Friday, July 26, 2013

The Case Against a Female Doctor

This has been the summer of Doctor Who at our house, as most of us have been watching all of the current episodes (well, except Series 1...) that Netflix has to offer. We spend many meal and car-ride conversations discussing the show, the actors, the writers, and the future of it all, now that Matt Smith has confirmed he is leaving. 

There has been some discussion online about the possibility of the new doctor being a woman. Certain groups think that would be wonderful. I'm not among them. This is why:

1. The Doctor is a mad man in a blue box. He always has been. I'm a huge supporter of leading women and well-written female roles, but the doctor has always been a man, and should remain so. Tradition isn't a bad thing, folks.

2. If you think he should become female because that might make the show more "fair" or "balanced" or some cockamamie thing like that, you are missing the fact that the show has a multitude of strong, amazing women. River Song, and so many of the doctor's companions, as well as various side-characters (including many aliens and villains) are written to be equal to the male characters in strength, humor, courage, and story. We're covered, ladies. 

3. Changing something as huge as this to appease a noisy, obnoxious minority would be a bad idea. Giving people anything they want, just to appease them, is never good for society (or people!). And it wouldn't be good for the show. 

4. Canon. From (especially #3,4 & 5): 


1  [kan-uhn] 
  1. noun
    an ecclesiastical rule or law enacted by a council or other competent authority and, in the Roman Catholic Church,approved by the pope.
    the body of ecclesiastical law.
    the body of rules, principles, or standards accepted asaxiomatic and universally binding in a field of study or arttheneoclassical canon.
    a fundamental principle or general rule: the canons of goodbehavior.
    a standard; criterion: the canons of taste.
Let's talk about the basic Doctor Who canon. The Time Lords have existed for ages, right? And they've always regenerated into the same gender that they were born. Always. This show doesn't need to be a catalyst for discussion of sexual orientation or transgender-ness or any of that stuff. This is science fiction entertainment. It always has been. To change the doctor to a female would be to change the fundamental basis of the show-- Time Lords regenerate, but they don't change into something completely different (and say what you want, women and men are different!). And neither would humans! Even if someone wants to argue that they were born "into the wrong body" or some such-- it is still the body you were born with. Without mutilation and externally-introduced hormones, you can't change it. So to expect that a species similar to human would be able to completely regenerate into the OPPOSITE gender is just... silly. And canonically speaking, impossible.  (Though, I'm sure Moffatt would come up with a sci-fi reason that it works, it would still go against everything we know about Time Lords.) 
5. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Plus, it's okay if the lead character is a man. I mean, it's really okay. We love him. We love the show. We love the stories and the history and the goofy villains and the robots and the timey-wimey stuff. We LOVE it. Change can be good, but don't change what we love too much, or we might not love it anymore. And that would be sad for all of us.

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