Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

It’s official! We have a new Doctor! And she’s a SHE. Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Lynne as we dive into our reactions to this truly momentous news. There were many tears, though not for all the same reasons.

But we won’t see Jodie Whittaker in the role for months. And then after that, it’ll be a lotta months before we get the next series. In our second timey-wimey segment we talk about what we’re gonna do to fill those lonely, Who-less months. “Shadow cabinet of spreadsheets,” anyone?

How do you feel about Whittaker’s impending Doctorhood? And what will you be doing while we wait for the new Doctor and new series? Let us know in the comments!

^E

New Doctor links:
Maxi-pad pool raft
Alex Kingston learns about the new Doctor
John Barrowman’s reaction
Janet Fielding’s tweets were on fire
Colin Baker’s reaction
Erika’s interview on the ABC
Our emergency recording time

Gap month links:
The Diary of River Song
The Victorian Age
Start the Music Podcast
“Gene Roddenberry Is Not a Time Lord” (Kat’s fic)
Two Idiots Listen (to Green Day): coming soon to Kat’s blog
Lazy Doctor Who
LI Who convention
Beginner’s Puck
Titan’s Doctor Who Comics
Spare Parts

Download or listen now (runtime 1:17:16) 

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Comments on: "Extra! – There’s Nothing “Only” About Being a Doctor + Our Gap Months" (41)

  1. Reblogged this on Confessions of a Curator, Editor, Geek and commented:

    NEW VERITY ABOUT THE NEW DOCTOR!

  2. Steve Manfred said:

    On the issue of whether or not Chris Chibnall will employ women on the creative team (especially writers) who will be listened to when negotiating the gender issues this casting will create….

    I’ve just started watching the current season of “Broadchurch,” which is his “crime” series that’s as much if not more interested in how communities and systems respond to the crime than the crimes themselves. This season’s plot is about a sexual assault case, starting with when it’s reported, and I’ve been very impressed at the level of painstaking detail the first two episodes have shown as the woman involved is moved along through the police process (where David Tennant’s character is involved) and the counseling process (which is the part Jodie Whittaker’s is involved in). And I think I spotted three or four different counseling organizations or agencies listed as consultants in the closing credits. Based on this, I think it’s safe to say Chris Chibnall does his homework when confronting thorny subjects.

    BBC America has it on demand if you’d like to look for yourselves. And episode 4 debuts on the channel tonight (Wed. Jul. 19).

    • MJ Fouldes said:

      Yes Broadchurch was very thoroughly done. A brilliant and, at times, uncomfortable viewing experience.

  3. ccarol said:

    Thank you so much! I really appreciate the Verities’ diversity of opinions and the way you disagree with each other.

    I haven’t seen a huge amount of hateful comments online about the new Doctor (because I’m pretty good at avoiding those corners of the internet), but I have seen a lot of ugly stuff in the other direction, dismissing anyone who isn’t thrilled with the change as a sexist idiot. And as a fairly recent convert to the girl-Doctor cause, it really makes me uncomfortable. There are all kinds of reasons people might have a problem with this, and not all of them are bad. So thanks for the balanced and thoughtful conversation. 🙂

  4. Risa Romano said:

    Love how respectful your conversation always is. I’m personally very excited to see Jodie Whittaker take on the role, but I had a really interesting conversation with a friend of mine, who was disappointed the Doctor would be regenerating into a woman. She’s not going to stop watching or anything like that, just says she often feels a disconnect from female characters, and I realized we were wanting a lot of the same things, but were just on opposite sides of the fence as to how we thought the show should approach it. We’re both hopeful (I’m even optimistic) that Whittaker will preserve the reliability of the Doctor, even as the show hits the refresh button. Whatever happens, it’s an exciting time to be a fan!

  5. So, my two reactions were:

    1. To show my six year-old daughter the reveal video. She’s only tangentially aware of the show. She’s never watched it, but has seen me cosplay as the Ninth Doctor, and plays with my pile o’ sonic screwdrivers from time to time. She *flipped* out, grabbed my phone away from me to show my wife, and *didn’t spoil it while she watched it.* I’m pleased as punch, and may actually sit down with her to watch an episode or two. Assuming I can find a few that are appropriate for her.

    2. I wondered if Abbyshot is going to make a mens version of the new Doctor’s duds, the way they’ve made womens versions of some of the existing Doctors’ coats. if so, I’d finally be able to crossplay.

