back to article Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

The timelord of Doctor Who, a man since 1963, will be portrayed by a woman – actress Jodie Whittaker – for the first time. Peter Capaldi, Doctor number 12, will regenerate after four years in the BBC's Christmas 2017 special to take on his new, female form. We last saw Capaldi's Doctor fighting his regeneration in Series 10, …

  1. Stumpy

    Sorry, but ...

    There are only two Doctors of note ... Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. All others pale into insignificance.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Sorry, but ...

      Cue riff based on MPFC Spanish Inquisition "Our Chief Weapons" bit.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sorry, but ...

      Well, as someone born in the 70's, I first remember Tom Baker as the Doctor, but you know what, I've enjoyed every incarnation of the Doctor, even when the scripting has been weak and the plot a bit poor. What I really believe that the show needs is to keep the actress/actor for a bit longer than happens at the moment, so that the focus can be on telling some in depth stories rather than focusing on the arc leading to the current doctor's regeneration. (Although admittedly, events leading to a regeneration are a story...)

      Then again, no self respecting actor/actress wants to be stuck with attendances at sci-fi conventions as their only source of income if they get well and truly typecast.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Sorry, but ...

        "What I really believe that the show needs is to keep the actress/actor for a bit longer than happens at the moment,"

        It's never been more than a couple of seasons - Pertwee 5 seasons - Tom Baker 7 season - the rest all 3 apart from Colin Baker with only 2 (at least according to my collection).

        It's probably why a lot of people remember Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker the best - a) the probably average age bracket (at least on elreg) and b) two long innings in a row.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Sorry, but ...

          "apart from Colin Baker with only 2"

          His 3rd series was cancelled (strikes?), there was no Dr Who that year.

          1. Mark 65

            Re: Sorry, but ...

            I think the Doctor should have come back as K-9.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sorry, but ...

      >There are only two Doctors of note ... Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. All others pale into insignificance.

      Christopher Eccleston was the best of the new doctors but it was downhill from then on in.

    4. NoneSuch
      Coffee/keyboard

      It fits.

      Comments about Jodie Whittaker are hilarious. Considering the story is about a Time Lord, the idiocy being spewed is from the 18th century.

    5. steamrunner

      Re: Sorry, but ...

      Never really understood why people rate Pertwee so highly. I love all the Docs, generally pretty equally, but if measured purely on acting chops he's actually quite a way down my personal list. Quite a way indeed. Others - rather a lot of others - rate higher by actually being better actors.

      Of course, TB will always be #1, no matter how good anyone else is.... ;-)

      Can open, worms escaping...

      1. Toltec

        Re: Sorry, but ...

        "Can open, worms escaping..."

        Maggots surely?

        For many of us Jon was our first Doctor so will always rate highly, but I agree all of the incarnations have brought something to the party. My wife has vowed never to watch it again, I will because very occasionally there is a good episode and hopefully this will still happen.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sorry, but ...

      "There are only two Doctors of note ... Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. All others pale into insignificance."

      I don't think that there is or ever can be a 'best' Doctor.

      Believe it or not, Doctor Who was a very serious programme when it first started and William Hartnell was the perfect first Doctor, irritable, intolerant and impatient. You didn't like him but you respected and feared him.

      Tom Baker's Doctor, on the other hand, was relaxed, affable, whimsical and very likeable. Humour, something not really present with the earlier Doctors, began to feature.

      In hindsight, Jon Pertwee's Doctor, along with Patrick Troughton's, turned out to be somewhat transitional characters.

      1. lorisarvendu

        Re: Sorry, but ...

        I've always thought the best Doctor was the one you watched between the ages of 7 and 10 (which in my case was Pertwee). This also means that you can make a reasonable guess at someone's age from their best Doctor. For example if Davison was "your" Doctor you were probably born around 1976, give or take 2 years either side.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Sorry, but ...

          "If Davison was "your" Doctor you were probably born around 1976, give or take 2 years either side."

          Either I was a late bloomer or you are off by a year or two more - I was born '72 yet I remember Davison more strongly than Baker - and I actually liked Sylvester McCoy a lot more than Davison.

          Romana in Paris schoolgirl outfit I do remember though - but not the plot of the episode much at all until a re-watch decades later - guessed in the first few minutes it was a Douglas Adams script without seeing the credits - it just seemed a familiar plot.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sorry, but ...

          "between the ages of 7 and 10"

          I was 6 when William Hartnell started (I can still remember seeing the first episode) but my favourite is still Tom Baker and I was 17 when he took over. He really livened up the show after the slightly dull Pertwee years.

          I did quite like Patrick Troughton though, so maybe your theory holds some water.

          All of the Doctors in the reboot have been excellent but David Tennant stands out. Hopefully Jodie Whittaker will continue the good work.

          Caveat: I was out of the country during the Davidson/Baker/McCoy years and so never saw them. Might have been fantastic for all I know.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Sorry, but ...

            >I do recall my fist crush on both Leela (skimpy outfit at 7O'clock and Romana

            Ouch, I hope you recovered

            1. Robert E A Harvey

              Re: Sorry, but ...

              It never occured to me that was a typo...

        3. Cuddles Silver badge

          Re: Sorry, but ...

          "I've always thought the best Doctor was the one you watched between the ages of 7 and 10"

          The important exception being people around my age, who would be stuck with Paul McGann.

          As for Doctor Jodie, all the new Whos have been pretty good so I'm optimistic she'll be fine as well. The writing is much more of an issue than the actors really; it's not just the Doctor that needs replacing from time to time to keep things from getting stale.

    7. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Sorry, but ...

      If you are just a few years older than me - that would make them the ones you got used to as a kid.

      My Dad could never get used to any other than William Hartnell - the Doctor should be a fusty old gentleman in his view and he never could get past that.

      I slightly remember Tom Baker (I do recall my fist crush on both Leela (skimpy outfit at 7O'clock and Romana - aaah!)

      I'm no firmly my Dad's age when I found out about his Doctor prejudice - and I feel the same way about a woman in the role.

      Mind you - I don't think I've seen Dr Who since Capaldi took over - It's not just age or sex prejudice you have to get over these days - it's recent high-profile roles of the top-names they're getting to fill the role of late - not that Peter Davidson and the like were unknowns, but...

      Hum, to have the clear unfettered unexpectations of childhood again....

    8. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Sorry, but ...

      I think the memory of your "favorite" Dr Who is colored in no small amount by the ensemble cast chemistry, the situations (as opposed to scripts) that they find themselves mired in and the general tone of the show.

      I loved most of the early doctors *when I first saw them* but they don't often wear well when viewed today (for me). I found Ian Chesterton to be violent to the point of sociopathy - and him a teacher too! - when some of the first shows were recently rebroadcast. I had remembered him much more fondly.

      Troughton was fun for the most part, though I found his obsession with the recorder to be "too much".

      Pertwee had the advantage (for me) of being an actor I loved in other roles - The Navy Lark springs to mind - but was saddled with the at the time infuriating lack of a working time machine and a surfeit of what I call "70s Stupids" - special effects and script "bits" that were supposed to be cool but were cringe-inducing in their naffness. Venusian Karate was one I hated, as was the Whomobile. Just awful.

      Baker was, of course, almost born for the role and his concept of a time-travelling Harpo Marx was inspired. But this was also the era when more and more of the situations were huge story arcs that were wound up with technoblither on the last page of the script a-la Star Trek.

      Davidson's doctor cured me of the show, mostly because I hated his companions, his tooth-achingly bad obsession with cricket and that damned celery stalk. The scripts were all gothic doom and gloom too (with the occasional brilliant one like Castrovalva).

      McCoy's Doctor was a breath of fresh air, but again, the situations were dull and the companions were intolerable to me. By then I wasn't watching the show much, not making time for it, but I caught a few episodes.

      I only saw one episode of Colin Baker's Doctor. I thought it showed promise in a completely over-the-top way, but as I say, by then I wasn't really paying attention and wasn't crushed when the show was dropped.

      Besides, the Baker episodes were in constant rotation on PBS here in NY every Saturday afternoon. I was astounded at the show's popularity and the fans' efforts to keep it on screens all around the country. Tom Baker did a fund-raiser "bit" when our local PBS station was having a beggathon, in which he berated those who watched without subscribing at length and with great creativity. It was hysterical right up to the time they cut to someone else, anyone else for God's sake.

      Paul McGann was excellent in the challenging role of trying to make Dr Who a prime time US TV product. A difficult act to bring off and pretty thankless, many daft UK viewers seeing his role as some sort of betrayal. His was the doctor that first showed us a Steampunky Tardis.

      Eccleston was nothing short of brilliant. I don't kid myself that he was the only actor capable of giving the franchise a new lease of life, but he bit off huge chunks of it and made it his from the first few seconds of the opening. He also had some of the finest scripts I think have been attempted for the show. His is the doctor I wish we could have seen more of.

      Tennant was fun, but began to get too shouty. He was also saddled with Donna which was the point at which I stopped watching again for a season or so. Did love Broody Tennant Doctor though.

      Never really cottoned to Smith in the role. The show had some very clever plots and he was particularly clever in what he did with the role in places, but I found much of his reign to be "meh". I'm re-viewing his first season on disc so maybe I'll learn to like him better. Also: not fond of the River Song plot thingy.

      And so to Capaldi's doctor. A bit of a puzzler this one for me. Half the time I love his characterization, half the time I hate it with a vengeance. A bit too much "today" in the set dressing I think. Some of the scripts have been stinkers, but some have had moments of inspired brilliance - the long way round springs to mind, as does the breaking of the fourth wall to ask "who wrote Beethoven's Fifth?". But the last season was saddled with too many problems for me. I wish they could have spread the encounters with old enemies over the four Capaldi seasons instead of mashing them into one horrendous crescendo.

      Still iconic though, no matter who plays him. Especially if it's John Hurt.

    9. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Sorry, but ...

      You forgot Patrick Troughton. He's not that well known because his episodes got wiped for the most part. His tenure in the late sixties was influenced by the times so a lot of the stories centered on using trickery and mind games to outwit the enemy du jour rather than 'Martian judo' and the like favored by his successor.

  2. graeme leggett

    Overstated importance of fans

    The die hard fans represent a relatively small component of the viewership, the majority of the viewers will only be concerned with if the stories are entertaining.

    1. Gordon Pryra

      Re: Overstated importance of fans

      Well considering most of the "die hards" are the 2nd generation Dr Who fans, they can go cry in a dark room.

      I doubt many fan or those who watched the original series are even alive to care all that much if the Doctor is a women or not.

      I am currently re-watching the entire series 1-14 (not the older 1st series) with the wife and 9 year old daughter, we are getting through 3-4 episodes a night.

      From the Wife belittling me for my choice in fiction to her being a staunch Dr Who fan. Scary

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Overstated importance of fans

        I doubt many fan or those who watched the original series are even alive to care all that much if the Doctor is a women or not.

        FFS, the original series was in 1963, not 1863! That's only 54 years. A kid who started watching at episode one (like me) is going to be in their 60s, which is well below life expectancy. Or do you live in Glasgow?

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: Overstated importance of fans

          Or do you live in Glasgow?

          One does not 'live' in Glasgow. One merely exists, in pain and sorrow and hope for a better tomorrow.

          1. SolidSquid

            Re: Overstated importance of fans

            'Survives' may be a more appropriate term

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Overstated importance of fans

            Come on, the infamous Glasgow Night bus* from Sauchiehall Street could be a Dr Who episode in itself, if the Doctor was brave enough to catch it.

            *should be on a list of "tourist" things to do while in Glasgow, at least.

            It's life in it's rawest form, and so much fun to boot, after a night on the piss. Fun times.

        2. Pollik

          Re: Overstated importance of fans

          That makes two of us, then

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Overstated importance of fans

          Indeed,

          Born in '64

          Have memories of Dr. Who from '67 onwards

          Or do you live in Glasgow?

          In my case, not Glasgow...but far too geographically close to the place so we've the same somewhat shitty average life expectancy....

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Boffin

            @ AC Re: Overstated importance of fans

            Too close to Glasgow?

            Like Stirling? Or Edinburgh?

            Sorry, but some of us Yanks are used to living in a big country. ;-)

            But seriously. I'm with you.

