The past two weeks have seen three topics dominating my Twitter feed: Gaza, The Great British Bake Off, and Doctor Who. Each has come attached with its own controversies. The first two I hardly need to expand upon, but the last I feel as if I do. For those unaware, there is a tangible anger amongst some social media commentators on the misogyny of the show. The argument is that under Steven Moffat’s reign the show has become a show where the heterosexual, white male is dominant and anything else be it sexuality, gender or race is under-represented and under-developed.

Do I agree? Well, yes. A little. Certainly compared to Russell T. Davies at least Moffat seems a cultural conservative. Clara Oswold is no Rose Tyler; she is far too needy and quick to revert to ‘helpless damsel’ mode, compared to Tyler who seemed to be almost on a level with The Doctor in many scenarios. Amy Pond started out promisingly, before everything revolved around her being a wife and a mother, utterly dependent on the men around her.

The case for the defence is weak, but not non-existent. Madame Vastra and Jenny certainly break the hetero-normative stranglehold but it all feels a bit token. Likewise the introduction of Danny Pink, who now we have an ‘older’ Doctor seems to be filling the role of eye-candy, as if the show doesn’t trust female viewers to stay with it unless there is someone to ogle.

Speaking of which, what to make of Capaldi? Deep Breath did not sell him to me very well at all. Bar a few in-jokes this seemed a crueller, more cynical figure, which in itself is not a bad thing (I never really brought Matt Smith as playing someone with the weight of the universe on his shoulders) until you see that bitterness directed as those he loves. In contrast Into the Dalek won me over. The cynicism of Capaldi was balanced by the frustrated optimism of Jenna Coleman, who finally got to be a little more than fodder for the plot. This was ruined though by her scenes with Samuel Anderson. This relationship better develop into something more substantial, because right now it feels like two minor characters from Glee mooning over each other in a story arc ends off camera after about three episodes.

One final note. It may be worth pointing to Zawe Ashton’s appearance in the episode. People may know that she was tipped as a more ‘left-field’ choice for The Doctor. This may be my own relentless optimism talking, but perhaps this is a sign that when the role comes up again, she could be a real contender. A female Doctor would be an excellent move for the show, not just to silence the critics, but to give a new dynamic. Let’s hope Moffat comes round to the same way of thinking.