SDCC Doctor Who Panel, Hall H, July 23, 2017
This last weekend, I had the honor of being at the San Diego Comic Con International, Hall H panel for Doctor Who. 7000 attendees, press and professionals were present to honor Peter Capaldi (12th Doctor), Steven Moffat (Executive Producer and Head Writer), and Pearl Mackie (Bill Pots, Companion). The audience gave a standing ovation to Peter Capaldi and he was moved as it was the first time he has ever received a standing ovation. My wife and I were very thankful to be present to honor Peter Capaldi in particular as we have missed the annual San Diego panel for the last few years.
What is grabbing a lot of headlines though? The 13th Doctor is female. But, who cares? What is going to happen when you finally see a female doctor controlling the TARDIS and pulling companions through adventures? This is not a cross dresser changing their gender from a male to a female. This is an alien with no gender preference.
The First Female Doctor Who
What does a female doctor give us? A female doctor affords countless story lines and opens the opportunity for many new story lines. It gives us puns and blessedly awkward moments when she meets former Companions or Doctors. Just imagine the 10th (David Tennant) or 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) meeting the 13th Doctor (Jodie Whittaker). Or The Ponds or Rose or any dozens of Companions. Or (just as wonderful) the enemies of the Doctor. You could even have the Daleks mistake a male companion as the Doctor and, surprise, it is Jodie Whittaker!
Defending Jodi Whittaker (13th Doctor)
In the Hall H panel, we saw an animated Moffat who had to defend the decision of making the next Doctor female. “There has been so many press articles about a backlash among the Doctor Who fandom about casting a female Doctor,” Moffat said. “There has been no backlash at all. The story of the moment is that the notionally conservative Doctor Who fandom has utterly embraced that change completely. Eighty-percent approval on social media, not that I check these things obsessively. So many people wanting to pretend there is a problem. There isn’t. It’s been incredibly progressive and enlightened and that’s what really happened. I wish every other journalist who is writing the alternative would shut the hell up.”
I could not have said it any better. It sounds like journalists are making a big controversy out of nothing. Frankly, I am just happy to see the Doctor on my television on Chirstmas Day. Stay the course Doctor and drive us into a bigger and better universe where people are just happy to be entertained by great writing, acting and heroism. And, just in case you have not seen the trailer that was dropped for the Christmas Special, here it is.
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