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Nov 02 2013

5th Doctor, Peter Davison: “The Doctor must never be a woman”

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.

57 comments

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  1. 1
    Rowan

    I forget, but back when either Eccleston or Tennant were leaving, I seem to recall that they were considering Catherine Zeta Jones as the next doctor? Or was that just speculation?

  2. 2
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Rowan… I know Catherine Zeta Jones was rumored, but I’m pretty sure that was largely fan speculation. Any woman who plays the Doctor will be someone a heck of a lot more famous in Europe than in the US. They nearly always pull from the UK. So if they do go with a woman after Capaldi, she’ll likely either be English, Scottish, Irish, French, or something along those lines. Probably white, unfortunately, as well.

  3. 3
    Ysanne

    CZJ is Welsh, that should tick the from-UK box.

  4. 4
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Oh.

    I… didn’t know that. Nevermind, then. I take it back. You’re right, it does tick the UK box. Still… I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure it was just fan speculation.

  5. 5
    Jason Thibeault

    Russell T. Davies floated her or Lesley Sharp as a female Doctor in 2008: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2008/dec/18/could-catherine-zeta-jones-be-next-doctor-who

  6. 6
    jackal

    I gave Doctor Who a try, but I wasn’t impressed with the magic man saves the pretty female sidekick formula. The only way I’d watch it now is if they installed a female Doctor, preferably Helen Mirren.

  7. 7
    SMY

    Finally someone who isn’t playing the political card. I completely agree with Peter Davison. He never said a woman was in-capable of playing a lead time lord(that on the other hand would be sexist) he just doesn’t personally think that that sort of change is right for the character. Everyone who thinks there should be a female cast in the role has a right to that opinion, just like everyone on the opposite end. Good on you Peter.

  8. 8
    Jason Thibeault

    There is no such thing as a statement or action, no matter how inconsequential you think it to be, that is not political. The fact that you think people saying it’s POSSIBLE to have a female Doctor are “playing the political card” makes me think that you don’t recognize that agitating AGAINST such a thing is ALSO political, and it’s really unclear why that might be the case.

  9. 9
    Francisco Bacopa

    Excuse me, I have to go write an ATL where “To the Manor Born” never gets filmed because Penelope Keith starts playing the fifth doctor in 1981. She takes it completely over the top, a big change from her role as Margo in “The Good Life”.

    Hugh Grant would get picked up on some planet and be the new companion.

  10. 10
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Hey, SMY, Id like to talk to you about this GREAT water front timeshare opportunity for you in Oklahoma. You know, since you will believe *anything* that makes no sense, so long as its comfy for you.

  11. 11
    SMY

    I only meant that I commend him for not holding back his opinion when he knew he would have the reaction we are already seeing in the few hours it was posted. I personally have felt the same way he has about the topic, including the 007 reference, and it was refreshing to see someone as close to the character as him with the same perspective.

  12. 12
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    I’d love to see Idris Elba as The Doctor after Capaldi.

    SMY: Was it also commendable for Hitler to blame the Jews for Germany’s societal ills? I mean, he was just speaking truth as he perceives it…

  13. 13
    mordred

    While I don’t think there is anything in-story speaking against a female doctor, I don’t see it happening anytime soon. Doctor Who, like any other TV-show has to keep the viewers happy, and I fear quite a lot of them would be annoyed with a sudden departure from the tried formula.

    Yes, the Doctor (and the show) has gone through a lot of changes. Comparing the current stories to the Hartnell-era I’d say changing the Doctor’s gender would not be the biggest change that happened, but do you think the average viewer would see it that way?

  14. 14
    LykeX

    Really? Pig-headed, sexist, “women can’t drive” rhetoric is refreshing? I didn’t realize it was in so short supply.

    Moreover, the James Bond comparison is completely idiotic. James Bond is not a character that routinely changes physical form. The Doctor is. Kinda relevant, wouldn’t you say?

  15. 15
    culuriel

    I nominate Naomie Harris!!!

  16. 16
    hyperdeath

    There is one thing we can be sure of: If a woman does play The Doctor, she’ll be bombarded with threatening hate mail.

