Okay… This is going to be the hardest article I’ve ever written. So just bare with me as I try my absolute best to get my opinion across clearly, and honestly, without giving anyone any accuse to throw shit in my.
So let’s just get to the bloody point. My reaction. What do I think of Jodie Whittaker being cast as The Thirteenth Doctor…? I don’t like it!
If anyone has read my article, Why The Doctor Shouldn’t Be Female, then you’d automatically know my thoughts on this “controversial subject matter” and my long, annalistic reasoning as to why I think it shouldn’t happen. But it has now and I’m completely fucking baffled. I’ve literally been suffering from mood swings since the announcement, going from anger, to confusion, to disappointment, to downright denial, heck, I’ve even resorted to making jokes to calm my anxiety and stress levels, all for the sake of trying to regain my sanity in this fucked-up world where backwards decisions can become a reality (and trust me, this year has already been the worst year of my life in terms of confronting personal problems, so this announcement has only further made me feel that I can no longer experience happiness anymore).
Now, before anyone pulls out the sexist card, or calls me an unfaithful fan, stop before you act because I have the right to state my opinion (as does everyone) and I’m here to say I’m a very rational person when it comes to opinions, and I always strive to explain myself, and justify why I think a certain way. My article about this matter has already been written (so I won’t dwell on why I think a certain way because you can go and read that article to find that out in greater detail) but I will use this article to display my disappointment in both Chris Chibnall and the BBC, as well as confront the aggressive nature of this argument.
One of my major problems with this whole idea is the fact that it never had any real ground-work to establish itself. It has always been a demand by certain fans (and people who don’t even watch the show). And what irritates me the most is there’s no reasoning behind it. Literally, their side of the argument has no foundation because they don’t hold an actual opinion. Instead, it feels completely manufactured, holding no real heart, and tries to be a bench-mark to establish some sort of equality argument. I’m afraid people that is a load of old bollocks, and a poor excuse to express a sensitive subject matter which has no real merit within this context.
People complain that there’s not enough equality within television and film. True, there’s more male protagonists out there (and I will admit it would be nice to have more female protagonists [not really because I deem it sexist not to do so, but simply because it’d be a nice change, particularly when you consider when we get an awesome female protagonist it’s a ground-breaking event]). But, when did it become necessary to start replacing male characters with female characters? What does that solve? You end up with an awkward mess, made worse when you create a diverse fandom that only causes more hostility through the engagement of different opinions.
There is only one clear way to solve any equality problems within the Media Industry and that’s to just create more female protagonists, or (at the very least) a female equilvent of a male character. Notice the word equilvent. This doesn’t mean replace, it means running along at the same time to create diversity (thus making everyone happy). Heck, they don’t have to be the exact same character to even be equilivent, just similar. In which case, they’ve been doing that for fucking years now and it’s worked fine. Batgirl! She isn’t a female Bruce Wayne but rather her own character, proving to be just as strong and intelligent as him (even becoming more iconic and relatable when she is crippled by The Joker [showcasing her strength further]).
There are many great examples I can list (granting us the best of both worlds without having to resort to drastic measures, such as discarding one gender version of a said character for the sake of the other). I can even give you a great example that works the other way. Nathan Drake! He is (basically) the male version of Lara Croft. But does that spoil anything. No! He doesn’t replace Lara, nor does he outshine her, they are two individuals that share similar traits but bounce off each other perfectly because of their unique attitudes that reflect their gender. But the bottom-line is this represents how you can have both without compromise.
And when it comes to Doctor Who I can name endless female characters that serve to be just as intelligent, brave, and likable as The Doctor (with some perhaps being more so). The show is very equal and that’s how it’s always been designed. Yes, the female characters are generally referred to as the assistant/or companion but that doesn’t really mean anything other than define their role’s title. It doesn’t define their abilities as a character. Yes, some of the companions haven’t been as bold or independent, but that doesn’t mean the show is being sexist, rather depicting life in a real perspective, i.e. not every person out there is brave and independent.
And you have to remember that the companion is (in many ways) the driving force of the show as we see The Doctor and his world through their eyes. I don’t necessarily agree that they are more important than The Doctor (because he’s the protagonist, and the central character I wish to follow each and every week) but they have a vital role in guiding the Time Lord, sometimes even reshaping his character through making him see the universe in a different light, thus humanising him. Either-way, the two roles bounce off each other and this is a tradition that has always worked.
This brings me to my other arguing point: tradition. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it! The Doctor has always been male. That is a fact. There’s no denying that fact even. Also, regeneration is supposed to be a healing process (or as it was first referred to as, renewal [to which the TARDIS had a helping hand in]). So, when did it become an established fact that it could be used for changing gender, and why would it do this? These two things are completely different processes.
