‘Doctor Who’ creator was keen for the Doctor to become female

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The creator of Doctor Who suggested that the Doctor should regenerate as a woman in the mid-’80s.

In a letter to BBC One controller Michael Grade in October 1986 detailing how he would reinvigorate the show, Sydney Newman wrote: “At a later stage, Dr Who would be metamorphosed into a woman.”

He added: “This requires some considerable thought – mainly because I want to avoid a flashy Hollywood ‘Wonder Woman’ because this kind of hero(ine) has no flaws – and a character with no flaws is a bore.”

> Take a look at our five plausible candidates for a female Doctor.

Newman devised the show in 1963 alongside producer Verity Lambert, as dramatised in 2013’s An Adventure in Space and Time.

The letter was sent during the second season of Colin Baker’s era, which Newman described as “largely socially valueless, escapist schlock”.


Discussing the possibility of a female Doctor, current showrunner Steven Moffat commented last year: “It will not happen that somebody sits down and says we must turn the Doctor into a woman … A person will pop into the showrunner’s head and they’ll think. ‘Oh my God, what if it was that person?’ And when that person is a woman, that’s the day it will happen.”

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