Okay. Female Doctor Who. Let's get into it.
(Fair warning: I've been drinking and I grew up in New England in the 80s. Brace yourselves. Expletives are coming.)
So it seems that the entertainment industry has JUST figured out that more diverse casts get more eyeballs. No shit. As someone with a little experience in the entertainment industry, I can honestly tell you folks, executives don't give one flaming shit what they put on the screen. They want eyeballs. The sci-fi market is saturated with dudes. You put a new Star Wars movie in theaters, dudes are going. Disney/Lucasfilm/Marvel needs more eyeballs. Here's a thought: FEMALE PROTAGONISTS.
The Force Awakens, Rogue One and Wonder Woman all scored big hits with female protagonists. And ever true to itself, the entertainment industry is now jumping on this new trend ad nauseam. Some feel threatened by this.
Personally, I don't give one flaming shit either. Give me a good story and good characters because I'm not an insecure male sci-fi fan and I don't need to relate to the characters or feel represented within a narrative. If you don't rely on tropes and cliches in your story and give me a fresh take, I'll tune in week after week and binge the shit out of your program/story/video game/cartoon/whatever until doomsday.
Sci-fi fans are slow to change. "They're fucking with a thing I love, HOW DARE THEY?!!" It makes sense. There is comfort in the things we love. We want more of that. Problem is, with properties that have been running for years and years, keeping things fresh and producing new story lines gets increasingly difficult. There's a great documentary on Netflix called Chaos on the Bridge that chronicles the struggle to bring Star Trek The Next Generation to the screen. Fans were OUTRAGED! How could they do a new Trek without the original cast? HOW DARE THEY?!
Now TNG is TNG and has almost a big and loyal following as OTS and of course, right? Jean Fucking Luc Picard?!!! Right? But it was not well received and it took fans a while and blah blah blah.
A female Doctor brings new possibilities and new stories and a chance to shake up the status quo. Like Buffy used to do ALL THE TIME. And everyone complained every fucking time they changed the cast and changed the setting and then it was fine because Buffy was awesome. And she saved the world. A lot. Is this a gimmick? Yes and no. The Doctor is regenerating. Peter Capaldi is out. The show must change. And TV by its very nature is gimmicky. "Tonight on a very special Blossom" didn't happen in a vacuum and people tune in for events. The first female Doctor is an event.
A friend pointed out that the first way that a female Doctor can fail is if they focus solely on the fact that she's a female. Make too much of a big deal about that and it becomes a statement rather than a story about a time traveling alien. And the Doctor IS an alien. Therefore, sex should matter about as much as being a ginger. I haven't seen any of the new season because we ditched cable last year, so this might no longer be the case, but the previous season felt stale. Contrived. I still enjoyed it but the last episode I absolutely loved was the 50th anniversary with Tennant and Smith and that was mostly because of Tennant and Smith.
The point is that a female Doctor is a good idea. Like it or not, life is change. We may resent it initially but we often find ourselves embracing it. Good characters, good story. Nothing else matters. Not race, gender, sexual orientation or creed.
So give her a fucking chance. If she's written well, you'll embrace her the same way you did when you were super pissed that they cast some old guy after Matt Smith. After all, the show is called Doctor Who, not Doctor Him.