Tuesday, 26 December 2017

THE WORLD'S GOING MAD - IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?


Image copyright BBC

Societal changes never happen of their own accord.  You may not agree with anything else I write from this point on, but that's a simple, unalterable fact.  You can be assured that there is always some group, large or small, that is driving things forward in an attempt to effect any kind of change in society that you care to mention.  Whether it be women's rights, working conditions, the abolition of slavery, the smoking ban, any proposed reduction in the age of consent, the age at which one can purchase alcohol, allowing 16 year-olds the vote, the introduction of Universal Credit - or Brexit - none of these things happened (or will happen) by accident without a motivating force, an agenda, behind them.  Every single change in society's mores and morals, whether good, bad, or indifferent (and which is which depends on your point of view) did not come about by coincidence or random happenstance.

Which brings me to the DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special.

The Doctor is now a woman.  Sure, falling viewing figures meant that something drastic had to be done, and the more controversial the better as far as generating interest and raising the show's public profile goes, but there's a reason beyond that which explains the timing of this alteration to over 50 years of continuity.  We now live in an age of gender politics, where gender distinction is in the process of being eroded by those who are determined to force their beliefs on the rest of us.  There is seldom only one reason for anything, so not everyone who welcomes this change (or is prepared to tolerate it) dances to the same tune on the matter, but there are definitely those who view any perceived social injustice inflicted upon women (or any suggestion of social advantage conferred upon men) as being the result of gender distinction, and that without it the world would be a much fairer place.

That's why some shops have introduced gender-free changing rooms and no longer describe the clothes (or toys) they sell for children as being for boys or girls;  why some schools introduced gender-free toilets (then were forced to change back again under parental objection), and why it's now being mooted that anyone should be free to identify with whatever gender they choose without any form of medical or psychological assessment.  The number of adults affected by such gender-confusion is small, and the number of children even smaller, but the majority of ordinary people are expected to accommodate the minority by having their wants, needs, and preferences quashed underfoot.  If there is one single child in school who identifies with the opposite gender, then, in the minds of some, every other pupil must forego the provision of toilets set aside for their own sex and suddenly share mixed facilities.  We're not talking about one single, separate cubicle being unisex, but 'public' toilets being open to both boys and girls to use at the same time.

The fact that it's in an atmosphere such as this that the new show-runner of Doctor Who has decided to make the Doctor a woman is no coincidence, but is part and parcel of an agenda to influence the public's perception on the matter of gender.  (Yes, and hopefully push up the ratings at the same time - the two aren't mutually-exclusive.)  But wait a minute, you say.  The Doctor is an alien who can regenerate into a much younger or older being, so why shouldn't he be able to regenerate into a woman?  (To which I'd reply why should he be?)  The 'regeneration' idea was merely a device to allow for a change of actor in the lead role.  It was later suggested that there could be fluidity between genders, but this was most likely initially to stir the pot and keep viewers on their toes, before it was seized upon by certain individuals in pursuit of their own agenda to influence public perception on the topic of gender.

You think that's far-fetched?  Then I'd suggest you haven't been paying attention to what's been happening around you in all forms of the media.  TORCHWOOD, under the pretence of 'reflecting' society's alleged changing attitude to homosexuality, was in reality trying to influence that attitude.  Whether you see that as a good thing or a bad thing will depend on your point of view, but a discussion on 'morality' is not what I'm interested in at the moment.  It's evidence that CHRIS CHIBNALL had something else in mind other than just entertaining SF fans, and now that he's in charge of Dr. Who, he's going down a related path.  I'm not necessarily suggesting that it's his overriding motivation for such a change (that'll probably be the ratings) - perhaps he has a more casual and less compulsive attitude for introducing a female Doctor, but the timing in today's gender-charged atmosphere is unlikely to be coincidental - at the very least, it's riding the coattails of a trend.  And maybe that's why so many TV shows and movies hitch their wagon to such a controversial issue - because it's 'trendy' to do so.  However, reflecting any kind of a trend usually results in spreading its influence to a wider audience.

Remember, this change comes at a time when some people have seriously suggested that JAMES BOND not only could be, but should be played by a woman.  I'm not making this up;  so consumed are they in their desire to obliterate any form of gender distinction, that they think a woman has as much right to play 007 as any male actor.  Am I alone in considering their obsessive adoption of such an idea akin to some form of madness?  Oddly (though perhaps not), I've yet to hear anyone suggest that MODESTY BLAISE (were she ever to receive her own movie franchise) should be played by a man.

