As you’ve probably heard by now, series 11 will see our first ever female incarnation of The Doctor. What’s that, you didn’t notice from our multiple posts on the subject? Well we’re about to talk about it some more! Time Ladies have always been prominent in Doctor Who history; from the very first companion being a Time Lord herself, to the latest incarnation of the master regenerating into a female. If you’re still unsure about the casting of Jodie Whittaker as 13, here’s 5 times the show proved it will work!
“It’s funny, you know, but before I met you, I was even willing to be impressed.”
The above quote is from Romana I, played by the brilliant Mary Tamm. Originally Romanadvoratrelundar, Romana graduated from The Time Lord Academy with a triple first (our gal got BRAINS) and out-smarts the Doctor at every opportunity. Heck, we’d be as smug as her if we could constantly laugh at the Doctor’s stupidity. Although she grows into one of the Doctor’s closest friends during Lalla Ward’s stint as Romana II, she always stays as the Doctor’s equal and feels significantly different from his previous companions. She’s cleverer, more skilled and more charming than him in nearly every capacity and is the first glimpse of what a female version of the Doctor could be.
“You and the Doctor are a well-matched pair of pests. You bring nothing but trouble.”
The Rani grew up with the Doctor and the Master when they were time tots and is another renegade Time Lord. This makes people automatically associate her with the Master but the Rani is a menace in her own right. A brilliant neurochemist obsessed with experimenting on the human race, the Rani tries to perfect a formula to take back to Miasima Goria, the planet she rules. Her and the Master attempt to work together to thwart the Doctor but she ends up laughing at them both whilst they show off their hyper masculinity, and subtly points out that they just can’t exist without each other. Aww. She’s the perfect mix of evil whilst having impeccable logic and reason behind her plan – a perfect villain. Her brains and wit equal her with the Doctor and Master, and proves how Time Ladies are more than a match for Time Lords.
“I couldn’t very well keep calling myself The Master now, could I?”
First appearing in Deep Breath (2014), It took the whole of series 8 for the character of Missy’s true identity to be revealed. In the explosive finale we see her once again causing havoc in The Doctors world, madder, scarier and more evil than ever before. Michelle Gomez brings a wonderful craziness to the role, proving that done correctly a change of time lord gender can work. She has been a massive highlight of The 12th Doctors era, appearing multiple times as his main adversary. There is no doubt that the character is still the master and is translated onto screen perfectly, laying the perfect foundations for a female Doctor to take to our screens!
“The only time I’ve been a man, that last body. Dear God, how do you cope with all that ego?”
After being shot by the 12th Doctor in Hell Bent (2015), The male General regenerates into a woman. This is the first time we’ve seen a Time Lord regenerate from one gender to another on screen, a massive moment for the show. There is no question that it is the same character and works flawlessly, normalising the process of regenerating into different genders. This scene is more groundwork for the future of our hero, and proves that there is no limits for our favourite race of time travelling aliens!
The Doctor and Bill discuss gender politics
“We are the most civilised civilisation in the universe, we’re billions of years beyond your petty human obsession with gender and its associated stereotypes!”
In the most recent series finale, World enough and time (2017), The Doctor and Bill discuss The Doctor and Missy’s history on the rooftop of the university. Casually dropping in that Missy used to be a man, the two discuss the flexibility of Time Lord genders. Bill is not phased, other than that they still call themselves Time LORDS (Well, she has a point!). Here we see an almost representation of the audience and peoples opinions on gender, including a reference to stereotypes. The Doctor is an alien from outer space who travels around in a blue box saving the universe, what does gender have to do with it? A perfect scene and incredible foreshadowing for what is to come, it portrayed finally that gender doesn’t matter, and a female doctor could indeed be fantastic.