            Being here in the states we were introduced to Dr. Who on PBS and the first Doctor I saw growing up was Tom Baker.

            With respect to a female doctor... we saw this coming in the last season. The Master was made in to a female and the Dr.'s companion was a Lesbian. (Short lived, but it made the relationship between Dr. and Companion have less of a sexual nuance that it picked up over the past couple of years.)

        4. Johnr

          Re: Overstated importance of fans

          Indeed . I was raised in Canada and the CBC imported those early Dr. Who's. I grew up with those funky B&W cardboard Dialects .I'm 65 now Missed most of the middle years and picked it up again with BBC America .

          I always am skeptical of a new Doctor , but the creativity of the stories and the ever changing companions eventually enamors me of the new Doctor. Once you learn the idiosyncrasies of the character and the bond with the companion you grow to love them. Hated Capaldi when he started , now I'm sorry to see him go. Pearl instead of Jenna Helfman? She won me over too As long as the story lines are strong who gives a rats ass . We'll love the new Doctor too

          1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Overstated importance of fans

            Indeed . I was raised in Canada and the CBC imported those early Dr. Who's. I grew up with those funky B&W cardboard Dialects

            Geordie Daleks?

            "EH UP EX-TER-MIN-ATE"

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Overstated importance of fans

              Geordie Daleks?

              "EH UP EX-TER-MIN-ATE"

              As a true born Geordie, I suspect your Dalek is from a bit further south, such as Yorkshire.

        5. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Overstated importance of fans

          I remember watching the first episode, then getting to do so the next week before episode two.

          Last time I looked I was alive. Dead probably doesn't ache as much.

      2. John 110

        Re: Overstated importance of fans

        Oi!! You kids get off my lawn!!!

  3. fedoraman
    Go

    I

    I, for one, welcome our new female Over Time Lord!

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: I

      I, for one, welcome our new female OverTime Lord!

      I agree wholeheartedly. Now we can have some nice curtains and matching scatter cushions for the Tardis.

      1. frank ly Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: I

        She is (will be) a Time Lady, not a Lord.

        1. Spiracle

          Re: I

          She is (will be) a Time Lady, not a Lord.

          Better tell the current First Lord of the Treasury.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Headmaster

          Re: I

          Pedant Fail.

          A certain long reigning Lord of Mann may disagree.

          The current Lord Mayor of Birmingham may also have something to say.

          As may other Lord mayors of London and many other cities.

          1. frank ly Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: I

            This is worse that the time I said that a female spymaster should be called a 'spymistress'.

  4. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    About time. And several regenerations late I might add.

    Now let us get to the matter of accent.

    No more "Yawpy Donna" for fuck's sake.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      Now let us get to the matter of accent.

      You will no doubt be glad to hear that Jodie is from Yorkshire.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Bah!

        "Jodie is from Yorkshire."

        Will the Tardis translation circuits be able to cope?

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Bah!

          Will the Tardis translation circuits be able to cope?

          Wasn't that covered in the reboot episode 'Rose'?

          Rose: You sound like you're from the norf.

          Doctor: Lot's of planets have a north.

      2. Black Rat
        Coat

        Yorkshire?

        Hope we see the Doctor using Ecky-Thump instead of Venusian aikido ;)

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Yorkshire?

          And by a peculiar syncrony, for the second time in this thread I am reminded strongly of MPFC's Spanish Inquisition Sketch (though strictly speaking that were started in Lancashire).

        2. Mooseman Bronze badge

          Re: Yorkshire?

          Ecky thump is Lancashire surely

      3. Wensleydale Cheese

        Re: Bah!

        "You will no doubt be glad to hear that Jodie is from Yorkshire."

        Aye. but what accent will she use?

        1. John McCallum
          Happy

          Re: Bah!

          Huddersfieldian

          1. Wensleydale Cheese

            Daleks meet Dialects!

            "Huddersfieldian"

            Skelmanthorpe, apparently.

            Which has a place in history as one of the locations chosen for the Survey of English Dialects, which "was undertaken between 1950 and 1961 under the direction of Professor Harold Orton of the English department of the University of Leeds".

            Unique in that survey for the topic of conversation being ghosts.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      "No more "Yawpy Donna" for fuck's sake."

      Anyone else who remembers the original series remember how annoying Peri or the earlier Australian companion were - the less said about Bonnie Langford the better.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese

        annoying Peri

        Couldn't watch any of the episodes featuring Peri.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: annoying Peri

          "Couldn't watch any of the episodes featuring Peri."

          She was ok with the sound turned off. Especially *that* regeneration scene :-)

      2. Captain Badmouth
        Happy

        Re: Bah!

        "the less said about Bonnie Langford the better."

        I have to disagree, Noel Coward had a particular dislike for her and after watching her sing in a play, during which a horse relieved itself on stage, he was heard to remark:

        "You could solve two things at a stroke- shove that child up the horses arse"

        Elsewhere when she was appearing in Gone with the wind:

        " Two things should be cut: the second act and that child's throat"

  5. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Will the programme be renamed to Nurse Who?

    ( Oh come on down voters, it's a joke. Get over yourselves )

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. King Jack
      Facepalm

      Wow, just wow. I thought male - female stereotyping was dead. Men can be and are nurses too.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        I thought male nurses were called Murses?

        Anyway, it was a joke. Get a grip.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Anyway Dr Who's already been there - Matt Smith's companion Rory Williams ( aka Mr Amy Pond) was a male nurse...

          1. Thomas Kenyon

            Not to mention Hex and Strax. (Although technically Strax isn't male)

        2. lorisarvendu

          Hate to say it, but gotta hand it to the Sun for "DoctHER Who".

          1. collinsl

            The Sun does not need anything handed to them, other than a form from the administrators putting them out of business

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Nope... Sorry... Can NEVER give The Scum credit for anything & the sooner that rag goes bust the better for all of us

            ***lives in eternal hope of this actually happening***

      2. fruitoftheloon
        Pint

        @King Jack:

        KJ,

        indeed, when I mention to folk that my wife works in the local hospital, the reply has ALWAYS been "is she a nurse then?"

        My reply usually stuns them: "nah, she has a masters in particle and astrophysics and is head of radiotherapy cancer treatment".

        Funnily enough most of those assuming she is a nurse are female, NONE of male acquaintances have ever made the same assumption in the midst of a conversation etc.

        Have one on me boyo!

        Cheers,

        Jay

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: @King Jack:

          Having to add "It's a joke" to a comment or statement, reminds me of people who have to add "I'm not a racist but" to the start of whatever they are going to say.

          It generally means exactly the opposite.

          Or at least, if you have to explain that something is a joke, it's really not that funny.

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: @King Jack:

            That may be the case in the circumstances you describe, but that's not what happened. I made a joke, got called a terrible sexist and explained that no dearie *, it was actually to be taken in jest.

            * Most of the dearies were blokes, before you start.

            It may not have been funny, I'll allow for that. Bah, whatever. Read into it however you like.

            1. Captain Badmouth
              Paris Hilton

              Re: @King Jack:

              "I made a joke, got called a terrible sexist and explained that no dearie *, it was actually to be taken in jest."

              Whenever I find myself in such a situation I pull out (wait for it...) my old "illogical series of events" story which usually stumps them all evening (I'm usually in a pub). At the end of the evening, they're all still stumped and demanding I reveal the answer. You should see their faces when I tell them the doctor is a woman!

              Paris: definitely a woman. (or is she...)

          2. Barry Rueger Silver badge

            Re: @King Jack:

            Worse yet, "I'm not racist, but let me tell you a joke..."

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

          3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: @King Jack:

            "Or at least, if you have to explain that something is a joke, it's really not that funny."

            There no such thing as a universally funny joke. There's always someone who needs it explaining. At which point it's no longer funny to anyone.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

          4. nijam

            Re: @King Jack:

            > Or at least, if you have to explain that something is a joke, it's really not that funny.

            Unless you're addressing a self-righteous prig, as they notoriously lack a sense of humour.

        2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

          Re: @King Jack:

          @fruitoftheloom - Those cancers have really metastasized, if she needs a telescope to find them!

          1. fruitoftheloon
            Happy

            @Allan George Dyer: Re: @King Jack:

            AGD,

            ah, but bearing how fast them there particles come out of the linear accelerator, look at the options for long-distance treatment eh?

            Cheers,

            Jay

      3. Stevie Silver badge

        Men can be and are nurses too.

        Like Rory was, in fact.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Haters are going to hate

      no matter how much common sense, facts or even humour that is put into a post.

      Haters tend to downvote.

      So you risk getting a plethora of downvotes for going against the grain even in the slighest way.

      Evidence this post perhaps?

      1. David Webb

        Re: Haters are going to hate

        So you risk getting a plethora of downvotes for going against the grain even in the slighest way

        Or maybe it was downvoted because it wasn't funny, which, as far as I can tell, is a pre-requisite of a joke.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Haters are going to hate

          Touche Sir.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Haters are going to hate

          Or maybe it was downvoted because it wasn't funny, which, as far as I can tell, is a pre-requisite of a joke.

          Funny, there's f.tons of 'comedians' out there who seem to be making quite a good living out of being seriously incapable of meeting this prerequisite apropos jokes.

          Humour being subjective, and all that....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Haters are going to hate

            "Or maybe it was downvoted because it wasn't funny, which, as far as I can tell, is a pre-requisite of a joke."

            If you take a few seconds, apply some common sense and read it for what it is, it kinda is funny.

            Its clearly not a sexist remark, quite the opposite as it is making fun of the kind of people who would make this kind of statement.

            As you rightly pointed out humour is subjective - just because you dont get it doesnt mean its not funny.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Haters are going to hate

        "Haters are going to hate" has to be the stupidest phrase in current use.

    4. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      "It's a joke'

      I always love a put-down and sneer postscripted by 'it's a joke'. Oh, that makes it all right then. Knee-slapper.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Lith

          Re: "It's a joke'

          Sir Humphrey I presume?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I think PC has made everyone too sensitive and serious.

          Easy to say when you're one of the oppressor homo sapiens.

          If the people involved could have seen past their warm, dry noses, the next Time Lord would have been a Silky Terrier, gender irrelevant (except to said terrier).

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: "It's a joke'

        What sneer and put down?

      3. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: "It's a joke'

        It may just be me, But I read that as a jab at the stereotypical stereotypers, riffing on the expected comments, with the "just a joke" tag to fend off Poe's Law (which didn't work - it never works).

    5. Simon Harris Silver badge

      "Nurse Who"

      I did come across a Dr Nurse once.

      1. Huey

        Re: "Nurse Who"

        Once played rounders vs a Dr Death

      2. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: "Nurse Who"

        In fact this Dr. Nurse has a Nobel Prize.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Nurse

        A long time ago, I met a female consultant urology surgeon (as part of my work, not to have my bits seen to!) - and since surgeons traditionally eschew the 'Dr' title in the UK, she was Miss Nurse.

      3. hplasm Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: "Nurse Who"

        Messy...

        *ducks*

    6. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Semi-obligatory Python...

      Will the programme be renamed to Nurse Who?

      ( Oh come on down voters, it's a joke. Get over yourselves )

      Me Doctor?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQSbKBTuQBc

    7. Wensleydale Cheese

      "Will the programme be renamed to Nurse Who?"

      That evokes an indelible image of Hattie Jacques in full matron's uniform.

      Definitely working for the baddies.

  6. King Jack
    Unhappy

    The good old days

    Time was when part of watching a program was to be surprised by it. Now every interesting thing about a program is spilled before it airs. I wonder if things will swing back when people get bored of knowing everything in advance?

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: The good old days

      If the BBC hadn't announced it, then Fleet street would have enventually found out and they'd have done it as a scoop. This way Beeb makes it about the programme and DM/The Sun etc doing their "New Doctor Who actor gets clothes off" headlines are following not leading

    2. Haku

      Re: The good old days

      I'm totally with you on the whole spoilers thing, often friends ask me "have you seen the trailer for [new film]?" to which my answer is almost always "no", especially when it's a film I want to watch because I like going in 'blind' and knowing as little about it as possible beyond the title.

      The internet has really helped erode the element of surprise in this respect.

