Doctor Who fans will well remember the intense secrecy surrounding the casting of the Thirteenth Doctor back in 2017. For months, various actors and actresses were linked with the coveted role before Jodie Whittaker was finally unveiled as the latest incarnation of the Time Lord last July. It turns out, though, that the BBC were so keen to keep the matter under wraps that even the writers for the upcoming eleventh season didn’t know.
In fact, not only did they not know that Whittaker would be the next Doctor, but they didn’t even know the new Doctor would be a woman. Showrunner Chris Chibnall revealed to SFX Magazine that he withheld that key bit of info from his writer’s room, meaning they found out like everyone else. This obviously meant the scripts were initially written for a male Doctor.
“No, they didn’t [know]. A lot of drafts of scripts have got ‘he’ in. The writers didn’t know ‒ nobody knew ‒ until that reveal video went out.”
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You might think this would’ve caused major problems, as the scripts would’ve had to have been hastily rewritten to encompass the Doctor’s change in gender but, as Chibnall’s promised before, the fact that Thirteen’s a woman won’t have much impact on season 11. While chatting to SFX, the showrunner went on to point out that he thinks the character’s methods and thought processes have never been particularly gendered.
“It’s very hard for me to think of a decision that the Doctor has taken in 55 years that is a gender-based decision or action. I’d really struggle to think of one.”
As said above, Chibnall has promised the Thirteenth Doctor’s premiere episode won’t be “a gender-related story” at all but will be more of a “story of survival.” This makes sense when you remember that the last time we saw the Doctor she was falling out of the TARDIS miles up in the air. No wonder the season opener’s titled “The Woman Who Fell To Earth.”
There’ll be no romance in the time machine either in season 11, Jodie Whittaker’s revealed, teasing that she and her companions will have more of a family dynamic instead. And we’ll get to see them all in action when Doctor Who season 11 hits our screens on Sunday, October 7th.
Source: SFX (via Digital Spy)