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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 2:53am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

This thread has been a real eye-opener. I don't think any of the objectors are being sexist, what I've realised is that I see the Doctor as more alien than they do. To me, the fact that an alien, who has already changed shape many times before, might change gender doesn't seem so strange or frightening a concept. Gallfreyans evolved in a different environment to us humans, and it would take someone with a greater understanding of biology to speculate what they might have evolved from to have the advantage of regenerating a whole new body when required (I keep thinking of Tennant losing his hand and then regrowing a new one - shades of the Lizard!). Rather than each Doctor being a clone or a younger version of William Hartnell, each time a regeneration occurs we get a different outcome...a random roll of the genetic dice To those saying we can't have a female Doctor because it has never been done before I'd remind them that we'd never had a Doctor who looked like Patrick Troughton before it happened - same with Pertwee, Baker, Davison onward. Old, young, tall, short, fat, thin, male, female...it's still THE Doctor.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 3:18am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Of Earth Tw(h)o.

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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 4:57am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

To those saying we can't have a female Doctor because it has never been done before 
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Andrew in most cases I'd say it's more of I don't want it to happen. Not so much that it can't be done. I partially fall in that camp. 

The other part of me that was against it is because I don't like race and gender swapping roles.  I don't like that they've done it in comics. I didn't like the new Battlestar Galatica remake. Largely because they did it with several characters. Starbuck, Boomer and Colonel Tigh.

But in the Doctor's case at least there is some internal logic going on that can explain the gender change. So even tho it wasn't something I wanted to happen. I can accept that it's happen and see where the goes from here.


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Scott Morrissey
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 5:08am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Galactica didn't bother me at all when it came to what they did with the characters. To me they were just names in what was a re-imagined program. New characters, using existing names.

Doctor Who, well, they're changing the character and dynamic of the program completely. I'm curious about what happens. Are the companions still going to be the focus of the story? This has been the case since Ace. The last three years have been hit and miss, and pretty sure this was mostly to do with marketing and generating interest in the program.

Well it has done that in a big way. It's bought out a hell of a lot of nastiness, but then this is the the Internet Age. People are just really being brutal out there, and it seems to be coming mostly from the "I'm happy to see a female Dr camp". Some of the put downs have been thoroughly depressing.

I can feel a lot of sympathy for people are generally upset about this. But also, there is plenty of Dr Who for them to still enjoy, and there will always be another Doctor come along soon, which may be more to their liking. Wondering how many people cheering on this move even watch the program on a semi regular basis?

Kind of hoping the next season will go down the Gothic Horror road. That'd be welcome.

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 6:10am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Being male is a "unique strength" of maybe 80% of characters in fiction. 
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The unique strength I was talking about was regeneration and the ability to redo the character within the story.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 6:37am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Gallfreyans evolved in a different environment to us humans, and it would take someone with a greater understanding of biology to speculate what they might have evolved from to have the advantage of regenerating a whole new body when required"
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I think it's been established that Gallifreyans cannot regenerate, only TimeLords. It's been a longstanding implication that the major gifts of the TimeLords, such as time travel and regeneration, did not evolve but were discoveries/developments of Rassilon, Omega and 'The Other'. 

The Doctor is indeed alien, but one of the conceits of the show is that the Doctor is always British. This makes no sense at all from story perspective, but it's a huge part of the character... and changing the accent of the character is less of a change than changing the sex.

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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 9:03am | IP Logged | 7 post reply


Kind of hoping the next season will go down the Gothic Horror road. That'd be welcome. 
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I hope the next season is more up beat. I hope for the most part the priorities when writing the stories for Ms. Whittaker are thought of as Doctor first woman second. And if and when her gender comes into play it is a result of her gender serving the story not the other way around.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 9:25am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I would hope the same thing, Anthony, with a focus strongly on STORY. I don't normally enjoy post-regeneration stories anyway, as they go through the hoopla of the Doctor struggling with his (her) new regeneration. I fear there'll be even more of that this time.
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paul naring
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 9:45am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

  Great thread, excellent views on both sides. The BBC should be reading this. Its their intention, or the producers anyway, to get the buzz going again about the show and with the gender swap they've done that. Wether it has a positive or negative outcome remains to be seen.

  Personally I stopped watching half way through Matt Smith. Nothing against him, he was fine but the show was being used to push agendas and Moffatt just didn't get the show despite being a long time fan and I bowed out. The Gender swap proves what I suspected all along and I agree with the various comments that argue against it. It makes no sense.

  Sadly Sci-Fi in almost any form this millenium has failed to come out from the shadow of the last century and all they can do is hijack and twist what what came before. Without sounding to ass-licky there just doesn't seem to be too many who are like JBs generation that approached projects with honesty. Its probably all about sucking up to the boss like most fields.

  I'd be glad to see characters like Doctor Who, 007 even comic characters come to a graceful end if only to avoid them being turned into 'versions' of their old selves.

  Sorry to rant, just had to put that down.
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 10:11am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

On the subject of 007.  I wouldn't mind seeing a female take on the role of 007. Not James Bond mind you just the number. I'm not overly verse in Bond lore. So I don't know if the number gets permanently attached to the agent. Or if another can get those digits if the previous holder gets killed or retires from active duty.
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 3:02pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

As an aside, there was much made of Kris Marshall taking the role because he had dropped his current TV commitments. Could he become the Doctor's next companion ... ?
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 4:26pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply


As an aside, there was much made of Kris Marshall
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I'm so glad that he wasn't cast as the Doctor. Something about his face bothered me.
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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 5:32pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Oddly enough, my wife was more annoyed than I was.

