GAME OF THRONES star Natalie Dormer has said she would consider playing a female version of the Doctor if DOCTOR WHO ever decided to change the gender of its star Time Lord — but only provided the script is there.
While doing press for her current film, The Huger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Dormer said:
“For me it’s always about the script. It has to be real human beings, contradictory, flawed, complex, multidimensional characters. It can’t just be concept, you know? ‘Female James Bond’ — CONCEPT. It has to have quality in the writing of real human psychology.”
I applaud Dormer for being all about the script. So far, 90 percent of those advocating changing the Doctor to female all line up behind the idea “Why not?” Since it’s possible, those fans believe the show should change the Doctor’s gender. But to me, doing it just because the show can smacks as the very definition of a “gimmick.” Just doing it for the novelty would be short-term ratings bait.
I believe there needs to be a reason to do it that goes beyond “It’s a great gimmick.” What’s the story? Why does the Doctor need to be female?
I am all for Dormer portraying a Time Lady — but does she have to become the Doctor? How about a new character? She could be a rival or friend of the Doctor from university. (That certainly was an interesting class they had — the Doctor, the Master and the Rani all in the same year? Wow.
One thing is certain: Dormer would look terrific in the period clothing the Doctor usually wears…
Romana and Romana II
With the end of the ninth season of DOCTOR WHO approaching — as well the imminent departure of Clara (Jenna Coleman) — a lot of folks think it’s time to shake the trees and talk about turning the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) into a woman for his next incarnation.
During the DOCTOR WHO panel at London’s Comic-Con, executive producer and lead writer Steven Moffat was asked if the Doctor could regenerate into a woman. He replied:
“Yes [Long applause]. But there is no vacancy. I’m being really explicit in my answer here because I gave this answer once in San Diego. I was asked if the Doctor could ever be a woman and I said ‘I think there’s a subtext in the show, maybe you should read it.’ And I turned and gestured to Michelle Gomez sitting next to me as Missy, and everyone laughed. This was reported, widely, as me saying the Doctor would never be a woman. So let me just make this very, very clear: There is no vacancy, and it may never happen. However artistically it could work. Commercially, the audience would go with it, we’ve proven that with Missy. And that’s why we did it, frankly. Yes, it can happen. It doesn’t need to happen, but it can, absolutely.”
When Jenna Coleman departs DOCTOR WHO — possibly (probably) this week! — Clara will “never return,” according to executive producer and Clara’s creator, Steven Moffat.
“Clara is gone and will never return. I will not reveal any forecast about her fate. I can only say that what will happen will shock, terrify and surprise you. Strictly in that order.”
Fans have known Clara is leaving the TARDIS for months now, but not when. The show is running out of options, since the penultimate episode, “Heaven Sent,” is a Doctor solo story, and the Christmas special will see the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) finally meet River Song (Alex Kingston).
That leaves this week’s “Face the Raven” or the season finale, “Hell Bent,” to see off the Impossible Girl.
the 12th Doctor
If you liked the way “The Zygon Invasion” and “The Zygon Inversion” pretty much directly tackled issues about integrating immigrants (some willing, some not) into societies and the use of terrorism to pursue minority interests, you’ll be happy to know that DOCTOR WHO may not be finished tackling controversial real-world issues.
The newly confirmed 10 series may see a return to one of the show’s favorite themes, environmentalism — see “The Green Death” and, yes, “Terror of the Zygons” from back in the 1970s.
Frequent scriptwriter and Friend of Moffat Mark Gatiss — who wrote this week’s “Sleep No More” and counts Season 10’s “Green Death” among his favorite stories — recently revealed that he is a fan of what he called “warn about the future” stories and would love to do a story about — fracking!
In case you’ve never heard about it, “tracking” is a way of extracting natural gas from the ground by drilling deep and injecting a high-pressure water mixture into the rocks to release any gas inside. The fluid pumped down there is a mixture of water, sand and chemicals that is injected into the rock at high pressure.
Exterminating nasty rumors that have been running rampant among the British tabloids, DOCTOR WHO executive producer and lead writer Steven Moffat confirmed today that the next season of DOCTOR WHO — the 10th since its revival — will consist of a full slate of 12 episodes plus a Christmas special.
And the whole season will star Peter Capaldi!
“We’re making a full series. I can confirm that. I’m making a full series of 12 episodes, plus a Christmas special. I don’t know when it goes out. That’s up to someone else. And even if I did know – which I genuinely don’t – I wouldn’t be allowed to say so as I have absolutely no say in it whatsoever.
It’s not being reduced in size. We’re not making fewer episodes. That’s all complete bunk. I can confirm that absolutely.”
It’s a truism that every scrap of information about DOCTOR WHO spawns a myriad of questions and even more speculation; nothing is too insignificant to drive fandom into paroxysms of fantasy repercussions. Strap yourself in for these nuggets about the new season!
Consider these two photos from the pending prequel to series nine, “The Doctor’s Meditation,” scheduled to be shown at 3D screenings in movie theaters of the series eight finale “Dark Water”/”Death in Heaven” here in the USA on Sept. 15 and 16.
The first shot features Daniel Hoffmann-Gill as Bors, who reappears in the series nine opener, “The Magician’s Apprentice,” alongside Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor, who is holding a chalice. No biggie.
Or is it?
Oh, we were thisclose to making it to the new series of DOCTOR WHO… thisclose, I tell ya, to beginning a new season without the traditional “Is the star leaving after this series?” non-story.
But, alas, we now have our first official “Is Capaldi out?” story.
Britain’s Daily Mirror tabloid asked the reigning Doctor, Peter Capaldi, if he has plans to exit the series. Peter replied:
“I sort of enjoy this position I am in with a kind of deep Scottish melancholy, because I know it has to end one day. I will cross that bridge when we come to it, which may be sooner rather than later.”
It sounds to me like he’s riffing on the reputation of Scots being morose, but of course The Mirror took this to mean Peter does not plan a long tenure. (Still, he won’t be the actor with the shortest tenure, since his two series still beat Christopher Eccleston‘s one.)
And don’t worry, folks, the annual “When will Clara really leave?” sweepstakes is still ongoing…