It’s Not Time for The Doctor to be a Woman Yet

August 14, 2013 3:11 pm

doctorSome were ecstatic, some were appalled and some are patiently waiting to see how they like Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who. Some will describe him as the first foul-mouthed Doctor, others as Doctor Who’s dad. Some think it’s time that The Doctor regenerates to be in tune with the times – some suggest a change of race, and others (somewhat controversially) a change of sex. It is, after all, a science fiction show and stranger things have indeed happened.

The new regeneration of Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who was announced only three months after a study of the University of Southern California proved a drop in speaking roles for women in film in the last five years. Of the 100 most successful films at the box office in 2012, only 28% of the speaking roles were female. So what better way to right this wrong than turning one of the most iconic characters of the past decade into a woman, right? Don’t kid yourself. It’s not time for The Doctor to be a woman yet.

The same study reveals that more than a third of these women are styled and shown in sexy clothing, partially naked, as attractive or with a small waist. It is the emphasis on female sexuality and the stereotypical role of damsel in distress that proves to be a prevailing problem whilst portraying women in film. Founder of Women & Hollywood Melissa Silverton believes that the women are shown as one-dimensional so as to “titillate male audiences on the least challenging, most obvious of levels”, while Dr Dorothy Perkins – a professor at Oxford University – claims that “Hollywood heroines are being increasingly portrayed as neurotic, idiotic and obsessed by men, weight and weddings”.

Hardcore fans will disagree with me, but this easily applies to Amy Pond – the miniskirt loving kissogram who, instead of showing wit, blabs inconsistently and whose head is so empty that her hair seems to be dragging it around. Moffat hardly proves to be the right man to shatter the stereotype of a woman, and I don’t even mean it derogatorily.

Research finds cause for the poor representation of women on screen in the fact that so few women are employed behind the scenes and in writing positions. Casting a woman without thorough preparation would serve no emancipating purpose whatsoever. Iwot would be a tokenism to loudmouth feminism and justifiably soon dismissed as uninteresting. Do you really want to see a Megan-Fox-in-Transformers-type regeneration, pulled tight in the waist, leaning over the TARDIS components and pouting sexily while spitting out gibberish? Smith did that for long enough

Moffat said that even though he’d considered Capaldi to succeed Tennant, it wasn’t the right time then. Wanting to milk the success of Tennant’s over-caffeinated Time Lord, the team opted for a young, energetic replacement strung to the max. But running around in circles yelling comically doesn’t cut it anymore.

That’s why Capaldi is such a clever choice. His age and his demeanour fence him off from situations that we’re used to seeing The Doctor in. Here is a person whose appearance exudes stability, wisdom and gravitas that demand storylines to match. Leave that to Moffat, he’ll know what to do. In the mean time, don’t be surprised if Capaldi’s illustriousness paves the way for a confident, intelligent, role-model Who, who happens to be a woman. Sex and gender aside; The Doctor should at least never be trivial.

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