As far as I'm concerned this is long overdue. Can't wait.
On the new Thirteenth Doctor

I was going to include this in the comments to my post with the Doctor Who teaser-trailer [], but it got long enough I thought it warranted its own thing.

Reading the commentary in YouTube (yeah, I know) and elsewhere, let me address a few points so that you don't have to.

1. The Doctor is male.

That's the most common complaint I'm hearing, But ...

Biologically? What does that mean from the standpoint of an eternal Gallifreyan with two hearts? And how do we actually know that? Has someone been peaking in the TARDIS WC? And do the WCs on the TARDIS actually have two genders on them? Really? And given the TARDIS reconfiguring the control room, or the plenitude of secondary control rooms the Doctor has used, the idea of shaking up the preferred lavatory looks like seems perfectly in line.

Gender identity? We've seen the Doctor take on a protean array of identities over the decades. Shape. Age. Personality. A person reborn into a different body is going to have a much more complex identity than anyone here on Earth. And in terms of how that identity is expressed -- I'm trying to think of when the Doctor has self-identified to others as a manly man who is clearly a man because, look, I'm a man!

Actor-wise? Well, as far as we know, but so what? The character is not the actor, any more than the actor is the character. Women have taken on men's roles. Men have played women's roles. Gay people have played straight. Straight people have played gay. Since we have no idea how Jodie Whittaker is going to do with the role, or how the writers are going to write it, pointing at an actor and saying that's not the Doctor seems horribly premature.

Canonically? The groundwork for this has been laid for some time. Don't bring a bias to a canon fight.

2. This is just political correctness.

Actually, political correctness (even if being used in a disparaging fashion, rather than as a synonym for "considerate" and "polite" and "civil") would have the Doctor be of no (or all) particular genders, so as not to offend anyone. That would be interesting, too.

3. This is pandering to SJWs and the like.

It is, at worst, addressing a substantial number of fans who've said, "Hey, this would be a cool and interesting thing to try." Are there folk who will find this particularly pleasing due to their own identity considerations? Sure -- just as there are folk who find this particularly displeasing due to theirs.

4. This is just BBC angling for publicity.

Yeah, imagine -- a TV show and its production owners wanting publicity for their program. You'd never find that on any other TV show, certainly not one of any igh quality.

5. This is pushing liberal politics down our throat.

You know, there's one particular faction that seems to really, truly enjoy using that "pushing down our throat" phrase. It seems a bit ... neurotic and insecure, if you ask me.

6. This is going to be just as bad as having Thor be a woman.

First off, it's quite different, since the current wield of Mjolnir is a different person than the son of Odin, and both remain in play in in the Marvel Universe. Second, I can only hope it will be half as good as the current run of Thor, because that's been awesome.

7. This is change for change's sake.

Doctor Who just celebrated its 50 anniversary. Finding ways to "change" it, in other words, to keep it fresh and interesting. I mean, they could probably come up with a Thirteenth Doctor who was just like the Fourth Doctor, if they wanted to. Isn't it more interesting to try some new things?

(Now, what will be really interesting to see is, who becomes the Fourteenth Doctor. If a man, then it comes across as "Oh, this was a one-off attempt at diversity." If a woman, then it becomes a new baseline possibility, not a distinguishing mark -- gender becomes the same variable in the pool as age or crankiness or sanity level.)

8. I'm not prejudiced against women, but this is going to be awful / is just plain wrong.

You've seen a 1-minute mood piece about the Thirteenth Doctor and you've already decided at it's going to be awful. You know one thing about the new regeneration, and you've utterly rejected it. That's a remarkable reach, but that's certainly your prerogative. Stop watching.

If you are a long-time Who fan, I realize that's traumatic. Take comfort that this is likely to be only for a year or two or three. There are many seasons of reruns to enjoy in the meantime.

If you're not a fan, just commenting on it as a disinterested observer, one has to wonder why, and whence such thundering judgment.

N. [Insert misogynistic joke here.]

Only if you like the banhammer.
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