In 2005, after a 26 year hiatus, the BBC brought Doctor Who back to our television screen again. The new Head Writer and Executive Producer of the series was Russell T. Davies. A man with an incredible CV in television and a life-long fan of the series. He left the series in 2010, handing over the show to Steven Moffatt.
Now Russell T. Davies is back to Doctor Who again after 8 years. He is revisiting his first episode and 2005 series premier “Rose” in the Target novelisation.
Russell will not be sticking to script in the novel, but will instead add new elements. One such element is adding new “future” Doctors, which may come after new Doctor Who, Jodie Whittaker.
According to The Radio Times, this huge change in the show’s mythology sees Rose (Billie Piper) go to see amateur investigator Clive (Mark Benton) for more information after her first encounter with The Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston).
In this new version, Clive goes through his rolodex of photographic evidence of The Doctor’s past incarnations through history, including the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker), the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and the soon-to-debut Thirteen (Jodie Whittaker).
However, Clive’s photographic evidence includes people that viewers haven’t yet encountered — described by Davies as “a tall, bald black woman wielding a flaming sword” and “a young girl or boy in a hi-tech wheelchair with what looked like a robot dog at their side”.
I was very excited to hear of the inclusion of a young person in a hi-tech wheelchair. One of the things I often spoke about on social media (I’m a super Whovian geek by-the-way) was that there was no reason that a future incarnation of the Doctor could not have some form of disability,
There has been a lot of debate over the years from fans of Doctor Who to make the show more diverse and make the Doctor more representative of the fans who watch the programme. There have been calls to make the Doctor of different races and to change the Doctor’s gender. In 2018, one of these things will happen. After 55 years, the Doctor has regenerated into a woman.
One of the changes that has never been mentioned, was to have the Doctor have a disability. The idea was flirted with in 2017, when Peter Capaldi’s Doctor was blind for a number of episodes. I felt this did not go far enough.
So with the inclusion of a young person in a wheelchair by Russell T. Davies in the Target story, it gives hopes that it IS possible for fans like myself to see ourselves represented as a future Doctor.
Now it is unlikely this particular Doctor will ever make it to the television series, but it might be possible someday become a spin-off Target series and therefore plant the idea that it IS possible for the Doctor on the television series to use a wheelchair.
Thank you for this representation Russell T. Davies and thank you for making me believe that I can be the greatest Time Lord, Doctor Who.