Did You Spot This Major Feminist Statement In The Latest 'Doctor Who' Trailer?

by Emily Dixon
BBC/Steve Schofield

The upcoming 11th series of Doctor Who is already a historic one: Jodie Whittaker is the first female actor to be cast in the central role, realising the fantasies of female Whovians across the globe. And the marketing team aren't oblivious to that significance, as evidenced by the new Doctor Who trailer. In the short clip, as the Radio Times reports, the Doctor literally smashes an enormous glass ceiling — a pretty explicit feminist statement, no? Can she please build a bra bonfire in the TARDIS next?

The teaser trailer, soundtracked by Macklemore and Skylar Grey's "Glorious", is a mere 30 seconds long. It depicts the Doctor standing underneath an ornate domed roof, which promptly shatters around her. She responds with an unabashed, "Whoops," after which the words, "IT'S ABOUT TIME," appear onscreen. Is this an indication that the Thirteenth Doctor will be an unapologetic feminist icon? Let's hope as much — after all, Whittaker seems pretty proud of the importance of her role. She told the Radio Times back in July, "Now it isn’t just attainable for half of the population [to be the Doctor]," adding, "The other half can be the Doctor as well. Girls will no longer just think, 'Oh, I could be a companion.'"

The actors behind two of the Doctor's new companions, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill, also hope their roles will galvanise young viewers of colour. Cole, who plays Ryan, told the magazine, "We still have a long way to go, in terms of equal rights and equal representation on screen, but it’s exciting for the kids to see people like themselves in the new series — and for girls to become superheroes!" He continued, "Hopefully we will inspire and touch people."

And Gill, who plays Yasmin, said, "When I was younger I didn’t feel I was represented in popular culture — you couldn’t get a brown doll in the shops and you didn’t see many brown people on TV." She added, "I thought I was going to be the first brown person on The Bill! And now there’s going to be millions of other people watching me and relating to my character."

BBC/BBC Studios

Doctor Who will return to BBC One for its 11th series on October 7 — a Sunday, marking a departure from the show's original Saturday night slot. Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, explained, "With Chris Chibnall at the helm and Jodie Whittaker’s arrival as the new Doctor we are heralding a brand new era for the show and so it feels only right to give it a new home on Sunday nights at the heart of BBC One’s Autumn schedule."

One person who won't be watching the series' debut episode, "The Woman Who Fell To Earth"? The Doctor herself, Jodie Whittaker. Marie Claire asked the actor where she'll be when the episode premieres; she responded, "Somewhere far away, so I don’t watch it in the same time zone. I’ll be turning my phone off and hoping for the best!" If it's any consolation, Jodie, I'm pretty sure it's going to be great.