  6. MJ Fouldes said:

    I have been excitedly waiting to listen to your Verity Podcast since the announcement of our first lady Doctor.

    I am a guy and am happy watching girls in my favourite show. My favourite Dr Who podcast is Verity – which is all about the ladies. When they turned The Master (a character I loved) into Missy I was on board straight away, adoring Michelle Gomez’s take on the character.

    You are expecting a “But” now! Well I may have to disappoint you! I must say when I first saw the reveal of Jodie Whittaker (middle name is Auckland! How cool a middle name!!?) I was shocked! I had always thought the “threat” of a female Doctor was just an idea that people joked about or newspaper’s bandied about when wanting to sell more tat to us! I also thought “Oh no, not her, she was miserable in Broadchurch!” (Though, my second thought was “well the show IS about the murder of her character’s son!!)

    It is also a shaking thing. You see having watched Doctor Who from a five year old boy to a forty one year old man I have had a LOT of years used to The Doctor being one sex.

    However, the more I think about it, and see photos about it, the more excited I am becoming! I too am nervous about Chibnell’s take over but I think doing it NOW with a fresh production unit might be the best thing ever.

    I am sad that my wife is not happy (she was not really a fan during a lot of the Moffatt period) and doesn’t like the idea of a woman Doctor. I am sad because I loved watching it with her and I fear she is won’t even give it a chance. I will feel like I did during the McCoy era when they put Doctor Who against Coronation Street and I had to watch Doctor Who on my own, in the small room in our house on a black and white TV. So that is sad.

    Anyway back to the new girl! I am totally with what some of you Verities said, that I would WANT The Doctor to acknowledge that he was now a she and maybe some light fluff but not bang on like its THE thing. I want the Doctor to be magnificent! Do you think they will try a romance thing? I initially thought they shouldn’t but Tennant, Matt Smith AND Capaldi all did, so maybe it would be unfair to deny Jodie this.

    I hope they just make her wonderful and give her cool adventures!!

    I want to watch her episodes sooner than NEXT year!! TOO long a wait!!

    Love to you all!

  7. David Thiel said:

    It’s probably come up on a previous episode, but I was surprised to hear that the Verities weren’t unanimous on a female Doctor. In no way am I discounting Kat’s reaction, but I’m struggling a bit to understand it. Am I correct in interpreting that it was because a woman was being cast as the Doctor in lieu of creating a strong, non-Doctor female character?

    i have to admit that I wasn’t always open to the idea of the Doctor no longer being a white male. Not because I think there’s anything superior about either quality, but because it felt to me that after 12 white men in a row, that ship had sailed. I was concerned that a radical change would become a THING overshadowing the series. That Doctor would always be “the woman Doctor” or “the black Doctor,” and be judged solely on that quality. It would become a big fight, followed by another big fight if and when another white male was cast down the line.

    But these days, I’m like, “f**k the haters, it’s well past time.” I grew up in the days when “Doctor Who” wasn’t well known in the States, when sci-fi in general was solely the province of loser geeks. The idea of an entire generation of girls growing up to think that they too can be Time Lords isn’t just good for them, it’s good for all of us struggling to fit in, desperate for kinship.

    I have an image of the 13th Doctor in my head that almost certainly won’t come to pass. I’d love to see her wearing something not unlike Romana’s costume from “Destiny of the Daleks” (maybe not pink) and sporting the personality of a swashbuckler. Not a literal, “Curse of the Black Spot” pirate, but someone with a bit of Captain Jack (Harkness or Sparrow) in her. Energetic, with a zest for adventure and fun.

    • It’s close enough. 🙂 I want a strong female character that isn’t the Doctor, and I feel the show isn’t acknowledging that. Also, at this point I want my Doctor to be a male character. I know he can be a female character and I think she’ll do a fine job ( expect to be won over very quickly), just my preference is for a male Doctor and I was disappointed.

      • David Thiel said:

        Thanks much! I sympathize, truly I do.

        As disappointed as I am to lose Capaldi (when will we get over the “three series and out” thing), I’m excited about the new possibilities!

      • I was quite upset FOR you when I heard your opinion. But I was also glad that there was someone (level headed) in the Veritys who could share the other side of the reactions – without being condemned! My wife feels exactly the same – doesn’t want the Doctor to be a girl. Sadly, unlike you, I don’t think she will try the new series. I don’t think she has been happy with the show for a long time (since RTD and Tennant left I think!).

