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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Doctor Who thing: gender-bending lady fans make the Doctor their own

My pal Bonnie — aka bronxbee in comments here — attended New York Comic-Con this past weekend and took a ton of photos. I’m sharing some of the Doctor Who-related ones here over the next few days.

Bonnie saw lots of women dressing not as companions but as the Doctors himselves:

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If Scarlett Johansson was a geek:

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Of this one, Bonnie says:

i particularly like this one… BUT remember, muslim women *want* to be meek and mild and not have any adventures or anything.

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(If the show wants the companion to represent ordinary Great Britain, the next companion will be a girl in a head scarf…)

A gender-bent Doctor with a River Song:

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Tomorrow: gender-bent Fourth Doctors…

Photos by Bonnie-Ann Black.


See the rest of the “Doctor Who at New York Comic-Con” series:
merch at New York Comic-Con
the family that regenerates together attends New York Comic-Con together
women really do like Tom Baker’s Doctor
dressing up as the TARDIS
meet the Doctor Puppets and puppeteer/animator Alisa Stern
when boys cosplay Time Lords
when pro artists pull sexist bullshit
the littlest fans at New York Comic-Con
fans two-by-two at New York Comic-Con
creative cosplay
TARDIS bags for charity


(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)


  • LaSargenta

    Someone at my work told me about his niece making her costume for The Riddler. Yup. Gender-bending is good.

  • bronxbee

    was she at ComicCon? because if so, not only did i see her — i took her picture!

  • LaSargenta

    Yes! He and his whole family are seriously into graphic novels, anime, and the comix. Our office is near Penn Station, so the post-work plans for him last Friday were 100% ComiCon, including his niece…I’m pretty sure she went all 3 days.

    I’d love it if you posted her here. Well, maybe on another thread. The Doctor has never had to deal with The Riddler. (I just got an idea for a mash-up.)

  • Kathy_A

    Those are awesome pics!!
    On the tv show Criminal Minds (which is really quite bad right now, but used to be good, I swear!) a few years ago, two of the characters were heading to a sci-fi convention, and the guy (Reid) was dressed as the Fourth Doctor, and the woman (Garcia) was decked out as Eleven. What I loved even more than the costumes was the fact that the scriptwriter didn’t even bother explain them, it was just what they were wearing. It wasn’t the show’s first mention of DW, either–Reid had a geek-out about the TARDIS being ripped off by Bill and Ted when trying to explain DW to a new co-worker.

  • bronxbee

    i sent maryann tons of gender bending photos, so she may show up here.

  • LaSargenta

    Excellent.

  • Karl Morton IV

    I only started going to L.A.’s Gallifrey One a few years ago and I’ve always been delighted by all the amazing-looking lady Doctors. Seriously stunning variations on the costumes to maximize their loveliness. Is this anything like as common among other fandoms? I can’t imagine girls dressing up like Kirk or Picard, although I’m sure it happens.

    Don’t leave the guys out of the cross-dressing fun. There’s a guy out here who rocks Sarah Jane Smith’s pink-striped overalls from “Hand of
    Fear”. :)

  • NorthernStar

    That red curly wig made me think she was dressing as Bonnie Langford. But yeah, probably River (if not, then have to admire the lass… Brave, brave choice)

  • Danielm80

    In my library, we have posters that show Wonder Woman and other DC
    super-heroes. Yesterday morning, one boy said, “That’s Superman, that’s
    Batman, and that’s a princess!” So it’s refreshing to go to Comic Con and find out that it’s a gender-free zone. I can walk around saying, “That Doctor is male. That Doctor is female. That Thor is female. That Thor is male.”

    Sadly, we haven’t reached the point where the convention center is filled with male versions of Poison Ivy and the Black Cat (though there were plenty of underclad women around); but I did see a Wonder Woman with a beard and a hairy chest.

  • But a woman dressed as Kirk or Picard would just be a woman in a Starfleet uniform. There’s not a lot of gender-bending to be done there… except in the opposite direction, if a guy dressed in a 60s-era Starfleet minidress.

  • bronxbee

    and if she doesn’t use that photo, then i’ll send you a copy via email.

  • bronxbee

    he told me he was River… so i took him at his word.

  • LaSargenta

    I think I’ve seen a few gender-bending Vampirellas in my day…mind you, not at ComiCon

  • LaSargenta

    Thank you. :-)

  • Jess Haskins

    Actually, my Halloween costume this year is Captain Kirk! Instead of the standard gold uniform, I got myself one of the green v-neck wraparound tunics he wore a lot in the second season. I’m not changing anything about the look to make it particularly feminine, although the tunic pattern certainly required some alterations to fit right. It’s at the tailor’s as we speak…

    Speaking of a guy in a minidress, season 1 of TNG actually experimented with showing how the uniforms were unisex by dressing some of the male background actors in the “skant” costume. From Memory Alpha:

    “According to the book The Art of Star Trek, ‘the skirt design for men “skant” was a logical development, given the total equality of the sexes presumed to exist in the 24th century.’

    “The uniform was used primarily by background actors, though ‘Encounter at Farpoint’ featured both Deanna Troi and Natasha Yar in skant-type uniforms, the latter only briefly. While Troi got a new look entirely for subsequent episodes (according to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion the uniform was referred to as the “Space Cheerleader” look), Yar remained in her jumpsuit uniform for the rest of her stay aboard the Enterprise, never donning the skant after the pilot episode. Male crewmembers wearing the skant were only seen in few episodes, ‘Encounter at Farpoint’, ‘Haven’, ‘Conspiracy’, ‘Where No One Has Gone Before’ and ‘11001001’, though the footage seen in the last episode was re-used from ‘Where No One Has Gone Before’.”

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Starfleet_uniform_%282350s-2370s%29#Skant

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