After Jodie Whittaker was cast as the Thirteenth Doctor back in July, column inches in newspapers (particularly in the UK) began filling up with talk of a “backlash” against the decision by a subset of Doctor Who fans. Quick to describe these stories as “completely imaginary” was outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat. It seems his predecessor in the role, Russell T. Davies, agrees with that as well.
Speaking to Radio Times, Davies – who presided over Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant’s tenures in the TARDIS – had this to say:
“The only people making a fuss were, to be honest, journalists, saying ‘what about the fuss?’ There wasn’t one. There wasn’t one at all. What a different world we live in – how magical.”
To back up his point, he then went on to talk about the many Doctor Who fans he’s encountered recently. “Every single one of them is excited about it,” he said. “Every single one.” He continued:
“And that’s something that doesn’t get said often enough. The five people making a fuss, and the five people making headlines, do not represent the vast body of fandom, who are genuinely happy and genuinely excited. Men, women, kids, all ages – I’ve met them. And they’re properly looking forward to next year.”
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The ex-showrunner’s comments are also supported by actual statistical evidence. It was calculated that 80% of fans on social media were positive above the Doctor becoming a woman. Likewise, Doctor Who stars from past and present have repeatedly applauded the decision.
That said, this does still leave 20% of fans who are not on board with it. Additionally, Fifth Doctor Peter Davison expressed doubts about the casting (though he did say he imagined Whittaker would do “a wonderful job”). Davies’ description of “every single” fan loving the decision to go with Jodie might be a bit of a stretch, then, although it’s undeniable that this is true of the vast majority.
However you feel about the decision, you can catch Whittaker’s Doctor Who debut this Christmas.
Source: Radio Times