Wedged under the “Complaints” section of the British public-service broadcaster’s website, the formal reply gently reminds naysayers that since the 1960s, the show’s concept of “regeneration” ― the process by which its main character “renews” him- or herself, initiating a complete physical and psychological change ― has been integral to the series. It not only allows for the “input of fresh ideas and new voices” in a sci-fi franchise built on imagination and surprise, it’s ensured that the decades-old series can continue on, regardless of its star actors’ ability to do so.
With that in mind, the BBC swiftly refuted certain fans’ claims that Time Lords can’t switch gender. They can. “The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey and it has been established in the show that Time Lords can switch gender,” the statement notes. (Emphasis on alien is ours.)
As for Jodie Whittaker’s specific casting in the show: “She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor,” the BBC concluded. End scene.
The formal response reads in full:
Since the first Doctor regenerated back in 1966, the concept of the Doctor as a constantly evolving being has been central to the programme. The continual input of fresh ideas and new voices across the cast and the writing and production teams has been key to the longevity of the series.
The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey and it has been established in the show that Time Lords can switch gender.
As the Controller of BBC Drama has said, Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor. She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role. She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor.
We hope viewers will enjoy what we have in store for the continuation of the story.