So just think - if you're one of the millions of pupils who'd feel uncomfortable or embarrassed by the opposite gender being able to listen to your farts and splashes in a unisex, multi-cubicled school toilet, or a customer who'd prefer to avail yourself of the changing rooms in a shop without members of the opposite sex hearing you unzip, unbutton, and undress as you try on some new apparel, your insecurities, inhibitions, and preferences don't matter a damn!  All that counts is catering to the requirements of a few gender-confused individuals, whose feelings and sensitivities must be considered over and above those of the rest of us - we who constitute the majority.

What must be remembered is that Time Lords are supposed to be the most advanced civilisation in the universe, who are beyond the petty obsession with gender that humans have (according to the Doctor in one episode).  Could it be any clearer?   Any human concerns over gender are backward and primitive, and the obsession of tiny minds.  We're being sold a bill of goods here, to the effect that unless we share the Time Lords' 'superior' attitude in this regard, then we're intellectually-stunted savages whose opinions on the subject are invalid and unworthy.  The show is actually trying to embarrass us into jettisoning our perfectly natural views on the matter of gender.  Are you seriously denying that there's no agenda?  Wake up and smell the coffee, for feck's sake.
    
Disagree all you want, and I'm sure that many of you will.  You may even consider the matter insignificant and nothing to get annoyed about, but I'd suggest that the Doctor changing gender at this particular time is yet another symptom of the madness and chaos which currently threatens to consume us all.

Or... maybe it's simply an attempt to breathe new life into a tired old show?  What do you think?  As usual, the comments section awaits.

37 comments:

Lionel Hancock said...

I totally agree with all you say but as for Dr Who or What as I now call it boggles me. I think the women now pull the strings in the BBC and to change the gender is a big plus for them. Sorry ladies no matter how good Jodie may be I ain't watching it.

Kid said...

You're the first one brave enough to comment, LH. (Though I suspect hangovers might have something to do with the paucity of response so far.) At least it was good to see David Bradley play the first Doctor 'for real'. It would be great to see him again in one-off Specials about the original Doctor.

Christopher Nevell said...

I’m relaxed about the Doctor being female as he/she is alien. I can buy the belief that a new Doctor draws on something that was lacking in their previous persona and that’s why each Doctor is so different from the last. However I cannot buy Jane Bond, Sherlockee Holmes or Lord Godiva, all of which are absurd.

Christopher Nevell said...

I too would love to see another David Bradley special, recreating one of the lost stories.

Lionel Hancock said...

I would have liked him to have taken over from Peter Capaldi.

Warren JB said...

"We're being sold a bill of goods here, to the effect that unless we share the Time Lords' 'superior' attitude in this regard, then we're intellectually-stunted savages whose opinions on the subject are invalid and unworthy."

This is the kicker. Even without an advanced alien civilisation* to fall back on, we're regularly being bombarded with the challenge: go along with what we consider right and good for society, or be sneered at as a backward, reactionary caveman. But, especially with media productions, it often comes with a hint that you should throw money at a thing to prove how advanced and progressive you are.

Jane Foster is Thor. Never mind that Jane Foster was written out years ago because she couldn't quite fit with Thor's cosmic adventures, and was written to be incapable of coping with asgardian life. Never mind that there are existing, powerful, female asgardians, like Sif and Valkyrie, who don't need to appropriate a man's identity in order to possess that power. For that matter, never mind that 'Thor' is the guy's name, not a title. Comic readership is dropping and we need a publicity stunt to give it a (very) temporary boost. If you don't like it, it doesn't mean you can see through the cynical motivations and the illogic, it just means you're a big ol' sexist.

The 2016 Ghostbusters film has a female cast. Okay. Never mind that the look of the film, particularly in the trailers, is terrible. Never mind that the director has a blinkered agenda ("Men aren't funny") and the producer threatened to sue the surviving old cast if they didn't make cameo appearances. Never mind that the comedy is terrible, badly-timed and has too much clunky improvisation, like an extended SNL skit. Never mind, even, that every man in the film is stupid, often to a staggering, immersion-breaking degree.** (Oh Thor. Thor Thor Thor.) Any negative opinion is just going to be lumped in with the small handful of genuinely sexist, racist responses, and we're going to whip up a whole grrl-power media circus to call you out on it. This film failed (or at least, succeeded just enough to scrape most of it's money back) because of basement-dwelling misogynists.
(Everyone should go on youtube and search for Red Letter Media's videos about this film, by the way)

And this.

