One of the longest running television shows in the world is a science fiction adventure titled Doctor Who. It has been on the air in some form since the 1960s. The show took a hiatus between the 90’s and mid-2000’s, but since its reboot, the show has seen a new generation join the old fans in watching this “crazy old man in a box” travel through space and time.
Every so often the actor who plays the Doctor changes. They achieve this through a storyline tool called regeneration. This is when the Doctor undergoes a sort of metamorphosis and out pops a new face and body. The previous thirteen incarnations of the Doctor have been played by men. The BBC announced this week that starting with the next season the Doctor will be played by Jodie Whittaker, a woman.
To address the fans who have timeline and canon issues with this. There was one character, the Master, whom they have already played with the gender. It was almost as if the story tellers were testing the waters. There has been plenty of outcry from longtime fans who claim the Doctor cannot be a woman. I say, absolutely the Doctor can, and should.
One of the remarkable things about this character is their ability to impart history, science, and philosophy lessons into the storylines. The fact that it is wrapped in a science fiction show and delivered in such an engaging way is remarkable. This also makes the Doctor a sort of icon in the science community. This is where WIN comes in.
Women of InfoComm (WIN) is a group of audio video professionals whose mission is “to provide a global community of InfoComm members and other professionals committed to supporting and empowering women who work in the technology and AV industry.” Talking with one long-time woman in the industry at this year’s InfoComm show she said: “we are powerful and in charge of our own destiny.” Yes, they are.
Women in the audio video and STEM careers, in general, are powerful and capable of doing whatever they set out to do. Some of the greatest programmers, entrepreneurs, and business people I know happen to be women. I would say the Doctor should be counted among them.
In the past, the Doctor has used sound, lighting, control/automation, displays, and other technology to achieve goals and outcomes. The Doctor uses these as tools and typically doesn’t focus on the tools but what they accomplish; something our industry has been talking about for quite a while. The Doctor is an audio video professional beyond this world (the Doctor is from the planet Gallifrey). InfoComm, and possibly ISE, may want to look into having Jodie Whittaker speak at the next WIN event, ISE 2018, or InfoComm 2018.
As the father of a young woman who is trying to figure out her place in the world, I applaud the casting of this fictional character who is strong, intelligent, resourceful, and technically advanced as a woman. She is a fan of Doctor Who and it gives me one more reason to sit down with her every week and watch the adventures of the crazy person in the police box.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.