LonGward (Own work)
A story is a living thing. Every time a reader or viewer or listener interacts with it, it becomes something new. That’s why they are so powerful. And they are things of wonder that shift, change and yes, regenerate. To regenerate is to bring new and more vigorous life to something or, in the case of the news over the weekend, to Doctor Who.
Throughout history, legends and myths have grown and provided a sense of cohesion to societies- each adapting the stories of previous generations or cultures to make them their own. Stories never were and never will be fixed, lifeless inflexible things.
So, it is of some surprise that twitter went into meltdown over the weekend over the news that the new Doctor Who will be Jodie Whittaker, making her the first female Doctor since the show started back in 1963.
And it made me wonder if as a society we understand the role of stories anymore? I hope it’s this and not our country revealing a darker side where women simply cannot be portrayed as heroes.
Jodie Whittaker is an amazing actress and if she can bring new life to Doctor Who whilst keeping the nature of the Doctor’s character then that is a very good thing. As to if it is within canon? I frankly don’t care. A story is more than a set of rules to be followed, it’s about communicating a deeper truth than that and if Jodie can bring that truth out from her performance then the Doctor will survive and continue to regenerate for years to come.
Colin Baker, the sixth actor to play the role, added his tweet to the twitter storm yesterday with …
Well I never the BBC really did do the right thing and let the Doctor be in touch with her feminine side. As a father of daughters – result!
— Colin Baker (@SawbonesHex) July 16, 2017
And as a father of a daughter as well, I feel the same.
As Christians we know that truth is far bigger than a set of facts that must be followed. And our identity is not rooted in if we are male or female – it is rooted in who we are in God. Our story is mysterious, exciting and full of surprises – let’s hope the new Doctor Who delivers on all those.