Former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies’ new book is turning out to be full of interesting tidbits and juicy details. As well as reviving a well-loved character within its pages, Davies also secretly teased the coming of Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor, the first ever female incarnation of the Time Lord.
Now We Are Six Hundred, a collection of Who-inspired poetry by James Goss, features illustrations by the TV writer (who it turns out is also a dab hand at drawing). Seeing as he had some insider information, Davies decided to get playful with his illustrations and snuck some hints at a female Doctor into the book.
“Let’s just say I’m friends with all these people, with [current showrunner Steven Moffat] and with [new boss Chris Chibnall]. And we’ve been friends for years. So I knew what was in the air. I knew kind of.”
One such clue is an easter egg of the highest order and as such, is very easy to miss:
“There’s a poem called Contents, which I thought ‘Well I’ll draw a trunk, and in that trunk there’s something representing every single Doctor… And there’s also a handbag in there, you’ll be glad to see.”
Another, though, is staring the reader in the face. For one poem, Davies actually drew the Thirteenth Doctor in flesh, albeit disguised behind a mask and cloak:
“There’s a whole poem about an unnamed Doctor…. Which has the kind of masked, unknown secret Doctor running around. On page 23, if you look at the swirl of those clothes she’s wearing women’s stilettos and the numbers 1 and 3 are hidden in the folds of those clothes. That’s a female Doctor running around!”
Seeing as the book was completed before the announcement was made, wasn’t Davies worried about his info on the next Doctor being wrong? It turns out that the writer/illustrator made sure to keep things just on the right side of ambiguous in case the next Doctor wasn’t a woman after all.
“Even if we hadn’t gone with Jodie Whittaker, that photograph of Peter Capaldi looking at the female mannequin represents that time when everyone’s saying there could be a female Doctor anyway.”
This isn’t the first time that Whittaker’s incarnation has been alluded to. Knowing what was to come, writer Steven Moffat deliberately slotted in teases about the Doctor changing gender in his script for season 10 finale “The Doctor Falls.” Though the actress’ casting still came as a shock to many Doctor Who fans, it seems that the moment had been prepared for all along.
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