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There is no earthly (or alien) reason why a woman couldn’t play the Doctor in Doctor Who

Joe Ahearne, who directed five episodes for Christopher Eccleston’s Time Lord in 2005, lays down the gauntlet to the naysayers...

Published: Monday, 20th February 2017 at 4:00 pm

Former Doctor Who director Joe Ahearne has challenged opponents of a female Time Lord to explain their reasons.


Ahearne, who helmed five of the 13 episodes for the Christopher Eccleston-era Doctor Who, told “They have gone young they have gone old why not go just a bit different? It’s time. There is no earthly reason - or no alien reason - why a woman couldn’t play the part.

“Woman are 50% of the population. People who don’t want it are the ones who have to explain why they don’t want it rather than those who do. It’s just tradition.

“There will be some usual lunatic objecting but there’s always a backlash. I remember when Jon Pertwee turned into Tom Baker and I thought I’d never watch it again. But I'd forgotten two weeks later. That’s what kids are like and it is for kids.”

Ahearne's comments will add fuel to the debate surrounding Peter Capaldi’s successor for the role when the new series airs in 2018 with many calling for a female star to be handed the Sonic Screwdriver.

Last week Neil Gaiman said he would like to see Sue Perkins as the next Doctor, saying “the time is absolutely right” for a female Time Lord.

“Needless to say I’d love to see a woman Doctor,” the writer said on Radio 5Live, suggesting Bake Off's Sue Perkins, and then Gillian Anderson and Helen Mirren.

Ahearne - who directed the episodes Bad Wolf, Dalek, Boom Town, Father's Day and The Parting of the Ways - added that he does not expect to work for the show under new showrunner Chris Chibnall but that he remains a fan.

He has scripted and directed upcoming BBC1 drama The Replacement, a thriller starring Morven Christie and Vicky McClure.


In the three-part drama, which starts on BBC1 on February 28, McClure’s character Paula embarks on a maternity cover for Christie’s Ellen with sinister results.

Who could play the 13th Doctor?


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