new Doctor is most likely, I reckon Ben Whishaw's got to be in the running if he wants it. He's not that much higher profile than Tennant and Smith were plus he's a great actor. Not seen him as Q, but he was very good in The Hour and The Hollow Crown. Hedging my bets, I suppose Rupert Grint would be a solid, pragmatic choice too.

Shame to see Matt Smith go, but it's always a shame however and whenever a Doctor leaves. Suspect some timey-wimey Moffat shenanigans before the end too, like the new Doctor turning up in the 50th as part of the team-up and Matt's Xmas episode being a flashback of sorts.
posted by comealongpole at 6:28 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, technically, River is actually dead.

Eh. What does it mean for a time traveler to be dead? Technically the Doctor is dead, too, apparently.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 6:31 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Stephen Fry is optional as a companion.

Stephen Fry is never optional.
posted by Etrigan at 6:31 PM on June 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


Assuming a somewhat conservative "same but different" new Doctor is most likely

Omigod guys it's like we're talking about Nerd Pope.
posted by Sara C. at 6:34 PM on June 1, 2013 [90 favorites]


Two words. Idris Elba. Can I change my vote?
posted by NiteMayr at 6:34 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's no way it'll be Benedict Cucumberpatch, right? I mean, he's got a lot of high profile Hollywood projects coming up, Doctor Who would kind of be a step down. I really hope it's not him.

I wish Moffat was going too. I don't hate him as much as others do, but I'm deeply tired of his standard tropes and his particular forms of self-indulgence. I'm more ready for a new showrunner than I am a new Doctor. Though a non-white or female Doctor would be pretty great and make up for more Moffat.
posted by yasaman at 6:36 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


No offense intended; while she would have been great 10 years ago Joanna Lumley may be too old for the role now. Otherwise I'd be pulling for Richard E. Grant; also too old now (in my opinion)
posted by NiteMayr at 6:36 PM on June 1, 2013


And not very good at it when he did have a go.
posted by Grangousier at 6:37 PM on June 1, 2013


Purchased, for bedtime reading with the kiddo. We just read The Cave Monsters, she's a big fan of the Silurians.
posted by Artw at 6:37 PM on June 1, 2013


Yes to a different species. Doctor Ood.
posted by dywypi at 6:37 PM on June 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


I really want a grown up as the Doctor. Not that I don't think that Smith is a grown up, but that I feel like his character is sort of a hyperactive, slightly bratty, kid who runs his mouth and pulls rabbits out of hats and flies by the skin of his teeth, pretty much all the time. And don't get me wrong--sometimes that's awesome! But we've had three seasons of it, now, and I'm tired of it. Just once I'd like him to say "No, it's ok, I have a plan!" and, you know, actually have a plan.

It would also be a bonus if we could have another grown-up companion--someone who could stand their own against the Doctor. I actually like almost all of the new companions (save Amy+Rory), but I've also felt that Donna was the only one of them who wasn't painfully naive and at least half in love with the Doctor.

Because I am bitchy, I would also find it super awesome if we could have a companion who wore something other than shorts + tights + boots all the time. (See also: Peter Pan collars, the mark of someone who's a Little Girl.) I mean, would it kill them to have a [female] companion in jeans and a teeshirt once in a while?
posted by MeghanC at 6:37 PM on June 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


This is very, very, very good news.

Very good.

Very.
posted by MoxieProxy at 6:41 PM on June 1, 2013


My vote, and her me out, is for Emma "Hermione Granger" Watson. She female, smart, young, British (no yank Doctors thank you very much) and not too hard on the eyes.

Oh and not ginger. And how different is a wand from a sonic screwdriver.
Oh and she used that time turner thing. Hell she's practically a time lord when using that thing.
posted by ShawnString at 6:41 PM on June 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


If you consider the great Comic Relief sketch (Part 1, Part 2) as Canon - it was, after all, fully authorized - then we're already well over the "12 regenerations" limit, and Lumley, Grant AND Rowan Atkinson are all "been there, done that".
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:43 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Stephen Fry... As assistant to Hugh Laurie. Who is already a doctor.
posted by Devonian at 6:43 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, and does this mean bow ties and fezes are no longer cool?

And I can go back to wearing a 12-foot scarf? (Not until Christmas, of course, it's too hot in the Northern Hemisphere now)
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:45 PM on June 1, 2013


I'd like Stephen Fry as the Doctor and Hugh Laurie as the Master actually.
posted by peppermind at 6:46 PM on June 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


William Shatner and James Spader. You pick who's the Doctor and who's the companion. I'd watch either way.

Or Philip Glenister from Life on Mars.
posted by BeReasonable at 6:48 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've always wondered, once The Doctor defeated The Master, shouldn't he have gotten a new, younger nemesis: The Bachelor?
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:48 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ian Ogilvy. Preferably doing that Cary Grant impression he did throughout The Return of the Saint.

On preview, yes yes to Philip Glenister.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:48 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, and does this mean bow ties and fezes are no longer cool?

I could see the Doctor gadding about in a Pearly King (or Queen) suit, though.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:52 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Honestly, just as I did with Eccelston and Tennant leaving, I continue to find this bizarre movement to spontaneously change the gender or ethnicity of The Doctor as if it creates some kind of retroactive progressivisim in Hollywood... as if, if the Doctor is now a woman we can pretend that the Doctor was always a woman for those last 50 years or something. It always feels like this is some fanboyish demand because taking the risk of perhaps embracing a new property that stars someone who isn't a white guy is too hard, both for producers and the audience.

Plus, let's get real people. I kinda of darky love the ridiculous wish list being tossed about by a largely-newer fandom that embraced the show after it skyrocketed to popularity in America because it shifted to a stringent model of "clever young man has adventures while earning the fancy of clever younger woman because it creates the fantasies both key gender demographics want" and now think the BBC is going to satisfy some insane progressive fanfic wish fulfillment by... not continuing to do that.

Seriously, people... you chose Buffy the Time Lord and you're stuck with it now. But please, keep suggesting these radical, risky changes the BBC can make because they might consider replacing their faucet that is currently pouring money all over the floor. It's cute.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:56 PM on June 1, 2013 [15 favorites]


I was going to mention Tilda Swinton. I'm glad I wasn't the first.
posted by Foosnark at 6:58 PM on June 1, 2013


Wow. I almost stepped in that.
posted by MoxieProxy at 6:58 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I was sifting through this list of British actors under 35 - it'll be interesting to see if any contenders emerge from this.

My hope for the new Doctor is that they will be quieter and more contemplative (at times, at least). As suggested above, Ben Wishlaw or Idris Elba would be astoundingly good. My vote for a female doctor would be Ruth Wilson.

For a new companion, my bet is Jessica Raine (who was in "Hide"), thus following the trend of Companions being drawn from a pool of Doctor Who actors.
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 7:01 PM on June 1, 2013


as if, if the Doctor is now a woman we can pretend that the Doctor was always a woman for those last 50 years or something.

That's an... interesting way to read this thread.

Bless your hearts.
posted by Etrigan at 7:01 PM on June 1, 2013 [12 favorites]


That said, of COURSE they could go female with the right actress, skew slightly older, and could definitely go non-white. The idea that people would stop watching the show if the sexy people on the TV were South Asian or something is ridiculous.

But yeah, it's going to be someone between 20 and 40 -- between 20 and 28 if female -- and immensely attractive regardless of ethnicity. And there's probably going to continue to be sexual tension between said doctor and future companions.
posted by Sara C. at 7:01 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ok.. I'll be the first to say it.

i think they need to put the show on hiatus. It has gotten too... well too much a ongoing creature of it's time and I think it needs an entirely new start which can only come about from a nice five to ten year break.

I thought Smith was pretty good at times, but this season 7B has left me really cool. To the point where I haven't even finished t quite yet despite owning it.

Each Doctor and each companion have had highlights, but I wish Eccleston had gotten a few more seasons and defiantly Donna was the best companion. Rose... well she doesn't hold up too well after watching her run one time through.
posted by edgeways at 7:07 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think the only hiatus the show should go on is the one that happens when the showrunners change.

Ricky Gervais for showrunner?
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:08 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


My vote for a female doctor would be Ruth Wilson.

Oh, shit yes. I would watch the hell out of that show. Luther might have been bonkers but every second of her screen time was worth it. Though I confess to a sneaking enjoyment of Saskia Reeves and her "I prepared for this role by watching Lock, Stock while doing my yoga this morning" accent.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:08 PM on June 1, 2013


I found the last series to be up and down but Matt Smith excelled as The Doctor and the last ep worked particularly well. Plus it delivered an intriguing cliffhanger.

I was actually less than impressed with the last regeneration (which went on and on and on...) so I'm hoping we get something a little different this time around.

A change of gear for the next series would also be good - the return of multi-episode stories would be a bonus.
posted by panboi at 7:09 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I haven't been able to finish the latest season. Just too "Moffaty". Or more importantly - too hand wavy and uninspired. Moffat was at his best when he was only writing the occasional episode.

Also count me in for hoping they go with someone a bit older. Clara just. . . Irritated me. I knew from the moment I saw her she was going to be the next companion, and just wasn't sure how they were going to get her from dalek to companion. She was just to chipper and clever to be an npc, and that just shows the lazy writing.

Moffat has done okay, and introduced some really cool ideas, but lately it's been so boring. How do you make time travel to infinite universes boring? Have no consequences or rules.

As for the next doctor, Andrew Scott, who played Moriarty in Sherlock would be fun. After Tilda, of course.

Also, Brennagan's Cucumber patch.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:12 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Buffy the Time Lord

Suddenly the image of Sarah Michelle Geller, piloting the TARDIS, sonic screwdriver in hand, wearing interesting fashion choices with Jenna-Louise Coleman by her side looking like a moody teen rushed through my mind and I almost swooned. Of course, an impossibility, just because she's VERY Not-British (change the gender, change the race, maybe, but they will NEVER change the accent) but it gives me one more reason to hope the guaranteed trainwreck of a sitcom she's doing this fall with Robin Williams as her father ("Mork and Buffy"?!?!) goes away almost immediately.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:16 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, Brennagan's Cucumber patch.
posted by [insert clever name here]


we are the eponysterical
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:18 PM on June 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


Fingers crossed for a female Doctor!

Not even in my dreams...
posted by Jpfed at 7:21 PM on June 1, 2013


I hear Matt Smith is a really decent human being and a lot of fun.

But I still miss David Tenant...

And, man, this season is teh stinky. It's not him, it's these terrible scripts. And Clara! I thought initially I'd like her - but she has no flavor at all. We know nothing about her except that she's died a few times - which makes me care about her even less - because she's bland and has no skin in the game. Again, the actress is doing the very best she can with these terrible scripts - definitely not her fault.

Remember Rose? How she started as a shopgirl with no ambitions? Mickey her gormless, dependent boyfriend? What a character arc! I just saw that show again where Mickey realizes he's just the mechanical dog - that's what I think of as the best of theatre, both really funny and really moving at the same time.

I was thinking of how to fix it up, and here's what I'd do.

I'd have him score some terrific loss, and be regressed back to being a boy, and completely reboot the series from the start....

ALSO: the Time Wars. That would be fun!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:21 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Honestly, just as I did with Eccelston and Tennant leaving, I continue to find this bizarre movement to spontaneously change the gender or ethnicity of The Doctor as if it creates some kind of retroactive progressivisim in Hollywood... as if, if the Doctor is now a woman we can pretend that the Doctor was always a woman for those last 50 years or something.

Wait, what?

The desire to see a different-looking version of a character who is already known for regenerating as a totally new human being seems very logical to me. English white dudes are an extremely small subset of the human population; an alien who could theoretically look like anything he wanted or randomly selected comes off as suspiciously unimaginative if that's all he ever comes back as.

Since it's a BBC property, it seems unlikely they'd go with non-English. But half of England's population is female. A large percentage aren't white. They watch this show also.

And then there's the fact that a Doctor who is of color and/or is female could inject some fresh life, interest, and conflict into this aging franchise. It's impossible not to repeat yourself in a series this old, so why not do something new when you have the chance and it makes perfect sense in terms of the story itself? Give the writers some challenges. Energize the female fan base. Discover a new fanbase of dudes who get crushes on Helen Mirren or whoever. Because they're out there!
posted by emjaybee at 7:22 PM on June 1, 2013 [20 favorites]


Wow. I almost stepped in that.

Okay fine, you can dismiss it as trolling because yes, that's quite easy for you but I'm asking, legitimately. I am curious if there are honest answers to either of these questions:

1. Given how unbelievably successful Doctor Who has become by altering it from it's earlier format and solidifying a succession of young men in the role with younger, attractive female companions and an ongoing semi-romantic subplot thereof, what makes you think the BBC will change that?

2. If the call for (using the most cited example here so far) Tilda Swinton to be the new Doctor is based on her talent and ability and suitableness for a role in a sci fi series, then... why is there so lesser a demand, if there's any demand at all, to create a good original character that Tilda Swinton can play?

I will point out that the first casting suggestion in this thread wasn't Swinton, or any other actress. It was "The next Doctor should be a woman." Just that. .......why? Without an explanation in context of those questions I asked, that reeks of tokenism. And that's not healthy for a show or for advancing popular female and/or minority characters in pop culture.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:22 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


> It was "The next Doctor should be a woman." Just that. .......why?

Because the show has become boring, and this would inject some interest.

> Without an explanation in context of those questions I asked, that reeks of tokenism.

Tokenism is a lot better than nokenism - not ever hiring a woman.

When non-males or non-whites start to enter a field of human endeavour, the first few of them will always be "tokens". If your argument were valid, then all professional jobs would still be the province of white males only.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:26 PM on June 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


It was "The next Doctor should be a woman." Just that. .......why?

Because there's a desire to see Doctor Who stories with a female Doctor. The specific actress is secondary to this desire - the fact that they're recasting it creates the opening, and people are talking about how that opening could be used to do different and interesting-to-them things with the show as a whole.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:27 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


XQUZYPHYR, I would put it similar to "there should be a Starfleet captain" calls (specifically for a ship that is the focus of the show, not some random ship). Why not make a different show, not Star Trek, which has a woman in command? Because the show itself is an institution. Doing a similar thing with the serial numbers filed off has been done before (Bernice Summerfield!) but doesn't have the cultural cachet.

Doctor Who has a 50-year history. In a lot of ways it is British Sci-Fi. Putting a woman on the front is a paratextual statement, that the BBC believes the textual aspects of the show would not change simply because it's a woman (because the Doctor would still be the Doctor, and therefore still get into similar stories). That is actually a pretty powerful statement by itself.

And it would be very nice to see.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:31 PM on June 1, 2013 [12 favorites]


Given Moffat's consistent lack of truthfulness in his public pronouncements, is it safe to assume "because now the search begins" means he's already already chosen a new Doctor?

Crazy idea for the next Doctor: Billie Piper. Rose dies some horrible death in the 50th anniversary special, leaving room for a wibbly-wobbly explanation of the regeneration in the Christmas special. Or, since Jenna-Louise Coleman is already signed up for next year, have Clara do the same.
posted by plastic_animals at 7:32 PM on June 1, 2013


He's the only Doctor Who I've ever liked. I'm sad now.
posted by limeonaire at 7:32 PM on June 1, 2013


I've been personally in support of Helen Mirren as the Doctor ever since she said she was interested in it.

But Alice Russel-Wallace's list of British actors under 35 reminds me that a good chunk of the cast of Downton Abbey has left the estate recently and don't want to get type cast into period dramas. I'm now contemplating a Jessica Brown Findlay Doctor.

But it's probably going to be an attractive young-ish man who has done a lot of good work in smaller roles elsewhere. Salary consideration and the grueling schedule might keep some people out of wanting the role. The benefit of a Idris Elba or a Helen Mirren is that they know what a TV schedule is like already.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 7:32 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


altering it from it's earlier format and solidifying a succession of young men in the role

Tom Baker was 40 when he started playing the Doctor; Eccleston was 41.
Peter Davidson was 30; David Tennant was 34
Matt Smith was 28, so he's really the only one you could claim "altered" the earlier format.
posted by straight at 7:35 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


I think it's unlikely that a woman will play the Doctor, as this would effectively make the Time Lords hermaphroditic, and I think that idea -- not the idea of a female lead, per se -- would be a little much for mainstream audiences to deal with. It would change the character in a way that I think (but I could be wrong) would make her seem too alien for a lot of viewers. But I don't see how it would be an issue for the Doctor to regenerate into a man who isn't white. I think there would be a brief media frenzy, a few dumb jokes on late night TV, the usual ugliness and stupidity in the comments sections...and silence on the matter after about the second episode.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:36 PM on June 1, 2013


Dame Judy Dench is available. Or Dame Edna Everage.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:39 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Doctor Who has a 50-year history. In a lot of ways it is British Sci-Fi. Putting a woman on the front is a paratextual statement, that the BBC believes the textual aspects of the show would not change simply because it's a woman (because the Doctor would still be the Doctor, and therefore still get into similar stories). That is actually a pretty powerful statement by itself.

I remember reading an interview with Paula Vogel many years ago, where she talked about how women are trained to empathize with male characters, while men are not trained to empathize with female characters. Society will allow us to see ourselves as a male protagonist; but the reverse isn't true. It was part of a larger discussion on playwriting, character creation, and empathy -- but it's always stuck with me.

And that's partly why I like contemplating female doctors.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 7:40 PM on June 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


Given how unbelievably successful Doctor Who has become by altering it from it's earlier format and solidifying a succession of young men in the role with younger, attractive female companions and an ongoing semi-romantic subplot thereof, what makes you think the BBC will change that?

Switching from a sexy white person to a sexy person of color doesn't change their tried and true format.

Choosing a 34 year old sexy person instead of a 23 year old sexy person doesn't change their tried and true format. (And lots of teenage girls lust after slightly older guys.)

Switching from a sexy man to a sexy woman is a little different, because if they really are riding on the female demographic who they assume ONLY watch the show because of the crush-worthy Doctor, casting a woman in the role could throw that. Conversely, it could be that their doing this doesn't drive away their target demo at all because young women like watching things with female protagonists, too. I'll grant that the BBC would probably want to do some research on this, but it's a perfectly legit direction to go in.

(I think it's also worth noting that Elementary, the US answer to Sherlock has a female Watson and nobody seems to have died yet.)
posted by Sara C. at 7:43 PM on June 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


My wish-list for changes I'd like to see to the new Doctor Who: First, I'd like to see Bob The Angry Flower as script supervisor.

Second, companions/hangers on are not allowed to kill themselves to save his life, get lobotomized, or get exiled in time or space or any other pathetic bullshit like that. Some of them have to be allowed to go off and do something else.

Third, love cannot defuse a bomb, short out a cyber converter, or bring someone back after they've been erased from reality.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:45 PM on June 1, 2013 [16 favorites]


why is there so lesser a demand, if there's any demand at all, to create a good original character that Tilda Swinton can play?

Is there?

Swinton seems to have all the work she wants. The question would really be whether she'd want to do TV, and whether she'd want to do Doctor Who specifically. She clearly has her pick of projects and tends to choose more artsy, esoteric, and challenging fare. That said, who knows, maybe she's a big fan of the show or needs the money or any of a million reasons why film actors take on TV roles.

(That said I'm almost certain they won't cast her, someone like her, or someone who would skew lesbian at all. Especially older and lesbian. An androgynous 22 year old queer-ish lady Doctor in the mold of Jack Harkness would probably fly just fine.)
posted by Sara C. at 7:46 PM on June 1, 2013


I wonder what Matt Smith will do next (Gosling film aside). Bit of variety, I imagine. Eccleston essentially just carried on with his career, and I suppose that's true of Tennant too although his post-Who projects seem to have been a mixed bag.
posted by comealongpole at 7:47 PM on June 1, 2013


I think it's unlikely that a woman will play the Doctor, as this would effectively make the Time Lords hermaphroditic, and I think that idea -- not the idea of a female lead, per se -- would be a little much for mainstream audiences to deal with.

A female doctor would not be "hermaphroditic" she would have a female body (unless they went with an intersex Doctor, which would certainly raise some interesting questions, the first being, how would anyone know that unless she got naked).

She would simply be a woman. Given that they mostly prevent the Doctor having any real romantic entanglements, it would make exactly zero difference to her ability to wear strange clothes, run about, shout, save the planet, and pilot the Tardis.

Given that we are talking about a science fiction show which not only consistently tells us that most if not all human important historical events were side-effects of thwarted alien invasions, and that regularly shrugs off its own rules of consistency, there is nothing in the show itself that prevents this happening. And I honestly think most viewers can handle "The Doctor is a woman. Hey look over there, some Daleks!" Give them a little credit.
posted by emjaybee at 7:49 PM on June 1, 2013 [14 favorites]


And then there's the fact that a Doctor who is of color and/or is female could inject some fresh life, interest, and conflict into this aging franchise.

Again... what "aging franchise?" They effectively rebooted the series in 2005 and it's done nothing but keep making BBC more money. There is no need for BBC, from their financial guys' perspective, to fix what ain't broke. That's just a harsh reality.

XQUZYPHYR, I would put it similar to "there should be a Starfleet captain" calls (specifically for a ship that is the focus of the show, not some random ship). Why not make a different show, not Star Trek, which has a woman in command? Because the show itself is an institution. Doing a similar thing with the serial numbers filed off has been done before (Bernice Summerfield!) but doesn't have the cultural cachet.

Except in Star Trek, they literally did what I noted in #2. It wasn't 50 years of changing Captain Kirk into a woman or a black man or anything else for three seasons. Yes there were connections to the franchise but they were different shows, with different casts, and a different lead with a different story and history and motivations. And that worked. The full reboot of Battlestar with a female Starbuck worked. "Hey, so this season, the Doctor becomes a woman" will, fair or unfairly, appear as a stunt. I don't think it's going to be what the people clamoring for it hoped it to be.

Man, I don't even know if saying this will cause more or less argument, but maybe what I'm getting at here is that rebooting Who completely and starting all over with a female lead is different than regenerating the current character with a gender swap. I think the former is what would truly create the "fresh, interesting" change and I think it's just as risky (and unlikely) from the BBC's perspective as creating a whole new show.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:52 PM on June 1, 2013


It wasn't 50 years of changing Captain Kirk into a woman or a black man or anything else for three seasons.

Sure, but recasting the Doctor -- sometimes with dramatically different results -- is a staple of the franchise. They are going to recast the Doctor, whether it's with a man, a woman, or a unicorn.

So why not play with the idea of it being a woman?

I don't think anybody here is stridently demanding that the next Doctor be some kind of token that we, the audience, is owed in the name of diversity. It's just an interesting idea. Which is all that TV shows really are.
posted by Sara C. at 7:56 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I suppose it just depends on how much you see gender as a binary and fixed thing such that men and women can't possibly be similar enough to one another to be part of the same entity's existence. Whether or not it's a good business idea is a completely separate discussion.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:56 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


So why not play with the idea of it being a woman?

I don't know what else to say short of repeating again that I think it's very wishful thinking to place hopes on BBC deciding they need to fix what they don't see as broken.

Ultimately, that these discussion happen is a byproduct of Doctor Who and its fandom being the LEGO set of television shows, in which everyone hopes and enjoys the idea that it can be made into whatever they want. Which is a dismal irony given that I've lost much of my interest in the show over the last few years because of the same demographic-targeting direction the show has locked itself into. I wish you the best of luck in BBC making a radical change to make Who more a show you want... they stopped making it the show I wanted years ago and like I've already been saying, I just have to accept that because clearly what they did is popular with others.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:02 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


She would simply be a woman. Given that they mostly prevent the Doctor having any real romantic entanglements, it would make exactly zero difference to her ability to wear strange clothes, run about, shout, save the planet, and pilot the Tardis.

I think this used to be true -- like, I can envision a universe in which Peter Davison regenerated into, let's say, Helen Mirren (and quite possibly the show was never canceled!) -- but the 2000s-on Who has a lead that agonizes over his companions, occasionally liplocks his companions, and apparently has offscreen love affairs with historical figures. This is a sexual being, and changing his gender would have ramifications. Possibly extremely interesting ramifications! But I don't think no ramifications is really an option.* It's possible viewers could just kinda go "oh, okay" about the Doctor changing gender, but I really think like a Doctor Orlando would be a bridge too far for a lot of people. I'm not saying it couldn't be cool, I'm just saying I can't see it.

(*Then again, this is Moffat we're talking about.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:04 PM on June 1, 2013


End the series with the Doctor regenerating as a Dalek, uttering "bollocks" with an immediate cut to black.
posted by dr_dank at 8:05 PM on June 1, 2013 [14 favorites]


I think it's very wishful thinking to place hopes on BBC deciding they need to fix what they don't see as broken.

But again, I don't see anyone here presenting a petition that would require the BBC to cast a woman, because EQUALITY. We're all just throwing out interesting ideas. I think that all of us participating in this thread know that we're not BBC executives.

I don't see the point of shouting down people who are contemplating what it would be like to have a female Doctor, or how that would change the show, or what it would then be necessary to understand about Time Lords and gender. It's a major sci fi franchise. This is the reason they continue to make more Doctor Who after 50 years rather than just start a new sci fi series every time an actor wants to move on. The speculation is part of the brand, and what keeps the audience coming back for twelve separate incarnations of the main character.

A main character who, it should be noted, started as a kindly grandfather.
posted by Sara C. at 8:09 PM on June 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


Rik Mayall or Adrian Edmondson. Or hell, both of 'em!
posted by Lucinda at 8:09 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


changing his gender would have ramifications

Keep in mind this is the same show/franchise/universe that once had Jack Harkness hit on a poodle. Changing the gender would have ramifications, but I don't think there are any Super Scary Sexual ones that can't be hand-waved away. Or just run with.
posted by Sara C. at 8:10 PM on June 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


I don't hate Moffat. I haven't enjoyed this season at all, but I think the problem is that Moffat was a phenomenal relief pitcher who never should have been a starter. They're just two different skills. I think he's generally better than, say, RTD was, but there's a difference between writing the reliably best one or two episodes every season and turning whole seasons into your brain-teaser plotlines.

But that's not Matt Smith's fault, and Smith has been my favorite Doctor, most definitely.

As for the new one? If it's a man, well, I came in here to cast my vote for Idris ELba. If it's a woman, Shirley Henderson. Yeah, I know she was in "Love and Monsters." Here's how much I care.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:12 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


In other news: Doctor Who's Karen Gillan playing a villain in Guardians of the Galaxy
posted by homunculus at 8:13 PM on June 1, 2013


No, no female Doctor. Stop wishing for it. It doesn't work that way. At this point I'd take Hugh Grant as the Doctor (again?) as long as the writing stops being such shit.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:15 PM on June 1, 2013


There is a partially-spoken reason in Doctor Who about the "Britishness" of The Doctor. The Gallifreyans, the Time Lords, resemble British People. The Doctor, in several versions, has spoken of a personal affection for Earth in general and England and London in particular. (Probably the way most people are most comfortable around people like ourselves; human/Gallifreyan nature) I don't recall ever seeing a dark-skinned Time Lord or one with an American accent. They have had female Time Lords (Time Ladies?) and they appear silent as to whether they'd remain the same gender through all regenerations. (and then, I am one of the people who believe the Comic Relief sketch SHOULD be Canon).

So Purist Doctor Who Fans should welcome Tilda Swinton or Emma Watson or Helen Mirren (basically any woman actor with a last name ending in N, right?). Then again, I'm sure there are a lot of Doctor Who Fans who are "Purists" in different ways.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:16 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know what else to say short of repeating again that I think it's very wishful thinking to place hopes on BBC deciding they need to fix what they don't see as broken.

I don't think the people suggesting Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton genuinely think they have great odds at being the next Doctor. I'm not sure you get the game being played here. This isn't a prediction pool.
posted by painquale at 8:17 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


For a female doctor, I'm tossed between Patricia Routledge and Jennifer Saunders.
posted by dr_dank at 8:18 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Stop wishing for it. It doesn't work that way.

You get that none of us have any actual say in who is cast as the next Doctor, like, at all, right?
posted by Sara C. at 8:21 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


tell that to my DEATH RAY
posted by The Whelk at 8:23 PM on June 1, 2013 [13 favorites]


No, no female Doctor. Stop wishing for it. It doesn't work that way.

I would love to know why in a show whose scope is all of time and space, and whose SF/Fantasy worldbuilding rules are "whatever we can make up this week", a female Doctor is out of the question.

No metatextual reasons allowed, mind you—no "it's against the spirit of the show," no "the audience would never go for it," none of that—in-universe, canon-compliant reasoning only.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:23 PM on June 1, 2013 [13 favorites]


I don't actually have a death ray
posted by The Whelk at 8:23 PM on June 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


The Doctor is male, he identifies male. Why do so many people think it's fine to just throw out his whole gender identity? You want to follow the exploits of a female Time Lord then listen to Gallifrey, you get Romana as the Lord High President of Gallifrey and Leela as her personal guard both constantly challenging a very insular system and consistently WAY better writing than the NuWho series.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:24 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is a partially-spoken reason in Doctor Who about the "Britishness" of The Doctor. The Gallifreyans, the Time Lords, resemble British People. The Doctor, in several versions, has spoken of a personal affection for Earth in general and England and London in particular. (Probably the way most people are most comfortable around people like ourselves; human/Gallifreyan nature) I don't recall ever seeing a dark-skinned Time Lord

I didn't realize that dark-skinned people can't be British.

Or that the Doctor was racist.
posted by Sara C. at 8:26 PM on June 1, 2013 [24 favorites]


Sokka shot first, because Time Lords maintain their gender thru their regenerations. Go back and watch the show, females remained female and males remained male. For a species who developed regeneration as a means of extending their life cycles why would they design it so their gender could just randomly and arbitrarily change on them?
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:28 PM on June 1, 2013


Does anyone remember that episode where the Tardis takes human form on a planet with a Big Bad who lures Time Lords, chops them up, and uses them for parts? One of the plot elements there was that Doctor Who had a friend who *always* had a certain tattoo, and he makes a point to say that his friend has this tattoo regardless of whether he regenerates as a man or a woman. SO, clearly, Time Lords can regenerate in different genders.

there.
posted by MoxieProxy at 8:28 PM on June 1, 2013 [30 favorites]


Doctor Donna. And get rid of Moffat.
posted by zarah at 8:28 PM on June 1, 2013 [13 favorites]


The Doctor is male, he identifies male. Why do so many people think it's fine to just throw out his whole gender identity?

Because previous storylines on the same show have played with the idea that gender and sexuality are mostly just hangups that quaint 21st century humans have, and that there are more ways of understanding these things than are dreamt of in our philosophy.
posted by Sara C. at 8:28 PM on June 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


I don't recall ever seeing a dark-skinned Time Lord
posted by DaRiLo at 8:30 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


how about the guy who played the pilot in firefly/serenity? If he is goofy enough to do the voice of King Candy, surely he can do this.
posted by davejay at 8:32 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


MoxieProxy yeah, not so much. That was not part of the original series. I like Neil Gaiman a lot, but his Doctor Who writing needs a lot of work.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:32 PM on June 1, 2013


Sara C. I think you are thinking of gender rolls, not gender. Yes the Doctor would think it silly to think that a woman can't be a leader of a nation because she is a woman. But I don't think he would find it silly for someone to identify as a gender even a non-binary gender.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:35 PM on June 1, 2013


So long as Donna Noble comes back, I'll be pleased.

(DOCTOR DONNA)
posted by zizzle at 8:36 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


That was not part of the original series.

At this point, a lot of things have happened that weren't part of the original series. Do we just declare that they're all noncanonical?
posted by MeghanC at 8:37 PM on June 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


Sarah Vowell
posted by drezdn at 8:38 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sarah Vowell

Brilliant idea for a companion, bad idea for The Doctor. (mho)
posted by MoxieProxy at 8:39 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


A main character who, it should be noted, started as a kindly grandfather.

Kindly? The first Doctor was a nasty piece of work. Secretive, paranoid, arrogant and cold. Almost all of the Doctor's attractive features (curiosity, openness, gentleness, empathy, whimsy) date to the second Doctor. Subsequent Doctors lie somewhere in between.

a lot of things have happened that weren't part of the original series. Do we just declare that they're all noncanonical?

The show stars a time traveler who regularly rewrites his own history. I say it's not too late to recast the sixth Doctor.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:39 PM on June 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


At this point, a lot of things have happened that weren't part of the original series. Do we just declare that they're all noncanonical?

Defiantly, yes.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:39 PM on June 1, 2013


Time Lords maintain their gender thru their regenerations.

Do they? Is that an explicit thing, or are you just assuming that? If the latter, why not question the assumption? If the former, why not change the rule?

I fail to see how in a show that spans the meta-genre of speculative fiction, this is the Bridge Too Far.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:40 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


On regeneration, The Doctor gets a new body, quite different in terms of genetically expressed details like hair, eye color and lots of other things. Physical gender is no less genetically expressed than those things.

He also undergoes distinct personality changes, presumably because he has a different brain, only the memories are the same. So unless you believe in an immortal soul (which has a gender identify) or that gender identification is a choice (the accepted view today is that it is not) we are free to suppose that gender identification is associated with the brain and in his case can change the way other aspects of his personality can change.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:40 PM on June 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


Sarah Vowell

Doctor: You only want to go to the super sad parts of history!
posted by The Whelk at 8:40 PM on June 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


That was not part of the original series. I like Neil Gaiman a lot, but his Doctor Who writing needs a lot of work.

The fact that a reference to the possibility of gender switching Time Lords made it onto the show means that the producers are perfectly OK with it and the idea is canon.
posted by Sara C. at 8:41 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sarah Vowell

I don’t hate her, but there’s no way I could watch any show where I had to listen to her talk. I can’t even listen to her on the radio.
posted by bongo_x at 8:41 PM on June 1, 2013


gender rolls

Can I sub French fries for the gender rolls? Maybe some brown rice?

(I keeed)
posted by Sara C. at 8:41 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Rik Mayall or Adrian Edmondson.

Christopher Ryan as Mike-the-cool-Doctor.
(Although they've already used him recently as various Sontarans.)

Jo Brand would also bring a nice "right, enough of this bollocks" to it.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:42 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sarah Vowell

Brilliant idea for a companion, bad idea for The Doctor. (mho)


Sarah Vowell as Sarah Vowell would be an AMAZING companion. They could do a whole season of Assassination Vacation.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 8:43 PM on June 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


Honestly, just as I did with Eccelston and Tennant leaving, I continue to find this bizarre movement to spontaneously change the gender or ethnicity of The Doctor as if it creates some kind of retroactive progressivisim

Gender? Ethnicity? Let's talk phylum here. He can still have a metaphorical backbone. This is SF, sci-fi, spanning all time and the entire universe. What's with this human-centric obsession? Go with a debonair, witty, well dressed sea cucumber.
posted by sammyo at 8:44 PM on June 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


They could do a whole season of Assassination Vacation.

I guess the show doesn't really do obscure historical events the average British TV viewer isn't familiar with, but it would be SO COOL if the Doctor and companions got caught up in a good old fashioned 19th or 20th century American presidential assassination.

Would also accept Sacco and Vanzetti or the Triangle Shirtwaist fire.
posted by Sara C. at 8:45 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


You people won't be happy until Jaden Smith is the 12th Doctor, will you?

Uh, what do you mean by: "you people"
?
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:46 PM on June 1, 2013


Sokka shot first - I know because I watched the original series. There are multiple regenerations by multiple Time Lords, they always maintain their gender. Also their language uses definitely gendered pronouns non-ambiguously even if they know someone has regenerated, because he remains he and she remains she. Even renegade Time Lords on the run who could maybe use a gender change as a disguise, it doesn't happen that way.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:46 PM on June 1, 2013


You people won't be happy until Jaden Smith is the 12th Doctor, will you?

Luke Perry
posted by drezdn at 8:47 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


They could do a whole season of Assassination Vacation.

SARAH:
(eating popcorn)
This is where he gets shot!

DOCTOR:
You know there are doctors, REAL doctors who could help you with this morbid obes-

SARAH:
Shhh! You're ruining it!

The Doctor wordlessly sits back and folds arms. We hear a BANG and then gasping from the audience, followed by screams 'THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN SHOT!"

DOCTOR:
May we go now?

SARAH:
Yeah. I'm in a good place right now.
posted by The Whelk at 8:47 PM on June 1, 2013 [14 favorites]


The DEADLY Assassination Vacation, I think you'll find.
posted by Artw at 8:48 PM on June 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


I also think it would be cool to have a historian or history buff companion who was all "FUCK NO I AM NOT LEAVING THIS TARDIS TILL WE GO TO THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS" and then goes around actually helping the Doctor navigate the historical stuff. This person could also be a skeptic and be like, "Sorry, did you say space hornets? Isn't it possible that she really did have a psychotic break like the history books say?"

Like Scully, but for time traveling sci fi.
posted by Sara C. at 8:48 PM on June 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


You guys. You guys. Janelle Monae.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 8:49 PM on June 1, 2013 [29 favorites]


Bill Nighy.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:49 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think the first Doctor should be recast as Bill Nighy.

(And justsomeone is right, he was crotchety as fuck.)
posted by Sara C. at 8:50 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Plus open cold opens like the two of them walking out of a smoking TARDIS, all covered in blood and torn up.

DOCTOR:

Well!

SARAH FUMES

DOCTOR: WELL?!

SARAH: FINE! Marat was actually killed by a vampire.

The DOCTOR holds out hand, Sarah slaps a five pound note into it

SARAH:
But that stuff about Catherine the Great-

DOCTOR:
I didn't say horse I just said not human

SARAH:
*annoyed noise, stomping off*
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 PM on June 1, 2013 [19 favorites]


I nominate Zoran Živković for the new showrunner.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:51 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


According to the original series, Time Lords did not sexually reproduce but were raised as Time Tots after being created from a Genetic Loom, so if you're going use the first 30 years of the program as a guide post, we have already left the traditional binary of gender behind.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:53 PM on June 1, 2013 [13 favorites]


The Handball Coach?
posted by drezdn at 8:53 PM on June 1, 2013


George_Spiggott - the reason for the big personality changes are because the Doctor's regenerations have always been crisis regenerations due to major trauma. Other Time Lords who have gone thru normal controlled regeneration, for example Romana maintain their general personality and can even control their appearance to some extent.
Changing hair color or even skin color is a superficial genetic trait, sex is not and gender is often linked to sex. In the case of the Doctor he is CIS gendered, that is who he is.
Look there is nothing wrong with having a female Time Lord, the Doctor however is male.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:53 PM on June 1, 2013


I love Smith. I think he's the only one of the new lot who's equaled Baker in my mind. They're different, and I think Baker had some strengths that Smith didn't, but I think they manage to contain the alien-warm and young-old thing very well, and Smith may even do it a bit better. I will be sorry he's not in it at least 5 seasons, but then again, better to leave while people love you.

I also loved series 5, even with its weaker moments, and I think it both contained and started a great larger arc. My biggest problem with Moffat is that I feel there's been so many missed opportunities since then. We nearly lost the whole universe in The Big Bang to some unrevealed mover that's still at large, but we don't really seem to care anymore. The Silence were damn creepy and a respectable menace, possibly even behind it all, but we've apparently left them behind (Oh, and I would have *loved* if we could have gone back and revisited the continuity of 5 again and found them lurking in the background of various episodes). And of course, like a lot of New Who, the interpersonal drama with The Tardis crew has to keep verging off into overdramatic soap opera land.

Would love to see Moffat pull it all together before the fall of the 11th, but I have my doubts.

(I think it's also worth noting that Elementary, the US answer to Sherlock has a female Watson and nobody seems to have died yet.)

There's no continuity between Elementary and any other Sherlock story, though. If series 3 of Sherlock suddenly had a female Watson, I suspect people would feel differently about it.
posted by weston at 8:55 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


When Moffat leaves Chris Chibnall and Stephen Tompson should be sealed in his tomb with him to serve him in eternity and prevent andy unfortunate promotions.
posted by Artw at 8:55 PM on June 1, 2013


DOCTOR:
(watching through closed hands)

Oh God do we really have to see this.

