There has been a minor uproar in the Doctor Who fandom since the new Doctor was announced and will, for the first time, be incarnated as a woman. The change in the character is not a reboot or a simple recasting. Rather, the Doctor has a well established history of being periodically reincarnated, with a new actor taking on the role.
Will the new Doctor be a good thing or a bad thing? If I were a fan, I be concerned with how much is being made of the gender of the new Doctor. This doesn’t bode well. To return Doctor Who to its zenith (in the rebooted series, under David Tenant, the 10th actor to take the role), there are three things beyond the performance of the new Doctor that are needed:
- Good writing. The writing went downhill when Russell T. Davies left the show, to be replaced by Steven Moffat (who also wrote the Sherlock series).
- Consistency with the existing cannon. Fans of the show will not be happy if existing, established features of the Doctor Who universe are not respected by the new series.
- A good companion. The companion character in Doctor Who is the “everyman” (more often, an everywoman) who the audience can relate to as the Doctor shows them the wonders of his universe.
Time and the audience will tell whether the new Doctor is accepted by the fan base or viewership, which has declined slightly since the series was rebooted in 2005, falls off more abruptly, as it did in season 26 of the original series, which led to its cancellation in 1989.