Sexist “Doctor Who” fans got a much-needed history lesson courtesy of the BBC this week, after some viewers expressed disappointment that the next Doctor on the long-running series will be a woman.
Following news that Jodie Whittaker had been cast as the next Doctor, the complaints section of the BBC website noted that it had been contacted by viewers who were “unhappy” about the choice.
And then the broadcaster launched into an epic explanation of the Doctor’s nature — which is not bound by gender.
“Since the first Doctor regenerated back in 1966, the concept of the Doctor as a constantly evolving being has been central to the program. The continual input of fresh ideas and new voices across the cast and the writing and production teams has been key to the longevity of the series,” the BBC noted. “The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey and it has been established in the show that Time Lords can switch gender.”
The BBC went on to praise Whittaker personally, saying she has “a bold and brilliant vision” for the role.
“As the Controller of BBC Drama has said, Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor. She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role. She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor,” the BBC said. “We hope viewers will enjoy what we have in store for the continuation of the story.”
After Sunday’s announcement that Whittaker would be assuming the role, some male fans of the show expressed their displeasure that a female had been chosen.
The BBC hasn’t been the only organization to set the record straight on the matter. Earlier this week, Merriam-Webster weighed in via its Twitter account, noting, “‘Doctor’ has no gender in English.”