  17. 17
    Joe

    He is saying it would be breaking the character in a fundamental way… as in unmotivated and random. From an actor/writer point of view this is perfectly valid. That doesn’t mean he is right. I think a good writer/actor could make it work, but he simply sees the character as male, and that aspect of the character’s identity, for him, is set. Think about what it would be like telling a transperson that their gender is not important to their identity, and you will probably get the gist of what he is saying. Identity is important, even to fictional characters, because consistent characterization is important to a good story.

  18. 18
    myeck waters

    jackal @ #6

    I gave Doctor Who a try, but I wasn’t impressed with the magic man saves the pretty female sidekick formula.

    So I guess you haven’t watched much of the recent series then, since quite frequently the sidekick saves him.

  19. 19
    Jacob Schmidt

    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.

    While I doubt Davison is making any such distinctions, I just wanted to emphasize that having a penis does not automatically make one a man (or lack thereof, a woman).

  20. 20
    SMY

    Did the headline of the mirror stating the whole driving aspect actually show up as a direct quote or did the mirror throw that in to get a rise? I didn’t see it the body of the article and it didnt seem to follow with the rest of his tone. That statement would be entirely useless and unnecessary, and not at all refreshing. I love leading female characters, and if the scenario was reveresed I wouldnt want them changing into men either. Having that opinion about a tv character should not result in being called sexist, or be compared to Hitler.

  21. 21
    Trebuchet

    River Song is effectively a female time-lord, conceived on the TARDIS in mid-jump. And she’s fully capable of flying it, as well as time-travelling without even needing it.

  22. 22
    left0ver1under

    Craig Charles was one of those being considered for the role of Doctor Who. I wonder if Davison would have this about Charles:

    “Doctor Who must always be a white man.”

    “If you suddenly make the Doctor a black man you’ve effectively just said, ‘Well let’s give you a skin change’, and I don’t think that works.”

    Speaking of Craig Charles, does anyone remember “Red Dwarf” season two (the “Holly Hop Drive”), when the characters met their equivalents from an alternate reality, and Dave Lister met his female version? Doctor Who deals in fictions and alternate universes, so why not? The male meets female, gets killed in the alternate universe, the female takes over. No problem.

    And someone had better tell Davison to wake up, there already is a female Doctor Who. I first and best remember Peter Capaldi from “Prime Suspect 2″, where he played Vera Reynolds (nee Vernon).

  23. 23
    WithinThisMind

    Well, guess the kidlet isn’t going to be dressed as the 5th doctor next GenCon. Maybe we’ll go with the 3rd instead. My niece is dressing up as the 11th doctor.

    There have been plenty of female ‘James Bond’ type characters that have worked well enough. Many which would have worked better if Hollywood were more mature regarding women.

    I get that sometimes, a particular ‘character’ is male, and I do think the doctor as he has been written thus far would not work as well a female character – mainly due to how he behaves around women, his inability to respect a female character as much as he would a male character, and his inability to empathize with character that was acting from ‘traditionally’ female motivations (protecting her child, in this case).

    But this opinion is because of flaws in the doctor’s character (or to be more clear – flaws on the part of the writers), not because of strengths, thus they are things the doctor should be trying to grow out of and stop doing.

    And even taking those into account, there is absolutely no trait the doctor possesses that could not also manifest reasonably into a woman. Just because I don’t think it would work quite as well doesn’t mean I don’t think it could work.

  24. 24
    Callinectes

    For all I know, Time Lords are born female and become male with age.

  25. 25
    A. Noyd

    Joe (#17)

    Think about what it would be like telling a transperson that their gender is not important to their identity, and you will probably get the gist of what he is saying.

    A transperson is an actual person who has no choice but to be who and what they are. Respecting their identity is important because they’re a feeling, thinking human being who can be hurt by denial of that identity. A character is a thing made up by other people who deliberately develop the character’s identity a particular way. It can’t feel one way or another about that identity because it’s a thing and not a person. An actor who plays a character might have strong opinions about the character’s identity, but they have their own identity which is not actually endangered by changes to the character.

    Identity is important, even to fictional characters, because consistent characterization is important to a good story.

    What an insulting comparison. I don’t think you believe it, but you’re implying that the importance of transpeople’s identities is something to do with entertaining other people. Also, if keeping a male identity is so integral to a character that changing that would break the story, that’s a sign of incompetent characterization and shitty writing.

  26. 26
    A. Noyd

    WithinThisMind (#23)

    I get that sometimes, a particular ‘character’ is male, and I do think the doctor as he has been written thus far would not work as well a female character – mainly due to how he behaves around women, his inability to respect a female character as much as he would a male character, and his inability to empathize with character that was acting from ‘traditionally’ female motivations (protecting her child, in this case).

