Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Ok, ok, I hope the new Doctor Who is a guy...
I'll be using the article The Good Doctor: Four Arguments For Why Doctor Who Should Get A Female Doctor to create my counter argument.
A little background
My sister turned me on to the good doctor. She doesn't geek out much, but when she does it's usually for a classy reason. I borrowed Series One from a friend, bought Series Two and Three and then watched Netflix, until I'd seen every show for doctors 9-11. I've watched a few of the specials of doctors 1-8, I've read a few Doctor books, but I'm pretty sure I'll never catch-up to 50 years of The Doctor. I'm truly not at all competent enough to give you a run down of the show save the last three doctors. There's too much for me to be truly obsessed, but I do LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the show.
So, here are the four arguments that Bitch magazine presents and then argues against. I'll be telling you why I agree with them.
1. “It doesn’t fit the logic of the series to have a woman Doctor.”
We're looking at the logic of the series not the logic of the universe. As a Time Lord who travels through time and space in a SciFi show we all get that there really isn't much logic of the universe, but each SciFi show follows its only specific tenants. Here are the tenants of Doctor Who:
1] When Doctor Who is fatally wounded instead of dying he regenerates into a different person. He said at one time that he could regenerate up to 13 times...I'm guessing this isn't literally.
2] With each regeneration he retains the memories, experiences and personality of the doctors before him.
3] The first regeneration happened because the first doctor passed away and needed to be replaced.
So, the logic of the series dictates that the doctor will regenerate and that this regeneration, caused by Matt Smith leaving the show, will retain the memories, experiences and personality of the other doctors. This includes his marriage to River Song, who never once recalls him being a girl, his love of Rose, K-9, Sara Jane and so on...
It isn't that a female Doctor is unbelievable, it's just that it doesn't follow with the lore, legacy...the logic of the series. A series that has been on so long has so much history that must be adhere to, or that history must be rewritten. I'm not going to deny the fact that writers can do anything with a show, but I'm not sure I can do more rewrites (I'm onboard with Star Trek, I'm excited about Star Wars, but...please don't make me relearn Doctor Who).
2. “But he always has been played by a white British/Scottish actor, so he always will be.”
Hmmmm...in this case gender is more important than race. I can't believe I just wrote that, but it is a fact. An actor who isn't white, but still British/Scottish can still be written into the lore/legacy/logic of the story. Again, I go back to The Doctors I know, when we first meet River Song, she's calling herself by a different name and she's definitely black. She isn't, however, a boy. We learn along with everyone else that she is Rory and Amy's daughter. She doesn't regenerate into a boy and tell us that the doctor is her husband. She is Melody Pond from beginning to end. Now, I understand that the doctor doesn't have to always be a girl, just as he doesn't have to always be black. I understand that it's time for The Doctor to reflect the culture in which he lives. He can do that by being whatever race at all and still be the male outlined in the series.
If anything The Doctor can turn into an American. It would just make sense since every American comic superhero nowadays seems to be played by a British person, but I digress.
3. “As long as Steven Moffat is the Executive Producer, the Doctor will never be a woman.”
And, why does it matter if we change that? He is the Executive Producer after all. Why does The Doctor have to be a woman for us to say that Moffat is a lover of women. I enjoyed and miss Amy Pond as she is more like me than Rose will ever be. And, while I like my female characters to kick butt, I also like my female characters to do more than that.
4. “He’s the constant while everything around him changes.”
Because the Good Doctor is based on 50 years of tradition. He is the only constant in a world that changes. New writers can come in, new actors can give the doctor different bits of flair, but he still has that collective consciousness that makes him who he is. When we want a female character in a show we create a female character (think Batgirl, Supergirl etc.), sometimes we create a whole new show for that character, why are we trying to turn a male character into a female? If someone can answer that question with something other than 'It's time' or 'Why not?'...I'm ready to listen.
Finally, I have to agree with this comment, also in the article:
“As a big Doctor Who fan, I am highly resistant to anyone other than a male from the UK playing the Doctor because of history and tradition. Change for the sake of change is not always the way to go.”
And, until you can prove to me that we won't have a girl doctor just for the sake of having a girl doctor, I'm giving two thumbs up for history and tradition.
Well, except for that American thing...who says The Doctor can't be American, I'm thinking he could be a guy much like guys from the Midwest, surely the TARDIS can fit a horse and other Midwestern stereotypical accoutrements.
Hmmmm, then again, maybe not.