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BBC Mysteriously ‘Lets Go’ Queer Woman ‘Doctor Who’ Producer, Replaces Her With a Man

Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, looking unhappy

Doctor Who has made some good strides in representation recently, but not all is well in the TARDIS right now.

Ella Watts, the producer behind the “very gay, very trans” Juno Dawson-written podcast drama Doctor Who: Redacted, has claimed the BBC let her go with no warning after season one and replaced her with a man. Her statement on Twitter reads in full:

It looks like there’s a Doctor Who: Redacted season 2 in the works. Sadly, I won’t be working on it. Whilst I was clear I wanted to remain on the project, I was replaced by the BBC without explanation or an application process.

I believe I’ll be replaced by James Goss as producer. If Redacted s2 is anything like his previous work, it’ll be fantastic and I wish him the best.

Doctor Who means different things to different people. As a fan and a queer woman, to be part of bringing a queer women fronted show to the Whoniverse was an immensely proud moment in my life.

From pitching it in 2018, to bringing Juno on board in 2019, then producing, casting, script-editing, writing on and directing it – it’s been incredible.

I’m sorry I’ve not been given the opportunity to see it through. This isn’t the first time in podcasting that women have been replaced by men following successful first seasons. I’m heartbroken it happened here.

I don’t know more. I hope production goes well. I can’t wait to listen!

Watts’ statement is diplomatic and ends on a positive note, but she’s clearly not happy at all with how she’s been treated. Doctor Who: Reacted was exactly what she said—a queer women-fronted show. The official BBC Sounds website even uses the same language to promote it: “When a terrifying phenomenon starts redacting the Doctor from reality, three queer women become the world’s only hope.” And furthermore, it was a big success, not just because of the involvement of Who stars like Jodie Whittaker and Jemma Redgrave, but because it told an interesting, relatable story about ordinary people.

So needless to say, the Doctor Who fandom is finding this a frustrating development, especially since there’s been no explanation as to why it happened. When British television magazine Radio Times reached out to the BBC, they reportedly declined to comment.

The Doctor Who fandom is rallying around Watts on Twitter and offering her support—some folks have also pointed out the irony of this happening right after International Women’s Day—but it remains to be seen what will happen from here. There’s no confirmation of what season two might entail or even whether lead actresses Charlie Cragg, Lois Chimimba, and Holly Quin-Ankrah will be back.

One thing’s for sure: The Doctor would hate this kind of behavior.

(featured image: BBC)

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Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer and fake geek girl. She has an unreliable brain but boundless, occasionally misplaced enthusiasm.