The Doctor Who Thread


I’m a member on Gallifreybase - arguably the biggest online Doctor Who forum - and yes, I can confirm that all hell has erupted over there since the casting announcement.

When Moffat first gave us a female Doctor in his SIDS charity spoof, The Curse of Fatal Death (played no less than by Joanna Lumley!), I accepted it in the context it was presented - a bit of fun. But when he then gained control of the show, and promptly started inserting references to sex-swapping Time Lords, I knew it was only a matter of time… culminating (for him) with the Missy Master. I am sure Moffat must be pissed that he didn’t get to oversee the transition himself.

I can’t say I know a lot about the man, but from what I do know, I can’t imagine Sydney Newman would have approved of the idea of his cranky old mad professor turning into a woman… But then again, he did give Verity Lambert, a young inexperienced woman the first producer role at the BBC… And somehow I could picture her thinking this was a great idea. Hartnell himself, well, I think his grave’s probably been pretty noisy over the past day…

For the record, no, I’m not thrilled, but as I’ve done with all of the new era Doctors - I’ll give them an episode to convince me… If she loses my son/s, then she’ll lose a lifeline (because it was only my eldest’s interest that kept me watching any of Smith).

Chibnell will really need to pull a rabbit out of his hat here, because it’s going to take some really good writing, and good acting, to capture the MASSIVE audiences that I expect will tune in for Ep 1 of 2018… The great risk is that a large chunk of the already decreasing audience will turn off, and not enough new people will find it in time.


I too am not thrilled. To the point that I don’t know if I’ll even bother watching the next series. Trouble of course is that people like me are on a hiding to nothing. Raise any objection and it’s interpreted as being a knuckle dragging troglodyte that hates women.

FWIW - my problems are from a storytelling perspective. Any story, even sci-fi has to be internally consistent. In fact, if anything, there’s probably more of an onus on sci-fi to be so. And the regeneration of the 13th Doctor to be a female is not consistent with what has happened before. Because as Cosmic points out, before Moffat, there had never been anything pointing to the Time Lords being able to change sex when regenerating. It may have been suggested at various times, by various people, but it was never filmed. Instead we had entire arcs taking place in Gallifrey, with male Time Lords staying male, and female Time Lords staying female. This move retcons what has gone before in a way that I think spoils the entire continuity of the Doctor’s story.

If they wanted to go in this direction, then what they should have done was declare the 2005 series a remake (or reboot if you must), with Ecclestone as the first doctor. They could then take the story in whatever directions they wanted to, being able to pay homage to the original when appropriate, but not constrained by what stories had been told before. But instead it seems they wanted to have their cake and eat it. They wanted the cachet of the longest running sci-fi series, along with the fan base that brought, but still being able to ‘modernise’ it, and not being bothered by contradicting what has gone before. There were plenty of examples before this announcements, but this was the proverbial camel back’s straw as the saying goes, at least for this little black duck.

And while I’m on a rant, what Doctor Who needs is to remember that it’s primarily meant to be a sci-fi series, not a soap-opera. It needs to return to the days where the story is about what the doctor does, not who he is (pardon the pun). One of the things I hate Moffat and the other writers for is wasting a talent like Capaldi. He could have been one of the great Doctors if he had been given some of the material to work with that say Tennant was given. Instead we had three seasons of the Doctor having an existential crisis, trying to work out “Am I a good man”. Not that there isn’t a place for those sort of stories, but not 3 effing seasons’ worth. My fear is that the latest casting signals that it’ll be more of the same. Now it’ll be, “oh the Doctor is a woman, how does she handle this situation compared to her predecessors. How has changing sex changed her approach to life, the universe and everything.” Rather than, “what’s the crisis here, and what am I going to do to fix it/save these people/ all of the above”.

Anyhow that’s how I feel. Maybe I’m in the minority. Maybe the last 5 years is what modern audiences want now. In which case I’d say even more reason to have called it a remake. But in any case the Doctor may continue, but it won’t be My Doctor.


I too strongly lament Capaldi’s era for what it could have been. I long petitioned for an older actor, and once we got him, he was quagmired in crappy stories. His best to date would have to be Heaven Sent, free of any companion… such a shame the following story screwed everything up. The last season I think has been pretty good, except if they wanted to make the season about Missy’s redemption, I wish they’d cut the initial mystery and got right to it. Instead we had this neutered Doctor hanging around a university, “never” going anywhere…

As to the new sheila…

IMO, the ONLY way to play this now, is without a single reference to her femininity. One boob joke and I’m gone.


Minds… open… please! Just because its never been referenced or done, doesnt mean it should not be. The Doctor isnt human, after all, so he/she can be anything.


Before Hartnell had to quit, there had never been anything pointing to Time Lords being able to regenerate.

Before The War Games, there had never been anything pointing to The Doctor being a Time Lord at all.

Things change.


so am I safe to assume this is going the way of the ‘ghostbuster’ saga?

I get the distinct feeling that some people need to revisit exPM Gillard’s misogynist speech.