      1. collinsl

        Re: The good old days

        You are CGP Grey and I claim my £5!

    3. Spiracle

      Re: The good old days

      I'm with you to a point, but it was a time-honoured tradition to announce every new Doctor/companion with an excruciatingly posed press photo taken next to the bollards outside the old TVC reception.

    4. d3vy

      Re: The good old days

      "Time was when part of watching a program was to be surprised by it. Now every interesting thing about a program is spilled before it airs. I wonder if things will swing back when people get bored of knowing everything in advance?"

      I actively avoid watching movie trailers now as they seem to have become *all the best bits of the movie in 3 minutes*.

      The last time I got sucked in was passengers, the trailer made it look a bit tense "Theres a reason we woke up early" had me thinking, aliens? conspiracy? Awesome! What I actually watched was one of the story arcs from some future sequel to love actually.

  7. Chazmon
    Trollface

    Not my opinion!

    The finest piece of trolling I have ever seen was performed when the speculation around the 12th doctor was at its height.

    Posting in a pro feminist group an acquaintance wrote: 'A female Doctor Who is wrong after all it is 'Doctor Who' not 'Nurse Who.''

    The storm of vitriol which followed was a sight to behold.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Not my opinion!

      That's a shame - I thought I'd come up with an original bit of tongue in cheek trolling.

    2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Not my opinion!

      Speaking as a female with 'Dr in front of her name, I do get tired of the assumption that Dr = male.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Not my opinion!

        Oh come on, it was clearly a joke. Is Who even a medical doctor? ( I don't watch, so I don't know ).

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge

          Re: Not my opinion!

          "Is Who even a medical doctor?"

          I seem to remember in The Seeds Of Doom, when asked to take off someone's arm, that he said he wasn't.

      2. Huey

        Re: Not my opinion!

        Hollerithevo

        You really need to be telling the old one that goes ....

        A man and his son are involved in a terrible car accident. An ambulance is called but on the way to hospital the father unfortunately passes away. The boy is a highly critical condition on arrival and is rushed into the operating theatre. As the surgeon is preparing they suddenly turn to their colleagues and state "I cannot operate". "Why not Doctor?" comes the reply "because that's my son!".....

        How is this possible,....?

        Of course the answer is that the surgeon is the boys mother but it gets more than most people especially if it's the first time they've heard it.

        Got told it when I was about 8 never forgotten it and like to think it just helped shaped me into a very slightly better person although that's debatable.

        1. John H Woods

          Re: Not my opinion!

          I told that riddle to a female med student (and serious feminist) and she couldn't solve it. Shows how ingrained it is.

        2. Captain Badmouth
          Windows

          Re: Not my opinion!

          "A man and his son are involved in a terrible car accident."

          My version involves a doctor going into the bar of a pub, orders a pint of beer, and says to the barman "See that man in the lounge, that's my son, give him a drink and tell him his father just died".

          Padded out a bit more than that.

          Everybody else in the story is male but the doctor is never described as "he".

      3. pleb

        Re: Not my opinion!

        "Speaking as a female with 'Dr in front of her name, I do get tired of the assumption that Dr = male."

        Really? And would it be better if they assumed all "Dr"s were female? Why? How does that solve the issue?

        If you don't like people having to make an assumption then why make room for assumption? In the absence of complete information people have only two choices, enquire or assume. The constant enquiry gets tedious after a while, for all concerned, and if you don't like the alternative then why invite the situation?

        1. Mooseman Bronze badge

          Re: Not my opinion!

          "If you don't like people having to make an assumption then why make room for assumption? In the absence of complete information people have only two choices, enquire or assume. The constant enquiry gets tedious after a while, for all concerned, and if you don't like the alternative then why invite the situation?"

          So she should have a title that reads Dr *whoever* (female) ? would that help you out? After all, its clearly her fault for being a woman AND a doctor and not having the manners to let everyone know beforehand..... and nobody is suggesting all doctors should be either male or female, you're being ridiculous.

          Nice to see the 1950s being represented, well done.

      4. Captain Badmouth
        Headmaster

        Re: Not my opinion!

        "Speaking as a female with 'Dr in front of her name, I do get tired of the assumption that Dr = male."

        See my post in which my story relies on just such a mental standpoint. ( You would possibly be caught out by it yourself in an alcohol infused situation, as it is deeply embedded in our upbringing)

        Educational icon.

      5. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Not my opinion!

        "Speaking as a female with 'Dr in front of her name, I do get tired of the assumption that Dr = male."

        Gels can be doctors now? Intollerable! They'll be demandin' the vote next!

  8. ArrZarr Silver badge

    Goodbye Capaldi

    He didn't have the luxury of being the doctor in the 70s so he won't be regarded fondly until sometime near 2050 but he's presided over some of my favourites of the show's run with special mention imo going to the Zygon Inversion and Heaven sent.

    Don't know Who Whittaker is but I certainly hope I only see her for the first time when the regeneration happens. Didn't make the jump in my mind that this might spoil the regeneration until it was too late :(

  9. Phil W

    I'm all in favour of strong female lead roles, Voyager is my second favourite Trek partly for that reason (Patrick Stewart is too awesome to come second), but making The Doctor female seems like pandering to political correctness/feminism to me. It's not like the show hasn't had numerous fantastic female characters, they don't need to prove their credentials on female characters.

    I've seen talk of making James Bond female, but really why? Create a new spy in a similar style sure but why the need to change existing characters.

    What TV producers should be doing is creating high quality new shows with female leads, or strong new female characters in existing Universes.

    It's not like it's even that hard to create new shows or characters like that, there's Janeway as I already mentioned, Rey in Star Wars, Dutch in Kill Joys, Two In Dark Matter and so many others.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Totally agree. Occasionally gender change can work very well - I like Dr Watson in Elementary but thats a re-imagining of the 19th Century Holmes into a new format for modern times which set in Victorian era would be plain silly. What is suggested here for Dr Who comes over to me as a feeble attention grabbing move in a francise that seems to be lacking imaginative ideas to move forward. Moffatt has been grooming the audience to expect this for a few years so I'm hardly surprised. What next: Mr Marple, Miss Poirot, Wonder Man, Cleopatra, Salome, Frankenstein (creator or monster) ...

      1. Phil W

        You mean Cleopeter, and Frankentina.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why is it PC, to a have a lead character with two hearts, from an alien planet, that changes appearance completely every single time to change gender?

      It could be argued that the likes of Voyager were just spin offs to tick the PC brigade boxes without upsetting the hardcore fans.

      I personally don't give a toss who does it, so long as it's entertaining. But then again, I've never been one for worrying about who stars in what.

      I couldn't name 99% of actors in films, as I think it's pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

    3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      If you're all in favour of strong female roles...

      ...then why exclude shows with strong followings? Or do these strong female roles have to battle against entrenched favorites by starting new series? Doctor Who is supposed to be shockingly strange. If the new Doctor was an orca or an elephant or some other intelligent species, it would be fun and weird. It's a bit sad that a female human is seen as not-fun and challenging.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: If you're all in favour of strong female roles...

        If the new Doctor was an orca or an elephant or some other intelligent species, it would be fun and weird.

        Time loop TV - an elephantine Doctor goes back in time to appear on Blue Peter.

      2. Phil W

        Re: If you're all in favour of strong female roles...

        "then why exclude shows with strong followings? "

        I'm not. I'm more than happy for a show with a strong following to kill off a main character and replace them with a female lead. However in Doctor Who they aren't killing off the main character it's supposed to be the same person albeit with a new body and personality.

        I'd also have no problem with a character being transgender if that was clearly the writer's intention from the start. But Doctor Who has regenerated a dozen times now and never been female, suddenly deciding to do it now seems very much to be pandering decision not a planned plot choice.

        1. AntiSol

          Re: If you're all in favour of strong female roles...

          "Doctor Who has regenerated a dozen times now and never been female"

          Clearly you haven't seen "The curse of fatal death". Look it up, I'm sure it'll be on youtube.

          1. Esme

            Re: If you're all in favour of strong female roles...

            @AntiSol - thumbs up from me. Joanna Lumley was absolutely fabulous as the Dr for her all too brief appearance in 'The curse of fatal death", played the part exactly right and IMO would make a good Dr Who in the actual series any time they care to offer her the part.

            1. James Hughes 1

              Re: If you're all in favour of strong female roles...

              @phil.

              Since the other Time Lords in the series HAVE actually changed gender, and there have been female timelords in shows, its seems anachronistic that the Dr hasn't been female yet. Assuming that the probability of changing gender is 50:50 (I suspect it isn't, it seems likely there is less chance of a change than remaining the same)), the chance of 12 in a row being male is only 2^12, so 4096:1.

              About time.

              Or something.

            2. Simon Harris Silver badge

              Re: If you're all in favour of strong female roles...

              "Joanna Lumley ... would make a good Dr Who"

              And great previous experience in Sapphire and Steel.

      3. Red Bren

        Re: If you're all in favour of strong female roles...

        "Or do these strong female roles have to battle against entrenched favo[u]rites by starting new series?"

        Buffy the Vampire Slayer

        Xena Warrior Princess

    4. Simon Harris Silver badge

      "I've seen talk of making James Bond female"

      Bond does, of course, have a female boss - at least recently.

    5. Paul A. Clayton

      Strong female characters

      One does not even need lead characters to be female to have a significant presentation of strong female characters. I (and I suspect more than a few male nerdy science fiction fans) enjoyed the early, highly intelligent presentation of Romanadvoratrelundar (sadly the character later became "just a companion"). Having a peer (superior?) in intelligence albeit with less experience provided nice opportunities to show the Doctor's strengths as well as present a positive female role model. (What other kind of character would be able to say both as a jibe and respectfully that the Doctor wins by making mistakes?)

      While Doctor Who is not exactly known for consistency, it would have been nice if the established expectation that regeneration does not change gender (which was changed at least as early as "The Doctor's Wife"). It would not have been difficult to make up some technobabble to explain the exceptional case, but those managing the series chose to support the an arbitrary view of gender (which is distinct from equality in worth).

      (The series also seems to have diminished the superiority of the Doctor. Part of this is normal (bad) enemy/conflict inflation (saving worlds, galaxies, and even universes can become old hat), but I suspect part of this comes from trying to make the companions more significant. This could have been done in other ways than making human companions peers (or superiors), but it is easier present quantitative value than qualitative value.)

    6. Day

      WHY does it seem "like pandering to political correctness/feminism"? Why don't you see it as just a simple choice that reflects the times that we are living in?

      1. Phil W

        "Why don't you see it as just a simple choice that reflects the times that we are living in?"

        Because Doctor Who isn't a character from the times we're living in?

        If it was another male Doctor Who but he'd picked up a new companion from 2017 who was transgender there would be far less conversation about it, and it would be much more relevant to the times we're living in.

        To me it simply doesn't make sense, it would be akin to Star Trek Discovery having a transporter accident that changes the Captain's gender and they decide to stay that way. It just feels like shoehorning a gender change for the sake of it.

      2. nijam

        > WHY does it seem "like pandering to political correctness/feminism"? Why don't you see it as just a simple choice that reflects the times that we are living in?

        Same thing, perhaps?

    7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "What TV producers should be doing is creating high quality new shows with female leads, or strong new female characters in existing Universes."

      This!

      Maybe they could have made a River Song spin off. Or get the rights to Berni Summerfield from the books.

      1. Vic

        Maybe they could have made a River Song spin off

        Oh, I wish.

        I've got a bit of a thing for Alex Kingston...

        Vic.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why does everything have an agenda!?

    I loved the idea of getting a female Doctor, I thought it'd be great to have something they hadn't already done in the series.

    *Then* I go online and hear all of the fuss about feminism and the Dr "needing" to be male etc etc.

    Can't I just like something because it's cool anymore?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Can't I just like something because it's cool anymore?

      But then it isn't cool anymore once ....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can't I just like something because it's cool anymore?

        I completely agree; it's all well and good having an interesting new actor playing the Doctor. But it's all for nothing if the writing is naff. (See Capaldi/Smith)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Susan?

