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Who's afraid of the lady Doctor?

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2017-07-18 Daily Express p9.jpg


THE new Doctor Who may find diehard fans against a woman becoming the Time Lord more formidable than the Daleks.

Broadchurch actress Jodie Whittaker, 35, called for fans to "not be scared by my gender" after she was revealed as the 13th incarnation of the sci-fi legend.

But that did not stop many of them raging at the BBC's choice on social media.

One life-long fan of the show, Wendy Roberts, posted: "No disrespect to the actress chosen but the producers have brought my Dr Who history and memories to an abrupt end."

On Facebook Nicki Murphy wrote: "I like Jodie, I think she is a terrific actor but I'm sorry, this is an exercise in pleasing the PC brigade. How about writing some new, quality roles for females... this is an attempt to meet some quota!!!"

On Twitter a fan said: "The doctor is a time LORD. Not a time LADY"


Another tweeted a female Doctor Who meant the show could "say goodbye to their viewers and ratings". Fan Tony Moretta agreed. He wrote: "Well, you're one viewer down already."

Whittaker's role as the new Time Lord, who travels through time and space in a police phone box known as the Tardis, was revealed in a trailer on BBC One at the end of the Wimbledon men's singles final on Sunday.

The ex-Broadchurch star is married to US actor Christian Contreras and they have a two-year-old daughter. She takes over from Peter Capaldi with her debut in a Christmas special.

Despite complaints, many voiced support for Whittaker, including the Prime Minister. Downing Street said Theresa May "was pleased" at the appointment of a female Doctor.

Actor Colin Baker, 74, who starred as the Doctor from 1984 to 1986, tweeted: "Cannot deny that I am amazed by the 'never watch it again' reaction by some viewers [I hesitate to call them fans']. Very sad."

And he wrote: "To those making 'parking the Tardis' jokes name me one male Doctor that was unfailingly good at that!"

Another ex-Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, wrote on Twitter: "Congratulations Jodie Whittaker!!!! One small step for women, one giant leap for womenkind!"

And former Doctor Who assistant Billie Piper declared "YES" on Twitter. Alex Kingston, who played River Song, the Doctor's wife, also said: "She's fantastic. That's so exciting."

Actors Gillian Anderson, John Boyega, Riz Ahmed and David Harewood also approved of the casting. Boyega, who starred in the sci-fi film Attack The Block with Whittaker in 2011, wrote: "So proud of Jodie Whittaker, she's going to be awesome."

Erica Lear at the Doctor Who Appreciation Society said: "It's very brave but she is a brilliant actress." She added: "There will be lots of people not happy with the decision but it's up to the new series to change their mind."

Sydney Newman, creator of Doctor Who in the 1960s, admitted in a letter in 1986: "At a later stage, Doctor Who would be metamorphosed into a woman.

"This requires some considerable thought, mainly because I want to avoid a flashy, Hollywood Wonder Woman because this kind of heroine with no flaws is a bore.

"Given more time, I can create such a character."


Caption: Whittaker is revealed as Doctor Who in the BBC trailer, left. Yesterday she was out with her husband Christian and daughter in London, right. The Broadchurch star, below, takes over as Doctor from Peter Capaldi, inset left

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  • APA 6th ed.: Chapman, John (2017-07-18). Who's afraid of the lady Doctor?. Daily Express p. 9.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Chapman, John. "Who's afraid of the lady Doctor?." Daily Express [add city] 2017-07-18, 9. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Chapman, John. "Who's afraid of the lady Doctor?." Daily Express, edition, sec., 2017-07-18
  • Turabian: Chapman, John. "Who's afraid of the lady Doctor?." Daily Express, 2017-07-18, section, 9 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Who's afraid of the lady Doctor? | url= | work=Daily Express | pages=9 | date=2017-07-18 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 March 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Who's afraid of the lady Doctor? | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 March 2023}}</ref>