    Actually, there are plenty of women like that in real life. Patriarchy teaches us to look down on other women and respect them less than men, even though we are women ourselves.

  27. 27
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    SMY

    He never said a woman was in-capable of playing a lead time lord(that on the other hand would be sexist) he just doesn’t personally think that that sort of change is right for the character.

    That only makes sense if you think that men and women are fundamentally different and never the twain shall meet except for him to fuck her.

    I admit that I only know some of the oldest episodes of Dr. Who (it was never very popular in Germany), but I somehow don’t think that the “character” is still the same one as the mildly confused and oh so 1950s character played by William Hartnell.

  28. 28
    WithinThisMind

    @26

    True.

    The doctor’s level of self-righteous arrogance and, well, privilege that allows him that luxury though, are more ‘masculine’ traits. It’s not that no women possess those traits (Ayn Rand and Ann Coulter come to mind), it’s just that they are vastly more common in men because men are more likely to get away with that attitude.

    I think that may be more like what I was trying to say. The doctor is full of a lot of shit sometimes, and I think if the doctor were female, she’d get called on it and not get away with it nearly as much. A woman has a much harder time dominating a room by force of personality than a man does because society dictates that there is something wrong with a woman who has a dominate and forceful personality. In a man, the traits of the doctor are considered ‘good’, but those same traits, in a woman, would be considered ‘bad’. The doctor’s brand of irreverent and good natured crazy would get flanderized quickly into manic pixie dream girl bitches be crazy real fast if the doctor were played by a woman because while a male doctor could be taken seriously, a female doctor never would if everything else remained the same other than outward gender appearance.

  29. 29
    A. Noyd

    @WithinThisMind (#28)
    Yeah, a female doctor would have to spend time dealing with the shit women get. That’s not a bad thing. If it gets in the way of storytelling rather than becoming a strength of the storytelling, then that’s the fault of the writers.

    As for fans, if they can’t suspend their disbelief about a female doctor being respected (in the fictional world) as much as a male doctor and don’t want to watch her deal with all the backlash against assertive women, then they should damn well work to change the (real life) culture that restricts and punishes women. Holding up one inequity as an excuse to create or maintain another inequity is shitty people behavior and should not be catered to.

    And what good is entertainment if it only gives fans what they (think they) want without asking them to question the things that make them comfortable? Viewers should challenge themselves over why they might consider a woman with a forceful personality “bad.” They should ask themselves what right they have to claim certain traits for men only. Entertainment that never causes us to question common wisdom, especially common wisdom that benefits oppressors, is terrible entertainment. Pandering to shallow imaginations is nothing worth defending.

  30. 30
    maddog1129

    I always thought the Doctor should never have been Peter Davison, because he could never stop being that twit, Tristan Farnon.

  31. 31
    Emptyell

    Besides James Bond was played by Ursula Andress* in the original Casino Royale.

    * Along with David Niven, Peter Sellars, etc.

  32. 32
    quidam

    Joanna Lumley WAS the thirteenth Dr Who.

    I know some people don’t accept The Curse of Fatal Death as part of the Canon, but some people are wrong.

    The Curse of Fatal Death has several of the best Doctors, albeit for a very short term.

    Rowan Atkinson (Ninth Doctor)
    Richard E. Grant (Tenth Doctor)
    Jim Broadbent (Eleventh Doctor)
    Hugh Grant (Twelfth Doctor)
    Joanna Lumley (Thirteenth Doctor)

    Joanna was the only doctor to have built in Etheric beam locators

  33. 33
    Gregory in Seattle

    @Quidam #32 – The Curse of the Fatal Death was a Holiday Show. It is canon in that it was made by the directors and writers of the show, but not a part of the main continuity.

    That said, I would rather like to see Lumley brought back as The Doctor. Alas, with The Doctor getting younger and younger, we’re on track to seeing the part offered to Justin Bieber.

  34. 34
    Oob

    I recall the original creator of the Castlevania series striking Castlevania Legends from continuity (a game written by someone other than him) because “a woman can never be a Belmont” (which just raises a lot of questions). It gets annoying. A very small pittance of credit goes out to him later making female protagonists of other family lines, using things other than the famous whip, but still, the sting remains.

