Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor: What the fans and critics are saying
- Arusa Qureshi
- 17 July 2017
To summarise, men are the worst and women will one day rule the world
To say that we live in strange times is a huge understatement. Nuclear war may be imminent and Donald Trump may be actively trying to destroy the earth as we know it but none of that really matters because the new star of Doctor Who has just been announced and it's … a woman?!
How could the writers of Doctor Who be so dumb? Don't they know that only a man can play a centuries-old extra-terrestrial being that travels through time and space? Duh.
*Cue an eye roll so large that your eyes disappear into the back of your head.*
Though this catastrophic change has negatively affected the lives of many a Doctor Who fan, the reactions to Jodie Whittaker being announced as the 13th Doctor have been generally positive, with many calling this change a significant step in the right direction.
Even former Doctors are applauding the decision, with Peter Capaldi commenting, 'Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker's work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She's going to be a fantastic Doctor.'
Colin Baker, who played the sixth Doctor similarly tweeted his praise:
Well I never the BBC really did do the right thing and let the Doctor be in touch with her feminine side. As a father of daughters - result!— Colin Baker (@SawbonesHex) July 16, 2017
Maureen Ryan noted in Variety: 'Those who've been shut out of seeing themselves on screen in the plum roles – as the problem-solvers, the heroes, the romantic leads, the witty ones who think of the brilliant solution – have won a victory. What a relief it is to see the Doctor added to the growing roster of role models for young girls (and boys).'
Likewise, Leah Broad of Huffington Post called out the misogyny of some of the responses, including the Daily Mail's gross take on the news, which features a headline that opens with 'Doctor Nude!'. She comments:
'It's completely unfair on Whittaker to frame this achievement through her gender. She is the thirteenth Doctor, and a formidable actor. As a Doctor Who fan, I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with the role – will she go in Broadchurch's emotionally tortured direction, or give us something more in the vein of her St Trinian's performance? Or something entirely different?'
Fans have also been tweeting, instagraming and snapchatting their reactions since the big reveal. One young fan's adorable reaction went viral for good reason:
And others have been similarly positive:
Jodie Whittaker is a GREAT choice— Charlie Brooker (@charltonbrooker) July 16, 2017
But then there are those whiney man-babies out there that always have to come along and ruin the fun for everyone. Remember, these are the same people that were outraged by an all-female Ghostbusters and refused to accept the possibility of Idris Elba as James Bond. Oh and look, they created a fun little hashtag:
But the internet is an incredible place and people can be hilarious and sassy just when you need them to be:
Dear irate white dudes:— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) July 16, 2017
The Doctor has been been a white dude for fifty-two fucking years.
You'll be okay. #13thDoctor
If you're disappointed by casting of the #13thDoctor and would prefer something with a male lead, I can recommend JUST ABOUT ANY SHOW EVER.— Chris Brookmyre (@cbrookmyre) July 17, 2017
WE HAVE TAKEN YOUR GHOSTBUSTERS AND STAR WARS AND SUPERHEROES AND DOCTOR WHO NOTHING IS SACRED WE WILL DEFILE IT ALL WITH OUR WOMANLY HANDS— grace ✨ GOT spoilers (@andlivefromny) July 16, 2017
Lot of folks who have never cared about Dr. Who before are suddenly very concerned. Maybe we should announce that climate change is a woman.— Carol Hartsell (@carolrhartsell) July 16, 2017
I took Daily Mail comments from people angry about a possible Female Dr Who and turned them into episode titles for the new series pic.twitter.com/k586EeVpld— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) July 15, 2017
Casting a female Doctor is a bold move on the part of the folks behind the series but as Chimene Suleyman and others correctly pointed out, it is by no means radical:
Moving from well-spoken whiteness, to well-spoken whiteness is not revolutionary or ground-breaking at all.— Chimene Suleyman (@chimenesuleyman) July 16, 2017
But Jodie Whittaker's casting still highlights progress and counts as a victory for diversity in terms of change and representation. The Doctor Who universe may not be ready for a WoC Doctor just yet but maybe we're headed towards a future where it could happen (and where a black man as James Bond doesn't send people into an apoplectic frenzy).
Regardless, for all the giant losers out there still crying about who can or cannot use a sonic screwdriver, here's Irvine Welsh to set you straight:
Jodie Whittaker will be a great a Doctor Who, and all the sexist arseholes moaning about it can wank off over a picture of Tom Baker.— Irvine Welsh (@IrvineWelsh) July 16, 2017
Watch the unveiling again below...