    I'm still holding out a slight hope that Chris "no gimmicks" Chibnall is going to surprise us that the next Doctor Who is actually a regeneration of grandaughter Susan, not a 2000 year old jaded bloke who fancies a sex-change. That way we lose the overcomplex back-story and get to see what a strong female timelord character can bring to the series.

    1. davenewman

      Re: Susan

      Do you mean Susan, the granddaughter of Death?

      1. collinsl

        Re: Susan

        She's currently temping for Death whilst he's on his summer hols.

  12. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Dear leftist commie remoaning bastards at the BBC...

    The most enjoyable thing about witnessing people being appalled by the decision - on one hand because the doctor is now a woman, on the other because it doesn't go far enough in reflecting diversity - is there's scope for plenty more to come!

    I have nailed my flag to the "I'm outraged! Absolutely bloody outraged!" mast, though purely for shits and giggles.

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: Dear leftist commie remoaning bastards at the BBC...

      Instigator! Don't we have enough permanently outraged as it is, without pokin' at em? I suppose the only good thing about internet angries is it keeps them off the street. Otherwise they'd be out in the garden yelling at those damn kids, an peeing on everyone's fireworks.

  13. Badvok

    I'm disappointed they didn't go for a mixed race african/asian, one armed, bi-polar, lesbian just so they could tick off a few more boxes.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      They already did that with Bill.

      1. Toltec

        "They already did that with Bill."

        They already did that with Captain Jack.

        If Bill comes back what will happen with an attractive female Doctor on the scene? Apart from the possible tension would Bill be helping the Doctor with being female?

        I'm still somewhat ambivalent about the whole thing.

    2. Phil W

      How about a person with white skin who identifies as Black, or vice versa, who is also non-binary gender and gets super offended if you assume their gender.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      You forgot

      That they need to be Transgendered as well. (LGBTQ and all that)

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: You forgot

        That they need to be Transgendered as well. (LGBTQ and all that)

        naughty. You left off the 'I'. LGBTQI. You will be placed in the stocks and whipped with limp spaghetti.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You left off the 'I'. LGBTQI.

          You left off the '+'. LGBTQI+. You will be placed in the stocks and whipped with limp celery.

        2. Toni the terrible

          Re: You forgot

          What's the Q and I anyway?

    4. Haku

      Regenerating from Male to Female means The Doctor is transgender

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I doubt it will be written that way. As far as we've seen from Master/Missy and a glimpse of the new Doctor they are possessed of whatever passes for XX chromosomes in the timelord genotype so no reason to expect confict.

      2. Tac Eht Xilef

        "... means The Doctor is transgender."

        Or a protandrous hermaphrodite. Like a clownfish.

    5. Simon Harris Silver badge

      "One armed"

      Doctor number 10 was momentarily just that - he got it lopped off (well, part of it) in his fight with the Sycorax in The Christmas Invasion. However there was still some regeneration energy left from the recent regeneration and it regrew.

      Unless there is something faulty about the regeneration it is logical therefore that he or she would come through without bits missing.

      1. collinsl

        And it was a fighting hand!

  14. myhandler

    Species diversity.. maybe they can get a cyberman to play the Doctor next?

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Or cyberwoman.

      1. Phil W
        Joke

        I think you mean Cyberperson, how dare you assume their gender!

        1. graeme leggett

          Let us not forget Chibnall's episode for Torchwood was Cyberwoman.

          Reviews and opinions of it are ....mixed.

      2. Stuart Elliott

        .. or woman

        Cue "what have the Romans ever done for us" sketch.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Should definitely be a Dalek as the next Doctor, no question.

  15. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    What do we want?

    A time machine.

    When do we want it?

    Doesn't matter...

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: What do we want?

      Now that is simply brilliant!

      1. Pedigree-Pete
        Happy

        Re: What do we want?

        I can't upvote Niel twice, so you Sir can have Neils 2nd for stating exactly what I was thinking. PP

  16. Tronald Dump

    Actor gets role...

    Yawn

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Actor gets role...

      Trawling the internet I think it is obvious this is something even bigger than Kim Kardasian's arse.

      Metaphorically speaking anyway.

  17. Dan 55 Silver badge

    The Heil Online

    This produced one Mail Online headline that saw Whittaker pleading with Who snowflakers not to be "scared" of her agenda.

    It's okay, the website has nothing to do with the newspaper, it's just chance that the Daily Mail and the Mail Online are the same building. The nutters in the comments there aren't real people and don't e.g. affect election outcomes.

  18. JimmyPage Silver badge
    WTF?

    Er ... Dr. Who canon ?????

    I know it's been pissed over from a great height since the "reboot", but surely every 70s schoolkid knew the Dr. only had a maximum of 12 possible incarnations ?

    Or did Russell T. Shitforbrains "just decide" it was too inconvenient one day ? Like he suddenly decided the TARDIS was like any other spaceship you can see flying past, rather than dematerialising and materialising ?

    When my (then) 15 year old son gave up watching Dr. Who because "it's a load of pants, Dad", I got the hint.

    Shame, as there were some genuinely great stories pre-Capaldi.

    Of course the most complete Dr. Who story ever was "Logopolis" ....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Er ... Dr. Who canon ?????

      Or did Russell T. Shitforbrains "just decide" it was too inconvenient one day

      No it was Steven s-f-b Moffat who did that.

      1. lybad

        Re: Er ... Dr. Who canon ?????

        But the precedence was already there. The Time Lords had previously extended the number of regenerations available to the Master.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Er ... Dr. Who canon ?????

      Can't tell if you're just going for a reaction, but I'll bite:

      1) Traditionally, the Doctor had 12 regenerations, i.e. 13 incarnations. And that was stated fewer times than people think it was, and even contradicted on an occasion or two.

      2) RTD didn't have anything to do with breaking the limit. Moffat did that, mainly because the Doctor was running out (too long to explain why) and he had to.

      3) Fifteen years olds lose interest in things all the time - in a few years he'll be back with the nostalgia goggles on like everyone else.

      1. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: Er ... Dr. Who canon ?????

        Under Tom Baker it was established the reason for not going over 12. He was fighting an evil time lord and it turned out to be him self(13th regen.)

    3. Richard Scratcher
      Coat

      Er ... Dr. Who canon ????

      '...because "it's a load of pants, Dad"'

      It'll be a load of skirts from now on.

    4. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Er ... Dr. Who canon ?????

      Canon? This is Doctor Who! Can you hear Tom Baker - "You have the tentacles of a woman. I bet those tentacles have never been blown off by a force 9 Exterminator"

    5. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Er ... Dr. Who canon ?????

      Like he suddenly decided the TARDIS was like any other spaceship you can see flying past, rather than dematerialising and materialising ?

      That was a very poor idea indeed, I agree. Robs the TARDIS of some of its magic and mystery, seeing flit past in exactly the same way that bricks don't.

  19. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    Oh and female Timelords ...

    Romana, anyone ?

    1. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Oh and female Timelords ...

      The Rani anyone ?

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Oh and female Timelords ...

        The Corsair anyone (well at least one or two of their regenerations, to get even more geeky...)

  20. Martin 63
    Megaphone

    Jeaolus

    Oh blimey flip. I want the naysayers life. I have more important things to worry about than Who is the next Dr, who won whatever sport etc. Good luck to the next Dr

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dr who has been shit for a long time now and is only going to get worse. This is just PC madness and if they wanted to do a female Dr then why not create a different timelord character, you wouldn't have Miss Marple played by Brian Blessed or Superman played by Bonnie Langford. Dr who has always been a man and Dr Frank-n-Furter should remain in the Rocky Horror Show doing the timewarp and not in Dr Who.

    I want my licence fee money back.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      "I want my licence fee money back."

      Do you need your Daily Mail website account back as well?

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      This is just PC madness

      No, it's science-fiction. Everything else is just the shit in your head.

    3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      you wouldn't have Miss Marple played by Brian Blessed

      God, I would absolutely love to see that. It would be car crash/cult TV at its extreme.

      1. earl grey Silver badge
        Trollface

        Miss Marple played by

        Maybe Dame Edna

        1. Captain Badmouth
          Windows

          Re: Miss Marple played by

          "Maybe Dame Edna"

          Nah, Sir Les Patterson.

    4. Paul Woodhouse

      Brian Blessed playing Miss Marple??? Hell that sounds fucking fantastic, well be worth the price of the TV Licence...

      Not sure if it'd be funnier if he did it in drag or not....

      This should deffo be done...

    5. WolfFan Silver badge

      Miss Marple played by Brian Blessed

      Bloody hell, what a marvelous idea! He'd have to grow the beard out a bit more to truly get into character, though.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Coat

        Miss Marple played by Brian Blessed

        Gordon's DEAD? WHODUNNIT?

        1. Stuart Elliott

          Gordon's DEAD ?

          No...

          "Gordon's aliiiiiiiiiiiiive".

    6. Rattus Rattus

      Re: "Miss Marple played by Brian Blessed"

      I was unaware until now just how much I want to see this.

  22. ColonelClaw
    Coat

    I'll go along with The Doctor having two hearts, capable of full-body regeneration, and cruising around the universe in a time-travelling phone box. But, being a WOMAN?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's all about suspension of disbelief...

      :)

      1. Mayor Boris
        Coat

        ...

        It's all about suspenders of disbelief, shirley...

        1. earl grey Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: ... suspenders

          I guess it all depends on whether your mean "boy" suspenders or "girl" suspenders now, don't it??

      2. 's water music Silver badge

        It's all about suspension of disbelief...

        :)

        Well that's all very well but with the majority of the story lines revolving around the Doctor's cock and balls you can see why some of the fans are worried about how that is going to work now. Wait, wat?

        No icon to allow readers to project their own interpretation-->

      3. theOtherJT

        "It's all about suspension of disbelief..."

        Which is sadly where Dr Who lost me quite some time ago.

        I always thought that for the whole suspension of disbelief thing only worked as long as you had a framework to work in.

        These are the rules. These rules are not your rules, but they are the rules here. It's OK to travel in time. That's part of our rules. It's OK to have FTL. That's part of our rules. It's OK to have humanoid aliens. That's in the rules.

        Once you accept that there are rules, and start to get a handle on what they are - then you can just get on with the thing. That's how it works for me.

        The problem with Dr Who is it keeps messing with it's own rules, to the extent that I have no idea what they even are any more, and that's made me get bored with it. If there are no rules then there's no story. With no rules someone can just go "Oh, that thing you can't do? Well you can. Because you need to to fix this plot problem. Problem solved." and shit like that just makes me stop caring about the story at all. Nothing has any dramatic tension if there are no rules.

        Dr Who has played too fast and lose with it's own rules basically... forever... if we're honest, and it reached a point somewhere during Matt Smith's tenure that I just lost patience with the entire thing and stopped watching it.

        I don't care that the new Doctor is a woman, because I already stopped caring about Dr Who at all :(

  23. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Flame

    What about the writing?

    Peter Capaldi had next to nothing to work with.

    Look at "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" - utterly barmy yet wonderfully thought out with a delightful piece of pathos at the end thanks to Mark Williams.

    Or A Christmas Carol with Michael Gambon, Catherine Jenkins and the best line in the history of television "Doctor - there's a shark in my bedroom!". GLORIOUS!

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: What about the writing?

      Dinosaurs on a Spaceship was one of Chris Chibnall's. So if you like that, you're in luck.

    2. earl grey Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: What about the shark?

      Yeah, yeah. Next thing you'll be telling us is the shark is delivering candygrams.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey women before you start stealing male roles on the BBC pay your licence fee:

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/07/17/70_pc_tv_licensing_convictions_women/

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Oh gosh

      You are absolutely flipping bonkers, aren't you? Bless your heart.

  25. Oneman2Many

    Bigger change is Moffat leaving and Chris "Broadchurch" Chibnall taking over the reins. I thought Broadchurch had a cracking first season but season 2 and definitely 3 were a bit so and so. Be interesting to see what he does with DW. Rumors are that it will be more mass appeal rather than sci-fi geek.

  26. Snar
    Coat

    "Sorry, the Doctor can't fight the Daleks today, she's on the blob and she's crying into a large box of chocolates"

    1. David Webb

      At over 2,000 years old I think the Doctor went through the male menopause several centuries ago, so no worries there. On the bright side, we won't have some barmy, love sick teenage girl wanting to bang a man old enough to be the origin of her species.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So theoretically a time lord could sleep with themselves. Does that make it incest or gay?

