Since Matt Smith announced that he will not be reprising his role as the 11th Doctor after this year, fans have speculated as to who is next in line as the iconic lead of the long-running sci-fi series. At this point, anyone–anything goes.
In the 50 year span of the Doctor Who series, The Doctor has always been played by a white, male actor. Is it time to think out of the blue box by casting out of the established type and gender?
On the possibility of a female Doctor, Helena Bonham Carter and Tilda Swinton have been suggested. Award-winning actress, Helen Mirren even expressed interest in the role. Surprisingly, even female fans were quick to reject the possibility. It is, they feel, too big a change from the Doctor they have come to know and love.
In a recent BBC survey, only 2% of the respondents voted for a female doctor. “I just see The Doctor as male – he started as male, and has always been identified as male,” says Jaja Palayo, a female member of Whovian Philippines. “If equality were an issue, why not make another brand new character, a Time Lady who’s just as amazing as The Doctor?” Einez, another female from Whovian Philippines, thinks that a female Doctor for the sake of PC-ness would just be too “gimmicky”. “It’s like Batman suddenly dropping the bat signal and started using doves.”
For those who’ve thought it through, it was as simple as, “Why not?” especially with the lasting impact of female Who characters such as Rose Tyler, Donna Noble, and River Song. Male Whovian, Nikki929, makes a disconcerting observation on female fans against the idea of a female Doctor, “The Doctor has always come in to whisk someone off to an adventure. It’s the equivalent of a knight in shining armor. Make the Doctor female and you destroy that fantasy.”
Do think it’s time for a female Doctor? Who should be the next Doctor Who? Let us know in the comments.