Warning! The following contains light spoilers for the Doctor Who Season 11 episode "Arachnids in the U.K." Read at your own risk.
Doctor Who Season 11 has brought a whirlwind of changes to the franchise thus far. The intro is different, the villains are new, and the Doctor has flipped genders. Though the latter element is a relatively new thing for viewers to experience, Jodie Whittaker's character has hinted at this not being her first rodeo as a female. Such assertions have led us to believe the UK series is gearing up to introduce at least one more female incarnation of the Doctor in Season 11. Here's our rationale.
The Doctor Has Referenced A Feminine Past
Doctor Who caught fan's attention in its Season 11 premiere when Jodie Whittaker's Doctor casually hinted it had been a while since she'd purchased women's clothes. There were suspicions at the time this meant she may have been female before, but there were also those who thought it was just a reference to purchased clothes for the Doctor's daughter or past companions.
"Arachnids In The U.K.," however, made the past Female Doctor theory more viable when she mentioned she'd been a "sister," or nun, at one point. That's historically an impossible profession to get into without being a woman, and while the Doctor is crafty, we're not sure if one of the past male incarnations could pull that off. These breadcrumbs make it feel as though Doctor Who is plotting a future meet-up between a past Doctor and the present-day Thirteen. Otherwise, why keep dropping such hints?
Different Doctors Have Collaborated Before
Doctor Who is no stranger to Doctor collaborations, and we've seen two or more different incarnations of the character join forces more times than we can count. We've also learned from past Doctor Who stars that they'd all be up to team up with Jodie Whittaker for an adventure, which could be a good sign that showrunner Chris Chibnall will maintain the tradition. That said, those stars aren't women, so how exactly would another female Doctor get a cameo?
While there's no exact precedent of female Doctor on Doctor Who, there is precedent of former showrunners retroactively creating different incarnations of the Doctor outside of the numerical set. John Hurt's War Doctor was created by then-boss Stephen Moffat for the 50th anniversary special, despite the fact that past lore had never made reference to him. Chris Chibnall could do the same with this supposed past female Doctor, introducing a fabulous guest-starring actress who would possibly be the female Doctor that preceded Jodie Whittaker.
Chris Chibnall Loves Changing Up Doctor Who
If there's one thing the fanbase has learned about Chris Chibnall in his run so far as Doctor Who's showrunner, it's that he is all for changing the sci-fi staple's status quo. Chibnall has already upended many things in the franchise so far, from companion/friend situations to the dearth of familiar villains. Is it really a stretch to think he wouldn't create another female Doctor to throw into Season 11?
It sounds right up Chibnall's alley, especially given his insistence on bringing the first female reincarnation to Doctor Who. Chibnall will continue establishing how a female Doctor operates, and he also has an opportunity to retroactively change the canon to show fans that female Doctors can be quite standard. While that might lessen the impact of Whittaker's radical transformation story-wise, it would further explain why her transformation isn't as radical as it's been for sections of the fanbase.
What do you guys think? Will we get another female Doctor, or is Chris Chibnall just having fun with fans? We'll see if more are on the way as Season 11 of Doctor Who rolls on at BBC America on Sunday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET. For a look at other shows coming to television these coming months, visit our fall premiere guide.