Warren JB said...

Part two, the notes; because I wrote too much for one post:

* Which is conveniently fictional and can have words put in it's mouths all day long. It reminds me of Philip K. Dick's thoughts in the notes to his short story, The Golden Man, which often come to mind with modern sci-fi:

"In the early Fifties much American science fiction dealt with human mutants and their glorious super-powers and super-faculties by which they would presently lead mankind to a higher state of existence, a sort of Promised Land. John W. Campbell, Jr., editor of Analog, demanded that the stories he bought deal with with such wonderful mutants, and he also insisted that the mutants always be shown as (1) good; and (2) firmly in charge...
In the issue of If that followed the publishing of The Golden Man appeared a two-page editorial consisting of a letter by a lady school teacher complaining about The Golden Man. Her complaints consisted of John W. Campbell, Jr.'s complaint: she upbraided me for presenting mutants in a negative light and she offered the notion that certainly we should expect mutants to be (1) good; and (2) firmly in charge. So I was back to square one.
My theory as to why people took this view is: I think these people secretly imagined they were themselves early manifestations of these kindly, wise, super-intelligent Übermenschen who would guide the stupid - i.e. the rest of us - to the Promised Land. A power phantasy was involved here, in my opinion... "We are persecuted now," the message ran, "and despised and rejected. But later on, boy oh boy, will we show them!"
As far as I was concerned, for psionic mutants to rule us would be to put the fox in charge of the hen house. I was reacting to what I considered a dangerous hunger for power on the part of neurotic people, a hunger which I felt John W. Campbell, Jr. was pandering to - and deliberately so."

Replace 'mutant' with 'Time Lord'?

On that note, I watched the first episode of Channel Four's Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams, when it was shown on TV recently. I noticed how they twisted his original short story right round to be something very similar to the kind of stories and neuroticism he talks about here.

** I find it sad that, despite the call for equality, and the assurance of many feminists that feminism's aim is not about dragging men down, that's what seems to happen in too many 'feminist' pop-culture works. My head's still spinning from those Doctor Who vids you posted a while back, Kid.

Anonymous said...

But a woman Doctor was first considered back around 1980. I'm not a feminist, I haven't been brainwashed by feminists and I haven't got a gender-politics agenda - but I welcome a woman Doctor because it's different and it breathes new life into a tired old format, what's so wrong with that ?

A year from now everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Kid said...

Maybe even aliens would or should object to being portrayed as having flexible gender though, CN? (Which is just me being flippant of course.) I think had the gender thing been introduced along with the regeneration aspect in 1966, it would still have had a rocky ride because of the suggestion that gender is (or can be) fluid, even in aliens. However, maybe not - but it's not so much the concept of Time Lords being able to regenerate as a different gender that bothers me, so much as the philosophy that motivates the idea. Yeah, seeing David Bradley re-creating lost stories would be good, but I'd also love to see him in new adventures.

******

I'd have much preferred that, LH. To see new adventures of the first Doctor with the standard of SFX they're capable of now would've been brilliant.

******

Funnily enough, WJB, the Thor/Jane Foster thing doesn't bother me as much because there's no actual sex change involved, though I agree that the appropriation of Thor's name as a title is a little suspect. However, that's probably just to infuse the comic with something new to grab reader interest, and it's more about having the 'suggestion' of being controversial than really actually being so. As you say, a cynical marketing ploy in all probability. The female Ghostbusters movie I haven't seen, so can't really comment on it, but could the surviving original male stars actually have been sued for not appearing in cameos in the new movie? I can't see on what grounds, but I take your point that to use women based solely on the idea of 'men aren't funny' seems to be pure misandry. A thought-provoking comment (in two parts) and it'll be interesting to see how other readers react to it, so thanks for taking the time and trouble. (That goes for the other commenters too.)

******

Well, the idea was tentatively suggested (in 1981) as a concept more than actually 'considered', CJ - it didn't take serious root 'til quite a few years later. What's wrong with the idea? As an idea for an SF character just being introduced today and built-in from the start, perhaps not so much - but it's the philosophy BEHIND the idea of making such a change to a long-term established male character which is the problem. If you can't see it I could never explain it to you - any more than I could explain the colour red to you if you were colour-blind.

