A Female Doctor? Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi Don’t See Why Not


It’s a long time now since Whovians first began to discuss the possibility of the Doctor one day regenerating into a member of the opposite sex, with the idea first taking root in popular consciousness after Fourth Doctor Tom Baker made the suggestion back in 1980. After Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith left the role open to a successor last year, plenty of fans, as well as well-known actors, began putting forward strong views on the issue one way or another.

Up until the recent two-part finale of “New Who” Season 8, however, all arguments either way were based on idle speculation: there was no reason to believe that the Doctor could never be a woman, but neither was their any evidence to suggest that he could. All that changed when, in Episode 11, “Dark Water”, the mysterious Missy (played by Michelle Gomez) revealed to the Doctor that she was in fact his fellow Time Lord, the Master, in female form.

Assuming that it was the result of a “natural” regeneration rather than some other kind of complex, Cassandra-esque body-hopping, the Master’s transformation into a Time Lady seems to suggest that a similar outcome of regeneration for the Doctor himself would not only be possible but, indeed, quite probable.

Lately, both head writer Steven Moffat and current Doctor Peter Capaldi have expressed similar views on the matter.

“We’ve been laying in the possibility for an awfully long time, but you don’t cast that way. I know I’m going to get in trouble for saying that – you cast a person, you don’t cast the gender,” said Moffat, in an interview with BANG Showbiz. “But we did just make the female Master, she turns up and the Doctor doesn’t say anything about it, he doesn’t react at all, he thinks that’s perfectly normal. It’s not impossible no, it is entirely down to who the best person is.”

Peter Capaldi agreed and went further, saying that he thought it would be a “good” thing to happen.

“There easily could be a female Doctor. I think the next time might be a female Doctor. I don’t see why not. I think it’s good to do that,” he told sci-fi magazine SFX. “It does suggest all kinds of interesting stuff. They have a total love/hate relationship anyway but they were both men for a long time, and still have that love-hate relationship, and we will see more of that probably. It’s interesting, being able to swap like that.”

The comments from Moffat are particularly interesting in the light of criticisms that have been repeatedly levelled against him for his representation of female characters. Other fans have also picked up on the lack of women on the writing team behind the show, with not a single episode having been penned by a female writer during his time as showrunner. Nevertheless, Moffat himself is adamant that steps are being taken to improve representation behind the scenes.

“We’ve had two female directors last year and I can honestly say that Rachel Talalay gave us the most macho ‘Doctor Who’ we had ever had,” he said. “There was a load of explosions and soldiers and shouting. They bring their brilliance whatever their individual brilliance is.”

What are your views on the Doctor becoming a Time Lady? Is there anyone you’d like to see cast in the role? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: The Daily Mail | Polygon | Games Radar | The List

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