        It’s a shame for me because I am warming more and more to the idea of the new Doctor and really want to watch it with someone who is equally excited! Instead I fear I shall be watching it alone – or with someone who is a bit grumpy! 😦

  8. David Thiel said:

    And, HOLY CRAP, I just reached the part about Lynne’s announcement! Welcome back to Champaign-Urbana! As you may recall, I’m the program director for the local PBS/NPR stations, home to both shirtless Poldark and be-scarved Tom Baker. No pressure, but would love to have the opportunity to say “Hi” sometime!

  9. Although Peter Capaldi is my favorite new series Doctor, I am excited about Jodie Whittaker. The news made me very happy. I didn’t get emotional; however, if I have to wait till 2019 to get new Doctor Who, I’m going to start crying. This is a smart move by the BBC. I want my Jodie Whittaker pop vinyl. And for the down time, I will continue to podcast about Doctor Who episodes that feature other Time Lords.

  10. I finally got my twin daughters (now 11) to watch Doctor Who with me, thanks to Capaldi’s Doctor and Bill. We’ve now also watched a couple of “Classic” stories, and have started Series One. I’m hoping to continue the trend and get them thoroughly hooked before Series Eleven.

    (By the way, they screamed really loudly when they learned the casting news!)

    • MJ Fouldes said:

      Awww bless them! It’s comments like this that make the news more joyful and much less worrisome!!

  11. I’m utterly delighted by the casting news. I woke up to it on Monday morning and spent pretty much all day at work a bit giddy and verbally exploding all over my colleagues.

    In terms of what I’m doing during the gap, I totally agree with Erika, now that Hugo voting is closed I can read whatever I want from the epic-ness that is my TBR (and have begun with The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss). I will hopefully also be putting more enthusiasm into my booktube channel. My next online university class starts at the end of July (they’re making me do science. I am not impressed. I quit science after grade 10 for a reason). And I would like to make at least significant progress on one of the many, MANY TV shows on my list. Maybe series 2 of Agent Carter or series 3 of Miss Fisher.

    My Doctor Who podcast listening will probably drop off (some podcasts I only listen to or are only available when there are new episodes) so maybe I’ll also go back to dipping my toe back into Big Finish.

  12. I’m looking forward to a female Doctor this time because it makes sense narratively. Last time, I definitely didn’t want a female Doctor but not for oafish sexist reasons. Like Kat, I want strong female characters in their own right (I’m on record as a big Romana II fan, and I enjoy River Song also); casting a woman into a role made popular by men feels like it’s not quite good enough. I would watch the show if the Doctor went missing for a season and Romana and Leela took the TARDIS for a while. Or Clara and Me. Or a River Song spinoff.
    I’ll say it again: I’m looking forward to a female Doctor this time. Jodie Whittaker was great in Broadchurch (although that was a very different type of character – not very Doctorish) and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do with the role.

  13. The announcement of Jodie Whittaker’s casting this week has excited me like no other. I tweeted earlier in the week:

    “I look at #doctor13 and see a hero. I wish as a kid I’d seen both men and women in these roles. Girls need to see it, boys need to see it.” (@mrcoxy)

    I know that she’ll be amazing. And the reaction around the world from so many people who aren’t fans – politicians, lawyers, cartoonists, comedians, and everything else – has been overwhelmingly positive. It showed that this show that we love is not an outlier. All sorts of people care about it, and in its own small way it can change the world.

    Of course, being hyper-engaged fans, we have looked for and found the negative commentary. It’s in the minority, but it’s real. Some is hideous and personal, some looks like it’s from those who are taking the first steps of coming to terms with what for them is a radical change. We were leaning in to the corner; they weren’t. (Side note: I admire Kat’s nuanced perspective.)

    Some of this negativity needs to be fought – especially the mass media outlets and trolls who target individuals. I think some should be ignored. But what about the others – the ones who are simply struggling to come to terms with this change, even if their first reaction is to say ‘nope’?

    I think that what we have here is a wonderful teachable moment. I suspect that lots of people who aren’t embracing this change are people like me – middle aged blokes (and younger ones too) who have watched Doctor Who for decades and believe that men and women should be equal. What they may not have done is to think through what this means in practice. I have said some dumb things in the past that I cringe to think about now, and it’s thanks to Verity and other things that this is so. But lots of people may not have been challenged so personally to think about the importance of seeing oneself onscreen, of seeing leaders embrace equality as normal and demonstrating it in their actions. Of knowing that you are not alone in your hopes and dreams.

