In July 2017 we wrote about the BBC announcement that the 13th iteration of Doctor Who would be played by Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to play the role of the childlike Time Lord. Since that time, there has been a great deal said about this move, some negative but many more positive. One such video essay is by Vox editor Darnush Parvaneh who sees the casting of Whittaker as a good idea that could change how women are portrayed in science fiction for the better.
The Doctor has a gleeful, almost childlike personality. He’s a hero with a sense of humor – which makes the character fun and compelling to watch. But that kind of character complexity has been typically reserved for male heroes. Female superheroes are very much pressured to be taken seriously because there are so few of them, they have to do well. …Women are not only vastly underrepresented in sci-fi fantasy films, they’re often restricted to generic superhero personalities. …think about the Wonder Woman film…She’s powerful she’s strong … But she’s not a funny character. …That seriousness is consistent across most woman characters on-screen.