DOCTOR WHO - What if Catherine Zeta-Jones was the Ninth Doctor?

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Christopher Morley imagines how Doctor Who might've been if Russell T Davies really had cast Catherine Zeta-Jones in the title role.


With Russell T Davies admitting that if he'd stayed on as head writer for Doctor Who, he'd have seriously contemplated a female Doctor ( Catherine Zeta Jones his choice for the part) as a future development- perhaps even replacing David Tennant's Tenth Doctor following The End Of Time- an interesting point crops up. What if he'd actually done so even earlier in the Doctor's time-line & made the Ninth a lady? It would be unprecedented, yes. But with the slate wiped clean perhaps 2005's Series One & indeed beyond (presuming the Lady Doctor didn't do as the 'real' Nine did & leave after just one series) could have been the ideal time to attempt such an experiment.....

Of course Episode 1 of that series is more about the Doctor's new companion & his quest to find her, but how would Rose Tyler interact with a Time Lord member of her own sex? Its tempting to suggest that there might have been some initial friction before their friendship truly got under way! But imagine how scenes like this would've been greeted had the Doctor indeed been a woman...



The surprise factor would have undoubtedly been even higher than Christopher Eccleston's first appearance in the part on that fateful Saturday teatime, especially if it had been kept secret that the Doctor had had quite a radical change in appearance since the Eighth's last adventure, as well as hiding the fact Davies had managed to convince such a big name to play the part! Whether that change would have been for the better we'll never know, sadly or not depending on point of view.

But could Rose have been even more drawn to travel with the Lady Ninth upon learning that she had yearned to escape the dullness of life on Gallifrey a long time ago, admiring her spirit of adventure in simply stealing a TARDIS & getting the hell away from home as Ms Tyler similarly craves down here on Earth? Her reaction to learning that the Doctor was once a man & is still getting used to having a female body could also be priceless! It could go one of two ways. This newest & most radically different incarnation could be dismissed as mad by her potential companion, forcing her to look elsewhere & choose someone else ( perhaps a man, just to reverse the age-old ' male Doctor, lady companion/companions' thing), making Nine's first journeys radically different from those of her male counterpart in the conventional swing of things.

Or they could bond over a shared struggle to accept the unique difficulties faced by women in the modern age, with the Doctor gaining new perspective as she finally sees things from a female point of view after eight bodies' worth of travels as a man. Her meetings with the likes of Captain Jack Harkness & Lady Cassandra would also be rather different from those of the man in the leather jacket!




Which brings us onto her potential choice of clothing post-regeneration. Would she opt for similar to what the ' real' Nine wore throughout his run...


...or embrace her feminine side & dress quite unlike any of her past selves as a way of distancing herself from them? After all she'd have good reason to following the events of the Time War...


Ah yes, the War. We know the male Ninth brooded over its outcome, convinced that he'd committed double genocide against both his own people & the Daleks. But would the female version be any different? She could of course merely accept her War service as a necessity of her manly past, seeing this new body as a chance to start over & move on from her time as Gallifrey's greatest soldier. We might even eventually have seen the circumstances of the War Doctor's rebirth as a woman in an alternative Day Of The Doctor following his meeting with his future selves. But consider also the possibility that Lady Nine could be one of the future selves he encounters on his road to changing the ultimate fate of his home.

He could quite easily dismiss her claim to be his future self as he did his Tenth & Eleventh incarnations ( deeming it unlikely to say the least until she proves him wrong in spectacular fashion). But there's a chance he might also be more receptive to the idea- which would also allow for greater background on the Corsair, the snake-tattooed gender-swapping earlier precedent of just how the Doctor herself might have gone from man to lady in the blink of an eye. Perhaps the two could have encountered each other pre- The Doctor's Wife? After all its not implausible that the Doctor might struggle to accept her change into a member of the fairer sex. Who better to seek advice from than the Corsair, whichever incarnation/gender he/she may be at the time of their meeting?

Perhaps a few wise words from the elder Time Lord might convince Lady Nine that being a woman isn't so bad after all, giving her fresh impetus to continue on her travels through space & time- if its a male Corsair he might look back on his time as a woman with fondness, or if she's a lady she'd clearly know more about it than the Doctor. Their chats would offer the chance for us to learn a great deal more about the process of regeneration itself, as well as building more of a lineage for the idea that jumping between sexes is more natural in Time Lord society than previously thought.

Which just might in turn warm people to the idea of more future Doctors being of the same sex as this Ninth- bringing a whole new dimension to New-Who's tradition of having each post-Eccleston Doctor making some comment on their new bodies!




If on the other hand fan backlash against the idea of a woman holding the sonic screwdriver proved so great that the idea of killing her off was seriously considered, she could simply be given a decent ending to her story & regenerate into a man once more.

Of course the new male Doctor would retain the memories of his previous female self, which could prove interesting! You'll notice that the Eleventh initially supposed himself to be a girl following his massively explosive introduction into proceedings, so what if the man to take the reins from the most feminine of past selves still supposed himself to be her in a moment of confusion? A great comedy moment for the audience & a nice nod to having been bold enough to really shake things up for however long. It may only be a hypothetical, granted, but would you have liked to see it in reality? Whether you're open to the idea of the Doctor as a lady in future or dead set against it, any opinions on the issue from you would be- as a great man once said- ' fantastic'!
Warped Factor
Words in the key of geek!