Michelle Gomez (Missy), John Simm (Master) and Peter Capaldi (the Doctor) in 'Doctor Who' season 10 episode 12 'The Doctor Falls'
Michelle Gomez (Missy), John Simm (Master) and Peter Capaldi (the Doctor) in 'Doctor Who' season 10 episode 12 'The Doctor Falls' BBC

“Doctor Who” season 10 finale appears to be showrunner Steven Moffat’s way of saying the next Doctor would be female. In “The Doctor Falls,” Twelve (Peter Capaldi) and Missy (Michelle Gomez) kept on hinting that the future is female, which might mean that the Thirteenth Doctor would be a Time Lady.

Spoilers for the season 10 episode 12 are discussed below. The episode aired Saturday on the BBC in the UK, Sunday on the ABC in Australia.

In the season 10 finale, the Master (John Simm), who met his incarnation in Missy in the previous episode, wasn’t too keen on having women as main players in the future. When Bill the Cyberman (Pearl Mackie) told the Time Lords to stand aside so she could get rid of the incoming Cyberman from the lift, the Doctor told Master to “do as she says.”

“Do as she says?” the Master mocked. “Is the future going to be all girl?”

“You can only hope,” the Doctor answered, inevitably causing havoc among fans with those four words. That could mean nothing more than the Gallifreyan Time Lord showing his support for women in general. However, it’s also likely that there’s more to that statement.

The whole episode also appeared to hint at the Doctor’s next regeneration. Missy had forced the Master’s regeneration into her (presumably) by stabbing him on the back, telling him it’s time that they stood with the Doctor.

“Welcome to the sisterhood,” Missy told him as her former self was dying. The Master, who was still at his most selfish and egotistical self, didn’t want to agree, and so he retaliated by shooting Missy in the back with the full setting from his sonic screwdriver, thereby preventing her from regenerating. They both lay down laughing, awaiting their death (the Master in the lift waiting for his regeneration, while Missy on the forest ground apparently waiting for her real death).

Even though the Master was obstinate not to regenerate into female, that was what he was heading to. And unless there’s a secret incarnation of the Master between Simm and Gomez, the Master will turn into a woman, and there’s no stopping it anymore.

That may be telling of the Doctor’s own fate as well. Perhaps he is heading onto becoming a Time Lady in the near future (Christmas special), and the whole season finale episode was a foreshadowing of that idea. It seems very likely that the show is preparing fans for a female Doctor, but then again, it could also just be nothing. How disappointing would that be, however, if, after all the talk of racial and gender equality throughout season 10, the show would continue with the tradition of having a white male lead for season 11.

With Bill and Heather (guest star Stephanie Hyam) exploring the universe apparently by foot, and former companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) and Ashildr (Maisie Williams) travelling using a stolen TARDIS, it appears that women are truly taking over this whole time and universe-exploring business. A female Doctor should very well follow suit.

The next Doctor has already been chosen, and it’s just a matter of waiting for a few months more before he or she is revealed to the audiences. There’s a large group of fans clamouring for a female Doctor, but a big change like that faces strong opponents. Perhaps succeeding showrunner Chris Chibnall could start a new era when he takes over in 2018.

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