Fans are divided over the BBC’s announcement that actress Jodie Whitaker will be the 13th Doctor Who.
Chris Chibnall, the show’s new lead writer and executive producer, said, “I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman. We’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice.”
But some fans of the show were not equally thrilled, with some arguing that the Doctor must always be male with Whittaker herself urging fans “not to be scared by my gender.”
One fan said on Twitter, “Nope, ta-ra Doctor Who. Just ruined the character for the sake of political correctness.”
Another claimed, “That can’t be right, it’s #DoctorWho not Nurse Who. No offense to women but doctor who is always a man, just like James Bond.”
Sebastian J. Brook, editor of Doctor Who Online, said he was “genuinely shocked when Jodie Whittaker was revealed to be our first-ever female Doctor in Doctor Who.” But, he concluded, “I do not believe this is an ‘experiment’ or ‘stunt casting’ — or even an attempt to ‘boost ratings,’ which, by the way, are still excellent. I think this is the BBC, and Chris Chibnall saying ‘the time is right!’.”
The current Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi, weighed in saying, “Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.”
The debate over a woman playing Doctor Who is likely not to be put to rest until the next season premieres in 2018 — if then.