Doctor Who reveal of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor.

If Jodie Whittaker Is Really Leaving Doctor Who, Make the Doctor a Woman of Color, You Cowards

Misogynists and racists can see their way out now.
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I still remember the moment I laid eyes on Jodie Whittaker’s version of The Doctor. I knew change was coming; regenerations shift the Doctor’s personality, quirks, and how they view the world, and after years and years of being told that a female Doctor would never happen on Doctor Who, my hopes were down in the dumps when I heard Peter Capaldi was leaving the BBC series.

Then, she pulled down her hood in the reveal trailer. To say I started crying is an understatement. Seriously, ugly crying happened, and all the tissues were needed. She was like me. She was a woman. And after being told it would never ever happen, I felt like I was on top of the world because it was happening right before my very eyes. It wasn’t long before she became my Doctor—or, more accurately, one of my favorite Doctors.

Recent news of Jodie Whittaker’s possible departure hit me like a ton of bricks. Her version of the Doctor has transformed this character into someone new and given women and girls all over the world someone to look up to. And considering this is the longest running show ever, it’s been a long time coming, and something fans are not ready to let go of.

Still, I felt devastation, worry, pain, and loss at the thought of Whittaker leaving Doctor Who. And it took me remembering the joy of seeing Whittaker for the first time to realize what this meant. Change is coming—maybe not this season, or the next, but change is happening again, and opportunities will arise to make other people feel seen as much as I did when Whittaker came around and took on the mantle of the Doctor.

Personally, I think it’s about time that a woman of color take on the mantle of the Doctor. “But we’ve already had one woman!” some cry out as they read this. And I can’t help but ask, what about all the white men that have played The Doctor over and over again? Why do they not count when Doctor Who fans complain about the thought of another woman Doctor?

Oh yeah. It’s this thing called misogyny and sexism. You know, the thing that Jodie Whittaker has been dealing with from day one because she did not look like men who have been watching this show. Sorry to break it to you, but women have been watching Doctor Who from episode one. And like everyone else, they deserve to see themselves in the content they consume.

Just imagine women and girls of color seeing a Doctor that looks like them saving the day, defeating the bad guy, and showing the universe how it’s done? The thought of it makes me tear up, because everyone deserves the feeling of being seen on Doctor Who. Tie that together with being a woman, and you’ve got the opportunity to tell stories that have never been seen before for this alien.

If you’re still reading this, and you’re spitting fire in a misogynistic rage, remember that the BBC is paid by the people and is for the people. That means all the people, including women of color. And like the Doctor’s current companion Yaz, their stories deserve to be explored, uplifted, and given the time of day. It’s not PC, checking off a representation box, or telling a story that people won’t connect to. It’s telling a story for people—all of them.

(image: BBC America)

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Lyra Hale
Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.