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Joss Whedon has made a name for himself working on a lot projects in the realms of sci-fi, fantasy and superheroes, whether it's creatively running TV shows, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, or directing hit movies, like the first two Avengers installments. So would he ever work on Doctor Who, a show that definitely fits into a few of those categories and has a passionate fanbase? Only if it were under specific circumstances regarding who was playing the eponymous protagonist.
This past weekend at Nerd HQ 2016 (via The Nerd Machine), a fan asked Whedon if he would ever write a Doctor Who episode if given an offer. Here's what he said:
I'm not sure, and here's why. I'd have to do a lot of research, like, watch 40 years of television. I mean I've seen some of it, but let's get real... Check back with me when the Doctor is a she. Or Idris Elba. Every question can actually just have the suffix 'or Idris Elba.'
We certainly won't argue with him about Idris Elba. You can put the Luther star in anything, and that project will instantly be improved. He's also not the only one to bring up how The Doctor should be played by a woman, though for the moment, the adventuring Time Lord is being played by Peter Capaldi. However, it sounds like even if Joss Whedon was willing to do the research, he's not particularly interested with helming a Doctor adventure until they switch things up with the character. We should point out that it's Whedon's exaggerating just how much Doctor Who he would have to watch to prepare. After all, it's not like he had to read every single Avengers comic book before directing the movies. Then again, he's also been a Marvel fan for many years, so there was more incentive for him to oversee Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
He'll get no argument from us as far as how packed Doctor Who is. The series first hit the air in 1963, and although it originally ended in 1989, if was revived in 2005 (though a TV movie did air in 1996), and has stayed on the BBC since. While the modern series has done its best to be accessible to new viewers, it still likes to include callbacks to those earlier years. Even as someone who's seen all of the modern Doctor Who episodes and specials, there are times when I have to go on Wikipedia or even watch a clip from the classic series to understand a brief reference, like the mention of The Doctor's future darker self, the Valeyard, or a callback to his time working for UNIT in the '70s. You have to hand it to the show for remembering its past, even if it was decades ago.
Doctor Who returns this December for the next Christmas special, and Season 10 will premiere in early 2017 on BBC America.