As revealed in a trailer on BBC One following the Wimbledon Finals, actress Jodie Whittaker has been revealed as the 13th Time Lord for Doctor Who, the first woman to play the role in the franchise’s 54-year history.
The Broadchurch star succeeds Peter Capaldi, who took the role in 2013 and leaves in this year’s Christmas Special. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this new role will see Whittaker reunite with Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall, who recently took over for Steven Moffat as Doctor Who showrunner.
In an interview with the BBC, Whittaker said of her new lead role: “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.” She then went on to encourage fans to “not be scared by my gender,” and to remember that “you have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”
According to new showrunner Chris Chibnall, the 13th Doctor was always going to be a woman, stating in a similar interview with the BBC: “I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice. 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 13th Doctor is on her way.”
While this will undoubtedly spark some controversy amongst vocal fans online, it remains to be seen how this change will affect the show’s overall performance on BBC Networks, if at all.
Doctor Who returns December 25, 2017 for the annual Christmas Special, where Capaldi will see his final performance and regeneration into Whittaker. We will have a full review of the special episode following its airing right here on Nerd Nation.
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