Author A L Kennedy has said there should never be a female Doctor in “Doctor Who”, and that instead another role that is “iconic, wonderful and marvellous” should be created.
The writer, who appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival yesterday (18th August), published a “Doctor Who” novel, The Drosten’s Curse (BBC Books), last month.
She told festival goers that she would be surprised if the Doctor changed gender.
“He is who he is, and he’s got a sort of guy vibe to him,” Kennedy said. “He’s got a hopeless, undomestic, dozy, dreamy kind of guy type of eccentricity, not a girl-type of eccentricity. So I’d be surprised if he changed gender.
“[Why not] build something else iconic, wonderful and marvellous for women? Have faith that you can do that, maybe because I’m not not in favour of women having marvellous parts [in “Doctor Who”], and make the companions ballsy and wonderful, and make the people who come in and out, ballsy and wonderful.”
Kennedy, who has been a fan of “Doctor Who” since she was a child, said original female roles should be written, rather than changing the gender of established male characters.
“It’s like: Sherlock Holmes, he’s wonderful, so let’s make him a girl,” she said. “No, let’s make a wonderful part for women that was designed for women. I get annoyed seeing Shakespearean productions where they go ‘oh, well we’ll just make him a woman’, well, then all of her lines won’t work because she’ll be talking the way a man talks to a man, and it’ll be a very odd vibe, I think you’ll find, because women talk to women differently.”
Kennedy said she wanted to write The Drosten’s Curse to be a part of “a nice bit of culture” but also so that “people who didn’t know me would say to me at parties, ‘you want to write a Doctor Who novel, don’t you?’"
She met actor Tom Baker, who she described as “the one and only true Doctor”, and who she used as her basis for her own novel.
"I did meet him very briefly, just after he had stopped being the Doctor,” she said. “He just seemed to be a deeply nice, gentle, lovely, pleasant human being. It was just the complete pleasant experience.
“It's kind of thing, and I think David Tennant gets it as well, that it's your life forever. You can never be in a bad mood with a child around. Never not get it around, endlessly patient."
Picture: Edinburgh International Book Festival