Also, I just hate the fact that our own society is being inflicted upon a fictional alien race (who, might I add, are a very corrupt bunch of individuals bound by order and tradition [to which] for the longest time where quite old-fashioned in their views [leading to my point as to why they’d want to change gender, thus going against their established order – I hardly doubt the likes of Rassilon and Omega did this kind of thing]).
I’m not against people wanting to change their genders because it’s what they want in order to re-establish who they really are on the inside. But this process is being applied completely differently to Doctor Who. The Doctor is being changed for the sake of it. Not once has he ever announced his desires to be a woman, thus granting some actual backing to the argument he “should” become female. And I’m not going by anything that Steven Moffat has attempted to make canon because his opinions are completely biased, and it’s shown through his approach of incorporating these ideas into the show. They’ve always felt forced and have no substance, making it even harder for me to stomach (not to mention becoming extremely pissed-off by character inconsistency in the process).
What I’m trying to say is, I’m looking at this realistically as a die-hard (and life-long) fan of the show, looking at both the law and characteristics of Doctor Who. And I honestly believe that this radical change has completely fucked-up everything. It hasn’t taken any consideration as to why it’s a good idea, or how it can be properly applied to the show. I really do think this will ruin The Doctor’s character, turning him into both a massive gimmick and a joke (which will probably spark a mass plea for this sort of thing to happen again, and before long all iconic male characters will be replaced by a female interpretation [just because]).
I think this entire thing has only happened because of “political correctness”. There is no real reasoning beyond that. And how do I know this? Because I haven’t heard otherwise. Nobody on the opposite side of the argument has given me one legit reason as to why this “should” happen or why it would work to enhance The Doctor’s character. In fact, they usually use the argument of “it should happen because we need a female in the role” in which I must state that that isn’t an argument. It’s more of a statement that doesn’t have much backing. Why should this happen? This is the part that I really don’t understand. Can somebody please (in a polite manner) explain this to me (but bare in mind it actually has to have something to do with furthering The Doctor’s character and have nothing to do with furthering equality)?
This is why I generally believe the show has been ruined because biased opinions, and fear, has brought about this change. It isn’t about the benefit of the show, it’s about pleasing these irrational anti-sexists (who [like I mentioned above] don’t even know why they want it to happen, or simply don’t care about the show’s content as long as they get given a new form of equality). Like I said, I have a long list of detailed reasons why I don’t want this change to happen, they have no reasons to back themselves up with. And I guess this is another contributing factor as to why I won’t change my opinion.
Apart from the fact that I’m not disregarding years of rational thoughts for the sake of pleasing others (thus throwing away my individuality) I’d be siding with people who are both insensitive and (quite frankly) obnoxious. You might think I’m resorting to name calling now to justify my opinion, but honestly, this is another fact. Every time I see someone express their opinion on the other-side they are very inconsiderate in their views, made worse when they actually challenge someone on my side of the argument. Because they have no real backing to their argument they resort to childish means of justification, resulting in myself and other’s being called “sexist” and “unfaithful fans”.
Do I really want to give these people the satisfaction of being right? Fuck-no! I want to stay away from these people because I think they’re arseholes for disrespecting other people’s opinions and constantly whining like toddlers having a tantrum, to the point where they’ve now got what they wanted at the expense of everyone else in the room losing out. I hope they’re happy with themselves now and quite frankly I’m at the point now where I’m just fucking done. I feel like I’ve been betrayed and there’s no turning back from something like that.
So, yeah, I won’t be continuing with the show (at least not properly). I will swallow my pride and grant Peter Capaldi the respect of actually watching his final episode (knowing full well that I will be both crying and punching the wall in anger over the regeneration scene because the show I’ve known and loved for the last 25 years is being tarnished by poor creative decision making). And then I will watch Whittaker’s first episode (not because I’m being loyal to the show, or trying to give her a chance, but because I want to showcase that I’m not entirely petty and I can at least say that I gave it a go before passing my final judgement).
But I have no doubts in my mind that this is the end of Doctor Who for me (or at least until the BBC come to their senses and make sure this never happens again). On the bright side I still have Big Finish to fall back on, so my Doctor Who experience won’t be completely taken away from me. But in terms of the New Series, I no longer know where I stand with it, and honestly, I no longer care if it continues or not. It’d bring me much delight to see this radical change backfire so badly that the BBC are either forced to recast Whittaker after only one full series (and maybe retconned depending how bad the backlash gets) or that Doctor Who is simply cancelled.
Maybe that’s me being overly petty, but fuck-it, I’m not going to hide my anger and disappointment. I shall stand by my opinions with pride and bravery and not allow anyone to tell me otherwise during this difficult transition. And I encourage anyone else in my position to do so too (but please, do it with the best of intentions in order to show the other side that we are more rational [and most importantly] that our opinions are just as important).