Former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston is the latest ex-TARDIS resident to chime in on the bold casting of Jodie Whittaker as the first female human in the role.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Eccleston said: “She’s working class, she’s northern, what can go wrong?”
It’s possible this is a slightly sarcastic reference to his own portrayal of the time lord, which ended after one series and paved the way for David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi and now Whittaker to take up the mantel.
Current Doctor Capaldi, who will pass the torch in this year’s Christmas Special, previously said: “Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She is above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.”
Former companion and Torchwood star John Barrowman was excited enough at the prospect of a female doctor that he attended his panel at San Diego Comic-Con last month wearing a TARDIS dress.
He said: “Give the Doctor a transgender companion, give him a boy, give him a girl, give him a little boy or a little girl; we could have many different combinations. It can be open to a lot.”
The reaction hasn’t been universally warm, however, with Peter Davidson forced to quit Twitter after fan backlash against his hesitence to gender-swap the character.
“If I feel any doubts about it, 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,” Davidson said. “As a viewer, I quite like the idea of the Doctor as a boy but maybe I’m an old-fashioned dinosaur, who knows, but that’s irrelevant now – we have a new Doctor and let’s give her our full support.”