lizbee: (DW: Liz 10 (shooting))
[personal profile] lizbee
[personal profile] kerravonsen asked for thoughts on a female Doctor.

Well, my thoughts are extremely positive, and there is nothing in-universe to prevent it from happening.

Ideally there wouldn't be anything in the real world to prevent its happening either, except that apparently it's still controversial for some reason, and budget cuts, rampant conservatism and heightened scrutiny of the BBC's "agenda" isn't going to inspiring risk-taking anywhere. I don't like it, but I can't change it.

What I would like to change is fandom's attitude to who should play a female Doctor. Guys, it's not going to be Mirren, Dench or Smith. They wouldn't be able to afford Mirren, Smith is busy with Downton Abbey, and is also not in the best of health. Dench, maybe? But I mostly like the idea of Dame Judi as the Doctor so that Geoffrey Palmer can be her companion, and it would basically be As Time Goes By IN SPACE, and wow, where did all the ratings go?

Actually, I think it's really cool that fandom is quite keen on seeing hugely talented older women as the Doctor. What's less cool is how fans seem to recoil from having a woman the same age as Matt Smith in the role.

(I particularly took against this attitude at WorldCon 2010, where Catherynne Valente insisted, in the face of argument and actual reality, that any younger women playing the Doctor would be a "Hollywood starlet". But every single Doctor Who panel at that con turned into a diatribe about how Young Women Are Terrible, and every single time, that attitude was led by an older woman. It wasn't great.)

Of course, if you cast a twenty-something as the Doctor, she'd instantly be written off as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, even if she was the literal reincarnation of Patrick Troughton. (Maybe especially if she was the literal reincarnation of Patrick Troughton!) She basically can't win, but that's no reason not to try.

Having said all this, I think my ideal choice for a female Doctor, age-wise, would be someone in her thirties or forties. Not quite middle-aged, but old enough to stand apart from the companions of the last decade or so. And she must be British, because I cannot be having with non-British Doctors.

I'm thinking, maybe Lena Headey -- she's well-known for both leading and supporting roles, but not so famous her reputation would overshadow her acting. And she's a chameleon. Lena Headey as the Doctor would look and move completely differently to Lena Headey as Sarah Connor, or Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, etc.

But my actual first choice, if this power were in my hands (call me, the BBC!), would be Sophie Okonedo. She's the right age, she's absolutely compelling on screen, and she could take down Daleks without breaking a nail.

Date: 2013-12-24 03:51 am (UTC)
violetisblue: (Default)
From: [personal profile] violetisblue
"Catherynne Valente insisted, in the face of argument and actual reality, that any younger women playing the Doctor would be a 'Hollywood starlet.'"

You laugh but Steven Moffat has been faithfully putting aside a fiver every week in a special jar on his kitchen counter since he was appointed showrunner, and he can just about afford Scarlett Johansson. Tumblr said so, so it must be true.

Date: 2013-12-24 04:07 am (UTC)
sgac: heart made from crumpled paper (Default)
From: [personal profile] sgac
Dench, alas, has failing eyesight.

She basically can't win, but that's no reason not to try.

I... disagree. There's no point in doing something that you know won't work for the audience, even if the audience are 'wrong' in their thinking. If an older woman as the Doctor is the best way to have a female Doctor accepted, then why not make that the first step? Doctor Who is a cultural touchstone and has a vast reach and influence. Being radical and controversial and inevitably unpopular would be a waste of that potential.

Date: 2013-12-24 11:43 am (UTC)
kerravonsen: (fractal)
From: [personal profile] kerravonsen
Agreed. I mean... what I would like would be... more than one female Doctor! That is, one could have the "more acceptable" older woman as the first female Doctor, and when that succeeds (she said optimistically), then we could have a younger one later. Even if she is considered to be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Date: 2013-12-24 05:00 am (UTC)
purple_smurf: clara, with damp hair and a headset, listens to the grand marshall skaldak (clara oswald)
From: [personal profile] purple_smurf
Do you know how much I would give for As Time Goes By in space? There could be kidneys involved.

