Saturday, 4 February 2017

Brainy spec(ulation)s!

It's been an interesting week in terms of Who news, and a very interesting week for yours truly to have rejoined the Twitter party. Yes, I refer of course to the announcement at the top of the week that Peter Capaldi is vacating the Tardis after this year's series and Xmas Special.

I have mixed feelings here. I'm sad to see Capaldi go... a brilliant actor and, in his earlier days in the series, a fantastic Doctor... but after his character was softened a bit, and saddled with a long run of inconsistent and (to my eyes) tedious stories, I do feel that we need a CHANGE. In more ways than one.

So of course fan speculation, conversation, rumour, hearsay, devilry and what not has begun in earnest!

Two major themes dominating the speculations at this stage:
(1) is it true that the Beeb have basically ordered new producer Chibnall to find an attractive, YOUNG, (presumably male) Doctor to get back merchandise sales and viewing figures to the Tenant days?
(2) will the new Dr be female?

Re: (1) some well-connected fan friends believe this story to be true in its essentials. In which case (2) is presumably discarded! But young and handsome still covers a lot of talent potentialities.... from Sacha Dhawan to Ben Wishaw to Alex Viahos. (i'm going off the BBC News article BTW!)

(2) Hmmm..... This of course has been addressed a few times before, and every time the hopes are dashed. Now that it's been established in the series that Time Lords CAN indeed change 'human' gender, is the way open? There is a real debate here, and it gets occasionally quite heated, on both sides. I believe I'm right in saying that MOST fans would be okay with the concept of a female Doctor, trusting the writers to deliver the stories (but that's 'MOST' by a margin). But what's the reality of that happening? Is the weight of tradition too much here? Will the Beeb want to play it safe and not risk those all-important viewing figures? (sad that the perception is a change would LOSE viewers rather than the ones they might actually gain!)

My feeling is that if this new Doctor is male, the 'female Dr' question will recede from media chatter the next time round. It was raised as a joke by Tom Baker, has come up seriously only in the last two regenerations. If the female Dr doesn't happen now, I have a feeling it never will (at least, not in this incarnation of the series. When it's been rested in another ten years or so, the New New Series might feel differently...!)


  1. i always thought the War Doctor should have be a woman which could then have set the precedent and taken the pressure off the actor if they do cast a woman

  2. That's rather an interesting idea! And i can totally see that having worked.