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Why Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor couldn’t have come at a more perfect time

(Don’t worry! This post is spoiler-free.)

When I turned on Doctor Who Sunday for the Season 11 premiere, I realized for the first time, I can relate to one of the most iconic sci-fi characters in pop culture history.

And it couldn’t have come at the more perfect time. As a woman, this political cycle has been disheartening. I can’t turn on the news without feeling frustrated. But when the 13th Doctor fell through a train roof in, I felt like hope was finally restored.

Back when Jodie Whittaker was announced as the newest incarnation of the Doctor, I was indifferent. I got into Doctor Who my sophomore year of college with Christopher Eccleston. Though I loved the quirkiness of it, I especially loved the strong female characters. (I cosplayed as Amy on several occasions.)  I felt like having a woman as the Doctor would seem forced. As the premiere got closer and the more promos they released for Whittaker’s season, the more excited I got.

Then there was the backlash. Remember that for a hot minute where people thought a female Doctor would ruin the show? It seemed backwards. Isn’t Doctor Who a show that celebrates diversity and inclusion? Yet, God forbid a woman takes the lead…

However, after watching “The Woman Who Fell to Earth,” I think it’s safe to say the Tardis is good hands.

Season 11 started out how most seasons of Doctor Who go: Something alien visits earth and chaos ensues. This time is happened to be all started by Ryan Sinclair, who accidentally gave the okay for Tzim-Sha, a member of the Stenza warrior race to hunt a random human target.

From the first moment Whittaker pops on screen, one can’t help but find her incredibly charming. There’s no in your face moment where the writers shove the Doctor’s new gender in your face. It’s just, “Why do you keep calling me madam?” and “Does it suit me?” And we move on. You almost forgot the Doctor was never a woman to begin with.

But it’s not the charm that makes Whittaker appealing in her new role. It’s the optimism and the hope she brings. She’s strong, yet emotional. Brave, yet cautious. Witty, yet serious. She’s relatable. She’s not overly sexy or a Mary Sue for once. Heck, Whittaker even advocated for pockets and practicality in her costume. I can sit back and not have unrealistic expectations of how I, as a woman, should be. And I think that’s the greatest gift Whittaker can give us.

As we jump into Season 11, I cannot wait to see where the Doctor takes us and who she becomes. The future of Doctor Who is female and I am here for it.

What did you think of the premiere? Leave a comment below or tweet us @LegionofLeia.

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Tobi Walsh

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  • I loved the first episode – I sat there crying because finally the Doctor looks like me – and I’ve been a fan since I saw Pertwee first regenerate…..