Fifth Doctor Peter Davison Still Doesn’t Think The Doctor Should Ever Be A Woman

For reasons currently passing understanding.


You know who hasn’t had enough representation on television these days? Dudes. At least according to Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, who thinks Doctor Who just wouldn’t be doable with a woman in the lead role.

Speaking with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Davison said, “I speak now as a fan who grew up watching it, I have trouble with the idea of a female Doctor, only because I reckon if you’re born on Gallifrey a man, you’re probably a male Time Lord.”

Along with the undercurrent of potential transphobia in that statement and the fact that , it seems like Davison needs reminding that there are plenty of lady fans of Doctor Who who might like to see themselves represented as more than just a companion. But Davison thinks that the dynamic of fallible Time Lord and strong companion only works if the genders are kept in their current positions.

“It seems to me that if you reverse that,” said Davison, “you have an uncertain, fallible female Doctor with a really strong male companion, you’ve got more of a stereotype than anything else.”

While I appreciate what Davison is saying here – that a Strong Male Character would have to save the flustered, silly Lady Doctor all the time – I don’t think that’s entirely true. Though New Who companions have no doubt often been strong characters with their own agency, it’s an atypical episode when the companion ultimately ends up saving the day; I would argue that we see the Doctor make the final move or decision that ends the week’s drama in over 80% of episodes.

Davison has previously expressed similar sentiments, telling BBC America,

I’ve never quite liked the idea of a female Doctor. I think they’ve found a perfect situation now [in the modern show] where they have the slightly faulted Doctor with all his mad genius, and you have the strong woman as the companion. I think that works very well. If you reversed it, it would be difficult because you’d have the woman as the mad genius, but is she vulnerable? And then you just have a strong man as the companion. And somehow that doesn’t work well to me.

All of this, of course, is considerably more disappointing when you remember that Davison’s IRL daughter, Georgia Moffett, played Jenny in “The Doctor’s Daughter,” who herself would have made for an excellent Doctor (or at least spin-off star, which Davison has also suggested). I also take issue with the idea that a female Doctor would necessarily have to be any more vulnerable than, say, Eleven (a complex character is a complex character regardless of gender, and the Doctor has always been, to a degree, vulnerable), as much as I think it’s nonsense that a male companion would have to be “a strong man.” Why can’t we have the dude version of the naive Rose, or the starry-eyed Martha? We had Rory, who eventually grew into a strong character, but he certainly didn’t start out that way, and that’s okay. That’s character development. That’s how it should be.

I’m just going to leave this here:

(via ABC Australia)

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Sam Maggs is a writer and televisioner, currently hailing from the Kingdom of the North (Toronto). Her first book, THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY will be out soon from Quirk Books. Sam’s parents saw Star Wars: A New Hope 24 times when it first came out, so none of this is really her fault.