Date: 2013-12-24 08:17 pm (UTC)
nomnivore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nomnivore
I was about to post this :)

I hope Stephen and Penny could do a cameo.

Date: 2013-12-24 08:20 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
I'd certainly watch either of them - Lena Headey in particular I would very much like. My ideal choice is still Tamsin Greig, though. I think the only way we might get people like Mirren or Dench would be in similar circumstances to how John Hurt played the Doctor, for one episode only. And personally, I'd sooner Frances de la Tour ahead of any of them.

Date: 2013-12-24 08:31 am (UTC)
londonkds: (Bring back Bilis! (by redscharlach))
From: [personal profile] londonkds
I think maybe the desire for an older woman is because people are fed up with hot young guys as the Doctor.

Yes, Two is very manic pixie.

Date: 2013-12-24 10:49 am (UTC)
walkthegale: (Default)
From: [personal profile] walkthegale

Also, yes to all the rest of this post, but LENA HEADEY. That would be wonderful.

Date: 2013-12-24 11:44 am (UTC)
kerravonsen: Romana in fancy hat: "Time Traveller" (Romana)
From: [personal profile] kerravonsen
Must be British. Definitely.

Date: 2013-12-24 12:16 pm (UTC)
rhivolution: Mulder's I Want To Believe poster from X-Files, with a TARDIS in place of the spaceship (I want to believe: X-Files/TARDIS)
From: [personal profile] rhivolution
Dench is probably too expensive as well, these days. I'm totally with you on Sophie Okonedo or Lena Headey, though. Excellent.

Date: 2013-12-24 02:45 pm (UTC)
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] tree_and_leaf
maybe especially if she was the literal reincarnation of Patrick Troughton

I don't think you need the 'maybe'.

Date: 2013-12-24 04:50 pm (UTC)
gominokouhai: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gominokouhai
You're entirely correct that the BBC would never chance it. But how about a spinoff? Toss in a plot element like Ten/Hand!Doctor and have him split into several different bodies. (You'd also need several Tardises as well, which might be trickier to arrange narratively. You can have as many Doctors as you like, but the plot demands that there's only one Sexy.)

You could then have them all go off and have several different simultaneous series, Sarah Jane-style, without ever necessarily saying which one was the "main" series---because none of them would be despite what the BBC and audience figures might say. And then have a big unifying multi-Doctor story at season end.

Hell, get Dench, but have her choose to age backwards this time. It worked for River.

Date: 2013-12-24 04:54 pm (UTC)
phosfate: The Welcome to Night Vale logo. text: IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY NOTHING, AND DRINK TO FORGET. (Night Vale by rosencrantz)
From: [personal profile] phosfate
Olivia Colman.

Date: 2013-12-24 05:31 pm (UTC)
tellitslant: amanda tapping being a dorkface at the camera (Default)
From: [personal profile] tellitslant
I am now very happily mentally recasting a lot of Eleven with Lena Headey.

Man, I would kill for Sophie Okonedo next regen. There's precedent! She's been in the show!

Date: 2013-12-24 11:24 pm (UTC)
philippos42: "Dark Vengeance!" (cold)
From: [personal profile] philippos42
I have a soft spot for As Time Goes By, but no. I think it may be too late for a Dench/Palmer Who. (Time has well gone by there.)

My personal pet idea, of course, is to have Susan take over (and I maintain that the TARDIS is really Susan's ship and her grandfather is just using it) when ol' Theta Sigma has a regeneration go pear-shaped and has to re-mature from infancy or something.

And since I don't expect Carole Ann Ford to do a full series (if aught) I would like to recast her with a late-middle-age woman of African-influenced appearance. Partly for contrast, partly because greying kinky hair looks cool (and sort of Doctory in a Pertwee/Bakers way).

Date: 2013-12-26 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If we were casting Australian actresses as the Doctor, why not Rebecca Smart? Tamworth-born and bred, familiar to Australian audiences as a child actress in the 1980s and 1990s (as Buster in the Shiralee, Cherie in Blackrock, Melanie Black in Heartbreak High), she'd do well in the role.


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