SARAH:

YES! This is a very significant battle - really, the turning point in the Civil War - no one's ever gotten it from this viewpoint before

DOCTOR:
But there are heads, and limbs and they're not together, look can't we just go down there and maybe-

SARAH:
No! We can't interfere, we just record ...and observe.

The DOCTOR turns away. SARAH takes out a box of Milk Duds from her jacket pocket.
posted by The Whelk at 8:55 PM on June 1, 2013 [17 favorites]


The fact that a reference to the possibility of gender switching Time Lords made it onto the show means that the producers are perfectly OK with it and the idea is canon.

Yes and the current producers also thought it was perfectly ok for a human child conceived in a TARDIS to be half Time Lord. So really I don't think we should be trusting the idiots in charge of NuWho who were not part of the original creative team that developed Doctor Who.

Anything after Sylvester McCoy is strictly optional.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:56 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Okay, Emma Watson would be BRILLIANT!!!
posted by jfwlucy at 8:56 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


PLus she knows her way around a magic wand.
posted by The Whelk at 8:57 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd be down with Emma Watson if they wanted a young woman.
posted by Windigo at 8:57 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


it doesn't happen that way.

Sure, okay, whatever, I hear you.

Time to change the rules, I guess!
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:57 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


for example Romana maintain their general personality

OK this causes me to wonder if you've ever actually seen Doctor Who, because the two Romanas couldn't be more different.
posted by Sara C. at 8:59 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


MCMikeNamara The loom is from Lungbarrow, not the TV Series. Also Lungbarrow is a load of rot. Time Tots is also from the new series.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:00 PM on June 1, 2013


Anything after Sylvester McCoy is strictly optional.

Then why not do something different?
posted by emmling at 9:02 PM on June 1, 2013


Wait so now the "new series" is going to throw out all agreed-upon canon in order to wipe the slate clean because this one dude on the internet doesn't like the idea that Time Lords get to choose their gender?
posted by Sara C. at 9:02 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Anything after Sylvester McCoy is strictly optional.

If you're saying Colin Baker is mandatory I will fight you.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:03 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm trying to picture Sarah Vowell as a companion, and my brain keeps inserting Ira Glass as The Doctor. This disturbs me.
posted by bibliowench at 9:05 PM on June 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


Sara C. they most certainly could be way more different. Romana's attitude changed over her time traveling with the Doctor, her overall persona didn't change. She was always highly intelligent, a little bored with the Doctor's attitude, she was the Doctor's intellectual equal even tho she didn't have the same world traveling experience he had.
She didn't suddenly develop new habits, or catch phrases, her sense of humor didn't change. She just changed as people do over time.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:07 PM on June 1, 2013


The DOCTOR follows SARAH as she walks around the ship, writing in her notebook.

DOCTOR:
Don't you want to see the Unification of the 23rd Century? Or first contact? Or the triple rainbow ceremony for the opening of New Mars?

SARAH:
Why would I want to see that?

DOCTOR:
Cause it's the FUTURE! Its your species' bright shining, occasionally morally questionable FUTURE. Doesn't that excite you? A little bit? Maybe?

SARAH:
Nope.

DOCTOR:
But WHY?

SARAH:
'Cause it hasn't happened yet- It doesn't exist

DOCTOR:
Don't you want to see things that don't exist?!

(Beat)

SARAH closes her notebook

SARAH:

I Agreed to come on this ..joy-ride so I could further my research, straighten out history, get the facts right. Tell the untold story. It doesn't help me to see things that haven't happened yet when there's still so much of what has happened left to see. Watching a rainbow with a bunch of little green men doesn't help.

DOCTOR:
They're purple ..actually.

SARAH:
Fine, we'll go see something ...fun. But it has to be in Earth's past.

DOCTOR:
No wars? No battles? No assassinations or genocides or betrayals or massacres or symposiums?

SARAH:
Symposia?

DOCTOR:
I hate the little couches. Bad for your back.
posted by The Whelk at 9:09 PM on June 1, 2013 [13 favorites]


THE ONLY ESSENTIAL DOCTOR WHO EPISODE IS THE TWIN DILEMMA. ALL THE EPISODES PRIOR TO IT ARE WARM-UPS AND ALL THE EPISODES AFTER IT ARE COOL-DOWNS.

THIS IS BASICALLY AN INDISPUTABLE FACT, SO DON'T BOTHER THINKING OTHERWISE EVER
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:11 PM on June 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


MrBobaFett, we will have to agree to disagree on that.
posted by Sara C. at 9:11 PM on June 1, 2013


emmling because what we need is Doctor Who back. Stories told in 6 twenty minute segments. A TARDIS control room that looks like a TARDIS control room. Time Lords being an active power in the Galaxy. Soundtracks that sound like they were written by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Companions who have no remote sexual interest in the Doctor.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:12 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I would like to point out I'm still unemployed hint hint
posted by The Whelk at 9:12 PM on June 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


"Because no teen girls ever crush on anything but white dudes....and teenage boys never crush on older women?"

Yes. That's exactly what I was implying. Yup.

(Oy vey.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:13 PM on June 1, 2013


I wonder if the Doctor would let MrBobaFett hitch a ride in the TARDIS back to 1982 where he apparently belongs.
posted by Sara C. at 9:14 PM on June 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


The argument that the Doctor can't regenerate as female is nonsense. In the pre-credits sequence for The Doctor's Wife, he specifically mentions the Corsair had a few female bodies. For a show that doesn't have a canon, that's about as close to canonical as you can get. Time Lords don't have a fixed gender between regenerations.

Working though the ramifications of a non-male Doctor might make the show interesting for a bit, but it wouldn't fix the problems that have been creeping in lately. I don't think Moffat would be up to the task anyway.
posted by figurant at 9:14 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


But TV no longer makes shows that are stories told in 6 20-minute segments with no sexual element. If that's what you want, it is easy to go and watch old episodes of Doctor Who. But they're never going to make them like that again.
posted by OolooKitty at 9:14 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


because what we need is Doctor Who back.

Honest question: Who do you mean by "we?"
posted by Sokka shot first at 9:16 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sara C. it is certainly possible that Time Lords could CHOOSE their gender during regeneration. That is a debate worth having. However if that were the case, the Doctor has never in hundreds of years made that choice. Because he identifies male. Maybe some Time Lords identify as bi-gendered or some other form of gender-queer identification and do choose to change their gender.
However it seems that Time Lords like humans mostly fall towards the ends of the Kinsey scale. Most people are CIS gendered, as are apparently most Time Lords we've seen. But then we've only seen a very few of a large race. Even if 10% of Time Lords were some form of gender-queer it's possible that we just haven't seen them yet.
I think it would be very interesting to look at something like that.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:19 PM on June 1, 2013


As someone who does not watch the show much but does find it charming, the following are my two totally left field votes:

1. Rachel Weisz

2. John Noble

That is all, carry on.
posted by sendai sleep master at 9:19 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd be interested to know how much of the audience of New Who is familiar with Old Who. I recently directed a bunch of teenagers and about half of them were obsessed with Doctor Who. If a phone rang, we all checked ours because we all had the same ring tone. None of these kids had ever seen any old Who; some of them came in with Matt Smith and The Eleventh Hour.

I came in with Eccleston via netflix a couple of years ago. I've since watched a bit of Old Who. Mostly Tom Baker.

I have plenty of friends who are obsessed with Who. There seems to be a stark difference between the "I grew up with this series" folk and the "I'm new here." And we now have folks that are growing up with the new series. And sometimes I feel the old Who nerds forget that there are people who have only seen 9 onward. (Or only LIKE 9 onward. Old Who is an acquired taste for those who didn't grow up with it.)

I bring it up in context of the whole canonicity discussion. My best friend is an Old Who nerd and is currently nerding out over the possibilities of John Hurt's storyline in the 50th Anniversary special, but I think whatever happens has to be a plot line that the folks like me and the kids growing up with the series can follow. (Well... then again, Moffat, so maybe not.) Because the show is 50 years old, it needs to be very careful in not getting too trapped in it's own mythology.

I suppose in 20 years, these same kids will be talking about how Matt Smith did X and now Doctor Who has gone all downhill.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 9:19 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


the Doctor has never in hundreds of years made that choice.

Do we know that for a fact?

I'm asking unironically. Is it canon that our "First Doctor" is actually the Doctor's first incarnation, and that there aren't other incarnations we haven't seen?
posted by Sara C. at 9:21 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


What Doctor Who needs the most is the return to freeform mystery and strangeness. One of the best parts of the show is bringing the Doctor into all kinds of stories with all kinds of tones.

Moffat has his strengths and weaknesses. I absolutely loved Series Five, but Series Six was disappointing in how it tried to have its own Big Mind-Blowing Series Mystery Arc™, especially since that series ran River Song into the ground. I still haven't seen any of Series Seven since Amy and Rory took their overdue leave - mostly because I've been busy, but also because it's just hard for me to get too excited about it at the moment.

Whatever happened to the sense that the Doctor was all about travelling and space and getting into all kinds of trouble? I liked that. I want more surreality and adventure. I don't want each series to be some big fat mystery wrapped up with a little bow. Such series should come about when it's wise to do so, and not just as a matter of course.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:21 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sokka shot first - Doctor Who fans? By which of course I mean the original series. People who have only seen the new series I could give two shits what they think. They like the new series, that's fine, it's just not Doctor Who.
As for going back to 1982, YES that's what I want obviously. I want more of the same. I don't want a show with totally different formatting, different story telling style, different production style, very stylistically different scripts, etc. but that has the same title and some characters with the same name.
If you want to do that, just make a god damn new show and give it a new name and characters. I'm way less bothered by K-9 and the Sarah Jane Adventures because at least they are proper spin offs. They don't pretend to be the original art.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:25 PM on June 1, 2013


I didn't grow up with Doctor Who, but I started watching old episodes right around the time of the reboot. I don't think I knew there was going to be a new series when I started watching. Or if I did it was in a sort of hazy "maybe someday they'll come out on DVD in the US" way.

I like both Old and New Who, and tend to have my preferences more based on which Doctor it is than whether it's Old Who or New Who. For example I adore the Fourth and Tenth, can abide by the first three and Nine, and find anything between Five and Eight unwatchable. I still can't decide whether Eleven goes in "I can live with it" or "Dead to me".
posted by Sara C. at 9:25 PM on June 1, 2013


Also, MUCH LOVE to The Whelk for the Sarah Vowell bits. They are fantastic.

I would watch the hell out of Sarah Vowell or generic history nerd companion, by the way. It would be interesting to see the Doctor on the other side of the fixed point in time argument.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 9:26 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sara C. yes because peppered throughout the original series there are references. But specifically I'd point to The Deadly Assassin where they layout that Time Lords can only regenerate 12 times and then in Mawdryn Undead they try to steal his remaining regenerations, from there we can count backwards and determine that William Hartnell was his original body.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:30 PM on June 1, 2013


MrBobaFett, are you even watching the new series? If you're not watching, why are you bothering with this thread? If you are, why? It sounds like you hate it, and like you've got nothing but disdain for anyone who feels otherwise.

I watched the old school Who as a kid, and I loved it. I still love it, and rewatch episodes on a semiregular basis. I love the new Who, though, too. It's--like most reboots--isn't the same show, and I don't think that it was meant to be. Similar, yes, but not the same. Sometimes we're better for that, and sometimes not.

If you don't like the new stuff, you don't have to watch it--but the people who enjoy it aren't trying to spit on the grave of old Who, and despite what you seem to think, no one is enjoying it to spite you.
posted by MeghanC at 9:33 PM on June 1, 2013 [15 favorites]


I think one of the problems I'm having with The Eleven Years is that I feel like at this point the characters are being developed more as physical descriptions and less as characters. Like, I don't get the feeling that anyone in the room is saying "what if the new companion is a historian" or whatever, instead it's just a stream of generic pretty girls.

I mean, at least with Rose, Martha, and Donna, they had specific characters who contributed in a meaningful way to the story. Amy Pond seems like a sexy meme-generator, not an actual character. Not to slight Karen Gillan, who is super talented I'm sure. I've just watched like 5 episodes with her and I have no idea who she is except "person who is supposed to be getting married tomorrow". Rory is "Generic Doof".

That said, I still haven't gotten to any of this River Song stuff, so maybe I'll change my tune about this hypothesis.
posted by Sara C. at 9:34 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Really I just wanted to get in here to say, "Fucking finally." But it looks like I'm a little late for that.

Bring back Eccleston, or at least someone with a little gravitas & a little darkness like him. I'm all for a genocidal Doctor, because at least it would be interesting.

But I fear they will go even twee-er on the next incarnation.
posted by supercres at 9:37 PM on June 1, 2013


And really with Clara, the show might as well be called Doctor Precious. She's died way too many times, yet not nearly enough.
posted by supercres at 9:39 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


MeghanC. Yes I've seen every episode of the new series. I watch it because I hope against all hope that they will make something that isn't dreck. Which they do sometimes. Sometimes it's interesting but just not Doctor Who and other times it's interesting and it's Doctor Who! Tho lots of times it's not Doctor Who and it's crap.
My wife loves the new series and I don't have disdain for her. We disagree on things, turns out people can disagree about things without hate.

Yes it isn't the same show and that is the problem. Yet it brands it self with the same name. I also had this complaint about BSG. The new BSG series we neat and all but it wasn't fucking BSG. Just create new fucking properties.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:40 PM on June 1, 2013


So basically anytime a show wants to flip around the gender of main characters, you're against it?
posted by Sara C. at 9:41 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I never understood the appeal of Rose.

Martha was good, but I was not taken with her feelings for the Doctor.

Donna was A+++ would Companion again.

Amy is the brash, harrumphy dreamer, and Rory is the phlegmatic, dependable companion to Amy. Rory is eventually given more to do, in part because he begins in a much weaker place, and so has a place to grow from.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:41 PM on June 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


I mean, at least with Rose, Martha, and Donna, they had specific characters who contributed in a meaningful way to the story. Amy Pond seems like a sexy meme-generator, not an actual character.

I think Amy was OK, but the big female fans I know LOVE Amy Pond and think every other companion is an also-ran.
posted by bongo_x at 9:42 PM on June 1, 2013


I don't want a show with totally different formatting, different story telling style, different production style, very stylistically different scripts, etc.

You're talking as though old-Who had a consistent storytelling style. It didn't. The third Doctor didn't even go around travelling through time, which one would think would be a mandatory element.

People who have only seen the new series I could give two shits what they think.

Coarse language, lack of empathy, incuriosity, dogmatism -- what could be further from the spirit of the show in any era?

Much has changed over the 50 year run of the show. "One thing is consistent though (and this is why the show is so beloved by geeks and nerds): it's all about the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism."
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:43 PM on June 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


A female doctor just doesn't sit right, given all the other regenerations we have been through. I admit it will be pretty cool if they could (re)introduce a female timelord who kicks ass though.
posted by asra at 9:44 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean, at least with Rose, Martha, and Donna, they had specific characters who contributed in a meaningful way to the story. Amy Pond seems like a sexy meme-generator, not an actual character. Not to slight Karen Gillan, who is super talented I'm sure. I've just watched like 5 episodes with her and I have no idea who she is except "person who is supposed to be getting married tomorrow". Rory is "Generic Doof".

That said, I still haven't gotten to any of this River Song stuff, so maybe I'll change my tune about this hypothesis.


No, I have the same problem with Moffat. For all that Davies's run was imperfect, his idea of characterization was not just a catch phrase and a goofy look. Moffat spends all his time constructing these crazy plot labyrinths but doesn't seem super interested in the people he sticks in them.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:44 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sara C. Rose? Really? Rose was boring and became intolerable. She had a few good episodes but really she way overstayed her welcome. Martha was way better, but then her character got kinda lame too. Donna was great, and then there was that whole Doctor/Donna thing. Pond was problematic from the start. Clara seemed like she stood a good chance at being awesome, and almost was.
Sara Jane was better than all of them
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:44 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


So basically anytime a show wants to flip around the gender of main characters, you're against it?

WTF?
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:45 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rose I liked, though I agree that like Amy she sort of started off as a cypher. Maybe it was just easy for me to not see it that way because I was exoticizing the working class East Ender thing.

Martha I personally sympathized with for Reasons. And I liked the idea of a doctor as a companion. Even though now that I think about it I don't think they really did much with that idea. It would have been cool if she'd been a bit more like Gwen in Torchwood, a softie who wanted to save everyone with her Medical Skills. Like, they could have gone to the Black Death and she'd have been in there with the silly mask.

Donna wins forever, obviously.
posted by Sara C. at 9:47 PM on June 1, 2013


I admit it will be pretty cool if they could (re)introduce a female timelord who kicks ass though.

But now that there's only one Time Lord left, it's either the Doctor or no one.
posted by MoxieProxy at 9:48 PM on June 1, 2013


MrBobaFett, you are making arguments from canon, but Doctor Who doesn't have a canon. The continuity on Doctor Who is free-form. When the actor playing the first doctor got sick, they needed a way to replace him with a new actor, so they created regeneration. The sonic screwdriver can do whatever the hell it needs to for the story to work. The show changes ALL THE TIME. Even in the earlier run, the show wasn't the same from series to series.

For someone who hates change so much, you sure are watching the wrong show.
posted by mokin at 9:49 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


But now that there's only one Time Lord left, it's either the Doctor or no one.


Yes and the daleks and cybermen were wiped out as well.....
posted by asra at 9:49 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I feel like I like Smith's characterization of the Doctor better then I like...the actual episodes he's in? I totally dig oddly old/oddly young alien sprite Doctor - and the Eleventh Hour is just, it's so good, it's the perfect way to introduce that character to new viewers, so I really like that thread of "Well what if your imaginary friend was totally real and kept BOTHERING you in your adult life to go on adventures?" with Amy despite..not actually thinking she has much of a character ("temper" is her thing, apparently) and not actually liking the bulk of the Smith episodes? Does that make sense?

Like the Smith episodes will seemingly give me 2 or 3 hours out of 12 that I REALLY REALLY LOVE and then nothing between them so I guess this more abstract fairy-tale idea plays out better there? I dunno. I'm trying to understand why I kept up with it despite thinking so many individual episodes where crap - I don't normally do that, I kinda can't stand Tennant's Doctor at all I haven't seen half his run but I just kept waiting for the payoff from the promise of Eleventh Hour cause yes holy damn did I like Pee Wee Herman Doctor. Cause he treated all humans like they where 4, and that's kind of ...the creepiness I want from The Doctor.
posted by The Whelk at 9:49 PM on June 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


i am changing my vote to pavel petel for reasons which will become clear once you google him
posted by elizardbits at 9:50 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


We here on Earth don't know how lucky we are. There are other worlds that have been adopted by peripatetic Time Lords, but it's not always quite such a blessing. Consider Mizar VII, who got The Lawyer, or Rigel II, which got The Search Engine Optimizer.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:50 PM on June 1, 2013 [18 favorites]


MoxieProxy: There is an entire planet full of Time Lords and more out in the universe. Check out Gallifrey and you can follow several more Time Lords including great strong female Time Lords.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:51 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Since it seems that it's okay to go off on Who tangents, let me say two things, please:

1. Donna was the best companion, hands down.

2. Why am I the only one who is obsessed with Susan Foreman?? What happened to her? Why won't they just answer that? Was she really the Doctor's granddaughter? Is she still alive? Did she fight in the war? Who were her parents? Who was her grandmother?? I really thought Clara was going to be Susan; got all geeked up for that to happen. I like the actual answer better, but here I am still wondering: WHERE IS SUSAN FOREMAN??
posted by MoxieProxy at 9:51 PM on June 1, 2013 [13 favorites]


MoxieProxy: There is an entire planet full of Time Lords and more out in the universe. Check out Gallifrey and you can follow several more Time Lords including great strong female Time Lords.

But there are two completely different stories/universes, right? I mean, in the Doctor Who series, all the Time Lords are dead (except the Doctor and the Master?? and John Hurt???).
posted by MoxieProxy at 9:52 PM on June 1, 2013


I'd argue "died way too many times, yet not nearly enough" applies to both Amy and Clara. (I tried and failed to like Amy, and am trying and not yet failing to like Clara, though I can't quite say I like her, either.) But they've both felt more like plot devices than characters to me, and it makes me sad.

I don't understand the mad, passionate love that some fans have for Amy--it seemed like every time she got too close to being interesting (and/or not being defined as A Mother or A Girlfriend or A Wife, or, worse, A MYSTERY), she got wiped and rewritten, or it turned out to be not!Amy, or whatever. I fear that Clara will be going down the same path, though I'm hoping that I'm wrong.

Moffat is frustrating to me. Before he was showrunner, his episodes were, really consistently, my favorite episodes of any given season. Girl in the Fireplace? Silence in the Library? Yes, please, forever and ever amen. And then he stepped into Davies' shoes, and I started kinda dreading his episodes, and really resenting his season arcs. He creates all these characters who have so much promise and could be so interesting, and then he promptly...fails to deliver on basically any of it, most of the time.

As for Smith, he occasionally delights me, and just as frequently frustrates me with his manic pixie dream boyness.

In conclusion, Donna (and Wilf!) forever.
posted by MeghanC at 9:53 PM on June 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


Mokin, since you don't know me or what I like maybe you shouldn't give me advice on what shows to watch or tell me that I don't like the show that is my favorite show.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:53 PM on June 1, 2013


Put me down as a vote for Claudia Black with Ben Browder as a companion. (Yes, even though he was in "A Town Called Mercy".)
posted by ob1quixote at 9:54 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Olivia Williams as Doctor, or companion, or big bad or irate cyclist
posted by The Whelk at 9:57 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I really wish they had done more with Susan, sadly the show was still working on getting it's footing and also we have to deal with the period it was shot in. There should absolutely be a spin off looking at what Susan did after her time with her grandfather, ideally with way less screaming and fainting.
She is a Time Lord after all.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:57 PM on June 1, 2013


(Yes, even though he was in "A Town Called Mercy".)

Yeah well, Colin Baker was in Arc of Infinity as Commander Maxil and then went on to play the Doctor. So repeat appearance of an actor hasn't been a problem before.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:00 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


So there's hope for Warwick Davis?
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:02 PM on June 1, 2013


Since we’re debating companions, I will say that "The Girl Who Waited" was one of my favorite (second favorite?) episodes and no one could have done that except Amy Pond.
posted by bongo_x at 10:02 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Simon Pegg plays a Doctor who's had blocks placed in his brain by an unknown force so he can't access the bulk of his memories. He flies around with Nick Frost, trying to uncover the clues to his memory loss.
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 PM on June 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


Snark aside, I was speculating on the thinking that Moffat (and the BBC) are likely to employ when they select a new Doctor. The youngish male Doctor/young female companion romantic stuff has been a major part of the revived series. If they change the Doctor into an older man, or a woman, that will complicate the series in ways I suspect they wouldn't be happy with. (Whether you want to see those complications or not is another matter. I'm talking about what is likely to happen.)

I would be surprised if they go younger than Smith. Smith has such a gawky teenager thing going on already... I think they'll probably want a different kind of energy for a new Doctor, so they'll probably go for somebody a bit older and more edgy. (Of course, I kind of expected they'd go a bit older and more laid-back after Tennant, and instead we got Smith, who initially kind of came across as the awkward, extra-hyper younger brother of Tennant's Doctor.)

"Donna was the best companion, hands down."


I am a Sarah Jane loyalist, but Donna was awesome too... which is really surprising when I consider just how obnoxious and one-note she seemed in The Runaway Bride. I remember during one of her last appearances when the 10th Doctor casually referred to her as "my best friend," and it took me aback a bit but also just sounded right. Sarah Jane, Rose and Romana all had their moments with the Doctor, but I don't know if he was ever truly closer to a companion than he was with Donna. Watch that last scene from Midnight, at the spa. That was beautiful stuff.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:05 PM on June 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


Noel Fielding, please. And better writing. Hell, a trash bin and better writing, please.
posted by bayliss at 10:07 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


If they change the Doctor into an older man, or a woman, that will complicate the series in ways I suspect they wouldn't be happy with.

People keep saying this, as if their young female demographic isn't attracted to "older" men (for a certain value of older), or would immediately turn off the TV if the protagonist was female.

I agree that a female Doctor would have to be a very specific kind of character. I especially agree that they wouldn't go with a female Doctor that was in any way middle aged or "Mom" like.

But even from a development standpoint, I think it could definitely be done. I don't think it's entirely off the table. It's all about holding onto demographics, and I think that the young female demo they court would watch a show with a female protagonist and her sexy male sidekick.
posted by Sara C. at 10:10 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


On Twitter, Craig Ferguson recommended Rupert Grint. A fine choice. But I'd rather see Emma Watson, or, if you we're going for Harry Potter experience ... Evanna Lynch, aka Luna Lovegood.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:11 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah well, Colin Baker was in Arc of Infinity as Commander Maxil and then went on to play the Doctor.

If the Colin Baker Doctor is your precedent, never again.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:12 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


What is heaven, you ask? It is the Third Doctor, with Jo Grant, driving Bessie along a single track road over a windswept moor under an overcast sky, black cape lightly fluttering about his shoulders, forever.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:12 PM on June 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


Oh, Evanna Lynch would be so good! She could nail the sort of otherworldly Tilda Swinton type of character, but would work as the sexy young thing that any female Doctor would inevitably have to be.

I wonder who you'd want for companions if you had a young 20-something female Doctor? That would really be the main issue in terms of formulas and audience and the Doctor Who brand. Are the companions all hot guys? The Doctor's gal posse? An older Watcher type character?
posted by Sara C. at 10:16 PM on June 1, 2013


Could we go back in time and get Patrick Macnee for the doctor? Or Jeremy Brett?
posted by bongo_x at 10:17 PM on June 1, 2013


On Twitter, Craig Ferguson recommended Rupert Grint.

Balls! Geoff Peterson as the Doctor, Secretariat as the Companion.
posted by homunculus at 10:18 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


TERRY CREWS FOR DOCTOR

TERRY CREWS FOR COMPANION

TERRY CREWS FOR TARDIS
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:20 PM on June 1, 2013 [8 favorites]



I wonder who you'd want for companions if you had a young 20-something female Doctor?

Robert Sheehan or Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
posted by The Whelk at 10:20 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow Colin Baker may be the weakest of the original series, but I'll take any of his episodes over BadWolf or The Last of the Time Lords.
There were even some great episodes in there like the Two Doctors! Because hey Troughton and Jamie! Revelation of the Daleks wasn't bad. Also Vervoids.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:23 PM on June 1, 2013


and if we're going for US actors (but why would you?) Holland Roden for a young, femmy wise-crackling foil type.
posted by The Whelk at 10:23 PM on June 1, 2013


The Sixth Doctor is great in audio dramas in and in the comics.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:24 PM on June 1, 2013


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doctordonnadoctordonnadoctordonnadoctordonnadoctordonnadoctordonnadoctordonnadoctordonna
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doctordonnadoctordonnadoctordonnadoctordonnadoctordonnadoctordonnadoctordonnadoctordonna
posted by maryr at 10:24 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


doctorabzorbaloffdoctorabzorbaloffdoctorabzorbaloffdoctorabzorbaloffdoctorabzorbaloff
doctorabzorbaloffdoctorabzorbaloffdoctorabzorbaloffdoctorabzorbaloffdoctorabzorbaloff
doctorabzorbaloffdoctorabzorbaloffdoctorabzorbaloffdoctorabzorbaloffdoctorabzorbaloff
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posted by Sticherbeast at 10:25 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wonder who you'd want for companions if you had a young 20-something female Doctor?

Go with me here.

Young hot female Doctor meets a lunkhead bro constantly getting into trouble. Your companion? The Situation.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:27 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Doctor Who doesn't have a canon. The continuity on Doctor Who is free-form.

It's accurate to say that *some* of the continuity is clearly fluid, but free-form vastly overstates the case. Some of it seems very much less so.

For example, while the appearance of the TARDIS is completely arbitrary at this point, it's pretty darn unlikely that in the future, The Doctor will suddenly decide to change it long term to look like a car, or a rocket ship, or something else more useful than a police box. The Doctor is also not going to stop having been a Time Lord (any temporary romance enabling divergences notwithstanding). He's not going to stop having past regenerations.

I could go on. Fixed points, if you will.

Though I hate that particular addition to the canon, at least, as fixed points seem less some fact that the Doctor is up against and more like a sonic screwdriver for the writers.

This is somewhat orthogonal to the gender-related discussion, though. There really is no *technical* reason inside the continuity The Doctor *couldn't* regenerate female, and despite rule #1 ("The Doctor lies") there's some reason to believe that at least one Time Lord has switched.

I think the question is whether or not the show could navigate the narrative problems effectively to bring the audience along. I have strong doubts. Maybe I'm wrong.

I mean, in the Doctor Who series, all the Time Lords are dead

They're all dead. But then The Master showed up. Oh yeah, and all the Time Lords trying to break the lock at the end of series 4.

The Daleks are were all dead, too, for the same reason as the Time Lords.
posted by weston at 10:27 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also if you're not listening to Big Finish productions you're missing out on the best and greatest Doctor Who properties currently being produced. Gallifrey, Dalek Empire, Sara Jane, UNIT, Companion Chronicles.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:28 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Your companion? The Situation.

Actually if you can find me Channing Tatum's younger, cheaper UK equivalent this could actually be a great idea. The Doctor and her Dudebro.
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Are the companions all hot guys? The Doctor's gal posse? An older Watcher type character?

I'm liking the idea of a small co-ed ensemble that is comprised entirely of attractive men and women who all seem to be in love with the Doctor, and the Doctor mostly doesn't notice, except now and then she gives one of them a knowing wink or something and tumblr crashes.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:29 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


TERRY CREWS FOR DOCTOR

No.

TERRY CREWS FOR COMPANION

No.

TERRY CREWS FOR TARDIS

Interesting...
posted by homunculus at 10:30 PM on June 1, 2013


Mokin, since you don't know me or what I like maybe you shouldn't give me advice on what shows to watch or tell me that I don't like the show that is my favorite show.

Sorry, I was being a little snarky. I didn't really mean that you don't like Doctor Who. It's obvious that you love a certain era of the show. I just meant that Who is constantly changing, and—based on your comments in thread—you don't really seem to like it when shows change. It's a little incongruous.

I think I understand where you're coming from. I've seen things I loved rebooted or reworked into something I didn't really like. It sucks.

But I don't understand why you still hold hope that the show will return to what it was like 20-30 years ago. I'm genuinely curious why you continue to watch the show if it's "not Doctor Who." I know you already kinda addressed this with MeghanC, but do you tune in every week hoping for the Who you love, and end up constantly disappointed? I don't think I could do that. What do you get out of it?
posted by mokin at 10:30 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Scrolling too quickly through my Recent Activity, I accidentally appended the "first pop culture crush" comments from yesterday into this thread, and I thought the suggestions had gotten really odd in my absence from this thread.

"Kristy McNichol as THE DOCTOR"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:30 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don;t want to change the world, I'm not looking for a new Gallifiery...
posted by The Whelk at 10:31 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think the question is whether or not the show could navigate the narrative problems effectively to bring the audience along. I have strong doubts. Maybe I'm wrong.

Yes. They’re having trouble making it work with Matt Smith.

I wonder who you'd want for companions if you had a young 20-something female Doctor?

I don’t think it would matter because no one would watch.
posted by bongo_x at 10:32 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm liking the idea of a small co-ed ensemble that is comprised entirely of attractive men and women who all seem to be in love with the Doctor, and the Doctor mostly doesn't notice, except now and then she gives one of them a knowing wink or something and tumblr crashes.

A small multi-gender/ethnic/age crew of ACADEMICS (or just representatives of said things) that the Doctor has collected on his/her's brand new idea, stop running, stop fleeing, stop being a lone Last Survivor and to just find a way, through the education that having a freaking TIME MACHINE can bring, to make life better for everyone and stop the constant repetition of the same mistakes.

And then it all goes horribly wrong
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


So we're officially putting Space Doctors Without Space Borders on hold, then?
posted by Sara C. at 10:38 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Last I heard we're not writing for Doctor Who officially so SDWSB is still a go (plus, like, SAME IDEA! Idealism! Practicality! War zones! Life and death!Spaaaace)
posted by The Whelk at 10:40 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


imagine the space doctors sans space borders having to treat a severely wounded Doctor character, all alien biology and non-linear time jumping?
posted by The Whelk at 10:43 PM on June 1, 2013


Not to mention he's... The Doctor. Just think of the Who's On First possibilities...
posted by Sara C. at 10:44 PM on June 1, 2013


mokin

One because my wife likes it and I like to share that with her since some of our first dates were getting together to watch Doctor Who.

Two because sometime they make episodes like Dalek, Gridlock, Blink, The Sontaran Stratagem, Midnight, Victory of the Daleks (not including the last 15 minutes), The Rebel Flesh...
Yeah so I get one good episode a season, I also get flavors that are interesting and I can enjoy. Sometimes they have a good story but I doesn't make a damn bit of sense in Doctor Who. Other times they have bits that are good but the episode is crap and I try to figure out how to fix it.

Also Eureka is over, Warehouse 13 is going to disappear and I can't afford to just drown myself in Big Finish productions.
Also if I don't watch it, it makes it very difficult to critique it.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:45 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's accurate to say that *some* of the continuity is clearly fluid, but free-form vastly overstates the case. Some of it seems very much less so.

Yeah, I agree, there are definitely constants. I think the challenge is: how much can you change and have it still be considered Doctor Who? For some people, the show has already changed too much. Personally, I don't think a female Doctor is out of the realm of possibility.

And even the constants are flexible. Remember, at one point Gallifrey was a constant. But then it was destroyed in a time war.
posted by mokin at 10:46 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


And as a result of that, "Doctor As Sole Surviving Time Lord" is a constant.

Until it's not.
posted by Sara C. at 10:49 PM on June 1, 2013


MrBobaFett: fair enough. I think I'm at the same point with the Matt Smith run: I get one good episode a season. You probably can't be a true Doctor Who fan without hating some changes the show has made.
posted by mokin at 10:51 PM on June 1, 2013


Gallifrey destroyed in the Time War is one of the major marks against the new series. WTF were they thinking? Dumb.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:51 PM on June 1, 2013


imagine the space doctors sans space borders having to treat a severely wounded Doctor character, all alien biology and non-linear time jumping?

Somebody from Metafilter had a may have had, when he was 13 or so, a Doctor Who FASA RPG campaign set at the Bi-Al Foundation where Nyssa of Traken after curing Lazar's disease at Terminus was the new Director of Research. Considering it was a basically a version of DS9 meets E.R. before either existed, he was actually pretty adorably ahead of his time in hindsight.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:52 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Bill Nighy, or, in any case, someone older, because older means no sexual tension with the companion and different types of stories…
posted by Omon Ra at 10:52 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


mokin, right? I love Matt Smith, generally I think he gets the Doctor right and he has flavors of the Second Doctor that I love. And yet he has a lot of stories that I hate. :( Boo.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:52 PM on June 1, 2013


Peter Dinklage.

"Doctor, perhaps we ought to..."
SLAP

"Spoilers, swee..."
SLAP

"YOU WILL BE EXTERMI..."
SLAP

"It's bigger on the...I mean, you're...um, it's not...I..."
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:56 PM on June 1, 2013 [17 favorites]


SLAP
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:57 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


slap
posted by The Whelk at 10:58 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gallifrey destroyed in the Time War is one of the major marks against the new series. WTF were they thinking? Dumb.

Time Locked. I believe the Infinity Leaf could break the lock.
posted by homunculus at 10:58 PM on June 1, 2013


George Takei.

*oh my*
posted by Sara C. at 10:59 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


mokin, right? I love Matt Smith, generally I think he gets the Doctor right and he has flavors of the Second Doctor that I love. And yet he has a lot of stories that I hate. :( Boo.

Ha! I hate Matt Smith. Too much like Tennant.

Whether or not the new Doctor is a woman, I just really hope The Doctor is not young and quirky and bubbly. We've had that twice in a row already. Give us someone old and grumpy. There's so many variations you can have with the Doctor, and they're really not taking advantage of that.

And if the female Doctor is a woman, I second Olivia Williams. She was one of the best things about Dollhouse. And she's really attractive! Because that seems to be a new constant.
posted by mokin at 11:05 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


mokin Please more old and grumpy. I thought Matt Smith had some of that in his performance, and that he did a good job of being way less emo than David Tennant which was a relief.
Also I would like to see the Doctor being smart and clever. Too often they seem to throw it to the companion to figure out something critical out that the Doctor just couldn't see. Humans are talking monkeys next to the Doctor, let's not forget that.
posted by MrBobaFett at 11:10 PM on June 1, 2013


I vaguely recall that Ten hinted at having been a mother at some point and a companion being boggled. Did I make that up?

One thing that the proponents of the "attractive Doctor as love interest" limitation on BBC execs' choices are not taking into consideration is that DW is still nominally a "children's show" and the UK audience has somewhat different demographics than the US audience does. There's probably not a huge number of pre-teen and teen girls watching Doctor Who in the States, but they're a significant portion of the audience there. Which is to say, there could very well be an impetus within the BBC for a female Doctor as a role model. That would be a powerfully persuasive argument in some quarters.

Donna wasn't a love interest for the Doctor and that pairing is considered by most to have worked very well. It didn't force a drop of interest in the show. Moffat has problems writing women and he may have some difficulty with the idea of a female Doctor. But I strongly reject XQUZYPHYR's argument that the BBC would be deeply opposed. It was sort of weird how he talked about "Hollywood" in his rant. This isn't Hollywood.

And, Sara C., for all that I agree with almost everything you've written, I will speak up as someone who does think that there ought to be a female Doctor for its own sake, just as it was time for a female Starfleet captain in the 90s.

Anyway, I was involved in the fandom arguments about ST in the 90s after a new series was announced (which became Voyager), specifically discussions of a female captain in the new series, and the objections sounded then quite a bit like the objections to a female Doctor today. Or, for that matter, opposition to a female Starbuck in BSG when it was announced.

These arguments are a conclusion searching for reasons because the conclusion is self-evident and, anyway, "everyone" knows that the audience wouldn't accept the change.

The "men (especially science-fiction nerds) can't identify with female characters" argument and "a core appeal of the show is that the lead is an attractive male (which men will want to be and women will find attractive)" argument were both prominent then and it's no accident that they're prominent here. But they were wrong then and they're wrong now.

"Give us someone old and grumpy."

Eccleston was pretty grumpy but he's loved by a lot of fans. I think that was a big part of his charm.

I, too, agree that Olivia Williams in Dollhouse is a pretty good fit. Turn up the charm, dampen the sinister (but don't eliminate it!), add some more heart (literally), and add even more intelligence, and I can definitely see her as the Doctor. And she's 44!
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:24 PM on June 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


I wish to hell the announcement had gone the other way, no more Moffat, more Matt Smith. Now we're going to have Moffat... moffat all over the next Doctor, too. Bah. I don't trust Moffat to do anything good with a female incarnation, so I can't really even wish for that.

What I'm saying is low ratings and BBC funding is a lot more of a danger to the end of the Doctor than anything that couldn't be easily explained.

As long as the show is popular, I can't see them not finding a handwavey way to give the Doctor as many regenerations as they want. Arthur Conan Doyle tried to kill off Sherlock Holmes and ended up bringing him back and he didn't even have access to timey-wimey magicscience.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:35 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


For a new companion, my bet is Jessica Raine (who was in "Hide"), thus following the trend of Companions being drawn from a pool of Doctor Who actors.

Like Carey Mulligan in "Blink", she's a first-rate actress destined for much bigger things. But Dougray Scott and Jessica Raine as ghost chasers in 1970 with a developing romance was too awesome to just drop after a one-off guest appearance. I wouldn't mind seeing a spinoff three-to-six-parter of that, not one little bit.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:39 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Anyway, I was involved in the fandom arguments about ST in the 90s after a new series was announced (which became Voyager), specifically discussions of a female captain in the new series, and the objections sounded then quite a bit like the objections to a female Doctor today. Or, for that matter, opposition to a female Starbuck in BSG when it was announced.

Except that these things are nothing alike. Janeway is a new person being developed for a new series that is in an existing universe. (was) People opposing the idea of a female captain are just sexist idiots.
A better example would be making a series that is the continuation of the original Star Trek series and simply have Kirk suddenly be a woman.

