Steven Moffat has revealed what he thinks it would take to have a female Doctor on Doctor Who.
When popular Doctor Matt Smith exited the BBC”s “Doctor Who” fans anxiously awaited the reveal of the new Doctor. Given the nature of the character”s regenerative powers, many wondered if executive producers Steven Moffat may go in a different direction for the character, perhaps casting a non-Caucasian man or a woman of any race for this iteration of the series.
The conversation frequently centered on the question: Can The Doctor be a woman? There was a lot of back-and-forth in the press about Moffat”s take on the matter. Reports wavered between indicating that he was entirely opposed to the prospect to that he was open. Ultimately, it was Peter Capaldi – a white male – who stepped in to replace Smith.
At today”s TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour, Moffat was asked again about his take on the matter and said that there”s a possibility that there may eventually be a female Doctor, but she would need to be “carved out of solid star.”
To be fair, Moffat said that was the quality that any Doctor needs to have. He”s asked this question quite a bit, and likely even more so now that he”s introduced Michelle Gomez as Missy/the new Master and audiences have enthusiastically responded to her portrayal.
Moffat says that he hopes that Capaldi will play The Doctor through the end of time and that a new regeneration is a long way off. When that does happen, however, Moffat said that he”d like to keep politics out of the decision. Ultimately, he finds the question of whether The Doctor will or will not be a female to be “an odd one.”
“People always say, ‘Will a woman play The Doctor?”” Moffat began. “No one ever says, ‘Will a man play The Doctor?” Most men would be rubbish as The Doctor. There very few people who would do that part.”
Yet, Moffat does feel that it”s important to continue to “expand what the show can do.”
“That”s why it”s alive,” he conceded. “Quite consciously: I”m not making it inevitable and I”m not preventing it. I”m just saying it”s possible. The key thing about changing The Master to Missy is that The Doctor doesn”t react to it at all. He just carries on talking. He”s shocked that she”s there, but he doesn”t say anything about the fact that she”s a woman. So clearly that”s a very big statement. That”s just a thing that happens.
“In my head, rationally it seems to me…You know how human beings are never fully male or female? We”re all a bit of both. You know, you”re mostly a woman and I”m mostly a man. So, maybe a male Time Lord would have most of their regenerations as a male. Maybe he”ll have a couple as a female. The science fiction of that makes sense to me. Otherwise I think life might be a little bit complicated on Gallifrey. Or would it? I don”t think they care. I don”t think they care…
“With writing Missy I thought well, ‘She doesn”t care. They”re not like us.” They certainly don”t appear to have much enthusiasm for all of these activities anyway. I don”t think it matters.”
Yet, it does seem to matter when thinking about the casting of a new Doctor. Both for producers and within the fan base – with many having impassioned points-of-view on both sides of the matter.
When asked how he feels the “Doctor Who” audience may react to the idea of a lady Doctor, Moffat said that the simple truth is that “nobody knows.”
“It”s not the impossibility that there will be a lady Doctor – it is not a lock, either,” he said. “There is no guarantee. I wish the politics of that would take a back seat and we could just talk about the art. Because it”s not really about that. It”s about, ‘Would it work?” When it would work is when somebody says, ‘That person would be amazing.” And the most conservative, traditional member of the audience says, ‘Oh God, yes!””
When Hitfix asked what quality would say “Oh my God, yes” to him, Moffat replied, “Sheer carved out of solid star.”
“Someone who you can”t take your eyes off,” he continued. “Not because they”re beautiful. Usually they”re not quite beautiful. Someone whose face is so fascinating that you can”t take your eyes off them. I mean Peter Capaldi can”t sit there without you looking at his frowny face. He”s not even frowning…that”s just his face naturally!”
Have your say: Would you like to see a female Doctor Who? Does it matter? If so, who might some “carved from a star” candidates be?