A woman could never play Doctor Who, says award-winning author AL Kennedy

'It's not a girl-type of eccentricity,' claims author before telling the Edinburgh International Book Festival that Tilda Swinton was the only woman who could play the role

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The Independent Culture

Doctor Who should never be played by a woman as the part has a “dozy, dreamy guy-type of eccentricity”, according to award-winning author AL Kennedy.

Kennedy, who wrote a Doctor Who book called The Drosten’s Curse published this year, told Edinburgh International Book Festival that the only woman who could play the role was Tilda Swinton.

However she said she could not foresee the Time Lord regenerating as a woman at some stage in the future and did not feel this was a bad thing.

“As a heterosexual woman, I have no interest in a female Doctor,” she said, according to The Guardian.

Scottish writer AL Kennedy (Flickr/Creative Commons)

“He’s kind of got a guy vibe, the Doctor. A hopeless, undomestic, dozy, dreamy guy-type of eccentricity. It’s not a girl-type of eccentricity. I’d be surprised if he changed gender.

“I never, as a female, thought I was being robbed because the Doctor’s a bloke.”

Kennedy said that female characters in the BBC show should be “iconic and marvellous”.

“Let’s have faith that you can do that,” she said.

“Make the companions ballsy and wonderful. Let’s make wonderful parts that were designed for women.”


When pressed to pick a woman who could be the Doctor, Kennedy said “nobody” but then suggested Swinton.

“She’s got that strange kind of vibe that she could do anything,” the author said.

However she added that the actress “wouldn’t do it because she’s too busy anyway”.