Jodie Whittaker has been named as the 13th Doctor, meaning that she is the first female to play the infamous role.
The new head writer of Doctor Who has dubbed Whittaker as a ‘funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature’, commenting on the obvious fact that the role can indeed be played by a woman, as the character is a regenerating alien.
Overall, the role change has received encouraging feedback, as people within the television industry have commented on the positives of the change. The Guardian noted that the choice ‘creates a fresh buzz around the series’, as the ‘feminisation of the character creates new possibilities’.
The Daily Telegraph have also noted that Doctor Who ‘is a family-friendly entertainment show…half of most families are women’.
The role has been widely accepted and positively championed by fans of the cult show, with any fears concerning apparent dislike of a woman in the role- barely surfacing.
As expected, however, there has been some disagreement, as former Doctor Who star Peter Davidson has argued that it is saddening for a woman to be cast in the role as boys will no longer have a male role model to look up to. Peter Purves, an actor who starred in the show alongside Doctor William Hartnell, has also commented on the fact that he is quite ‘horrified’ by a woman playing the role. Purves has stated that the character has always been male orientated just like James Bond. He does comment that Whittaker is a ‘wonderful actress’ but just not right for the role.
These concerns can be deemed reminiscent of the controversial response to the casting of Hermione Granger in the stage production of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ as a black actress was cast for the part. Although the description of Hermione never mentioned skin colour, commenting only on ‘brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever’, there was some backlash commenting on the character being changed too much.
However, it seems that this change has been seen by the majority of people to be both refreshing and and very exciting, as after fifty years, a woman is finally our new time lord.