16 Sci-Fi Sex Changes

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3 Doctor Who

For just about every regeneration since Tom Baker’s, there have been rumours that the next Doctor would be a woman. What many forget is that it actually happened – sort of – when Hugh Grant regenerated into Joanna Lumley. Hang on, you might be thinking, what kind of a cockamamie parallel world have we stumbled onto here? Welcome to Planet Red Nose, where “The Curse Of Fatal Death” was a one-off comedy episode of Doctor Who produced for 1999’s Comic Relief fundraising exercise on the BBC. Written by Steven Moffat, it’s very funny (a rarity for these kind of events), and features a whole host of actors playing the part of the Time Lord, all of them potential Who material – Rowan Atkinson, Richard E Grant and Jim Broadbent as well as Hugh Grant and Lumley.

The Doctor seems quite delighted to regenerate into her first female self (“I’ve always wanted to get my hands on one of these”) and overjoyed at a new setting she finds on the Sonic Screwdriver  (think about it). Her companion, Emma (Julia Sawalha), is less enthusiastic, as she was due to marry the Doctor: “I’m sorry, but you’re just not the man I fell in love with.” This leaves the way for a romance to blossom between the Doctor and his old enemy (played by Jonathan Pryce): “Tell me, why do they call you the Master?” “I’ll tell you later…” he says with a lascivious grin.

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