I am bitterly disappointed by the casting in Doctor Who.
Don’t get me wrong, I happen to like female protagonists. I write them after all. Indeed, I think there are positive advantages in doing so. I thought Joanna Lumley and Barbara Benedetti both did excellent interpretations of the Doctor. I particularly liked the latter’s interplay with her companion. So, the Doctor being female can work. It all depends on the stories. Any character needs good writing.
There are always pros and cons to anything. (Well, not Brexit, obviously. Have you tried to get someone to give an argument for leaving the EU that isn’t a slogan, platitude, soundbite or a lie? I have, so far, not heard a single one and I’ve asked.) So, this isn’t a rant that the Doctor should be male, it’s a complaint about something else.
You see, I have an argument as to why the Doctor should be male.
As young girls everywhere are pumping their fists and shouting “yes!” in pleasure, the boys are losing a role-model. Indeed, one of the very, very few male heroes who doesn’t rush around shooting everything with guns. There aren’t many examples of a main man who uses his wits, wins by knowing stuff and has a clear moral code. I remember the Fourth Doctor solving a problem using chemistry and I thought I’d pay more attention at school as all that “mix this with that” in the fume cupboard might actually be useful in the future. We do live in an age when young lads need better role models.
I’m a traditional Doctor Who fan, so it’s required dogma that the previous Doctor was better and to loathe any suggestion of change. We proclaim which version we saw first as best in a game of onebackmanship. (I have a time machine in my front room, so quite soon I’ll be bagging the opening episode back in 1963.)
I just hope the next series isn’t suddenly all about gender issues. Like all that fuss about Chekov being gay: who cares? It’s not that fantastic; I mean, you meet gay people all the time, but – come on – he pilots a starship!
So, good stories, space battles, monsters, aliens, strange new worlds and proper science fiction please.
And my bitter disappointment at the announcement? It was like watching the lottery results live. There’s a strange figure in the woods, TARDIS, pulls back hood, close-up…. and it’s not me!
Look, it’s always been other people! Next time: definitely my turn.