For two months, Doctor Who fans waited, occupying their time in the lush fields of speculation and debate, while wondering who the next Doctor would be - and whether that choice should and would be the first Doctor of a different race or a different gender.
In the end, Peter Capaldi was the choice. An eminently talented 55 year old Scottish actor who, physically, has a lot in common with his 11 predecessors. Despite his appearance, and despite the fact that it is quite hard to emphatically judge such things, it seems as though the choice of Capaldi has been received with a solid amount of goodwill, but that doesn't mean that the debate about the feasibility of a female Doctor has gone quiet. Now Steven Moffat is weighing in on why he decided not to pick a woman as the last of the Time Lords this time around.
Here's the Doctor Who showrunner from an interview earlier today.
"It didn't feel right to me, right now. I didn't feel enough people wanted it [...] Oddly enough most people who said they were dead against it – and I know I'll get into trouble for saying this – were women [...] [They were] saying, 'No, no, don't make him a woman!'"
Living in the internet bubble universe makes it easy to recount, one by one, erudite arguments in favor of a female Doctor - and the throngs of people, including Dame Helen Mirren, who wanted it to happen. While it's unclear where exactly Moffat was getting his info, he must not have heard a deafening buzz coming from those who were hoping for a female Doctor. Maybe Moffat, and the BBC, needed to see overwhelming support to feel as if such a profound shift would be well-received.
Is that fair? Some will say yes, that Moffat has a responsibility to keep the show alive and to mitigate risk, but to others, breaking ground is never easy and rarely popular. How ever you come down on Moffat's remarks and his reasons for not choosing a female time lord, though, it's worth noting that this debate has never made as much headway as it did this time around - maybe next round we'll actually see the TARDIS fly right through that glass ceiling.
Doctor Who returns for its 50th Anniversary Special on November 23rd.
Source: Digital Spy