    At least with Zelda, the titular princess actually does a lot more than most, and I await the day when the “other side” of Ocarina of Time can be made, where you play through Zelda’s ninja adventures as Shiek (or heck, a Wind Waker story where you play as Tetra the pirate). I’m just a bit tired of playing as yet another incarnation of Link every game. Oh well, at least they’re finally putting Peach up front in the rescuing department in the upcoming Mario game!

    Wait, what were we talking about again?

  35. 35
    robertbaden

    WithinThisMind @ #28

    ” It’s not that no women possess those traits (Ayn Rand and Ann Coulter come to mind), it’s just that they are vastly more common in men because men are more likely to get away with that attitude.”

    Depends on who is doing the observing, and about what. My mother had lots of bad things to say about white women and their racism.

  36. 36
    Daniel Schealler

    Counter-argument:

    Tilda Swinton.

    I rest my case.

  37. 37
    JULESG

    Pity the poor fifth doctor. The fourth traveled with the Ramonas and the sixth travailed against the Rani. The fifth’s experience was more limited and he cannot remember a time lord also included lady.

  38. 38
    blf

    Possibly more challenging for some to accept would be if The Doctor didn’t speak with a “British” accent.

  39. 39
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Well, if someone hadn’t killed all the other Timelords two or three times, this would be a non-starter. Other Gallifreyans could have joined the rogue Doctor in stealing old TARDISes and playing adventurer time cop. Of course, they could yet return, as the ever-popular Daleks and Cybermen seem to do with incessant frequency.

    I don’t know what would stop Petey from being all douchey, though.

  40. 40
    resident_alien

    “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.” – So sez Peter Davison , 5th Doctor, whose daughter Georgina Moffet (Davison’s a stage name), has a child (and a second one one the way,I believe) with one David Tennant, 10th Doctor. So,given that Mr. Davison thinks himself identical with all Doctors before and after him, should I be disgusted?

  41. 41
    carlie

    Not to mention that his daughter played a female time lord who was cloned as such from a male time lord’s dna, indicating that time lords do have the genetic capacity to be either, in canon.

  42. 42
    voidhawk

    ‘ with The Doctor getting younger and younger, we’re on track to seeing the part offered to Justin Bieber.’

    actually, the next proper doctor is Peter Capaldi, an actor as old as William Hartnell was. Plus the 50th special will apparently have John Hurt as the ‘doctor’ who is in his seventies.

  43. 43
    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    Warning, Spoilers.

    A female Doctor would be awesome, and it might finally be a way to get rid of the dreadful River Song fiasco. Seriously, (SPOILERS) the whole lets raise this baby who we know will one day marry the Doctor to be the weapon who kills the Doctor who will continue to runs around for a few millenia working to prevent his death after he dies, was a thoroughly ridiculous idea. (END SPOILERS) The sooner that Matt Smith’s tenure as the Doctor is forgotten, the better.

    Realistically, I doubt we’ll see a female Doctor any time soon, unfortunately. So I suggest the return of Jenny, the Doctor’s daughter/clone, spectacularly played by Georgina Moffet. Doesn’t have to be the same actress (although I think I remember it being mentioned that she was interesting in coming back), she’s already demonstrated the ability to regenerate. Strong, capable female Time Lord (who loves to run), and you don’t need to rewrite the Doctor to do it. She’s already started to grow beyond being just a soldier, so there’s is plenty of room to develop a fascinating character.

    Sort of OT: I’ve always assumed that “James Bond” was a title assigned to the top agent. Which is why he has so many faces across so many time periods. Otherwise, you have to rewrite the Bond canon every few movies. If that’s true, there’s no reason you can’t have a female Bond.

  44. 44
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Dave…

    The sooner that Matt Smith’s tenure as the Doctor is forgotten, the better.

    I don’t completely agree with you. While I do hate the whole River Song storyline (her entire existence centered around the Doctor… utterly worthless), I actually thought Matt Smith did a great job with the Doctor… at least from the Doctors I’ve seen so far (I’ve seen the entirety of NuWho and I’ve watched all the classic series from the very beginning with Hartnell all the way up to the Tom Baker story “Full Circle”, which I’ll be starting on tonight). So I’m happy to have Matt Smith as the Doctor, even if the storylines he was given, especially surrounding River Song, were utter shit.

