If you’d hoped that Jodie Whittaker would be able to play the first female Time Lord without catching flack from men, well, you were wrong (but I appreciate your optimism!). Peter Davison, who played the titular character for three seasons in the early ’80s, decided to wax philosophic about the sadness he feels about boys losing such an important role model.
Speaking at Comic-Con in San Diego, Davison, who played the fifth Doctor on the BBC series, referred to Whittaker as a “terrific actress” who would no doubt do a “wonderful job” in the role. Instead of closing his mouth and leaving it at that, Davison decided to go on, telling the Press Association:
“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.
“As a viewer, I kind of like the idea of the Doctor as a boy but then maybe I’m an old fashioned dinosaur – who knows?”
Maybe! Luckily, The Guardian reports that not all Time Lords are having such a hard time wrapping their minds around Whittaker as the lead. Colin Baker, who played the sixth Doctor, accused his predecessor of talking “absolute rubbish,” and called the casting “brave and game-changing.”
“They’ve had 50 years of having a role model. So, sorry Peter, you’re talking rubbish there – absolute rubbish,” he said. “You don’t have to be of a gender of someone to be a role model. Can’t you be a role model as people?”
Other supporters of Whittaker include Davison’s own son-in-law David Tennant, who played the 10th Doctor. Far from sounding disappointed, Tennant seems to be positively radiant:
“I can’t think of a finer choice, I’m very excited,” he said. “She’s a great actress and I think that’s what that part needs. I think the better the actor, the better the show, and Jodie’s one of the best actors working in Britain right now.”