    I also quite like the idea of black lesbian bond, it certainly would be fun to watch.

    Joking aside I'll judge it on the content with no preconceptions due to the gender of the Doctor.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      re:"So theoretically a time lord could sleep with themselves. Does that make it incest or gay?"

      Neither, it would be masturbation.

    2. Vinyl-Junkie

      So theoretically a time lord could sleep with themselves

      Indeed, hence John Simms' marvellous line "Is this inappropriate?" in the last episode.

  28. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Trollface

    Mary Poppins you say...

    Shouldn't that be Michael Poppins?

  29. Velv Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    It's going to be interesting when the Doctor next meets River Song...

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      River is dead after spending twenty years/one night with the Dr.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        River is dead after spending twenty years/one night with the Dr.

        If only the Dr had some way of travelling through time...

        1. James 51 Silver badge

          Re: River is dead after spending twenty years/one night with the Dr.

          It has been established that crossing your own time line is a bad idea (they've still done it though) and from what River has said, she had caught up with all their meetings by the time they got to the planet with the singing rocks.

          1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: River is dead after spending twenty years/one night with the Dr.

            Ah but we still don't know if they've done Jim the Fish yet...?

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Indeed, but that doesn't mean she won't meet this Doctor, although I guess Moffat wanted to give the Rover Song story an ending.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Rover Song? I suppose there's nothing in the 54 years of Doctor Who to say River can't regenerate as a dog when she escapes the Library. Roll over K9!

          As we're told, fans must not be "fearful", and actors do not want to be “boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be”

          1. ArrZarr Silver badge
            Unhappy

            sorry :(

            Sadly the Alex Kingston version (3rd River) gave all of her regeneration energy to the doctor following...

            You know what, I'm not even going to bother trying to explain that continuity knot.

            Basically, she used up her remaining regenerations at one point, which is a pity due to Rover Song being a decent play on her name.

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Re: sorry :(

              'Sadly the Alex Kingston version (3rd River) gave all of her regeneration energy to the doctor following...

              You know what, I'm not even going to bother trying to explain that continuity knot.

              Basically, she used up her remaining regenerations at one point, which is a pity due to Rover Song being a decent play on her name.'

              So they wanted to write her out of the series and came up with some made up b******s to do it?

  30. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Trollface

    Personally...

    I would have liked to see the Doctor regenerate as an avocado, but those fruitists at the BBC... etc.

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Personally...

      @Zog the nth

      David Wolfe as Dr Who?

      *that* would offend me.

  31. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. wolfetone Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Err...

    I'll think you find Joanna Lumely was the first femal Doctor Who, in the Doctor Who Red Nose Day special a few years ago.

  33. Frank Zuiderduin

    Still not ginger then...

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let the feminazis have this one

    If they will just promise to finally start a campaign for their lovely "Equality" in the numbers of male and female doctors:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2532461/Why-having-women-doctors-hurting-NHS-A-provovcative-powerful-argument-leading-surgeon.html

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Let the feminazis have this one

      Us pesky feminazis, running every international corporation, taking over every board room, in charge of every large charity, dominating the UK Supreme Court and ditto the House of Commons. Yes, ha ha ha we have come to bring all men into slavery! You have named and shamed with your Daily Mail article on why too many women doctors means the end of our species. Oh noes!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let the feminazis have this one

        Some nasty sexist pigs say feminazis are totally lacking in any humour whatsoever, but LOOK ! Sarcasm !

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Let the feminazis have this one

      "feminazis"

      And . . . I stopped reading right there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let the feminazis have this one

        Stick to Erotic Romance, deary.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Let the feminazis have this one

      You know if you keep reading that nonsense you'll go blind and your computer will get scabies.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll just leave this here

    Female Doctor

    Sonic Screwdriver

    Rule 34

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: I'll just leave this here

      I'll just leave this here:

      Male Doctor

      Sonic Screwdriver

      Rule 34

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'll just leave this here

        Upvotes for both of you, though of course they should probably be downvotes.

        Pass the mind bleach please...

      2. Justice
        Coat

        Re: I'll get me coat...

        Thirteen Incarnations

        Sonic ScrewdriverS

        Rule 34

  36. Ol'Peculier
    Thumb Up

    Birthplace

    "Unless you've watched ITV's Broadchurch, or are a dedicated Whittaker career-watcher, you'll probably not be familiar with the New Zealand-born actor."

    Erm, no, She's a reet proper Yorkshire lass.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Birthplace

      "New Zealand born..."

      Well, her middle name is Auckland.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not to be "scared" of her agenda

    I've never heard it called that before

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: not to be "scared" of her agenda

      Whose agenda, I wonder? The actor's? Presumably she wants to be successful in the role. The new Doctor Who's? To fight evil and succeed at Time Lord stuff. The writers? To build up a bigger fan base. The producers? To have a hugely successful show. The BBC? To get more viewers and to be able to sell a stronger series overseas.

      And...that's it.

  38. Simon Rockman

    Two comments

    I've no problem with her being a "she". I do think she is too young. There should be something a little time-worn and crusty about the doctor (it's why Matt Smith didn't fit). That said I hope she doesn't quit after five minutes like the recent Doctors all have.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Two comments

      They're mostly not too different from the original ones (Ecclestone notwithstanding, or indeed not staying):

      Hartnell - 3 seasons + a couple of episodes

      Troughton - Just under 3 seasons (2 + all except the 2 episodes above)

      Pertwee - 5 seasons

      T Baker - 7 seasons

      Davidson - 3 seasons

      C Baker - 2 seasons + 1 episode

      McCoy - 3 seasons + start of the TV movie

      McGann - TV movie

      Hurt - 1 episode

      Ecclestone - 1 season

      Tennant - 3 seasons + the "gap year" specials

      Smith - 3 seasons + 2 specials

      Capaldi - 4 seasons

      It's only Pertwee and Tom Baker who did long stints, everyone else is mainly 2-3 seasons.

      1. graeme leggett

        Re: Two comments

        Though the numbers can be made to tell a different story.

        Hartnell season 1 - 42 episodes, 2 -39 episodes, 3 - 45 episodes. Plus 8 from Season 4. Total 94 episodes

        Colin Baker - Season 22 - 24 episodes (counting 45min as 2 x old length), Season 23 - 14 episodes. Total about 1/3 of Hartnell rather than at first glance 2/3rds

      2. Daedalus Silver badge

        Re: Two comments

        Bear in mind that the early seasons were over 40 episodes apiece. Each of the first two actors put in over 120 episodes, then the season was cut to 25 or 26 episodes for the third, fourth, and fifth doctors. It was downhill from there with 13 or 14 episodes per season.

        None of the actors after Davison put in as many episodes as Hartnell or Troughton did in a single season. Baker (T) still holds the record for most episodes. Pertwee in 5 years did about as many episodes as his predecessors did in 3 years.

        1. Ol'Peculier

          Re: Two comments

          Troughton threatened to walk if the season count wasn't reduced, the effort to remember lines for episodes that were guest star light (in other words, just TARDIS crew) was incredible. It was Pertwee that got the benefit though...

          1. Daedalus Silver badge

            Re: Two comments

            "Troughton threatened to walk"

            An empty threat from most actors, and particularly Patrick T., who was known to be nervous as hell about being unemployed. He would tout himself around the Beeb every chance he got, even when playing the Doctor.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Two comments

            The sheer number of episodes took its toll of everyone - writers, production staff, actors - at a time when gap between recording episode and broadcasting episode was around a week. There was no slack in system.

            Only respite for regular members of cast was to have a week off when their character was knocked senseless, got lost or captured in the storyline.

        2. collinsl

          Re: Two comments

          And it's likely that Hartnell would have kept going if he didn't become ill and have to give up the role.

      3. D@v3

        Re: Two comments

        by my count its Capaldi - 3 seasons (8,9,10)

    2. Trollslayer Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Two comments

      I think Matt Smith grew into the role rather well.

      This could prove interesting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Two comments

        I think Matt Smith grew into the role rather well.

        Yes, he'd just hit puberty by the time he left.

    3. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Two comments

      "Time worn and crusty"

      It's a pity Liz Smith is no longer with us - that would have been brilliant.

  39. Richard Parkin

    Shape shifting Thatcher

    There was a woman on breakfast TV this morning who said it was a good idea because " haven't we had female doctors in hospitals for years" -- I thought he was not that sort of doctor -- and then went on to say "and we had a female prime minister in 1979" thus supporting my belief that the Maggie was a shapeshifting lizard alien ;-)

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Shape shifting Thatcher

      Maggie was more of a Blake's 7 fan.

      Her role model was Servalan.

  40. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Joke

    "and we had a female prime minister in 1979"

    And on the subject of John Simm, gender and (potential) time travel - there's a Gene Hunt quote for that!

    1. Daedalus Silver badge

      - a Gene Hunt quote?

      Also a Robert Heinlein title : "- All You Zombies -"

  41. Daedalus Silver badge

    Never mind the gender, feel the height

    Past doctors have been tall by the standards of leading men (cf T. Cruise Esq. and similar midgets), so we might have expected a tallish woman for the part. JW is only average at a non-metric 5'5", which is going to make setting up face-to-face confrontations with villains a whole new ballgame, as we say here.

    This may bring back platform boots!

  42. GeekOps

    I rather liked Capaldi, reminded me a lot of Tom Baker.

    As for #13, I hoping, other than the "I've got breasts" post regeneration line, that the sex of the Doctor isn't the most focused on part of the next series.

    PS. When is the Jane Bond announcement being made?

    1. lorisarvendu

      "PS. When is the Jane Bond announcement being made?"

      You want Jane Bond?

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0141421/

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Necrophobic

    It's a bit necrophobic of the BBC not to bring back John Pertwee. Even if he did or did not have a posthumous sex change, it is a such an outrage. Never going to watch TV again. I'm so f*****g triggered right now.

    1. Christoph Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Necrophobic

      I can remember when he was first announced as the next Doctor, and I was contemplating the smuggling possibilities of a Time Machine with CPO Pertwee in charge.

  44. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

    A bit too SJW

    Lets face it, if the doctor had never married Riversong and had a kid, or indeed started coupling up at all, this would be throughly normal. But since the Doctor has already done so, now there's a bit of a mess.

    There's plenty of SJW possibilities: Riversong could be pissed off she's made into a lesbian without consent, or could embrace it and have her own sex change. But then she might be homophobic!

    I suspect the more this crap goes on, the fewer people will watch, and then the next Doctor will have to exit a shower asking what he missed :-)

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: A bit too SJW

      What the hell did I just read?

      BTW, River Song is dead/Not been born yet (she and the Doctor kind of traveled in opposite directions, chronologically) so would have no opinion of the latest incarnation.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: A bit too SJW

        I *think* you just read something by a misogynistic fucktrumpet. Or he could be a lobotomised shitlark, or perhaps a wankpuffin.

        1. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

          Re: A bit too SJW

          That's the positive side to SJW's: they are very inventive about word creation. Mostly insults of course, but...

      2. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

        Re: A bit too SJW

        See? There's just no pleasing some people :-)

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: A bit too SJW

      "SJW"

      Fuck's sake, the MRAs are out in force today. What's wrong, guys, did mommy shut off the Playstation?

  45. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    I don't care one way or the other just as long as it's done well. Good scripts, good acting, good production values etc. Something that is entertaining to watch, and good enough to watch again every now and then.

  46. John70

    But the Doctor still hasn't regenerated as a Ginger... He (or now she) always wanted to be a Ginger.

    1. Christoph Silver badge

      Always wanted to be Ginger? Is the Doctor actually a reincarnation of Greebo?

      (But would that have limited him to 8 reincarnations?)

  47. Andy 97

    Jelly babies

    I'm excited to see where Mr Moffat is taking The Doctor.

    ...providing that there's absolutely no "love interest" nonsense.

    I think it would devalue the show and potentially be the worst thing to ever happen to Dr Who since that John Barrowman spinoff.