If people want to see a spin off developed that has a female Time Lord going on adventures thru time and space, then I would be one of those people. If people wanted to see a gener-queer Time Lord or a homosexual Time Lord, that's fucking great.
However the Doctor, already exists and he a CIS gendered male who is ostensibly heterosexual, but since we don't see him spend much time with others of his species that's hard to determine.

As for BSG, Starbuck being re-imagined as female is fine. Cylons not being a reptilian alien race that developed cyborgs, and instead are human developed servant robots that randomly become human looking in appearance is an outrage.
Look you're telling a different story, that's fine, stop dressing it in the trappings of another story just so people will look at your story.
posted by MrBobaFett at 11:40 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]



The Doctor is male, he identifies male. Why do so many people think it's fine to just throw out his whole gender identity?


However the Doctor, already exists and he a CIS gendered male who is ostensibly heterosexual, but since we don't see him spend much time with others of his species that's hard to determine.

You're wrong about this. And it's kind of weird that you are so invested in the supposed 'gender identity' of a fictional non-human character in a show with no particular interest in continuity. But whatever; people with more patience than me have already enumerated all the reasons why you're wrong:
While explaining the process of regeneration to Rose at the end of "The Parting of the Ways", the Ninth Doctor suggests that his new form could have "two heads", or even "no head", although it is unclear if he is merely joking. In the 2005 Children in Need special, which takes place immediately after, the newly regenerated Tenth Doctor, while examining his new body, makes a point of checking that he has two arms, two legs and two hands, implying that regenerations can sometimes result in physically deformed or non-humanoid forms; whether this is also a joke is not clear (or could be due to the psychological stress of regeneration). In the second part of The End of Time (2010), the Eleventh Doctor also enumerates eyes, ears, hands, fingers, and legs, and after feeling his hair, even wonders for a moment if he has changed sex. (In a later episode, "The Doctor's Wife," the Doctor refers to another Time Lord, the Corsair, having been both male and female in various incarnations.)
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:00 AM on June 2, 2013 [12 favorites]


i am changing my vote to pavel petel for reasons which will become clear once you google him

elizardbits, there is only so much room in my brain, and when you force me to fill it with things like this I curse your name in the darkness.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:16 AM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


I vaguely recall that Ten hinted at having been a mother at some point and a companion being boggled. Did I make that up?

Ten talked about having been a father. Jack Harkness did talk about having been pregnant at some point, so maybe that's what you're thinking of...?
posted by OolooKitty at 12:16 AM on June 2, 2013


Also, I am boggled by the people who think Ten was more emo than Eleven. I have never seen anyone sulk and pout more than Eleven.
posted by OolooKitty at 12:17 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


But Dougray Scott and Jessica Raine as ghost chasers in 1970 with a developing romance was too awesome to just drop after a one-off guest appearance. I wouldn't mind seeing a spinoff three-to-six-parter of that, not one little bit.

Lord, yes. Only really good episode this half-season and it was carried by those two (and, to be fair, some decent Doctoring as well). But it was very good.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:22 AM on June 2, 2013


I'm sorry, all of the arguments against a female Dr. just smack of sexism to me. No one will watch? Really? Have you seen women? Perhaps you may have noticed the Doctors companions. Those strange bumpy chested guys? Those are women. Gnashing of the teeth and wailing that it'll change the tenor of the show, they do that every time they get a new doctor. I don't know if they would cast a woman, you're right in that they might just be too hidebound and conservative (rather like certain me-fites) to consider a dangerous precedent like that. Next thing you know they'll be talking about a female Prime Minister or something.
posted by evilDoug at 12:24 AM on June 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Ten talked about having been a father. Jack Harkness did talk about having been pregnant at some point, so maybe that's what you're thinking of...?"

That's probably it. I think I conflated those two things.

"A better example would be making a series that is the continuation of the original Star Trek series and simply have Kirk suddenly be a woman."

No, that's a terrible example. But you've already had this argument before — some people, unlike yourself, think that the canonical regeneration of the Doctor into completely new bodies with personality changes makes this quite unlike changing the gender of Kirk.

You think that because the versions of the Doctor we've seen have all been male mean that the Doctor must always be male; and you think that because that prior to New Who there was no mention of a Time Lord changing sex means that this doesn't happen. But original Who changed with the times and either explained the changes in-universe or ignored the inconsistencies, and New Who has already laid the groundwork for this change. Your argument amounts to a personal emotional investment that the Doctor be male and is precisely equivalent to a parallel argument that the Doctor must be light-skinned. Because he's always been light-skinned and Time Lords are light skinned. Or that the Doctor must be heterosexual because he's always been (apparently, or it's been assumed) heterosexual and the depicted Time Lords are heterosexual.

This is more about our past and present cultural biases than it is about what makes sense in a fantasy show where the lead character regularly changes bodies and personalities.

This is why your argument is comparable to those against a female Starfleet captain or a black Vulcan. You, and those other folk, are/were making in-universe arguments which are unusually weak because the narrative universe is a fantasy universe where such things can easily be explained by the writers and, this being so, your own biases are especially revealed.

Not to mention that a show which continues to reflect the cultural biases of 1963 fifty years later is both stupid and offensive. Do you complain that the new show doesn't have the colonialist white man's burden message that the old show did?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:37 AM on June 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


Isn't it obvious?! Bring back Tom Baker!
posted by Davenhill at 1:14 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am down with John Noble as The 12th Doctor.
So down.

Bill Nighy is too busy, but what about David McCallum?


I will also accept Colin Baker again. With Maggie Staples as a companion.
And William Bloody Russell better turn up in the 50th (with Susan "Foreman").

Whatever happens, whoever they cast, I guarantee people will be unhappy.
I will bet money on it. Cash money.
posted by Mezentian at 1:26 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


since they seemed to have embraced the fanwank this series I'm hoping for John Hurt And Jenna Louise-Colman to arrive in 60s London, abduct a couple of school teachers and then be plunged back into prehistoric earth.

or Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith getting a TV season.

Or going properly crazy and actually making a proper series every year and employing some writers not in the stale boys club that have run the series into the ground over the last couple of years.
posted by brilliantmistake at 1:41 AM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Are men and women so different that casting a woman as The Doctor will really change the tone and tenor of the show that much that people will turn off? I can imagine that fanboys will get outraged, but they are easily outraged and seem to like being offended. I suspect the biggest audience at 6:30 on a Saturday in the UK is not fans who “know” whether or not the Doctor could regenerate in a female body. I would say the biggest audience is still families watching the show together. Kids and parents. And it’s time that little girls are able to look at the show and see themselves represented – not as the assistant or the companion, but as the Doctor. Little girls should know they can be the Doctor, too.

I’ve written a show that’s premiering at the Edinburgh Fringe in August – “Who Are You Supposed To Be” – a romantic comedy about fans and fandom. And the hook of the opening scene is a woman, dressed as the Fifth Doctor, being questioned by a guy. “Who are you supposed to be?” he asks. “I’m the Doctor,” the woman replies. “But those breasts are non-canonical,” he says, tongue firmly in cheek. Except she objects to the premise of his argument. Wackiness ensues.

The show is about how we all have obsessions and some of them can be shared, but we all approach our obsessions in our own ways – so sometimes being a Doctor Who fan can bring two people together and sometimes it can push them apart. Unless they begin to understand why the other sees the object of their obsession in the way that they do.
On first hearing that Matt Smith was leaving, I was like, “Cool. Lots more interest in the Doctor”. Then I thought, “Shit. If the BBC cast a woman in the role, the entire premise of my show falls apart.”

Except, of course, that it doesn’t. Some boys don’t want the Doctor to be a woman, because he’s always been a man. And apparently tradition is important to them in their science fiction television show about a mad man in a box. Apparently they’ve never considered what it’s like for a woman to grow up in the same world where only men have gone to the moon. Only men have been President of the United States. Only men have played the Doctor. Because tradition.

So then I realised my show is even more relevant today than it was yesterday. And I’ll be putting out a press release to that effect.

And sure, there’s been some awesome suggestions here about Persons of Colour or Women or Gingers who might play the Doctor. I’m not sure I want to play that game, except to add – Anna Torv, in her “Fringe” Red-verse wig, as the Doctor. People seem to like that suggestion on The Twitter.
posted by crossoverman at 1:56 AM on June 2, 2013 [16 favorites]


"I'm sorry, all of the arguments against a female Dr. just smack of sexism to me. No one will watch? Really?"

Again, I was talking about what will probably happen, not what should or shouldn't happen.

But I will admit, I'm not that crazy about the idea of a female Doctor. The thing is, the Doctor is not a position that women have been unfairly denied. He is a character. We are not talking about the first female president. We are not talking about the first female Starfleet captain. People who think women should never be presidents or Starfleet captains are definitely being sexist. But I don't think it's automatically sexist to question changing the gender of a character who has been a certain kind of guy (with some obvious variations) for 50 years of adventures, across 11 different portrayals. The Doctor's not a job... he's a guy.

All I really ask is that whoever gets the part has the talent and charisma to live up to it. I'm not saying the Doctor becoming a woman would ruin the show. But if you want to inspire little girls, I think changing the Doctor into a woman is a strange and rather labored way to go about it. Why not start a new show, with a brilliant female protagonist?

My goodness, this news sure has brought out the Moffat haters. I can remember when people used to crab about Davies, and long for the reins of the show to be handed over to that brilliant fellow who wrote Blink.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:11 AM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Doctor's not a job... he's a guy.

The Doctor is an alien with two hearts. Why can't he be an alien with two hearts and two breasts?
posted by crossoverman at 2:14 AM on June 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


I am on the record (above, even) as saying that I want an older white man to play The Doctor.
I always want that.

I will be okay with them casting a Suranne Jones or Patterson Joseph, and I will keep watching.
I have done since disco was a thing (the first time).

But I will argue until my last breath it's the wrong decision to change that one aspect of the character. Because it is. It won't be a curse or a fatal death. It won't even be the blow that Dimensions In Time was to the show's cred, but I just like to think that some traditions need to hold, and the people who want change want it to strike a blow for some cause where there really isn't a battle.

(I will say, on both sides of this issue, there are a hell of a lot of crazy people out there.)
posted by Mezentian at 2:24 AM on June 2, 2013


the people who want change want it to strike a blow for some cause where there really isn't a battle.

Do you really think there is no cause for better representation of women and people of colour on television? Seriously?
posted by crossoverman at 2:36 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do you really think there is no cause for better representation of women and people of colour on television? Seriously?

No.
posted by Mezentian at 2:52 AM on June 2, 2013


CTRL-F Riz Ahmed
nothing? three hundred comments and not one hit? Seriously people sometimes I think you deserve Moffatt
posted by fullerine at 2:58 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Would love to see a female doctor. Would not love to see one written by Moffat.

If I Ran The BBC: Olivia Williams for the Doctor; Emma Thompson doing the writing; clueless hunky he-man with shirt-falling-off habit as companion for a 4th Doctor/Leela vibe. And more science less love/soul magic plz!
posted by Erasmouse at 3:00 AM on June 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Damn it. See, I told you that the news of Smith's departure meant that everybody would forget about the 50th anniversary stuff, and we'd all just end up arguing about who should be the next Doctor. I told you!

To be honest, I'm expecting to be a bit underwhelmed by the 50th anniversary special, even if it is very well-written and even if it does bring Piper and Tennant back. I want something at least on the scale of previous Who anniversary specials, with all of the surviving Doctors brought back together for a big, sprawling two-hour adventure, and a Romana cameo, and K9, and the Time War, and Daleks, and and and...

I mean, it's the 50th anniversary! Geek me up good, BBC!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:05 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


clueless hunky he-man with shirt-falling-off habit as companion for a 4th Doctor/Leela vibe.

There's a place for that: The CW.
posted by Mezentian at 3:06 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Actually, what we are all missing is that after November's 50th we are getting a Christmas episode.
Which should hold us over until August 2014.
posted by Mezentian at 3:09 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Since white males (in terms of both actors and showrunners on Doctor Who) have had most of the glory so far, I don't see the harm in letting someone else take the reins for a while. In fantasy and science fiction especially, anything is possible, anything can be written. To claim otherwise is to lack imagination.
posted by i feel possessed at 3:11 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


On Twitter, Craig Ferguson recommended Rupert Grint. A fine choice. But I'd rather see Emma Watson, or, if you we're going for Harry Potter experience ... Evanna Lynch, aka Luna Lovegood.

If Jesus was to return today, this suggestion is what would make him weep this time.
posted by biffa at 3:11 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


>There's a place for that: The CW

And the BBC is the place for the obviously classier "competent male/sexy clueless 'girl' in a miniskirt"? Turnabout is fair play was my thinking.
posted by Erasmouse at 3:19 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know, I used to champion the female Doctor thing out of simple feminism its-about-time-ness, but the way the current trend has turned the most common Doctor-companion gender/age ratio into the unchanging default, I think it's about time just to change things up for pity's sake.

I've loved Smith's interpretation -- call him emo, but he's managed to make the Doctor seem old despite his youth, and I really enjoyed the first series with Amy and not so much the second series once I understood the female agency dynamics with Amy, but at least Rory became a better character the way Mickey had. But sure, it's time to move on, they all come to it. I'm OK with that. All the fanwank stuff about how-many-regenerations or where-are-the-Time-Lords or arguments about fixed points or timey-wimey are sort of beside the point to me. Sure, canon, but this is a show with pretty flexible canon, and I don't think those aspects are really the most important things -- give me human stories, humane stories, and make sure you emphasize the triumph of reason over emotion. Frankly, I'm really uninterested in all of this turning-back-on-itself plotting. If you want something like that to work, say like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, then you make it about characters with depth the audience can care about. Don't use artificial tricks to make us like the character -- this is essentially all that Clara has, despite the obvious acting chops that Coleman has, and she's felt flat or neutered as a result. Plus, don't make every damned episode about saving the universe. We used to just save planets, or a spaceship full of aliens. We don't even go to planets, much, these days.

Still, as much as Moffatt has seemed to bring some troubling tropes to the series, I don't feel he's ruined it. The bombast is more of a business decision; I just hope somebody has the sense to dial it back a degree. Maybe, at least, some female writers.
posted by dhartung at 3:44 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Who says the next Doctor even has to be alive? I watched a Tupac style recreation of Les Dawson, a long dead comedian last night. My vote is for John Laurie (Frazer from Dad's Army).

Actually, though I found the suggestions for a female Doctor to be somewhat contrived, I can see an argument for going half-way so perhaps a panto/drag Doctor? My suggestion is Les Dawson and Roy Barraclough as the new Doctor and her companion Cissie and Ada? This would reunite all sorts of British showbiz traditions culminating in the greatest Christmas special ever.
posted by epo at 4:27 AM on June 2, 2013


The Doctor's not a job... he's a guy.

I think he's both. DW the show has a long history of back-and-forth interaction with its fans (see, forex, everything John Nathan-Turner did). Casting and such is a capital Event. In-universe The Doctor is just a guy*, but in-our-universe it's a job. Both exist simultaneously, which is a little timey-wimey but nonetheless true.

*Or gal.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:50 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like I like Smith's characterization of the Doctor better then I like...the actual episodes he's in?

Oh God YES. You've just put a vague sense I had into words.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:57 AM on June 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oh, and Naveen Andrews is an inspired choice. For some reason I can see him turning it down.

....Although, Jorge Garcia - THAT would be interesting.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:58 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why can't he be an alien with two hearts and two breasts?

Why should he be?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:07 AM on June 2, 2013


As for going back to 1982, YES that's what I want obviously. I want more of the same. I don't want a show with totally different formatting, different story telling style, different production style, very stylistically different scripts, etc. but that has the same title and some characters with the same name.

Your lawn: bigger on the inside, still unacceptably full of kids.
posted by jaduncan at 5:08 AM on June 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


Rupert Grint!
posted by redbeard at 5:12 AM on June 2, 2013


Why should he be?

No one's saying he should be, just that there's no real reason why he couldn't be. And that that would be nice.
posted by liquorice at 5:12 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


His thoughts were red thoughts except all of your support comes from the new show which is full of stupid crap that doesn't make sense. You have to go back to the original source material, if it doesn't fit with the original source you throw it out.
posted by MrBobaFett at 5:15 AM on June 2, 2013


DW the show has a long history of back-and-forth interaction with its fans (see, forex, everything John Nathan-Turner did).

Are you including the getting sexual favours from underage male fanboys in that?
posted by Grangousier at 5:19 AM on June 2, 2013



except all of your support comes from the new show which is full of stupid crap that doesn't make sense.


Which you watch on a regular basis. If you were that concerned you could register your protest by not watching. Clearly they're doing something right if people like yourself are still watching.
posted by panboi at 5:20 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ivan Fyodorovich it's pretty clear that you haven't actually read what I've written. If you're going to attempt address my arguments maybe you should read them and not just skim and assume I'm a sexist/homophobic/racist dirtbag.
posted by MrBobaFett at 5:21 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder when Smith told Moffat he was leaving. Leaving now puts Moffat in a bit of a spot because the 50th anniversary special has been filmed. That means that the Doctor is going to regenerate in the Christmas special with no arc to lead into that happening (though I suppose you could build something out of Smith and Hurt battling in the anniversary show). Except for last year Moffat has kept his Christmas specials relatively Christmassy. If that's what he had planned for this year, and filming is scheduled to start next month, they're probably going to have to do a complete rewrite of the special.
posted by plastic_animals at 5:22 AM on June 2, 2013


I have been waiting for this day for four long, painful years.
posted by who squared at 5:27 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


The next Doctor will almost certainly be played by a young (or at least not well established) British actor you've never heard of. (Anyone you've heard of is too busy to do a TV show, and too expensive for the show to hire.) At most, you may have seen that actor playing a bit part in some British TV show or movie.

The next Doctor will be played by someone who can pull off mad/off-kilter without necessarily being a full-on comedian. And most importantly, the actor playing the next Doctor will have to be able to RUN. ALL. THE TIME.
posted by mcwetboy at 5:32 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


His thoughts were red thoughts except all of your support comes from the new show which is full of stupid crap that doesn't make sense.

Sure, because the old show was full of totally rational, logical stories that were always internally consistent. Cybermen can be defeated by a girl with a slingshot! The Daleks - unstoppable scourge of the universe - can't climb staircases!

TV shows like Doctor Who are exercises in collaborative storytelling. The newer efforts are no less valid than the older ones.

If you're going to attempt address my arguments maybe you should read them and not just skim and assume I'm a sexist/homophobic/racist dirtbag.


Trust me, when you read your comments, they still make you sound like a sexist.

Also, the proposition that Ivan would comment on something that he hadn't analyzed and considered to the greatest extent possible is frankly laughable.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:33 AM on June 2, 2013


And most importantly, the actor playing the next Doctor will have to be able to RUN. ALL. THE TIME.

Ah, so the next Doctor will be Mo Farah.
posted by drezdn at 5:36 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Though he has already appeared in Dr. Who, I nominate Ardal O'Hanlon.
posted by drezdn at 5:37 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


the next Doctor will be Mo Farah.

Saves the universe, pulls a big grin and a mobot? Works for me.
posted by jaduncan at 5:43 AM on June 2, 2013


I nominate Ardal O'Hanlon.

You see Leela, the outside of the TARDIS is small, but the inside is far away.
posted by comealongpole at 5:54 AM on June 2, 2013 [10 favorites]


I nominate Ardal O'Hanlon.

He's definitely got experience being a better version of a character.
posted by Etrigan at 6:16 AM on June 2, 2013


No one's saying he should be, just that there's no real reason why he couldn't be. And that that would be nice.
Except you're wanting a change, you need to present an argument for change.
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:16 AM on June 2, 2013


If I may divert from the name-dropping...
Prior to this announcement, Smith had publicly said he was on-board for the 8th series, as has Jenna-Louise Coleman. And then this drops like a bomb out of nowhere. Were their declarations of being back for the 8th series deliberate misdirection, or has something else happened? And, while Matt Smith has now been nixed for the 8th series, I haven't read anything saying the same for Coleman (or do we simply assume the character goes away, too?)

Perhaps, the next series will be a more of a mini-series telling the story of the Time War, featuring Hurt?
posted by Thorzdad at 6:20 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gentleman Caller is hoping Romola Garai plays a Companion that the Doctor picks up at Occupy London.

SASQUATCH CUMMERBUND
posted by pxe2000 at 6:24 AM on June 2, 2013


If I Ran The BBC: Olivia Williams for the Doctor; Emma Thompson doing the writing

When I first got into Doctor Who, I discovered this Nine fanfic, where he runs into Elinor and Maryanne Dashwood right after the timewar.

It's pretty great.

And I have now outed myself as someone who reads Doctor Who fanfic. So... send me your alternative universe stories where River Song is just a really smart, delightful woman who travels out of sequence with the Doctor?
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 6:27 AM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Except you're wanting a change, you need to present an argument for change.

Many people already have presented their arguments for change, but I'm willing to reiterate some points made last night.

One of the things that's pretty consistent about the show is that the Doctor is very, very smart. He's always the expert, delivering the exposition to the clueless companions.

Now, in universe, this makes sense. He's the Time Traveling Wizard; the companions are the representations of us, the viewer.

But imagine if you grew up female or a person of color -- there's always the subtle, non-intended message that you can never be the smartest, coolest person in the room. You're always the one receiving the exposition, never the one giving it.

Well... this is just one show is an argument that can be made. But it doesn't exist in a vacuum. As I said in an earlier comment, women are trained to empathize with male characters. Mainly because we're given no other choice.

It can be really tiring to be a woman into nerd culture. I think partially why Donna is so beloved is that for once there was a character who really felt like US. (For various values of us.)

I realize that those are out of universe reasons for a female Doctor or a Doctor of color. But they are pretty real to those of us living in these bodies.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 6:43 AM on June 2, 2013 [16 favorites]


Certainly not available so don't worry, but how about Whoopi Goldberg channeling the mannerisms and dialect of Tom Baker?
posted by sammyo at 7:10 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


To me the problem is not that Matt Smith is leaving. The problem is that Steven Moffat is choosing his replacement.
posted by Legomancer at 7:16 AM on June 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


To me, the problem is that Moffat isn't going instead.
posted by peppermind at 7:19 AM on June 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Making the Doctor a gay woman of color would a go a long way in repairing the Eurocentric patriarchism that unfortunately provides the underpinning for much of the series.
posted by Renoroc at 7:25 AM on June 2, 2013


Wild idea.

I happen to know, from a personal connection, that when Charlie Sheen cracked up on Two and a Half Men, Melissa McCarthy pitched showrunner Chuck Lorre with an idea. McCarthy, of course, works with Lorre on Mike & Molly.

Let me take Charlie Sheen's role for an episode, McCarthy said.

Don't explain it, don't change the character's name, don't change the script, don't change how others react to him, etc. Heck, don't even change the costume. Let me wear the bowling shirts.

Every episode, for the entire season of the experiment, someone new is playing the role. But the show just carries on as if nothing had happened. Every episode, the actor is a surprise, with no forewarning. The PR alone -- who's doing it this week? -- would be worth it. Because the time commitment would be only a few days work, actors would be falling over themselves trying to give it a shot.

So, there you go. Who's the next Doctor? Everyone. Everyone is the next Doctor.

Hugh Grant is the next Doctor... Colin Firth is the next Doctor... Helen Mirren is the next Doctor...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:27 AM on June 2, 2013 [19 favorites]


The only person in the Doctor's entire timeline is Clara. If, you know, we're doing odd timey wimey regens to make the Doctor a woman.
posted by jaduncan at 7:32 AM on June 2, 2013


McCarthy's idea wouldn't get me watching Two and a Half Men, but I love it just the same. Reminds me of Patton Oswalt's standing dead still on an episode of King of Queens without any explanation, but over a whole season.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:34 AM on June 2, 2013


XQUZYPHYR: "Honestly, just as I did with Eccelston and Tennant leaving, I continue to find this bizarre movement to spontaneously change the gender or ethnicity of The Doctor as if it creates some kind of retroactive progressivisim in Hollywood... as if, if the Doctor is now a woman we can pretend that the Doctor was always a woman for those last 50 years or something. It always feels like this is some fanboyish demand because taking the risk of perhaps embracing a new property that stars someone who isn't a white guy is too hard, both for producers and the audience.

Plus, let's get real people. I kinda of darky love the ridiculous wish list being tossed about by a largely-newer fandom that embraced the show after it skyrocketed to popularity in America because it shifted to a stringent model of "clever young man has adventures while earning the fancy of clever younger woman because it creates the fantasies both key gender demographics want" and now think the BBC is going to satisfy some insane progressive fanfic wish fulfillment by... not continuing to do that.

Seriously, people... you chose Buffy the Time Lord and you're stuck with it now. But please, keep suggesting these radical, risky changes the BBC can make because they might consider replacing their faucet that is currently pouring money all over the floor. It's cute.
"

I can imagine a lot of girls, and people of color are pulling for a Doctor to be a woman, POC, or some combination of both because they like the show AND would like to see someone like them as a hero. Yes, fans of the show would like to see these changes. They care because they are fans.

Representation matters, and for you, a white dude, to kind of just waltz in and be so airly dismissive of fans who are also women and people of color along with those that would like to see more minority representation ("insane"? "it's cute"? Seriously?) really a assholish thing to say. You're not a person of color or a woman, so to be so patronizing about those who are and would like to see someone who looks a little more like them represented in popular entertainment is kind of emblematic of why maybe the franchise does need a doctor who's (gasp) a woman or (double gasp) maybe even not white!
posted by ShawnStruck at 7:40 AM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Add me to the short list of people who thinks a lot of the writing problems with Who would be resolved by a return to serials of 4 or 6 20-25 minute episodes. It would solve a lot of Moffat's writing problems (not his issues with women, such as they are) and let character arcs shine a bit more. I know it's not going to happen, but neither is a female Doctor, most likely, and if we're spitballing to improve Who, we might as well spitball all sorts of different things.

(I want an older guy, dial down the romance, and would be perfectly happy for it to be a POC. Not that keen on a woman--and I say that as a woman myself--but I would watch the shit out of a Romana show or a Vastra/Jenny/Strax show, and I loved SJA. Speaking of which, let's have a companion more on the Sarah Jane or Liz Shaw or Martha model: someone who has some competence of her own. I loved Donna for not putting up with Ten's crap, but her ending and the whole undone-Pygmailon arc of hers was on the long list of reasons RTD competes with JNT as the showrunner low of Who.)
posted by immlass at 7:42 AM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hasn't Doctor Who been getting younger with each death? Kind of like Benjamin Button?
posted by FunkyHelix at 7:50 AM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


If they go with another young-ish, male doctor, they should go with a Brendan Gleeson or Colm Meaney type as the companion. You get a Doctor who looks young but is ancient, with a companion who looks like his elder but is about 900 years younger.

Also: Brendan Gleeson.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:53 AM on June 2, 2013


Re: the 12 regenerations limit...

1) The Master has already had more regenerations than this, at one point being awarded extras from the other Time Lords. This suggests the limit of 12 is more of a rule than a physiological limitation. Given that the Doctor stole his TARDIS and doesn't give a whit about most of the Time Lord rulebook, it's hard to see why he'd stop there. Plus, they're dead. What are they going to do if he goes over?
2) The penultimate incarnation of the Doctor was revealed long ago. He's the Valeyard, the sort of dark, villainous Doctor. Unless John Hurt is playing the Valeyard, this probably takes the 12 regenerations limit off the table. This is because early indications are that Hurt is playing a sort of "lost" 9th Doctor. That would make Smith the 12th. If there are only 13, the Valeyard is 12 and Smith isn't the Valeyard. I suppose it's possible that Hurt's incarnation somehow won't count, but does anyone really think Smith will regenerate into a crazed villain in silly robes this Christmas?
3) Also: MONEY. It's nigh-on impossible to imagine a scenario where the Beeb kills a cash cow because of a little-discussed bit of canon from decades ago.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:07 AM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think we're all forgetting that Tilda Swinton has already been a Time Lord, and changed genders in the process. Has no one else seen Orlando?

However, if we are going with a white dude again, why not Tobias Menzies? It would be interesting to have him go from weirdly infatuated with Clara, to vaguely annoyed by her. That, or if they want to go older, and add a darker edge to the wackiness, how about Alexei Sayle?


Just no more Donner Nobow...please...that's all I ask. Wilf? Sure...just no more Donner.


BRIGADOON CATAPULT

BANDICOOT CRESCENTWRENCH

BENTOBOX CANTICLE
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:09 AM on June 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


Doctor Pratchett.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:13 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Butawhiteguy Cantbekhan
posted by ShawnStruck at 8:17 AM on June 2, 2013 [18 favorites]


OH SNAP
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:19 AM on June 2, 2013


Doctor Who is why I own a compass.

Sooo I'm at the open air flea market & antiquery crapperfaire looking for something that's not typewriter keys banged into cufflinks or bulk packages of cotton bedding when I notice a very tall man in a ridiculous outfit. Blue blazer, light brown pants, floppy hair and tartan bow-tie. He looked exactly like Matt Smith, he looked more like Matt Smith then Matt Smith did when he's not in costume. I had to check around to make sure what I was seeing was real and not say, a set-up or hallucination brought on by too many iced coffees. He was a at a table that featured, I shit you not, nothing but polished antique time pieces and naval navigation equipment. Like he is literally crossing his arms and examining a collection of artfully arranged hourglasses. It was eerie.

So of course I have to investigate further and he's pretty hyper, talking about antique navigation equipment, the problem of positioning on sea, all very enthusiastic and obviously very learned on this one subject, he's looking for something very specific and in mid-conversation points to a compass on the table "something something - that's a good one - something" and it's a pocket-watch sized brass compass of dubious providence so of course I buy it the instant he walks away.

Because if TV has taught me anything it's that one day that compass is going to start spinning around madly and then there will be a whooshing sound and then ADVENTURES.
posted by The Whelk at 8:36 AM on June 2, 2013 [39 favorites]


MrBobaFett: all of your support comes from the new show which is full of stupid crap that doesn't make sense.

With that single comment, you've completely torpedoed any chance you had of any of your arguments being taken seriously. You're suggesting that the first incarnation of Doctor Who--the show that made "Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!" famous--wasn't full of stupid crap that doesn't make sense.

I can't even begin to understand why someone who is dead set against anything deviating from what was the norm in 1963 would bother watching a show about how time can be rewritten.
posted by tzikeh at 8:39 AM on June 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


(also sometimes I have to orient myself coming out of the subway and a compass in my jacket pocket is better then aimlessly wandering for a half-block until I figure out where the hell I am.)
posted by The Whelk at 8:41 AM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Chiwetel Ejiofor! Or Tilda Swinton.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:44 AM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


So for all the people who are all nooooooooooo, the Doctor being a woman would completely ruin the show and would go so so so against what the creators of the show intended: Sydney Newman, one of the creators of the show, lobbied for this in the 1980s.
posted by OolooKitty at 8:46 AM on June 2, 2013 [11 favorites]


Or Philip Glenister from Life on Mars.

Yes. YES. Don't even change the costume at all. I would pay good money to see Doctor Gene Hunt slamming a Cyberman's head in a car door.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:48 AM on June 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


I would like to introduce the possibility that many of the males here lobbying to keep the Doctor male aren't doing so because they are conservative socially but because they favor a certain inertia in their nerddom. I am a huge fan of renewable energy, for instance, but I wouldn't favor a redesign of the Millennium Falcon for Episode VII that was covered in solar panels, because hey man, don't tweak my nerddom like that.

That said, I can certainly see how making the Doctor a woman could open up whole new worlds of nerddom and that could be a great thing. So I don't personally oppose it.

But maybe let's not assume people who don't jump right in on that are anti-feminist . Not people here anyway. Probably they are just fussy nerds. Cut people some slack.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:05 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


But maybe let's not assume people who don't jump right in on that are anti-feminist it quasi-racist. Not people here anyway. Probably they are just fussy nerds. Cut people some slack.

That's "privilege" in a nutshell, though. "I'm not racist or sexist, I just prefer when my mass-market entertainment features the same kind of people it always has." The fact that it's always featured people like that because of racism and sexism doesn't enter into their calculation. Why can't the Doctor or James Bond or Captain America or Superman or one of hundreds of other examples not be a white man? Because most of them were created when white men were the only ones who mattered to creators looking to appeal to large audiences because other white men absolutely would not be caught dead patronizing a non-white-man hero.

So maybe the fussy nerds aren't actively anti-feminist or quasi-racist, but they're certainly standing up for the effects of those things.
posted by Etrigan at 9:13 AM on June 2, 2013 [13 favorites]


(Sigh)

So there's no plausible story-related reason a person could prefer a male Doctor? It's only possible to feel that way if you at least unconsciously wish to subjugate women? Not even MeFites can get the benefit of the doubt on that?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:16 AM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


many of the males here lobbying to keep the Doctor male aren't doing so because they are conservative socially but because they favor a certain inertia in their nerddom.

One of the hallmarks of immaturity is fear of change; there's been plenty of research showing that children and teenagers are the most "conservative" of groups in that they don't want things to suddenly be different or contexts to shift.

Another hallmark is concrete thinking, the notion that there can be only one right answer in any situation. Asking who's the "best" Doctor misses the point that both can be good.

Put these together and you get Nerd Thunderdome.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:17 AM on June 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


Bear in mind, I'm strictly playing devil's advocate here. I'd be all about Helen Mirren or Tilda Swinton, personally.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:18 AM on June 2, 2013


If I make a cogent case for say, a black Doctor does having a different preference automatically make you racist? How about if I want a differently abled Doctor? Do you then have to want a disabled black female Doctor?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:23 AM on June 2, 2013


Do you then have to want a disabled black female Doctor?

Why is this argument still going?

Are we casting for a TV show or choosing a new state college humanities professor?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:31 AM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


So there's no plausible story-related reason a person could prefer a male Doctor? It's only possible to feel that way if you at least unconsciously wish to subjugate women? Not even MeFites can get the benefit of the doubt on that?

If you're telling a specific story wherein the Doctor must be a white man, then sure. But dismissing having a non-white man as the title character in a series wherein literally any story can be told seems less like "I feel it is important in this context" and more "I prefer my privilege to remain unchallenged."
posted by Etrigan at 9:36 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are a lot of things nerds might want when it comes to a favorite character like this. You might want something for ideological reasons, but it doesn't mean a person who wants something else opposes your ideology.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:36 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I myself will forever after be following Sara C's lead and refer to this process as "selecting the nerd Pope."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:37 AM on June 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


What do we send up instead of smoke?
posted by The Whelk at 9:40 AM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Naomie Harris as the Doctor (channelling some Tia Dalma) and Jason Statham as the Companion.
posted by She Kisses Wyverns at 9:44 AM on June 2, 2013


I don’t hate the idea of a woman Doctor, I just don’t know that they could do it well. Then again, I really like River Song and she is almost doing it there, so maybe they could. I would have been totally happy with her as The Doctor. If it’s a 20 something girl I can’t imagine that I would be interested.

I sort of don’t get the argument that there should be a woman doctor. Are we going to systematically cycle through until everyone feels like they’ve been represented by this one specific fictional character? There should be more shows with well written, strong female characters like The Doctor, I don’t know that you need to change an existing one. The idea should be "who’s the best person to play The Doctor?".

That said, there are very few instances were you could easily change the gender of a lead character, and this is one. If you have the perfect woman in mind, and she’s going to make the show better, why not?
posted by bongo_x at 9:44 AM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


If you're telling a specific story wherein the Doctor must be a white man, then sure. But dismissing having a non-white man as the title character in a series wherein literally any story can be told seems less like "I feel it is important in this context" and more "I prefer my privilege to remain unchallenged."

Or wishing they'd do something new with new characters or new SFnal stories and not have to do everything in the context of a single fifty-year-old character and show with huge race and sex problems baked in from the early years. It's okay to love the show as it is in all its problematic glory and not care for significantly changing it, particularly if you have no confidence that the change would be handled gracefully (and I don't, for reasons that have nothing to do with Moffat, whom I heretically like and prefer to RTD as Nu Who showrunner).
posted by immlass at 9:46 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


If I make a cogent case for say, a black Doctor does having a different preference automatically make you racist? How about if I want a differently abled Doctor? Do you then have to want a disabled black female Doctor?

The next Doctor should be a Corgi.

Still an English actor, still can have a cute female companion that finds him adorable and wants to snog him all the time, can still run everywhere. Can even hold the Sonic Screwdriver in his mouth and make googly eyes at people.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:48 AM on June 2, 2013 [10 favorites]


If you really want to rankle people, don't suggest the Doctor not be male, suggest he not be British.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:51 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are a lot of things nerds might want when it comes to a favorite character like this. You might want something for ideological reasons, but it doesn't mean a person who wants something else opposes your ideology.

I would place the burden on the nerds to explain why they don't want -- mind you, I mean actively reject the very idea of -- a non-white-man as the Doctor, then. A reason that doesn't invoke "Because it's always been like that," because as I explained above, that's a bad reason for a character that came out of the early 1960s, when you could barely put a non-white-man in a leading role on television. Many other people have noted in this thread how loose the show itself deals with this issue, so you can't really blame "Well, Time Lords are always the same sex and race across regenerations" either.

It's going to be a different actor. That much we know. We can be fairly certain that they're not going to find someone who is very, very Matt Smithian and act like it's the same person in the same role, like when Donna Reed replaced Barbara Bel Geddes as Miss Ellie on Dallas. It's going to be a new incarnation, so there's going to be change, so you can't even just say "I don't want any change because I like Matt Smith and what he does with the character."

I'm not saying that everyone in this thread who has suggested Benedict Cumberbatch is a horrible racist sexist white male asshole. I'm saying that people who are coming down with the vapours over the very idea of it being anyone who is not Whitey Malefordshire appear, to this observer, to be labouring under privilege issues. Show me a reason that doesn't come from those and I'll admit that I'm wrong.
posted by Etrigan at 9:52 AM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


His thoughts were red thoughts

Cybermen had an elemental weakness to gold, why wouldn't someone with a slingshot and some gold be able to kill them? It's not a new concept.

Daleks can handle stairs. Early versions of them couldn't but they upgraded constantly. They had hover platforms, they later integrated the hover systems into the chassis. There were also the Dalek walkers. They also of course has slaves/robomen. I thought they handled their different-abledness quite well.

Which part makes me sound sexist? The part were I strongly advocate for the Gallifrey series which is predominantly focused around two strong female characters one of whom is a Time Lord and the other who effectively plays the role of a POC/immigrant. Romana is easily the Doctor's equal and was when she was on the show. Now she is the Lord High President of Gallifrey and she does a hell of a lot better job than the Doctor did while he was President.

Or is it the part where I support the idea of a spin of series following Susan his grand daughter, where she gets the character development she deserves. No silly screaming and fainting. Or even the Doctor's daughter, why isn't that a show?! There is your female Doctor.

Was the sexist part where I think the best female companions are the ones with initiative and who don't play the role of a love interest? Zoe Heriot, Liz Shaw, Sarah Jane Smith, Romana, Tegan Jovanka, Ace...

Or was it the part that I think recognizing someones gender identity is relevant? If someone identifies male why should they have to present as female? And vice-a-versa why should someone who identifies as female have to present as male?
What if the Corsair was real, what if the Corsair did present as female in one regeneration. I would guess then that the Corsair was bi-gendered or some other form of gender-queer. Wouldn't that be an interesting character to look and learn about? Why not have a spin-off that follows the exploits of the Corsair?

There are many and various venues for getting more and stronger female and non-gender specific roles into the Doctor Who universe and even making them starring roles without altering a pretty well established character. There are lots of characters who could be just as interesting as the Doctor. It's pretty short sighted I think to just insist on making the Doctor a woman so that we can have a strong interesting character who is a female. Why can't a female be strong, smart and interesting independent of the Doctor?
I think they can be and should be, and I have said this often.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:53 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would place the burden on the nerds to explain why they don't want -- mind you, I mean actively reject the very idea of -- a non-white-man as the Doctor, then…
I'm saying that people who are coming down with the vapours over the very idea of it being anyone who is not Whitey Malefordshire appear, to this observer, to be labouring under privilege issues.


