Jodie Whittaker is Doctor Who, whether you like it or not

Last month’s Doctor Who Christmas special saw the end of Peter Capaldi’s run as the 12th Doctor as he regenerated into the 13th incarnation of the iconic character. Many of you already know that the 13th Doctor will be played by Jodie Whittaker, marking the first time that a woman has been given the opportunity to take on the 50 plus year old character.

I’m rather excited about it. In a positive way, I should add.

I say that because, as many of you know, a lot of people are getting very excited about this in a negative way. In the last couple of weeks I have made the mistake of reading several threads of online comments posted on various social media sites. Each one reads exactly the same and none of them go anywhere, even though they will run on for hundreds of comments or more per thread.

Most of the critics seem to argue that casting Jodie Whittaker to play a time traveling alien who can regenerate into different people somehow is part of a larger PC War on  Men Conspiracy. Sometimes they will specify white men. In the threads I mentioned Whittaker’s detractors will list all of the characters on the show that have been played by women or actors of color as if this somehow lessens them, presumably as men or white people. A similar cry went up when a black actress was cast to play Hermione Granger in the stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The argument sounds a lot like that offered by many Conservatives lately in the US to combat any attempt by women or POC to be treated with fairness and equality. Any such attempt, they claim, constitutes a war on white men and because it is war and they are being attacked, said white men are justified in lashing out. In many cases, the lashing is done with words, anonymously on the internet, where they can say things that they would not have the courage to say to someone’s face unless backed up by a mob.

To you sad, little people, I’ll say this. It is not about you. Not even a little bit. The casting of Jodie Whittaker is not a salvo in the ongoing war taking place in your head. Fans of the show will know that all new Doctors are met with trepidation. We all have out favorites (in my case T. Baker, Pertwee, and Tennent) and those that we aren’t as fond of (C. Baker, Davidson). But even those of you that hate the choice can be reassured by one thing: no Doctor is forever. She is the 13th Doctor. There will be a 14th.

The show is bigger than its pieces.

Jodie, good luck. I am eager to see you take on my favorite role.

 

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