Doctor Who: Steven Moffat hints that the 12th Doctor could really be a woman!

It’s been talked about for years. And in Time Lord culture, it’s even theoretically possible. And if you can believe the notorious liar and Doctor Who showrunner named Steven Moffat, when Matt Smith decides to hang up his tweed jacket and retire his sonic screwdriver, his replacement could be a woman!

Moffat talked about the possibility of a female Doctor in The Sun’s TV Biz magazine recently:

[Attitudes to that idea] have been changing… It is a part of Time Lord lore that it can happen. Who knows, the more often it is talked about the more likely it is to happen some day.

The current thinking is that a run of strong female companions to the Doctor have paved the way for a much curvier Time Lord in the future. Is anyone else picturing the Doctor, post-regeneration, doing his usual regeneration check: “New teeth, oooh, longer hair. Haven’t had that since the 1990’s. And what’s this? *gasp* Boobs?”

Got to wonder if the companions would, of necessity, start to become 20-something boys, or if The Doctor would still prefer to travel with girls in short skirts. 

How would you feel about a female-fronted Doctor Who?

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24 Comments

  1. pirho

    It is entirely feasible that the next Doctor will be Alex Kingston picking up the role.  It’s logical, that she would be the next in line to take over.  She is a child of the Tardis, she is as smart as the Doctor, and just as feared by his enemies, she is a Doctor, and she knows everything about the tardis that he does (and probably more).  In the season opener clip they make a reference that he changed the future.  Could it be that the future he changed was hers and she wont die in the Library?

    1. Gerard McGarry

      Gotta be honest, I’m not loving that idea. While it’s convenient for all the reasons you mentioned, is that River as a seperate Time Lord ‘taking over’ from The Doctor or is it The Doctor regenerating into a body identical to River’s? Either way, it would be supremely confusing for the viewers and a little bit weird, like those rumours that Billie Piper could be The Doctor.

      I’m actually not entirely sure that I’d be comfortable with the idea of The Doctor as a woman. Funny that I’m okay with him changing his face and costume every 3-4 years, but a gender change might be alienating… I want to support it, but I think it might be a difficult transition. Will the producers stick to the tried and tested “Doctor is a man” or will they shatter all the constraints around the character?

      1. Emperor Gregor

        Can;t be Alex Kingston with River a future incarnation of the Doctor as he can;t cross his own time line, let alone marry himself. Two hints Moffat gave last season a) River is bisexual, so she could be the companion!; and b) he is completely rebranding the Doctor, who got too noisy and too noticed in the universe so after the end of this arc the Doctor will a quieter life and not dash around saving the universe every other week – in which case this could be just another rebranding.

        Or Moffat could just be pulling our chain and seeing how we react. One thing seems sure – they are thinking of the next Doctor so they may well not renew Matt Smith’s contract after the initial 3 years are up.  

      2. Emperor Gregor

        Can;t be Alex Kingston with River a future incarnation of the Doctor as he can;t cross his own time line, let alone marry himself. Two hints Moffat gave last season a) River is bisexual, so she could be the companion!; and b) he is completely rebranding the Doctor, who got too noisy and too noticed in the universe so after the end of this arc the Doctor will a quieter life and not dash around saving the universe every other week – in which case this could be just another rebranding.

        Or Moffat could just be pulling our chain and seeing how we react. One thing seems sure – they are thinking of the next Doctor so they may well not renew Matt Smith’s contract after the initial 3 years are up.

    2. Emperor Gregor

      I don’t see how that could be made to work, unless the Doctor was so obsessed with her that he consciously regenerated into her image so as not to lose her. That isn’t how I see regeneration and death. I see regeneration as being like death inasmuch as each incarnation has a set of relationships outside Gallifrey and that each regeneration means having to rebuild a new set of relationships each time. Tennant pointed this idea up beautifully; Rose was able to settle with the Doctor’s human clone who would grow old with her. This was opposed to the speeches Tennant gave about everything turning to dust. Each incarnation has a “love of his life”, and then the Doctor has to move on.

      No way could River be the Doctor. a) they are married and I just can’t imagine him marrying himself. He doesn’t love himself, he hates himself. b) He can;t cross his own time line so River can;t be a future incarnation of the Doctor (much more fun, anyway, if she ever turned out to be the Master’s grand daughter or something). One thing Moffat did hint at though, last season, was that he saw River as bisexual. Could she be the Companion of a female Doctor? Heavens to Betsy.

  2. pirho

    Well the writers have explored the whole gender changing issue and now have opened a can of worms with it, it leaves them open to so many things.  One of the things I have always found interesting is the Doctor never seems to be able to control his regenerations to any greater level of control, otherwise he would be “ginger” (again).  So unless he has a eureka moment I don’t think they are going to go through with it.  But it would be way cool to see him turn into one.

    1. Gerard McGarry

      I think so too. My problem – and I realise this sounds incredibly sexist – is that I can’t see LadyDoctor having as much authority as say David Tenant or Ecclestone. Would the tone and approach of a female Doctor Who have the same audience sway if we’ve been accustomed to a male Doctor for literally generations?

      If you were writing the post-regeneration storyline, how would you handle it?

      1. Emperor Gregor

        How would I, as a scriptwriter, handle a female Doctor? As I say below, a woman with lots of acting experience, with great stage presence (like that of Alex Kingston) travelling with another terrific actor in the role of another Time Lord (male) as a travelling companion (for the boys to identify with). My preference would be for a reformed Master, with all the ruthlessness but none of the madness. They’ve known each other for a thousand years. They have an on-going love-hate relationship. It would be FUN. (And we’d get John Sim back). 