    Even for me something shifted when I watched the announcement. What was until then just one more conversation in the Whoniverse became a reality that was seen by the whole world. In my reaction to Jodie Whittaker’s casting I felt liberated as a piece of my own outdated world view fell away. The naysayers are often told ‘it’s not about you’ – but I don’t think that’s quite correct. It can be about you if you let it.

    A friend of mine texted me, saying “I feel like a parent or uncle has suddenly changed gender. Still loved, but radically and frankly uncomfortably different.” I admire his honesty, and know that he’ll be fine. As the saying says: “When I hear, I forget. When I see, I remember. When I do, I understand.”

  14. I can understand why some people are a bit unnerved by this. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel if and when it ever happened. On a philosophical level, I was OK with the idea, but you never quite know how you’ll react until it actually comes to pass.

    And now it has, I find that I don’t really care whether the Doctor is male or female. The things I come to Doctor Who for do not depend in any way on the lead character being a man. I just hope they keep the essential Doctor-ness of the character. She should be intelligent, unpredictable, compassionate, extremely eccentric, kind to most people but very impatient with nasty people. As long as those traits are there, I’ll have no problem relating to her as the Doctor.

    I’m really more concerned about the new production team, the writing, whether the show will take a different direction, and so on. Basically, the same things I’m always worried about when there’s a transition from one era to another.

    So I’m excited, and a bit scared. And really, isn’t that the way Doctor Who should make us feel? 🙂

  15. I should add that while I don’t care about the Doctor’s gender, it’s obviously a huge thing for many other people. So from that perspective, I’m very happy about the casting. There are a hundred reasons why this is a good thing and very few sensible arguments for it being a bad thing.

  16. There’s a great article on the Mary Sue about some women not wanting a woman Doctor: https://www.themarysue.com/how-some-womens-reactions-to-a-female-doctor-on-doctor-who-reveals-internalized-misogyny/

    I think some women not wanting a woman Doctor have similar roots to the disproportional predominance of m/m slash fic amongst women fic writers. As girls into genre fiction (I’m sorry if I’m mostly talking from a familiar cis perspective) we often learnt to identify with the male characters, and eschewed the poorly or thinly or cringeingly drawn female characters. There are far more interesting/main/protagonist/hero male characters, with far more interesting flaws, deepness, darkness, dangerousness, sexiness. Identifying with female characters can be uncomfortable, too close, too physical, too vulnerable, too… female. Geek girls can get into a “not like the other girls” mindset too. Male stuff is cool. Male characters are cool. Protagonists are usually male. Girl characters are girly. Plus, male characters, even if we identify with them and want to BE them, are hotter for a lot of women than female characters, since most women are into dudes. There can be a pleasant frisson in watching them that’s absent with the female characters. Even many queer women in fandom viewing prefer (and writing) the frisson of male characters than the women who they’ve learnt from long jaded experience to dismiss as framed for the straight male gaze. There’s a bunch of reasons why some women might not want a woman Doctor, and it’s not SEXIST with a capital S, but it’s from marinating in a sexist society, for sure.

    After all, there’s not much difference between genders, not really, it’s an identity, maybe some genitalia, but in terms of characterisation? Wouldn’t it be great if gender didn’t matter so much in how a character was written? What a fantastic opportunity for a character who’s been embodied male and now female, to show this can be the case. Is Chibnall and his crew up to that sadly still radical concept? I don’t know, and a lot of fannish women would rather a man than a woman done badly, for reasons I outlined above, but we’ve got a woman Doctor, so we’re going to find out.

    • I must confess, I don’t really understand the “strong female characters in their own right” argument some women are making, including Kat, and I am NOT going to guess where any one individual is at, including Kat. (Kudos to coming on the podcast & giving your opinion, that takes guts!)

      I do know that a lot of geeky women put a whooooole bunch of conditions on enjoying female characters they wouldn’t on male ones, because of past hurt and frustration, because of having grown up with a huge gulf between “female” and “male” both in fiction and in real life. My reaction to the fannish eschewing of a female body for the Doctor this time round is “but why not, what’s the big deal?” but I feel I arrived at that after ditching a lot of baggage I came to realise was self-protective growing up as a woman.

