Doctor Who should not be played by a woman, says female author AL Kennedy

The novelist said she 'never felt robbed as a female' because the Doctor is male

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The Independent Culture

Author and comedian AL Kennedy has added her name to the growing number of public figures who have said the Doctor should never be played by a woman.

Kennedy, whose Doctor Who book The Drosten’s Curse was published this summer, said the Time Lord was innately “blokey” and did not have “a girl type of eccentricity”.

“As a heterosexual woman I have no interest in a female Doctor. 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,” she told the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

She added it was terrible there weren’t enough good parts for actresses in the industry, but said she “never as a female thought I was being robbed because the Doctor’s a bloke”.

AL Kennedy's Doctor Who novel The Drosten's Curse was published this summer

The Costa Award-winning writer said if she had to pick any actress to play the Doctor it would be Tilda Swinton. “She’s got that strange kind of vibe that she could do anything…[but she] wouldn’t do it because she’s too busy anyway,” she said.

Her comments follow similar remarks from former Doctor Who actor and self-confessed “feminist” Sylvester McCoy.

“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 a Miss Marple? A Tarzanette?”


He added: “I support feminism, but I’m not convinced by the cultural need of a female Doctor Who.”

Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat sparked debate last year when he said he suggested a woman could 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.”

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