Outgoing Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has offered some not-so-great excuses over the years about why he didn’t cast a female Doctor and, as his final outing approaches with the upcoming Christmas episode “Twice Upon A Time,” he’s offering up one last bad excuse.
Speaking to the Radio Times (via io9) about the upcoming final hurrah and the impending regeneration of the titular character from one played by Peter Capaldi to Jodie Whittaker, Moffat placed the blame on… politics.
…But we have to worry about our Daily Mail-reading viewers saying, ‘That’s not the same person!’ This isn’t a show exclusively for progressive liberals; this is also for people who voted Brexit. That’s not me politically at all – but we have to keep everyone on board.
He later added, “It’s going to work, I know it is. More and more of the audience were asking for it. It is absolutely the right choice.”
With all due respect to Capaldi, who has been a tremendous Doctor, Moffat’s reasoning doesn’t hold
much any weight, especially since the Brexit vote only happened 18 months ago and was, in reality, not a very progressive move by the UK at all, so what in the world has changed that now makes it — you know what? No. I’m not spending more time in another Moffat-pretzel-logic plot.
TL;DR: Moffat’s excuse is bad and wrong.
It’s not the first time he’s side-stepped the question, either, as it’s followed him over the last several years (as has criticism of how he writes women in general) and his answers have always been less than satisfactory.
To be fair, despite this, as both my colleague, Doctor Whoniverse expert Chris Taylor and Moffat himself have pointed out, casting a woman in the role of the Master (the incomparable Michelle Gomez as “Missy”) paved the way for the eventual woman Doctor.
None of this, though, should curb enthusiasm for Capaldi’s victory lap as the Doctor (again, Capaldi has been fantastic and I’ll miss him very much), his team-up with the First Doctor (portrayed by David Bradley) and whatever other doozies will be thrown at us, including the much-anticipated regeneration.
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