Doctor Who and the hullabaloo
"There's no need to get your Tardis in a twist."
When I heard the news, I was so excited I mentally renamed the show Doctor Woohoo.
But predictably, inevitably, depressingly, not everyone shared my enthusiasm for the BBC's announcement that super talented Jodie Whittaker is taking up the mantle as the next double-hearted TV Time Lord.
Enraged Whovians started a petition and took to Twitter to express their fury via aggressive hashtagging - #NotMyDoctor #PCKillstheDoctor.
#GetAGrip. There's no need to get your Tardis in a twist, fretting she’ll paint the phone box pink, play Beyoncé on repeat and forget to fight the Daleks because she's too busy talking about feelings. And before anyone starts banging on about the canon and continuity, we already know female Time Lords exist, OK?
Considering their love of futuristic telly, certain Whovians can be pretty backward-thinking. Why are time travel, regeneration and aliens more believable than a female Doctor? Some say they're sad about young boys losing precious role models. Yeah, that will be tough on the tykes. After all, they'll only have nearly all TV and film ever made and the last fifty years of Doctor Who to keep them going. What next? Will women be given the right to vote? Will we be allowed out unchaperoned? Given equal pay? (Steady on, that last one is pure science fiction.)
At least some of the haters are accidentally stumbling upon some cracking ideas.
#doctor13 the last nail in in coffin for doctor who☠️. Made her a vegan lesbian as well? Hey, Lets make James Bond female while we're at it?— Jamie John (@Mr_Gohoganog) July 16, 2017
I am very much onboard with both these suggestions. If you can’t represent different genders, sexualities and dietary requirements in sci-fi, then where can you? We’ve already got a working class lesbian of colour as the Doctor's companion - #BillPottsRocks.
True to form, the Sun and the Mail Online reacted to the news by praising the BBC's ground-breaking decision. Just kidding. They were too busy racing to objectify the new doc as quickly as possible, publishing irrelevant nude photos of her previous acting roles, helpfully reminding us that however successful a woman is she can be reduced to her body in an instant. Ta tabloids.
So what can we learn from the Doctor Who hullabaloo? Well, a lot of people still dislike women and lack imagination. But on the plus side, although they may resist change, change is happening. So here's to a Doctor we can look up to and root for, whether she’s coming up against hostile lifeforms in the Tardis or on Twitter. And if you need any further indication of why this casting choice is an awesome step into a bold new future, just watch this girl’s reaction when she heard the news:
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