Saturday, January 03, 2009

the Doctor is in

"I'm a doctor, not a lady."

- Michaela Quinn, Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman

So it's confirmed, and the rumours of the first female Doctor have been proven to be just that. Members of a certain Facebook group (of which I confess I am a member) will doubtless be crushed. The new Doctor Who will be played by 26-year-old Matt Smith, of Party Animals and That Face fame. But I'm not surprised.  The UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology might have put in an open bid to have a Time Lady in the TARDIS following David Tennant's departure at the end of this year, but most of us knew that it wasn't going to happen. Sure, we had the Rani (evil) and both regenerations of Romnadveratrelundar (the only sidekick to be smarter than the Doctor, with her triple-Alpha degree making his 51% at the second attempt to pass his Time Lord exams look pretty darn miserly), but girls from Gallifrey are sadly underrespresented on the show. 

Lucy Mangan posted a deliciously tongue in cheek explanation of why we could never have a female Doctor waaay back in 2006:

1 Girls can't do maths or read maps - surely insurmountable problems when applied to the calculations in 17 dimensions that a Time Lord must habitually make. Also, cannot afford to spend entire pre-credits sequence waiting for her to park the Tardis.

2 Not keen on whole episodes set in Ikea watching her pick out perfect window treatments for her interplanetary home. Or fretting about ageing effects of time travel. Retinol A must remain name of satellite Gallifreyan moon, not anti-wrinkle cream.

3 Doctor must be eccentric. Can women be eccentric without being covered in cat hair and/or smelling of wee? Research how.

4 Cannot afford necessary pre-launch campaign explaining to Whovians what a woman is.

5 Hierarchical problems. Doctor needs mentally and physically inferior sidekick to be afraid of Cybermen / stretchy-faced Penelope Wilton / glowy-headed fat people. If Who is female, will need to cast six-year-old boy (or rather 800 of them, because they can't work for more than 10 minutes at a time without some bleeding-heart waving child labour legislation at us - talk to Stephen Daldry if you don't believe me) or tin of Spam. Check whether there is Spam rights group. If so, investigate availability of Jimmy Krankie. Could be years before they sort out what we can and can't do with him. Her. God, this messes with your head.

6 Metaphysical problems. Doctor is same person, regeneration provides new body only. Reincarnating as female suggests feminine aspect has existed all along. Might mark series as camp?

7 Aesthetic problems. Doctor historically not been in any danger of being mistaken for Michaelangelo's David. Tom Baker nice chap but face like a bag of pork chops and Sylvester McCoy frankly disturbing. As ugly women now shot on sight at television auditions, how to cast? Go with Claire Goose and throw acid in her face? (Call her agent.)

8 Insurmountable problem - Time Lady just sounds wrong.

9 On the other hand, we've got to find something to do with Davina McCall.
It seems that, as far as Doctor Who is concerned, us girls are destined to be always the sidekick, never the main event. Oh well - there's always progressive kids' spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, with it's middle-aged, avowedly feminist heroine, her super-computer, and her blatantly closeted son. And if you really can't do without your extra X chromosome to accompany that second heart, you might want to take refuge in that old standby, fanfiction.


At 9:21 PM, Blogger Doughboy said...

I thought final gossip was pointing towards a black doctor. a doctor obama.

but it was not to be. too much of a leap to cross the gender divide.

don't you know that when it comes to play-acting and dressing up - boys are doctors and girls are nurses.

it is disappointing though. another posh male haircut.

hopefully he'll have OCD or be gay. just to liven things up.

At 9:31 PM, Blogger Kaite said...

I am GUTTED at the lack of Paterson Joseph - he's been one of my favourite actors for a long time. I think that if you can change bodies then crossing the gender divide isn't a big deal, and in terms of the gay thing - I think the Doctor is either an asexual flirt or a prime example of sexual fluidity. I certainly have a hard time seeing him as 'straight', per se. And after Eccleston's brilliant reinterpretation of the Doctor as a gritty Northerner (is there any other kind?) I thought that we were finally getting a little more variety.

And is it just me or does the new boy look like the lovechild of Tennant and Edward Cullen in the Twilight movie?

At 4:11 PM, Blogger ToonCat said...

Lovechild of Tennant and Cullen? Brilliant description!

Have to admit I'm quite hopeful about Matt Smith - like him in what I've seen and he did a good interview.

Still disappointed it's not Jemima Rooper though...

At 6:25 PM, Blogger Kaite said...

Jemima Rooper? That would have been AWESOME! Damn, now I'm really gutted...

At 3:54 PM, Blogger all-in-one said...

dear katie , we really liked your blog . please let us know if you are interested in a collaboration with us . have a great day , team lameplay .


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