Ladies and gentlemen, the new Doctor Who has been chosen.
BBC One has officially announced that Jodie Whittaker, whose credits include Black Mirror, Attack the Block, Black Sea and acclaimed series Broadchurch, will be the Thirteenth Time Lord.
Whittaker is the first female Doctor Who to lead the long-running series since it began in 1963. The show’s concept of regeneration into a new incarnation means the character’s gender change does make sense; whether the majority of fans will stick with the series after this move remains to be seen.
Talking to BBC, Whittaker said she was overwhelmed by her casting and hopes that fans will be willing to embrace the change.
“It feels completely overwhelming; as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be. It feels incredible,” she said.
“I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender. Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”
In a statement, Chris Chibnall, the former Broadchurch executive producer who will be taking over as Doctor Who head writer and EP from Steven Moffat, said he’d always intended to introduced a female Doctor and that it was Whittaker’s audition that earned her the gig.
“I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice,” Chibnall said. “Her audition for The Doctor simply blew us all away. Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way.”
Peter Capaldi’s last appearance as the Doctor will be in this year’s Christmas episode titled ‘The Doctors’.
“Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm,” Capaldi said in his statement. “She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.”
The question now: Who will play the new companion? Actress Pearl Mackie was announced as new companion Bill Potts last December and co-starred with Capaldi in this year’s season ten, although it looks like her run could be cut short. Potts, the first openly gay companion to be featured in the series, could be leaving with Capaldi and Moffat. As per The Sun‘s source: “Bosses have decided to have a completely fresh start.”
Take a look at the teaser trailer BBC dropped for the Thirteenth Doctor…