You’ve got that one buddy, right — the person who’s always trying to get you to see Doctor Who? Or maybe you are that buddy. Either way, you likely know that every couple of years, the title character of Doctor Who turns into a brand new Doctor dude, played with a new celebrity.
Those with a passing awareness of outrage culture that is internet know that this time round, the Doctor is a girl. When Jodie Whittaker made her debut as the first female Doctor this past year, it was glorious! My bra burst into flames of joy as I watched Peter Capaldi’s mad magician encounter replaced with Whittaker’s feminine features.
But why did the Doctor wait so long to try it, living 12 resides as the same brand of older white man with questionable fashion sense? Other than a fear that a certain section of enraged fans would burn down the studio? I believe there’s an intriguing in-universe motive …
Let’s Quickly Explain The Nerdy Rules Of Doctor Who
It’s been indicated that the physician can not determine how he looks when he regenerates. The Ninth Doctor told Rose Tyler that he “could end up with two heads, or no mind” after regenerating. Both the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors complained that they were expecting to be gingers (me also, bros). And Romana, a Time Lady from precisely the same planet as the physician and a former companion, made regeneration seem as simple as changing a sweater. A squishy meat sweater.
Why is it so complex for your physician so easy to control regeneration for Romana? Is it because he stinks? If regeneration is a completely random lottery and the physician could become any kind of creature on earth, how can he strike the “love child of Jeremy Irons and Christopher Walken” jackpot every single moment?
Maybe it’s because he can restrain his regeneration, however he understands that because he spends a lot of time around Earth (which can be completely for special Time Lord reasons and not TV budget reasons), being a guy is just the simplest way to get things done. It is not that I feel the physician really cares about his sex; it is more that he knows that the remainder of the world does. He just lies about it for his almost-always-female partners because, well, that is sort of an awkward conversation to have.
Now Let Us Count The Ways This Makes His Job Easier
Think of all of the instances the Doctor has had to burst into a room and shout “Everyone listen and do what I say!” More frequently than not, the “everyone” who has just been berated with a random British gentleman complies with his wishes.
From the first episode of Series Five, he hacks into a meeting of all of the best scientists on Earth, yells some mathematics whatsoever, and persuading them to spread a computer virus that he whipped up on a phone. They don’t question his authority. They don’t even ask where he got his degree. He could possess a doctorate at Frisbee Sciences from Zac Efron University, for all anyone knows, but they are still willing to wager the fate of our entire planet.
The physician will still be a genius for a woman, naturally, but getting people to actually shut up and listen to your genius words is mathematically an uphill struggle for women. The Pew Center, when looking into why there are not more women in leadership positions, revealed that the number one reason girls feel they are unable to move up the corporate or political ladder is that they feel held to higher standards than guys. And in general, guys with some authority don’t always respond well to a lady coming in to upset the apple cart.
If a girl bursts into a room with a few unorthodox petition she insists will save the world … well, let’s just say that we had better hope she’s not up against a tight deadline. They will take some convincing.
And Remember, The Past Sucked More
Cracked has coated why time travel would suck for girls (name an age it is possible to visit that wouldn’t be worse than today, and that knows what the future holds), and that is if you’re just joyriding around, seeing the sights. The physician, on the other hand, has to actually attempt to get shit done in the past without becoming burned at the stake. She can not even get through her typical speech of “I’m The Doctor, I’m a time-traveling alien-” because previous peasants would state, “Please, let me stop you at ‘physician’ so I could rock you to death in silence.”
Previous Doctors have employed psychic paper (basically a magic company card) for around from the past without any trouble, since it tips onlookers and lets them keep on creeping round castles unhindered. But, it does not work if there is not any conceivable thing the physician could be doing. It relies on the head of the person taking a look at the paper. If 1600s Craig the Knight can not think of a motive as to why a single female stranger would be poking round the King’s armory, the newspaper is sterile, the Doctor is beheaded, and most of humanity becomes Cybermen.
OK, So Why Change Now?
But why throw a uterus into the works today, if he knows it is going to make his life more challenging? The Doctor is on his next round of 12 regeneration cycles. He was supposed to be really, 100 percent entirely dead, not just dead-with-a-new-body, following the 11th iteration. But the Time Lords granted him an additional 12 lifetimes. In the point of his regeneration into a girl, The Doctor is approximately 2,000 years old. Maybe after two millennia, he determined he was finally able to try life on hard mode. He knows being a girl will be harder, but he understands if it turns out to be too much, he’s got quite a few more shots.
And if there was any Doctor willing to take that opportunity, it would be Peter Capaldi’s. Less of a swashbuckling hero and more of a grumpy time-bending uncle, Capaldi definitely seems like the sort of Doctor who would believe “Screw it. Let’s give it a whirl.” He’s willing to manage someone yelling “Nice ass!” At him as he tries to save them from being exterminated with a Dalek. He’s willing to recalibrate the psychic paper to just say “girl troubles” and expect that works. He’s willing to have to sometimes interrupt history’s different Craigs. After 2,000 years, he was ready for a brand new challenge.
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