Moffat’s move to allow Time Lords to change gender is truly divisive… but upon reviewing Series 10’s demographics, I see that female viewers now outweigh male viewers… So, clearly it’s not up to me to attempt to pass my misogynistic viewpoint on the majority when I am in the minority.


Deborah Watling 1948 - 2017
"Victoria Waterfield" 1967 - 1968
Second Doctor’s Companion

Deborah Watling has passed away from lung cancer, diagnosed just months before her death at the age of 69. She starred alongside Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon) and Patrick Troughton (the Second Doctor), commencing in Season 4’s last story, before featuring in almost all of “Monster / Base Under Siege” Season 5.

Before 1992, there were no complete stories of Victoria’s to enjoy, such was the destruction of the “wiping” of Doctor Who’s archive material (in fact, out of the entire Second Doctor’s run, nothing from his first 2 seasons was complete; even now nothing is complete from his first season). Thankfully Tomb of the Cybermen was found intact in Hong Kong in 1992, and the BBC also released The Ice Warriors (first with its 2 missing episodes re-created using still frames, and later using CGI). The biggest celebration however came in 2013 when 2 of her stories - Enemy of the World and Web of Fear - were recovered from Nigeria - and Deborah was present when the news was revealed, taking great delight knowing that more of her stories could be enjoyed.

I know it’s silly to lament the loss of a person I never met, and never probably would have met, but I do note her passing with sadness, as I remember taking absolute delight in watching Tomb of the Cybermen when it was found, and getting to know this b&w companion that I’d never had the joy to witness. It is said that Victoria arrived in Doctor Who screaming through Evil of the Daleks, and then kept screaming all the way to her final story, where in fact her screams saved the day, defeating the enemy. I think it’s short sighted to view her role that way however, as Tomb proved how - despite the era - she could still add complexity to an otherwise simple character.

Farewell, Deborah.

As an addendum… the following key actors have now passed on:

William Hartnell …1908-75 [I](the Doctor, 1963-66, 73)[/I]
Jacqueline Hill …1929-93 [I](Barbara, 63-66, Lexa, 80)[/I]
Adrienne Hill …1937-97 [I](Katarina, 65)[/I]
Michael Craze …1942-98 [I](Ben, 66-67)[/I]
Patrick Troughton …1920-87 [I](the Doctor, 66-69, 73,83,85)[/I]
Deborah Watling …1948-2017 [I](Victoria, 67-68)[/I]
Nicholas Courtney …1929-2011 [I](the Brigadier, 68…87)[/I]
Jon Pertwee …1919-96 [I](the Doctor, 70-74, 83)[/I]
Caroline John …1940-2012 [I](Liz Shaw, 70)[/I]
Roger Delgado …1918-73 [I](the Master, 71-73)[/I]
Elisabeth Sladen …1946-2011 [I](Sarah-Jane, 73-76, 83, 2006…11)[/I]
Ian Marter …1944-86 [I](Harry, 74-75)[/I]
Mary Tamm …1950-2012 [I](Romana, 78-79)[/I]
Anthony Ainley …1932-2004 [I](the Master, 81…89)[/I]
Kate O’Mara …1939-2014 [I](the Rani, 85…87)[/I]

ok… and…
John Hurt …1940-2017 (shoe-horn, 2013)


I dont think I realised John Hurt had gone. He was such a good actor and not because he was shoehorned in to Who


I don’t get why though… I don’t really think it matters. There have been crap male doctors, the show has survived that.


To me, it’s not being anti-female, it’s more just simple anti-change. The Doctor’s been a male since 1963, and until Moffat’s era, any talk of a female Doctor was purely tabloid headline-hunting - plain and simple. Sell some papers, generate some publicity for the show, but “it’ll never happen”.

It’s like the talk of casting a female as the next James Bond. Sorry - it would no longer be James Bond. If you want to make an action movie about a female spy, go right ahead - I’ll buy a ticket. But it doesn’t need to hijack an existing well loved franchise to do it. Doctor Who has nearly been around as long as the Bond film franchise. I think it was absolutely wonderful that Sydney Newman gave Verity Lambert the lead role in bringing the show to fruition, even though the BBC had never previously had a female producer. But just to say that the Doctor can change sex because he’s an alien is absurd. What next? He’s alien, so he can transform into a penguin? The Frobisher fans would be punching the air with delight!

If Buffy had been transformed into a male by Willow for the last 2 seasons of the show, would the female audience members be saying - Oh, well, we had a female for 5 years, so it’s only fair we get a male Buffy now?

I’m not meaning to offend, not meaning to sound like a narrow visioned misogynist, it’s just my view, and as I’ve said, despite my feelings, just like my doubts over Smith, I will give her a chance to win me over. Who knows - I had huge hopes for Capaldi… and despite his best efforts, his 4 years (yet only 3 seasons) has done very little to please (outside a handful of amazing 10/10’s)…


Of course not. “James Bond” is a male identified name. “The Doctor” or “Doctor Who” is not gender specific except in the minds of those who dont want it to change.

