It was the announcement that almost brought the Internet to a standstill: Jodie Whittaker, star of Black Mirror and ITV drama Broadchurch, will succeed Peter Capaldi and become the first female Doctor in time for season 11. And we couldn’t be more excited.
Primed for her big debut in the Doctor Who Christmas Special, “Twice Upon a Time,” the BBC has already rolled out our first sneak peek of Whittaker as the all-powerful Time Lord, and series stalwart Mark Gatiss believes a female Doctor was long overdue.
Gatiss, who is known for roles in Game of Thrones, Sherlock and, more recently, the Guy Fawkes miniseries Gunpowder, is a writer on Doctor Who and a long-time cohort of Steven Moffat, who is prepped and ready to depart the sci-fi show alongside Capaldi. He recently sat down with the Financial Times (via Digital Spy) to discuss Doctor Who‘s impending changeover, and why a female Doctor would’ve felt “like a novelty” had it been introduced sooner.
The industry is, as we know, inherently sexist. There is a cut-off point for actresses, which appears to be now 23 when they’re deemed too old and they have to wait until they’re playing Lady Bracknell. I think there should have been a female Doctor Who a long time ago…[but] up to a certain point in its history, it would have felt a bit like a novelty.
After branding the industry “inherently sexist,” Mark Gatiss went on to admit that he’d love to “write more for women” across his TV oeuvre:
I would love to write more for women. The problem is you might feel slightly hidebound by what people demand that you do. I don’t want to think, ‘It should probably be a woman.’
Doctor Who will be back on our screens this Christmas with “Twice Upon a Time,” and you can readily expect a regeneration for the ages.