Opinion: The reactions to the new Doctor Who sicken me

As revealed earlier today, there is a new Doctor Who. The 13th version of the iconic British TV character is going to be played by Jodi Whittaker, a female. Now yes, this does defy traditional norms of The Doctor being played by a male, but it’s not anything we didn’t know could be a possibility. After all, Doctor Who is one of those shows that can and has done just about anything, including female Timelords. We’ve already had Missy, the female version of The Master in the show for the last couple of seasons; and technically River Song, one of the most popular of the recent companions for The Doctor, is a female Timelord (Lot’s to get into with that one, but that’s for another wibbly-wobbly-time).

Now as for the choice itself… Do I think that current societal pressures to put females first and foremost in EVERYTHING lately has contributed to the decision? Absolutely!
Does this mean we should be bathing in “Male Tears” and throwing a party in the name of Third Wave Feminism? Nope!
Am I going to boycott the show because there isn’t a male in the role as is tradition? No way!
Does the choice ultimately mean that the show is dead on arrival? Hell no!

Personally, I know that it’s a combination of the writer (or showrunner) and the lead to carry the show. Now I know nothing about Jodi Whittaker and what she has done in the past, the same thing I’ve had with every single version of The Doctor since I started watching the show. I don’t care what these people have done before as I think that Doctor Who is that one role that cannot be understood by someone’s previous roles. Also the other change is that Moffat is out and a new guy, Chris Chibnall, is in. So we’re heading into a completely new era of Doctor Who and I’m going to judge the whole package instead of the sum of one part.

However, there are those who have already judged the next season, Chibnall and Whittaker and have spewed those opinions out into the Twitter void. This is the whole point of this article, those reactions. Again, personally, I hate both sides of the coin here. So I’m going to show you some of the worst of both sides, then explain why this shit sickens me as a Doctor Who fan.

Let’s start with the “traditionalists”, the group of man-children crying about the next Doctor being a female:

Comparisons with the majorly failed 2016 Ghostbusters film, a bunch of outcrying about SJW’s and the usual “Doctor Who is traditionally a man, you’ve ruined years of lore” have come from these types of people. Yes, it’s current year and we have to accept the fact that there is a huge push of female replacement in a lot of roles in television. This is the hot button topic that is going to either make a franchise millions (Wonder Woman) or burn it to the ground (Ghostbusters). These people go for the latter, thinking that this is the end of Doctor Who. But it’s not the end, it’s the beginning of a new and experimental chapter.

That’s the funny thing about TV shows, they can always change things on the fly if needed, especially with a “do anything, be anything” character like The Doctor. If Season 11 sees a dramatic drop in ratings, then expect Whittaker to be replaced within the year with another person, probably a man. When this happens, expect this next group to be up in arms about it.

Now this is the other side of the coin. This group has put men into the “evil” category and think that their suffering is more important that the show itself. It’s these “fans” that come into a fandom and turn it into a political nightmare. As you can see from the tweets above, their lust for “male tears” is paramount over the show, the fact that there is a female in the lead role is more important that the role itself. I can’t stand these type of people, and unfortunately they are a part of the fandom, and like they have done with a lot of other fandoms, they come in and create division and a toxic culture that makes the whole fandom look bad.

The unfortunate fact about today’s society is that we have two distinct groups at war with each other: One just wanting females in all the lead roles and removing men from them, and the other wanting to keep males in control and enforce “tradition”. Neither side is good, neither side is right. The ones caught in the middle, the more logical ones who just want to watch and enjoy the show no matter who writes it or who plays the lead character, are the ones who will suffer the most as the fandom is judged by the loudest supporters, and today those supporters are the complainers.

Personally as a Doctor Who fan, I’m sick of the fandom today. THEY are the ones who make me want to stop watching the show, not the choice in Doctor.

About The Author

Karl Smart
Senior Editor / Reviewer

The main "Australian arm" of The Outerhaven. Karl primarily spends time playing and reviewing video games while taking time to occasionally review the latest movie or piece of gaming technology.