Anonymous said...

So will you be boycotting the next series of Dr. Who, Kid ?

Warren JB said...

"The female Ghostbusters movie I haven't seen, so can't really comment on it, but could the surviving original male stars actually have been sued for not appearing in cameos in the new movie?"

There was a brouhaha about a lot of emails being leaked or hacked from Sony, some time before the film was released. (Ghostbusters 2016 was distributed by Sony Pictures) In one, Amy Pascal (ex-chairperson of Sony Pictures; co-producer of GB16) suggested applying legal pressure on Bill Murray, specifically, to appear. Murray really didn't want to have anything to do with the Ghostbusters franchise after the second film, in 1989.

"I can't see on what grounds, but I take your point that to use women based solely on the idea of 'men aren't funny' seems to be pure misandry."

Well, Paul Feig might have had half a point when he said it: he had trouble directing a funny movie. ;)

Colin: it's as I said with the Thor development in comics - if the format is that old and tired, and in that much trouble, how much is this 'party popper' going to revive it, really?

Kid said...

'Boycotting' is too strong a word, CJ - I shall simply not bother to watch it. (Unless the Daleks are on it.)

******

Rather than applying 'legal pressure', WJB, you'd think it would've been simpler just to say to him "How much do you want, Bill?" Hell, I'D have appeared in it if they'd thrown money at me. As for Dr. Who, yeah - if the stories are still pretentious, confusing sh*te, having a woman in the lead role won't make much of a difference.

Christopher Nevell said...

Kid, I’ve been thinking about this thread all day. As I’m only on my iPhone I’ll keep it brief. There is no doubt in my mind that we are witnessing the greatest social engineering of our time. It is straight from the pages of 1984 with thought police, rewritten history and intolerance of those that do not hold “the view”. But it’s not coming from the politicians (they are being undermined) but a new liberal elite that uses ridicule, sarcasm and shouting through both social and traditional media to create a new concensus and isolate non-conformists. It’s actually very 1984 with thought police, revised history and a need to control. There is no Big Brother or puppet master but it’s being driven by something- whether collective (deep down) fear, a lack of confidence in law and the justice system, or something else - but it is real and happening right now, day by day. They WILL win. Those that disagree with them are silent and look away - too busy in their own lives. Everything is being scrutinised and found to be wrong. The new liberal elite is now strong enough to sway law and corporations. It’s not necessarily going to be a bad outcome but counter views will not be tolerated.

Lionel Hancock said...

Yes a lot of the stories have been very confusing but the thing lately about Dr Who is the lead actor shouts his way through each episode which I find irritating. Whenever the series made a major change in its format it went down hill fast. Go back to 1980 when they made the title music upbeat we finished up with the three worst doctors and stories which were so embarrassing.. As for that bloody Ace.. I suspect it's downhill again. That's enough from me.

Kid said...

What I find interesting, CN, is that those who are perturbed by the 'philosophy' behind this change are described by some of those who embrace it as 'sad and small-minded', whereas I think the reverse is true. I believe it is 'thinking' people (i.e. - those with an intellect) who can see what's at the root of it. You're entirely right of course - it's social engineering on a grand scale, via the use of mediums which were originally designed to entertain us and educate us as to facts - now they're being used to influence and browbeat us into accepting philosophies and opinions held by an overly-liberal minority who want to reshape society to serve their own needs and desires.

******

What's annoyed me with the last few portrayals of the Doctor, LH, was the tendency to have him behave like a wannabe stand-up comedian, depriving the role of much-needed gravitas. Also, the fact that the plots were deliberately confusing in order to create the impression of being intriguing, with the Doctor explaining everything in the last five minutes, was another thing that irritated me. It was really only in the last series that Capaldi was allowed to 'come into his own' in the role, but some of the episodes were still completely underwhelming.

Lionel Hancock said...

The next thing on the agenda over the next twelve months I guess is to turn good old Santa into a woman..

Kid said...

Nothing would surprise me anymore, LH.

Anonymous said...

An interesting topic Kid I do not watch Doctor Who so can not really say much about a female Doctor! Of course it is hard to break old rules or habits so a shock for some. You are bang on when it comes to mainstream tv getting their info out, so that when it does happen in so called real life people are already brainwashed for it! The general population have been dumbed down for years with mainstream puppet tv!

