I know a number of people for whom this particular bit of news is a betrayal, because Davison is “their Doctor”. According to Peter Davison, fifth Doctor on the venerable British sci-fi series Doctor Who, the character of The Doctor should never be a woman.
Doctor Who legend Peter Davison risks being exterminated by fuming female fans after declaring: “Doctor Who must always be a man” reports the Sunday People.
Speaking on the eve of the cult show’s 50th anniversary, Peter, 62 – Doc No.5 from 1981 to 1984 – insisted: “If you suddenly make the Doctor a woman you’ve effectively just said, ‘Well let’s give you a sex change’, and I don’t think that works.
“To me it would be a rather odd thing. To have a female Time Lord would be like having a female James Bond.”
The sub-headline at The Mirror states, “A female Doctor Who wouldn’t know how to drive a Tardis, says legendary fifth doctor Peter Davison”. On that I call absolute bullshit. Even for a fictional universe, you have to be internally consistent, and there’s plenty of evidence that the canon, even at the point where Davison was at the helm, was already established in this respect.
Time Lords, when they regenerate, can apparently change sexes. A Time Lord that the Doctor references, “The Corsair”, apparently did so. At one point, The Doctor wonders if he’s changed genders while touching his hair immediately after a regeneration. The idea doesn’t seem novel to any Time Lords, only to Davison.
Nyssa, one of the companions of the Doctor during Davison’s run, was well capable of piloting the Tardis despite neither being a Time Lord nor having a penis. Beyond that, she was actually a competent and self-reliant companion, not needing the Doctor for most scrapes and managing to survive and in some cases even deal with the baddies without special intervention. Romana, a female Time Lord (at the time, actually called Time Lady… though that’s simply dumb IMHO), was inexperienced in the field, but was vastly superior to the Doctor academically, and actually went through the Tardis training school and so knew a hell of a lot more about piloting the rust-bucket of a time machine than The Doctor did.
There’s nothing in the canon that says the Doctor has to be male. There’s, in fact, counterexamples to Davison’s personal biases. His coming out against this, so close to the 50th Anniversary, at a time when producers have lined up three different possible female Doctor candidates for the next regeneration, is irritating. It’s needless, it’s contrafactual, and it’s just plain sexist.
Hat tip to NateHevens.