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.
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