Here’s Why The ‘Not My Doctor’ Campaign Has To End

July 2017, I was sat by my TV waiting excitedly (and a little impatiently) for the announcement of the next Doctor. 

As soon as Peter Capaldi had revealed he was departing from the role, the rumour mill began churning various actors who were front runners to be the Doctor. 

Jodie Whittaker’s name was never mentioned. 

Well in July 2017 that all changed.

Whittaker pulled down the black hood which had been concealing her identity, I was floored. 

The Doctor was a woman, a Northern woman.

I’d never considered that the Time Lord could be anything other than a man, let alone someone like me. 

Growing up watching Doctor Who I had imagined myself as a companion, said if I could have any job in the world it would be that.

The Doctor could never be someone who was like me.  

I was ecstatic at the announcement, I was already a huge fan of Jodie and Doctor Who so it was the perfect combination. 

She was my Doctor instantly. 

Although I was happy it was a bittersweet moment.

My perspective of the show changed completely, I could see myself as the Doctor at last and it felt amazing.

I only wish that I could’ve grown up with a female Doctor. 

The Fans Reaction

Season 12 Reviews Rotten Tomatoes Deleted

Credit: BBC

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The reveal of Jodie as the Doctor sent the fandom into complete shock.

The majority were excited to see what direction this would take the show in.  

One fan I spoke to said they were “impressed that Doctor Who had made such a good choice”.

Another said they felt “so much happiness” and that “the possibilities seemed endless”. 

Most of the fans welcomed Jodie with open arms, ready to go on this journey with her. 

One fan reflected on how this changed her perspective of the Doctor Who “growing up with Doctor Who I always thought of myself as the companion role, coming second.

To see a woman as the hero means the world”.

The Emergence Of “Not My Doctors” 


Source: Facebook

Read more: Jodie Whittaker Confirms She Will Be Back For Doctor Who Season 13

The announcement of any Doctor is controversial. You can never please everyone.

However, the reaction to Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor led to an outpouring of hate, I had ever seen within the fandom.  

The BBC was accused of ruining the show forever.

Fans were insistent that a female Doctor would never work, it didn’t fit with the show.

The Doctor, a Time Lord with two hearts could never be a woman.

That is what made the show unbelievable. 


Source: Facebook

Doctor Who was accused of bending to the “political correctness Gods” and ruining the show for life long fans.  

I do wonder if the fans who said it was impossible for the Doctor to regenerate into a woman had watched the Master regenerate into Missy (with an outstanding performance by Michelle Gomez). 

For me, the Master becoming a woman meant that it was only a matter of time until the titular character was always a woman. 

The Doctor being a woman isn’t making the show too politically correct.

It’s the show evolving, experimenting, pushing the boundaries. Something I always associated with Doctor Who

The Evolution of “Not My Doctors” 


Credit: BBC

Read more: Neil Gaiman Wants To Write A Doctor Who Episode For Jodie Whittaker

I had hoped (and so other fans) that by the time Jodie’s first series aired, people would have become more open to the idea of a female Doctor.

Unfortunately, that was not the case. 

Supposed fans of the show have dedicated Twitter and Youtube accounts purely to spout hate against Jodie, her fans and this era of Doctor Who

It’s deeply upsetting to see a show that I have loved my whole life to be subject to this much hate, which started with the casting of a female Doctor. 

I love the Doctor Who fandom.

It always felt like a safe space to be myself in.

Sadly that is no longer the case.

‘Not My Doctors’ police the fandom, ridiculing the fans who have joined because of Jodie.

Calling new fans “fake fans” because they’ve not watched all of Doctor Who

That’s over 50 years of television that they seem to expect all fans to be familiar with. 

One fan said that “the fandom is definitely a lot more toxic recently”.

This isn’t Jodie’s fault, the showrunner’s (Chris Chibnall) fault.

It’s the inability to accept that the Doctor can be a female. 

The Viewing Figures


Credit: Twitter

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In spite of some fans claiming they will never watch the show due to the Doctor now being a female, Jodie’s first episode “The Woman Who Fell to Earth” had a total of 10.96 million views.

This figure makes It is the highest series premiere for Doctor Who in the history of the show. 

The rest of the ratings for series 11 were good.

The average viewing figure was 7.9 million. 

The graph above created by George Sheard (@acecreeptwo on Twitter) shows that Jodie’s first season matches the viewing figures set by Christopher Eccelston when Doctor Who came back in 2005.

However, series 12 has the lowest viewing figures since the show came back, which doesn’t look great for the future of the show. 

