Doctor Who should never star a woman, says former 'feminist' Time Lord Sylvester McCoy

Actor says it would 'ruin the dynamics' between the doctor and assistant

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Doctor Who should only be played by a man, according to former Time Lord and self-confessed “feminist” Sylvester McCoy.

Olivia Colman, Keely Hawes and Sheridan Smith were rumoured to take on the role of the Doctor after Matt Smith’s departure in 2013, but McCoy thinks appointing a female to be “politically correct” would “ruin the dynamics” between the doctor and the assistant.

“I’m a feminist and recognise there are still glass ceilings in place for many women, but where would we draw the line? A Mr Marple instead of Miss Marple? A Tarzanette?

“I support feminism, but I’m not convinced by the cultural need of a female Doctor Who,” he told The Mirror.

Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat sparked debate last year when he said he hoped a woman would step into the Time Lord’s shoes one day.

“We’ve been lying on the possibility for an awfully long time, but you don’t cast that way. I know I’m going to get in trouble for saying that – you cast a person, you don’t cast the gender.”


Helen Mirren has previously called on Doctor Who bosses to seriously consider an actress for the role.

“I’m so sick of that man with his girl sidekick. I could name at least ten wonderful British actresses who would absolutely kill in that role,” she said.

Tilda Swinton was recently cast in the traditionally male role of the Ancient One in Marvel’s upcoming movie Doctor Strange, suggesting that similar casting decisions may begin to be made elsewhere in the film and TV world.

Doctor Who series nine returns to BBC One on 19 September with Peter Capaldi and Jenna Louise Colman.