So over the weekend it was announced that we are coming to the end of Matt Smith’s run as the Doctor. This of course has brought a huge range of reactions, from excitement, to disappointment, to meh. A new Doctor can always bring feelings of anxiety because is the new Doctor going to live up to the past? It can be hard to see that new person as a Doctor.
The first Doctor that I saw was David Tennant and that was really only a couple episodes. Then I watched from the beginning of the new series with Christopher Eccleston and it was odd at first to see a different actor as the Doctor. After one season though he was the Doctor, then we got Tennant who brought a whole new and wonderful feeling to the character and he became the Doctor. Matt Smith at first I was not sure about, but again he became the Doctor.
It is really amazing how every iteration is still the Doctor. So with a new incarnation of the Doctor about to be born there have been some great ideas thrown around and here are my two favorites.
Now, I have not seen the First through Eighth Doctors, but with the regeneration into Ten and then the regeneration into Eleven the Doctor mentions that he is not a ginger. Which means that at some point we really need a ginger Doctor. How brilliant would it be after being mentioned twice in the new series to have the new Doctor be a ginger? The post I have seen the most going along this idea is Rupert Grint as the new Doctor, but I think if you get someone that is too well known, especially too well known in another fandom, it just won’t quite work.
Don’t get me wrong; I like Rupert Grint, I have only seen him in Harry Potter and he did a great job. It will be interesting to see if he can break away from Ron Weasley, but I do not know that doing Doctor Who is the place for him to do that. Now saying that I think one of the actors who played Fred or George could work because they were not as large characters in that franchise and could be more easily separated from the franchise.
One of the things I have loved is being introduced to the actors that I did not really know before who I now love. John Barrowman, David Tennant, Karen Gillian, Matt Smith, Catherine Tate, etc, are all actors that I was introduced to on Doctor Who, that I am now super excited to see where they end up and want to see how they do outside of Doctor Who. The other thing is that the Doctor already comes with a ton of baggage; do we really want to add more by having the actor be well known for something else?
Now this could be fascinating and my one question is: does it say anywhere that time lords remain in the same gender? If you regenerate and become a completely different person with each regeneration, would it be so terrible if the new Doctor were a woman? The personality changes – the Doctor is upset right before he regenerates because he knows who he is and even though he does not die he will become someone new. Not just a new face, body, and look, but a new personality.
Now the thing I worry about with a woman Doctor is that they change how the Doctor is treated or too much how the Doctor acts. Either playing into gender norms instead of understanding that the core of the Doctor remains the same even if some of the superficial choices have changed.
In thinking of an image of a female Doctor I am actually reminded of Jenna Louise Coleman from the Asylum of the Daleks episode. Obviously not exactly that character, but she is smart, fast talking, and a problem solver. I think the traits that she portrays in that episode give a great model for what a woman Doctor would look – and act – like.
So what do you want to see with the next Doctor?