I’m not sure your straw man has actually made an appearance yet. Is this a preemptive strike?
posted by bongo_x at 9:58 AM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Have there been any black Gallifreyans or other Gallifreyans of color? Even if not, there is of course, no reason there couldn't be, I'm just asking fellow Whovians for background.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:01 AM on June 2, 2013


JustKeepSwimming I don't see any argument being outlined there that explains why the Doctor would suddenly change genders. You need an in universe reason. I also have no idea why you are grouping Doctor becoming a female either as identity, presentation or both, with the Doctor being a POC. They Doctor can absolutely be played by a POC, his hair color changes, his eye color changes, why can't the color of his skin change. It's just pigment. I will once again put in my vote for Paterson Joseph to play the Doctor, he would be amazing.

People want to see strong independent women in the Who universe, me included. That is why I want to see Jenny with her own show, Jenny IS the female Doctor and she exists in his universe! That is why I love Gallifrey, it's an already being produced show with a strong, intelligent female Time Lord ruling as the Lord High President of Gallifrey. How is that not awesome?
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:06 AM on June 2, 2013


I never got the Paterson Joseph love. I thought he was just awful in Jekyll. Maybe if I saw him in something else... Speaking of Jekyll, I could watch James Nesbitt as the Doctor, but they'd need to let him keep that lovely Irish accent.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:08 AM on June 2, 2013


I would place the burden on the nerds to explain why they don't want -- mind you, I mean actively reject the very idea of -- a non-white-man as the Doctor, then…
I'm saying that people who are coming down with the vapours over the very idea of it being anyone who is not Whitey Malefordshire appear, to this observer, to be labouring under privilege issues.

I’m not sure your straw man has actually made an appearance yet.


If you don't see that straw in XQUZYPHYR's and MrBobaFett's responses, then I don't know what I can say to convince you that there are people -- yes, even some of we enlightened MetaFilterians -- who appear to be getting the heebie-jeebies over whether the Doctor can be a non-white-male.

And the whole "Well, we can have a spin-off non-white-male Time Lord, but just not the Doctor" is like saying that Tyler Perry's career means we don't need to worry about the relative paucity of African-American roles in mainstream Hollywood.
posted by Etrigan at 10:08 AM on June 2, 2013


"Have there been any black Gallifreyans or other Gallifreyans of color? Even if not, there is of course, no reason there couldn't be, I'm just asking fellow Whovians for background."

Even if there's been a non-white Time Lord, there's certainly never been a non-white Doctor. And, the thing is, because there's never been a non-white Doctor, then clearly the Doctor self-identifies as white, it's an essential and unchanging part of his identity.

That's MrBobaFett's argument with regard to gender.

A retort for it with regard to race might be that we've never really heard the Doctor talking about his whiteness, he doesn't call attention to it and it's not a frequent character trait that figures into the plot the way that, say, his intelligence or whimsy does. So maybe it really isn't essential. But this is true of his gender, as well. He doesn't talk about how being male is important to him, he doesn't call attention to it the way that some men do, it doesn't figure prominently in the plot. So maybe it really isn't essential, either.

Maybe the fact that the Doctor has always been male is more a function of our culture's expectation of a male doctor than it's ever been something with a strong in-universe basis, just like the Doctor always having been white, and there really isn't any good reason at all to assume that the Doctor thinks of being white or male as an essential part of his identity.

MrBobaFett takes the opposite position with race, and I think that's extremely revealing. It's grossly inconsistent but he doesn't see it that way and that's because of his own deeply held assumptions about gender being something essential while race is not. There's not a tiny bit of evidence to support an in-universe reason to treat the two things differently.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:15 AM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


DirtyOldTown

1) the Master stole peoples bodies he didn't just decide to not follow the rule limiting regenerations. He's playing similar games to Mawdryn or Morbius, or hell any human who has tried to extend their life in some way. So yes it's a physical limitation not a rule.

2) The Valeyard is a potential future regeneration for the Doctor, he may or may not actually come to be a part of the Doctor's final timeline. He's a splinter in the timeline, not a fixed path.

3) Because the BBC decides to ruin the show for commercial success (as if this hasn't already happened) doesn't make it valid in universe.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:15 AM on June 2, 2013


I would place the burden on the nerds to explain…
...then I don't know what I can say to convince you…
...Show me a reason...


I think I’ve found the problem.
posted by bongo_x at 10:17 AM on June 2, 2013


Etrigan Who said we can't have a female James Bond or a Black Captain America? SuperMan as a communist Asian? Sure why not. Jame Bond is just a title basically. Same with Captain America, also both he and SuperMan exist in a Multi-verse where there a infinite different incarnations of them. Some of them must be colored, or gender queer, or even have four arms.
Hell how can the Doctor not exist in a multi-verse. There is bound to be a female version of the Doctor in one of those universes.
That said we are talking about the TV show Doctor Who, which is Earth 616. It's a specific continuity, in this continuity the Doctor is CIS Male. We did have a good story however that even in this universe gave us a female Doctor, her name is Jenny.
Why doesn't she have a show, make this happen.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:27 AM on June 2, 2013


You know, I think folks are right the show has a difficult place to grow with its current popularity so high... replacing the Doctor isn't just enough. What we need is a shake-up in the production and direction as well. What we need is Seth MacFarlane taking the reins.

And for those of you who don't have enough bile and throw up in your mouth... I present Doctor Stew.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:32 AM on June 2, 2013


Personally, I like the idea of a female Time Lord, but am wary about how well Moffat would handle such an idea without dropping every other thread he's been pulling on these past four years. Were we at the point of getting a new show runner and we could then get a female show runner or at the least a male writer more accomplished at writing female leads, I would be more enthusiastic for a female Doctor this Christmas.

A person of color, though? Yeah, this might be a great time.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:33 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's a specific continuity, in this continuity the Doctor is CIS Male.

In this continuity, Time Lords can switch sexes when they regenerate. There is more evidence of this than there is evidence that they cannot. If you are going to appeal to "continuity," then you have to include the parts that you don't like.

Why doesn't she have a show, make this happen.

Ghettoization. The process by which minority groups are forced out of the mainstream either physically or culturally.

Again, it's not that making the next Doctor a white male would automatically be racist and sexist -- it's arguing that the next Doctor must be a white male that comes off as an argument from privilege.
posted by Etrigan at 10:35 AM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


DirtyOldTown We've seen on Time Lord of Color, tho that was a flashback from the new series. I don't have an doubt however that there a Time Lords with many various colors of skin. It's just pigment after all.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:36 AM on June 2, 2013


Every episode, for the entire season of the experiment, someone new is playing the role. But the show just carries on as if nothing had happened. Every episode, the actor is a surprise, with no forewarning. The PR alone -- who's doing it this week? -- would be worth it. Because the time commitment would be only a few days work, actors would be falling over themselves trying to give it a shot.

At first I thought this was funny, now I think it would be great, for half a season. Something has gone haywire and The Doctor keeps switching. Then when the new season starts we get the real new Doctor.
posted by bongo_x at 10:41 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


But the show just carries on as if nothing had happened.

Except this part. The Doctor should wave his arms with lots of "What the hell is happening!"
posted by bongo_x at 10:43 AM on June 2, 2013


Etrigan I have explicitly argued for years in favor of a POC taking on the role of the Doctor, so can we lay off the racism claims? Because I think gender is a complicated thing and that it is an important part of one's self identity that others should respect doesn't, I don't think, make my argument for continuity in the gender presentation of a 900+ year old character who has possibly had the ability to present differently all along and has chosen not to, a sexist argument.

As for spin-offs, there are literally dozens of Doctor Who spin offs already. Some of which may eclipse the original series. Most of which blow the current series out of the water. It's not ghettoization to expand the property to include more titles that have strong women. Also I've argued for more strong women in the series.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:48 AM on June 2, 2013


Every episode, the actor is a surprise, with no forewarning.

Good luck with that.
posted by DaRiLo at 10:48 AM on June 2, 2013


MrBobaFett, The Master didn't just survive by stealing bodies. He was also given an entire extra set of regenerations by the High Council of Time Lords. So even if the limit of 12 is physiological, it can be circumvented. It's all established in-universe stuff.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:50 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ghettoization. The process by which minority groups are forced out of the mainstream either physically or culturally.

Yeah I mean here I am thinking what awful ghettoization Laverne & Shirley was too.

Jesus, dude. If you truly believe that giving a female lead her own scifi series on the BBC is "forcing a group out of the mainstream" (only more curious when, you know, you have been arguing all day about giving a female lead her own scifi series on the BBC) then you either have utterly no clue what a dynamic step that would be in the industry or just want to win at Internet Argument.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:53 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ghettoization. The process by which minority groups are forced out of the mainstream either physically or culturally.

Come now, come now. Nobody suggested putting this on BBC3.
posted by jaduncan at 11:01 AM on June 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


You know lnspector Spacetime never had this problem
posted by The Whelk at 11:08 AM on June 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have explicitly argued for years in favor of a POC taking on the role of the Doctor, so can we lay off the racism claims?

Can we lay off the claims that I'm making racism claims? I've specifically said more than once in this thread that having another white male Doctor is not automatically racist. What I'm saying is that the argument that the Doctor must be white or must be a man, and I'll quote myself here, "comes off as an argument from privilege."

This is what privilege means in this context -- preferring one's fictional heroes to be a certain way (which virtually always just happens to be "like me"), not because one has a white hood and a robe with "Knights of the Flaming Cross" on the breast, but just because one doesn't really realize how marginalizing it is for non-white-men to have so few portrayals of people like them in mass media, and for those heroes to be consistently portrayed in terms of their non-white-man-ness (Wonder Woman, Black Panther, etc.).
posted by Etrigan at 11:11 AM on June 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


Etrigan
Not arguing white male, never have.
Not arguing that my fictional heroes must be white males. Never have. Have in fact argued in favor of heroes who are non-traditionally gendered, who are female, who are of color who are queer.
Have ONLY argued that there is not a context in the story that makes sense for this character to arbitrarily begin presenting as female without any context.
Seriously this is like going after people for liking the original Spider-Man because he was a white male even tho they also like Spider-Man:India, because we're not advocating going back and re-writing the original Spider-Man so he was never white...
posted by MrBobaFett at 11:22 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Context might be a key word there. Perhaps if the next regeneration of the Doctor started to have gender issues that set up a certain, let's say fluidity, you'd be on board?

That doesn't sound like arguing for privilege. It sounds like arguing for a logical character arc prefacing a major character change.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:27 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Chiwetel Ejiofor's chilly, creepy Operative makes me think he could be a fantastic Doctor who's very different from the last couple of iterations, and he's certainly got the acting chops. Tilda Swinton would be awesome and otherworldly, of course. If Evanna Lynch could pull off looking like a very old person in a very young body, the way Matt Smith does so well, she could be really interesting. And Naveen Andrews as a super-competent, battle-hardened Doctor would be really, really cool.

I am not particularly interested in having another white dude play the Doctor. We've had a bunch of those; not to say they weren't great, but I'd really like to see the show try something new.

Having said that, what I REALLY want are some companions who aren't contemporaneous Earth humans. Someone from the past, or the future, or another world, please!

Ooh, you know what I'd really like? A Team TARDIS composed of people snatched from the jaws of history-- people who famously disappeared and were never seen again. Let's make Amelia Earhart a companion, or Titus Oates, or the occupant of the sole unrecovered lifepod from the wreck of the starliner Hypatia. Actually, I might have some fanfiction to go write. Excuse me.

(Also, Donald Glover should have played Spider-Man.)
posted by nonasuch at 11:28 AM on June 2, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'm on board with a non-white Doctor Who, but I wish people would stop (a) just mentioning the one black British guy they've heard of and (b) assuming that racial issues are the same in the UK as they are in the US.

If Doctor Who does go for a person of colour, then I've a feeling that the BBC are more likely to go for someone who's mixed race. (or bi-racial, as you Americans prefer it). It's a choice that's likely to be acceptable to a wider range of people, and one that is perhaps more representative of what it is to be young and British. As an example, if you look at the casting of Sophie Okonedo as Lix X, you get more of a feeling for how modern Britain sees its multi-racial self.
posted by zoo at 11:31 AM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile Captain Britain just got a change of race, gender and religion.

(OK, yeah, only for a bit, and he's an American invention, but nice to see anyway.)
posted by Artw at 11:32 AM on June 2, 2013


The next Doctor should be a Corgi.

Still an English actor...




Welsh. Corgis are Welsh. Check your privilege.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:32 AM on June 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Though Chiwetel Ejiofor is a favourite of mine. He would make an awesome Doctor Who.
posted by zoo at 11:33 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Have ONLY argued that there is not a context in the story that makes sense for this character to arbitrarily begin presenting as female without any context.

The Doctor always comments on his new appearance. I don't think anyone's seriously assuming or advocating that such a change would be made without any context. Your expressed wish to adhere to continuity has been addressed -- they've said, in the show, that Time Lords can switch sexes upon regenerating. I don't believe they've ever said, in the show, that the Doctor sees himself as eternally and inarguably male across all of his regenerations.

Seriously this is like going after people for liking the original Spider-Man because he was a white male even tho they also like Spider-Man:India, because we're not advocating going back and re-writing the original Spider-Man so he was never white...

No one's saying we need to go back and make a CGI William Hartnell say, "Oh, by the way, Susan, I'm your grandfather, but I could also be your grandmother the next time I regenerate, oh and by the way, I regenerate when I die, which is not actually a thing that I've ever mentioned before."

And also, frankly, anyone who said "I like the original Spider-Man because he was a white male"? That would be racist.
posted by Etrigan at 11:34 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


And also, frankly, anyone who said "I like the original Spider-Man because he was a white male"? That would be racist.

I believe he's actually half black widow.
posted by jaduncan at 11:38 AM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


MrBobaFett: As for spin-offs, there are literally dozens of Doctor Who spin offs already. Some of which may eclipse the original series. Most of which blow the current series out of the water. It's not ghettoization to expand the property to include more titles that have strong women.

No, but the fact is that the current series has a great deal more cultural reach and accessibility than any of the spin-offs, even the most successful like Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures. If a spin-off about Vastra, Jenny and Strax launched tomorrow and lasted ten wildly popular years, it still wouldn't get that kind of reach.

Doctor Who is an institution, and so is the role of the Doctor. When people call for a non-whiteguy Doctor, especially people who are not white guys themselves, what they're asking for is the mere possibility of entrance to that institution. Which is why it's pretty dismissive to respond to those calls with, "Stop asking for access to this culturally influential TV role and go listen to this obscure audio drama series, the first two series of which are only available for 5 pounds a CD plus shipping from the UK!"

And I'm saying that as a Big Finish fan who's really looking forward to breaking into my Gallifrey audios once I've relistened to Zagreus. Because, yeah, Time Lord political drama co-starring Romana and Leela and two K-9's along with the Doctor's ambiguously moral ambiguous older brother? I'm down with that. But it doesn't actually address the need people are asking to see filled.

Also, I'm an old-school-ish Spider-Man fan, and no one has ever so much as implied I'm a racist for loving original flavor Peter Parker. If I said that no adaptation or reboot should ever cast him as anything other than a white dude, though, or hated on Miles Morales for being a black-hispanic kid... but the beauty of Doctor Who is that you don't need to reboot to get the injection of fresh creative blood that the best reboots can provide -- the renewal is built into the continuity.
posted by bettafish at 11:46 AM on June 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


I always find it peculiar when MeFites jump right to calling other MeFites sexist, racist, patriarchal, what have you. MetaFilter, while hardly homogenous, is easily among the more progressive community sites you're apt to see on social issues. If you're not willing to extend the benefit of the doubt to people here, who exactly are you saving it for?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:48 AM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


MrBobaFett: "As for going back to 1982, YES that's what I want obviously. I want more of the same."

I don't... that's around the time when the BBC let Ben Steed write an episode of Blake's 7 where Avon defeated an opponent because he was a man and she was a woman.
posted by Auz at 11:55 AM on June 2, 2013


Well, technically, River is actually dead.

Irrelevant. Nothing matters in the new Who. Nothing has real consequences and anything can be undone. The show has become that bad.

The desire to see a different-looking version of a character who is already known for regenerating as a totally new human being seems very logical to me.

I think it was Davies who made a human version of the Doctor and was it Moffat or Davies who made a Dalek/Human hybrid and all that was just fucking awful but did I miss something and the Doctor is no longer a Time Lord but a human?

Because the show has become boring, and this would inject some interest.

To some sure, to others, not at all. Any sort of maleness or femaleness would be rendered irrelevant anyway as is everything in the new Who. Nothing that happens or that is said has any meaning as it can be conveniently changed when the awful plot calls for it, or an awful attempt at super duper amazingly significant (for the moment) drama. Go ahead, make the Doctor a woman, and then a dog that always asks to go walkis. It will be meaningless. While were at it make the Tardis a male, the Doctor a female, and the Master a Dalek. I mean, why not?


If the Who mythos is to be sort of Trill like then so be it, but the writing is so bad I don't see it being at all interesting but rather awful. I could see a lot of people, regardless of gender, having a shit ton of issues with the portrayal of the Doctor as a female but of course that is no different than having issues with the portrayal of the Doctor as a male.

I don't see the point of shouting down people who are contemplating what it would be like to have a female Doctor

Me neither, fortunately that's not happening in this thread. Let's hope we avoid any accusations of being entitled or privileged if one discusses the idea and disagrees with it. Oh wait, wishful thinking.

A main character who, it should be noted, started as a kindly grandfather.

People see things very differently. Hartnell was hardly a kindly grandfather, A grandfather I'd agree with, but kindly, not at all, he was pretty nasty to his companions. But to each their own perspectdive.

changing his gender would have ramifications

Would it really? I don't see the new Who having anything that has any sort of ramifications.

I'd love to see Ben Whishaw or Philip Glenister or Tara Fitzgerald or Samantha Morton in a good Doctor Who but not at all in the current Doctor Who.

you are thinking of gender rolls

I could see that being some sort of "sci-fi" desert on the new Who.

I'm asking unironically. Is it canon that our "First Doctor" is actually the Doctor's first incarnation, and that there aren't other incarnations we haven't seen?

In the new show they don't refer to anything before Hartnell but really, that doesn't matter. They can just change things at anytime. The idea of Canon is gone from the way new Who is written. If in one episode you get the idea that universes cannot be crossed over ever after a certain time and then a few episodes later it turns out they can for example, then there could be a female Doctor before Hartnell, as well as a teenager female or male, etc. Could be 30 or them, or 100, but more likely given the metric of new Who, a few thousand (see the millions of billions of Cybermen and Daleks that were apparently all gone but no, they weren't but they may be again sometime). Under the current standards of the show, the Doctor has probably been around before time itself and indeed, he or she or it is probably a manifestation of the entire Universe itself and all the quantum varieties.

But now that there's only one Time Lord left, it's either the Doctor or no one.

But even though there was only one Time Lord left they had the Master show up and Rassilon with some other Time Lords. Remember, anything that is established in the new Who, anything, isn't actually established. Any precedent is essentially meaningless. Gender would also be meaningless.

And then he stepped into Davies' shoes, and I started kinda dreading his episodes, and really resenting his season arcs

He in effect became RTD Mark II. I mean it fits with the show's idea of regeneration but fuck, what a disappointment.

I agree that a female Doctor would have to be a very specific kind of character. I especially agree that they wouldn't go with a female Doctor that was in any way middle aged or "Mom" like.

I suspect they'd bugger it up and make something awful of it.

It's clear that some people love the meaninglessness of the show and love that they can do anything and erase anything and change anything. Then there are those who don't care for it and that is basically the difference. Objections for and against say nothing about having a small perspective, or biased perspective, or privileged perspective, or a female or male perspective. I really think it all comes down to the type of story making people like or dislike. If you're a fan of the no consequences nothing means anything and anything can be changed at any time then you're going to love the new Doctor Who. If you're a fan of what passes for consistency in sci-fi stories, and you like events and words to have consequences and meaning within a dramatic context, the new show is awful.

Ha! I hate Matt Smith. Too much like Tennant.

I felt he had a lot of potential but I agree, they made him into the same personality with a different face as Tennant.

In fantasy and science fiction especially, anything is possible, anything can be written. To claim otherwise is to lack imagination.

Conversely, where there are no rules, you don't have to be imaginative about writing a good story within boundaries and as a result we get wish fulfillment fan fiction.

Which you watch on a regular basis. If you were that concerned you could register your protest by not watching.

Maybe you would but others not. I mean, how great is it to talk about something you've never seen or experienced? What if it's a household tradition? WHy can't you say you don't like the direction the show is going in or has gone in and yet hope it improves? I mean we keep getting the why not this and why not that so why not this too?
posted by juiceCake at 12:01 PM on June 2, 2013


Ooh, you know what I'd really like? A Team TARDIS composed of people snatched from the jaws of history-- people who famously disappeared and were never seen again. Let's make Amelia Earhart a companion, or Titus Oates, or the occupant of the sole unrecovered lifepod from the wreck of the starliner Hypatia. Actually, I might have some fanfiction to go write. Excuse me.

This feels like Bill & Ted's Alternate Adventure.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:10 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Etrigan Pardon my bad phrasing but you could be a tad more generous in your reading. I meant that the person was a fan of Spider-Man period. And that they were viewed negatively because the original Spider-Man was white and male.

You are advocating doing it without context tho! You have not explained why it would happen or why it hasn't similarly happened before. You just want to change it.

It is maybe possible that a Time Lord could change sex at regeneration. If so I would assume that the Time Lord in question would need to want to change sex, otherwise I'd say they have a pretty crap system if a continuous consciousness with a gender identity could have it's sex changed randomly so they might present differently than they identify.

900 years of presentation as male by an individual suggests pretty strongly that he identifies male. Especially if they can thru will change their sex at regeneration.

Here you want an example of context? Bring back the Rani, have her use the Doctor in more of her genetic experiments, during which she either deliberately or coincidentally causes a change in his genetics that causes his next regeneration to be female. Now you have a female sexed Doctor, tho he would still identify as male since his consciousness would be maintained. Now you get a female actress and a trans gendered Doctor. That could be interesting.

And I'm the closed minded one with no imagination?
posted by MrBobaFett at 12:16 PM on June 2, 2013


I think to best reflect our times, it would be better to have a more diverse, representative set of writers and producers. I'm still wondering why it felt like relations between Moffat and some of the other executive producers seemed so frosty, and why one left before the upcoming specials.

As for casting, well, whomever lands the role will end up committing to spending most of the year in Cardiff, which limits time to participate in other projects. I can't imagine a big name actor committing to the role without a largish salary, which the BBC seems to want to avoid these days.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:18 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always find it peculiar when MeFites jump right to calling other MeFites sexist, racist, patriarchal, what have you.

Who is doing this?

If you're not willing to extend the benefit of the doubt to people here, who exactly are you saving it for?

We don't have limited reserves of benefit of the doubt, as amply demonstrated by the painstaking steps I and others in this thread have taken to point out that we're not calling anyone -- especially anyone here -- sexist, racist, patriarchal, or even the dreaded what-have-you.
posted by Etrigan at 12:21 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you like, you can replace "what-have-you" with "not actively anti-feminist or quasi-racist, but certainly standing up for the effects of those things."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:30 PM on June 2, 2013


If you like, you can replace "what-have-you" with "not actively anti-feminist or quasi-racist, but certainly standing up for the effects of those things."

Then yes, I did accuse other MeFites of that. But people do that to each other here all the time, because people do that all the time. "Privilege" is an ongoing argument we have across this site, because it's an ongoing argument even in the progressive circles that the balance of MeFites run in. I've explained my reasoning for accusing other MeFites of that, at length, in this thread, from the very beginning of my pointing out that I saw it.
posted by Etrigan at 12:36 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


You are advocating doing it without context tho! You have not explained why it would happen or why it hasn't similarly happened before. You just want to change it.

I haven't actually said this, you realize. The closest I've come to advocating anyone for the Twelfth Doctor is two jokes about why Stephen Fry (white male) and Ardal O'Hanlon (white male) could do it.

900 years of presentation as male by an individual suggests pretty strongly that he identifies male. Especially if they can thru will change their sex at regeneration.

This is at least something of an actual reason that the Twelfth Doctor should be male; however, as I noted above, it's essentially saying, "We should adhere to the social values of 1963, when the Doctor was originally cast, at which time the BBC would certainly not have cast a woman as the Doctor." That is privilege.

And I'm the closed minded one with no imagination?

I challenge you to provide anything I've said that could remotely be construed as accusing you of this.
posted by Etrigan at 12:42 PM on June 2, 2013


Doctor Who is an institution, and so is the role of the Doctor. When people call for a non-whiteguy Doctor, especially people who are not white guys themselves, what they're asking for is the mere possibility of entrance to that institution.

I want to preface this by saying that I'm pretty okay with a non-white Doctor (which I can realistically see happening) and I'm pretty okay with a female Doctor (which...You Never Know), but:

I used to have more sympathy for arguments made along these lines, which I am much more used to seeing applied to mainstream superhero comics, but I find them extremely frustrating and doomed at this point because they presuppose a fandom standing at the gates of institutionalized privilege and protesting or storming the ramparts or whatever, and it doesn't make a lot of sense to me when you can just make things. Doctor Who is not the only possible science fiction show. TV shows are not the only possible way of telling science fiction stories -- so far from it! Rather than tear your hair out wanting something external to change, do what you can to make something new happen. If Doctor Who is that far behind the times, eventually it'll either catch up out of necessity or it'll die off, but there should -- should -- be, in a world of infinite possibilities, so many new things in its place that it just shouldn't matter anymore by then and we'll all be good without it. You can make some of those things. You can! It's up to you.

And if something new doesn't have the pre-existing cultural cachet of Doctor Who, what of it? Firefly had no cultural cachet and was killed immediately, and still struck enough of a chord with people it got a movie and comics and will almost certainly be rebooted in the next few years. Nerds like sci-fi. They like it a lot. They like the sci-fi they already have, but they have time for more, and maybe they'll even like something new better. I know it's in many ways a conservative audience that wants to see the same shit over and over, but if what you want is something different anyway, just take the plunge and do something different. You don't want to see the same shit over and over, and you aren't a special snowflake, right? The audience is out there.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:42 PM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


The UK bookmakers are already laying out odds for the punters. Here are the current popular favorites:
• Rory Kinnear (3/1—Ladbrokes) (12/1—William Hill)
• David Harewood (4/1—Ladbrokes) (12/1—William Hill)
• Ben Whishaw (5/1—Ladbrokes) (14/1—William Hill)
• Russell Tovey (9/1—Ladbrokes) (10/1—William Hill)
• Benedict Cumberbatch (6/1—Ladbrokes) (25/1—William Hill)
• David Walliams (20/1—Ladbrokes) (66/1—William Hill)
Meanwhile, BBC news reports on the rumors of Smith's successor, with the mooting of such names as former rapper Ashley Walters, Utopia actress Fiona O'Shaughnessy, Jon Pertwee's offspring Sean, Les Miserables actor Eddie Redmayne, Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel, and Big Brother's Big Mouth host Jack Whitehall, in addition to many of those already mentioned in this protracted thread.

In short, it's the traditional orgy of speculation every time the main actor leaves Doctor Who (the other tradition being the anguished cries of how the announced replacement will destroy the programme). Nerd pope election, indeed.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:46 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


A big name on the geekier forums is Ben Daniels

I would give up on television if Jack Whitehall ever got the gig.
posted by brilliantmistake at 12:53 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Etrigan, if you're sincerely trying be magnanimous, suggesting that perhaps people don't realize they are promoting an oppressive white male regime (but fortunately for them, you are here to explain it to them!) might not be the best tack. Perhaps try seriously considering the story considerations people have discussed at length and take then on their word?

Or not. I'm probably done though. I was only ever playing devil's advocate anyway. And by this point, you either catch my drift or by obstinance never will.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:59 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought about adding a few lines about how I don't think a non-whitedude Doctor would negate the need for new, non-whitedudecentric sci-fi properties in general, but my comment seemed long enough as it is -- anyway, the two things are not mutually exclusive, and I for one think sci-fi would be a better place if we could have both. To go back to the well of superhero comic analogies, it's really important to have characters like Storm and Black Panther and Jubilee and John Stewart, but also to have Miles Morales.
posted by bettafish at 1:00 PM on June 2, 2013


Here you want an example of context? Bring back the Rani, have her use the Doctor in more of her genetic experiments, during which she either deliberately or coincidentally causes a change in his genetics that causes his next regeneration to be female. Now you have a female sexed Doctor, tho he would still identify as male since his consciousness would be maintained. Now you get a female actress and a trans gendered Doctor. That could be interesting.

I was kindof waiting to see if anybody who was interested in changing this particular aspect of the show for what appear to be external politics-driven reasons would get around to suggesting an internally-consistent narrative reason for seeing the change take place.

It looks like the first person to do it is an opponent of the idea.
posted by weston at 1:00 PM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Rory Kinnear - boring, but I dunno maybe he's like a SUPER TALENTED actor who will make me forget that he's a pasty-faced bland.

David Harewood - YES! A++ would Doctor again (also, so THAT's that actor's name, I love that guy.)

Ben Whishaw - pretty

Russel Tovey - also sort of bland but looks like he has personality and DOSE EARS

Bensonandhedges Cumberland - ugh really

David Walliams - surely not

Les Miserables actor Eddie Redmayne, Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel

Could get behind either of these situations. I think Eddie Redmayne is a little too much like Matt Smith, though. I'm having trouble envisioning how an Eddie Redmayne Doctor would be different from a Matt Smith Doctor. (A problem I also have with Ben Whishaw, pretty though he may be.)
posted by Sara C. at 1:01 PM on June 2, 2013


Benedict Cumberbatch would be a much better Romana. Or Romano, I suppose.
posted by Grangousier at 1:03 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Since it's a BBC property, it seems unlikely they'd go with non-English.

They already have, twice.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:05 PM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Evanna Lynch as a cocky sweets-munching scarf wearing "I'm 900 YEARS OLD BUT IN THE BODY OF A 23 YEAR OLD LADY HOW AWESOME IS THAT" Doctor, with Benedict Cumberbatch as icy-glam superior First Romana.

I would watch the FUUUUCK out of that
posted by Sara C. at 1:05 PM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Grangousier: "Benedict Cumberbatch would be a much better Romana. Or Romano, I suppose."

I think you mean Fred.
posted by bettafish at 1:05 PM on June 2, 2013


It always bothers me in that scene that she's shivering and HES HOLDING HER COAT

Like did he forget a bit of blocking or something?
posted by Sara C. at 1:07 PM on June 2, 2013


Etrigan, if you're sincerely trying be magnanimous, suggesting that perhaps people don't realize they are promoting an oppressive white male regime (but fortunately for them, you are here to explain it to them!) might not be the best tack.

The best tack for what? I'm supposed to be pointing out that privilege is an invisible and pernicious thing without actually saying "Hey, privilege is an invisible and pernicious thing"?

Perhaps try seriously considering the story considerations people have discussed at length and take then on their word?

Perhaps try reading what I've written in this thread, including a comment I made 17 minutes before yours where I addressed why these "story considerations" boil down to "Let's keep this casting choice essentially the way it was made in 1963, when The Black and White Minstrel Show consistently got double the viewers of Doctor Who."
posted by Etrigan at 1:11 PM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


The best thing about Nerd Pope Elections is realising how fucking enormous the pool of Extremely Talented British Actors is. It must be like being a Kenyan steeplechaser or New Zealand rugby player.
posted by fullerine at 1:13 PM on June 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Obstinance it is.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:17 PM on June 2, 2013


Ben Whishaw has too much of the young nerd know-it-all thing going on. A step in the wrong direction. Benedict Cumberbatch would never, ever take the job.

My guess is they're going to halt the slide into youth and go for a different sort of physical look -- if the next Doctor is white and male, he'll be thirtysomething with just a bit of wear, reasonably good looking but more important, distinctive looking, and probably not dark-haired. Pity they can't get Rhys Ifans, he'd be magnificent, and it's about time a Welshman got a turn.

If he's not white and male it's anyone's guess.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:18 PM on June 2, 2013


Does anyone really think they could/would pay Mirren or Swinton?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:27 PM on June 2, 2013


I think people respond to the possibility of a new Doctor by making a list of actors they quite like. I don't think anyone actually thinks it through.
posted by Grangousier at 1:28 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't think they'd cast an older woman at all. If they went female, it would have to be younger. I think they'd want to avoid anyone matronly or schoolmarmish at all.

I definitely don't think Tilda Swinton would do it. It's just not the type of projects she picks at all. Helen Mirren has said she would do it, but I don't think they could afford her.
posted by Sara C. at 1:28 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Does anyone really think they could/would pay Mirren or Swinton?

No, and it probably won't be anyone you heard of.

Still, nice thought and all.
posted by Artw at 1:29 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I look forward to being pleasantly surprised.

Otherwise, Matt Smith's timing would be good if he were trying to get onto a pilot for a US TV series.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:40 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


My vote is for:

Hugh Laurie.

Or Ewan MacGregor.
posted by gonzo_ID at 1:41 PM on June 2, 2013


Out of curiosity, are there any UK actors in their twenties who were big names in their teens, but have disappeared from the spotlight in recent years?
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:42 PM on June 2, 2013


Robert Carlyle nearly got it last time and doesn't seem to be too busy.
posted by fullerine at 1:43 PM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Doctor Space Begbie would indeed be a thing.
posted by Artw at 1:47 PM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


He was pretty fucking brilliant in Stargate : Americans Don't Like Moral Ambiguity
posted by fullerine at 1:49 PM on June 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Angelos Epithemiou (aka Dan Renton Skinner) would be perfect. I mean here he practically IS The Doctor, it's eerie.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:53 PM on June 2, 2013


He was pretty fucking brilliant in Stargate : Americans Don't Like Moral Ambiguity

TBH it felt like he was playing a better character than the script allowed him, at times, being written as basically the Zachary Smith of the crew.
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


So strange to see such strenuous argumentation against a female Doctor in some of the comments here.

This is a show where the whole of time and space is within reach, you've got Chameleon Circuits and Psychic Paper and other such things attesting to the variability of appearance and perception, etc. But apparently, once a Gallifreyan is born or emerges from the Genetic Loom with a certain set of naughty bits, the connection between that equipment and their immortal, regenerating soul is an absolutely immutable Law of the Omniverse that Cannot. Ever. Change.

What?
posted by lord_wolf at 1:57 PM on June 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Martin Clunes as the doctor, Richard Ayoade as the companion.
posted by nathan_teske at 2:33 PM on June 2, 2013


Martin Clunes playing Doc Martin playing The Doctor?

Oh, that would be terrible.
posted by GuyZero at 2:36 PM on June 2, 2013


CTRL+F for "curse of fatal death"

Really, guys? C'mon. Moffat is clearly kinda tickled by the idea of a lady Doctor.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:37 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Richard Ayoade as the doctor and Brian Cox as his companion....well, I suppose it would be a step in a different direction, for all those who complained it was getting stale....
posted by asra at 2:42 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


"You are advocating doing it without context tho! You have not explained why it would happen or why it hasn't similarly happened before. You just want to change it."

I haven't actually said this, you realize. The closest I've come to advocating anyone for the Twelfth Doctor is two jokes about why Stephen Fry (white male) and Ardal O'Hanlon (white male) could do it.


So you are not implicitly arguing that the Doctor should be cast as a female? In that case we are in agreement. But context above suggests we very much are not in agreement.

"900 years of presentation as male by an individual suggests pretty strongly that he identifies male. Especially if they can thru will change their sex at regeneration."

This is at least something of an actual reason that the Twelfth Doctor should be male; however, as I noted above, it's essentially saying, "We should adhere to the social values of 1963, when the Doctor was originally cast, at which time the BBC would certainly not have cast a woman as the Doctor." That is privilege.


This is pretty much the exclusive argument I have made for the Doctor's sex. But it has nothing to do with the social values of 1963, that is why William Hartnell was cast, and the argument isn't, "because Hartnell was male all regenerations of the Doctor must be male."
You would need to look to at least 1966 to see a regeneration. OK so one time he regnerated and remained male, maybe next time he won't. So in 1970 he regenerates, this is a regeration forced on him by the Time Lords, so maybe he wasn't able to switch this time? But hey it's the 70's now, maybe next time he could become female? Well OK so he was being poisoned by a spider maybe he just had to do it quick and regenerate maybe he wasn't able to swap sex/gender. But the next time.. now it's 1980 and this regeneration was prepared for, he could totaly change gender/sex this time if he wanted to. But he didn't. You see how this is going? If you accept the new series he has now spent 10 of his 12 regenerations as a male. That is the text that you have to support. The text may have been a product of it's time, but that is the text now. It's too far gone to make that change. Sometime the right choice is to not produce.

If you want a Doctor Who where the Doctor is female you either need a good compelling in story reason for it to happen. Or you just need to bin it, dump the show entirely and do a reboot.


And I'm sorry it was I feel possesed who said anyone who supports the argument that the Doctor shouldn't become female has no imagination, since we are looking for an in story reason.
posted by MrBobaFett at 2:45 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


That is the text that you have to support. The text may have been a product of it's time, but that is the text now. It's too far gone to make that change

That is a really weird argument for the patriarchy to continue forever and ever and ever. But I don't think you realize it's an argument for that. So.

A female Doctor would be fun. That's why I was so excited by River--the prospect of a female heroic, Doctoresque character. A troublemaker. A ruffian. A scamp. Charismatic. And yet smart as a whip. Faster than you. Smarter than you. With more hearts. There aren't enough of those characters for girls, much less adult women.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:49 PM on June 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


Brian Cox

Do you mean the astronomer or the first Hannibal Lektor?
posted by Grangousier at 2:49 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Richard Ayoade

He would be great, but I'd only ever be able to see him as Moss ("I've got a flipping sonic screwdriver!") in Garth Marenghi's Timeplace.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:51 PM on June 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Why does he have to be human?
Super Intelligent Sea Cucumber Doctor!


Moi?
posted by a humble nudibranch at 2:56 PM on June 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


Do you mean the astronomer or the first Hannibal Lektor?


Now, now, as intriguing as that might sound, it still is a family show. Maybe Hannibal can be in the post watershed spinoff.....whatever happened to Harkness & Torchwood anyways? I miss Captain Jack... :(
posted by asra at 2:56 PM on June 2, 2013


One time I saw the actress who plays River Song in a store and even though I haven't seen any River Song episodes yet I was like eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Because basically everything PhoB said.
posted by Sara C. at 3:01 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean there are two Brian Coxes in the popular imagination: Brian Cox the Science Moptop and Brian Cox the Serious Actor, who just happens to be best known internationally for playing victim-munching Hannibal in the movie Manhunter. But he's Shakespearean and everything. I'm surprised he's not been dragged in before, actually.
posted by Grangousier at 3:02 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


The text may have been a product of it's time, but that is the text now. It's too far gone to make that change.

We shall have to agree to disagree. I am of the opinion that a show about time travel -- starring a character who is constantly recast -- is more or less daring itself never to be "too far gone to make [any] change."
posted by Etrigan at 3:05 PM on June 2, 2013


One time I saw the actress who plays River Song in a store and even though I haven't seen any River Song episodes yet I was like eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Alex Kingston! She is lovely. And awesome. Lovelyawesome. You will love her first few episodes (no comment on what comes later besides "blargh.")
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:25 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


While we are rescuing people from bad genre shows: Giancarlo Esposito
posted by Artw at 3:27 PM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Why haven't we considered Vin Diesel for this role though.
posted by elizardbits at 3:31 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


A female Doctor would be fun. That's why I was so excited by River--the prospect of a female heroic, Doctoresque character. A troublemaker. A ruffian. A scamp. Charismatic. And yet smart as a whip. Faster than you. Smarter than you. With more hearts. There aren't enough of those characters for girls, much less adult women.

Bouncing off from here, another part of what had made River initially exciting was her mysterious nature, and as a corollary to that, the idea that she had a life outside of what we saw happen in the show itself. Take that away, mix in some Mel, and you wind up with Poochie.

