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Why the Female ‘Doctor Who’ Casting Could Fail

News that Jodie Whittaker landed the lead role in the BBC’s “Doctor Who” sent right wing groups and Social Justice Warriors into a frenzy.

Some insist the good Doctor should always be male. Those people protested the announcement hard, even going so far as to boycott the show. We see this behavior every time a new Doctor is cast, though.

That’s not really news.

What is surprising, though, is if a fan is even unsure of the casting, they’re immediately labeled a “misogynist.”

“Did you just hear that? Right there, that dull, high-pitched hum traveling through the air? That’s the sound of millions of trolls and misogynistic twits losing their mind and wilted pride over the fact that, after months of rumors, a woman has been cast in the titular role in Doctor Who. They will have their “revenge” on Twitter and message boards across the great white web over the next few weeks and especially when the show returns after the beloved Holiday Special but for now, this is excellent news.”

Even Merriam Webster got into the culture war, sending out a Tweet shortly after the news declaring the word “Doctor” has no gender in English.

It’s not the casting of a female Doctor that has me worried. It’s the timing.

The Thirteenth Doctor revealed - Doctor Who: Trailer - BBC One

It’s no secret the entertainment establishment was sure Hillary Clinton would be back in the White House in 2017. They were so sure, in fact, they greenlit a bevy of agenda-driven projects with the theme of “women are in charge now.” We saw this starting with last year’s “Ghostbusters,” and it continued later with the sci-fi entry “Arrival.” The latest “Homeland” season featured a female president.

The industry is pushing projects with agendas, and they’re failing because of it. Last year’s “Neighbors” sequel sank thanks partly to its aggressively woke storytelling. “Miss Sloane” similarly stumbled with its overt anti NRA screed.

Compare that to more successful films this summer. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2” offers two strong female leads. It’s not about women power. The film has a stronger undertone of what family is.

The new “Wonder Woman” is shattering box office records thanks to strong action and a vibrant sense of humor. The film doesn’t stop cold to deliver a sermon on feminism. It’s entertainment, pure and simple.

wonder woman female empowerment (1)
Gal Gadot’s ‘Wonder Woman’ is one of the summer’s biggest hits.

The BBC has a chance to turn around the perception of disappointed fans by telling great stories instead of what they did in Peter Capaldi’s last season as “Doctor Who.” The series pushed the agenda of woman power, equality and President Donald Trump is bad.

The latter is particularly tiring.

This isn’t the first time they had a president mentioned on the show. Matt Smith’s Doctor met President Richard Nixon, and in David Tennant’s run as Doctor Who, President Barack Obama had a cameo in the finale episode. At least those Presidents were treated respectfully. Capaldi’s last season did the opposite, and it suffered for it.

Don’t insult fans who think the Doctor should be male. They make up half the fan base. And don’t condone the casting until we see the first episodes. I fear Whittaker won’t get the episodes she deserves. Why? The show will be too busy pushing the narrative of women being better than men.

Andrew Anderson is a comic writer, movie and music enthusiast and fantasy rock star. You can follow him on Twitter at @andrewpanderson and on Instagram at @Proofoffire_89

Photo credit: Thomas Leuthard via / CC BY

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