Russell T. Davies Has “Grown Up” After Worrying About Casting A Female Doctor

Last year’s big news that Jodie Whittaker would be cast as the Thirteenth Doctor caused ripples in fandom that are still being felt now. While those initial opinions regarding the casting of the first female Doctor may or may not have changed in some corners of the Whoniverse, one man who has reconsidered his own response to the idea of a female Doctor is former showrunner Russell T. Davies.

Speaking in this months Doctor Who Magazine, where he once again took over the Production Notes feature he presided over during his time as showrunner, Davies said that he ‘grown up’ after worrying about the change.

He said:

“Okay, look, I know, some of us might be worried about the changes to come.

“I worried, out loud, in print, once or twice, back in the old days, about the reaction to a female Doctor.

“But d’you know what? That was 13 years ago. 13 long years. I’ve grown up, and learnt, and I hope I know better, and the world has grown up too.”

Doing a little digging, the Radio Times found a 2008 interview with The Guardian where Davies demurred the idea when asked if a female Doctor could replace then Doctor David Tennant.

He said:

“I am often tempted to say yes to that to placate everyone but, while I think kids will not have a problem with [a female Doctor], I think fathers will have a problem with it because they will then imagine they will have to describe sex changes to their children. 

“I think fathers can describe sex changes to their children and I think they should and it’s part of the world, but I think it would simply introduce genitalia into family viewing. You’re not talking about actresses or style, you’re talking about genitalia, and a lot of parents would get embarrassed.”

However, Davies now says that even if you do have doubts, the show will eventually win you back over – just as it has with any major change.

“Consider now; if you have problems, or fears, or doubts about the future, then Doctor Who will come to you, and make you laugh, and give you a thrill, and take those terrors away.

“The programme will do what the lead character does. No wonder it’s lasted for 55 years.”

DWM #524 is available to buy now.

Doctor Who will return this autumn on BBC One.