A Feminist’s Perspective Of The 13th Doctor’s Debut

Continuing our look at Doctor Who and why #RepresentationMatters, Jo shares her thoughts on Jodie Whittaker’s debut


I first wrote a big long spiel about expectations and pressure… But nerts to that. Jodie Whittaker’s first episode was great and I for one as a long time Who fan and feminist enjoyed it.

Jodie was born to play the Doctor. There’s empathy, energy, warmth, age, distance, closeness and the right amount of peculiar. I loved how her Gender absolutely matters (that girls get to see “someone like them” fixing and making things is super important in terms of representation) and also doesn’t matter in the least (“Why are you calling me Madam?” “Cos you’re a woman.”  “Am I?”… Moves on. Perfect).

There’s something awfully familiar about this look but I can’t quite place my finger on it…

I loved the fact that the Sonic Screwdriver making scene not only tapped into women making stuff, but the locality of Sheffield. Anyone who has seen the Women Of Steel statue in Sheffield wouldn’t have been able to ignore the reference. And I would bet there might be a minority of folk who might be more upset that Jodie is unashamedly using her Yorkshire accent and using it than that she is a woman. I say, keep it up!

By ‘eck, its almost as if they knew what they were doing with those goggles!

There’s an oblique reference to the whole “women’s clothes don’t have proper pockets which is a tool of the Patriarchy” – which is totally a thing and made me smile in a very geeky feminist way.

Obviously, it’s a tribute to the late, great Geoffrey out of Rainbow…

All in all, as a Geek I loved The Woman Who Fell to Earth because it felt like classic Who, classic British Sci-fi and was a fab piece of fantasy adventure. As a Feminist I loved the representation and the fact that it was treated as something normal (which is all our quest for equality really is at the end of the day). As a storyteller I loved it because it was pretty much about how we grow with the telling, that new tellings can both respect and grow from what was and simultaneously grow beyond what was and become both more and something new and that storytelling always involves patching on something new to something old and watching what grows from it.

Keep it up Chibnall.


Jo writes about faith, equality, feminism, LGBTQ+ matters, storytelling, films and books that she likes and well, anything that’s on her mind really! Visit her blog at thatstorygirl.wordpress.com. This article is a companion to a piece on representation from 2016.

Also, check out our look at the episode’s handling of dyspraxia.