  3. pirho

    I would love to get some background on the doctor. Have a series start off with how he borrowed the Tardis and why, some history on who Susan really was etc.  

    1. Gerard McGarry

      Last year’s The Doctor’s Wife covered the ‘borrowing’ of the TARDIS pretty well, but I’m guessing you’re meaning you’d like a flashback to the actual event?

      That would be pretty cool though – finding someone to stand in as a Hartnell-era Doctor and having Matt Smith’s Doctor relive events in his own past. That could bring in Susan and help redefine the relationship he had with her. Because if she was his Grand Daughter, did he have a son or a daughter of his own. And if so, what happened to them and how did Susan come to be traveling with him?

      Delicious, juicy part of Doctor Who lore that really needs to be mined!

      1. Emperor Gregor

        The Doctor who steals the Tardis needn’t be a Hartnell look alike. I know the Doc is 1103 and counting, and that Hartnell was Doctor no. 1, but they don’t have to write the theft as an old man’s act. It feels more like a young man’s – you know, running away from home to have adventures and see the wide, wide world (well, universe). He’s been through the Academy, chosen his name, got married, had his kids but he’s probably a young man in Time Lord terms. Quite a young man could play the part. And why take his grand-daughter with him? That would really upset her mother (who would be either his daughter or daughter-in-law). And, presumably, his own mother, too. I can only think of one reason why Susan would accompany him, and that would be that when it was her turn to look into the Vortex, she failed the test somehow. Might have even been the motivation that kick started the itch to get away from Gallifrey – she fails the test and he says come on let’s get the hell out of here, and the Tardis lets him do it so she, too, can see the big wide universe out there. 

  4. pirho

    Yes, and actual flash back episode dedicated to the events leading up to him borrowing the Tardis, and something about his past (family).  Susan is supposed to be his granddaughter, but is she really?  If so what happened to his wife, and children?  Was the crib in A Good Man Goes To War really his?  Or was did it belong to his daughter/son?

  5. Emperor Gregor

    Well, I think it comes down to power issues. The Doctor has always been male with a female companion (and, currently, her husband). She has, of course, always been less powerful and all knowing. I think too that the Doctor has tended to be the better actor. That doesn’t mean the female companion isn’t a good actor – just the Doctor has to be better. Can’t have the Doctor upstaged by his assistant. The nearest the Doctor’s had to an equal has been been River. Doesn’t have to be River herself, but love her or hate her, for the Doctor to regenerate into a female it has to be someone with the same stage presence as River had. And the companion would have to be his (sorry, HER) equal in much the same way River was for Eleven – it’s sexist I know but an imbalance just wouldn’t work. A male Time Lord Companion would be a really good solution. A reformed Master would be my preference. Now THAT would be a show worth watching. Come on Moffat, give Mr Sim a call.

    1. pirho

      I have to agree, even Romana couldn’t equal River. However as far the Doctor needing an equal, I think it would be good for the series if they stopped with the companion love interest and went back to someone who was great at giving him what he needs a conscience. Donna was the perfect person for that.  No love interest, she just wanted to get away from her boring life, and do something worthwhile. 

      Drawback to that is, I don’t see that as a male role in the series against a female star. They would have to cast two brilliant actors to play opposite each other and still have a great chemistry. 

      1. Emperor Gregor

        Casting two great actors to play opposite to get the great chemistry: I agree – that is the ONLY way it could work. If the show really is one of the Beeb’s flagship dramas, tbey could afford it. They signed up Catherine Tate, and John Sim, after all, and continue with guest spots for some of our leading stars. Who do we know that’s famous here and in the US?

      2. Emperor Gregor

        I agree. Two actors with great chemistry is the ONLY way it could work. Could the Master (my preferred companion, though I doubt I’d get it unless the new companion is for half a season only) act as a conscience by reminding the Doctor that in the old days that is what HE would so, so he shouldn’t? I think a completely changed Master would give that character a new lease of life – where do you go after John Sim?

      1. Gerard McGarry

        I loved John Simm in the role. His manic energy seemed to bookend David Tennant’s perfectly. There’ve been constant rumours about them recasting The Master the next time he makes an appearance, but I honestly believe that Simm should return to the role as long as he’s able to.

        It would be when Jack Harkness met The Doctor when he was travelling with Martha Jones and couldn’t believe he had a new face. I love it when a character spams two (or more) different Doctors.

  6. Emperor Gregor

    When Ten died, and Wilfred saw the mysterious woman, it was suggested she was the Doctor’s mother. We never found out who the second woman was, and many people held it was his wife on Gallifrey. I think the logical person is that she is the Master’s mother. The Doctor’s mother is concerned for her son’s survival – why would the Master’s mother be, too? The two boys grew up together. Their mother’s probably knew each other. If the Doctor’s and the Master’s two lives were being messed with, and their very survival threatened by Rassalon, wouldn’t they both oppose Rassalon, and end up paraded beside him as the two sole opposing voices to what he wanted to to? 

    What does anyone else think?

  7. Katanya

    Maybe it is their mother we see! I love speculating on this show! I also think Oswen comes back by the tardis recreating her as a hologram and the all the adventures take place soley inside the tardis!!

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