Former Doctor Who star Colin Baker stoked with show's new female lead

The Time Lord in the BBC's Doctor Who will be a female for the first time - and former Doctor Colin Baker has voiced his pleasure at Jodie Whittaker bagging the lead role.

Mr Baker has faced questions over the future gender of the character he played for three seasons, and explained in a piece for The Guardian that he's never questioned the possibility of a female lead.

"I have never been able to think of any logical reason why an alien being capable of regenerating in extremis would necessarily retain all or indeed any of the characteristics of his (or her) pre-renewal self," he wrote.

The Doctor's reincarnation in the series has created dozens of personalities Mr Baker said but never a female.

"They have been young and old, they have been Scottish, northern and received pronunciation, they have been grumpy, feckless, patrician, barmy, innocent, brash and potty but never female."

Mr Baker said the Doctor's world is much different to the world we live in, so doesn't have to buy into the history of male dominance found in reality.

"The Doctor in all his incarnations has always been a passionate defender of justice, equality, fairness and resisted those who seek to dominate or destroy."

Twenty percent or more of those Mr Baker asked, many of them female, said they would consider the casting of a female Doctor as "unthinkable".

As a father of four daughters Mr Baker said he resents the barriers women face in their path to success, especially in television and film - and despite repeatedly stating that he expects a female Doctor to come, believed BBC executives did not have the courage to make the change.

"Clearly I was wrong and I congratulate Chris Chibnall, the incoming executive producer and writer, on succeeding where others may have failed or maybe not even tried."

Mr Baker has been shocked however by some of the reaction to the announcement, with some fans vowing to never watch the show again.

Despite the proposition of losing some fans to the decision to cast a female lead, Mr Baker said there is a possibility for the development of a new fanbase.

"If we do lose some fans we will gain many more when it's not just little boys in the playground (or bigger boys in the acting profession) saying: I want to be the Doctor one day."