The figures also show a decrease from 2014 (series 8) onwards. This has nothing to do with Jodie Whittaker or Chris Chibnall.

It instead shows how the TV landscape has changed. 

Fewer young people are watching BBC shows. That audience is been drawn to the big-budget productions on the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime.

During David Tennant’s tenure as the Doctor, we watched TV in a different way.

Streaming and catch-up services weren’t as popular. 

It’s also worth noting that when ratings soared during the Tennant era there was a new series each year.

This allowed anticipation to build up for the next series but not enough time to pass that audiences lost interest. 

There was a buzz, a momentum around Doctor Who at that time. 

For Jodie, there were two years between series 11 and 12. 

Anticipation was built up but then allowed to disappear.

For two years there wasn’t a lot of buzz or conversation around the new series. 

This was a huge mistake on the BBCs part and was definitely felt in series 12. 

The Future of Doctor Who

jodie whittaker bbc

Credit: BBC

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As much as the ‘Not My Doctors’ would like to believe that Jodie will bring an end to Doctor Who, that a female Doctor won’t work. I can’t believe that. 

A recent poll by Radio Times voted David Tennant as the nations favourite Doctor.

Jodie Whittaker came second by just 100 votes. 

She is clearly loved by the fans. 

All the other Doctors have the advantage of nostalgia.

Personally, I love to go back and re-watch all of Russel T. Davis’ era of Doctor Who as that is what I grew up with.

Jodie doesn’t have that (yet!) and is already doing really well. 

Doctor Who is still going strong, it is still popular.

The future is bright for the show. 

It’s also worth remembering that no matter how loud they are, the ‘Not My Doctors’ are a minority.

As one fan said, “For every Not My Doctor there are five little girls who feel so powerful because of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor”. 

Another said, “Change is difficult to accept, but if you can’t see progression towards equality as a good thing then Doctor Who is most certainly not the show for you” 

The Doctor will always be a symbol of good, hope, of fighting against evil no matter how impossible it seems.

Of embracing the wonderful, the silly, of being kind. 

The Doctor, no matter what gender will always be a Time Lord with a blue box and I love that.

What do you make of this feature?

Are you a fan of Jodie Whittaker’s take on the popular Time Lord?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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There are 14 comments

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  1. UnoWho

    If you think Whittaker makes a good doctor, then I have to question your taste in all things. The radio episodes are canon to the mythos. It’s clearly stated in the mythos that males and females travel time. But, regeneration from male to female or female to male only happens due to suicide. So, they broke the rules by making her female. The show has become preachy and abysmal. Whittaker wasn’t even a fan of the show by her own admission, and acts more like a caricature of the Doctor. The episodes are generally stupid and predictable. The way they retconned the entire series rewriting decades of work was unforgiveable. What Chibnall did to the show is no different than what Kennedy did to Star Wars. Disgusting.

    • alto2nn

      What are you even talking about? We all watched the male TL general regenerate into a woman on-screen in Hell Bent. And the Master regenerated into Missy. There’s never been anything saying that a) it can’t happen and b) has anything to do with suicide (and considering how hard it is for a Time Lord to die, I’m pretty sure if one really wanted to, they’d make sure regeneration was impossible.

  2. alto2nn

    There are plenty of valid arguments for the problem with S12 (I haven’t managed to get past episode 5, myself) resting squarely on the writing, which means that, yes, Orla, it actually IS Chris Chibnall’s fault. I’ve been watching since 1985 and I’ve never seen such dismal writing as I have in S11 and S12. It’s consistently barely watchable. I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying it (I’m glad someone is), but the stories are overpopulated and pedestrian. And Graham ends up coming across as far more Doctor-like than the Doctor.

    I’m a woman, and I’ve been watching since I was 14. Never once did I feel the need for the Doctor to be female just so I could “relate” to the character. Never once did I feel the need for his gender to change, though I was quite concerned that if it was done without a reason, without something specific those in charge could only achieve through a female Doctor, it would amount to stunt casting whether it was intended to be or not.

    Regardless, this has always been the show I love above all others, so I was willing to give it a chance. I would have been thrilled to be wrong. But the BBC decided to start promoting Jodie by trashing Peter Capaldi, who had become one of my all time favorites, and that really rubbed me the wrong way. It took about two months before I was willing to give the new series a try. When I finally did, I was rewarded with weak, forgettable scripts (I still have to work to remember more than one or two off the top of my head) and a universe where a character who’s been male for centuries has to go back to the 1700s to realize that oh, hey, it’s a little harder for women because sexism is a thing. If you want to give me a character I can “relate” to, maybe show her having to deal with some of the same indignities average women have to deal with every day. (A female Doctor should not, for instance, be able to stroll into a room and take over the way male Doctors have always been able to, because that would NEVER happen for an actual woman. I’d love to see her taking down a bunch of smug men who think they know better than she does, but at least through S12E5, no such luck.)

