Chris Chibnall: it would be “daft” not to acknowledge the Doctor’s gender in historical Doctor Who episodes

Jodie Whittaker’s new incarnation of the Time Lord will face some different challenges in the past when series 11 airs

Mandip Gill, Bradley Walsh, Jodie Whittaker and Tosin Cole in Doctor Who series 11 (BBC, HF)

Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall has said it would “daft” not to acknowledge new Doctor Jodie Whittaker’s gender in the upcoming 11th series.

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When Whittaker was unveiled as the new star of Doctor Who last summer it was a revelation, with fans and commentators around the world intrigued by the prospect of a female incarnation of the Doctor and the new take on the series’ mythology it could bring.

According to new series showrunner Chibnall, while the Doctor’s gender doesn’t completely define her it’s definitely not ignored entirely – especially when the Tardis team travel to periods of history with less enlightened gender politics…

“I think it’d be daft not to acknowledge it,” Chibnall told RadioTimes.com and other press on a recent visit to the Doctor Who set in Cardiff.

“We’re not going to go through going, ‘She’s still a man!’ There are times when you can have fun with it. [But] it’s not a central preoccupation of the series.

“If we were to go into history, for example,” he added, “you might find that things play out differently.”

Rumour has that this series of Doctor Who will have the team travel to at least three different historical periods, including the civil rights struggle of 1950s America, so it could be that Whittaker’s Doctor will find herself clashing with a few outdated attitudes.

Though even outside of that, Whittaker says the Doctor’s gender change isn’t completely glossed over.

“In regards to the Doctor regenerating into a new body, it’s acknowledged because it’s always acknowledged,” she explained.

“That’s not necessarily anything to do with the gender that the Doctor has landed in before. But the change of body has always been something to be commented on.”

And who knows? Maybe this time she’ll even like the colour of her kidneys…

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Doctor Who series 11 will air on BBC1 from Sunday 7th October