AL Kennedy vs Hayley Atwell: Return of the Female Doctor Who Debate

Well boys and girls, guess what time it is? It’s “Female Doctor Who Debate” time!

But isn’t it always Female Doctor Who Debate time?

Quiet you.

So, what’s re-sparked the topic that never de-sparked in the first place? Well Agent Carter actress Hayley Atwell recently said this on her Twitter.


And thus the internet went nuts and the Female Doctor Who Debate, which I’m referring to as the FDWD from now on, raged onwards.

Five days later, she responded to the response:

It seems like everyday someone new picks a side in this endless, bitter war. A. L. Kennedy, writer of the lastest Fourth Doctor novel The Drosten’s Curse is against the idea, stating how she felt that:

“He has kind of got a guy vibe. He just has a sort of hopeless, undomestic, dozy, dreamy guy kind of eccentricity. I would be surprised if he changed gender.”

Yet Steven Moffat is of the opinion that a female Doctor could work, if they have the right qualities:

“[They must be] sheer carved out of solid star. Someone who you can’t take your eyes off. Not because they’re beautiful. Usually they’re not quite beautiful. Someone whose face is so fascinating that you can’t take your eyes off them.”

Both these viewpoints are interesting, as they bring up the question of what certain qualities makes a certain actor/actress fit to play the Doctor in the eyes of the viewer. Are there certain “safe” qualities one could have? Would a female Doctor be just a smidge more acceptable in some people’s eyes if she was British? Yet, Peter Capaldi’s Scottishness was embraced as opposed to criticised. Normally unknown actors being cast as the Doctor is seen as a good move, but for actresses would being very famous make people more open to accepting them? What do you guys think?

Anyway, I’m off to the patents office. See you in the next inevitable installment of FDWD™!


David Power


David's list of favourite things consists solely of two items, Doctor Who and talking about Doctor Who. Oh, and video games. Also Twin Peaks. Actually his list is far longer than he initially thought.

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