The future is female, and so is this Time Lord.
A beautiful thing happened on Doctor Who’s way to its tenth series: the powers that be finally decided to make The Doctor a woman.
I’m excited about this for a lot of reasons: for one, I love The Doctor. He’s a time-traveling, world-hopping, crisis-averting last-of-his-kind Time Lord from the far-off planet of Gallifrey, and watching him gallivant across space in his wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey TARDIS never gets old. Doctor Who, at its best, is highly immersive television. To have a woman at the helm of that… well, I feel so good about it, I could quote The Lion King.
From the instantly recognizable sound of the TARDIS landing to the strangely satisfying sight of a grown man chowing down a bowl of fish fingers and custard, it’s the kind of show that seems designed around the very concept of nostalgia: it’s something you inevitably cling to in later years as your last ties to a time when you could just sit back and appreciate a good Dalek vs. Cybermen pissing contest for what it was.
I can’t wait for little girls everywhere to have The Thirteenth Doctor inspiring them through their growing up years. To see themselves represented, if only by gender, by this all-powerful beacon of hope and compassion. And I can’t wait for those same little girls to have this Doctor to look back on when they’re feeling nostalgic for the things they loved so purely as children.
Sure, Doctor Who gave us Amy Pond and Martha Jones, two of The Doctor’s most delightfully kickass female companions, who were among the very few characters capable of stealing the show from him. But companions are rarely positioned as equal to The Doctor in dazzle — no matter how fleshed-out they are or compelling their inner worlds may be, the show always returns to The Doctor as its ultimate hero.
Don’t get me wrong: being a companion is clearly no easy feat, either — they’re constantly saving The Doctor’s ass, too — but it’s one thing to be The Doctor’s right-hand, and quite another to be leading the show. By casting Jodie Whittaker as lucky number Thirteen, Doctor Who is making a conscious move to put a woman front-and-center.
I’m already anticipating catharsis: to finally see a woman save the day as only The Doctor could. She’ll out-dazzle us all.
To all the girls who’ve been waiting for this: we’ve waited long enough. Allons-y!