Peter Capaldi is out, and Jodie Whittaker is in. The Broadchurch actress has been announced as the 13th Doctor Who, and the first woman to play the iconic BBC character.
Doctor Who first aired in 1963, and it follows the adventures of the titular character as he travels through time and space in his ship known as the TARDIS. David Tennant, Matt Smith, Tom Baker and Christopher Eccleston have all played the character, and it was announced earlier this year that Peter Capaldi would be finished with the role after the annual Christmas special at the end of the year. There had been a lot of speculation as to who would take over the role, and yesterday after Wimbledon’s Men’s final BBC made the announcement that it would be Whittaker.
In a released statement Whittaker said “I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet. It’s more than an honor to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait. 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… 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.”
Doctor Who fans know that the Doctor, a Time Lord, needs time to regenerate every so often, and when he does a new actor emerges to play him. This time will be the first time a woman takes over the role. Having a female lead is not a concept that viewers should be overly surprised with however, as one of the Doctor’s most dangerous foes has shifted genders in the past, and during the show they’ve even joked that the Doctor might have been a female in his youth.
While there is no set premiere date for Whittaker’s version of Doctor Who to begin, The Doctor Who Christmas special will air Dec. 25 on BBC.