Being a Girl with The Doctor

Essays on the Feminine in Doctor Who


In stock

About the Book

Throughout the long running BBC series Doctor Who, the Doctor has rarely been alone, traveling with both female and male “companions.” The companion is essential to Doctor Who because he or she is a stand-in for the audience, providing information about the Doctor’s ongoing adventures. With the casting of a female actor in the role of the Doctor in 2018, one criticism of the series was finally resolved. After the shift in gender identity, the role of the Doctor and the companion also shifted—or has it? The continued focus on romantic relations between the TARDIS occupants has led to complaints from both male and female fans, reiterating and reinforcing myriad criticisms about the portrayal of the female companions. Essays in this book consider how gender is presented in Doctor Who and how certain female companions have been able to break out of the gendered roles usually assigned to them through the classic and new series.

About the Author(s)

Gillian I. Leitch is an independent scholar and historical researcher and is currently co-chair of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Area of the PCA. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Sherry Ginn is a retired educator currently living in North Carolina. She has authored books examining female characters on science fiction television series as well as the multiple television worlds of Joss Whedon. Edited collections have examined sex in science fiction, time travel, the apocalypse, and the award-winning series Farscape, Doctor Who, and Fringe.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Gillian I. Leitch and Sherry Ginn

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 193
Bibliographic Info: filmography, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8953-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5063-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface—“Traveling” in the Time of Covid: Tenacious, Addlepated, Rumbustical, Daunting, Insuperable, Stupefying
Sherry Ginn and Gillian I. Leitch 1
Introduction—Boldly Going Where No Doctor Had Gone Before … Until Thirteen
Sherry Ginn and Gillian I. Leitch 3
Who Says the Doctor Ever Had a Penis?
Caroline-Isabelle Caron 15
“Come on, Ace! We’ve got work to do”: The Development of the Modern Companion on Doctor Who
Michael G. Robinson 28
Femininity and Indigeneity: Leela in Doctor Who
Gillian I. Leitch 46
“Give me some of that ­Nitro-9 you’re not carrying”: Ace as an Intuitive ­Anarcha-Feminist in the Cartmel Era
Lynne M. Thomas 57
Reclaiming Her Agency: The Life and Times of Dr. Martha Jones
Sherry Ginn 79
“Is that really what we’ve learned today?” Revising Clara Oswald on Doctor Who
Heather M. McHale 96
The “Other” Women in the Whoniverse: The Social Significance of Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, and Bill Potts
Lynnette Porter 113
Hope Persists: Overcoming Trauma as Thirteen, the Doctor of Hope
Pamela Achenbach 130
“Are you my mummy?” Mothering Monsters and the Contradictions of Motherhood in Doctor Who
Zara T. Wilkinson 148
Filmography 167
About the Contributors 175
Index 177