As ever, when the time comes to cast a new Doctor, the age-old question rears its head- will they be female? Some say new showrunner Chris Chibnall may well lack the necessary balls to do it, but a look at his most recent TV hit Broadchurch reveals the perfect candidate should he buck a rather large trend.
Perhaps the woman behind Ellie Miller would represent almost too obvious a candidate? But if Peter Davison can bag the part based on his performances in All Creatures Great And Small - a John Nathan Turner gig pre-Who - & Colin Baker can in turn replace him after initially appearing in another role & doing enough to impress said producer, who's to say Olivia Colman couldn't build on her cameo as one of Prisoner Zero's human hosts during Matt Smith's debut in The Eleventh Hour by taking the TARDIS key from Peter Capaldi (who'd, of course, also initially appeared in another story prior to his casting). After all with David Tennant around as Alec Miller she could have picked up a few tips on the set of Broadchurch!
Moving to shoo off rumours she could reunite with the new man running things behind the scenes during this new Chibnallian Era, she's already said
“My brother sent me a text saying ‘Congratulations, they’ve released odds on you being the new Doctor Who. How funny, I wouldn’t put any money on it!”Many will, though, no doubt. After all, she was previously believed to be 10-1 to take over from Smith when he departed, & she now has the backing of Tennant himself........
"If the two of them [Colman and Chibnall] have been having top secret discussions behind my back, I will be furious! [However] Olivia would clearly be a magnificent choice."The Guardian makes the excellent point that Chibnall's predecessor himself made it possible for all this female Doctor talk to be taken seriously, and their first choice for the part? None other than Ms Colman...
"Though he is frequently trolled for his ability-or-otherwise to write women, one of (Steven) Moffat’s legacies is having written into continuity that it is possible for Time Lords-and-Ladies to reassign gender. Extending the casting circle to the 51%, the most obvious contender would be the UK’s most beloved purveyor of complicated women."What Michelle Gomez, currently playing the first female incarnation of the Master, has to say about that is anyone's guess.
Even Harriet Harman has waded into the debate, saying,
“Of course there should be a female Doctor Who but we need a man as her assistant, that’s the important thing.”As a former deputy leader of the Labour Party, of course she would be interested in the gender politics of such a move. Prime Minister Theresa May was a little more pragmatic by comparison. A statement said,
"As someone who has been clear she enjoys Doctor Who, I think she will just want to see it continue and continue to be entertaining. It's for the programme-makers to decide."Nevertheless the fact the issue is being discussed around Whitehall itself makes this arguably one of the most interesting build-ups to the coming of a new Doctor in living memory, surely? Critic Mark Lawson looks at it from a more practical standpoint.
“It seems likely that Charlotte Moore, BBC TV’s director of content, will at least want a conversation about whether the gender and race of the character played by a dozen white men so far is written in stone tablets somewhere in the galaxy.”Of course, now it isn't quite so set in stone...........
DOCTOR: I've got mail. Time Lord emergency messaging system. In an emergency, we'd wrap up thoughts in psychic containers and send them through time and space. Anyway, there's a living Time Lord still out there, and it's one of the good ones.And given the time put into explaining just why the Twelfth Doctor's face looked a little familiar, wouldn't it be refreshing to see Colman's presence as a simple ''because I can'' from Chibnall, asserting himself upon sliding his feet under Moffatt's old desk? Her casting would also finally allow the man she had been to experience womanhood, a bemusing prospect for the Eleventh as he came to terms with yet another new body.
RORY: You said there weren't any other Time Lords left.
DOCTOR: There are no Time Lords left anywhere in the universe. But the universe isn't where we're going. See that snake? The mark of the Corsair. Fantastic bloke. He had that snake as a tattoo in every regeneration. Didn't feel like himself unless he had the tattoo. Or herself, a couple of times. Ooo, she was a bad girl.
"Legs. I've still got legs. Good. Arms. Hands. Ooo, fingers. Lots of fingers. Ears, yes. Eyes, two. Nose, I've had worse. Chin, blimey. Hair. I'm a girl! No. No. I'm not a girl. And still not ginger."One of those boxes must surely soon be ticked in this day & age........