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Doctor Who season 9 has Arya Stark — but what about a female Doctor?

Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

Doctor Who, that addictive British television series that isn't Sherlock, made a splash at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday with a season nine premiere date — September 19 — and a new trailer in hand. The main highlight: Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams has a good, chunky cameo in the clip, but it's a mystery as to what role she'll play on the show when she drops by as a guest star.

The Doctor Who panel at SDCC was an interesting one if you've been holding on to the hope of someday seeing the show helmed by a female Doctor — a topic that fans discussed at length when Matt Smith left the role at the end of season seven and was ultimately replaced by Peter Capaldi. When showrunner Steven Moffat was asked about the possibility, he had this vague answer:

"Well, I think my opinion is fairly obvious from the show, isn't it?" he said. "What [do] I think about the possibility and whether it would work or not? I think I've expressed myself about as clearly as I could, in the context of the show. If you're not reading the subtext, then I'll lend you. But believe me, some people aren't reading that subtext, 'cause it's too subtle."

Vulture initially took those words and interpreted that Moffat believes the Doctor shouldn't be portrayed by a woman. Moffat does have a history of saying sexist stuff. But fans have disagreed with that interpretation, saying that Moffatt is hinting that a female Doctor is possible.

Update: Vulture has changed its report regarding Moffatt's comments — the site painted his comments are ambiguous and more negative toward the idea of a female Doctor. I've also heard from fans at SDCC who attended the panel and believe Moffatt implied that a female Doctor was a possibility. This piece has been updated to reflect that.