Can't say I'm particularly thrilled, but I'm also not as annoyed as I thought I'd be, either. Can't say they haven't been foreshadowing it... I'm just hoping they get straight to business rather than focus on the ladyparts week after week.

In other thoughts, I wish they'd stop announcing new Doctors ahead of time. Given the time between seasons, they can easily let the regeneration itself serve as the announcement and go forward with the publicity then. This waiting the better part of a year to see if they'd be any good at the role is annoying.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 8:51pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I'll reserve judgement until I've actually seen a full episode with her as the Doctor.

But I hope any jokes about the Doctor swapping genders go away quickly, if there are any. And that we don't get a male companion who falls in love with the Doctor.

Also hoping for more UNIT next season. Would love to see Osgood's reaction to the Doctor now being a woman.


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Joe S. Walker
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Posted: 19 July 2017 at 3:25am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I suspect it's going to be like Ellen after Ellen Degeneres came out.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 19 July 2017 at 3:39am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

You mean, not on for very long?
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Joe S. Walker
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Posted: 19 July 2017 at 4:33am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Post coming out Ellen was aimed at an audience who'd hoot and squeal with delight at any mention of gayness, and most people got tired of that very quickly. So yes, basically.
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Joseph Greathouse
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Posted: 19 July 2017 at 9:16am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

"I'm just hoping they get straight to business rather than focus on the ladyparts week after week."

Agreed, I hope we hear about her genetalia  just as much as we have ever heard of any previous Doctor. It is my hope that any cliche is avoided. And, considering the growing female audience of Doctor Who, I feel confident that they will as they would risk alienation of a huge chunk of their audience. I think it is going to depend if they use men to write a female Doctor or women to write a female Doctor. 

"And that we don't get a male companion who falls in love with the Doctor."

This I don't see as a problem. Its happened enough in the past that I dont feel this would be taking advantage of a cliche.

I would be much more fearful of this change if it was coming out of Hollywood. 
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 19 July 2017 at 2:06pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Patrick Troughton talking about the possibility of The Doctor regenerating into a woman, etc. long ago.

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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 22 July 2017 at 3:00am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I think it's been established that Gallifreyans cannot regenerate, only TimeLords. It's been a longstanding implication that the major gifts of the TimeLords, such as time travel and regeneration, did not evolve but were discoveries/developments of Rassilon, Omega and 'The Other'.

Are you sure that's been established? I'm not so sure that it has been a long-standing implication that regeneration is confined to a Gallifreyan elite, at least not on television. Your mention of The Other makes me think you might have got that idea from the Virgin and BBC books rather than television (as I recall, there was some fun stuff in those books such as Gallifreayans becoming sterile when they discovered time travel and so having to create new Gallifreyans on genetic 'looms' ... but none of that is canon to the TV series so far as I'm aware).
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 22 July 2017 at 1:56pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Peter Davison (and Colin Baker) chime in on opposite sides of the issue:

http://http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/21/former-doc tor-peter-davison-says-female-choice-role-means-loss/
('loss of a role model for boys', to complete that sentence fragment in the URL).


Edited by Brian O'Neill on 22 July 2017 at 1:57pm
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 23 July 2017 at 5:44am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Working link for Brian's post. Here.

That Telegraph article is a cherry-picked pot-stirring account of Davidson's position relative to what he actually said.

Disregard the title of the video, it's clickbait.
(Note: Colin Baker's comments to follow. )
4 minute Video

Actually watching it, Baker comes off as having more of a good-natured disagreement with Davidson on one point than a "rift." Unless that's the British version of a "rift."  Worth noting Davidson was standing right there.

Davidson's comments if you don't want to watch it:

"I think itís a fantastic opportunity for her and I think that it will be hard for some fans to adjust to it. As I said before, itís difficult to adjust to any new Doctor, but I think the important thing is that those are uncertain fellows, those who are uncertain should be encouraged to watch it with an open mind. ... I donít know, I feel... I think the time for discussion about that is past. Theyíve made the announcement. Jodie Whittaker is the next Doctor and thatís great!

I feel.. if I feel any doubts about it, itís the loss of a role model for boys, who I think Doctor Who is vitally important for. So I feel a bit sad about that, but I understand the argument that youíve got to open it up, so thatís absolutely fair enough. So she has my best wishes and full confidence. Iím sure sheíll do a wonderful job.

As a viewer, I kind of like the idea of the Doctor as a boy, but then maybe Iím an old fashioned dinosaur. Who knows? But I think thatís irrelevant now. The time for discussion is over. We have a new Doctor. And letís give her our full support.

I would encourage them to watch. I think thereís too much... you know on the internet... thereís too much bile coming from both sides. And too many people are being horribly sexist about it, and too many people are saying, ĎWell, we donít care about you. Youíre old fashioned. Go away and watch something else.í I think fans who are doubtful, who are uncertain should be encouraged and welcomed. And just approach it with an open mind.

Oh yeah, of course. I mean, sheís a terrific actress. And you can absolutely understand it. Look, someone rings you up... I know this feeling... someone rings you up one night. Youíre sitting at home and they say Ďhow would you feel about being the next Doctor Who?í Itís a fantastic opportunity, so of course, she grabs it with both hands. Iím sure sheíll do a wonderful job!"

--Peter Davidson

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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 23 July 2017 at 1:17pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

"Davison." Not "Davidson." "Davison."
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 23 July 2017 at 2:48pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Oops!  Thank you!


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Bob Simko
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Posted: 23 July 2017 at 5:20pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Davison reflects my thoughts on the casting. Hate to see a positive male role
model disappear.

On a different note, the trailer for the Christmas episode looks fun!
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