Jul. 17th, 2017

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I've now had twenty-four hours to digest and my brain is still a bit stuck on squee and joy and squee and joy.

I mean, I woke up this morning and a night had passed and IT'S STILL TRUE. JODI WHITTAKER IS STILL THE DOCTOR. IT WASN'T A DREAM.

There was a teeny tiny bit of me that was half-expecting to find out that it had somehow all gone wrong and Kris Marshall was the Doctor after all.

But I also have more thoughts. Some of them I am going to end up ficcing. I've got a Bill and Thirteen plot bunny nibbling my ankles that I'm going to need to play with.

Other thoughts, I just need to noodle through. The first is related to some discussion I saw yesterday about how this should have happened sooner and Moffat should have done it, and I have feelings about this.

There was, predictably, outcry over the casting. There always would be. But you know what none of the butthurt fanboys (and girls, sadly) could do? They couldn't claim it broke canon.

That's huge. HUGE. If Moffat had done it for Twelve, people would have thrown a wobbly *and* yelled about canon. Until that point, we'd had a vague hint about the Corsair and a possible hint about the Doctor being a little girl once (or that might have been something Missy said about the Doctor, I get confused). Someone had to establish, without a shadow of a doubt, that Time Lords can change gender when they regenerate. Someone had to do it with another established Time Lord, so Moffat created Missy. Someone had to show a regeneration onscreen that included a gender and race change. Moffat wrote the General's regeneration in Hell Bent. Someone had to push it in our faces, in ways that couldn't be ignored, that Time Lords are flexible around gender and it's not a big deal for them, so that when we finally had a woman cast as our Doctor, the fans who complained couldn't use canon as a reason to whine.

That's what Moffat did. All that work, which took years, paved the way. He shepherded this in as much as Chibnall, and all that work guaranteed the complainers would look incredibly foolish to anyone with a brain. It was important. Is Moffat perfect? Hell, no. Nobody is. But what he's done over the last few years was important and shouldn't be forgotten or overlooked.

The other thing is that I've seen talk about is the way this casting leaves out fans of colour, because Jodi is a white woman. Someone posted a tweet along the lines of "I cam simultaneously be overjoyed at the casting we have *and* critical that it's another white actor" and that's very, very true. I don't want to harsh anyone's squee. Heck, I don't want to harsh my own squee, because it's so wonderful to feel this squeeful.

I'm also aware that I have the inbuilt privilege of being a white woman, so I'm not feeling left behind.

(Although one critique I saw that totally forgot we've just had a season with a prominent WOC, who was centred a lot *and* got to be a queer black woman in a major role, which is still rare...well, I was glad to see that (white) writer get corrected.)

Honestly, when I was thinking about this, I knew we wouldn't get a WOC. We'd get either a (male) POC *or* a woman. The BBC had to go outside the white male box this time, but it was inevitable that they wouldn't be able to smash it into too many pieces. One of those identities had to be challenged, but not both at once.

And out of the two options, I really thought they'd go with a black or Asian male actor, because casting a woman felt too daring. Too far. A line they haven't crossed yet. It's part of why I was so surprised, so overjoyed, because at no stage did I ever think they'd do this. Not this time. Not yet. For Fourteen? Yes. I had hope. But I expected them to push through the race barrier first, not gender, particularly after everything they've done in the last season to highlight and talk about race and privilege in the text.

And trust me, I would have been every bit as overjoyed right now if that's what they'd done. The only way I was going to be unhappy was if we had another white man in the role, because we've had thirteen of them and if a character can change skin and gender, and it doesn't signify to them, then why would they only ever look like a small section of human society?

I hope they'll cast a WOC for Fourteen. I really do. It's the next logical step. And it really sucks groups of fans feel like they're always being told to wait, that change has to be incremental, because in an ideal world it wouldn't. In an ideal world, the Doctor would have been played by Archie Panjabi or Shelley Conn after Tennant regenerated. I wish we lived in that ideal world.

In the meantime, I hope the TARDIS team won't be overwhelmingly white. I know that I'm not getting Bill back (although my dream is a whole season of Bill and Thirteen travelling together, sometimes flirting, while Bill boggles at her old grandpa figure having turned into a hot woman she can't keep her eyes off), but let's not mess up the progress that's been made so far.

Cast the first Asian actor as a companion. I mean, if the BBC is committed to diversity and reflecting British society as it truly is, then someone with South-East Asian heritage is long overdue. This goes double if they cast a male companion, to ensure "gender balance" in the TARDIS, because we do not need a white dude in the TARDIS right now.

We've had thirteen* male Doctors, let's have thirteen women as the Doctor and have them as diverse as possible. All colours. All shapes. All presentations. No Doctors who are identified as male. No cishet white male companions unless they're part of a big multi-companion TARDIS team.

I think the fandom is ready.

* including the War Doctor.

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