Outgoing Doctor Who boss Steven Moffat said he has no regrets about not introducing a female Doctor into the series sooner.
Moffat, 56, admitted he could have replaced Matt Smith’s Doctor with a woman but said he did not because he became “obsessed with seeing Peter (Capaldi) in the Tardis”.
This year’s Doctor Who Christmas special will mark both his and actor Capaldi’s departure from the popular BBC sci-fi series.
Viewers will also be hoping to get a glimpse of the first female Time Lord, played by Broadchurch star Jodie Whittaker, who was brought on board by the show’s new frontrunner, Chris Chibnall.
Referencing a 1999 Comic Relief spoof in which he cast Joanna Lumley as a female Doctor, Moffat told the Radio Times: “I did (cast a woman), although if we’d replaced David Tennant with a woman it wouldn’t have worked. It was too early.
“We could have replaced Matt Smith with a woman, given that his Doctor was more sexless and less of a lad, but then I got obsessed with seeing Peter in the Tardis. No regrets about that!”
Executive producer Moffat also hailed Chibnall for his decision to cast Whittaker, saying a female incarnation of the Doctor would work as “now is the time”.
He told the magazine: “It was [incoming showrunner] Chris Chibnall, and only Chris, who made the really big decision, and all credit to him. It’s going to work, I know it is.
“More and more of the audience were asking for it. It is absolutely the right choice.”
Moffat revealed he recently met Whittaker and described her as “a fireball of mischief and irreverence. I think she’ll be brilliant as the Doctor”.
During this year’s Christmas special, titled Doctor Who: Twice Upon A Time, the Time Lord is joined by Mark Gatiss, Pearl Mackie as his assistant Bill Potts, and David Bradley, who reprises his role as the First Doctor.
The BBC has not yet confirmed if fans will get a glimpse of Whittaker’s reincarnation, with the last few moments of the episode being kept a surprise until the Christmas Day broadcast on BBC One.
Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times.