A rift has formed between former Doctors with Colin Baker accusing Peter Davison of talking “absolute rubbish” after he claimed boys would lose a role model with a female Time Lord.
Baker, 74, has long championed a woman taking over the role for the first time and has been celebrating since Jodie Whittaker’s selection.
Speaking before an appearance at Comic-Con in San Diego on Thursday, the men displayed divergent moods.
Davison, the fifth Doctor, said Whittaker is a “terrific actress” who will do “wonderful job” and hopes those who find it hard to adjust watch “with an open mind”.
But Davison, 66, told the Press Association: “If I feel any doubts, it’s the loss of a role model for boys who I think Doctor Who is vitally important for.
“So I feel a bit sad about that, but I understand the argument that you need to open it up.
“As a viewer, I kind of like the idea of the Doctor as a boy but then maybe I’m an old fashioned dinosaur, who knows?”
Baker, who has four daughters, previously called the decision to select a woman after 12 men in the role “brave and game-changing casting”.
The sixth Time Lord bluntly disagreed with Davison.
“They’ve had 50 years of having a role model. So sorry Peter, you’re talking rubbish there – absolute rubbish,” he said.
“Well you don’t have to be of a gender of someone to be a role model. Can’t you be a role model as people?”
Baker also said that he hopes to see a non-white Doctor in the future and that the series should look to America where he feels casting is less dependant on colour.
“They see a future world where that is irrelevant and it’s perhaps time Doctor Who and its fans did too,” he added.
The announcement on Sunday that the Broadchurch star, 35, would take the helm was also met with praise from the outgoing Doctor, Peter Capaldi.