Without getting too spoilery, one of the biggest missteps Moffat ever made was to take River's mystery away from the audience. The other was to explain away the Bad Thing She Did in such a way that she didn't even have any responsibility for it. River would be made more interesting, not less, if she was allowed to actually be in conflict with other characters.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:34 PM on June 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Why haven't we considered Vin Diesel for this role though.

Pff. That nerd.
posted by Artw at 3:38 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


That is a really weird argument for the patriarchy to continue for ever and ever.

For that to be true, Doctor Who would have to be the last piece of art ever, and/or you have to unfairly generalize a specific argument for an established gender identity for a single protagonist.
posted by weston at 3:40 PM on June 2, 2013


Why haven't we considered Vin Diesel for this role though.

looks like somebody hasn't seen my fan edit of Pitch Black

my fan edit that is also canon

according to my proof
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:50 PM on June 2, 2013


Russel Tovey can't be the Doctor, for christ's sake, he's a werewolf!

Okay, who were the two non-British Doctors???
posted by MoxieProxy at 3:57 PM on June 2, 2013


Non English - McCoy and Tennant are Scots.
posted by DaRiLo at 4:02 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lots of planets have a Scotland.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:03 PM on June 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Ooh, you know what I'd really like? A Team TARDIS composed of people snatched from the jaws of history-- people who famously disappeared and were never seen again.

Or Emily Dickinson! All those years they thought she was hiding in her room, when she was actually gadding around the universe! "Emily Dickinson, Dalek Hunter." And Because I could not stop for Death is actually about the Doctor.
posted by orrnyereg at 4:06 PM on June 2, 2013 [11 favorites]


Absolom Daak, witticist.
posted by Artw at 4:08 PM on June 2, 2013


I'm pretty sure the next Doctor will be fully CGI. That way they won't have to worry about the pressures of the tight filming schedule or any of the other problems that crop up with live actors. They'll also be able to fine tune the Doctor's appearance to satisfy different audiences. Make him Asian to satisfy the Chinese market, female to satisfy those who want that, etc..

I'm sure it'll work out better than any human actor.
posted by happyroach at 4:11 PM on June 2, 2013


Bouncing off from here, another part of what had made River initially exciting was her mysterious nature, and as a corollary to that, the idea that she had a life outside of what we saw happen in the show itself. Take that away, mix in some Mel, and you wind up with Poochie.

Honestly, that wasn't it for me--it was more that she was initially presented as an awesome Indiana-Jones-type character--a professor and an archaeologist!--but those aspects of her character were diluted more and more until they were irrelevant compared to issues of her parentage.

I don't care who Han Solo's parents were, you know?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:12 PM on June 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


That is a really weird argument for the patriarchy to continue for ever and ever.

Link please? I'd love to read the comedic argument that Doctor Who is somehow a large cultural factor in continuing the Patriarchy (it would have to be ominous and capitalized in New Who) and that just by being male again, the show is arguing for a patriarchal society for ever and ever. It's very Moffat like in being over the top.
posted by juiceCake at 4:17 PM on June 2, 2013


For some reason I have a mental image of John Cleese thrashing the TARDIS console with a tree branch when it won't start.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:21 PM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


For that to be true, Doctor Who would have to be the last piece of art ever, and/or you have to unfairly generalize a specific argument for an established gender identity for a single protagonist.

I was reacting to the idea that the text is "too far gone" to be changed. Which is an odd argument toward traditionalism that could be applied to any franchise, career, or facet of life to resist a woman's entrance into it. Doctor Who isn't unique in this. But Sarah Siddons played Hamlet in the 18th century. The Doctor is a fictional construct, not a person. There should be nothing offensive in the idea that the Doctor's gender identity might be fluid, any more than any other aspect of the character is fluid.

But I suspect the notion of that fluidity feels threatening to some men? I don't know. I'm a girl, and grew up having to constantly pretend I was a boy--Superman or Raphael from the Ninja Turtles--if I wanted to be heroic, if I didn't want to just be an accessory to a male hero. Which is, of course, the dynamic we have now, on Who.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:23 PM on June 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'd love to read the comedic argument that Doctor Who is somehow a large cultural factor in continuing the Patriarchy (it would have to be ominous and capitalized in New Who) and that just by being male again, the show is arguing for a patriarchal society for ever and ever. It's very Moffat like in being over the top.

I was being flippant. But really, various artifacts of our culture, including pop culture, including television, including Doctor Who, support and reinforce patriarchal values, such as who gets to be heroic, such as what heroes look like, such as what sort of aspirational examples we're setting out for kids, like the kids who are the show's target audience. It's how patriarchy is always upheld, not through strictures or rules or laws but through a million little insidious, "harmless" things that contribute to the perception of gender in the public eye.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:26 PM on June 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


He was a at a table that featured, I shit you not, nothing but polished antique time pieces and naval navigation equipment. Like he is literally crossing his arms and examining a collection of artfully arranged hourglasses.

....Can you tell me where and which flea market?....

So there's no plausible story-related reason a person could prefer a male Doctor?

Have you given us one such story-related reason? I haven't seen anyone make one such argument in here; I only see people rallying around Tradition. And hell, even Tevye changed his mind about Tradition.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:27 PM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Has anyone mentioned Mitchell and/or Webb yet?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:30 PM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Everytime Hamlet is produced it is a reboot. The same characters are there and the same(ish) story is told in a new production with a new cast and a new director. But wet start back at the beginning.
Which is exactly what I am suggesting you need to do if you want to see the Doctor as a female or as gender queer then toy are f going to have to reboot because the current production as a continuation of the original has maintained an established CIS male Doctor.
Look this is exactly how you get a black Spider-Man or a communist Super-Man.
posted by MrBobaFett at 4:46 PM on June 2, 2013


I don't suppose people would get the hint this time either if I said I wanted a wanted a differently abled Doctor? That is, if I said that and you disagreed, and I lectured you on the reprehensible history of disabled characters in fiction and assured you that you were supporting that abuse by not agreeing with me, and you assured me that no, you just had a different idea for where the character might go... I don't suppose that would help you look at it from a different angle?

No? Eh well. Carry on.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:55 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Which is exactly what I am suggesting you need to do if you want to see the Doctor as a female or as gender queer then toy are f going to have to reboot because the current production as a continuation of the original has maintained an established CIS male Doctor.

The current production has also asserted that Time Lords can change their gender, that the Doctor makes kissy kissy with companions, that the Doctor can talk with a Northern accent.

But you're arguing those things are all noncanonical, anyway. If the Doctor ends up being a woman (and I don't think he will be, for reasons of the patriarchy; he's meant to be wish fulfillment for boys, mostly, just like the hot companion in a skirt is meant to keep the dads watching or whatever sexist rubbish people say about them), you can just assure yourself that it didn't really happen, anyway.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:57 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Again, though, I'm just a compulsive devil's advocate. I'm personally okay with a female doctor. It just rankles me that so many of us feel comfortable labeling people tools of privilege and patriarchy if they have something else in mind.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:58 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


So it turns out that the real reason that the doctor keeps regenerating as a white male is that for a millennium now he's been wearing an invisible knapsack placed there by The Patriarchy. Fortunately, Rose and UNIT show up and reveal the knapsack just in time for the Doctor's regeneration as ...
posted by Songdog at 5:02 PM on June 2, 2013


I don't suppose people would get the hint this time either if I said I wanted a wanted a differently abled Doctor?

That would be quite an interesting incarnation.

And yet, your "hint" is the same diversionary tactic that's pulled every time anyone ever suggests that the occasional tiniest bit of diversity might be useful.

"Hey, this company's Board of Directors is 100 percent white men. Perhaps we could--"
"Oh I guess you want a token black lesbian with a harelip. You know what that makes you? A racist."

It just rankles me that so many of us feel comfortable labeling people tools of privilege and patriarchy if they have something else in mind.

Do you honestly not understand the difference between saying, "Hey, this argument you're making comes from a position of privilege" and "I LABEL YOU A TOOL OF THE PATRIARCHY SINNER!"

Oh, and the people who "have something else in mind" are the ones you're arguing with, you realize. Another white male Doctor is kind of the exact opposite of "something else."

For about the nineteenth time, no one -- not a single entity -- in this thread has said, "No, Benedict Cumberbatch is a white male, and I am against that." What some people have advocated is that the casting net be widened a little, and people have pushed back way, way too hard against that to be just a fan of a particular (PURELY COINCIDENTAL) white male actor.
posted by Etrigan at 5:02 PM on June 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


That's how patriarchy and privilege work, though. They're almost always invisible to those who benefit from them and reinforce them.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:02 PM on June 2, 2013 [11 favorites]


My choice? Emma Thompson. I would pay good money.

(On preview: wow, you two are fast.)
posted by Songdog at 5:04 PM on June 2, 2013


And, look, I know I've made myself an Easy Target as a Straw Feminist for using the term "patriarchy" but when people are arguing that Iconic Male White Hero must always been Male and White to also still be that same Iconic Hero it's really icky to hear, as a woman and a writer and a person. It's just kind of . . . super duper depressing. I can't even quite articulate it, but it makes the little girl in me--the one who wanted to kick ass and go on adventures--very very sad.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:07 PM on June 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


For the record, I am half serious about the differently abled Doctor. Imagine it: a regeneration goes haywire and we get a Doctor on crutches who no longer solves every fan thing by yelling, "Run!!!"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:13 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


It'd be interesting to see a Doctor in a wheelchair as well. I wonder if he'd envy the Dalek's hover capabilities?
posted by peppermind at 5:16 PM on June 2, 2013


He could get Professor X's hover wheelchair.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:18 PM on June 2, 2013


But I suspect the notion of that fluidity feels threatening to some men?

If you're trying to change the minds of those who don't agree, making plausible and interesting stories about why The Doctor would regenerate female when he's always regenerated male would be more helpful than making up stories about why people disagree with you.
posted by weston at 5:26 PM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm not trying to change anyone's mind. I'm trying to articulate my feelings.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:34 PM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't think he will be, for reasons of the patriarchy; he's meant to be wish fulfillment for boys, mostly, just like the hot companion in a skirt is meant to keep the dads watching or whatever sexist rubbish people say about them

I guess we see that differently. I think the whole thing is aimed at girls; the companion is who they identify with and the doctor is the unattainable lust object. As a middle aged man I find the hot companion in a skirt annoying and tired.
posted by bongo_x at 5:41 PM on June 2, 2013


I think the whole thing is aimed at girls; the companion is who they identify with

I've heard this contention before, that women identify with the sexualized girlfriend-object in media. I've only heard this contention from men, though, and I find it completely fucking baffling.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:44 PM on June 2, 2013 [12 favorites]


I think the wish fulfillment aspect of a character like the Doctor is a very powerful, very personal thing and I can understand in a second why a woman or girl would want to see a female Doctor, so they could experience that. I have trouble fathoming why the converse is hard to understand, why it's beyond people why a boy or a man with a powerful personal investment in the wish fulfillment afforded him by the Doctor might not want to give that up. Yes, across the totality of genre entertainment there are any number of other male heroes to latch onto for wish fulfillment. And absolutely, there are a relative paucity of comparable female heroes. But fans do not have these personal connections with the totality of genre entertainment. They have them with individual characters. And I'm not ready to call someone a tool of privilege if they don't want to let their favorite go. It's putting a while lot of gender-political baggage onto dudes who are likely just attached to mentally playing Doctor.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:45 PM on June 2, 2013


I thought that the Companions, regardless of their gender or alleged attractiveness, were always supposed to be the audience stand-ins. The Doctor was always supposed to be far beyond (and to the side) of any human you have ever actually met.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:47 PM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've heard this contention before, that women identify with the sexualized girlfriend-object in media. I've only heard this contention from men, though, and I find it completely fucking baffling.

I don’t know about "in media" or that argument, I just thought that was the point in Dr. Who.
posted by bongo_x at 5:50 PM on June 2, 2013


Just make it so Madame Vasha turns out to have been the 12th Doctor all along. Now you've got your highly-demanded Madame Vastra spinoff and everybody's happy, except for sexists and homophobes and people who are racist against Silurians.
posted by painquale at 5:51 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


And I'm not ready to call someone a tool of privilege if they don't want to let their favorite go. It's putting a while lot of gender-political baggage onto dudes who are likely just attached to mentally playing Doctor.

When their favorite is that way because in 1963, the only possible option for the title character in a BBC program was a white man, then yes, that's their baggage. Some people call it a knapsack.
posted by Etrigan at 5:53 PM on June 2, 2013


I think there's some truth to the idea that girls are meant to identify with the companions, but even Moffat said that Amy was there in part for boys to lust over: "A generation of little girls will want to be her. And a generation of little boys will want them to be her too."

However, I think it bears saying that companions (companions! they're tangential to the whole point of the show!) make for pretty shitty identification objects and there's something in the narrative--"the girl who waited," being largely a blank slate until a magic man comes into your life--which is pretty damn ick. And I say that as someone who has loved certain companions--Martha, for getting the hell out of dodge; Donna, for using their adventures as a way to become self-actualized. Companions can be used narratively in complex or feminist ways, but they still largely haven't, you know?

why it's beyond people why a boy or a man with a powerful personal investment in the wish fulfillment afforded him by the Doctor might not want to give that up.

It's pretty crappy, though. And the solutions offered in this thread--listen to audiodramas! Just make a different female Time Lord!--are really not. Solutions, that is. It's more shoving women into bit parts, and Who doesn't exactly have a great track record with that kind of thing, from companions to Harriet Jones to River Song.

I guess I imagine that the writers would treat a female Doctor better.

Part of the problem is that, as I mentioned upthread, that girls and women are totally 100% used to imagining themselves in the shoes of male characters (see: Harry Potter. See: crossplay), so male characters are assumed to be universally useful for identification while women characters are only good for women. I don't think that's true, though. I think a female Doctor would be great for boys, too.

It's putting a while lot of gender-political baggage onto dudes who are likely just attached to mentally playing Doctor.

The gender-political baggage is inherent in the arguments being used here. I imagine that it hurts and is weird to have that called out, and I'm sorry for that. But despite the relative fluffyness of the topic at hand, issues of representation in fiction are important and I feel it's important to point out blatantly sexist arguments when I see them.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:56 PM on June 2, 2013 [12 favorites]


The Companions were intended to be audience stand-ins, and they filled that role fairly well up to the RTD era. Moffat's companions are Macguffins though. They're barely even characters, much less relatable ones.
posted by peppermind at 5:58 PM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


There's also a not unreasonable argument that changing a character from male to female as part of a top-to-bottom reboot (a la Starbuck) is one thing and gender-flipping an ongoing character with 1000 years of in-universe history as a CIS male is another.

Even if you think those things are directly comparable, consider that overwhelmingly, dudes came around. They weren't truly hostile to the idea of a woman in the role. It was just nerd inertia fueled by wish fulfillment.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:00 PM on June 2, 2013


I think there's some truth to the idea that girls are meant to identify with the companions, but even Moffat said that Amy was there in part for boys to lust over: "A generation of little girls will want to be her. And a generation of little boys will want them to be her too."

Ugh. He really is grosser than gross.
posted by orrnyereg at 6:02 PM on June 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


There's also a not unreasonable argument that changing a character from male to female as part of a top-to-bottom reboot (a la Starbuck) is one thing and gender-flipping an ongoing character with 1000 years of in-universe history as a CIS male is another.

Psst, "cis" isn't an acronym.

Maybe, but none of these have been really argued from a place of characterization but rather tradition, and those traditions have been shaken up from head to toe since the reboot. Also, speaking as a writer: character growth! Change! Evolution! Wonderful, compelling things.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:12 PM on June 2, 2013


So help me understand: if a fifteen year-old girl hopes for a female Doctor, because it would help her identify with the character, and would improve her enjoyment of sonic screwdrivers and bow ties, that's one thing. If a fifteen year-old boy wants a male Doctor for the same reason, it can only be because he's carrying on oppression and patriarchy?

Bear in mind: I personally do not oppose the idea of a female Doctor. I oppose the idea that the various nice fellow MeFites who want a male Doctor only do so because privilege, with "privilege" in this case meaning sexism of which one is not aware. I'm not against a female Doctor. I'm against being flippant with the sexism brush when talking to perfectly nice mutual friends of ours.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:15 PM on June 2, 2013


Psst, "cis" isn't an acronym

Tell that to my autocorrect. I wonder what it thought it stood for...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:16 PM on June 2, 2013


I note that there is also some momentum for Marina Sirtis to take over the TARDIS. Although, as John Ross notes:
@marina_sirtis After what you did to the Enterprise D? They wouldn't dare! :-) xJohn Ross (@thisisgallifrey) June 2, 2013
posted by ob1quixote at 6:17 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


It was raining so i missed it but here's footage of the big Doctor Who lightshow in Sydney
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:19 PM on June 2, 2013


I oppose the idea that the various nice fellow MeFites who want a male Doctor only do so because privilege, with "privilege" in this case meaning sexism of which one is not aware.

Seriously? You're still claiming that anyone is saying that?

Okay, one more time, and then really I'm done with saying this to you:

No one is claiming that "I would love the next Doctor to be Benedict Cumberbatch!" or "You know who would be good? Idris Elba!" is sexist and shameful.

What we are saying is insisting that the next Doctor must be a man is at least a tiny bit privileged, in the way that "Well, priests have always been men!" is privileged. The appeal to tradition is the very basis of privilege, because it is the most efficient way for the people on top to claim that they are there for a reason.
posted by Etrigan at 6:22 PM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


So help me understand: if a fifteen year-old girl hopes for a female Doctor, because it would help her identify with the character, and would improve her enjoyment of sonic screwdrivers and bow ties, that's one thing. If a fifteen year-old boy wants a male Doctor for the same reason, it can only be because he's carrying on oppression and patriarchy?

A fifteen-year-old boy has fifty years of male Doctors with whom to identify, not to mention the vast majority of male heroes in comic books, video games, television and movies. If a boy doesn't want to give that up to see a woman in the role for, what, four years? Yeah, it's pretty crappy. He probably doesn't realize that this lack of willingness to share role models comes out of sexist things he's been taught, including the fact that TV shows with women at the helm aren't for him. But that desire to not have your comfortable world in which you have the benefit of always seeing someone like you as a hero is a sexist desire, yes. At an individual level, it's fine and innocent but the aggregate impact of many men not wanting to cede the fun parts of fiction to women absolutely contributes to oppression.

I oppose the idea that the various nice fellow MeFites who want a male Doctor only do so because privilege, with "privilege" in this case meaning sexism of which one is not aware.

I don't know why you're putting the word in quotes. It's the exact way the word is used in these discussions.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:24 PM on June 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


I really wish people would stop referring to the Doctor as cis-gendered. He's a fucking Time Lord from Gallifrey. We don't know what's in his pants. We don't know if he defines himself by what's in his pants. For all we know, male and female Gallifreyans are all the same *down there* - especially if they are created in a loom and not by a human-style reproductive cycle.

My choice? Emma Thompson. I would pay good money.

THIS. I feel like, if they do cast a woman, they will probably not cast a young unknown in the role. I think the female actor they choose will have to be someone like Thompson or Mirren who have got a solid career behind them - that brings with them a history of great acting so that that's not in question.

If the BBC is even considering casting a woman, I hope they don't cast a young relatively unknown woman or fandom will eat her alive. Yet another example of women having to work harder to attain/keep the same position as a man. Someone like Emma Thompson pretty much can't be questioned as a great actor for a great role.
posted by crossoverman at 6:29 PM on June 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


If only Judy Greer was British.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:31 PM on June 2, 2013


I hope they don't cast a young relatively unknown woman

I hope they don’t cast a young, relatively unknown man. Let’s see something different.
posted by bongo_x at 6:33 PM on June 2, 2013


Man, I thought regular Doctor Who threads were freakishly bitter.
posted by Artw at 6:34 PM on June 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


PhoBWanKenobi: A fifteen-year-old boy has fifty years of male Doctors with whom to identify

Do you not even know any children? Go pick a child and tell him or her that you'll tend to their wish fulfillment with an old VHS tape or DVD while the other kids watch the new thing. I'll wait.

not to mention the vast majority of male heroes in comic books, video games, television and movies.
How much do you know about fandom? Do you know a lot of people who interact with the totality of media? Or do they have personal feelings for particular characters? Go find a Trek fan who hated STID and tell them they can just watch Star Wars instead. I'll wait.

I can see that we're at an impasse here. So I'll say that YES, I think a woman Doctor could be good and do not oppose it in any way. YES, I understand arguments about privilege. YES, genre entertainment in particular could stand to come around. I'm just not as comfortable assuming that people who definitely want/expect a male Doctor do it out of conscious or unconscious sexism. I think that's short-sighted and unkind and allows a (righteous and well-meaning) concern for gender politics to completely obfuscate the basics of fandom and people's personal connections to characters.

It's cool, though. We can disagree.

Or we can in my world, anyway. I have this thing where I can do that without accusing people of awful motives.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:41 PM on June 2, 2013


You're having some trouble doing it without sounding pretty contemptuous and sarcastic, though. I'd rather not get out the mod voice if I don't have to, so let's not go down that road.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:43 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Etrigan: "
I oppose the idea that the various nice fellow MeFites who want a male Doctor only do so because privilege, with "privilege" in this case meaning sexism of which one is not aware.
Seriously? You're still claiming that anyone is saying that?


I think you're getting tripped up in my wording. I'm saying you're asserting that people who specifically and exclusively want a male Doctor only do so because of sexism. And you are. Repeatedly. Emphatically.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:44 PM on June 2, 2013


restless_nomad: "You're having some trouble doing it without sounding pretty contemptuous and sarcastic, though. I'd rather not get out the mod voice if I don't have to, so let's not go down that road."

Fair enough. That line was unkind. I won't cop out and edit, but consider it stricken from the record. Apologies.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:45 PM on June 2, 2013


I have this thing where I can do that without accusing people of awful motives.

But you can certainly be passive aggressive about it.
posted by crossoverman at 6:45 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think you're getting tripped up in my wording. I'm saying you're asserting that people who specifically and exclusively want a male Doctor only do so because of sexism.

Yes. That is what I am asserting. And that is different from "the various nice fellow MeFites who want a male Doctor only do so because privilege". See if you can unpack why it's different.
posted by Etrigan at 6:51 PM on June 2, 2013


Did I do that thing where I hung an ugly piece of snark on what might have been a nice signoff and now no one will remember anything else? Ah shit.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:51 PM on June 2, 2013


first person to dial back their rancor wins

just kidding, this is a doctor who thread, we're all losers
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:53 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


See if you can unpack why it's different.

So it's not just me who's condescending and snarky.

Seriously. I'm strictly arguing "benefit of the doubt for fellow MeFites." I didn't really think I was picking out a hill to die on.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:55 PM on June 2, 2013


YES, I understand arguments about privilege.

I'm sorry, but you very much don't seem to. Saying that someone is engaging in sexist argument, that their arguments both come from and reinforce oppression, and that they don't seem to be aware of the privilege from which they speak, is not the same thing as saying someone is a bad person or acting out of malice. This might help, and I mean that, because you seem to--maybe?--genuinely not understand.

(If you do understand, then it seems to me that you're concern trolling a bit, since you keep asserting that you don't actually care, and well, maybe leave the argument to the people who do, then?)

I get the personal connections argument--in fact, I was just told to go watch old Star Trek on one of the Into Darkness threads. But this argument feels pretty flimsy given the vast differences between, say, the first Doctor and the fourth. Among many other changes in the show over fifty years. Change is constant and intrinsic here and it's not clear to me why this one type of change would be any worse than, say, having the Doctor quit using his sonic for a regeneration.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:56 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think where we disagree is on whether "The Doctor should continue to be male" is in and of itself a sexist argument. I think it's quite possibly a sexist argument, possibly even usually one, depending on how it is made. And I raise an eyebrow when I hear it. But I think it's entirely possible for canon-obsessing nerds, people who idolize the Doctor in a very personal way, or even people who just resist dramatic changes to their favorite characters of any kind (see again, Star Trek fans) to want to keep the Doctor the gender he is, and for it to be strictly a preference related to story and not a volley in the gender wars.

I am not opposed to a female Doctor. But I share some of the feelings above, and I feel it would be very tricky to pull off. Yes, the Doctor changes. But gender is a hell of a change. Ask a trans* person. It's not a small thing. Can it be done? I think so. I'm not as interested in the putting the onus on this particular show to achieve something like that as I am whether it can be done well and be entertaining in the meantime.

I don't think that gender-flipping a major character mid-series would really help anything if it weren't done very well. I think, if we're on an overwhelmingly progressive-minded site, that someone having misgivings about whether that can or should be done right now need not necessarily be consciously or unconsciously sexist. We could stand to give them the benefit of the doubt.

So if we've pinpointed where we disagree, we can probably stop flailing about and talk more Doctor Who stuff, right?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:18 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]



I am not opposed to a female Doctor. But I share some of the feelings above, and I feel it would be very tricky to pull off. Yes, the Doctor changes. But gender is a hell of a change. Ask a trans* person. It's not a small thing. Can it be done? I think so. I'm not as interested in the putting the onus on this particular show to achieve something like that as I am whether it can be done well and be entertaining in the meantime.


There's at least two precedents, though: Micheal Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius and Matt Fraction's Cassanova Quinn (who's basically Jerry Cornelius) shift genders fluidly while still engaging in high-stakes, space and time travelling adventures. Hell Moorcock even wrote a Doctor Who novel!
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:23 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


The reality is, most of the names we have discussed so far--male or female--have no chance of happening. With Nu Who already chugging along commercially, the BBC isn't going to approve the kind of budget needed to bring an accomplished film star on board, or probably even for a particularly sought-after tv star. One of the more sober articles I saw on casting said even the likes of Olivia Colman and David Harewood are probably too hot/expensive for the moment. That would make Helen Mirren or Idris Elba a frigging pipe dream.

It's probably going to be an unknown. Maybe they'll surprise us. Probably not.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:38 PM on June 2, 2013


Lesley Sharp would be fantastic (because she's always fantastic) and probably wouldn't break the budget, salary-wise. On the other hand, she has reliably excellent taste in scripts so she's probably run a mile, but who knows?
posted by orrnyereg at 7:43 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Was she in the RTD episode "Midnight"?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:47 PM on June 2, 2013


Hey, just to make Internet forums burn to the ground, how about Amanda Fucking Palmer as the doctor?
posted by davejay at 7:50 PM on June 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


My partner and I were going over the list of English actresses we know and inadvertently got lost on a long tangent of Lauren Socha-as-The-Doctor impressions. Pick absolutely any famous Doctor speech and I assure you, it's better if you do it in the voice of Kelly from Misfits.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:50 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


DirtyOldTown: That's her.
posted by orrnyereg at 7:50 PM on June 2, 2013


davejay: "Hey, just to make Internet forums burn to the ground, how about Amanda Fucking Palmer as the doctor?"

It's not trolling when it's this fucking funny.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:51 PM on June 2, 2013


If Helen Mirren is the Doctor, Zoe Wanamaker has to be the Master.
posted by Sara C. at 7:53 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


first person to dial back their rancor wins

Rancors are sweethearts if you just get to know them.
posted by homunculus at 7:53 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hey, just to make Internet forums burn to the ground, how about Amanda Fucking Palmer as the doctor?

Lena Dunham and Cory Doctorow as assistants.
posted by Artw at 7:54 PM on June 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Lesley Sharp was pretty awesome in that episode. I haven't seen her in anything else.

My partner is voting for Siobhan Finneran (O'Brien from Downton Abbey). She is, by the way, entirely different looking in other roles. Tough to recognize, even.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:54 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


My major thing with the next Doctor is, I hope they go different tonally. Less funny, less chatty.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:56 PM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


One of the more sober articles I saw on casting said even the likes of Olivia Colman and David Harewood are probably too hot/expensive for the moment. That would make Helen Mirren or Idris Elba a frigging pipe dream.

But Doctor Who is an institution. It's more than a paycheck, it's a chance to play one of the most iconic characters in British television. I bet there's a lot of actors who would be willing to take a pay cut just to get a chance to play The Doctor. And didn't someone already mention that Mirren had expressed interest in it?
posted by mokin at 8:03 PM on June 2, 2013


What I like about Three and Nine is that they foiled the quirky vs bitchy dichotomy. "Don't make him cute" need not mean "make him a prick", and to think otherwise is an astonishing failure of characterization.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:04 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


mokin: "Doctor Who is an institution. It's more than a paycheck, it's a chance to play one of the most iconic characters in British television. I bet there's a lot of actors who would be willing to take a pay cut just to get a chance to play The Doctor. And didn't someone already mention that Mirren had expressed interest in it?"

Mirren did express interest, but I always got the impression it was a passing thing she said once that got blown up because DOCTOR WHO! Would she be okay with taking a pay cut and living most of the year in Wales to do an FX-heavy show? We can always hope. I don't know how likely it is.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:06 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]



Hey, just to make Internet forums burn to the ground, how about Amanda Fucking Palmer as the doctor?


I'd tolerate it if her husband wrote all the episodes
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:19 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Mirren also possibly expressed interest before she won an Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth and became a huge name in Hollywood.

There was a time when Helen Mirren was a midlevel British TV actress. That time is past, and while I guess she'd still do it if the price was right, there's no way the BBC could even remotely afford her.

There's also no reason for her to take the pay cut, since bringing in millions with each small film role probably looks like a pretty sensible thing to do when you're an actress in your 60s and your career could dry up at any moment. If I were Helen Mirren's accountant, I'd tell her not to throw away a year making scale in Cardiff for the lolz.
posted by Sara C. at 8:23 PM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was ready to comment that I'm not in favor of a female doctor the same way I'm not in favor of a female Steve Rogers. I am in favor of a female Captian America, though. Like, Ted Kord shouldn't be a young Mexican male, but Blue Beetle as a young Mexican male is great. But then the thought hit me, that Helen Miren would be amazing as the doctor or Judi Dench. Now I'm all conflicted. Actually, no I'm not. If they got a great female actress who could nail the hell out the doctor, I'd be for it. ( And if they ditched Moffat of course.) But not just to increase female representation.

On preview: apparently, my thoughts about Miren came from the Mefi hivemind.
posted by nooneyouknow at 8:26 PM on June 2, 2013


And if the female Doctor is a woman...

OK, now I'm totally jonesing for a proper drag queen in the show. Maybe not the Doctor, but a companion, anyway.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:39 PM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Eddie Izzard? Dame Edna? Hugo Weaving as Pricilla?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:43 PM on June 2, 2013


Eddie Izzard as a genderqueer Doctor would be pretty awesome.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:44 PM on June 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


"I'd tolerate it if her husband wrote all the episodes"

Wait, did you watch Nightmare in Silver?

Unfortunately, I did. And it was no The Doctor's Wife.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:52 PM on June 2, 2013


But I suspect the notion of that fluidity feels threatening to some men?

That may be. I suspect it is also threatening to some women or people in general. I also suspect it's not threatening at all to any gender but rather threatening to story telling and narrative perhaps, or perhaps not, depending on your perspective. It's sad when we have external forces placed on works of art. We're left with a Marxist take for example, which is fine, but is extraliterary.

I was being flippant.

Got that. I'm aware that not everyone write Moffat style and have to hit the audience over the head to make a point.

But really, various artifacts of our culture, including pop culture, including television, including Doctor Who, support and reinforce patriarchal values, such as who gets to be heroic

Get that too. There are plenty of heroic women in Doctor Who, as well as men and aliens, and even devices. But the writing of this show is so incompetent that heroic is meaningless and perhaps in that way it's just so modern. I get that some people get their models from television shows and literature and even religious texts, though I'd argue that the symbolism and metaphor of works of art are far more important than relating it to criticism by standards outside of the creative universe. No where have I objected to the Doctor being a woman. I just feel that the show is so badly flawed that it would be yet another horrible story idea amongst so many is all. You have faith in the show and the writers, that's wonderful. I hope it works out for you. I feel they can barely tell a regular story, I have no confidence in them telling a story about a Tiresias type figure as the Doctor. We don't see accusations of Doctor Who setting a bad example for scientists or storytellers. It's sad that people are accused of arguing from a bias of privilege or sexism, etc, for even bringing up a different perspective that has nothing to do with role models or the gender situation in real life as opposed to drama.

What some people have advocated is that the casting net be widened a little, and people have pushed back way, way too hard against that to be just a fan of a particular (PURELY COINCIDENTAL) white male actor.

No they haven't. Not even slightly hard. I guess we all see things differently.

That's how patriarchy and privilege work, though. They're almost always invisible to those who benefit from them and reinforce them.

How wonderful. You poor things, you just don't see it. Open the flood gates, we can say anything now.

I'm not trying to change anyone's mind. I'm trying to articulate my feelings.

As are others, and the wonderful response is you can't see how privileged you are. Awesome!

What we are saying is insisting that the next Doctor must be a man is at least a tiny bit privileged

Seriously? You're still claiming that anyone is saying that?

Okay, one more time, and then really I'm done with saying this:

No one is arguing he must be a man, some are arguing why they might want him to remain a man, and none of those reasons are reasons of privilege, but predictably, and inevitably, such notions fly.
posted by juiceCake at 8:52 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, one more time, and then really I'm done with saying this:

No, you're not.

Because one more time can be changed.
posted by davejay at 9:08 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


No one is arguing he must be a man, some are arguing why they might want him to remain a man.

Yeah, but so many of them are such bad arguments it feels like something else has gotta be going on underneath.
posted by painquale at 9:09 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]



Maybe, but none of these have been really argued from a place of characterization but rather tradition

Except of course my arguments which have been about internal narrative constancy of the character.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:12 PM on June 2, 2013


Except of course my arguments which have been about internal narrative constancy of the character.

Which reduces to he's always had a willy and considers it a defining characteristic. But he's never actually gotten it out for us so how can we be sure?
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:14 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Have they ever said anything about Timelord genitalia? I think a true fan would know.

(Does he have two?)
posted by painquale at 9:18 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's one I haven't seen: how about Daniel Kaluuya? He was wonderful in The Fades and heartbreaking in Black Mirror. He was in Skins, too, though I never saw that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:37 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey, Tilda Swinton did play the Archangel Gabriel in a terrible movie that was only redeemed by the presence of herself, Djimon Hounsou, and Peter Stomare, so she might actually be up for this.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:43 PM on June 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hugo Weaving as Pricilla?

Priscilla is the bus.

Priscilla for TARDIS 2014!
posted by crossoverman at 9:45 PM on June 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Except of course my arguments which have been about internal narrative constancy of the character.

None of your arguments have had anything to do with internal narrative constancy, but rather tradition. You've said that you see him as a cisgendered, hetero male but throughout the older series that you're citing he actually acted in a predominantly asexual manner and I see nothing inherently male to his actions or character. And the narrative consistency of the show we have now suggests he could be something else--not only the Neil Gaiman bit, but Matt Smith checking himself for a lump in his, err, throat.

Get that too. There are plenty of heroic women in Doctor Who, as well as men and aliens, and even devices. But the writing of this show is so incompetent that heroic is meaningless and perhaps in that way it's just so modern. I get that some people get their models from television shows and literature and even religious texts, though I'd argue that the symbolism and metaphor of works of art are far more important than relating it to criticism by standards outside of the creative universe. No where have I objected to the Doctor being a woman. I just feel that the show is so badly flawed that it would be yet another horrible story idea amongst so many is all. You have faith in the show and the writers, that's wonderful. I hope it works out for you. I feel they can barely tell a regular story, I have no confidence in them telling a story about a Tiresias type figure as the Doctor. We don't see accusations of Doctor Who setting a bad example for scientists or storytellers. It's sad that people are accused of arguing from a bias of privilege or sexism, etc, for even bringing up a different perspective that has nothing to do with role models or the gender situation in real life as opposed to drama.

I actually don't have much faith in them as storytellers at all, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to see them taking risks and doing progressive things with their writing. Because it would mean something, even if it failed.

How wonderful. You poor things, you just don't see it. Open the flood gates, we can say anything now.

Ew.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:49 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, did you watch Nightmare in Silver?

I've enjoyed the latest season a lot more than most of you here, it seems (i.e. I've enjoyed some of it) but that one was hugely disappointing. It was like the parts of The Doctors Wife where I was worried I was actually settling in to watch an episode of Neverwhere but it never stopped being like that.

Two out of three?
posted by Artw at 9:50 PM on June 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Have there been any black Gallifreyans or other Gallifreyans of color? Even if not, there is of course, no reason there couldn't be, I'm just asking fellow Whovians for background."

There was Rassilon, who was a white beardy guy in the classic series, seems to have turned into a black voice actor (Don Warrington) in the audios (and I think they used his face on the cover of the audio adventures, which while not in strict continuity could be), and who turned up in new Who as the UK president (and I could have sworn was the black Time Lord in the Master's flashbacks but apparently not based on a quick search), before turning into James Bond.

But traditionally the Time Lords have all been old white folks (who seem to regenerate into old white folks, which always confused me about regeneration: why don't they regenerate younger?).
As were the Sheboygan.

Priscilla is the bus.
Priscilla for TARDIS 2014!


Iris Wildthyme travels in a bus. A purple bus that is smaller on the inside, with her gay male companion, Tom. And Panda, a 10-inch-tall sentient, stuffed toy.

So, there you go.
posted by Mezentian at 10:47 PM on June 2, 2013


Iris Wildthyme travels in a bus. A purple bus that is smaller on the inside, with her gay male companion, Tom. And Panda, a 10-inch-tall sentient, stuffed toy.

Of course! The stuffed toy agenda finally rears it's fucking head.
posted by crossoverman at 10:52 PM on June 2, 2013


Hey, Tilda Swinton did play the Archangel Gabriel in a terrible movie that was only redeemed by the presence of herself, Djimon Hounsou, and Peter Stomare, so she might actually be up for this.

You take that back, Constantine was awesome. She was the best part of it though.
posted by maryr at 11:40 PM on June 2, 2013


One of my facebook friends is lobbying for Ken Jeong. I'm not sure if he's serious or trolling, but sure why not?

A Team TARDIS composed of people snatched from the jaws of history

Wait, are you Ben Edlund, 'cause this sounds familiar?
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:12 AM on June 3, 2013


This thread got me thinking and I toddled off to watch The Invasion Of Time.

Not only are the 1970s timelords the whitest things outside the Tip Top extra white bread factory, but the first seven minutes features Leela in a very high-cut, low-cut leotard in all the right places (that would make the anti-mini-skirt brigade's eyes pop out), but she also managed to go swimming in it.

One for the dads indeed.

The past really is another country. I doubt we'd get a Leela-like companion now.
posted by Mezentian at 2:11 AM on June 3, 2013


Bill Nye the Science Guy. Bow tie continuity, manic, older (57), "timey-wimey" becomes banned dialog as he explains it all to Clara.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 2:55 AM on June 3, 2013


I was ready to comment that I'm not in favor of a female doctor the same way I'm not in favor of a female Steve Rogers. I am in favor of a female Captian America, though. Like, Ted Kord shouldn't be a young Mexican male, but Blue Beetle as a young Mexican male is great. But then the thought hit me, that Helen Miren would be amazing as the doctor or Judi Dench. Now I'm all conflicted. Actually, no I'm not. If they got a great female actress who could nail the hell out the doctor, I'd be for it. ( And if they ditched Moffat of course.) But not just to increase female representation.

What's appealing about a female Doctor, and what distinguishes that idea from a female Steve Rogers, is that there is a seamless, in-universe, uncomplicated way to have the Doctor be a lady. That's a large part of why there's such momentum behind the idea of a female Doctor, and why there isn't a similar push to make, say, Steve Rogers be anything other than a white man.

It goes without saying that they'd need to cast a great woman, but that'd be true if they stuck with a man, too. A lady Doctor would no doubt be judged more harshly than a man Doctor, but "the only way out is through".

Helen Mirren would be good, but there are plenty of lesser-known actors who would be just as good.

Personally, what I'd most look forward to is a Doctor who is less young and obviously athletic. David Tennant was terrific as the Doctor who runs a lot, and Matt Smith is great at being spritely (and at turning around by pivoting), but there's a lot to be said for a Doctor who's more of an ambler, who doesn't need to run. I'm also weirdly taken with the idea of getting back to a Doctor who uses a cane. A non-skinny Doctor could also be fun.