Christopher Ns comments are also I'd say on the mark although I disagree slightly that it is not coming from politicians, as they all belong to the same club, also it will be a bad outcome if they are allowed to continue with their global plans. As he says most people are so busy or do not care that they do not even know what is going on. People are starting to wake up especially the younger generations. People say they do not care but they have/are lying to our children/grandchildren about everything. NASA are the biggest scammers of all no space, no satellites where's all the money gone?

Terence

Kid said...

I think CN only meant that he didn't think it was politicians in this particular (or type of) case, T - as in Dr. Who becoming a woman (or the gender thing in general) - not that they're completely innocent in attempts at other forms of social engineering. (I'm sure he'll let us know if either of us has misunderstood him.) Yeah, most fiction-based TV shows were once created solely as entertainment - now far too many of them are created to brainwash us into accepting beliefs and behaviour we'd once have no truck with.

Christopher Nevell said...

My view on politicians is that many are limited in what they can do. Only a few have their hands on the levers of power. They do though have direct access to the traditional media and so, as they are astute in holding on to what they have, will play to the liberal elite and so be a conduit for the belief of others. To do so wins them the gratification that they seek.

Dave S said...

Very interesting to read crisper m Christopher's comments. I've felt recently that there seems to be a real pressure being applied to society to conform to the set of opinions that the self-appointed arbiters of morals have decided is right. The broadcaster James Whale said that we are kidding ourselves if we think we live in a free country in modern Britain- we are only allowed free speech if we use it to agree with what we are told are the right set of values (I'm paraphrasing but the full quote is in his autobiography). It seems to have become acceptable to force opinion on others as long as it's deemed to be the correct opinion- I was brought up to believe that everyone has the right to choose their own opinion, even if it is misguided or unpopular.

As for Doctor Who, I've said before that I feel the choice of Jodie Whittaker was intended to generates controversy and attention to help revive the fortunes of a programme that has become more niche in recent years. In my opinion, if they want to improve ratings and audience appreciation figures, they should improve the stories - make them more accessible, more casual viewer friendly and less about Doctor Who itself. Make less episodes and cut out the filler stories. I have no doubt that there will be an increase in viewers for the early Whittaker episodes, but if the stories aren't up to scratch, they won't stick around.

Kid said...

That's curious, CN - your comment was in my Spam file for some reason, so it's just as well I checked the contents before deleting them, otherwise it might've disappeared into the ether. (Though it would've been in my email inbox as well, so maybe not.)

******

Tell you what, DS, if there's anyone who knows more about having unpopular opinions than me, I'd be surprised. I know what you mean when you say that the stories should be less about the Doctor himself - they're often too bound up in his personal 'mythology', aren't they, of interest mainly to the diehard geek. I felt they got it mostly right with the Christopher Eccleston episodes, but it was mostly downhill (with a few exceptions) from there.

Anonymous said...

What does Terence mean by saying there's no space and no satellites ??? What does he know about NASA that we don't ??? The scales are falling from my eyes - I'm beginning to understand that Jodie Whittaker is part of an international conspiracy of mammoth proportions. We must get the news out - the world MUST be told !!

TC said...

CNN recently reported on a children's book, "Santa's Husband," by Daniel Kibblesmith and Ashley Quach. It portrays Santa Claus as a gay man with a black male partner.

Kid said...

You've been at the sherry again, haven't you, CJ? Now, read TC's comment and tell me there's no agenda. Remember that colour red I was talking about...?

******

Words fail me, TC. And people say there's no agenda, eh? Must just be for fun then. Strewth.

Anonymous said...

It's Terence who's been at the sherry if he believes there's no space, no satellites and "NASA are the biggest scammers of all" - what does that even mean ??

Kid said...

I'm sure he'll elucidate if he wants to, CJ. I just assumed he meant there are no space satellites and slightly mistyped. I think his point is that for the kind of money NASA receives, there's little evidence of it. My view? I don't know anything about the matter so can't comment either way. However, that's a separate issue from the subject of Dr. Who.

Anonymous said...

Only just got back on here been a busy time. I do not want to hijack Dr Who but just to clarify I did not mistype or as Colin says been on the Sherry as I am a non drinker! I will say again though for the adults of the world if they are sucked in that is bad enough but to lie openly to our children and grandchildren is a different matter.