    I’ve never looked less forward to watching my favourite show, and I cannot even begin to tell you how sad it makes me that I can barely bring myself to care about this particular era. I’m just bored.

    I could go on about Chibnall’s dull writing, but I won’t. And the less oxygen given to the rabidly misogynist male fans, the better. I will say, though, that people have always had favourite Doctors and those they couldn’t stand. “Not My Doctor” has been with us since 1966 (don’t believe me? Ask Colin Baker). Painting it like it’s something new is just disingenuous—or naive. My least favourite Doctor is actually David Tennant. I love DT but couldn’t stand the “angry, lonely god” characterisation (and I wish they’d let him express more than two emotions).

    Everyone’s different, everyone has their favourites and their least favourites, and life goes on. So does Doctor Who. It keeps regenerating, too. If you’re not wild about this one, just wait: the next one may be exactly what you needed.

  3. Celina

    I’m a woman and I’ve stopped watching DW the episode before the regeneration. I can’t even watch that. That is BS. The Doctor is male! I don’t know why people feel the need to destroy good shows and characters. Maybe it’s because they’ve failed to create good ones by their own.
    I will agree with someone who said DW ended with Matt Smith and the rest are impostors.

  4. Mat

    You claim the reason Series 11 had such high ratings was due to Jodie and Chris but then use excuses about how it’s not due to them that ratings for 12 were so abysmal. How is that in anyway consistent.

    I’m a huge Matt Smith fan and I recall Twitter tags and Facebook groups being started and managed as soon as he was announced about how he was horrible (before he’d even appeared in an episode) and how he should be fired and DT should be brought back – I have friends who stopped watching the show because David finished so to paint what is happening to Jodie as exclusive to Jodie does a disservice to every actor who has had to face the Internet and Fandom wrath when they take over the role.

    NotMyDoctor is not exclusive to Jodie and if you’ve been a fan for as long as you say you’d be aware of that. I lost count of how many FB groups were started that were designed specifically to get Matt fired, that insulted his weight, his hair, his face, his voice or that no one had ever heard of him. Did you ever write articles on that? He managed to win many of to em around thanks to his amazing performance which was helped by a terrific supporting cast of memorable characters and some of the best writing and stores Who has ever put forward. That’s the difference between Jodie’s era and the previous.

    Quite simply, the writing during seasons 11 and 12 has been poor. The companions have no personality or character, there is no growth, I still have no IDEA who Jodie’s Doctor is supposed to be and now we get these pathetic attempts to retcon in other Doctors of different sexes and skin colours which does nothing except try to make the show come across as pandering to an audience that isn’t watching it and doesn’t care. Jodie seems miscast, she isn’t a fan of the show and you get the impression she’s never even watched the show because she has no idea how to actually play The Doctor. The writing is woeful and completely inconsistent between episodes, sometimes even scenes and the companions have lost their bite. Gone are the days when a companion would talk back to The Doctor, now they just stare and agree and follow along. In making the Doctor female, the BBC and the writers have no robbed the human characters of being able to call out the faults of The Doctor, else the characters and writers become accused of being sexist or mansplaining which (honestly) if they did then that would actually give The Doctor a character and arc because it would be The Doctor learning what it’s like to BE a woman in the modern age … but yet there is no conflict, everyone is happy happy and it’s boring and dull.

    Like Star Wars fans, the BBC are prepared to hurt, insult and ignore the fanbase who have kept the show running for nearly 60 years in an attempt to appeal to a small yet vocal group that don’t reflect the bigger world. The proof is in the ratings with series 12 recording the worst figures and if Capaldi and Moffat had to take the fall for their seasons decline in ratings (which many on the Internet claimed – viciously which resulted in Moffat leaving Twitter and Capaldi being so hurt he needed to step away from a show he adored) then Chris and Jodie have to do the same. Thankfully Disney and Lucasfilm are now taking steps to try and rebuild the bridge between the fans but the BBC and their brain dead execs will never admit to fault.

  5. DOAwithlife

    Nothing wrong with the female doctor, they just did it really poorly. First, the doctor was out of reincarnations which was the perfect plot device. Second, he had a daughter which is also a perfect plot device.
    The way they did it felt forced and was in poor taste. I watched a few episodes with her, and she wasn’t the doctor I knew through many incarnations. I just couldn’t identify her with the dr after so many episodes which I could do with all other incarnations.
    Easily solved, if the new dr was the daughter. That was the mistake that could have solved 99% of the issues for people. It was bad writing and an attempt to appeal to the PC crowd mixed together. Of course it will turn a lot of people off.