Combine not-young, non-skinny, and cane-using and you get G. K. Chesterton (or Fiddler's Green), and I'd be more than okay with a Doctor in that vein. One could also say that Mary Poppins also fits that mold, and that's fine, too, since she clearly already is a Time Lord.

Another lady who would make a great Doctor, except for the fact that she's not from the UK: Frances Conroy. She's great in everything, even garbage like Catwoman, although of course her most famous achievement was as Ruth Fisher in Six Feet Under. What I especially like about her was how she made Ruth Fisher seem like, all at once, one of the nicest people on the planet, one of the squarest people on the planet, one of the most tightly-wound people on the planet, one of the biggest fans of Ecstasy on the planet, and also like someone who could, and would, if you crossed her, gut you stomach to sternum like a rainbow trout. Every Doctor should contain such multitudes.

Another man who would make a great Doctor would be Peter Capaldi, aka Malcolm in The Thick of It. Also, in looking up his name, I've also just learned that he directed Franz Kafka's It's A Wonderful Life and that he had also appeared in "The Fires of Pompeii".
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:09 AM on June 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


I would like to list Time Lords who are not often identified as such:

Mary Poppins
Tom Waits
Willy Wonka
Ms. Valerie Frizzle (of The Magic Schoolbus)
Keanu Reeves
Rufus (of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure)

I also propose that Emperor Norton I was a Time Lord who was the victim of amnesia.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:20 AM on June 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


(I have also just remembered that Mary Poppins does not use a cane, but rather an umbrella.)
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:22 AM on June 3, 2013


Yeah, but that carpet bag is totally bigger on the inside; she's got a cane in there somewhere.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:14 AM on June 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Tilda Swinton did play the Archangel Gabriel in a terrible movie that was only redeemed by the presence of herself, Djimon Hounsou, and Peter Stomare

Amen! Every so often Constantine comes on some cable channel and I time things very carefully so I can go watch something else but then turn back in time to see Tilda Swinton being a crazy angel and Peter Stomare whistling like a badass and then when that one scene is over I turn away because I don't wanna see Keanu Reeves look all brooding at the end because who cares.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:49 AM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


In my world of crazy, I've always wondered what Doctor Who would be like if Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes produced/wrote a season.

Heck, there's an alternate universe out there where the casting worked out differently and Simon Pegg was Rose's dad, Georgia Moffett was Rose, and Anthony Stewart Head was Nine.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:41 AM on June 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Tell that to my autocorrect. I wonder what it thought [CIS] stood for...

Comonwealth of Independent States, aka most of the old USSR. This makes the concept of the Doctor as a CIS male much more fun, of course.

"Yob tvoyiu mat, TARDIS." "Means nothing Clara, do not worry."
posted by jaduncan at 6:41 AM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


In my world of crazy, I've always wondered what Doctor Who would be like if Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes produced/wrote a season.

Heck, there's an alternate universe out there where the casting worked out differently and Simon Pegg was Rose's dad, Georgia Moffett was Rose, and Anthony Stewart Head was Nine.


In episode 3, the original cast would be on the same planet as your alternate cast, and would walk past them before jumping over a wall to escape but falling over. In episode 4, a policeman would be seen in the background eating a blue Cornetto.

Another episode would exist with a curiously unengaging alien, but by a common and unspoken consent nobody would bring that one up.
posted by jaduncan at 6:44 AM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


"throughout the older series (...) he actually acted in a predominantly asexual manner and I see nothing inherently male to his actions or character."

Some of his old incarnations were actually rather sexist, an element that they've wisely dropped in the new series.

The question of what is "inherently male" is obviously a thorny one at best. But let's put it this way: if the Doctor became a woman, I think we can probably agree he would be surprised and not very happy about it, at least at first. (We have only to think back to Smith's horrified squawk, "I'm a girl!") He clearly identifies as male. You can argue that throwing him a major change like that could lead to interesting stories, but I don't think you can argue that the Doctor has not been pretty darn male so far, for good or ill.

I'm honestly amazed to see so, so much Moffat hate. I had no idea. I suspect this is one of those things like the Matrix sequels, or Heroes, where the fan hate starts and it just builds on itself, growing out of all proportion, with people trying to top each other with how much they hate the hated thing... When if you actually watch the damn thing without your hater hat on, it's really not so bad. I would say Moffat's run has been much better than not bad.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:52 AM on June 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


When if you actually watch the damn thing without your hater hat on, it's really not so bad.

Agreed. Even the poor episodes have their moments and overall the thing works well enough to be entertaining (and successful) while also managing to throw the focus once and a while at intriguing aspects of The Doctor's history, giving the series much more depth than you'd expect.

I can easily imagine the series being rendered unwatchable in lesser hands.
posted by panboi at 7:35 AM on June 3, 2013


I think you're right Ursula Hitler.

I've been thinking about Doctor Who and where it stands in the pantheon of programmes that try to do right by people, and it's always been up there. Doctor Who has always been the the show that doesn't assume that different is a monster, who takes people for what they are. It's always been, and continues to be a friend to those who feel marginalised and different. This is as true with Moffat era Doctor Who as RTD and before. They don't always get it right, but this show is friendlier than 99% of whatever else is on TV at the moment.

It's easiest to hate those that are ideologically closest to you, and add this concept of the narcissism of small differences to the bikeshedding that can go on when it's time to choose a new Doctor, and you've got something that's weirdly unstable and dangerous to the show as we love it.

Not to say that the Doctor should always be a male, and not to say that these things shouldn't be questioned.

One final thing. Someone pointed this out elsewhere, and although I'm slightly suspect as to the motive behind this line of argument, I think it's a good enough point to bring up. They said that when they were growing up, Doctor Who was the only televisual mainstream male role model available for young boys that didn't solve problems by not blowing them up or hitting them. By making Doctor Who a woman, you're removing the only male role model for young boys who thinks his way out of problems and prefers discussion to conflict.

For this reason, I think you could argue that there should be a female Captain America or James Bond before there is a female Doctor Who.
posted by zoo at 7:40 AM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm honestly amazed to see so, so much Moffat hate.

There's certainly an element of disappointed high expectations that the fandom had for the screenwriter of "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances", "The Girl in the Fireplace", "Blink", "Silence In the Library/Forest of the Dead" as showrunner for the Eleventh Doctor. Unfortunately, those two jobs have very different skill sets, and behind the scenes, there are indications Moffat is difficult to work with as an executive. On top of that, he's spread himself thin with additional responsibilities for Sherlock and the Tintin franchise. Still, for those who recall the dismal era when Jonathan Nathan-Turner was producer and Eric Saward script editor, we're in a bloody golden age of New Who.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:44 AM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's always been, and continues to be a friend to those who feel marginalised and different.

Yeah, I was going to say that it is the show with a cross-species lesbian relationship (Jenny and Vastra) that isn't even like a remarkable thing in universe.
posted by jaduncan at 7:50 AM on June 3, 2013


Helen Mirren as Romana, specifically President Romana. Just thinking about that gives me chills.

As cool as Tilda Swinton is, isn't her thing being kinda (Bowie-esquely) androgynous? I think a real-deal feminine-yet-still-perfectly-heroic ladyDoctor would be even better. (And anyway, we all know they'll go for someone who's not already a big name.)
posted by Eideteker at 8:12 AM on June 3, 2013


I'd also be shocked by the Moffat hate if I hadn't known going in that Who was the sort of fandom that eats its own. I've been overall pretty happy with his run on the show (as compared to the end of RTD, where the half-season of long episodes ended with the awful End of Time) and yes, there have been some things I don't like and some problematic behaviors and tropes and some just plain weak/bad episodes. But it reaches back to the eras of Classic Who I like best, which have their own problems as well.

Basically I can be in the part of the fandom that enjoys complaining about the show or in the part of the fandom that enjoys what it has. I'm currently in the latter, and when/if I get to the point where the problems I see prevent me enjoying it, I'll quit watching (as I came very close to doing at the end of the RTD era--had I not known it was his last, I would have quit with End of Time). Spitballing about what you want in a new Doctor or companion is one thing, but I don't know why people would keep watching and complaining about a show that's as terrible as some people seem to think Moffat-era Who is. Life is too short to drink bad beer.
posted by immlass at 8:20 AM on June 3, 2013


I'm going to miss Matt. I think he was brilliant. He was also my daughter's first Doctor, which makes his departure bittersweet for me, in the same way that Tennant was my son's first Doctor. My son doesn't watch the show anymore, I think he thinks he's too cool for it and that's it's for little kids. Or, perhaps more likely, it's not okay for him to like anything his sister likes. Whatever. The show has been in our lives for years, and it feels a little bit like Sesame Street to me - this show that's been around forever, and it's different for you depending on when you came to it, but it's always there and in a way you use it to mark the time.

Now, from the department of wishful thinking: I vote Jim Carter to be Matt's replacement.
posted by jbickers at 8:23 AM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


As cool as Tilda Swinton is, isn't her thing being kinda (Bowie-esquely) androgynous? I think a real-deal feminine-yet-still-perfectly-heroic ladyDoctor would be even better. (And anyway, we all know they'll go for someone who's not already a big name.)

I'd enjoy a twist where the next Doctor was actually River Song, or indeed Clara. Crossed timelines, don't you know.
posted by jaduncan at 8:40 AM on June 3, 2013


"...but I don't know why people would keep watching and complaining about a show that's as terrible as some people seem to think Moffat-era Who is."

I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't hate Moffat-era Who, and there have been a few things I've quite liked. But I've had an increasing sense of frustration and disappointment.

I really hated RTD's Tinkerbell-clapping sentimentality, and some plot contrivances and inconsistencies, but these vices were offset by some pretty strong characterization.

Moffat's Who doesn't have as much of that Tinkerbell stuff, but it has much more of the plot contrivances and inconsistencies and just general throwing a whole bunch of stuff up on the screen in a big, often incoherent mess. And it's not balanced out by strong characterization.

There was a lot of potential for character growth, and you can see that with things like Amy and Rory realizing that they wanted an actual substantial life of their own ... but that's an example of Moffat's failure because that really was just a short little thing used for the sake of plot in one episode, rather than the plot functioning to move characters along their development. And, the few nods of character development aside, the rest of the time it was just little character attributes thrown onto them like Christmas ornaments on a tree. The characters remained pretty watchable despite this because they've all been played by good to excellent actors.

Moffat has given me the impression of a showrunner who really needs someone to counterbalance him, to be complementary, ameliorating his vices. And I've not seen that on his version of the show. The show's been unbalanced. That's not to say that it was well-balanced under Davies, because it was wobbly then, too. But I think it's noticeably more wobbly now. And the overall effect for me is that it's increasingly forgettable. Being really angry would, in a way, be an improvement for me, it would signal that I still had a strong investment. But my investment has been waning.

I felt this way at times during the Davies era, too. But never over the course of two seasons.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:44 AM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


but that's an example of Moffat's failure because that really was just a short little thing used for the sake of plot in one episode, rather than the plot functioning to move characters along their development.

This is why I think the show is overall better four-part serials, right here: because there's not enough room in a 45-minute show to do all the awesome plot AND all the character development I want out of a modern Who. The show could be better balanced within the constraints it has, but there would be more room for the arc-type narratives of modern TV in the show if it were spaced out differently.

That's not to say that it was well-balanced under Davies, because it was wobbly then, too. But I think it's noticeably more wobbly now.

I can see why people might feel that way, but that's totally not my take on the show. But I can understand why someone might feel that way and watch it anyhow, hoping for improvement, since that was my last two seasons of RTD. But that's not "nothing is right, the writers are terrible, the showrunner is a gross human being," etc. that you get out of the hater end of the fandom. It's like the Star Wars guys who are so into hating Lucas and I'm watching Clone Wars and thinking "... gosh, this is actually pretty fun!", which is how I felt about most of the second half of the S7 of Nu Who.
posted by immlass at 9:45 AM on June 3, 2013


Ivan Fyodorovich pretty much sums up my frustration with Moffat's tenure. There's also a Barnumesque hucksterism to his plotting and promotion of the series. Everything gets built up as the greatest thing ever and the reality, of course, can never live up to that hype.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:11 AM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


zoo: "growing up, Doctor Who was the only televisual mainstream male role model available for young boys that didn't solve problems by blowing them up or hitting them. By making Doctor Who a woman, you're removing the only male role model for young boys who thinks his way out of problems and prefers discussion to conflict. "

That's why he's popular in our house. I knew I was doing a good thing letting my kid watch Who when, at the payoff moment in "The Doctor Dances," my kid looked at me and gleefully echoed, "Everybody lives!" At his age, I was murdering unnamed Cobra henchmen in my head. That was how you went about being "A real American hero." I like turning my son on to the Doctor better.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:19 AM on June 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


"growing up, Doctor Who was the only televisual mainstream male role model available for young boys that didn't solve problems by blowing them up or hitting them. By making Doctor Who a woman, you're removing the only male role model for young boys who thinks his way out of problems and prefers discussion to conflict. "

Captain Picard was a decent role model for this in my own childhood.
Not disagreeing with your major point, which is quite interesting.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:33 AM on June 3, 2013


Everything gets built up as the greatest thing ever and the reality, of course, can never live up to that hype.

The thing I have done that has most improved my enjoyment of Nu Who is stop paying attention to the pre-show hype. I keep an eye out for things like casting/writer news, but I ignore the hype during the season and, while not exiling myself from the internet to keep from being spoiled, I do try to watch the show early enough to form my own opinions without hearing what the interneterati have to say. I'm particularly prone to issues with expectation-setting, but I recommend that generally for people who just want to enjoy the show to the extent that they can.
posted by immlass at 10:36 AM on June 3, 2013


Personally, I feel robbed. Matt Smith has really been coming into the character... and now he's as good as gone. And he had to put up with Moffat, which seems like as good a reason for an extra year or two as any other.

That said, looking at the history... the Tenth Doctor did three seasons and some specials.
This Doctor is doing three seasons, and some specials. Same can be said about the 5th Doctor and two others besides.

Seems to me that a determination has been made that having a Doctor for more than a few years could result in "Tom Baker syndrome"... too much love for one Doctor, followed by largely unfair comparisons for subsequent ones that can hurt the sustainability of the show.

As much as I'd love to see Matt Smith have another year or two, I suspect that they view three years as pretty much the "sweet spot", and don't want to rest on their laurels anymore, even when they've got a Doctor who might be up to staying with the show for awhile.
posted by markkraft at 10:39 AM on June 3, 2013


Just to ground the parlor game of casting the new Doctor in the boring old real world:
—It won't be anyone with an active movie career (the new series's punishing shooting schedule can accommodate only so much).
—It won't be anyone with a prominent role in another television show (see above).
—It won't be anyone who can't handle dramatic and comic material with equal aplomb—or who can't turn on a dime between the two.
—It won't be anyone unable to keep up physically with the action-adventure format (we haven't seen a Doctor played by an actor in his fifties since Jon Pertwee—the age cutoff point is mid-forties).
—It won't be anyone with an established "brand" or a fear of typecasting.
—It won't be anyone without a tested relationship with the BBC or a salary outside of their price range (this is the fuddy-duddy, cheeseparing Auntie Beeb, after all)
—It won't be anyone from outside the Commonwealth, and certainly not an American.
Casting Helen Mirren or Anthony Head today is wishful thinking, Patrick Stewart/Hugh Laurie/Stephen Fry is a pipe dream, and Tilda Swinton is the stuff of fanfic. Likewise, there's the old Hollywood "Want, Settle, Get" system, e.g. want Idris Elba, settle for Chiwetel Ejiofor, get Paterson Joseph (maybe). A better bet would be Stephen Mangan, star of Green Wing and Dirk Gently, who has been dropping hints.

That said, in casting the new Doctor, the incoming actors must always shake up the status quo a bit, differentiate themselves from their predecessors, and yet preserve an essential sense of continuity. The cantankerous William Hartnell regenerates into the cheerier Patrick Troughton, who then turns into the dashing Jon Pertwee, who subsequently changes into the bohemian Tom Baker, who later metamorphoses into the boyish Peter Davison, etc., etc. The immense task of finding suitable actors up to the multifaceted challenge of making the role of the Doctor their own has stymied the programme before. *cough*colinbaker*cough* Its producers would be unwise to limit their pool of candidates arbitrarily, even as Doctor Who is constrained, at least in this case, by reality.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:53 AM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


None of your arguments have had anything to do with internal narrative constancy, but rather traditio

So do you think I'm stupid or arguing in bad faith? I have made NO arguments about tradition. None. I have argued that in the context of the current show as it exists with the character that is the Doctor suddenly making him a woman doesn't make sense.
I do not think women shouldn't be heroes, tha women shouldn't be leaders, I think that women and minorities are very under represented in all media. I don't think women or minorities can't be Star Fleet captains nor that they can't be hero rengeade Time Lords. I don't even thing it's impossible or wrong for there to be a woman Doctor. See my calls for a reboot or parallel universe.
I am saying, that the Doctor in Doctor Who is male. Which you obviously agree with since you see that as a probelm. I've expanded pretty widely on the evidence that he is male and identifies male. However I've also offered a story plot that would generate a female sexed Doctor.
I've done more work for the argument for a female Doctor than those arguing for a female Doctor.

Lack of women in science fiction on TV is not a reason for the Doctor to become a woman. That is a reason to produce more science fiction with strong leading female roles, that is a reason to get more strong women in Doctor Who. It could be a reason to reboot the show with a female or bi-gendered Doctor. But NONE of that addresses the IN STORY concerns I and others have pointed out.

Seriously WTF?

Also I don't get all the put downs of the Big Finish productions and other spin off media, as if they are less than. It's up there with the derisive use of the term fan-fic, as if an un-licensed un-published work is inferior to licensed/puiblished work. There has been plenty of writing for Nu Who that is of the same or lower caliber quality as mediocre slash fic.
posted by MrBobaFett at 11:17 AM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


As for who I would like to see play The Doctor...
Tilda Swinton would be fabulosa.
Geoffrey Rush would be endearing.
Jim Broadbent would really fit the role.
Billy Connolly would be an amusing choice.

But as a general thought, I would go older... or female.
posted by markkraft at 11:21 AM on June 3, 2013


Also seconding (thirding) who ever suggested Amanda Fucking Palmer to play the Doctor. But lets not get carried away with her husband writing for Doctor Who. His first one was OK, but his second one was pretty bad. The Doctor as space Mary Poppins? He's not a baby sitter.
posted by MrBobaFett at 11:22 AM on June 3, 2013


I'm looking at the content of your arguments, MrBobaFett. I don't think you feel you are arguing from a place of tradition, but none of your arguments are actually character-driven. Saying he was portrayed as a male through all previous incarnations and thus must have a masculine gender identity is not actually a character-based argument. In fact, I'm not actually sure what a character-based argument for a fictional gender identity would look like. But I really haven't seen any here, in this thread.

I actually love Big Finish. The 8th Doctor is my Doctor. But the truth is, telling women to listen to those in order to get a hero they like is throwing them chump change, in terms of media. It's like . . . refusing to give little girls black barbie dolls and instead giving them "Chrissy, friend of Barbie!" It's earmarking less popular media for the minority population. Which says something about how much the minority population is valued by those who are making popular fiction.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:29 AM on June 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


Robert Pattinson, because fuck everything.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:37 AM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


And the truth is, I don't agree that the Doctor, as a character, is fundamentally "male." That he has been played by male actors has been largely irrelevant to his characterization. I think his apparent masculinity has everything to do with the sexism at the time when the various actors were cast and nothing to do with inherent maleness of character. In fact, the show has established that for him, regeneration is a violent process over which he has little control and during which he could conceivably emerge "a girl." Matt Smith's Doctor seemed surprised by this possibility but not, say, particularly dismayed. The Doctor doesn't seem to have a strongly defined sexuality (as he's been shown as, variously, asexual, maybe bi, and maybe straight) and there's been nothing that I've seen in the text to suggest that the Doctor feels himself particularly "manly."
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:43 AM on June 3, 2013


PhoBWanKenobi: I actually love Big Finish. The 8th Doctor is my Doctor. But the truth is, telling women to listen to those in order to get a hero they like is throwing them chump change, in terms of media. It's like . . . refusing to give little girls black barbie dolls and instead giving them "Chrissy, friend of Barbie!" It's earmarking less popular media for the minority population. Which says something about how much the minority population is valued by those who are making popular fiction.

I think this is even more the case for some – by which I mean British women and girls – elements of the Who fanbase. I mean – and I know I end up making some form of this comment in most Who threads, so sorry if it gets boring, but it's relevant, and it feels like many (though not you) American fans of the show simply are not aware of it, or if they are, downplay it – Doctor Who is baked into British culture of the last half century in a way that no US sci-fi show could ever hope to be embedded in American culture – not even Star Trek, though arguably it's closest.

The only things that have been continuously on British TV since before Doctor Who began are Coronation Street, The Sky At Night, Panorama (the BBC's investigative documentary series) and the news. That's pretty much it. It's as much part of British mainstream culture as its most popular, running-for-more-than-50 years soap; it's as mainstream as it gets in this country. There's a reason why no newspaper sub-editor in the UK would blink at something being described as "Tardis-like", because the meaning is so obvious. That sort of cultural ubiquity doesn't happen very often. So to tell young fans of whatever minority "go listen to these fantastic audio dramas" is a whopping case – in the UK, at least – of saying mainstream culture is not for you. But here's some crumbs.
posted by Len at 11:47 AM on June 3, 2013 [9 favorites]


"Seriously WTF?"

Your arguments from internal consistency are weak but you sort of aggressively refuse to even consider the possibility that they'e weak. But it's revealed by the fact that you are entirely okay with the idea of the Doctor changing race even though your arguments from in-universe consistency apply exactly in that case as in the case of sex. The only difference is that you, yourself, believe that race is incidental and relatively unimportant while sex is essential.

So it's not even tradition that is your argument.

It's your own intuitive beliefs about what aspects of personality are essential and therefore cannot be changed during regeneration, and what things are not essential and can be.

You make absolutely no in-universe arguments for where you've chosen to draw that line ... such as showing that the people of Gallifrey are seen in the show to have various pigmentation and at some point there was an episode where the Doctor or a Time Lord said that pigmentation was incidental and could vary by regeneration but, in contrast, none of these things are true about sex. You've not presented such evidence because it doesn't exist but, also, you've not offered up such arguments because you don't think, in either case, that such evidence is even necessary because you — not Gallifreyans as revealed in the show — believe that pigmentation/race is incidental but sex (and orientation!) is not.

It's primarily about your own biases and you are utterly blind to that fact.

And it's not necessarily the case that your biases are wrong — the line is going to be drawn somewhere and different people are going to naturally have entirely reasonable differences of opinion about what's an essential character trait of a regenerated Time Lord and what is not — it's that you have aggressively, at length, argued that where you draw the line is self-evidently the one correct place to draw the line on the basis of in-universe consistency. You deny that other opinions can be valid, and you do so by arguing that there's a self-evident objective aspect of the show itself which requires your position — but which doesn't, in fact, exist. The show itself has never stated that sex, gender, and orientation were essential and unchanging things for a regenerating Time Lord.

You've assumed this.

But you've not assumed the same about race. That should have given you pause once it was pointed out yet it hasn't. This is what is so maddening about your comments.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:50 AM on June 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


"In fact, I'm not actually sure what a character-based argument for a fictional gender identity would look like."

Gallifreyans could be explicitly shown to be gender essentialists and/or the Doctor himself could have been shown to discuss his masculinity in ways that make it clear that it is absolutely central to his essential identity.

But there haven't been any such scenes on the show.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:57 AM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


PhoBWanKenobi: "there's been nothing that I've seen in the text to suggest that the Doctor feels himself particularly "manly.""

There was the bit when the Doctor regenerated into Matt Smith and was briefly convinced by his hair that he was "a girl." He was horrified at that, then relieved when he felt his Adam's Apple and realized that yes, he was still a man.

(FWIW, I'm not bringing this up to applaud that lame gag or to jump back into the larger ongoing argument. I'm strictly chiming in as a trivia thing. I.e., "was there ever a thing where he specifically indicated he felt more like a man?" "Yes, there was a thing.")
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:58 AM on June 3, 2013


MrBobaFett, I'm not sure how you can – not just in the same comment, but in the same paragraph of a comment – assert that you're not making an argument from tradition, before essentially saying the reason we can't have a female Doctor is that we should consider the context, the context being that the Doctor has been a man for the past 50 years.
posted by Len at 11:58 AM on June 3, 2013


How about Lennie James as The Doctor? I really enjoyed him in Jericho and The Walking Dead. He's done a lot of US work, but he is British.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:01 PM on June 3, 2013


Gina Bellman? Moffat loves her from way back on Coupling.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:05 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


There was the bit when the Doctor regenerated into Matt Smith and was briefly convinced by his hair that he was "a girl." He was horrified at that, then relieved when he felt his Adam's Apple and realized that yes, he was still a man.

Ah, see, I didn't interpret his little yelp as one of horror, really. But I suppose it could be seen that way. Hmm, I wonder if one's gender identity could change during regeneration. It seems so many other parts of one's psychology do.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:05 PM on June 3, 2013


Also I don't get all the put downs of the Big Finish productions and other spin off media, as if they are less than. It's up there with the derisive use of the term fan-fic, as if an un-licensed un-published work is inferior to licensed/puiblished work. There has been plenty of writing for Nu Who that is of the same or lower caliber quality as mediocre slash fic.

PhoBWanKenobi and Len have made great points about this. But since I'm never one to pass up a chance to plug Philip Sandifer's critiques*, look at the numbers from his commentary on Harry Potter:

12% of the UK watched The Rings of Akhaten, so that's the modern era;
Battlefield, the lowest point, got 6.4%;
The Deadly Assassin got 22% of the country watching it.

That is crazy high. Like Stanley Cup in Canada levels.

It's absolutely not that Big Finish/etc are bad. A lot of RTD's writers came from the written Adventures, as well they should. But hell, I've watched every DW episode that still exists, listened to some of the Big Finish, enjoy reading longform essays about the series/episodes, but nowadays I'm still only watching the show. It's not an issue of quality, it's an issue of cultural impact.

At least personally, I don't think the individual episodes would be stronger by having a generic woman / person of colour as the Doctor. So having a spin-off/etc with a woman as the Doctor, sure? Could be good. But it's the real-world implications that are interesting. The BBC's vote of confidence.
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:08 PM on June 3, 2013


PhoBWanKenobi: "Ah, see, I didn't interpret his little yelp as one of horror, really. "

He did shout "NO! NO!" It's possible to read that another way, but...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:08 PM on June 3, 2013



There was the bit when the Doctor regenerated into Matt Smith and was briefly convinced by his hair that he was "a girl." He was horrified at that, then relieved when he felt his Adam's Apple and realized that yes, he was still a man.

Ah, see, I didn't interpret his little yelp as one of horror, really. But I suppose it could be seen that way. Hmm, I wonder if one's gender identity could change during regeneration. It seems so many other parts of one's psychology do.


I interpreted it as horror, yeah. But
a) His horror implies that it's a thing that could happen. Otherwise why think he was a girl?
b) Regeneration is traumatic, especially the way that Tennant went out (long meandering "I'M NOT READYYYYYYYYYYYYY" that blerg). He does have his memories after all. Some shock and/or horror is fine if he becomes she, at least for the first getting-to-know-new-Doctor scene.
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:13 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Watching that clip now, I read it as something between surprise and dismay. In-universe, which MrBobaFett won't accept because it's from the new show, it does make it pretty clear that it's possible, though not something that the Doctor would expect. But Ten was surprised by his teeth, of all things.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:17 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Your arguments from internal consistency are weak but you sort of aggressively refuse to even consider the possibility that they'e weak.

It's such a relief that we've finally identified the party who suffers from that problem.


I think I've finally worked it out, though. Since anything is possible in our no-canon who-knows-could-what-could-be-in-a-timelord's-pants-anyway universe, let's simply all agree that both Bakers were actually playing queer time ladies, we just didn't know it. Probably Tennant and Pertwee and maybe even Atkinson too.

This provides one answer to the question as to why The Doctor has never been female before (she has!), and superfluous though such points of continuity may be in the face of sufficiently good gender politics, it should keep all those who are confused or insecure enough to be weirdly invested in them happy.

And it may even mitigate the problem of patriarchal oppression via the show in past decades retroactively. Or at least make it our own fault for relying on narrow traditional assumptions based on what The Doctor looked like.
posted by weston at 12:20 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm reading that clip as yes, a gender change is possible, but... he does not seem to want it. No reason it couldn't happen anyway, but the topic was touching on whether there was any evidence he preferred being a man. And there is. Fair debate on how strong you want to read that preference as, but there it is.

And of course, a gender switch can simply be something that happens that the Doctor deals with, as opposed to something desired in advance.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:22 PM on June 3, 2013


dear Metafilter Citizens,
please go to this link and vote for Zawe Ashton.

That is all.
posted by Bwithh at 12:23 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's actually some ambiguity in his "no!" screams as to whether he's screaming no because he doesn't want it or because he's realized he's not actually a girl. Which is interesting, to script the dialogue that way.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:25 PM on June 3, 2013


PhoBWanKenobi The Doctor, in the context of Doctor Who is a person. We treat him just like a real person we observe him and learn about him. This dude was cast because he was a white dude and only white dudes can get on TV in the 60s is not why the Doctor is white. Because that context does not exist in the world of Doctor Who.
So in hid world we observe him, we can see that he is male. We derive this from his appearance and his own use of gendered pronouns, also the use of gendered pronouns used by his own people. It is reasonable to believe that their people have a similar gender binary to our own since this seems to be a fairly common configuration for many species and what we have observed of his people fits this theory. I does not leave out the possibility of other gender configurations in their people, but we have no evidence to support it.
Gender as we all know is not the same as sex or sexuality. Gender is internal, not what is in our pants. For many people gender and sex are in alignment which is convenient for us, but it's far from universal. The Doctor as shown thru his pronoun use seems to certainly identify as male. Since gender is internal and part of our identity it seems reasonable that even thru body changes his identity would remain the same. Other aspects of his identity has remained even tho his attitude changes somewhat between bodies, there is still a constant that is the Doctor.
Going by the original series (the only thing that really counts in my book) yes he is somewhat asexual and I like that. Being asexual does not mean one does not have a gender identity however. Of course I don't think he's actually asexual we just haven't been able to observe him in a time of sexual interest. We've only seen him with 2 female members of his own species for any long period of time, and one was his grand daughter. The fact that he didn't hit on the one other female we see doesn't prove asexuality, it's too small of a data set.

What part of these few parts of my argument are so grossly out of whack?
posted by MrBobaFett at 12:27 PM on June 3, 2013


PhoBWanKenobi: "There's actually some ambiguity in his "no!" screams as to whether he's creaming no because he doesn't want it or because he's realized he's not actually a girl. Which is interesting, to script the dialogue that way."

That could be some frutiful grounds for retconning, if they go with a female Doctor. But I think it might be reaching to read it that way as it played out originally, particularly given the man who wrote it.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:28 PM on June 3, 2013


In any event, what the Doctor wants from a regeneration need not have a thing to do with what the character gets. I sincerely doubt the dashing, romantic 8th Doctor was hoping to turn out big-eared, balding, and gangly. (Or crusty and old, I guess.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:30 PM on June 3, 2013


Since gender is internal and part of our identity it seems reasonable that even thru body changes his identity would remain the same.

I don't agree that this is a reasonable or self-evident assumption. Particularly not when discussing the casting and writing of the actual show we have now, which is not the original series and which has, in fact, established that it's not the case.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:38 PM on June 3, 2013


You know my outside-the-box idea for a disabled Doctor? I have a name for you. How about Peter Mitchell from Cast Offs? He's the handsome fellow in the wheelchair here.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:41 PM on June 3, 2013


I'm not throwing anyone chump change with Big Finish. I'm not saying "gilrs, if you want a girl hero go over there and leave my show alone."
I'm saying Gallifrey is awesome! It's a way better production than the NuWho series and everyone should listen to it. I'm saying Big Finish is a better producer of Doctor Who stories all around than current BBC. Also in the case of Gallifrey , the lead is a strong, intelligent, woman! So is her companion!
I'm not offering it as some kind of consolation prize.
posted by MrBobaFett at 12:43 PM on June 3, 2013


He's cute, but like Ben Whishaw looks too close to the last two Doctors for my tastes. I'd love if we could get someone who at the very least wasn't pale with dark floppy hair.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:43 PM on June 3, 2013


I understand that you're not offering it that way, MBF, but that's what it is. The audio dramas are comparatively difficult to procure and more obscure (in my discussions of the show on /r/DoctorWho, it was almost impossible to find anyone willing to discuss "An Earthly Child" with). You can't just sit down with your friends or family and watch it on a Saturday night as part of any standard cable package. Yes, they're better in quality but reach and cultural impact make a difference, and relegating your strong, intelligent female leads to spin-off media ensures that they'll never reach the people who need them the most--namely little girls.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:47 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Other good suggestions I have seen: Romola Garai, Domhnall Gleeson (Brendan Gleeson's son... a ginger!)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:48 PM on June 3, 2013


"I don't agree that this is a reasonable or self-evident assumption."

Not to mention that even if we accept some degree of gender essentialism for us, that doesn't mean it's true for Time Lords.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:49 PM on June 3, 2013


One other thought I had: it's funny when people joke that we have no way of knowing whether the Doctor even has male genitals. But the thing is, we kinda do, from reasonable inference.

Both Three and Seven, as I recall, were admitted into hospitals/ER's with full exams. (There were probably others, but those leap to mind.) The big WTF in each was played as "This guy's got two hearts!" I feel pretty confident saying that, "This guy has no genitals! He's like a fucking Ken doll!" would have been the lead in either story were it the case.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:53 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Particularly not when discussing the casting

Fine whatever, you're not actually reading what I'm writing so there is no point in going on since all if does is piss me off. Being wrong I'm fine with, being talked at and ignored just infuriates me.
posted by MrBobaFett at 1:02 PM on June 3, 2013


MBF, your first comment in this thread was this:

No, no female Doctor. Stop wishing for it. It doesn't work that way

. . . in the middle of a discussion where people were enthusiastically suggesting casting candidates for female Doctors. I have read your argument and understand it--you read the prior casting and writing choices as reinforcing a character's gender identity--but I think that argument is weak and overly dependent on appeals to tradition, and more, one that ignores the text of the show as it currently stands. It's okay, we can disagree, but the looooong conversation at hand actually is about who will be cast in Doctor Who, including whether that person will be a woman. You might not want it discussed; you might want us to stop wishing for it. But it is actually the discussion.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:08 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fun fact: the last person talking at the bottom of a thread is the winner.

Seriously, though. Maybe agree to disagree so we can argue about other stuff in a more friendly, less combative manner? Even I've let that argument go by now, and if you knew how contrarian I was, that would shame the hell out of you.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:12 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


And on a more on-topic note, Zawe Ashton is actually winning the casting poll! I loved her in Misfits and there's something suitably odd about her, but I think she seems both a little young and a little phlegmatic for the part.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:13 PM on June 3, 2013


She is winning, but they rigged that poll. She's the only female choice on it. And so, she's not just getting the "Zawe Ashton would be great" vote. She's getting the entire "We should have a female Doctor" vote. I'd like to see how she fares with other worthwhile female choices included, so that her win wouldn't feel like tokenism.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:15 PM on June 3, 2013


One other thought I had: it's funny when people joke that we have no way of knowing whether the Doctor even has male genitals. But the thing is, we kinda do, from reasonable inference.

It's also strongly implied that Amy (and possibly Rory) got an eyefull of 11 in The Eleventh Hour, and we know Amy, at least initially, thought of him as "a bloke".

Of course, it's also possible that 11 wasn't only inside the Teselecta for convenient death-avoiding reasons by Lake Silencio -- perhaps The Doctor has actually been there for the entirety of 11's tenure and is a time lord of unspecified sex and gender. We just don't know.
posted by weston at 1:18 PM on June 3, 2013


Zawe could do a good job of playing a gender-ambiguous Doctor. Her character on Fresh Meat, Vod, is notably gender-ambiguous (or hip-butch ?) but doesn't make a big deal out of it
posted by Bwithh at 1:30 PM on June 3, 2013


He did shout "NO! NO!" It's possible to read that another way, but...

Yes, it is possible. The first time he says "NO", he's grabbed his Adam's apple. That's how he knows he's not a girl. The weird jump cutting then suggests your reading, but the first instance he shouts "NO" is when he grabs his Adam's apple and realises he's not a girl.

I find it pretty hilarious in a thread that's been so contentious about whether a woman could be cast as the Doctor, you think there isn't two ways to read someone shouting "No!"
posted by crossoverman at 2:00 PM on June 3, 2013


Wibbly wobbly gendery bendery.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:06 PM on June 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


There are actually a series of jump cuts there with zero continuity. He shrieks, without his hand at his throat, jump cut to a shout of "No!" with his hand nearly at (or maybe already at) throat, then jump cut to something like the previous shot with a second "NO!" (no hand on throat) then a cut to another bit of hand at or nearly at throat, then "I'm not a girl!" I'd have gotten a D in editing on that one in school.

I can see why, given the topic at hand, people would go right to "It's maybe slightly ambiguous, THEREFORE..." though. I've said as much before. In any case, I'm also the one who pointed out that even if you were to take it as stated preference a) it doesn't mean it's a very serious one... it might be more like wanting to be ginger and b) it doesn't mean they can't flip genders anyway. So there's no real reason to get huffy on anyone reading it either way.

I definitely would be wary of the tendency to put a conspiracy theory reading onto that bit of bad editing though in pursuit of some AHA moment of gender-bending forewarning. I don't think any reading of that particular bit of silliness can quite bear that weight.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:50 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean, really, it starts with long-hair-equals-girl--not even woman or female, but girl--then goes into panicked shriek. Then he shouts "NO!" twice. If you wanna go all parsing the Zapruder footage on the editing in search of a Eureka in that silly gag, that's cool, but I personally think you'd be giving Moffat about three times more credit than he deserves.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:05 PM on June 3, 2013


There's only one way to do it this time. BBC has to do an Idol-style competition show with the Producers narrowing it to 12 "Regenerations" (and ending successful auditions with "You're going to Gallifrey!!"), then having a popular vote-off with each week's loser being ejected into deep space. Stephen Moffat as Simon Cowell, Jenna Louise Coleman as Paula Abdul and maybe QI's Alan Davies as Randy Jackson.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:08 PM on June 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Time for a musical break. Bill Baileys amazing jazz club take on the Doctor Who Theme.

Part of Bill Bailey's Guide to the Orchestra, all of which is very worth watching. (And yeah, he'd be a great Doctor himself.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:14 PM on June 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


As would Dermot Morgan and Tamsin Grieg, if we are talking Black Books.
posted by Artw at 3:16 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tamsin Greig would be glorious and just left-field enough, though given that she's already committed to two ongoing shows, it probably won't happen.
posted by kagredon at 3:21 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


They also could just randomly pick a Doctor from any QI panel (except Davies and token American Rich Hall) and the reaction would be mostly positive (with Frye doing the voice of the TARDIS, of course).
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:40 PM on June 3, 2013


I agree that a female Doctor would have to be a very specific kind of character. I especially agree that they wouldn't go with a female Doctor that was in any way middle aged or "Mom" like.

they should get Maggie Smith to do it in full-Dowager Countess mode, taking down Daleks with cutting remarks
posted by kagredon at 3:47 PM on June 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Alternately: Dowgros.
posted by Artw at 3:49 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Actually, Rich Hall as the Doctor would be amazing. I mean, basically, casting him, you're in a situation where Moe the bartender is a time-travelling alien. And that's got to be worth at least something.
posted by Len at 3:51 PM on June 3, 2013


If I were casting I would chose Iszi Lawrence
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:03 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I nominate either Jeremy Clarkson or the small guy from Top Gear
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:34 PM on June 3, 2013


Also, I can't believe we already finished the Star Trek part of the argument without anyone pointing out that the ST franchise did have an immortal, genderfluid character in a major role.
posted by kagredon at 4:39 PM on June 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think "Downton Abbey" should just make Cousin Matthew a timelord and bring him back next season.
posted by drezdn at 4:48 PM on June 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also played by Maggie Smith, I hope
posted by kagredon at 4:49 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, I can't believe we already finished the Star Trek part of the argument without anyone pointing out that the ST franchise did have an immortal, genderfluid character in a major role.