    1. Spiracle

      Re: Jelly babies

      No more Moffat, the new showrunner is Chris 'Broadchurch' Chibnall (hence the casting, I should imagine)

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My only complaint is that she looks too BBC. Stand her between Laura Kuenssberg and Emily Maitlis and spot the odd one out. That and every youtube video I've found of her has her acting far too restrained to be the doctor.

    That said, she has enough time to fix that, I look forward to seeing her be anything but normal and restrained.

    P.S. She's still playing a male timelord, just temporarily in a female body. Same way the general was always female.

    1. Daedalus Silver badge

      Looks too BBC?

      You mean she looks like a Redgrave or a Richardson. Not to disparage her, but if you wanted a Redgrave or a Richardson and you couldn't get one, you might wind up with the first actor who looked like one. Perhaps those dynasties have had the effect of spawning a generation of lookalikes.

      See Jemma Redgrave's turn as Kate Stewart, and indeed the spin-off portrayal.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Looks too BBC?

        I kind-of meant she looks like her stylist is the BBC wardrobe department.

        No, I wouldn't accept Kate Stewart as the Doctor, but then I wouldn't have accepted Nicholas Courtney playing one either.

        Hopefully she'll make the break from her current professional persona and turn into something awesome. It's got to be stressful but on the plus side the more improbable you are the more it works.

        So please, Jodie, be awesome. And writers, don't you dare let her down, you thunderfish!

  49. lorisarvendu

    Agenda? What Agenda?

    It always bugs me that certain "fans" accuse the BBC of doing this to further some kind of "lefty PC agenda", while being completely ignorant of how casting in done for TV shows. The Beeb don't hover over Doctor Who like some nebulous Big Brother, pointing at Chibnall and intoning "Thou Shalt Cast a Female Doctor for Lo it is the next stage in the great LGBT Master Plan".

    Chibnall has total control of who he auditions and who he casts. Yes he's admitted he's always wanted a female Doctor, because he like strong female roles, and wants to see what JW will do with it.

    Oh and the other complaint is that he's picked her because she was in his show Broadchurch. Well, duh, yeah why not? He'll contact the agents of actors whose work he is familiar with and ask them to come in and audition. Same reason why RTD auditioned and cast Tennant, who he'd worked with on "Casanova". If Whittaker hadn't pleased him in the audition he wouldn't have cast her, simple as that. But apparently she aced it, so she's the 13th Doctor.

    Sometimes (probably most times) there isn't a hidden agenda. There isn't a plot. Sometimes actors get the job because they're damn good at it.

    Personally I've never look forward to a new series of Doctor Who this much since 2005.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Agenda? What Agenda?

      It's a misquote. She said not to be afraid of her gender.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Agenda? What Agenda?

        She said not to be afraid of her gender.

        She's a Latin scholar? Or does she mean her sex?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Agenda? What Agenda?

          Jodie's sex is none of our business. The Doctor's on the other hand is vitally important for the series.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, now we know the Doctor's first name

    Stan

  51. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Regenerate a few more fingers?

    I'm just wondering when the BBC bods will actually learn to count?

    1 - Hartnell

    2 - Troughton

    3 - Pertwee

    4 - T Baker

    5 - Davidson

    6 - C Baker

    7 - McCoy

    8 - McGann

    9 - Hurt

    10 - Ecclestone

    11 - Tennant

    12 - Smith

    13 - Capaldi

    14 - Whittaker

    She's the 14th, not the 13th...?

    Or are they trying to ignore either McGann or Hurt?

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Regenerate a few more fingers?

      She's the 15th.

      Joanna Lumley was a Doctor, somewhere in between McGann and Ecclestone.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Regenerate a few more fingers?

        @wolfetone - That'd make her 19th, as you'd have to shoe-horn in Rowan Atkinson, Richard E Grant, Jim Broadbend and Hugh Grant in too.

        I know the Tardis is bigger on the inside, but even then it'd be a squeeze...

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Regenerate a few more fingers?

        Joanna Lumley was a Doctor, somewhere in between McGann and Ecclestone."

        Lenny Henry was the Doctor before Joanna Lumley, and for almost as long!

    2. thesykes

      Re: Regenerate a few more fingers?

      Peter Cushing?

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Regenerate a few more fingers?

      9 was 8.5 that everybody forgot about, including himself, because of special time war reasons.

      Cushing was Dr. Who which is someone completely different to The Doctor even though they both have blue time machines which look like 1960s police phone boxes.

    4. mike white 1

      Re: Regenerate a few more fingers?

      what about Cushing ;)

    5. RJG
      Coat

      Re: Regenerate a few more fingers?

      If your'e gong to complain about the numbering, please get it right.

      10 - Ecclestone

      11 - Tennant

      12 - Tennant

      13 - Smith

      14 - Capaldi

      15 - Whittaker

      > She's the 14th, not the 13th...?

      Tennant used up a regeneraton healing injuries, so appears twice.

      The War Doctor wasn't given a number.

      So she is the 15th regeneraton, but referred to as number 13.

      Now where's my anorack?

      1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Regenerate a few more fingers?

        She is the 15th incarnation (14th regeneration), but referred to as number 13.

        The Five Doctors

        First Doctor: Regeneration?

        Fifth Doctor: Fourth.

        First Doctor: Goodness me! So, there are five of me now!

        I actually prefer leather coats to anoraks (AKA Atmospheric Density Jackets - The Web Planet).

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge

          Re: Regenerate a few more fingers?

          If we're going to be picky, didn't Tate effectively become a quasi-Doctor until it started to burn out her brain and she got wiped?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Regenerate a few more fingers?

            "If we're going to be picky, didn't Tate effectively become a quasi-Doctor until it started to burn out her brain and she got wiped?"

            Well, being picky, she gained some Time Lord power but didn't actually become The Doctor. As did Rose before her. You're probably being mis-led by Donnas comments about gaining the powers where she hysterically referred to herself as Dr Donna.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clearly it's down to cut backs, they can pay a woman less.

    This post contains sarcasm.

  53. Paul 25

    Not just Broadchurch

    She was also in the truly wonderful Attack The Block. A very under-appreciated British sci-fi film. And the equally brilliant Venus alongside Peter O'Tool.

    She's a terrific actor who's done a lot of different stuff. If the scripts are good then I fully expect her to do an excellent job. I'm really looking forward to seeing her in action.

    And frankly, I'm just glad to finally see the back of Moffat. It's just a shame we only got one series of Bill and Nardol, they were great.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Not just Broadchurch

      I thought she was great in St Trinians 1 and 2

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: Not just Broadchurch

        It's not often you see 'great' and 'St Trinians 2' in the same sentence.

  54. Richard Parkin

    Natural life cycle

    It's pretty obvious that the gender change is part of the TLs natural life cycle. Like many creatures here on earth (e.g. Slipper Limpets) they spend many years as males impregnating as many females as possible and then turn into females and breed some more.

  55. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. cosymart
      Angel

      Re: Clearly discrimination

      And recently I've noticed that paedophiles are under-represented on the BBC as well ...

      Don't be to sure, just because no-one has been outed yet as the mob are still going down the list of perverts.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    She's Heaven Sent

    Personally...I think that's one hell of a bird.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll be watching "Take Me Out" on ITV, far more entertaining and cerebral than the rubbish they have been serving up as Dr Who, has more women in it too. Hey now there's a possibility for Dr Who, Paddy McGuinness as the 14th (TV series) Doctor.

  58. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    I dont watch it nor give a hoot about it (not that I have a problem with others enjoying it). But I have been very amused at the many news articles (as if TV is news but I dont understand reporting of XFactor or bake off either) proclaiming how wonderful it is to have a vagina as the lead to Dr Who.

    I feel really sorry for the actress. I dont know if she was hired for her acting ability or because she has 2 humps on her chest but the reporting of her appointment does seem to reduce her to female bits. The start of this article running through her career was good but things like- "Finally, at least one of those boxes been ticked and we can move on." makes me cringe.

    I get bothered when stupid ideas are floated like a gay bond or black spiderman etc only because it cheapens the role to PC bull. The rantings that WW was the first female heroine was quickly shot down with a list because people can and deserve to do things on their own merit. Shoehorning for PC sake is irritating and 'buying' viewers instead of earning them. I really hope for Jodie that is not what they are doing to her as it would be unfair to anyone. Best of luck to her.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      I agree that gay Bond would be a bit daft, given how ingrained the character's sexuality is to the role. Similarly a wheelchair bound Captain America wouldn't work - that also doesn't go with the fundamental essence of the character. But what's wrong with the idea of a black Spiderman? Nothing fundamentally white about that character, it just happens to be the way the comics were originally drawn. If rebooting the franchise is OK at all, why couldn't it be a black science geek who gets a dose of radioactive spider venom this time around?

      None of these gender or race issues applies in the case of Doctor Who. Due to the regeneration meme the Doctor could quite literally be played by anyone the show's creators want to hire for the role. The show runner just has to play it straight, not treat it as some kind of big novelty themselves.

      The new Doctor is female - so what? Best of luck to her - I'm looking forward to seeing what she'll do with the role. If she's anything like as good as Michelle Gomez was as Missy then we're in for a treat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the idea of a black Spiderman?

        It seems to me that there are two main/likely versions of a "black spiderman".

        a) the original Peter Parker, but re/written as black

        b) A black teen, who gets spiderman-like powers

        I'm not much fussed either way, but I reckon that (a) would be more likely to irritate, and that (b) would actually give the (new) character, the powers, and the storyline a great deal of valuable freedom from the existing spiderman canon.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: the idea of a black Spiderman?

          "b) A black teen, who gets spiderman-like powers"

          Yes, I think you raise a good point. There's no need to mess with "history" to re-create long running characters as something different to what they are and/or have been for generations of kids growing up. Create new dynamic, heroic roles, be inventive instead re-booting the same stuff again and again. (although to be fair, many of the original TV and film incarnations of superheroes from Marvel and DC in the 60s, 70s and 80s were pretty crap even at the time. Original Captain America anyone?

        2. D@v3

          Re: the idea of a black Spiderman?

          First appearance 2011.

          http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Miles_Morales_(Earth-1610)

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        "If rebooting the franchise is OK at all, why couldn't it be a black science geek who gets a dose of radioactive spider venom this time around?"

        I think I heard somewhere about a new Thor, God of Thunder being a woman in a re-make.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          Thor, Goddess of Thunder, is Jane Foster who gains the power of Thor from the hammer Mjolnir. A strong female superhero, not some guy who undergoes a sex change procedure.

  59. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    I for one welcome our new womanly overlord (got to say I have not the faintest idea who she is(

  60. Bob Hoskins

    This is the BBC making a quota

    I've nothing against Jodie - a fine actress but Dr. Who is a guy. What next? Recasting Jane Austin's characters as transgender? If you want a time lady then being back Romana (who incidentally was briefly black - no issues there, in fact Idris Alba for James Bond) - this though feels forced. *

    * I love women, am not scared of them etc etc.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: This is the BBC making a quota

      Lol, time travel, aliens, the TARDIS, all this fantasy, but a woman is too far fetched? What are you afraid of?

      There's no rule to say Dr.W has to be a bloke. If someone wants to try another gender for a JA character, why complain? I wouldn't. It's art. It's entertainment. The world is a fluid place. Try new things.

      What are you afraid of?

      C.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is the BBC making a quota

        >There's no rule to say Dr.W has to be a bloke. If someone wants to try another gender for a JA character, why complain? I wouldn't. It's art.

        I can choose not to watch it, shame I can't choose not to fund it.

        1. Bob Hoskins

          Re: This is the BBC making a quota

          Again. Absolutely. It just doesn't seem necessary. I'm not sure - I'm a bit torn like the first time the Daleks could climb stairs. It really isn't some sexist woman hating thing, sure it's just fantasy - one day I'm hoping that the Dr will transform and he'll be Jackie Chan and he'll be kicking the be-jesus out of those cybermen and they'll be like "Crap! It's Dr. Jackie Who!". I'd pay my licence fee for that.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Funding Dr Who

          You can choose not to fund it. Simply get rid of your TV and cancel your TV license.

          Simple really should you choose to do so.

