“Doctor Who is a male character, just like James Bond.” Thus spoke Sylvester McCoy, who took his turn in the TARDIS as the seventh incarnation of the Time Lord in the late 1980s. According to the Daily Mirror, McCoy, 71, added “I’m a feminist and recognize there are still glass ceilings in place for many women, but where would we draw the line? A Mr. Marple instead of Miss Marple? A Tarzanette?”
McCoy went on to say that part of the appeal of the show is the relationship of the Doctor to his assistant, and that having a woman in the lead would ruin that part. His opinions are shared by fifth Doctor Peter Davison, who made similar comments a few years ago, but run contrary to modern contributors to the long-running series, especially show-runner Steven Moffat who sparked the conversation during the transition from Matt Smith’s run to current Doctor Peter Capaldi’s.
Times change, though, even for immortal Time Lords. Moffat’s opinion spoke of a more gender-neutral approach, which seems more in line with today’s (and probably the future’s) sensibilities: “I know I’m going to get in trouble for saying that – you cast a person, you don’t cast the gender.”
As far as McCoy is concerned – Anyone who could take one of the Istari (Hobbit reference) and turn him into the addle-brained laughing stock of Eriador has lost the right to a bad opinion.