    Sort of OT: I’ve always assumed that “James Bond” was a title assigned to the top agent. Which is why he has so many faces across so many time periods. Otherwise, you have to rewrite the Bond canon every few movies. If that’s true, there’s no reason you can’t have a female Bond.

    No. 007 is the title. James Bond is the name of an agent. He was never supposed to have many different faces. Sean Connery was James Bond. He’s had different faces because the movie series proved more popular than the book series it’s based on. Daniel Craig is re-playing the beginning of James Bond, hence why it’s done that way. It’s all about how James Bond started, which is why it’s a little weird that they used Judi Dench as the new “M” recruiting Bond, when it was originally established in canon that Bond was already a well-established 007 when she started. So… basically, the M Judi Dench was playing in 2006′s Casino Royale was not supposed to be the same M she played in “Die Another Day” and back.

    What this means, of course, is that the Bond canon is horribly confused and muddled, because the franchise has basically outlived the viability of the actors who have played Bond, and it’s why, while their could very easily be a woman as 007, she would not be James Bond. James Bond isn’t a title, but the agent name of one person, known by the agency title of 007.

    At least, this is how it was set up in the book series the movie is based on. It could be that the movies changed that, but if so, then the movies are not at all related to the books beyond a franchise title and some common characters.

    Which is why the Bond/Doctor Who analogies when talking about a woman being the Doctor are horrible analogies. We’re talking about two completely different things, here…

  45. 45
    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    Fine, I phrased that badly. Replace “I’ve always assumed that James Bond was a title” with “I’ve always thought it would make more sense if James Bond was a title”. It wasn’t intended that way to begin with, but with 4 decades worth of movies to tie together, a retconn of some type is needed. If it gets to the point where it looks ludicrous to hang on to the original interpretation, then its time to change. This is just the simplest way to go, hell its practically implied.

    And, assuming that premise, it really isn’t all that different from the Doctor. Each Bond dies and is replaced by a new person, with a new personality and roughly the same goals even if they have different methods. Previous Bonds wouldn’t dream of free-running through (across and over) a construction site, it would wrinkle the suit and spill the martini. Similarly, each Doctor dies and is reborn as a completely new person with each regeneration. Tennant got a protracted death scene to hammer in the point that the Doctor dies, even though the Doctor goes on. Each actor(/writer/director) created their own Bond, and each created their own Doctor. That’s why it wouldn’t break either character to write in a female version.

  46. 46
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    I’m using the book franchise’s continuity, Dave. Ian Fleming, who created the character, always meant for the name “James Bond” to be the name of one agent. Subsequent authors who’ve taken over the book franchise since Fleming died have continued in the same vein.

    But now that I think about it, for the films, you’re absolutely right. They could establish in a film that Daniel Craig is playing the same person Sean Connery played, but that could potentially make things even worse for the film franchise’s continuity.

    If they do change the title from 007 to James Bond, however, that would break the movies completely from the books. As of right now, however, if we use the continuity from the films’ source material, Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig have all the played the exact same person going by the name of James Bond, and not different people with “James Bond” being their title as opposed to 007.

  47. 47
    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    I confess, my Bond is limited to the movies, and my Doctor is limited to the newer series (sorry, tried to watch the old ones, but they did not age well). So, yes, it would mean a break from book’s continuity. Inherent limitations of the medium, I suppose. The protagonist of a book series can be the same age forever, but that doesn’t work so well for a movie franchise.

  48. 48
    wondering

    To hell with Peter Davidson. One of the orginal Dr Who creators specifically said that there should also be female Doctors.

    When the original series was struggling with ratings in the 1980s, the show’s creator, Sydney Newman, wrote a letter to BBC One Controller Michael Grade, admonishing the state of the show. He called for a temporary return of Patrick Troughton, who played the Second Doctor, before metamorphosing The Doctor into a female incarnation – a Time Lady.

    Given that this was while Peter Davidson was the doctor, maybe that’s why he’s so against the idea of a woman doctor today.

    http://www.attendly.com/18-surprising-facts-you-probably-didnt-know-about-doctor-who/

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/doctor-who/8052694/How-Doctor-Who-nearly-became-the-Time-Lady.html

  49. 49
    wondering

    My bad, cancel that. It wasn’t the Peter Davidson 80′s that resulted in low viewing numbers, it was during Colin Baker’s time.

