Alternative Universes, David Tennant, Doctor Who, entertainment, Female Doctor Who, Hattie Jacques, honour blackman, joanna lumley, Matt Smith, Miranda Hart, Penelope Keith, Sherlock Holmes, Steve Moffat, Sue Perkins, Tom Baker
It is an article with a single premise – what if the Doctor was female? It essentially takes each of the 11 incarnations of the Doctor and considers the most likely actor who might have played them based on who was around at the time and had approximately the same CV as the male version in our universe.
It is an interesting read and throws up a number of interesting choices. I would never, for example, have considered Hattie Jacques in the role. Her fame being largely based on her involvement with the Carry On franchise it never seemed to fit in my mind that she would be good for the role. However, the article gives a good argument for why she would have made a superlative second Doctor. Ditto Penelope Keith – I had never considered the star of To The Manor Born and The Good Life stepping into Tom Baker’s emormously large scarf but here again the article is convincing as to why she would be perfect.
It is unfair in other ways, I have to say. To tar Miriam Margoyles with the position as the sixth Doctor is unfortunate. Based on her other performances, I would have thought she would have done far better in the role regardless of script and production issues than is intimated here. Then again, I suppose that she can do loud and brash rather well so this may have been a way she would have taken the character.
I am, however, especially impressed with some of the casting. Honour Blackman as the third Doctor is a rather obvious one and Joanna Lumley was always one who was under consideration for the role should the Doctor ever have regenerated into a woman (and indeed was in Curse of the Fatal Death which also had Johnathon Pryce as one of the best Masters I have seen – watch the interviews on the DVD for true ‘method acting’) though putting her in the position of the sensitive and caring fifth Doctor rather than a more action oriented one is a stroke of genius. Sue Perkins wearing David Tennant’s ‘brainy specs’ is also absolutely spot on casting and part of me loves the idea of the love story between the Doctor and Rose still being there in that circumstance – an excellent piece of pro LGBT casting. Though I would also have liked to have seen the reversal in genders go further than that to the extent of more of the companions being male instead of remaining female.
In fact, this article has affected me so much that I have actually begun to re-imagine some of the stories with these actors in play. I rewatched the more recent Christmas special not long ago* and I could totally see Miranda Hart prancing around the big snow globe thing pretending to be Sherlock Holmes and Sue Perkins as a School Mistress** in 1913 or being grim and fatalistic with Bernard Cribbens.*** Obviously, the idea has legs and those legs are kicking.
So, the question has to be, can something be done with this concept? Yes, this is another ‘somebody make this happen’ post. Obviously, until the advent of safe and effective time travel we cannot go back in time and film new episiodes of Doctor Who only with the female counterpart, but there could be other ways. For example, I would love to see an anthology of short stories in the style of the old Doctor Who Short Trips series with a story per Doctor. I would also love some audio adventures and, maybe, in a universe where all my dreams came true, Steve Moffat might make a couple of shorts in the style of the Comic Relief/Children in Need sketches and the recent ‘Pond life’ web broadcast teasers. Were I a less lazy author, I’d get proactive and troll fan fic sites or lobby writers I know who are involved in Who in some manner to do something about it. I’d campaign Miranda Hart and Sue Perkins to agree to star in something linked to this, stand outside Steve Moffat’s house with placards, demand my MP did something about it and so on. However, I am lazy so none of this is going to happen. If any of you out there wish to do something about it, though, I’ve totally got your back. I might even submit a short story to an anthology or something. I can probably summon up enough proactivity to achieve that.
So, some questions…
What do you think about the selection of actors chosen here for a female Doctor?
Would you change any of them?
What already filmed Who story would you like to see redone with a female Doctor and do you think the story would be significantly changed by it?
Feel free to answer these in the comments….
* How many times has Richard E Grant been in Who now? Quite a few, I think. He played the Doctor in Curse of the Fatal Death, was also the Doctor in at least one online animation and now is here as a villain…
** And no, not in THAT way…
*** Another actor who seems to have been in Who multiple times.