Doctor Who remains in a state of constant flux, with one companion taking her leave while Peter Capaldi himself eyes a future exit, though yesterday’s 2015 Christmas special brought a bit of consistency by returning Alex Kingston’s River Song. And while debate will long range as to whether Doctor Who’s next Time Lord incarnation will change race or gender, Kingston expressed a surprising take on keeping The Doctor male.

There’s nothing new about the long-held debate as to whether Doctor Who should regenerate its lead into a woman (showrunner Steven Moffat famously recycled the possibility into a female Master, Missy), though Kingston herself would prefer to keep her character’s “husband” a male, according to The Guardian. Kingston downplayed the likelihood that River could return as a full-fledged companion, but said of a female Doctor Who:

It’s difficult, I don’t know quite why, but I would imagine, if anything, the Doctor might be of a different race than a different gender. I can’t imagine, myself, the Doctor being a different gender. I just think that too many men have played that role [already].

Essentially, if one goes back historically, really it’s been a little boys’ show, and girls have been brought on to it. Certainly, when I was a girl I loved it as well. But I just feel — I hope that women aren’t going to hate me for this — the Doctor has to be a guy, actually. I do … Although it would be very interesting for River if it were a woman!

Kingston isn’t the only Doctor Who star willing to voice a questionable casting mandate either, following Peter Capaldi’s recent disinterest in a male companion, believing a younger actor might siphon away his action sequences. Still, does the erstwhile River Song at least have a point on Doctor Who’s likelihood to chance race before gender? How different might the show really be with a female Time Lord driving that famous TARDIS?

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