The soon to launch eleventh season of “Doctor Who” marks the biggest mini-reboot of the franchise since the 2005 relaunch. Along with new showrunner Chris Chibnall, it also sees a woman (Jodie Whittaker) playing the title role for the first time in the show’s six-decade history.
In a new interview with Digital Spy, the producers say the gender switch was not only easy but a requirement of the new showrunners coming onboard. Executive producer Matt Strevens says:
“We knew in our gut it was about time and it felt like the right decision, and the character is not gender-specific, in any way really. If ever there was a character that was never defined by gender, it’s the Doctor. The Doctor is gender fluid in that sense. Once Peter [Capaldi] had decided he was leaving, the next Doctor was always going to be a female Doctor. That’s what Chris wanted, that was part of his conditions of doing the job.”
Chibnall himself adds: “It felt like a straightforward decision, it’s not that controversial. It’s very hard to think of many examples in its 55-year history where the Doctor takes a decision based upon gender.”
Time Lords have been seen swapping genders and races in the past when they regenerate, though that hasn’t happened to The Doctor himself as such. “Doctor Who” kicks off on BBC One on October 7th.
An adventure like no other. New Doctor Who, Sunday 7th October. pic.twitter.com/jZI7ZZr733
— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) September 17, 2018