And, sadly, you are sounding just like a narrow minded misogynist. REally.

Of course it could be disastrous for the show, but if it fails, the failure will also be down to people like yourself who do not want a female doctor. My friend who is also being a narrowminded misogynist is intending to ignore its existence. At least you are going to watch it. Many fans will not. And that, all by itself, might cause it to fail. And that is nothing to do with JW and everything to do with people unwilling to accept change.

I hope it enjoys wild success, in spite of the negativity I see here and almost anywhere else its being discussed.


The underlying problem with Ghostbuster was that it was actually a crappy script, so when the movie was bad (and it was) the knuckle draggers used that as (sic) evidence.

Having said that I’m not generally a big fan of retconning stories as a lot of the time it smacks of being too lazy to write a new story.

I’d rather have seen Ghostbusters as ‘the next generation’ with an all female cast and I’d rather see a female doctor as ‘the doctor finally runs out of regenerations’ and a female time lord takes over his job (and there are several options in canon for that). That achieves the same outcome but avoids ‘retcon lazyness’.


To be honest I didn’t think the new Ghostbusters was all that bad. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t awful either.


I loved it :stuck_out_tongue:

The Doctor is out of traditional regeneration though :stuck_out_tongue: 12 is the last!


yes which is why 12 dying and not regenerating would be the perfect time to introduce a replacement female doctor - Maybe Romanadvoratrelundar (Romana) comes back from E-Space or maybe the Doctor’s Daughter or even Susan from series 1.

This would avoid the retcon issue that having the Doctor regenerate as a woman causes.


A Time Lord has 13 lives - 12 regenerations. Whilst we silly category obsessed fans have for decades numbered our Doctors, Moffat threw a spanner in the works with the introduction of the War Doctor - aka Number 9. But that’s ok, because Davies had already stolen a regeneration away when 10 refused to regenerate in Stolen Planet/Journey’s End. So, whilst we called Smith’s Doctor “Eleven”, he was in fact Thirteen - the last…

This was however circumvented in the closing of Time of the Doctor, when - whilst defending the town of Trenzalore, the Time Lords gifted him what fans assume to have been a complete new cycle of regenerations (something hinted at being possible in classic story, The Five Doctors). This was further referenced in Hell Bent when Rassilon commented - “How many regenerations did we grant you? I’ve got all night.”

Yes, I wholeheartedly would have loved to instead have seen a spin off featuring Romana. Lalla Ward could have reprised the role in an episode of WHO, and then gone off to her own show, only of course to regenerate in the first episode into - well, I guess that would be up to the showrunner/BBC politics.


I was washing dishes the other day, which left my brain the chance to relive its glory days, and as such I was thinking about the 2011 video that I created for my YouTube channel, claiming that Matt Smith was to be replaced by Julian Richings:

(And oh the glory! The actor himself was asked about it on Canada’s Space TV channel!)

Whilst Richings was never going to be the next Doctor, I really wanted to see someone more “classic” take on the role, rather than - especially - the young kid that was resident at the time. What surprised and frustrated me at the time was the HUGELY negative response the video received. As at today, nearly 700 :-1: and many many many comments stating that Richings was either too ugly or too old (or both) to play the iconic role of the Doctor - after all, as many incorrectly stated, the Doctor only regenerates younger. :roll_eyes:

Having been a fan of the show since - well - there’s no time I wasn’t, but let’s say “the end of Tom Baker’s run”, and having spent a LOT of time cataloguing facts and figures, reading both non-fiction and fiction during the wilderness years, etc - I felt that these young whipper snippers had no idea what they were talking about! How wrong could they be? What right had they do criticise this idea of the Doctor regenerating into something approximating the first 26 years of the show??

A few months ago, there was a certain minute-long revelation, showing us the face of the 13th Doctor… Jodie Whitaker. And, this little nerd was upset. What precedent - beyond Moffat’s era - possibly suggested this could ever happen? (None, none I tell you!) It’s absurd to even suggest that this move could be considered canon, could be accepted, could be tolerable. And…

Oh wait… (me thinks, mid dish cleansing…) I’ve become one of those idiots who criticised the idea of Julian Richings being the Doctor without even giving it a chance… I’ve put blinkers on, stopping me from being able to even consider the idea.

I know above I said that I would at least watch and see how she goes… and I meant that… But now, I am trying hard to feel it, too.

As the Doctor once said, “I’m the Doctor, whether you like it, or not”. And better to not just keep an open mind, but also an open heart to the experience.


The Twelfth Doctor’s last outing… Preview:


I recently read that The Doctor Falls was originally going to be Capaldi (& Moffat’s) last story - however both were later convinced to do the Xmas special (cos Chibbers wasn’t going to be ready to take over?). As such they then recorded the scene with the Doctor waking and running into the snow that bookends the story.

This makes sense when you watch the story again, and would have been incredibly sad - the Doctor left for dead, alone in his TARDIS…

Q now is - can Twice Upon a Time give Capaldi a better ending than what Moffat had first devised…?