    • Oh, and lol, one more thing. When Whittaker was announced, I was first literally HOLY S*** THEY DID IT almost unable to believe the courage of what I was sure was Moffat just trolling us in The Doctor Falls, and then I reflected that the BBC likely also wants: a) controversy, it capitalises on a cultural institution, everyone’s talking about it, and hopefully translates into increased ratings; b) a hot blonde woman instead of a crotchety old grey-haired dude to head a show, especially in the US. It’s still a brave decision to make, but I am fairly sure a) and b) had a big part in making this leap too.

      • I reckon there was some coordination between Steven Moffat and Chris Chibnall in the way this final series was set up. But the groundwork was all Moffat. For all the criticism that he has copped for the way he presents women on screen (personally I think that the worst that could be said is that he’s inconsistent) the buildup to this moment started right from his first minute as showrunner: Matt Smith’s ‘I’m a girl!’ gag. Then the Corsair reference in The Doctor’s Wife and finally two onscreen presentations of male Time Lords regenerating as female. And so today, most of fandom was well ready, and it turns out society generally is too.

        I did a very unscientific study, looking at the tally of likes, loves and hates on a 13th Doctor facebook meme. Likes and loves totalled 25,000, and there were only 250 hates. One percent! The BBC knew what they were doing.

  17. Hiker said:

    @ Kat and @ Daniel (for bringing it up)
    Hearing Kat’s unhappiness with a female Doctor, I was hoping to hear more on why she felt that way. Casting a female Doctor doesn’t preclude creating other strong female roles on Doctor Who ( or in other fandoms). And, since the possibility is canon, why not finally take advantage? I’d like to understand that better.

  18. An in-universe, Watsonian explanation occurs to me for this, if anyone feels they need one.

    This is not simply the latest in a long regeneration cycle for the Doctor, this is the FIRST regeneration in a new cycle. He had run out of regenerations but had a whole new set (number as yet unspecified) granted to him in The Time of the Doctor.

    So, this might explain why he’s been a white bloke all this time but suddenly switched gender. That’s because that was his previous regeneration cycle, which may have had ‘white bloke’ as the default setting, for some reason. The new regeneration cycle has no default settings, so he can now regenerate into any gender and any ethnicity. Bingo!

    • Oh yes! Nice reasoning! That works well for me. Congratulations. You win the internet today! 😊

      MJ

    • David Thiel said:

      I’d had similar thoughts about the rules being different following “Time of the Doctor.” And the Master/Missy has died and been resurrected in so many unconventional ways that she hardly seemed a good example. Then again, none of that applies to the Time Lord general the Doctor shot in “Hell Bent.”

      What I finally realized is that if the regeneration process can rewrite a Time Lord’s DNA enough to transform him into an old Scotsman, surely it can change a Y to an X.

      • I’m an old Scotsman myself, so I don’t see it as that extreme. But it’s time to let some other folks have a go. 🙂

  19. Stephen Souter said:

    My immediate reaction was delight that we were getting a female Dr Who, but also relief that we were not gonna get a Kris Marshall/ Tennant/Smith hybrid! I was concerned that for some at the BBC, Capaldi (whom I love) has been too much of a risk (being a bit older) and that they would want a ‘safe’ option. Of course it all still comes down to how this is written. But I think its going to be a really fascinating thing to have a female Dr Who. I think it will challenge lots of our gender assumptions.
    As adult Dr Who fans, I think we need to remind ourselves sometimes that the BBC are not obligated to make Dr Who forever. I really think a Kris Marshall (or some other young, quirky, handsome, white, British guy) headed Dr Who wouldn’t have lasted long and we would have found the show being ‘rested’ and found ourselves in another wilderness years. The show needs to evolve and push boundaries if it is to survive! I could be wrong, but I think this is a sign that Chibnall has a plan and so I am hopeful for the future of the show.

  20. Janet Reimer said:

    Thank you Kat for voicing your feelings. In many ways I share them and it was comforting to know I wasn’t alone. I was also grateful to hear how your co-hosts responded throughout the podcast. Until then, I had been considering abandoning my quiet involvement with fandom, unsubscribing from various groups and podcasts as well as putting my collections and media in to storage. At least for a while.

