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Welcome, Thirteen.

Dear Whovians: if you have your head up your arse about 13 being female and how Timelords have to be men and such, please go back and watch “Destiny of the Daleks.” I’ll wait…..

Romana “tried on” a few decidedly non-human bodies during her first regeneration, proving that if a Timelord has enough control, they can direct their own regeneration however they wish. Why are so many forgetting that? If you’re voicing an issue with the gender shift, that tells me that you can accept an alien species that can make itself look like another completely alien species with regeneration, but God help us if that results in the alien in question presenting as a different gender post-regeneration. We know the Doctor doesn’t have the regeneration control that Romana learned in the Academy, but there are some things the Doctor can do, like direct the energy into the severed hand to create a second Ten. Twelve wore the face of Caecilius as a reminder to always try to save people. Perhaps there is a story reason for Thirteen presenting as female? Hmm? For all we know, a second set of regenerations has a rule that there will be a shift in either gender or species at some point in order to expand the Timelord knowledge level? How many Timelords with a second slate of regenerations have we actually seen so far? Certainly not enough to form a full idea of what’s involved. Don’t apply human logic or even human biology to an alien species. You just set yourself up for being dumbfounded or disappointed in the end.

I get it, you think your childhood hero has been bastardized by the female regeneration. “Why can’t we have a male Wonder Woman, then?” and other absolutely narrow-minded (IMNSHO) comments. We can’t have a male Wonder Woman because the Amazons were created female. It was kind of the point. You’ll have to blame the ancient Greeks for that one. Also? I’m not an expert, but last I checked, the Amazon princess Diana of Themyscira doesn’t shapeshift. Changing her gender presentation is absolutely not in-universe from a storytelling perspective, and you’d be fully justified to bitch if that happened. I’d be right there with you. However, a Timelord changing into a brand new body with regeneration, whether it appears as a different alien species or just a different gender, is absolutely in-universe for Doctor Who. Just because it hadn’t happened to this Timelord in the 50+ years we’ve been along for the ride doesn’t mean it was never going to happen.

Trust me, I grok your childhood heroes being rebooted and how annoying it is. I wasn’t happy with the idea of the BSG reboot when I first heard about it, either. The original series helped shape my childhood. Just about all I still remember of my 1970s childhood was Space 1999, BSG, Doctor Who, and Buck Rogers. Reluctant as I was to like it, the first season of the new BSG was one of the best things I’ve seen on television in the 21st Century. Even BSG had to change to survive. The only way a show like Who can last half a century is because it changes. The whole concept of regeneration was introduced to keep the show going. It is an object lesson in the reality that the world changes, and we have to change with it.

Perhaps some in fandom should take this opportunity to deal with their issues when it comes to change. To quote a character from a completely different SF universe, the great Lwaxanna Troi: “The mind opens, and in creeps wisdom.”

Twelve taught himself and us in that borrowed face that we should always try to save people. Our children could do well to take that lesson into the future, especially these days. Would we take that lesson from the children? I hope not. What does this regeneration have to teach us? Or are you willing to walk away from everything and stop learning from The Doctor? Me? I’m sticking around. If the stories don’t keep me watching, then that’s the way it goes. I am a creator. I know that there is no such thing as a permanent audience. I have lost count of the amount of shows in the last 20 years that I began watching religiously, but grew away from as it went on. Tom Baker was my Doctor. The Key to Time is the first serial I vividly remember watching. I have cosplayed as Romana I and built my own K-9 for that cosplay. I have a few memories here and there of watching Leela episodes, but the only one I ever identified was “Talons of Weng Chiang”. I wasn’t even ten years old when I first saw that back on PBS. I admit that I grew away from the Doctor in the Colin Baker era, but I came back. I am going back and watching those Sixth Doctor episodes every now and then, as I can stand that godawful technicolor abomination of a coat, but I am revisiting what I missed. To paraphrase another Star Trek character, the Doctor is, and always shall be, my friend.

Welcome aboard the TARDIS, Jodie Whittaker. You are absolutely welcome here, and I eagerly await meeting your Doctor.


  1. January 2, 2019 at 3:08 pm | #1

    Hello, just popped over here via a link from your Voyager story in Distant Shores. Pleasantly surprised to find a statement on my other favourite subject, Doctor Who. Do hope you turned out to have liked the season. My family and I did. Happy New Year to you!

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