On a muggy Sunday afternoon in July the nation sat up, wiped the sweat from its collected foreheads and entered a brave new world…
The Doctor is a woman.
More specifically, on Christmas Day ten million or so people will watch the 12th Doctor regenerate into the 13th – the first male to female Timelord change seen – with Jodie Whittaker taking over the role.
But not quite! Before certain corners of the nation hammer on their keyboards like hyperactive typists in the comments section of the Daily Mail with outrage, we have been given good warning on the perameters of Timelord regeneration. In last year’s season finale, Heaven Sent, set on the Doctor’s home planet Gallifrey, a fellow (male) Timelord regenerated into a young black female (commenting the male form she had prior was the first time she had been a man in her cycle).
Secondly, three years ago the wonderfully spiky Missy debued – played with devilishly camp relish by the great Michelle Gomez – the latest, and first female version of the Doctor’s nemesis, “The Master”. The final big hint was just last week, with John Sim’s Master asking ‘is the future going to be all girl?’ to which Capaldi’s Doctor quipped ‘we can only hope’… Nudge nudge, wink wink.
In short – this is great news. A shot in the arm for a series now a decade plus back on our TV screens and in need of a reboot, not just a new Doctor, but new companion (one of my friends has already text me hoping for a “sexy young male” companion in the spirit of reversed gender roles) and a new show runner in Chris Chibnall. Whittaker and Chibnall both shone as writer and star of Broadchurch so the early signs are good.
Most of all it’s about bloody time one of our most iconic TV characters did what we all knew was possible and showed their feminine side. Welcome Number Thirteen! See you on Christmas night, I’ll bring the turkey sandwiches.