Day 113. 107 pages, 48,428 words.
This is apparently a big deal, and I can’t say I’m even remotely surprised by any of the responses I’ve seen. The people who generally get excited about male domination in entertainment being overturned are excited. The people who (let’s be extremely generous and put it this way) prefer consistency are unsatisfied.
Jodie Whittaker. Alright, she’ll do. It’s just a shame the Likes vs. Dislikes are so evenly matched there, and the comments … actually the comments I saw were okay, the rest were predictable.
But this is my blog, so strap in.
This is fine. My concerns are essentially the same as my concerns every time a new Doctor is announced. The only exception in reboot memory being when Capaldi was announced. I had no concerns and loved him from the start. But that’s very much a subjective thing. All the rest, they needed to prove themselves for a couple of episodes.
 I don’t remember having an opinion about the pre-reboot Doctors, because this sort of hype didn’t happen and we found out who the new Doctor was when he regenerated, and the new Doctor was the Doctor, it wasn’t some actor from some TV show – before Eccleston, yes, actors who played the Doctor might have been in other shows. But they were defined by their casting as the Doctor. I don’t give a fuck if Sylvester McCoy played Radagast the Brown later on, he was the Doctor and always will be. Even when, like Pex, he is unalive.
The issue with a female Doctor is basically the same as any other actor choice. You need to make sure, in the writing, that it all checks out and you haven’t just cast some unsuitable person for a crappy reason. And I’m not about to stand here and argue that “because casting more women and having more female characters” is a crappy reason, so don’t worry about that. This is also fine. It’s enough all on its own as far as I’m concerned – although I obviously hope Whittaker doesn’t suck at the job.
As far as I’m concerned, the writers have already done their due diligence by putting Missy in the show a couple of years ago. She already talked about their childhoods and the changes they went through.
To me, this is a perfect opportunity to confront, in fiction, a very real and interesting series of issues that we have, as viewers. Doing it without being preachy is (as I have learned from my own writing) well-nigh impossible, but I don’t think we need to avoid being preachy. Humans need preaching to.
So let’s get over this, and just hope the new Doctor does a good job. She has big old Capaldi boots to fill, but she was excellent in Broadchurch so I think it’ll work out.
In the meantime, of course, Twitterstorms.
Things got amusingly heated with one dude who objected to the regenderation on continuity grounds. There might have been an interesting argument about the malleability of a story to suit an evolving social context, or even the more cynical “canon is a lesser priority than profit / happy viewers” argument regarding the decisions of television executives to pander to … I don’t know, the interesting argument never happened because the two main pundits here were Matt Broady, who didn’t seem to have the attention span for it; and Ilya, who doesn’t have the attention span for anything.
Anyway, that’s it for today. It was interesting but more or less inevitable after Missy. Let’s get on with it.