Colin Baker champions “couragous” and “exciting” casting of female Doctor Who

Colin Baker, former resident of the TARDIS and current National Treasure, has spoken out against negative fan reaction (from certain corners, anyway) to the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the new star of BBC’s Doctor Who, saying he is thrilled not just because he is the father of daughters, but because the character must reflect the era in which we live.

Writing for The Guardian, he said: “Whenever I have been interviewed about Doctor Who, the question has come up about the possibility of a female Doctor. I have never been able to think of any logical reason why an alien being capable of regenerating in extremis would necessarily retain all or indeed any of the characteristics of his (or her) pre-renewal self.

“The dozen or so personalities to emerge thus far from the chrysalis of regeneration have been as different as any you could pick at random on the Clapham omnibus on Gallifrey; except in one particular – gender,” he continued in the piece, entitled I was the Doctor and I’m over the moon that at last we have a female lead.

“They have been young and old, they have been Scottish, northern and received pronunciation,they have been grumpy, feckless, patrician, barmy, innocent, brash and potty – but never female. I have always found that problematical, not in the world we live in, but in the world the characters live in, particularly the Doctor’s world.”

Current Doctor Peter Capaldi also commented on the decision, saying: “Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm… She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor”.

“The world we live in has a history of male domination, of stereotyping, of resistance to change, of playing it safe. Doctor Who has never been about that. The Doctor in all his incarnations has always been a passionate defender of justice, equality, fairness and resisted those who seek to dominate or destroy.”

“I have repeatedly stated publicly that I personally would not just welcome but expect a female doctor, but that I doubted the courage of the decision-makers at the BBC to allow a showrunner to explore the exciting opportunities afforded by such brave and game-changing casting. Clearly I was wrong and I congratulate Chris Chibnall, the incoming executive producer and writer, on succeeding where others may have failed or maybe not even tried.”