Interestingly enough, the whole repressed incarnation" thing was done before with Dax.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:51 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


My favorite comment of the entire thread:
George_Spiggott: For some reason I have a mental image of John Cleese thrashing the TARDIS console with a tree branch when it won't start.
posted by Davenhill at 5:26 PM on June 3, 2013


I nominate either Jeremy Clarkson or the small guy from Top Gear

Because I hate Jeremy Clarkson, I must post this.
posted by crossoverman at 5:29 PM on June 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, with thanks to everyone hashing out the subject in this thread, I'm really liking the idea of a female Doctor. Among the other arguments, it just seems like it would be a very fresh and new direction that would give everyone new reasons to watch.

(And for some reason, what popped into my mind was more of a 1980s, semi-androgynous New Wave glam rocker... say, maybe...

Annie Lennox? :)
posted by Davenhill at 5:34 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


yeah, i've seen it. watch his guest apperance of Stephen Fry's gadget show. dude loves going fast. or maybe have a Clarkson type or that Great White Hunter from dinosaur spaceship as a contrast to the Doctor
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:34 PM on June 3, 2013


As much as I'd love to see Time Lord Tilda (because it is Tilda and she can be any title she wants), I know realistically that is not likely to happen.

Another name I've seen floating around that I think would really work is Romola Garai. She could absolutely do that distanced, superior, alien quality the Doctor requires. Doctor Romola would know she's not human, something other and arguably better, and watching her you'd never forget it for a second either.

Considering how much of a neophile the Doctor is, was, wollen haven on-be, I think it'd be a natural shift to give this life thing a go as a woman, see what it's like from that perspective. It's a gimme for the character. Moffatt pulling it off, though, that's another thing entirely.
posted by cmyk at 9:02 PM on June 3, 2013


Oh, I'm on board with Davenhill's idea of Annie Lennox! That would be HOT!
posted by _paegan_ at 10:48 PM on June 3, 2013


Before Matt Smith, I was prepared to bet on the lead from Jekyll. He was great.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:44 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love the idea that a skinny, nerdy, erratic, neurotic, badly-dressed grandfather waving a screwdriver around and living in a phone box is upholding the patriarchy, and that replacing him with an Oscar-winning actress (famous for her androgeny no less) because just because that's why christ you're so privileged will somehow reverse this appalling, decades-long oppression.

Seriously, where are you people in the other male alien threads? 'Give him a pair up there! It's just a title! He's from another planet, so it's not weird! We'll say it was Kryptonite during an eclipse, and we'll cast a woman with short hair, because they look otherworldly, and we can keep the forehead curl! It'll be rather edgy, and won't fuck up the story with a jarring distraction one little bit! The 'S' can stand for 'sweetie'!'
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:56 AM on June 4, 2013


I'd just be all about the River Song spinoff.
posted by jaduncan at 5:16 AM on June 4, 2013


"I love the idea..."

Thanks for signaling at the beginning that your comment is ironic because it makes so much more sense knowing that you're really asserting the opposite of everything else that follows.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:28 AM on June 4, 2013


Three principles of Dr. Who replacement casting, as derived from a sample size of two:

1: The Doctor cannot be played by a Name. A Name is expensive and distracting, and they're more likely to jump TARDIS after a single series. If you're at least as prominent as Christopher Eccleston was in 2005, you're out of the running.

2: They must be a BBC trouper. The producers want television experience - the proven ability to cope with odd shooting schedules and finite budgets - and they like to hire from within. Matt Smith admittedly only had four years of on-camera experience when he was tapped, but all of it was with the Beeb.

3: They must prove they're a tonal fit for Who by nailing a utility role in a BBC sci-fi/romantic adventure production. Right around the time Davies was casting about for someone to replace Eccleston, David Tennant was in rehearsals for the live broadcast of The Quatermass Experiment - in which he played an earnest doctor confronted with alien weirdness. And here's Smith swanning about in Victorian wear with Billie Piper in the 2006 BBC adaptation of The Ruby in the Smoke, Philip Pullman's celebrated YA novel.

The Twelfth might be a surprise as to age, gender, or ethnicity, but I suspect the three conditions above will hold ironclad.
posted by Iridic at 5:32 AM on June 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


Yeah, prominence and such is important.

We Americans are not likely to understand how different television production is in the UK. Multi-year contracts are the norm here, but one-year contracts are the norm there. This has big consequences. It makes it much harder to have long-running series because contracts are renegotiated every year and a successful series can mean actors get better offers.

This is particularly true for the rare case like Who, which has a high US profile, as actors make much more money working in the US than they do in the UK and so pretty much automatically an actor playing the Doctor now can work in Hollywood if he wants.

So starting with someone high-profile is either automatically out-of-the-question because they'd be too expensive at the outset, or because the likelihood they'd only work for a year (like Eccleston) would be very high.

I think this means that Who will continue to be a showcase for inexpensive talented, fresh actors and that, if the show continues for much longer, it will keep regenerating into new Doctors every three years or so.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:47 AM on June 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


4: They must be good with kids (and other people). The most successful Doctors have been very good at relating to members of the General Public, espcially the very young ones. This is something Matt Smith is particularly good at, but so was David Tennant (and Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee). If at least half the year is filming, the other half is promotion.
posted by Grangousier at 5:49 AM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


inexpensive talented, fresh actors

I'm guessing 3 years is an upper bound on them being one or both of those. Which is a pity as it'll always seem like a really short turnover compared with Classic Who, but I guess with the exception of Tom Baker they only did 3-4 year stints as well.
posted by Artw at 6:03 AM on June 4, 2013


Baker II and McCoy even less than that. McGann either 45 minutes or nine years depending how you count it.
posted by Grangousier at 6:10 AM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, I'm on board with Davenhill's idea of Annie Lennox! That would be HOT!

The Doctor should not be hot, traditionally.

In this modern era they become "hot" thanks to fan girls, but, no.
Does no one remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth when Smiffy was cast?
posted by Mezentian at 6:38 AM on June 4, 2013


Annie Lennox is one of three Celebrities I've met on the tube. The first others were Sylvester McCoy and Jim Broadbent.

So, logically...
posted by Artw at 6:42 AM on June 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Does no one remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth when Smiffy was cast?

Oh, it was ever thus. Sometimes when I got bored at work recently I'd pull up all the "we're getting a new Doctor" threads in here and compare them, amused that they all said exactly the same thing no matter which Doctor was being discussed ("oh, he looks too young....I really prefer the guy who's leaving...he doesn't look like The Doctor...")

Also, a lot of the "wailing and gnashing of teeth" at first was prompted by a really unfortunate picture, which the BBC had just sort of whipped up to have something in place; I remember people complaining that it looked like they were trying to appeal to the TWILIGHT demographic and what did they see in him and...but then a week or so later, the BBC finally released an interview, in which you could see Matt Smith in all his rambling twitchy flighty glory, and all the fans I knew saw that and said "oohhhhhhh, okay, now we get it."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:11 AM on June 4, 2013


So, logically...
Oh.
My.
Giddy.
Aunt.
posted by Mezentian at 7:31 AM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


e and compare them, amused that they all said exactly the same thing no matter which Doctor was being discussed ("oh, he looks too young....I really prefer the guy who's leaving...he doesn't look like The Doctor...")

This is a true fax.
I got up at OMGWTF O'clock on boxing day (so I was hella hungover - and if I remember an unseasonable storm took out part of our fence) so download the announcement of Matt Smith being cast, and I was all googley-eyed because: young.

And I was outraged.

And Moffatt came on and said he was young, but old.

And by The Eleventh Hour's end I was sold.

But I was also sold by Colin Baker, so there is that.

The show continues. And even though I am in the male/white Doctor camp, I endure.

If I can survive Scissor Sisters-singing Master, and Time And The Rani, what can't I survive?
posted by Mezentian at 7:40 AM on June 4, 2013


Anyway, having given the above casting principles a thought, I'll make my sealed envelope prediction for Lee Ingleby. Somewhat goofy looking; has never played a role more prominent than "Stan Shunpike" in The Prisoner of Azkaban; nevertheless is not going begging for fanvids.

(My own preference would be Ayoade, but that's never going to happen.)
posted by Iridic at 8:55 AM on June 4, 2013


I still like my theory of the Doctor and Clara both dying with the regenerated Doctor being played by Jenna-Louise Coleman. The shock of that moment would be amazing. The BBC and Moffat could announce a new male actor as joining the cast, coyly never say that he's playing the Doctor (when actually he's been selected to be the new companion). It could be filmed in relative secrecy ("as a web extra joke let's film Jenna regenerating!"). It also eliminates the problem of what to do with Clara now that her impossible girl mystery has been solved. The big downsides would be the death of the two leads in the Christmas special and the awkwardness of telling the Maitland kids that their nanny is dead even though the Doctor looks just like her.
posted by plastic_animals at 9:22 AM on June 4, 2013


Anyway - Can I put my prediction in now for Andrew Gower.
posted by zoo at 9:23 AM on June 4, 2013


Much as I hate this game, I approve of the Andrew Gower idea, even if he doesn't fulfill most of the Conditions listed above. Am I the only person in the world who enjoyed the last two seasons of Being Human UK more than any of the other ones and more than Being Human US? I'm prepared to accept that I might be. The fact that the US version took over the drama and angst meant that it could turn into this mutant combo of David Lynch, Harold Pinter and standard-issue BBC3 Young People's Drama. BH's Damien Molony has also been nominated for NerdPope by those for whom the Boy Totty factor outweighs all others,* but he is very good. Not a Doctor, though, I think.

I do need to keep reminding myself that the series just changes every three years or so (indeed every year), and anything I don't especially enjoy isn't carved in stone and may not be there next time.

*I saw a link to a Twitter stream coincident with the last scene of The Name of the Doctor. The horror and nausea in response to seeing a Doctor who was also an UGLY OLD MAN! URGGH! YUK!! by teen girls who hadn't thought it through was very funny. Speaking as an ugly old man. Urggh. Yuk.
posted by Grangousier at 10:40 AM on June 4, 2013


I love the idea that a skinny, nerdy, erratic, neurotic, badly-dressed grandfather waving a screwdriver around and living in a phone box is upholding the patriarchy, and that replacing him with an Oscar-winning actress (famous for her androgeny no less) because just because that's why christ you're so privileged will somehow reverse this appalling, decades-long oppression.

Oh for fuck's sake. This was already a depressingly sexist thread without your strawmen.
posted by kagredon at 1:02 PM on June 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just really hope The Doctor is not young and quirky and bubbly. We've had that twice in a row already. Give us someone old and grumpy.

David Bradley.
posted by homunculus at 1:25 PM on June 4, 2013


Oh wait, he's already playing the Doctor, sort of.
posted by homunculus at 1:27 PM on June 4, 2013


Iridic: Anyway, having given the above casting principles a thought, I'll make my sealed envelope prediction for Lee Ingleby. Somewhat goofy looking; has never played a role more prominent than "Stan Shunpike" in The Prisoner of Azkaban

He's not exactly front cover material from the standpoint of known names, I'll grant you, but he already has an ongoing role in another BBC series, Inspector George Gently, which is a very popular, slightly nostalgic bit of Sunday night detective-ing in which he's the main supporting cast member, playing sergeant to Martin Shaw's lead detective. Unless filming of the series yet to be broadcast has already finished, and he hasn't signed up to do another, I think he can be ruled out. Also, Lee Ingleby's best role to date was as a teenage thug in Spaced, who takes umbrage at Tim Bisley, ultimately leading to the episode's excellent slo-mo fake-gun-etiquette street battle denouement.
posted by Len at 1:36 PM on June 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


homunculus: David Bradley

God no, terrible choice. His default mode of resolving confilcts is going to be massacring everyone in the room, including his own companion. Get that many arterial spurts in a Saturday teatime Doctor Who, and you're going to traumatise a whole generation of children so much that behind the sofa won't seem nearly a safe enough place.
posted by Len at 1:40 PM on June 4, 2013


Also, bit of trivia as regards Lee Ingleby: in the final episode of the UK version of Life On Mars, he played John Simm's absent, criminal father. So if they do cast him as The Doctor, he's already played the father of the man who most recently played The Master.
posted by Len at 1:48 PM on June 4, 2013


[Comment removed. "This attitude sucks and here is why" is fine, "fuck you all" is not.]
posted by cortex at 3:31 PM on June 4, 2013


sigh

A lot of people in this thread have expressed their disdain for anyone who isn't white and male wanting a Doctor who actually reflects them. Disdain for wanting one of the most iconic images of heroism and Britishness in fiction to reflect that you don't have to be white and male to be heroic or British.

If you can suspend your disbelief for a Doctor who can go from prickly to genial through regeneration, or polite to blunt, or asexual to sexual, or idealistic to pragmatic, or old to young, but not one who goes from white to nonwhite or male to female, then I have nothing polite to say to you.
posted by kagredon at 3:33 PM on June 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


And if you can suspend your disbelief, but don't see what the big deal is, consider that the Doctor has been white and male for eleven incarnations and going on fifty years.

Consider what it would feel like, if you are white and male and do not understand what the big deal is, to have few main, heroic characters who are white and male, ever, in any media. Consider what it would be like if those few characters that existed were all defined by their whiteness and maleness, and not by their bravery or kindness or style.

Consider if there were then a character, an iconic, heroic, globally known character, who could be cast in any way imaginable, based on the changes in casting or personality that have already happened, for fifty years, who had only ever been cast as someone who was always a specific gender and ethnicity, and then people told you that you were foolish, strident, trying to turn back the clock or swing the penduluum the other way, just for suggesting that maybe, this one time in twelve incarnations and fifty years, the character could be played by a kickass actor who maybe looked a little more like you.
posted by kagredon at 3:41 PM on June 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


kagredon: "A lot of people in this thread have expressed their disdain for anyone who isn't white and male wanting a Doctor who actually reflects them."

Has absolutely anyone in this thread expressed an objection to a non-white Doctor? I've been sort of letting this slide when it's tossed around in the ongoing "Is it okay to prefer a male Doctor?" argument. But I honestly can't recall a single instance of someone being opposed to there being a non-white Doctor. I've scanned this humongous page a few times looking to see if I'm wrong but have come up empty. At a certain point, I'm going to have to ask for citations of where this has happened or call bullshit.

I realize it's handy for argument to say that the people arguing for a male Doctor are also arguing for a white one. It really aids the privilege argument. Thing is, that's not really squaring with what I'm seeing on the page. MrBobaFett, for example, IIRC, not only is open to a non-white Doctor, but a genderqueer (if bio-male) one as well.

I'm not saying it hasn't happened, I'm just saying that given I've been following this thread insanely closely and have no recollection of such a thing, is there any chance we could have it pointed out where this happens before we accept it as a given that it's happening all the time?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:57 PM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Etrigan Who said we can't have a female James Bond or a Black Captain America? SuperMan as a communist Asian? Sure why not. Jame Bond is just a title basically. Same with Captain America, also both he and SuperMan exist in a Multi-verse where there a infinite different incarnations of them. Some of them must be colored, or gender queer, or even have four arms.

"I'm totally fine with it, as long as it's not main-canon!"

I am on the record (above, even) as saying that I want an older white man to play The Doctor.
I always want that.

I will be okay with them casting a Suranne Jones or Patterson Joseph, and I will keep watching.
I have done since disco was a thing (the first time).

But I will argue until my last breath it's the wrong decision to change that one aspect of the character.


"I could deal, but it would still be better with a white guy."

It always feels like this is some fanboyish demand because taking the risk of perhaps embracing a new property that stars someone who isn't a white guy is too hard, both for producers and the audience.

"Relating to people who aren't white or aren't male is too hard! Why can't the non-white, non-male people just shut up and relate to the white male characters?"
posted by kagredon at 4:07 PM on June 4, 2013


"Has absolutely anyone in this thread expressed an objection to a non-white Doctor?"

I don't think so.

And, yeah, as you say, MBF has explicitly argued for a non-white Doctor and maybe, kinda, sorta for a non-straight one. Which, as I've argued, is actually quite inconsistent with his claim that his argument is strictly built upon in-universe continuity.

It's to this community's credit that no one has argued against a non-white Doctor here. But do you seriously doubt that there's not a large number of people elsewhere who would argue so, and on exactly the same basis as is being used here with regard to gender? That because Time Lords have always been white and the Doctor has always been white, the lack of exceptions to this is an implicit in-universe requirement that being white is essential to the Doctor? And that a lot of people making that argument would assert, as MBF has done, that "race" is self-evidently a fundamental aspect of one's identity that wouldn't change over regeneration?

Last night when I was thinking about this thread I recalled how I thought and felt about the casting of Tim Russ as Tuvok on Voyager.

Like a lot of people, it didn't make sense to me. Vulcans were sort of like white people with slightly green skin, that's who they are. There were no black Vulcans. The whole idea made no sense. But after awhile, and especially after I'd seen an episode or two of the show, I found that my whole perspective on this had changed. Suddenly I realized that there were differently appearing humans, and with regard to skin pigmentation, why couldn't the same be true of Vulcans? And why did I assume that the very few Vulcans they'd ever shown on the show were representative of all Vulcans, everywhere? What kind of baggage about race had I dragged into this whole idea; how much subconscious crap in my head was interfering with my ability to accept the idea of a black-skinned Vulcan?

Seeing Russ's actual portrayal of a Vulcan cemented my new thinking, it proved that my sensibilities about the issue had been all about me and not about Vulcans.

I think exactly the same thing would happen with a female Doctor. She'd recognizably be the Doctor and, for at least a large number of the skeptics, the misgivings would evaporate.

As kagredon says with so much eloquent frustration, one thing that's especially upsetting about the resistance is that this is a character singular in mutability. This is a character who literally becomes a different person periodically.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:24 PM on June 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


The first of those quotes does not say he's against a black Doctor. It was part of a larger point he was making about multi-verses. Your interpretation is a stretch on that bit and falls apart completely when matched against posts that user made like this one:

"Not arguing white male, never have."

I am on the record (above, even) as saying that I want an older white man to play The Doctor.
I always want that.

I will be okay with them casting a Suranne Jones or Patterson Joseph, and I will keep watching.
I have done since disco was a thing (the first time)."


That person is expressing a preference, not an opposition. Hence the part where they say they'd be fine with [example actress] or [example black actor].

"It always feels like this is some fanboyish demand because taking the risk of perhaps embracing a new property that stars someone who isn't a white guy is too hard, both for producers and the audience."

That quote was by a user who was kind of all over the map, such that I am not entirely sure what the person believes. That quote seems to indicate that forcing a gender/race change is a poor substitute for simply having the courage to launch POC/female leads in new properties and trust fans to give them a chance. That's not opposing a black or female Doctor out of racism or sexism, it's viewing it as tokenism. I'm not going to even go down that side road one way or the other, but it's certainly more complicated than "No white Doctors!"

Even so, if we grant you the third one (and I'm not sure that one holds, but for the sake of argument, let's), that's one person, TOTAL.

Where I'm from, one is not "a lot of people."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:41 PM on June 4, 2013


Ivan Fyodorovich: "It's to this community's credit that no one has argued against a non-white Doctor here. But do you seriously doubt that there's not a large number of people elsewhere who would argue so, and on exactly the same basis as is being used here with regard to gender? "

You're right, of course. Obviously true. But at the same time, we need to argue with people in good faith and not blithely accuse fellow MeFites of stuff no one has said, just because we're all set for a particular delineation of sides.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:44 PM on June 4, 2013


okay, yes, my careless substituting of "a lot of people" for the profane ranting that got my original comment deleted is obviously the most wrong thing that's happened in this thread

carry on.
posted by kagredon at 4:51 PM on June 4, 2013


It's generally never a great idea to be flippant about saying there's a lot of racism in a thread.

Particularly, if, you know... there's not any.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:59 PM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


They could do a whole season of Assassination Vacation.

SARAH:
(eating popcorn)
This is where he gets shot!

DOCTOR:
You know there are doctors, REAL doctors who could help you with this morbid obes-

SARAH:
Shhh! You're ruining it!

The Doctor wordlessly sits back and folds arms. We hear a BANG and then gasping from the audience, followed by screams 'THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN SHOT!"

DOCTOR:
May we go now?

SARAH:
Yeah. I'm in a good place right now.


I was a bit shocked when I stumbled on the Red Dwarf episode that treated the Kennedy Assasination with that degree of seriousness.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:01 PM on June 4, 2013


Fellow MeFites:

A Stupidly Exhaustive Poll of Casting Suggestions Offered in This Thread
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:16 PM on June 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


Cool! I had trouble deciding between John Noble or Olivia Williams, but went with Williams. Both are quite unrealistic.

And I thought of Damien Molony, too, because he's such a great actor and he's only been on BBC3 (though I bet he got lots of attention), except that I can't see him as the Doctor, probably because his role on Being Human was so very different.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:30 PM on June 4, 2013


So, really, how can it *not* be Danny Pudi? Though my husband swears he heard it was going to be Damian Lewis.
posted by epj at 7:04 PM on June 4, 2013


DAVID
MITCHELL
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:06 PM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I stupidly voted in the Stupidly Exhaustive Poll: Anthony Stewart Head. He would make a great Doctor.

However, I'm not really concerned about who becomes the next Doctor. I'm up for anything as far as that goes.

I am concerned about the direction of the show under Moffat. All my concerns have been mentioned already in this thread, so I won't list them. I do fervently hope, that with a new Doctor, Moffat will have a new conception of DW. A different angle, take, understanding - whatever. Just not what he has been doing.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 8:31 PM on June 4, 2013


I don't know whether this has been linked yet, but BBC rules out female Doctor.
posted by Jpfed at 8:32 PM on June 4, 2013


Somebody on FB suggested Tim Rogers from You Am I.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:33 PM on June 4, 2013


Oops, ignore my link; apparently it's from an unreliable source.
posted by Jpfed at 8:37 PM on June 4, 2013


If the next Doctor ISN'T a woman, they'll probably blame SheZow for showing how troubling gender-change issues can be.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:23 PM on June 4, 2013


Here's something that may be relevant.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:24 PM on June 4, 2013


excuse me why isn't vin diesel on your poll
posted by elizardbits at 10:23 PM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Because vin diesel is NOT The Doctor.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:43 PM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyway, you want a female Doctor... has this not been mentioned? You need to go Unbound.
And apparently He Jests At Scars is good too.

But Moss from the IT Crowd (Richard Ayoade) ... does he have dramatic chops?
posted by Mezentian at 3:17 AM on June 5, 2013


But Moss from the IT Crowd (Richard Ayoade) ... does he have dramatic chops?

As a director, absolutely...
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:01 AM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have meant to see that movie.
But it doesn't address the acting issue.
And I can believe he can act-act. I just haven't seen it.
posted by Mezentian at 4:30 AM on June 5, 2013


I have mentioned it in a different thread some time ago, but have you seen the non-canon series with Barbara Benedetti in as the Seventh Doctor?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:42 AM on June 5, 2013


As I understand it, the transition to the female Doctor is handled with minimal fuss and the relationship between her and her male companion is the best part. The actual stories... not so much.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:47 AM on June 5, 2013


Alright, time to move to Edmonton
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:52 AM on June 5, 2013


MrBobaFett, for example, IIRC, not only is open to a non-white Doctor, but a genderqueer (if bio-male) one as well

I've also argued that the series is likely in need of a reboot and rebooting with a female Doctor would be interesting.
Also pointed out that there already is a female Doctor, Jenny, whom the writers have very disappointingly abandoned. Bringing her back would be brilliant, she could also be an answer to the 12 regenerations problem.
I've given at least one plot solution to cast a female in the role. There must be others.
What I have argued against is, let's cast a woman because fun. Or because meta-context casting decisions with no looking at how to make sense of it in context of the story with all the established in story framework. Just make him, her just because., just why not there have been weaknesses in the writing in the past.
Crap writing in the past is not a good justification for more crap writing.

The question isn't do we need more women and POC in prominent leading roles in all media? Because we already know that is a yes. The question isn't can a woman possess all the attributes of strength of will, high intelligence, quick wit, rebellious nature, etc that we admire in the Doctor. Because yes, obviously. Or can women cos-play as the Doctor or any other male character? Because yes, why not.

The question is, the Doctor, this specific universes version of the Doctor in the story currently being told, is he male? I think, yes he is. He gender identifies as male and has matching sex. That doesn't come from my sexism or privilege, (the original casting decisions that lead to this in universe reality, yes those played a role no doubt), but from observation of the story.

You can scrap the current story and reboot it in an attempt to fix many of it's shortcomings as a show. Why not, it's not sacred. It won't unmake the original or the things we like about it.
You can even find story driven reasons for the Doctor to regenerate as a female sexed or gendered version of the Doctor without ignoring the rules already existing in the world.

I'd love to hear good idea regarding that. But I rarely find anyone willing to offer them up or engage in that discussion in good faith.
Instead I get a womens studies lecture about material I've already heard and agree with.
posted by MrBobaFett at 4:46 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just this guy, y'know that sounds kind of awesome, do you know if it's downloadable? I didn't see downloads in the link, but that might be my phone browser. I'd love to see how they handled this.
posted by MrBobaFett at 5:33 PM on June 5, 2013


He gender identifies as male and has matching sex.

[CITATIONS NEEDED]
posted by crossoverman at 7:50 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also pointed out that there already is a female Doctor, Jenny, whom the writers have very disappointingly abandoned.

Jenny is not a 'female Doctor'. She is another character entirely.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:51 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


The question is, the Doctor, this specific universes version of the Doctor in the story currently being told, is he male? I think, yes he is. He gender identifies as male and has matching sex.

You think so, and that's nice for you. But it's nothing more than an assumption on your part. You frankly have no evidence for this other than 'this is the way that it has always been done'. And you have rejected every argument that everyone in this thread has provided you as inapplicable because it doesn't meet your definition of what is canon.

You can even find story driven reasons for the Doctor to regenerate as a female sexed or gendered version of the Doctor without ignoring the rules already existing in the world...I'd love to hear good idea regarding that. But I rarely find anyone willing to offer them up or engage in that discussion in good faith.

You have already been provided with numerous story driven reasons why the Doctor could regenerate as a woman. But since you reject anything that the newer episodes have to offer in the way of argument, such reasons that you could accept are literally impossible to provide.

Accordingly, it really looks like it is you who is arguing in bad faith.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:07 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


The IT Crowd‘s Maurice Moss Wants To Be the Next Doctor
posted by homunculus at 8:33 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also pointed out that there already is a female Doctor, Jenny, whom the writers have very disappointingly abandoned.

Jenny is not a 'female Doctor'. She is another character entirely.


And she could be a very interesting character. A Gallifreyan clone who was never taught how to be a Time Lord. It's disappointing that they never pursued her story.
posted by homunculus at 8:44 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


The show didn't pursue her, but the Doctor certainty did.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:31 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Neil Gaiman explains why the new Doctor shouldn't be someone famous

More at Neil Gaiman's Tumblr.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 1:21 AM on June 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


MrBobaFett, It certainly is downloadable, (Because I have done so) but possibly not officially. Actually, I think it was on my Wife's WHO hard drive, which died last week and I'm currently trying to recover, so I very much hope they are all still available somewhere.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:18 AM on June 6, 2013


His thoughts were red thoughts
She is tho, she is made from only his DNA and has access to his genetic memory, she is probably just as much the Doctor as any other given regeneration.
Even if she's not the Doctor she could become the Doctor. Have Jenny and the Doctor team up again in a Two Doctors style story where they are on a mission for the Time Lords. Side-plot the Time Lords don't like this business of bascilly another Doctor running around and it's causing problems in the Matrix, so once the mission is over if Jenny somehow survies they plan on executing her. By the end of the story Jenny becomes traumatically injured and is taken back to Gallifrey where the Time Lords say they can not allow her to regenerate to heal because she is an aberation, the Doctor being the Doctor thinks this is unfair and gives up his last regeneration to allow her to live her full life as a Time Lord. To resolve the issues with the Matrix, they both are hooked up and their minds are combined back into one mind that now resides with Jenny/The Doctor while the old Doctor's body just fades away.

The Doctor is now a female and has 11 more regenerations to go!
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:21 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sure why not, maybe this time you will actually process what I say.

You think so, and that's nice for you. But it's nothing more than an assumption on your part. You frankly have no evidence for this other than 'this is the way that it has always been done'.

Simply put, no. That is not what I have said. In the context of the show we are observing a universe that has physics, it has rules that govern how it operates. Time Lord physiology would be part of that. How many times they can regenerate, do they maintain memories when they do, can they have a scar that would remain for every regeneration, does hair color, skin color, sex or gender remain constant for Time Lords between regenerations?
This is all governed by some set of physical laws. But we don't know what all those laws are. So we must attempt to ferret them out thru observation.

We have seen the results of several regenerations. We know hair, eye and skin color can change, height and general build can change.
We know that Time Lords have genders/sexes from their use of gendered pro-nouns and titles. We know the Doctor identifies male because of his preferred pro-nouns for himself. It may be possible that he has been male gender but female sexed, but I don't think anyone is arguing that or has evidence to suggest otherwise.

The Doctor, the Master, Romana, Borusa, the Abbot, etc... Have all maintained their sex between regenerations. We have one, questionable report of one Time Lord (two if you count the novelization of Shada) , once changing sex or gender during regeneration. If this is true how does this work? Is it spontaneous? One might regenerate and change sex/gender arbitrarily? This seems unlikely to me, not impossible, but unlikely. Is it an extension of will? Did the Time Lord have a choice? So why did the Corsair do this? The Corsair might be gender-queer and chose the sex of a regeneration based on what (s)he currently felt aligned most closely with with the Corsair's gender identity. Maybe the Corsair switched because it is very uncommon and unexpected and as a renegade did so to hide. Maybe the Corsair had a genetic abnormality.

We have a pretty small sample size for Time Lords and regeneration. However from the samples we have the Corsair is an outlier. In humans we have approximately 10% (?) of the population that is GLB? Maybe there is a similar distribution of these traits in Time Lords, that would fit with the little information we have. Maybe most of the Time Lords we have seen have maintained their sex/gender not because sex/gender change is not possible between regenerations. But merely that they chose the sex of their regeneration and most align that choice with their gender identification which is nominally stable toward one end of the gender spectrum.
Let us not forget that Time Lords did not always have regeneration, at some point they lived much like humans. If so maybe something they were able to address with regeneration was to allow trans people to change to a body that fit them. (How awesome would that be?)
This wouldn't mean the suddenly the whole societies concept of gender would become totally fluid.

And you have rejected every argument that everyone in this thread has provided you as inapplicable because it doesn't meet your definition of what is canon.

Incorrect.

You have already been provided with numerous story driven reasons why the Doctor could regenerate as a woman. But since you reject anything that the newer episodes have to offer in the way of argument, such reasons that you could accept are literally impossible to provide.

Also incorrect. Pointing out that one Time Lord, one time was reported to changed gender/sex during regeneration does not mean the Doctor is gender-queer. Nor does it suggest that he is likely to regenerate as a woman. It only suggests that it is possible for a Time Lord to change sex/gender tho under what circumstances is unclear.

Accordingly, it really looks like it is you who is arguing in bad faith.

Hardly.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:59 AM on June 6, 2013


Also incorrect. Pointing out that one Time Lord, one time was reported to changed gender/sex during regeneration does not mean the Doctor is gender-queer. Nor does it suggest that he is likely to regenerate as a woman. It only suggests that it is possible for a Time Lord to change sex/gender tho under what circumstances is unclear.

Well, the 11th Doctor's actions suggested that it was possible for him to regenerate as a woman. And the Corsair was established as regenerating as both male and female. If you're rejecting these or deciding that they're edge cases simply because they don't fit into your personal canon, you're doing precisely what HTWRT is saying--"reject[ing] every argument that everyone in this thread has provided you as inapplicable because it doesn't meet your definition of what is canon." Your definition of canon is different than the definition of those running the show at this moment, and the person who is running the show at this moment penned a scene which suggested that, yes, it's possible for the Doctor to regenerate as "a girl." It seems to be weird to claim you're doing otherwise when you're doing just that--calling for a return to what was established only in the old continuity within this continuity.

I mean, at least own it.

We've already observed that significant psychological shifts can occur between regenerations--see, the personality differences between the first and second Doctor. We're now seeing that other aspects of the Doctor's personality are mutable, going right down to his concept of self (for example, the John Hurt Doctor). It's entirely possible that the Doctor's "gender identity" could be fluid between regenerations, and his physicality could come to match that. It's also possible that Time Lords have little concept of gender identity at all. Perhaps he's happened to regenerate this way but does not feel particularly male bodied despite having used appropriate pronouns. It feels silly, to me, to assume that an alien race's concept of gender would be identical to ours. The easiest story way to handle this? Have him regenerate as a woman and go on her merry way. Generally, this seems to be how canon in Doctor Who works, anyway. In the RTD years we lived on a planet Earth that had been conquered by the daleks; now we don't.

And yes, I know you're going to reject all of that and claim I'm not listening. We've all been listening, but that doesn't mean we're convinced--no matter how compelling you yourself find the argument. Your insistence that we're doing this out of a desire to talk at you and lecture you rather than just a simple desire to talk about the topic and our own personal feelings about this (fictional) universe (with a very loose concept of canon and continuity) are what makes it feel like this isn't an argument in good faith.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:19 AM on June 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


To be nerdy about it, I'm not sure the following is true:

"We know that Time Lords have genders/sexes from their use of gendered pro-nouns and titles. We know the Doctor identifies male because of his preferred pro-nouns for himself."

The Tardis does translating via a psychic link. The Tardis relays meaning and the listeners own brain provides context. The Tardis translation matrix is linked to the doctor, if he is there and talking then it is working. (SO long as the language is not old high galifreyan, which the Tardis won't translate)
So we actually have no idea what titles or pronouns he/she/Qutch* has used.

If it were (for example) translating from Marain, a language that doesn't use gendered pronouns then the listener's brain would fill in that gap and assign a male pronoun to a male looking person.

Modern Gallifreyan has 17 different tenses (including ones for things that used to be and may be again one day and a different one for things that used to be and have been erased from time completely) which the Tardis happily translates into simple English tenses.
It would have no problem going from Dara Bvi to He or from Vara Gulth to Her.




*Qutch is the 2nd Person Personal Subjective Pronoun meaning Timelord (informal)
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 12:17 PM on June 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oh, that is a lovely bit of fanwank! Adding it to my fanon.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:30 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just this guy, y'know
You are absolutely correct and this is the best defense against the pro-noun argument. It takes some people a surprisingly long time to figure this out. Inaccuracy of our language and translations in general.
posted by MrBobaFett at 12:32 PM on June 6, 2013


Survey says....
YouGov Survey Results (Sample Size: 1974 Adults) - Your choice of doctor and your political views. (PDF).

Tennant fans are overwhelmingly young and Conservative-voting if I read that right.
posted by Mezentian at 4:13 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tennant fans are overwhelmingly young and Conservative-voting if I read that right.

And female, apparently. I suppose I shouldn't have been, but I was really surprised to see how many Doctors were more popular with one gender of fans than another.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:38 AM on June 7, 2013


Tennant fans are overwhelmingly young and Conservative-voting if I read that right.

Not really - the sample has percentages of the voters for each party.

47% of the 429 Tory intended voters surveyed have Tennant as a favourite (201 people);
43% of the 642 Labour intended voters (276 people);
40% of the 132 Lib Dem intended voters (53 people);
36% of the 257(!!!) UKIP intended voters (93 people).

When we translate this into percentages of party support amongst Tennant fans, we get the following:

Of 623 Tennant fans, 32% are Tories, 44% are Labour, 8.5% are Lib Dems and 14.9% are UKIP.

I'm sure David Tennant would take that result at a general election, given his status as a Scotsman who supports Labour enough to do party political broadcast voiceovers for them and introduce Ed Milliband at the 2012 party conference.

Personally, I was bothered enough by the Tory-heavy claim to check...
posted by jaduncan at 5:50 AM on June 7, 2013


I knew that David Tennant was popular with the ladies, but I didn't realize it was by such a somewhat high margin. The only other Doctor to be more popular with women was Peter Davison, by a hair.

Also interesting: 55% of men, and 49% of women, felt that it was important that the next Doctor should be male. I'm not sure whether that's higher or lower than I would have expected, but I find it interesting that, while obviously more men than women think that the Doctor should be male, it's not by a tremendous margin.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:58 AM on June 7, 2013


Thanks jaduncan.
I suck at maths, and am confounded by your numbers, but I suck at maths, but I take heart that ...

Actually, the UKIP figures depress me. I can understand the collapse in the Lib Dem vote (those fuckers) but it's like the UK forgot Thatcher.
posted by Mezentian at 7:10 AM on June 7, 2013


Interesting survey! I was moderately surprised that:

*Doctor Who is most popular among people aged 40-59. I'm sure no other show aimed at children can claim that.
*Eccleston is really unpopular among young viewers. This might be because they are most familiar with the three NuWho Doctors, and he's the least popular of those three.
*Sylvester McCoy is overwhelmingly the most hated Doctor in all demographics (except among the young)... even in Scotland (where Matt Smith is pretty unpopular).
*Only about half the respondents think the Doctor needs to be British!
*13 percent of respondents think it's important that the Doctor be played by a non-British, non-white, short, unattractive, over-40 gay female who isn't a character actor, comedy actor, or a household name. I second that!
posted by painquale at 9:31 AM on June 7, 2013


"Unattractive" obviously doesn't apply, but those criteria otherwise suggest that the Doctor should be played by Jenny Shimizu.
posted by painquale at 9:36 AM on June 7, 2013


Yup, that's a good look! That outfit is very much in the tone of both Tennant and Smith. OK, I'm all about Jenny Shimizu as the next Doctor.
posted by painquale at 9:41 AM on June 7, 2013


On a different note, does anyone have any kids or signifcant others for whom this will be their first regeneration?
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:19 AM on June 7, 2013


On a different note, does anyone have any kids or signifcant others for whom this will be their first regeneration?

Yeah, Matt is my daughter's doctor. She's not upset about the change, but she tends to latch onto whoever the girl of the moment is, anyway - she was all about Amy, and adores Clara.
posted by jbickers at 11:34 AM on June 7, 2013


I find it interesting that, while obviously more men than women think that the Doctor should be male, it's not by a tremendous margin.

On this site it has been framed as if it’s a "men vs women" debate, but my feeling from people I know lines up much more with these results. I think it’s much more of a "tradition vs change" thing. While I would be OK with a woman doctor, the very liberal women fans I know would probably vote no.
posted by bongo_x at 12:30 PM on June 7, 2013


YouGov Survey Results (Sample Size: 1974 Adults)

There's a lot of fun to be had crunching these numbers and others. Likewise, entertainment columnists want to "think outside the box" with the casting game, which is code for implausibility. Academic pundits have an opportunity to air their cultural critiques, such as those who charge the programme with being "thunderoulsy racist" for its failure to cast a black or Asian Doctor. Ultimately, though, the casting of a new Doctor isn't any more a popularity contest than it is a political appointment. It's a creative decision made by show biz folks at the Beeb.

As Neil Gaiman put it so well in the link mentioned above, Doctor Who's audience needs to be surprised by the new Doctor more than anything else:

But I like to see The Doctor as The Doctor, and an actor who doesn’t bring baggage is a grand sort of thing. A star waiting to happen. So I don’t want to see Helen Mirren or Sir Ian McKellen or Chiwetel Ejiofor, or any of the famous names people are suggesting.

I want to see The Doctor. I want to be taken by surprise. I want to squint at a photo of the person online and go “but how can
that be The Doctor?”. Then I want to be amazingly, delightedly, completely proven wrong, and, six episodes in, I want to wonder how I could have been so blind. Because this is the Doctor. Of course it is.