  6. Audrey Strouse

    I love Jodie Whitaker, as a female myself, she’s a great role model, basically saying “You can be anything you want to be, you have to believe in yourself”

  7. Steven

    Clearly I’m a bit late to the party, and I’m a fan of lots of sci-fi not just Doctor Who, but as someone who has an on-off-on-off relationship to the series, and nearing fifty to boot, I think I have a few valid points. First, I gave Jodie’s Doctor a try. I really did. I was not a fan of the idea of changing the Doctor’s gender, nor the Master’s gender for that matter. It seemed rather superfluous and basically just a sop to the changing times. After all, the Doctor started as a grandfather, has mentioned previously that he was a father and at no time was the possibility of gender changing mentioned, seen or envisioned in the series until relatively recently. But I digress. I watched Jodie’s first series up to episode eight and just gave up.

    What the producers seemed to have done was to take everything good about the series and dump it. They kept the TARDIS, the name, but essentially that was it. The Doctor seemed totally removed from everything that went before. The writing was dire, the production values went through the floor, the stories were simply too woke and worthy to believe and the element of fun and excitement had vanished, Even the music was now more Scooby-do than Doctor Who.

    At this point I need to mention that I stopped watching previously when Mat Smith became the Doctor. I just didn’t like his first series, but he improved over time, and I began watching again shortly before Jenna Coleman became his companion. Peter Capaldi was a great Doctor, but was badly served by stories early on and his last series was when the woke really stated to rear it’s head on the series. Twice Upon a Time was excellent, and for me, now, that’s when Doctor Who ended.

    To bring this waffle fest to an end, I haven’t been part of the Not My Doctor campaign. I hadn’t even heard of it really, but I can identify with it. Now that the new showrunner has been announced and we’ll have a new Doctor soon, who knows, but I will point out that Doctor Who; Flux now has lower ratings than ever, even in the first three episodes of a continuous story it has dropped from a little over 4.4 million people to 3.7 million people. Let’s face it, being continuous, people aren’t going to start watching half way through, or stop watching episode two and start again at episode five.

    Lots of the traditional fans have gone and lots of the newer fans lost interest. People have voted with their feet, and they’ve walked away from Doctor Who. The series has one last chance to get back and then I fear it’s cancellation time.

  8. Chris

    I thought that turning the Doctor into a woman was dumb and unnecessary. It’s just part of the trend of feminists converting male properties just because they have the power to do so. But I was willing to give Jodie Whittaker a chance. I stuck with her Doctor for 4 episodes until I just gave up on the Doctor Who TV series for good. The writing was awful and Jodie Whittaker had no charisma as the Doctor–it was like she was doing a bad parody of David Tennant.

    The first episode, to me, was dumb. In order for an alien from a hunter race to become the leader of his people, he has to hunt down a random nobody who couldn’t defend himself. The episode after that was the tail-end of a great race in space when most of the racers were dead and not alot was happening. The third, Rosa, was… okay. It felt more like an episode of Quantum Leap than Doctor Who, though. And Arachnids in the UK, a very Doctor Who premise, dropped the ball at every point in the story. The Doctor trapped a bunch of Spiders in a room and left. She lectured the guy dumping toxic waste in the basement of his buildings, but Yaz, who was a cop and in her home town, didn’t even bother arresting him or calling the police. So I guess the bad guy got away.

    Whoever wrote this article, like many feminist creators, don’t seem to really care about storytelling at all. They just want to see a woman as the protagonist. The number one complaint I hear about the show is that Doctor Who is boring. Even people I follow who are fine with the Doctor being a woman, they gave up on the show because the writing sucks. Jodie Whittaker fans (and feminist creators) refuse to acknowledge that. It’s always someone else’s fault–something other than the progressive writers who are doing such a service to feminism.

    When Jodie Whittaker fans claim that there’s a precedence for turning the Doctor into a woman, they point to Missy or a modern contrivance where a guard regenerates from male to female and then takes a jab at men: “How do men live with all that ego.” Like women can’t have big egos. And personally, I didn’t like Missy all that much. The actress did a good job. But the main problem with Missy is that, after the writers revealed her to be the Master, it felt like they didn’t know what else to do with her. “We made the Master regenerate into a woman! Ta da!” It just seemed like a novelty magic trick.

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