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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 506 > Ask STEVEN MOFFAT


Answering the burning questions posed by DWM readers – the man in charge of Doctor Who!

“Sci-fi is notoriously male. But Doctor Who has always felt, to me, rather female.”

ALAN JAMES asks: Tom Baker once said he’d like a talking cabbage as a companion. Do you think this could ever have worked? On a more serious note, do you think a young female companion is always the best choice for the Doctor’s best friend?

Actually, that’s a difficult question. Doctor Who has a tremendous appeal to young girls as well as young boys. They have to have an identification point; someone that they can imagine themselves being. The truth about Doctor Who is the main character has never been the Doctor. He’s the star turn, with the best lines, and the big moments, but it’s always been the story of his companions – and often his companion has been a young woman he has met and befriended. I think it would be damaging to Doctor Who if that voice and viewpoint were not represented. Science-fiction is notoriously male. You can tell that because everyone wears uniforms and marches around talking about rules. But Doctor Who has always felt to me, rather female. It’s full of kindness and compassion and eccentricity and wisdom instead of violence. And from that point of view it is important that the main character, the Doctor’s best friend, should be female. Someone will now pop up and say it’s called Doctor Who, not Clara (or Amy, or Rose, or whatever). Well, listen you, it’s not called The Doctor either, it’s called Doctor Who – it’s about that question and who’s asking it.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

DWM 506 celebrate 50 Years of the Second Doctor, as played by Patrick Troughton. Contents include: behind the scenes on the new animated version of The Power of the Daleks; the Second Doctor's era is explored in a feature by Jonathan Morris; 1968's Fury from the Deep is reviewed; showrunner Steven Moffat answers readers' questions; a biography of Peter Brachacki, the man who designed the TARDIS back in 1963; The Fact of Fiction looks back at 2005's The End of the World; directors Ed Bazalgette, Douglas Mackinnon, Daniel O'Hara and Daniel Nettheim reveal more secrets of their work on Doctor Who in the second part of DWM's exclusive interviews; Comic Strip - Bloodsport Part 2, written by Mark Wright and illustrated by Staz Johnson; The Time Team watch 2010's The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang; plus reviews, previews, prize-winning competitions, the latest official news, fun and nonsense with the Watcher and much, much more.