I am not an expert but just use a little common sense.

One example using spherical trig with the ball earth at 25,000 miles circumference there should be 8 inches of curvature per mile squared. The Isle of wight lighthouse is 180ft high and can be seen from 42 miles which would according to the experts put the lighthouse 996 feet below the horizon. Go figure!

Terence

Kid said...

I must be in a particularly thick mood today, T, but I'm still not entirely sure what you're getting at. Could you state your main point and why the facts and figures you've just stated are relevant to it. When you say the lighthouse can be seen from 42 miles (away), do you mean from the surface of the Earth, or from 'space'? It kinda sounds like you're implying that the Earth is flat or something. Please clarify 'cos my head hurts. If both me and CJ are struggling, there's a chance you're not being as clear as you could be.

Christopher Nevell said...

Well let’s put this to the test. I live on the South Coast 39 miles away and can see the Isle of Wight at sea level. At 42 miles in Worthing it slips below the horizon. So the curvature is there but whether that’s as predicted I cannot say (I have to say that I can’t see a lighthouse at all but then that’s without binoculars). Does that help Terence?

Kid said...

I'm still not too clear what T's original point on that was to be honest, CN. There's no space? But you can see it when you look up at the sky at night. He surely can't mean that, can he? C'mon, T, you need to be more specific about what you're saying just so's we're all on the same page as to what the subject is. What did you mean when you said there's no space? I'm not taking the mick, I just don't understand quite what you're saying.

-3- said...

I had hoped to have an initial opinion of the new Doctor after the Xmas special, but such was not to be. In my aversion to spoilers, i had zero clue of the content and certainly didn't expect to spend the special watching Peter Capaldi refusing to die so hard that the first regeneration joined him. (Not that i'm complaining in any way about that - quite the opposite in fact. Delightful surprises)

I'll watch for a bit, but in addition to some good character handling, i'd like to see them explore an in-universe cause for why both the Master and the Doctor would regenerate as female at the same time. It could make for fascinating story potential, and seriously help offset the obvious external reasons for the shift.

but... have to wait and see.

Kid said...

I'm afraid I can generate no interest in the programme from this point on, as the philosophical (and 'commercial') reasons behind the gender change are all too obvious to me. It's like knowing how the magician does his tricks - it's hard to be impressed or intrigued. What annoys me is that unless they explore what the Doctor now feels like to be a woman (remember, he's a father and grandfather), then there doesn't seem much point to it other than to be controversial or influence society as part of a feminist agenda. Not that I want to see that aspect explored on Doctor Who anyway, but there's a suggestion that the Doctor is happy with the change. ("Oh, brilliant!", on seeing his/her reflection.) Anyway, I won't repeat myself, but anyone who can't (or won't) see this attempt at social engineering for what it is (or doesn't care) is handing the misandrists victory on a plate.

-3- said...

I can understand all that quite easily. But i'm going to take a look, at least for a bit. They have a unique potential here to explore and possibly even say something interesting. I'd like to see them use it rather than just be part of a wave.
Granted, odds are i'm going to be disappointed, but i've still got to take the chance and see.

How long i'll stick...?

Kid said...

I also find the notion that as the Doctor is now a woman, that's all the show needs to instantly improve it. You can just imagine the story conferences. "Audience numbers are in decline - the problem is that the Doctor is a man. We'll soon fix that." How tedious, how unimaginative. There's one sorry individual I know who's always taking a pop at me who'll be happy with the change. After all, it's the nearest he's likely to get to a woman. Who knows (no pun intended) - maybe he even dreams of such a gender change himself?

-3- said...

Sadly, your notion is too likely close to accurate. There's great potential here, but my expectation that they'll actually tap into it is exceedingly low.

Oh, dear - just had a vision of the Doctor on her first period. I think Tom Baker's fashion team was involved...

Kid said...

It's never been explained why the Doctor is called 'the Doctor'. Perhaps it's a title given to him in recognition of his status as Gallifrey's 'roving' ambassador? Whenever the US elects a new president, the old one still retains the title of 'Mr. President', so 'the Doctor' could be a title like that. So Capaldi's Doctor could have retired (or died), and Whitaker's new Doctor could have assumed his duties and responsibilities. I could've lived with that, instead of all this silly, gender-changing nonsense.

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