NEW ground was broken when Jodie Whittaker became the first female Doctor Who. Now one of the show's former stars has called for the next Doctor to be non-binary.


Jodie’s leaving?

English actress Whittaker became the thirteenth Doctor at the end of the Christmas 2017 episode and after appearing in three series - the latter of which airs soon - it was announced this summer that she is to step down after three special episodes next year.


Her casting was groundbreaking?

She became the first woman to play the title role in the hit BBC sci-fi series, stepping into some big shoes after the likes of Scots stars Peter Capaldi, David Tennant and Sylvester McCoy portrayed the iconic figure in the past. Other actors taking on the part in years gone by include Jon Pertwee, Peter Davison and Christopher Eccleston.


Who was the first Doctor?

English actor William Hartnell played the first Doctor Who in the debut of the series on November 23, 1963.



Amid always intense speculation as to who will become the next Time Lord to take control of the Tardis and travel through time and space, a former star has said it is time a non-binary actor takes on the role. Pearl Mackie played opposite Capaldi as the Doctor's first openly gay companion, Bill Potts. In an interview with The Telegraph, she said: “I think it would be great to have someone non-binary playing the part. The Doctor doesn’t really identify with human constraints at all. So I feel that could be a logical next step, wouldn’t it?”


Beyond that?

Mackie - who came out as bisexual last year and is due to star in ITV’s detective drama, The Long Call, which is the first primetime drama with a gay male lead - added she would also like to see “both a female and non-white” actor playing the Doctor. She said there is "so much room for change" as the Doctor's regenerations serve to "allow the show to move with the times”.


Doctor Who will soon be 60?

The show is set to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2023 and it has just been announced that screenwriter and producer Russell T Davies, who is responsible for Doctor Who's 2005 revival, is returning to take control of the series once more, having left in 2009.



Whittaker’s third full season begins on October 31 on BBC One, with comedian John Bishop as her new companion. 


Names in the frame for the future?

As well as Mackie’s hopes for a non-binary portrayal, names in the frame for the role include Crystal Maze host Richard Ayoade and Regé-Jean Page, who starred in season one of Netflix's hit show, Bridgerton.


What do the fans say?

As ever, online reaction was divided. One fan wrote that “It’s like she [Mackie] hasn’t watched any Doctor Who…The Doctor is literally a shape-shifting alien. He/she/they/it has never been binary in the way you think of gender. Another wrote: “Doctor Who lost a massive chunk of their audience because they went woke…now they want to alienate the remaining viewers”.