It only took three decades for John Nathan-Turner’s prediction that we’d have a female Doctor to come true.
In the weeks since it was announced that Jodie Whittaker will be my favorite Time Lord’s next incarnation, I’ve been excited by what this news means for my favorite television show. With a co-production deal with China ensuring we’ll have new Doctor Who for at least four more seasons, I’m excited and intrigued to see where the changes in creative staff both in front of and behind the cameras will take the series in the next several years. Doctor Who is a series that’s been defined as much by the person crafting the scripts behind the camera as it has by the person who brings those scripts to life in front of the camera. Find the right combination and you’ve got a winner on your hands. Find the wrong combination and you’ve got, well, a mess on your hands where the behind-the-scenes drama is almost more interesting than the finished product on our screens (I’m looking at you, the Colin Baker era, where you had a great actor with a tired script editor and the quality of the stories declined).
No slight at Chris Chibnell intended, but I couldn’t help but think that with the casting of a female Doctor how utterly exciting and compelling a female show runner might be.
As excited as the casting of the new Doctor makes me as a long-time Whovian, I’m doubly excited in the casting as the father of a little girl.
As I may have detailed before, Shortcake responds positively anytime she hears the Doctor Who theme (any version, mind you). Earlier today, she stopped playing for a second as the opening credits to a Matt Smith episode rolled onto the screen. She looked at me and smiled with delight at hearing it.
As a Whovian and dad, this delights me more than you can imagine. But what delights me more is that as she grows up, there will be a Doctor who (no pun intended) looks just like her. A positive role model who uses his/her brain to think though problems, who can show her that being strong doesn’t mean just having a bigger gun or being a bully, who shows her that there is a solution to things besides violence. A role model who cares, is passionate about those he/she cares about and who wields a sonic screwdriver. Who says it’s OK to be a science nerd, a book na first Doctor she will have memories of watching be Jodie Whittaker.
And you can bet that her Daddy will be there with her, watching every episode and collecting them all onto physical media so we can watch them over and over again.