Doctor Who is a television and science-fiction icon not just in the United Kingdom, but really around the world. Whether you watched classic episodes on PBS, or hid behind the couch watching the original run on BBC, or discovered The Doctor and his Tardis after the 2005 reboot – you know the special place Doctor Who has in geekdom.
It’s maintained its popularity after more than 50 years from a lovable (if sometimes grumpy) main character, some adventurous stories – and the fact the show can reinvent itself with every new recasting of the lead role. Yet, there is one major thing that all 12 people who have starred in the series over the years have had in common: They have all been white men.
That needs to stop. Like right now.
Don’t get me wrong – there has been nothing wrong with many of the actors who have taken on the role over the years. Even Peter Capaldi, who might not be everyone’s favorite, has embodied the spirit of the character who travels through time and space to protect anyone threatened by outside forces. But even though The Doctor’s Tardis might be stuck in the shape of a 1960s relic, the show itself doesn’t have to remain a 1960s relic.
There are times I wonder what’s happening with this fandom, where we can accept the fact that Klingons make wholesale changes to their appearances every decade or so, but we can’t even begin to fathom a woman holding a sonic screwdriver. And there are all kinds of reasons circulating out there, too.
My favorite is that The Doctor simply cannot be a woman. That despite what we’ve seen on screen over and over again with other Time Lords, including The Master and River Song, Time Lords have a defined gender and it simply cannot change.