When the rumours started that the next Doctor might be a woman, I was intrigued but not hopeful. Even when it was just rumours there were male fans (#notallmen) who were up in arms. How dare this fictional alien change in an unapproved way.
When the video announcement was released it became obvious that I did care very much. Tears came to my eyes as I realized it was a woman. There was immediate outcry. People who said they would never watch again. How dare this they change this character who has been multiple different types of men and all sorts of Brits into a woman.
I was nervous when it was finally time for that first episode. I desperately wanted to like her in the role. I wanted her to be – in the words of the ninth Doctor – fantastic. I wanted to love her more dearly than even the tenth doctor, who is the one I compare all the others to.
And you know what? She is.
She’s amazing. She’s Tennant-esque but with her own style. She’s funny. She’s quick. The writing is glorious.
The moment in the first episode when she finally uttered the great words “Because I’m the Doctor…” I knew I loved her. I couldn’t ask for more from her. Now I have to feel sorry for all those people who decided to write off the entire fandom because the producers deigned to put a woman in the lead, instead of as another companion falling in love with the Doctor.
I think that’s why I don’t like Martha – because so soon after Rose I didn’t want to see another companion loving the Doctor (though Freema Agyeman is on New Amsterdam now and quite good), and why I like Donna so much, in that she so definitively was NOT in love with the Doctor.
Jodie Whittaker has apparently said she might only do one season of Doctor Who, and I can’t say I would blame her. I can’t imagine it’s been easy. It hasn’t been easy to just watch. But it would be our great loss.