  50. 50
    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    Thanks for the links wondering! I had no idea Douglas Adams wrote a few episodes. I’ll look them up as soon as I get home.

    And if people have been calling for a female Doctor since the 80′s then we are long overdue. Shut up Peter Davidson, lets make this happen!

  51. 51
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    I confess, my Bond is limited to the movies, and my Doctor is limited to the newer series (sorry, tried to watch the old ones, but they did not age well). So, yes, it would mean a break from book’s continuity. Inherent limitations of the medium, I suppose. The protagonist of a book series can be the same age forever, but that doesn’t work so well for a movie franchise.

    Pierce Brosnan was meant to be an older Bond, on the cusp of retirement. Craig was meant to swing it back around to the beginning. I think his movies are meant to be between Casino Royale (the first book) and Live and Let Die (the second book), but I’m not sure. Here’s the wiki article on it. Of course Craig’s first movie was Casino Royale.

    But anyways… going by the books, that’s why James Bond is actually a pretty poor analogy to the Doctor. The Doctor could very easily be a woman through regeneration. Although the Bond world really needs women agents, and I’d be elated to see a woman as 007, James Bond specifically doesn’t really have that mechanism because he’s meant to be one human man.

  52. 52
    Ing

    Man Elementary sure is drivel because they made Watson a woman right?

    Entire premise exploded like a pair of c4 underpants

  53. 53
    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    Never heard of Elementary before. Quick, to Google…
    Hmm, that looks pretty good and Lucy Liu is always awesome, I shall watch this ASAP.

  54. 54
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    I actually didn’t like Elementary, but not because of Lucy Liu… she was about the only positive part of the show…

  55. 55
    Raging Bee

    …preferably Helen Mirren.

    She made a pretty good Queen, so why not?

    There’s also India Arie, if the Doctor decides to become more multicultural in order to deal better with humans. Or Michelle Yeoh…

    Man Elementary sure is drivel because they made Watson a woman right?

    An integral part of the original Sherlock Holmes storyline was the close relationship between those two men. Change that part of the premise, and you still have the potential for a good storyline — but it’s not the “Sherlock Holmes” storyline anymore; it’s something else (good or bad) and you really shouldn’t call it something it isn’t. Sort of like calling “Battleship” “The Iliad.”

  56. 56
    LykeX

    An integral part of the original Sherlock Holmes storyline was the close relationship between those two men.

    Was it? Was the important part really the close relationship between the two men, or was it the close relationship between the two characters?

    I’ll grant that making one of them a woman will change something in the social dynamic, but so would changing their relative age or any number of other factors. Does that really alter the fundamental story or does it simply bring out new facets of the relationship?

    Sort of like calling “Battleship” “The Iliad.”

    If you keep saying things like that, I hope you don’t expect to be taken seriously. That’s just a ridiculous comparison.

  57. 57
    Raging Bee

    Was the important part really the close relationship between the two men, or was it the close relationship between the two characters?

    It was about two particular characters, who happened to be men. If you want to have a different storyline where both characters aren’t men, that’s fine — just don’t call it something it isn’t.

    As for my “Battleship” comparison, yes, that’s ridiculous. A better comparison would be to the recent “Star Trek” “reboot:” just another noisy, empty big-budget action movie, with only the “Star Trek” label to pretend to distinguish it from all the other noisy, empty big-budget action movies. That’s pretty much all the new “Holmes” series is: just another detective show (not bad but not great IMHO) trying to stand out by tacking on a prestigious name.

    I’ll grant that making one of them a woman will change something in the social dynamic, but so would changing their relative age or any number of other factors. Does that really alter the fundamental story or does it simply bring out new facets of the relationship?

    In the case of “Sherlock Holmes,” it makes it a totally different story, with a totally different relationship at its center, and a totally different distinctive “look and feel.” (Remember, Holmes and Watson weren’t just men, they were old-school men in an old-school patriarchal society, and their close relationship was an old-school close male friendship/professional collaboration. Today we call that a “bromance,” but back then, that word would have sounded like an ignorant juvenile insult.) There’s nothing at all wrong with making a new story, of course, but it’s kind of dishonest (not to mention lame) to pretend it’s not as new as it clearly is. The new detective series may be good or bad on its own merits (I find it mildly amusing at times), but equating it with Sherlock Holmes only invites us to keep on saying “No, the original Holmes would NOT act like that!”

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