Peter Davison: The Female Doctor Controversy | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Peter Davison: The Female Doctor Controversy

Redbrick TV's Lucy McCann got the chance to catch up with Peter Davison and asked the Fifth Doctor about Jodie Whittaker's controversial casting

When it comes to interviewing celebrities, there is often an “elephant in the room” that you, as the interviewer, do not mention. So when it came to interviewing Peter Davison, us at Redbrick, knew that the 'Female Doctor' controversy was a risk. But we did it anyway.

From the outset, a female Doctor may just be ‘ticking a box’ as Davison suggests, or solution to the global outrage at the BBC’s gender pay gap. Despite this, is having a female Doctor going to stop the show from being a global sensation?

The strength of Davison's opinion was startling, if not slightly time-warped
The strength of Davison's opinion was startling, if not slightly time-warped. Davison claimed that Doctor Who is an icon for little boys, and that little boys, the world over, had lost an icon to the BBC’s vision of diversity. But since Doctor Who returned in 2005, it has inevitably become an obsession for a whole new generation of science fiction fanatics, made of boys and girls. Surely it is time to acknowledge the female fan base by representing in the titular role.

The first official photo of Jodie Whittaker in costume as she takes over the role of the Time Lord this Christmas.

It also makes complete sense.  Approximately half of the global population is female (give or take), so nature dictates that must have been at least one female Doctor, out of all 13 regenerations. Granted, we are talking about a TV series, and the laws of nature have no place on a TV set.

I can agree with Davison that the BBC can’t turn back from this
However, I can agree with Davison that the BBC can’t turn back from this, but then again – is this really a bad thing? There’s not much point grumbling about the death of a male-dominated culture, that, let’s be frank, is long past dead. Surely, the way forward is accepting change in popular culture, and embracing something that is new to everyone?

Jodie Whittaker has recently said that the Doctor’s new ‘body happens to be female.’  She manages to reduce such a massive controversy to a simple change in anatomy. That’s all it is, at the end of the day.



Published

19th December 2017 at 9:00 am



Images from

Cultbox and BBC News



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