As for how the writers will thematically adapt the Doctor for the new actor—whoever it may be—John Landis's Rule of Vampire-Killing might be applicable.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:46 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rumor has it the announcement is coming tomorrow, earlier than planned.
posted by jbickers at 1:49 PM on June 7, 2013


Habemus medicum?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:52 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not quite not-famous but good lord what if they were to cast Idris Elba.
posted by cortex at 1:53 PM on June 7, 2013


Just this guy, y'know: "[awesome fanon]"

I could definitely go with this. Another similar idea I've had in mind is that the Doctor doesn't identify as any human-equivalent gender, but is perfectly happy to be identified as a "he" in contemporary English because he really doesn't care that much and has better things to do with his time than explain his personal details to every random English-speaking human he meets. They can't even understand subjects as simple as non-linear time, bless their (brave) hearts, and that kind of information is far more important when you're trying to stop a paradox from unravelling all of reality.

Presumably in other languages/cultures with a different gender system, the Doctor would get a different pronoun, but the translation convention of the show reverts it back to "he."
posted by bettafish at 2:06 PM on June 7, 2013


Rumor has it the announcement is coming tomorrow, earlier than planned.

There have also been rumors that the new Doctor was cast back in January. That timetable actually might explain why in February Moffat had to deny Matt Smith was leaving or why executive producer Caroline Skinner then left abruptly and inexplicably in March. And if Series 8 wants to stay on track for the traditional April air date, shooting will have to start shortly after the Christmas special wraps this summer, so the window of opportunity is rather narrow.

Then again, Smith was telling the press as late as last month that he would be coming back for Series 8, so who knows what's going on backstage at the Beeb?
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:08 PM on June 7, 2013


It's not quite not-famous but good lord what if they were to cast Idris Elba.

Seems unlikely to me, as much as I'd love it, because of how well Luther is doing for the Beeb. (And also, I'd hate to see him give up Luther, which OMG is so good.)
posted by jbickers at 2:09 PM on June 7, 2013


This is me looking through Netflix Instant goggles where there's been not nearly enough Luther so far and I only find out there's new stuff in random, staggered moments of joy. I had for a while a theory that the first series of Luther was the second series, because of Netflix misnumbering shit weirdly (it was listed as episodes 7-12) combined with the start-from-a-previously-on-style-recollection in medias res presentation of Luther's mental state at the start of the series, and was a little bit crushed to find out that that was actually just some cheeky stylized artistic direction. Clever, but what bastards.

I like the idea of Doctor Elba partly because it doesn't feel like at all who you'd cast as The Doctor and that seems like, you know, a great way to go, per Gaiman above. Which is sort of how I felt about Eccleston in the first episode or so before going, oh, yes, this is fantastic. He'd be a notch further in that direction.

And let the record show that this is in fact the first time I was out somewhere, on my phone where I couldn't search the thread, and recklessly made a suggestion that had already been made but which I didn't know about. Shame!
posted by cortex at 2:23 PM on June 7, 2013


On this site it has been framed as if it’s a "men vs women" debate, but my feeling from people I know lines up much more with these results. I think it’s much more of a "tradition vs change" thing. While I would be OK with a woman doctor, the very liberal women fans I know would probably vote no.

Yeah, I'm a woman and have no real interest in a woman Doctor. I imagine I'd get used to it, but it would be a significant and not particularly desirable change to the Doctor as a character for me.
posted by immlass at 2:42 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


And if Series 8 wants to stay on track for the traditional April air date, shooting will have to start shortly after the Christmas special wraps this summer, so the window of opportunity is rather narrow.

Most discussion seems to suggest it would be an August 2014 airdate, with all twelve episodes to be run weekly, rather than the split seasons we've had for the last two series.

I imagine I'd get used to it, but it would be a significant and not particularly desirable change to the Doctor as a character for me.

How do you think it would fundamentally change the character of the Doctor? In what way would this change make it undesirable for you?
posted by crossoverman at 8:16 PM on June 7, 2013


How do you think it would fundamentally change the character of the Doctor? In what way would this change make it undesirable for you?

I'm an old skool Whovian who thinks all the hanky-panky with young girls and the old man in the TARDIS is skeevy for power dynamic reasons and I have no faith the show in general (not Moffat, whose handling of female characters is sometimes icky but a lot less so in that way than RTD's was, but the show in general) would handle those issues with anything approaching grace with a woman Doctor. The companion bond is an important element of the show for me; I have been consistently dismayed by the companion relationships in Nu Who (again, Moffat less than RTD, but that's a low hurdle); I have a very strong sense that a woman Doctor and a male companion who are romantically attracted--which is what seems likely to me given the format of the new series--would be written in a way I would find objectionable.

I'm pretty sure I've said this upthread, but I think the show's got a woman problem that's baked into its DNA from 1963 onward. I understand that some people want to see themselves as the Doctor (not me, really; I always wanted to be Sarah Jane, or maybe Romana for a Time Lady, and have fun adventures that way) but for my part, I'm okay with loving the show as a flawed and problematic institution. I'd rather do that than have somebody screw up the show so badly that I don't want to watch it any more.

My $0.02, YMMV.
posted by immlass at 8:36 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have a very strong sense that a woman Doctor and a male companion who are romantically attracted--which is what seems likely to me given the format of the new series--would be written in a way I would find objectionable.

I mean, I agree that Moffat has trouble writing women (though, personally, I thought RTD was better - see Donna and Martha and Sarah Jane), but if somehow Moffat wrote a female Doctor like early River (without the mystery) and she was hanging out with a young male companion and their interactions were like those between Alex Kingston and Matt Smith, I'd be okay with it.

Ideally, I'd prefer it not be under Moffat's watch - and I think that's probably what will kill the idea: Moffat doesn't want a woman in the role. But I'm willing to be proven wrong.

I'd rather do that than have somebody screw up the show so badly that I don't want to watch it any more.

I hate that the idea of casting a woman always seems to bring in the idea that she might fuck it up so badly that the show will have to be cancelled. It's sort of mind-boggling to me.
posted by crossoverman at 9:00 PM on June 7, 2013


she might fuck it up so badly that the show will have to be cancelled.

More like the writers would fuck it up and ruin it (either for the broader audience or just for me).

I thought RTD was better - see Donna and Martha and Sarah Jane

Sarah Jane was great in her own series, but the way RTD wrote her in School Reunion was appalling. It was clear to me that he had a very different interpretation of the relationship between Sarah Jane and the Doctor than mine. And I thought Catherine Tate brought a lot to Donna, and it was great that she didn't want to jump the Doctor's bones, but the way RTD undermined everything he'd done with Donna at the end of her arc was possible the lowest point of his tenure as showrunner (which, considering how awful I thought End of Time was, is saying a lot).

I don't think Moffat has it in him to write a companion outside the Rose/Amy/Clara mold (unremarkable girl made remarkable by her travels; even Donna really fits this mold IMO though she's not young and cute), but I would really love a Martha type, hearkening back to Sarah Jane or Liz Shaw or Romana or Nyssa or one of the other classic companions who was competent in her own right.
posted by immlass at 9:42 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hate that the idea of casting a woman always seems to bring in the idea that she might fuck it up so badly that the show will have to be cancelled. It's sort of mind-boggling to me.

I read most of those comments as saying trying to make such a major change could ruin the show, not that a woman would.
posted by bongo_x at 10:09 PM on June 7, 2013


but the way RTD wrote her in School Reunion was appalling.

Toby Whithouse was the script writer of record for that 'un. RTD seems to have been pretty heavy-handed with the re-writing part of the script editing phase. I just flipped through The Writer's Tale and I can't find much about it.

But, yes, Sarah-Jane was so poorly written in much of that episode as the "ex-girlfriend" character that she was note, purely so The Doctor's wuff story with Rose T Davies worked.
posted by Mezentian at 12:01 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a bit slow to get to it, but this makes a compelling argument that Jason Statham should be considered for the role.

Personally, I see this as a good pitch for Absolam Daak.
posted by Mezentian at 12:07 AM on June 8, 2013


“My original idea,” said Patrick Troughton in an interview in 1986, “was to black up and wear a big turban and brass earrings and a big grey beard and do it like the Arabian Knights.”

Oh, what a different world.
posted by Mezentian at 12:21 AM on June 8, 2013


According to the BBC, no announcement today.
posted by crossoverman at 3:48 AM on June 8, 2013


Considering the frew-frew around Matt Smith's casting (which I know was Christmas day, and I assume was on the day of The End of Time Part One being shown) I reckon we won't see a sausage of news until November 23.
posted by Mezentian at 4:21 AM on June 8, 2013


Toby Whithouse was the script writer of record for that 'un.

Point taken, but just as Moffat takes the blame for the weak character arcs for the companions in his period, I hold RTD responsible for the ex-girlfriendification of Sarah Jane. I saw those old school serials as a child and I'm slowly watching them again as an adult, and she's not the ex-girlfriend. She was his best friend. (Jo Grant was much closer to the ex-girlfriend, and even then it wasn't exactly that.) You hit it on the head with Rose T Davies; the script needed the two girls to be rivals in a very stereotyped way that was just wrong.

But this kind of thing--the show's current problems with seeing the Doctor-companion relationship without that prism, whether it's RTD's lurrrrrve or Moffat's repeated stout denials (we get the point; stop telling us already and SHOW us that they're friends, except they're not exactly because Magical Pixie Dream Girl is a plot device, sigh)--is part of why I don't trust the Nu Who folks to do anything good with a Time Lady and a presumably male companion.
posted by immlass at 7:13 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


"...is part of why I don't trust the Nu Who folks to do anything good with a Time Lady and a presumably male companion"

I'm totally with you on this. I absolutely, positively, completely do not want to see anything romantic between a female Doctor and a male companion. No UST, nothing. It would almost certainly undermine everything positive about a female Doctor.

Well, unless it's a 50 year-old female Doctor and a 20 year-old guy and the guy is like Rose.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:50 AM on June 8, 2013


No nookie in the TARDIS, ever.
posted by Mezentian at 8:01 AM on June 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've never been a super duper big fan of a legit, out-in-the-open romantic story between the Doctor and a human Companion, even if it's just a story of unrequited love. Alluding to the idea of a relationship with Romana was the optimal "dose" of such a story.

If there does wind up being a female Doctor with a male Companion, I don't see why they can't just be buds who travel through space, and more or less leave it at that. I don't need or want the show to explain why they're aren't constantly humping.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:54 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Also, why would changing the Doctor's gender make her romantically attracted to men?)
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:13 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Which reduces to he's always had a willy and considers it a defining characteristic. But he's never actually gotten it out for us so how can we be sure?

Ok, we've not seen this character's willy so how can we be sure of this character's sex at all? I mean, why do we need to define this character's sexuality now, this character could have been a man or woman alternately, or either all along.

With that sort of argument, why do are we even entertaining that the Doctor as a woman would be nice for a change since apparently we don't really know the character's sexuality. I wonder how an argument that proposed it would be nice that the Doctor be a man for a change would go down? I mean, we haven't seen a willy or a vagina so how can we be sure?

Ew

Indeed. The you just can't see how wrong you are because you're blinded by your privilege is absolute bullshit in this thread, as are the accusations of contributing to the discussion in a dishonest or in bad faith. Horrible atmosphere of late on MeFi when anything gender related is discussed.

I suspect this is one of those things like the Matrix sequels, or Heroes, where the fan hate starts and it just builds on itself, growing out of all proportion, with people trying to top each other with how much they hate the hated thing

I suspect it's the terrible writing, very consistently terrible writing. And why is it "hate"? It's just an opinion on the quality of writing and nothing about the man himself, Just because we think it's bad doesn't mean we have a a "hater hat" on anymore then those that thing it's not bad or love it have their fanfic hat on. My father and I talk Who from time to time and even he's ready to give up on it. I wouldn't characterize him as a hater no more than my neices, who love the show, as idiots.

but I don't know why people would keep watching and complaining about a show that's as terrible as some people seem to think Moffat-era Who is.

Might have something to do with loving the show for years or it being a family tradition, etc. These reasons are hardly universal but they exist for some people.

I was prepared to bet on the lead from Jekyll. He was great.

James Nesbitt generally stars in fair to great productions, I'd be shocked to see him take on this role. He was good in The Hobbit.

A lot of people in this thread have expressed their disdain for anyone who isn't white and male wanting a Doctor who actually reflects them.

A lot of people, really? Nonsense.
posted by juiceCake at 10:29 AM on June 8, 2013


Might have something to do with loving the show for years or it being a family tradition, etc. These reasons are hardly universal but they exist for some people.

It's a family tradition in our house too, but if the show got to the point where we didn't enjoy it at all, and had nothing to do but complain about it, we'd find a new tradition. Life is too short to drink bad beer.

(Also, why would changing the Doctor's gender make her romantically attracted to men?)

Would that be new? Jack Harkness, after all.
posted by immlass at 11:16 AM on June 8, 2013


"Also, why would changing the Doctor's gender make her romantically attracted to men?"

Heteronormativity? I'd prefer to think that the Doctor would be attracted to men because the past generations have never had a specific orientation but given the relatively few male companions, there's just not been any where we observed any attraction. Conversely, it would be interesting for the Doctor to change gender but prove to have been and remain oriented toward women.

Mainly, though, I think the concern is that they'd screw this all up either way, and especially that Moffat would. A male love interest as a companion would run the risk of falling into a conventional sexist gender role trap where the female Doctor is less Doctor-like while the male companion is also less companion-like, in terms of agency and whatnot.

A female love interest would run the risk of accepting a female Doctor but making this female Doctor be a different version of the heterosexual male fantasy with regard to a relationship with female companion. A lesbian relationship could, given our culture, sort of say that maybe the Doctor is still, inside, "male" while the relationship itself would be all about, you know, that male voyeurism. Such a variation could and should affirm both gender and orientation equality, but it just seems to me that there's twenty ways that it would likely go wrong for every one that it would go right.

Better not to have a romantic relationship at all with the first iteration of a female Doctor. But I'm in the camp that thinks it's best not to have romantic attraction with the Doctor and a companion, ever. Maybe with someone else, though.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:43 PM on June 8, 2013


They've actually done a great job with Madame Vastra and Jenny--making the relationship textured and interesting and not at all male gazey. I think it's a fallacy that the inclusion of romance with a female character automatically makes the portrayal of that character anti-feminist. If the male Doctor can occasionally snog a girl or guy, a female Doctor should be able to, too.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:33 PM on June 8, 2013


Oh, I don't think it automatically would do so, just that I have doubts with Moffat. I agree that Vastra and Jenny have been great.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:54 PM on June 8, 2013


Mainly, though, I think the concern is that they'd screw this all up either way, and especially that Moffat would.

He'd definitely screw it up. But given that there's very little chance the next Doctor will be a woman, we're obviously indulging in fannish fantasy here, so we might as well also add to our imagined scenario that someone a little more mature about gender issues would be in charge. If we're going to dream about cool possible Doctors, I don't know why we'd dream about them being done poorly.
posted by painquale at 7:34 PM on June 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


If we're going to dream about cool possible Doctors, I don't know why we'd dream about them being done poorly.

I guess this is where the issue of representation proves to be important - people who really would like to see a POC or a woman in the role don't want to wait. "Oh, you know, I'm all for representation, but let's not hope for it now. Let's wait until next time." Because to me, that seems like going along with the status quo because it's the status quo.

Moffat has his strengths and weaknesses. I'm not sure I'd want him to write a female Doctor, but I'm not sure I'd want him to write a Doctor of Colour, either. Because at the moment, I'd rather someone else was running the show.

But do we have to keep waiting?
posted by crossoverman at 11:59 PM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Telegraph reports that Rory Kinnear has been offered the role, but there is a lot of disconfirming evidence.

I would have a hard time dissociating him from his role in the first Black Mirror episode, which has been seared into my brain.
posted by painquale at 9:29 AM on June 9, 2013


The Telegraph reports that Rory Kinnear has been offered the role, but there is a lot of disconfirming evidence.

I don’t remember him, although I’m sure I’ve seen him, but that picture looks great. Let’s have a quiet, serious, squinty Doctor, The Doctor With No Name, to balance out the manic companions.
posted by bongo_x at 9:46 AM on June 9, 2013


Oh, the one I thought was boring.

Boring.
posted by Sara C. at 9:48 AM on June 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Look, there has only been one actual romantic relationship in Doctor Who involving the doctor ever.

I am not talking about Rose (Because that was a weird regeneration where the doctor inexplicably picked up a bestiality fetish)

I'm not even talking about River song (who was at least a bit timelord)

Not even Romana, a female timelord.

What I am basically saying is TEAM MASTER!
"Say My Name! I like it when you say my name"
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 10:55 AM on June 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm hoping it's not this Rory Kinnear guy. I think I have a moral objection to the Doctor being played by someone best known for a role in which he had sex with a pig. Think of the gifs!

It'd be like choosing a Pope who used to be in the Hitler Youth. Sure, he was just a kid when it happened, it's of little consequence to his current life, and he's otherwise great for the job, but we're talking about such a symbolic and important office... can't we find someone better?
posted by painquale at 12:08 PM on June 9, 2013


Nobody tell painquale what Christopher Eccleston was up to in 28 Days Later.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:37 PM on June 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


we're obviously indulging in fannish fantasy here

That's part of why this thread seems to have some issues staying on the rails. You're indulging in fannish fantasy. I'm looking at a show I like and thinking about what changes within the current framework of the show would realistically improve it for me or what would make it less fun for me to watch. Those are different sorts of discussions and they don't mix very well.
posted by immlass at 2:07 PM on June 9, 2013


Rory Kinnear was great as Bill Tanner in the Bond films because he so perfectly fitted the bland Government operative role. And that's actually a compliment. But boy am I having a hard time seeing him be the Doctor - except he's almost got a Peter Davison thing going on.
posted by crossoverman at 5:14 PM on June 9, 2013


There's something interesting about the idea of a bland Doctor. Let the situations and the companions take care of the zaniness and have the Doctor be meek but competent. I want to see a Doctor who never shouts.
posted by painquale at 6:07 PM on June 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Doctor contains multitudes. Lots of ways to play the part. I'd be cool with a mature Doctor who's reserved and steely, who never runs, and who never shouts - a Doctor who seems like a good listener, but who also stealthily disappears right in the middle of a conversation.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:53 PM on June 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm immersed in 1st Doctor stuff at the moment - he's really different. For instance, on first encountering the Daleks and before the Daleks have had a chance to do much more than be a *bit* menacing - no exterminations - they disable a Dalek, pull it out of its case and leave it to die. That's right - the Doctor drew first blood in the whole Doctor/Dalek conflict. That's not to mention they're only at the Dalek City (which they break into, natch) after a kidnapping, various lies, etc...
posted by Artw at 7:06 PM on June 9, 2013


Oh, and everyone's dying of radiation poisoning because he got in a huff. He's TERRIBLE.
posted by Artw at 7:09 PM on June 9, 2013


Kinnear rumor: quashed.

We're in for a few good months of gossip and hearsay. (Good thing I love it.)
posted by painquale at 8:49 PM on June 9, 2013


From the linked article:

Bleeding Cool also understands that the BBC have very different plans for Rory Kinnear in the near future.

That's the most ominous way to phrase casting gossip I have ever seen.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:27 AM on June 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's a family tradition in our house too, but if the show got to the point where we didn't enjoy it at all, and had nothing to do but complain about it, we'd find a new tradition. Life is too short to drink bad beer.

That's not all we do but I clap my hands for you. You do things differently, that's wonderful. We'll take your model of way of life in a matter like these under consideration and see if it's a fit.
posted by juiceCake at 10:47 AM on June 10, 2013


We'll take your model of way of life in a matter like these under consideration and see if it's a fit.

Some people certainly get their jollies through complaining, that's for sure.
posted by immlass at 10:52 AM on June 10, 2013


and if you do it right you can complain about people complaining or even complain about people complaining about people complaining on into the sunset.


now if this was Dr. Who the entire city/planet/solar system/universe/ALL OF TIME would be threatened by this and it'd all be saved by one/many man/woman's love for their/someone's kid/The Doctor.
posted by edgeways at 12:30 PM on June 10, 2013


Don't forget Destiny / Fate / Doctor's Sacrifice.
posted by Atreides at 1:58 PM on June 10, 2013


Actually, if the last season ended and the inside of the Doctor's tomb had ended up being a Pandorica full of complaining fans with another box on the inside that had Moffat on the inside and then he said "You killed Doctor Who!", dropped the mic, and the show faded to black, I would have been pretty shaken up for a while but eventually loved it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:05 PM on June 10, 2013


Actually, if the last season ended and the inside of the Doctor's tomb had ended up being a Pandorica full of complaining fans with another box on the inside that had Moffat on the inside and then he said "You killed Doctor Who!", dropped the mic, and the show faded to black, I would have been pretty shaken up for a while but eventually loved it.

Fortunately I wasn't drinking anything when I read this.
posted by immlass at 2:10 PM on June 10, 2013


That's right - the Doctor drew first blood in the whole Doctor/Dalek conflict.

If he had decided he had the right and connected those two wires The Time Wars may never have happened. Everything is his fault.
posted by Mezentian at 11:51 PM on June 10, 2013


If Rule #1 is that the Doctor lies, Rule #2 is that it's all his fault.

And I'm totally not kidding. I wouldn't want the show to focus on it any more than it already does/has and turn it into some mopey Christopher Nolan production, but it has a lot more meaning when you think about it that way.

That's why, to get back to ArtW's original point, the first season -- or basically Barbara and Ian's whole run -- is so important. In hindsight, you realize, for the first time, the Doctor is taking responsibility for more than his immediate interests. He would have never left Susan alone to build a life on her own before the changes in character during the beginning of the show. And while he's styled as the hero from here on out, it's important to remember that it wasn't always that way.

I'm afraid that the John Hurt Not-Doctor will try to make this even more part of the "canon spoke out loud" because it works much better as subtext than on the surface (which is why I literally cried through almost the entire last half of "The Water of Mars" but was ultimately unsatisfied by the end)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:57 AM on June 11, 2013


He would have never left Susan alone to build a life on her own before the changes in character during the beginning of the show. And while he's styled as the hero from here on out.

" One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine."

AFAIK he never does. The whole timeline he left her in is probably scrubbed out by now.
posted by Artw at 8:21 AM on June 11, 2013


Some people certainly get their jollies through complaining, that's for sure.

Agreed. Look at the complaints about how people who don't like the current writing direction apparently complain about the show and why the fuck are they watching it then.

Fortunately we don't have anyone in this thread getting jollies through complaining. I'd say many people are the opposite of jolly when offering up their criticism, that some label complaining (maybe those who get their jollies from it, but it would be crass to assume so.)

My family failed to adapt your model. We discussed how great Matt Smith, how horrible it is that such a great Doctor was burdened with awful scripts, and we both wish that the next actor that plays the Doctor get's a better run, but we doubt it. We weren't slapping our thighs in joy though.
posted by juiceCake at 12:52 PM on June 11, 2013


AFAIK he never does. The whole timeline he left her in is probably scrubbed out by now.

You should listen to the audio drama "An Earthly Child." Made me cry, lots.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:05 PM on June 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Purchased!

I like a good Big Finish recommend.
posted by Artw at 1:24 PM on June 11, 2013


My wife is terribly good at "What they should have done" type canon.

My favourite from her is that the Master is the good guy, the ultimate utilitarian across time and space, creating grand order and ultimate happiness, except that the doctor keeps turning up and causing local happiness at a major detriment to the whole.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:40 PM on June 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can anyone recommend a good review site for Big Finish dramas? The good dramas are terrific; the bad ones are atrocious (like the one with the 7th Doctor fighting evil DJ angels at a rave in 1990s Ibiza). The few review sites I've found on Google have been awfully unreliable.

I always get a kick out of the new voices they have to invent for the monster-of-the-episode.
posted by painquale at 2:14 PM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


painquale: "Can anyone recommend a good review site for Big Finish dramas? The good dramas are terrific; the bad ones are atrocious (like the one with the 7th Doctor fighting evil DJ angels at a rave in 1990s Ibiza). The few review sites I've found on Google have been awfully unreliable."

To be perfectly honest, I actually haven't been able to find a review site that I trust consistently. I came to most of them many years after the fact, so I'm always surprised what accepted wisdom considers good or bad. The ones I love, others don't, and some that I find boring are beloved.

But really I'm just coming back to comment on "The Rapture" (the aforementioned evil rave drama) because it is SO BAD, it almost turns around to good again. But it has all these horrible things that you mention that you should at least be able to mock, but it's also somehow deadly boring. The one thing that makes it an interesting (but NOT RECOMMENDED) listen is that it's chockful of so much that is familiar (and often bad) of the Virgin novel days: the family reveal about one of the characters, the need to make things seem 'cool and modern' but would have been obviously outdated in 1997 (when it is set) or 2002 (when it was made), Ace getting jerked around emotionally, the Doctor being needlessly mysterious; if I didn't know better, I'd think it was a satire of the era.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:21 PM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Spare Parts is the gold standard for me - basically Genesis of the Cybermen.
posted by Artw at 4:24 PM on June 11, 2013


I can enthusiastically recommend "Relative Dimensions," which is the 8th Doctor's Christmas story. So good.

Also, Doctor Who Magazine devotes several pages each issue to Big Finish reviews, and they appear to be pretty honest and fair.
posted by jbickers at 4:40 PM on June 11, 2013


The Chimes of Midnight is my favorite. Part of what makes that episode good is that it's quiet, there's not too much action, there aren't many characters, and there is repetition in structure. These are all things that make for a good radio play. A lot of episodes have good premises, but end up being a little too hard to follow because of all the running and characters with similar voices. The last episode I listened to was Flip-Flop, which had a really cool structure, but was so convoluted that not being able to see what was going on made it confusing. (I think it'd be a good contender for conversion to the TV show.)

The premise of The Rapture seemed so absurd that I thought that they never would have based an episode on it unless some writer had a particularly brilliant idea. Oh boy was I wrong. (It's like ordering the weirdest thing on a menu: you think, "they wouldn't serve yak testicles unless people ordered them, which means that some people know that they are secretly delicious!" And then you get them and realize that, no, the only people who order yak testicles are chumps who order the weirdest thing on the menu because they use that kind of reasoning.)

Any other recommendations from anyone? I tend to like 8th Doctor adventures.

Wait, on preview: The Chimes of Midnight is also an 8th Doctor Christmas story! OK, I'll have to check out Relative Dimensions.
posted by painquale at 4:43 PM on June 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Helen Mirren Says It’s Time For A Woman To Lead On Doctor Who
posted by homunculus at 4:54 PM on June 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hm, I listened to Flip-Flop without realizing that it did what they initially tried to do with the new season of Arrested Development: make it so that you could experience the episodes in any order. That makes me respect it a lot more.
posted by painquale at 5:04 PM on June 11, 2013


I don't think I have heard a TV-bad terrible Big Finish, and I am only listening to classic Doctors.
The Sirens of Time is one of the worst, and Winter of the Adept was a big ropey ... but I am going very slowly through them.

Didn't mind The Rapture, personally.
posted by Mezentian at 8:09 PM on June 11, 2013


painquale: The good dramas are terrific; the bad ones are atrocious (like the one with the 7th Doctor fighting evil DJ angels at a rave in 1990s Ibiza).

Oh, man, I really, really want to hear that, if only to hear how bad it is. Sylvester McCoy getting rowdy with a coked-up Brandon Block, Paul Oakenfold and Danny Rampling, on the terrace at Space, would be a thing to behold.
posted by Len at 11:34 AM on June 14, 2013


The First Doctor Sourcebook is a thing of amazement.
posted by Artw at 11:42 AM on June 14, 2013


We've mentioned the rumor that the BBC has dug up a ton of lost episodes, right?
posted by Artw at 12:03 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Artw, I'm holding out so much hope that that's true. The update in this piece from Bleeding Cool (which is the source for the io9 article, but their link to it is broken) makes me optimistic.
posted by jbickers at 12:52 PM on June 14, 2013


Okay, I came looking for this thread to post this rumor in as well. I don't know if it's true or not, but I almost wish I hadn't read that at all because I can't wrap my head around it and it has distracted me all day.

And while the news of any early Troughton is a joy, the idea of all the Hartnell is what gets me super excited. Marco Polo and The Massacre manage to be two of my favorite stories even just as audio/reconstructions; the idea that either might somehow exist again is too much to even hope for.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:16 PM on June 14, 2013


We've mentioned the rumor that the BBC has dug up a ton of lost episodes, right?

There may be even more to those rumors, though all parties are denying the existence of, much less negotiations over, those missing episodes.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:53 AM on June 17, 2013


Through the power of Target novelisations my daughter is now a huge 1st and 2nd doctor fan, so she'd be pretty happy.
posted by Artw at 10:58 AM on June 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


And now there's a report that that the facts which were claimed to be falsehoods are indeed facts. Bleeding Cool continues its coverage on the weird saga of the missing episodes - now a former denier claiming that he was lied too and that he's seen evidence that the rumors were true.
posted by Atreides at 6:38 AM on June 19, 2013


Ian Levine is... A bit weird. Doctor in Distress would certainly count as one of the strangest and most misguided fan efforts of all time, even without the aid of the Internet.
posted by Artw at 6:54 AM on June 19, 2013


You know that point where DonnaDoctor realizes the real Doctor is going to wipe her memory of him and her joy is replaced by terror and regret. That's what this back and forth is doing to me.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:54 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


The back and forth on the missing episodes is fun to follow. Combined with all the whispered then retracted rumors about Matt Smith's replacement, the realm of Who is a glorious hotbed of gossip right now.
posted by painquale at 7:19 AM on June 19, 2013


I do think that Rich is in his rights to get a little huffy in that latest post about people claiming that he was previously backtracking. I think he was probably addressing CJA at io9, who was reading an awful lot into the spaces between his words.
posted by painquale at 7:25 AM on June 19, 2013


Philip Fleming, Head of Communications, Brands, Content & Digital, BBC Worldwide tells Rich Johnson at Bleeding Cool:
There are always rumours and speculation about Doctor Who missing episodes being discovered, however we cannot confirm any new finds.
Which is as close to "no comment" as makes no difference.

Recovery of any of the lost episodes—maybe the final one in "The Tenth Planet" serial or the complete "The Power of the Daleks"—would be a better 50th anniversary gift for Doctor Who than any special Steven Moffat could have planned.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:51 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


A BRIEF STATEMENT . [FB link, only available]
T.I.E.A DOES NOT HOLD ANY MISSING EPISODES OF THE LONG RUNNING DR WHO SERIES. THE ORIGINAL VIDEO TAPES WERE WIPED SUBSEQUENT FILM COPIES WERE EITHER RETURNED TO THE BBC AND SENT TO LANDFILL ODD FRAGMENTS HAVE SURFACED TWO EPISODES ON 16MM FILM BUT THATS IT. THE PROGRAMMES IN QUESTION LIKE MANY OTHERS WERE DESTROYED AS THEY HAD NO FURTHER COMMERCIAL VALUE .THEY ARE NOT MISSING BUT DESTROYED THE END.I am sorry if this upsets some people but these are the facts.I have also become aware of the tracking of some of our clients shipments these are local cultural materials sent to us for migration to a modern format as the playback equipment in the country of origin no longer exists and as such is the best road to preserve international cultural heritage .I will be making no more statements on this subject.Philip MORRIS Executive director T.i.e.a

*sigh*
posted by dhartung at 5:06 AM on June 20, 2013


Philip Morris seems angry.
posted by painquale at 5:40 AM on June 20, 2013


But I Love You, Philip Morris!

Sidenote, according to IMDB trivia: Jim Carrey was offered the role of the Eighth Doctor, but he turned it down, as he had never heard of Doctor Who before, and he knew that fans would be outraged if the Doctor was played by anyone other than a Doctor Who fan. That might have also been a polite way of saying, "I'm a huge movie star, especially since it's the 90s and I'm at what I will later realize is my peak, so I'm sure as hell not going to move to TV to play some sci-fi role that I've never heard of."

Further sidenote: Tom Hanks was also offered the role, and while he is a Whovian, he allegedly felt that fans would be outraged by an American taking on the role. This may have also been a polite way of saying, "I liked watching the show, but no thank you."

Further further sidenote: Harrison Ford was also offered the role, but he didn't want to work in TV. This was probably a polite way of saying, "I am currently wiping my butt with this script."

That said, while I would not want an American Doctor, Tom Hanks would have been as good a choice as any.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:55 AM on June 20, 2013


A BRIEF STATEMENT

ALSO I HAVE LOST TRACK OF WHERE CAPS LOCK IS OR PUNCTUATION KEYS GET IN HERE AND HELP ME JANIS I AM ALSO TRAPPED IN MY CHAIR
posted by jaduncan at 6:10 AM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Radio Times breaks the news: "New Doctor to be announced in the autumn [...] Despite hopes that Matt Smith's replacement could be taking the keys to the TARDIS by July, BBC now says it'll be August or September" (i.e. before the delayed filming of the Christmas episode starts).

Incidentally, Idris Elba says he's not interested in playing the Doctor.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:00 PM on June 20, 2013


I was slowly building hopes that some of the Missing 90 had been found, as insane as it seemed.
That Ian was convinced gave me a few giddy hours.
posted by Mezentian at 8:09 AM on June 22, 2013


Incidentally, Idris Elba says he's not interested in playing the Doctor.

Moffat sighs as he looks the wreckage of his tongue in cheek Napoleon episode joke.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:19 PM on June 22, 2013


The Doctor vs. The Inspector
posted by homunculus at 9:30 PM on June 23, 2013


Oh, good Time Lord, these lost episode rumors are turning into something out of an Eric Ambler novel. Bleeding Cool serves up a scenario so convoluted and so conspiratorial that it cannot be easily summarized and must be quoted at length:
As part of a larger cache of recovered films sold by the BBC to other broadcasters, around ninety missing episodes of Doctor Who have been returned to the UK over the last two years. Doctor Who Magazine has an cover set up in preparation to announce the finds for quite some time.

But how did it come about?

The rumour stands that whoever hold the films wants the films to be properly treated, with full restoration, the use of vidFIRE and the like, while BBC Worldwide wanted to release them quickly in the format they arrived in. And that has caused the delay, in negotiation and release.

Caroline Skinner, the then-producer of Doctor Who was assigned as chief negotiator, considered a senior enough figure. Earlier this year, after a major public falling out between showrunner Steven Moffat and Skinner, Private Eye reporting Moffat shouting “you are erased from Doctor Who”, she left the show.

Russell T Davies’ first response to that news was, apparently, “who is going to negotiate now?” Apparently Moffat is not in favour with whoever has these films, and initial demands involved Moffat’s departure from the show. Clearly this did not happen.

Contracts have, however, been agreed with all concerned parties for BBC Worldwide for the return and release of Marco Polo, Enemy Of The World and Web Of Fear missing episodes. This would account for seventeen missing episodes, verified and in releasable condition.

But to the rest of the reported returned ninety missing episodes? They’re on hold for now. As are the many episodes that the BBC already hold, but that could exist in better condition in this recovered cache.

If it’s true, it is possible our first glimpse will be a clip of Enemy Of The World on the Terror Of The Zygons DVD release.
If the "Web of Fear" has truly been rediscovered, perhaps that accounts for Moffat's decision to make the Great Intelligence the overarching villain for this season?
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:11 AM on June 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


That would make sense.

Wow. As if there wasn't enough braying for Moffat's blood, now it turns out that his presence as showrunner has actually prevented these episodes from getting out. I don't support giving in to that kind of blackmail, but if these rumors are true and Moffat fired the person involved in negotiations, Moffat's going to end up with a pretty tarnished reputation. I thought that history would look back positively on the Moffat era, but it might turn out that he's a talented writer who is in over his head when it comes to management.
posted by painquale at 7:39 AM on June 24, 2013


If the "Web of Fear" has truly been rediscovered, perhaps that accounts for Moffat's decision to make the Great Intelligence the overarching villain for this season?

It might be, but there were designs a few years ago for the Yeti, and the Great Intelligence has long been rumoured as a returning character. Although Moffatt seems to have more of a fondness for the Fifth Doctor era, so the Mara or Malus would make more sense.

I read the Bleeding Cool article today and I was all o_0 about it.

But, really, would someone who would be pretty much in line for a knighthood for finding a treasure trove of British culture, set for a life of free travel and Doctor Who conventions, and adoration without compare, who managed to do The Impossible, be so petty as to demand Moff get fired?

If they cared that passionately for the show you couldn't keep that history locked away.

I may have to eat my McCoy-style panama hat, but I reckon that's an insane story.
posted by Mezentian at 3:23 AM on June 25, 2013


I may have to eat my McCoy-style panama hat, but I reckon that's an insane story.

Yes, although it also wouldn't be impossible that the engineer/gatherer was an obsessive type with a personality disorder anyhow. Gathering all the episodes was, at the time, clearly an unusual action or there wouldn't be this issue in the first place.

Keeping the archive secret for so long also doesn't appear entirely rational. It's one of the flaws in the story for me; why now?
posted by jaduncan at 3:50 AM on June 25, 2013


It's one of the flaws in the story for me; why now?

Because 50th!
As if the 20th(!) wasn't a BIG DEAL.

That additional episodes might be found is possible. I remember when Tomb of the Cybermen and The Daleks were lost.

I'd have to pull be Radio Times Special out, but in 1983 there were 163 episodes missing. For even 16 to turn up in one hit -- in the Internet age -- seems amazing.

Of course, I am sure I saw the full The Tenth Planet in '83, so who am I to judge?
posted by Mezentian at 4:31 AM on June 25, 2013


I love this scandal and I hope the details are eventually revealed. Why did Moffat blow up at Caroline Skinner? Why is the mystery person demanding that Moffat be fired? When and where were these tapes first found?

It's possible that the mystery person wants Moffat gone because Moffat fired Skinner (rather than because he doesn't like the direction that Moffat's taking the show), and it's possible that Moffat fired her because of something the happened in the negotiations. Maybe Skinner made a concession that Moffat found unacceptable, and the person holding the tapes is furious at Moffat's response and his take-backsies. Withholding the tapes is not necessarily a petty response; it could be a fairminded response to Moffat's pettiness. The truth will out, hopefully.

The whole situation would make a lot more sense to me if the person with the tapes didn't care at all about Doctor Who, but stumbled upon them and was holding them hostage for money. But that's apparently not what's going on.

speculation speculation speculation
posted by painquale at 4:59 AM on June 25, 2013


The whole situation would make a lot more sense to me if the person with the tapes didn't care at all about Doctor Who, but stumbled upon them and was holding them hostage for money. But that's apparently not what's going on.

Really, this is a confusing situation that can only be resolved with a last minute twist involving the true power of love.
posted by jaduncan at 6:43 AM on June 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, back on the 12th Doctor casting front, the British tabloids continue to churn out news about bold-face potential candidates. Ben Whishaw has taken himself out of the running in an interview with the Daily Mail, excusing himself as it would be "a bit wrong" to play both Q and the Doctor; David Harewood tells the Daily Mirror, that "It would be really difficult to turn down [the role]" were he offered it but that "I doubt it somehow"; and the Sun is now claiming that (unnamed) insiders have put Julian Rhind-Tutt on "the shortlist".

Perhaps all the rumor-mongering about the rediscovered lost episodes is merely a smokescreen to take everyone's attention away from the ongoing casting process...
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:36 PM on June 26, 2013


and the Sun is now claiming that (unnamed) insiders have put Julian Rhind-Tutt on "the shortlist".

Is that just because he's the weirdest looking guy since... Matt Smith?
posted by crossoverman at 7:32 PM on June 27, 2013


Matt Smith's antepenultimate appearance as the Doctor will be tomorrow night at the West End in Peter Morgan's special play The Audience—alongside Helen Mirren as Elizabeth II, Ben Whishaw as Q, and Andrew Scott as Moriarty—in a sequel of sorts to the theatrical adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This new work, in which the Doctor enlists the aid of Christopher Boone to thwart Moriarty's anti-metaphorical computer virus, is being staged as part of a fundraising gala for the charities Ambitious about Autism and the National Autistic Society.

In the meantime, here's a highly impressive fan-made trailer for the 50th anniversary episode (also available in 3-D).
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:03 PM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


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