Doctor Who’s Peter Davison and Colin Baker clash over Jodie Whittaker casting

After Davison said he would prefer the Doctor to be "a boy", Baker hit back with: "Sorry Peter, you’re talking rubbish"

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Doctor Who actor Colin Baker has branded Peter Davison’s disparaging comments regarding Jodie Whittaker being cast as the new Doctor “absolute rubbish”.

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Whittaker was announced as the BBC sci-fi’s first female lead on Sunday, but Davison – who played the Time Lord between 1981 and 1984 – said that the casting meant there was “a loss of a role model for boys”, and that although the Broadchurch star was a “terrific actress”, he doubts that she is right for the role. He added that it might be because he is “a dinosaur”, but that he prefers the idea of the Doctor being “a boy”.

Speaking at Comic-Con in San Diego, Fifth Doctor Davison said: “If I feel any doubts, it’s the loss of a role model for boys who I think Doctor Who is vitally important for. So I feel a bit sad about that, but I understand the argument that you need to open it up.”

However Baker hit back at Davison, saying that his comments were “absolute rubbish.”

“Well you don’t have to be of a gender of someone to be a role model,” he added. “Can’t you be a role model as people?”

The Sixth Doctor, who has already said that he believes the show will “gain many more” fans in light of the casting, also said: “They’ve had 50 years of having a role model. So sorry Peter, you’re talking rubbish there – absolute rubbish.”

David Tennant and John Barrowman have both also spoken out in support of the decision, with Whittaker’s Broadchurch co-star and Tenth Doctor actor Tennant praising “strong female lead” on the show, while Captain Jack star Barrowman asked for fans to “sit down and give it a chance”.

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The majority of RadioTimes.com readers seem to disagree with Davison, as a recent poll on the site found that just 15% of Doctor Who fans are against the idea of having a female Doctor.