          Pity that you have to stop viewing some other excellet programmes that the BBC make at the same time.

          compared to the TV in many countries of thr world, the BBC is a breath of fresh air due to the stupid ad breaks. I hate all forms of advertising and especially those in the middle of TV programmes. But that is just the grumpy old man in me coming out so I can safely be ignored and downvoted.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Funding Dr Who

            >BBC You can choose not to fund it. Simply get rid of your TV and cancel your TV license.points of view

            Why should I get rid of my TV if I don't want to fund your choice of BBC, if you want the BBC you pay for it by subscription. It's like asking me to fund your round of drinks just because I happen to be in the same pub. I don't ask you to pay my Sky subscription so I can watch live test match cricket.

            Any complaints, write to here

            1. Mooseman Bronze badge

              Re: Funding Dr Who

              "Why should I get rid of my TV if I don't want to fund your choice of BBC, if you want the BBC you pay for it by subscription. It's like asking me to fund your round of drinks just because I happen to be in the same pub. I don't ask you to pay my Sky subscription so I can watch live test match cricket."

              Really? So you actually pay for all of us to watch the tv of our choice? that's remarkably selfless of you. Silly me, I was under the impression that you paid a relatively small amount annually of which a tiny fraction went to each show, pence probably. But now I know better.

        3. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: This is the BBC making a quota

          I can choose not to watch it, shame I can't choose not to fund it.

          You get that we sell Doctor Who for more than it is made for, right? "Who" is actually subsidising everything that you do watch, so stop frothing.

      2. Bob Hoskins

        Re: This is the BBC making a quota

        LOL. You make a fair point. I'm not afraid of the idea of a female Dr. Who - I just feel....I don't know, no one would insist on Ron Weasly as Anne of Green Gables (I hope).

        I'll be watching, but it's all been a bit pants since Mr. Tennant anyway.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: This is the BBC making a quota

        "What are you afraid of?"

        Oh, that is soooo loaded. In the general context here, that sort of questions is usually used to imply someone is a latent gay in a derogatory way. Is that what you meant?

      4. Triggerfish

        Re: This is the BBC making a quota

        Reading this thread and thinking of some of the comments about William Hartnell being a great doctor, time traveling grumpy old man, I can't help thinking there should be no problem with a woman playing could you imagine Maggie Smith or Judi Dench doing a Hartnell like doctor, they'd be awesome.

        They need to do some work on the storylines though some of them have been pretty poor.

    2. dajames Silver badge

      Re: This is the BBC making a quota

      ... Idris Alba for James Bond

      (I hope that was deliberate, "alba" meaning "white")

      Idris Elba is a fine actor, and I think he'd make a splendid "00" agent, but he's not Bond. James Bond is a specific (albeit fictional) person who happens to be male and white, and there's no reason to cast him as anything else.

      Doctor Who is different. The Doctor has always (Joanna Lumley and Lenny Henry notwithstanding) been played as a character who is male and white, but is an alien whose appearance occasionally changes, sometimes quite dramatically. There's no reason for the Doctor not to be played by someone who is non-male or non-white. There is nothing in the canon that says that this can't happen (and some things that suggest it can) -- only audience expectation.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ground rules

    OK, so you've cast a female actor as the Doctor. No problem, but let's just lay down a few ground rules:

    1. You can make the regeneration episode partly about the character coming to terms with their new gender. After that it should be scripted as if the Doctor has always been female.

    2. You get one brief exception to rule 1 if a character who previously knew the Doctor as male is reintroduced. It's only natural that such a character would comment, but don't make them dwell on it.

    3. Give the new Doctor some decent scripts and storylines. I felt the outgoing 12th was seriously let down in this regard.

    4. Give the new Doctor time to get into the role - if you make this just a temporary flirtation with femininity then it really will only have been a gender politics stunt.

    5. Don't make the new Doctor some kind of sex symbol - this isn't (and shouldn't be) the point of the character at all. IMO 10 and 11 both went too far in this regard, so perhaps this rule has already been thrown under the bus.

    6. Give the new Doctor some decent scripts and storylines.

    Thank you, that is all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ground rules

      Rule 2 to be reserved for the exclusive use of the Brigadier, even if it means getting someone in to impersonate a much younger Nicholas Courtney, with something along the lines of "Oh well, it was bound to happen one day" before proceeding to completely overlook the change.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Ground rules

        "getting someone in to impersonate a much younger Nicholas Courtney"

        Considering Nicholas Courtney has been dead for six years...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ground rules

        "Rule 2 to be reserved for the exclusive use of the Brigadier"

        I was thinking more of Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, as her reappearance is rather more likely. But yes, they would both do very well at shrugging and carrying on as if nothing had happened - much as everyone else should be doing.

    2. Bob Hoskins

      Re: Ground rules

      "Give the new Doctor some decent scripts and storylines."

      That's all that really matters. It's been bloody woeful of late. Terrance Dicks is alive and kicking, we should be paying him big bucks to come back and make everything OK.

    3. Brangdon

      Re: Ground rules

      Also, there should be no pregnancy or magic baby plots for at least 3 seasons. We had enough of that with Amy Pond.

  62. earl grey Silver badge
    Devil

    Doctor Nurse

    For some reason makes me think of Doctor Girlfriend.

    I know, not related at all; just two random brain cells rubbing together.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Doctor Nurse

      It's probably best not to delve too deeply into your girlfriend's dressing up box.

  63. earl grey Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Same whingers who don't like the new female Jane Tennison

    After all, the old one was, erm... wait a mo....

  64. Bruce Ordway

    I'm probably more interested in knowing about the next batch of writers.

    If the stories are good, who cares what gender or color?

    I think part of the charm from the Tom Baker era is light fun, tongue in cheek.

    The last few years it seemed to me like Dr Who would occasionally try a little too hard to make us feel or awaken our social conscious.

    Not that I'm not opposed to stories that deliver a message. I just want to be entertained while they are at it.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why does that photo remind me of Marissa Mayer ?

  66. Kimo

    It's not so much the Doctor..

    ...it's the writing and showrunners that I've thought needed replacing for a while. Capaldi has had a few really good moments (chained up with Robin Hood was a joy to watch) but has generally not had great stories to work with. The actors in the role have been pretty good in general, but some got better scripts than others. Jodie Whittaker has done well in both comedy and drama, and I have no doubt she can handle the role well, given a good script and story arc. I have not seen all of the most recent series, but I liked what I have seen of the companions. I was getting sick of every companion being the most important person ever with some universe-saving destiny. I want to see more low-stakes but fun episodes, not super serious melancholy fatalistic musing all the time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not so much the Doctor..

      > I was getting sick of every companion being the most important person ever with some universe-saving destiny.

      <ding>

      "Quick, Bille-Piper, just put your hand on the Dalek so that your timey-wimey energy will make it good and set it free"

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: It's not so much the Doctor..

        Assuming the new companion is a man they will be allowed to be just a dumb blond whose only job is to shout "doctor look...."

  67. steve 124

    JJ Abrams?

    Did JJ Abrams start working for BBC?

    So, I guess Dr Who will die before my eyes, just like Hans Solo and my beloved Star Trek franchise.

    DAMNIT!! Why can't you leave my beloved shows alone until after I die?

    1. Rattus Rattus

      Re: Hans Solo

      From the much under-appreciated Swedish remake.

  68. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Doctor choice pretty irrelevant.

    What will damn or not the new Doctor will be the quality of the scripts - too much PCness will kill the show quicker than a Doctor in a skirt.

  69. sisk Silver badge

    As I've been saying for years, I've no problem with a female Doctor provided she got the role for the right reasons. If Whittaker happens to be the best one for the job in a fair decision process, great. In that case she'll be a great Doctor and we've much to look forward to. If they went into the process set on a female Doctor for the sake of PC and that's the only reason they picked her then I've a problem with it. "This role needs to be a woman because it's always been a man" is an absolutely stupid reason to cast a female actor for the role. "This actress will be great in this role that's always been a man" is a great reason for a gender swap.

    I suspect that 3 or 4 episodes into the next season we'll all be able to tell which has happened.

    1. rh587 Bronze badge

      As I've been saying for years, I've no problem with a female Doctor provided she got the role for the right reasons. If Whittaker happens to be the best one for the job in a fair decision process, great. In that case she'll be a great Doctor and we've much to look forward to. If they went into the process set on a female Doctor for the sake of PC and that's the only reason they picked her then I've a problem with it. "This role needs to be a woman because it's always been a man" is an absolutely stupid reason to cast a female actor for the role. "This actress will be great in this role that's always been a man" is a great reason for a gender swap.

      A thousand times this.

      They've been hinting at it for ages and setting precedent for cross-gender regenerations. It was just a matter of when. The important thing is that they've done it because they think the time is right for the Doctor to have a female incarnation for story purposes and not PR purposes. We all know cases in other shows where they've felt it necessary to shoe-horn in a gay character or cast an actor from an ethnic minority simply for quota purposes, and it's usually quite obvious when they do so - they script a gay kiss or something that serves no plot purpose other than to emphasise that the character is gay. Because reasons.

      Sexuality/gender/race should go entirely unmentioned unless there is a plot-relevant reason to mention it. I don't expect to see references to "Yes, but now I'm a woman you see. Look, a woman. Aren't I modern? Feminism (or something)."

      Get through the usual post-regen inspection (Eccleston's big ears, Whittaker sizing up her inflated chest), and then that's it. They're the Doctor, on with the adventure.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aww, bitch...

    Christopher Lloyd is THE definitive time lord.

    Followed closely by Rick Sanchez.

  71. Not also known as SC

    Big Reset Switch

    As long as the writers don't fall back on the Big Reset Switch then I don't care about the sex of the Doctor. I'm still annoyed about the way "The Doctor persuades the Master to stop, and the Paradox Machine is destroyed. Time snaps back, and the events of the last year are erased and the Toclafane disappear." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_of_the_Time_Lords) type resets occur and nothing that happens matters because there are never any lasting consequences.

  72. d3vy

    I can imagine describing the series to someone...

    >>Its about an alien.

    OK

    >>They travel in space

    Awesome

    >> They travel through time too

    Brilliant!

    >> When they die they just shape shift into new bodies

    GREAT!!

    >> They've got two hearts

    Stop talking Im sold, I just want to watch it now!

    >> Oh, and boobs.

    WHAT?!?!? Theres no way Im watching that shite.

    Im fairly sure its been hinted at that the Dr doesn't even need to regenerate into human form - I might have imagined that though.

    I've said it before... I've put up with several series of Capalldi* Im hardly going to tune out because of this!

    * I dont have anything against him, he was alright but not great.

  73. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Happy

    Bootnotes?

    El Reg, you're slipping! You should have put this one under 'transformation' rather than 'bootnotes'.

  74. Simon Harris Silver badge

    Regeneration?

    Regenderation.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    13?

    Isn't she actually number 14 if you count John Hurt's incarnation?

    Plus, I have no issues with a woman being cast, but for maximum diversity value it should have been Meera Syal.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Re: 13?

      The War Doctor doesn't count. He even said "Doctor no more" immediately after. he regenerated. He was an incarnation of the Doctor, but he was not a Doctor. He's simply the War Doctor.

  76. kain preacher Silver badge

    I want kermit as the next Dr who and Miss piggy as Missy.

    1. mattje

      Other way round

  77. DrD'eath

    Was the Dr ever male or female?

    Given that the Doctor is not human, and as far as I know Dr Who has never explored sex determination in the series, or its phenotypic expression. Was the Doctor ever male or female as we would define it, maybe on Gallifrey they have multiple sexes, or none.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Was the Dr ever male or female?

      The Doctor has always been decidedly of the male gender and mostly - with the exception of a couple incarnations - of asexual orientation. It least he's always seemed completely uninterested in romantic/sexual entanglements. Which, if you've ever read the book that deals with Time Lord reproduction (I'm not certain of the title right at the moment. Lungbarrow maybe?), makes perfect sense. 8 and 10 seemed heterosexual, 11 seemed omnisexual (in the sense that he was totally oblivious to gender beyond using it as a method to assign pronouns) but didn't have much of a libido. 12 has hinted a couple times at a mild, cautious attraction to Missy, but he's unwilling to explore it for, I think, obvious reasons.Though that may just be me reading into scenes something that wasn't there. And I think it quite obvious, especially in the last couple episodes, that Missy was very attracted to him.

