Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Hayley Atwell: "I'd like to BE Doctor Who"

Agent Carter's Hayley Atwell wants to be the Doctor - this is not a drillThe debate about whether the Docetor should regenerate into a woman has been ongoing since the original series. The question is; is  the time right to cast a woman in the lead role of the Doctor in the long running science fiction show? And if so, is the star of Marvel's Agent Carter, Hayley Atwell that woman?
 The Agent Carter star threw her name into the ring during an impromptu Twitter Q&A with fans, saying that she wouldn't just want to be in Doctor Who, she wants to be Doctor Who.
 But is the show ready for such a change? Asked recently by Salon why he didn't cast a woman as the Twelfth Doctor, showrunner Steven Moffat said:

"Because I wanted to cast Peter Capaldi. If there is any other player on the board other than the person who excited you the most in the role, Doctor Who would go off the air, so that’s what you have to do.

"Was the time right? I don’t know. I think it would have been a disaster if we’d cast a female Doctor when David [Tennant] left. I believe. Disaster. Possible, this time. I think I should get a little more credit for being the only person who’s made it possible. It wasn’t part of the fiction of the show until I wrote it [with gender-swapped Master, Missy]. And I keep establishing it. But I think when that day comes – whatever showrunner that is – then the BBC will say, 'Tell me how this is definitely going to work.' Because, I tell you, there are two venomous packs here. A lot of people in the middle, sensible enough to say, 'If it’s good, I’ll like it; if it’s not good, I won’t like it.'
Back in 1999, current showrunner Steven Moffat, wrote a Doctor Who sketch for Comic Relief - Doctor Who And The Curse Of Fatal Death; whereby the Doctor regenerated into a woman. The role of the Doctor (ninth) was played by comedy actor Rowan Atkinson. During the sketch, the Doctor regenerated from Rowan to Richard E Grant (quite handsome Doctor) to Jim Broadbent (the shy Doctor) to Hugh Grant (the handsome Doctor) and finally into Joanna Lumley (the female Doctor).
At the time, I was still a teeneager and the idea that the Doctor could regenerate into a woman intrigued my young mind. I grew up in a time where Joanna Lumley was a huge name and face on television (she still is), and I was ready to accept her as the Doctor albeit, in a Comic Relief sketch. 
However, since Doctor Who returned to our screens back in 2005 - Ten fantastic years and four wonderful incarnations, I have toiled with the concept again and again. How do I feel about our greatest anti-hero The Doctor regenerating into a woman? I feel that Steven Moffat has made it work with Missy - formerly the Master and is marvellously portayed by the equally cookie and mad Michelle Gomez; so why not the Doctor? 
I've always maintained that the Doctor should remain male but I am coming around to the idea of a female Doctor. Maybe it is because I am now middle aged and there is an increased demand for more high profile female roles on our television screens. I have become to think that with the right woman in the role, our beloved Doctor can regenerate into a strong, witty, mad, intelligent Time Lord. 
Will the 14th incarnation be a woman? Wait and see but I doubt it.

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