    I was actually dreading this announcement and was disappointed when what seemed inevitable was announced. This isn’t the first time I’ve been uncertain about a selection. There were rumors in the hours leading up to Peter Capaldi being revealed. Until the moment he came through those curtains, holding his lapels in a Hartnell pose, I was hoping it would not be him. His posturing, the thrill that came through in his voice and the shine in his eyes convinced me he already was the Doctor. Similarly, Matt Smith’s spastic mannerisms during the special announcing him showed me who his Doctor would be. Most Doctors I first discovered through their performances as the Doctor. Some I’ve loved, some I’ve liked, some I enjoyed only to weary of by the time they regenerated and sadly, some I didn’t care for or only came to appreciate as they settled in to the role. But even those Doctors I didn’t connect with at one point or another, I came to appreciate because of the actor’s personality and character revealed over the years.

    I didn’t get anything out of the presentation of this minute long walk through woods. Nothing to tell me who this Doctor will be. Nothing to show personality. To me, she’s an unknown. I’ve never seen nor heard of Jodie Whittaker. I’ve never watched anything she’s been in. I already had reservations about Chibnall being the show runner and talk of how he wanted to structure his first season. This announcement didn’t help alleviate them. I’d have similar misgivings if they had decided to cast an American as the Doctor.

    I’m a life-long fan, having watched since it first aired on my local PBS station in the mid-70s. I spent years growing up with the local fan club , volunteering for pledge drives, going to conventions, building my collection and traveling to the UK to visit set locations and exhibitions. So I’ll be watching and I’m prepared to be convinced, but I can’t get excited about it right now. That may never happen or she may become my third favorite. (After Troughton and Capaldi)

    However, it’s disappointing that the fan response in some online places and some podcasts over the last few days have made me question not only whether I wanted to watch in the future but whether to continue re-watching my DVDs of the classic range. I’ve seen so many posts online and in social media suggesting, or even stating, that if you aren’t over the moon by the casting, you aren’t a true fan and aren’t welcome. Comments to “get over it” don’t help either, especially when they come from places like the BBC itself.

    I know there are groups where the people posting or commenting are able to express their views while remaining considerate of opposing opinions, as appears to be the case with this podcast and page. It is just too bad that there are so many places on the web where people use the relative anonymity of it to gloat and shame others, believing only their view matters. Those locations make it harder to find the good ones.

  21. Sarah said:

    Old Classic fan since 1981 here. Always appreciated the Doctor male, even at my most feminist, because I thought it was good to have a non-stereotypical male role (although it should be realized that the Doctor’s chaotic behavior doesn’t really make him the best role-model, LOL).

    However, my views have changed over time. Many years ago, there was a series of videos done by Seattle-area fans that cast Barbara Benedetti as the Doctor. I liked her interpretation, which made me open to the idea that maybe a really good actress could make a good Doctor.

    I’ve also thought quite a lot in recent years about trans issues. Also, have loved Michelle Gomez as a female Master regeneration.

    I was eating myself up with anxiety due to Chibnall taking over and Capaldi leaving. I honestly thought Chibnall would cast another young “hottie” like Tennant and was swearing not to watch DW if it reverted to that. (Newsflash: Some of us love Capaldi and are done with fannish hostility and hatred toward him. Some of us never liked Tennant; I never saw the appeal, because he reminds me of all the nasty, entitled, “charming” (when they get their own way), white-boy brats with whom I went to school, and gives me thoughts of sleazy weasels.) But casting a woman (even if she kind of fits my “young hottie” label) got me to thinking, hey, maybe Chibnall respected Capaldi enough to believe that no man was good enough to replace him, so he cast a woman. Capaldi was a bit of an experiment for youth-obsessed modern DW, so Whittaker is an entirely different experiment instead of going for some hot young Tennant clone.

    I’ve wanted to withdraw from fandom due to the Capaldi-hatred. The Whittaker reveal video, though it reveals nothing of her personality, actually broke through my anxiety and caused me to break out laughing and crying in relief. “OMG, it’s NOT another effing young guy like Tennant!” I’ve had tons of issues with women in my life, even at my most feminist, and am currently in therapy due to a lifetime of psychological abuse from a narcissistic psycho of a mother, but that doesn’t automatically assume I’ll have issues with THIS woman. We’ll see, because I may actually watch Chibnall’s DW, which I wouldn’t have done if it had been a young “charming” guy like Tennant.

