Having a Moment: 'Doctor Who' and the new age of women in sci-fi

Little girls have long been told that they can grow up to be anything, a dream that reality has often proved otherwise. But sci-fi and fantasy films and television have been substantially bridging that gap in recent years.

With 2016’s comedy reboot “Ghostbusters,” we found out that women are more than capable of busting ghosts and saving New York City.

Wonder Woman” showed the world that women were not only capable of kicking butt and taking names, they could also make a ton of box-office cash in the process.

And though “Star Trek: Discovery” has yet to debut on CBS All Access, the series is already boldly going where few women have gone before, with two females of color, Michelle Yeoh and Sonequa Martin-Green, serving as Captain and First Officer, respectively, on the starship Shenzhou.

Even HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has evolved beyond its sexist tendencies and has two (maybe three) powerful women vying for the Iron Throne.

It’s a new world for women, which is why it came as no surprise when the BBC made its landmark announcement regarding “Doctor Who.”

On July 16, BBC declared that the new lead of its storied science-fiction series will be a woman, causing shock and awe around the world. Created in 1963 and relaunched in 2005, the TV show centers around a mysterious alien known as “the Doctor” who travels through time helping individuals and regenerates at the point of death into a new form, allowing for the role to be recast.

Not everyone was overjoyed at the news that a woman, Jodie Whittaker, is finally taking control of the TARDIS.

According to the BBC’s complaint website, the British broadcaster received some pushback. To which the BBC responded, and I paraphrase, “too bad, so sad.”

“The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey and it has been established in the show that Time Lords can switch gender,” a portion of the BBC statement said, in what reads as the most exasperated tone possible.

Sorry, nerds, this is the new normal. Women are coming for your starships and your ghosts and your thrones and your alien people. And we aren’t going to stop until we’ve gotten our cooties all over them.

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libby.hill@latimes.com

@midwestspitfire

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