      I think we can safely say that Time Lords do indeed have male and female genders.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm all for a woman playing the Doctor, especially if female Gallifrayans turn out to have unfeasibly large breasts.

  79. unwarranted triumphalism

    Hardly shocking

    Given that the intellectual horizons of science fiction fans generally extend no further than Gor and Star Trek, I'm not surprised at the hateful and bigoted reactions to Jodie's appointment as the new Doctor.

    In the meantime, I shall continue to enjoy more worthwhile pursuits, such as working for a living and going outside.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Hardly shocking

      As an avid fan of the likes of Asimov and Clark who studies quantum physics for fun in my spare time, I resent that remark.

  80. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    An attempt to be relevant

    Nearly all the Doctors have been played by fine actors, each brining something to the role. Well, perhaps Silvester McCoy really was out of his depth or maybe it was having to work with Bonnie Langford? The problems have always been related to poor writing.

    Jodie Whittaker is a fine actress and, unlike say James Bond, there's not a long particularly masculine in the role, so there shouldn't really be any problems. Still, it's going to take some excellent writing and production to overcome any prejudices or suspicion of tokenism that the decision was taken for PR as much as anything else.

    1. Vinyl-Junkie

      Re: An attempt to be relevant

      I'd say it was working with Bonnie Langford; the episodes McCoy did with Sophie Aldred were way better than the Lanford ones.

      1. PatientOne
        Joke

        Re: An attempt to be relevant

        The episodes with Sophie Aldred were Ace!

        Okay, coat, door: Got it!

    2. Vic

      Re: An attempt to be relevant

      Well, perhaps Silvester McCoy really was out of his depth

      At the time, I thought his Doctor was utter shite.

      But re-watching those episodes years later, he's actually doing a remarkable job with some real stinkers of scripts...

      Vic.

  81. roger 8

    Im just waiting for the Doctor to bump in to the wife (Riversnog)

    1. MacroRodent Silver badge

      Im just waiting for the Doctor to bump in to the wife (Riversnog)

      Obviously this turn of events was already in River Song's notebook.

    2. RealBigAl

      That'll only happen if the ratings need a cheap boost

  82. MacroRodent Silver badge

    Wading in late

    Given the Missy/Master gender discussions in "The Doctor Falls", this should really have not surprised anyone. The interplay of the two incarnations of the master was really the most delicious acting I have ever seen in Dr Who.

    I got into Dr Who a few years ago, at the tender age of about 52 (my Missy found some disks for our son to watch, and we were all hooked- in Finland, the Doctor was not on TV when I was a child). Probably a heretical opinion here, but I find the "new" episodes better than the classic ones, which frankly are quite dated, and not just because of their cardboard sets and primitive special effects. The acting is usually better in the new ones, which makes the totally implausible stories fly.

    Eagerly looking forward to seeing where the thirteenth Doctor takes us.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Wading in late

      Probably a heretical opinion here, but I find the "new" episodes better than the classic ones, which frankly are quite dated.

      Not really fair to compare all of the new ones with all of the old ones. The programme started to change from the first episode and had to invent "regeneration" when William Hartnell decided to quit. Continuing the series with a new actor who looked and acted a lot different than Hartnell was at least as controversial as any of the more recent casting decisions.

      The programme was initially about using the Tardis to explain some science to children. Only later did it become part of the science fiction genre it helped create. It was traditionally also produced for immediate consumption, which is why so many of the episodes went missing when the BBC wiped the tapes. Now, it's a medium budget co-production. The budget was a notorious problem throughout the earlier episodes. Don't have the budget for expensive locations? Then you get lots of episodes in shitty sets, quarries and abandoned factories. Filming outside with 16mm and in studios with huge U-Matic cameras was also hugely limiting. The tech was starting to improve by the 1980s but the poor writing and cynicism of the production team really started to show: casting Nicola Byant as an ingenue American student wasn't a bad a idea but having her run around in little more than a bikini all the time was just desperate.

      But, nearly all the good ideas (Daleks, Cybermen, etc.) and tropes for the series were established in the original episodes. This includes a tendency for hamming up the acting and treating the companions as sidekicks: Doctor Who took some of its subjects very seriously but itself less so.

      I haven't seen much of the newer episodes but those I have seen have high production values, including generally good acting. But I haven't found the stories very engaging. I think the biggest pity is that Christopher Eccleston only got the one series. Without him turbo-charging the restart I don't think it would have got very far.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wading in late

        A few points:

        When Hartnell morphed into troughton they hadn't even come up with the word "regeneration" - they were originally going to go with "renewal". They had started thinking about replacing Hartnell a while earlier, as his health was failing and he was having trouble getting his lines right (in those days it mattered more, as they couldn't spend time doing a new take unless the first go was completely messed up). It's the need to produce the show quickly and with low cost that gives the earlier series an unpolished feel.

        The educational focus of the show was more on history, not science. Pure historical episodes were a feature of the first few seasons. Later on they realised that just dropping the doctor and friends into the past didn't really generate much interest, so the pure historicals were dropped in favour of "Doctor goes back into earth's past and finds that <historical_event> was actually caused by ALIENS!". They still regularly fall back on this latter idea now (Shakespeare with alien witches, Robin hood with alien robots, and many, many cases of byegone Zygons).

        The show was originally recorded on tape, it wasn't just produced for immediate consumption and ditched straight after transmission. Unfortunately, the magnetic tape of the time was horrifically bulky and expensive, so archiving rather than reusing tape was very costly. Episodes of the early series were lost because they needed to reuse the tapes for something else, that's all. A lot of the surviving episodes of the older series were actually sourced from copies that had been transferred to film so they could be shown by overseas TV stations. In many cases the soundtracks for these episodes were recovered separately; apparently some fans used to record the soundtracks off the air onto reel to reel tape so all the soundtracks still survive. If you really feel the need you can even watch the missing episodes in "slideshow" format alongside the recovered audio - they had someone who took a series of photos through each and every episode and these photos still exist. There are people who are still looking through old cupboards in foreign TV stations looking for film copies of the episodes where the visuals are still lost - amazingly they still make (re)discoveries from time to time. The amount of effort that's been expended to reconstruct the earlier series is mind boggling, and a testament to the show's cult appeal.

        The original series wasn't about the Doctor and his sidekicks, instead it was focused on Ian and Barbara, Science and History teachers (respectively) who happened to end up travelling with a mysterious doctor. The specific teaching credentials of these first companions was all about facilitating the show's educational credentials. They were no sidekicks - they were the stars of the show and most of the time were more important to proceedings than the Doctor himself. Hartnell's character gradually took more control over proceedings, particularly after the departure of the two teachers, but it's only really from Troughton onwards that the Doctor really became the main character driving the plots. Even then, it's still a bit churlish to call some of these characters sidekicks - while you wouldn't trust Bonnie Langford's character to change a lightbulb the Doctor has had his fair share of useful companions through the years.

        You can blame the solitary season for Eccleston on the man himself - apparently so afraid of typecasting he agreed to one season only, refused to renew his contract, and has done his best to keep away from the show completely since (which is why you only saw him alongside Hurt, Tennant and Smith as a life size cardboard cutout). No great problem for me - I preferred Tennant anyway - but I do agree it was in part his big name appeal that gave the show the boost it needed to relaunch as it did.

        1. Richard Wharram

          Re: Wading in late

          "while you wouldn't trust Bonnie Langford's character to change a lightbulb the Doctor has had his fair share of useful companions through the years"

          Mel Bush was a computer programmer with a photographic memory.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wading in late

            "Mel Bush was a computer programmer with a photographic memory."

            Fair enough, I stand corrected. I guess I just didn't like Bonnie Langford, or maybe it was just that the scripts of the time mostly had her input limited to screaming at monsters. I'll find out when I get around to rewatching that era.

          2. RealBigAl

            Re: Wading in late

            you forgot to add

            "and an excruciatingly annoying voice"

        2. sisk Silver badge

          Re: Wading in late

          The educational focus of the show was more on history, not science.

          It was actually about half and half. Go back and watch season 1 of the classic again and you'll see it, particularly in The Daleks (the second story), where they go into pretty good detail about the basics of electricity. Considering that they were working with a 20 minute episode format the amount of time spent on the subject can't be anything less than an intentional lesson for the viewers.

      2. lorisarvendu

        Re: Wading in late

        "Not really fair to compare all of the new ones with all of the old ones."

        Difficult one this. Although I'll agree that many Doctor Who episodes between the 60s and 80s were indeed very well acted and produced for the time , they can be difficult to watch after being used to the snappier direction and editing of modern Who.

        Much as I love the programme myself, I find them slow and padded in comparison to the sometimes breakneck pace of the new series. Since I was "brought up" on late Troughton, all of Pertwee, and early Tom, I find those the easiest to watch. Whether that is due to them actually being "snappier" than Hartnell's stories, or whether it is due to watching them through nostalgia-tinted glasses is difficult for me to determine, though I suspect it is the latter, because I have made several abortive attempts to watch Davison, Colin, and McCoy, and I just can't manage to get through them.

        You would expect that the closer you get to the present, they would be easier to watch, but for me they're not, so I can only put this down to the fact that I never saw them when young, and therefore there is no "inner child" to offset my 21st Century expectations.

        This was particularly noticeable with the 1996 release of "Tomb of the Cybermen". I watched it both through the eyes of an adult (who was appalled at the slow pace and bad acting) and the inner child of the 1960s who was still thrilled and scared by it.

        To be honest I have the same problem with Shakespeare. I know that it is classic literature, but I just can't sit through all that iambic pentameter.

  83. MJI Silver badge

    Thoughts

    The writing has always been variable, but not sure on the new show runner.

    RTD did a good relaunch and Moffat did a good takeover.

    Some new Who episodes are classics (Blink, the castle one with Capaldi).

    Actors variable, Tom Baker still favourite despite starting with Jon Pertwee.

    But the last few all worked though. Only odd ones were Tristian Farnon and Silvester McCoy, (not bad, but odd), got to give it to Peter Capaldi to be the Doctor despite a biggish name.

    As to woman been there done that with Missie.

    However I am not that bothered, more concerned if I will actualy like it. Will it be like the best of the original, the best of RTD, the best of SM, or like the worth of?

    Or will it be completely different, I have seen that launch trailer and definatley a bit worried. Style, not keen on.

  84. Alistair Silver badge
    Go

    woot.

    7

    (at this point)

    7 pages of comments on an article about a TV show, by techies, on a tech news site.

    Claim your Geek status with an up

    Claim your Nerd status with a down.

  85. VinceLortho

    Please..

    The show is great and so are the choices for Doctor. This should be as excellent a Doctor as ever. Any direction (or time) is good, as long as I do not have the suffer through the 1970's writing where the scribbler's only inspirations seemed to be Tom Mix serials and inventing reasons for the low-budget recycled Macbeth sets. Specifically. the inevitable setup of being trapped with no chance to escape and moments from death and.. K9 blasts a hole in a cardboard/Styrofoam wall, the end.

  86. d2

    GetOuttaMyER

    needs be said: ' TV Show “Doctor Who” Changes Name to “Nurse Who” After Realizing There Are No Woman Doctors By Lord Lockwell'

    http://gomerblog.com/2017/07/tv-show-doctor-changes-name-nurse-realizing-no-woman-doctors/

  87. bertkaye

    Flaws in this pudding

    1. two words: sonic tampon

    2. waiting for someone to discover Doctor is bigger on the inside than she is on the outside.

    3. angry Daleks switch to chanting 'menstruate, menstruate!'

    4. Cybermen claim "once you've had Cyber you'll never go back!"

    5. The Master will insist "Let's have a drink and let me show you why they call me the Master".

    6. pink Police Box with begonias very conspicuous

    7. Doctor's secret weapon: "you may as well give up now, I have PMS!"

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Flaws in this pudding

      Fuckwit.

  88. Eduard Coli

    Personally, I couldn't care less...

    I'll probably watch the first episode and if she's good continue and if not chock it up to PC.

    In the fluff they could have run a parallel Rx. Who as a women in the form of his clone in "The Rebel Flesh".

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