When BBC said that they were going to announce the thirteenth Doctor today, I, like most fans, started speculating. There were a lot of false reports and of course, most of them were saying some white guy or another was going to be in the role. And to be honest, I didn’t really blink (Of COURSE I didn’t blink…). The Doctor’s always been a guy, and while I hope someday to see a female Doctor, I was pretty sure BBC wasn’t that bold yet. There were too many trolls, too many nay-sayers, and they were too loud.
After the men’s final of Wimbledon today (congrats, Federer!), I expected to see that guy from Love, Actually, or maybe…I don’t know. Maybe a ginger dude. I freely admitted I wanted to see Sue Perkins there, but knew the chances of that were slim, and I REALLY didn’t believe we would see a female Doctor.
Then the announcement video came… And I saw this image:
As soon as I saw the Doctor's hand I started getting teary. Seriously, I wasn't committed to totally wanting a woman as Doctor. As long as whoever played the Doctor was suitable for the role and kicked ass, I would have been happy. But the feeling I got when I saw Jodie Whittaker’s hand…
The Doctor will always hold such a special place in my life. Doctor Who is my go-to happy place, where I go when things are rough. The Doctor is such a trusted friend, mentor, ally, and for that person now to be a woman... it transcends a barrier I didn't even know was there until this moment. I didn't know how much I didn't believe I would ever see a female Doctor until I actually saw that we were getting one. Then it hit me so hard.
The Doctor is like me.
And women don’t always have to be content with just being the Companion, the follower, the devotee. We can guide, we can be strong, and we can provide the comfort people need, the support and help, the leadership. We can be the strength the human race needs.
Thank you so much, BBC and crew of Doctor Who, for making this first step toward the future.
Melanie R. Meadors is an author of fantasy where heroes don't always carry swords and knights in shining armor often lose to nerds who study their weaknesses. She has edited two upcoming genre anthologies, MECH: Age of Steel and HATH NO FURY, and is the science and pop culture blogger at The Once and Future Podcast. You can find her at her website, melaniermeadors.com, on Facebook, and Twitter, @melaniermeadors.