    I did kind of shame dissenters by using the term “idiots” somewhere, but that was in reaction to unhinged superfans like Ian Levine screeching their fool heads off in rage. We don’t need that silliness, sorry not sorry.

  22. squibby said:

    I can’t see a change of focus to a female role truly working with the character of the Doctor,

    From a storytelling and character viewpoint, the Doctor’s character hinges on subverting the traditional male action lead role. The Doctor guides the people around him with an deliberately dysfunctional, patriarcal hand – the eccentric grandfather guiding the kids by short circuiting the expectation of the people around him of how a Male Leader behaves.

    I wish Jodie Whittaker good luck in the role. It will be interesting to see a trans Doctor although he (not a typo) may be disconcerting when played by a woman, like the trans Master/Missy. For me, 13 will be a Gallifreyan male cosplaying Kate Lethbridge Stewart.

    The current fannish vitriol (attacking and demeaning fans for their point of view) is very similar to the reliving disgusting fan attacks in the 80s over Colin Baker’s Doctor and the show’s shift to overt violence. Self-righteousness of fans on all sides is one of the reasons I’ve wandered in and out of organised fandom in the last 4 decades.

  23. squibby said:

    PS I should have included why I see this as an unwise character choice.

    How does 13 incorporate the Doctor’s essential character trait, the goofy self-depricating fool act, and not have it be a ‘female ditz’ stereotype?

    Perhaps a very dry, competent Doctor that doesn’t do that anymore? The Doctor Donna?

    Or, like the “its bigger on the inside” scene in “Husbands of River Song”, a Doctor who embraces the full Jo Grant ankle twisting, silly me act and hopes the audience picks up on the Doctor’s joke?

    Or something else?

  24. Richard S said:

    Thanks for a wonderful & emotional podcast. IMHO your discussions are always the most entertaining when there’s at least one sceptic or doubter in the group. I get very frustrated by endless twitter streams where the positives of a DW story are accentuated, and any negatives are shouted down as “ruining everyone’s enjoyment of the show.” And, on the flip side, I tend to avoid any vlog which promises to reveal this year’s “Top 10 Reasons Why The New Series Failed.” In short, thanks to Kat, and to all of you, for being so honest & unafraid with your opinions and for holding such respectful & good-natured discussions. Long may it continue.

    My own reaction to Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor… oh, God, I’m smiling again, can’t stop smiling every time I think about it.

    Basically, I expected Chibnall to go the “Russell T Davies route” of casting someone he’d worked with on a previous TV show, namely Broadchurch. So, yeah, I was right about that, so here’s one thousand crisp shiny new Smug Points to me.

    However, I also wanted the decision to surprise me… and I got that as well. I’d actually watched very little of Broadchurch, so my own Doctor shortlist was based on cast members I’d seen elsewhere: Olivia Colman, Marianne Jean-Baptiste or possibly (very wishful thinking) Charlotte Rampling. I threw in the usual standby male names just to be safe: Elba, Whishaw, not Marshall, etc.

    It’s funny, really, being conscious of my own reactions as I watched the reveal scene, craftily shot from below with a cool future-y shapeless coat, and presumably the choreographer’s most effectively androgynous walking gait, so you couldn’t tell the person’s height or gender.

    The loud snap of the branch to denote physical strength.

    The hand, which actually made me think, “Hmmm, not Idris Elba. Not this time, anyway.”

    The close-up on the eye, which is about the time my brain cells kind of gave a collective Minion-like: “Oooooooooooh!”

    And finally the face, which was: “Eeeeep! Eeeeep! Oh, wait, is that another Redgrave? Looks like a Redgrave to me. Hang on, where’s Google, wait… YES! Broadchurch, but not the one I was expecting!”

    I avoided looking at the internet’s list of frontrunners until after the reveal. Glad I did, because Jodie was announced as the clear favourite 8 hours earlier, which would have spoiled that sought-after surprise. And as for Kris Marshall. Really? Kris Marshall? I know he’s popular on British TV, and I know I haven’t watched any of his stuff myself. But… really??

    To be honest, I would have been shocked, and quite annoyed, if the role had gone to a man. I’d convinced myself a woman would get the role, partly because it’s so Chibnall, mostly because there’s a gradual but increasing (but still very very gradual) push at the BBC to bring more diversity & inclusivity to all of its popular & long-running shows, such as The Sky At Night, Gardeners’ World, Countryfile (as mocked on the latest Radio Free Skaro), and Springwatch/Autumnwatch. Yep, they’re all factual shows, but if any fictional show could do it, the ideal choice was Doctor Who.

