The idea had been thrown around for a while, but it wasn’t until last year that Doctor Who finally got its first female Time Lord in the form of Jodie Whittaker, the Thirteenth Doctor. Of course, there was a fair amount of backlash from a small – but loud – subset of fans, but for the most part, folks agreed that it was the right move for the show to make waves and try something new.
It’s something that was apparently never up for debate, either, as once Peter Capaldi had decided he was done with the role, the team behind the sci-fi series knew the next person to take the part had to be female.
“Once Peter had decided he was leaving, the next Doctor was always going to be a female Doctor,” said producer Matt Strevens.
In fact, making the new Doctor female was the only way to get new showrunner Chris Chibnall to sign on, with Strevens explaining that it was “part of his conditions of doing the job.”
“We knew in our gut it was about time, and it felt like the right decision, and the character is non-gender specific in any way, really,” said Strevens. “If ever there was a character that was never defined by gender, it’s the Doctor. The Doctor is gender fluid in that sense.”
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Speaking about the controversy that followed from the decision, the producer explained that though there was certainly some backlash, the majority of people seemed to be all for a female Doctor.
“We have all these number-crunchers at the BBC who come and feed us figures about overnights and how social media’s hit and all those kinds of stuff,” he said. “We had a board meeting and they did this thing with global social media, and they’d come up with something like 81 percent positive hits on social media they’d scanned in terms of reaction to it.”
If you’re still on the fence about the Thirteenth Doctor, just watch the first proper trailer for Doctor Who season 11 and try not to smile at Jodie Whittaker’s energetic antics, which without a doubt prove that she already owns the role and is absolutely perfect for the part. And if for some reason you’re still not convinced after that, you can tune in for the premiere on October 7th.