    And, full disclosure here, I guess I’ve been prepared for this moment for a lifetime. I grew up as an only boy with two older sisters, so I’ve never had an issue with the idea that women can be a strong & positive influence to everyone. Apparently, this idea has been a problem for one former Doctor, as per today’s ridiculously overblown media storm about the “war between Time Lords” at Comic Con, with Peter Davison’s comment that the Doctor would no longer be a role model to boys, Colin Baker’s disapproval of that statement, not much more to add, except… TIME LORDS AT WARRRR!!!! says the British media. Expect more of that to follow. Kris Marshall as the new companion? Expect he’ll have a key to the Doctor’s bedroom. Oh, wait, the companion’s a female too? You know what THAT makes the Doctor, eh, eh???

    I am rolling my eyes, right now, as exercise for all the eye-rolling I’ll be doing over the next however-many-years.

    Just a few positive things to finish. I haven’t been on an extended session of Twitter for ages, gave up on it several years ago, due to all the nastiness surrounding the Hugo Awards. Last Sunday, I spent most of the evening either Tweeting or reading replies. I saw Colin & Janet’s exchanges, and had fun spotting all the DW love & support from these other Twitter users:

    Christel & Luke from The DW Fan Show (check out their incredible reaction vid on YouTube)
    Nick Pegg (like myself, a female Doctor sceptic back in the 1980s)
    Karen Gillan
    Said The Whale (their new record, my fav of 2017 so far)
    Lynda Carter
    Sandi Morris

    Yep, Sandi Morris. The awesome, gorgeous & amazingly talented record-breaking US Olympic pole vaulter. My very favourite athlete of the current decade. And when I spotted that she’d RT’d a pro-Female-Doctor comment on Twitter, I excitedly tweeted that fact to you guys at your Twitter feed. And you guys (one of you) very kindly favourited my message.

    And so did Sandi Morris.

    Sandi Morris favourited a Tweet of mine! SANDI MORRIS!!!!

    If this is the kind of stuff the Jodie Era will bring, then BRING IT ON.

    Finally, as a thank-you to Lynne (for not mentioning specific plot details of Agent Carter series 2, which I still haven’t seen yet) there’s this:

    In the UK, if you start typing the phrase V-E-R-I-T-Y (space) P-O-, then google predictive search completes the second word with the letters: “L-D-A-R-K”.

  25. Patricia Derbyshire said:

    I did NOT like the 12th Doctor so missed most of series 8 and 9. :p

    Honestly, if people stop watching because they find the interpretation of the character wrong or off, it is fine. Hopefully the show goes on and the 14th Doctor! will be to your liking.

    To not watch purely due to gender I feel sad and kind of disappointed in fandom. Not surprised!

    A friend of mine was one of the first female mechanics in my home state back in the 90s. If we accept things purely because they have always been this way, and it makes us feel comfortable and happy, how do we move forward? How does positive change ever happen? There may never be a right time or a correct way of going about it and to wish for a ‘strong female character’ who is not the Doctor is OK but why can’t we wish for both!

    Dare to dream! 🙂

    • Sarah said:

      Well, just so you know, I thought that Eccleston and Tennant were both “wrong or off” as the Doctor, but didn’t stop watching — though I stalled so hard with Tennant that I gave up watching my DVDs until I learned that Matt Smith was the next Doctor, and then I felt I owed the show (as a fan since ’81) to plow through what I viewed as a blazing trashfire in order to get to what I hoped would be better.

  26. […] thanks our commenters for showcasing fandom at its best! […]

  27. Late to the party, and can’t improve on any comments ahead of me except to simply join in on the the general cheering AND the general wariness. Thanks to Kat and all the Veritys, all normal human feelings abide here, which is why your pod and its followers have not only kept me watching but made me a thorough Whovian. I watch classic Who now and follow all kinds of other crazy podcasts, comics, audios, etc, due to you. I’ve gone to Gallifrey twice, same, though I never would have believed it of myself before. Thank you for all your varied perspectives, and especially for staying firm and true to the real feminist ideal, i.e., including all the many and varied views feminists may espouse. I love your inclusiveness, it feels rare these days in any venue.

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