Jodie Whittaker is set to take over as the 13th Time Lord for Doctor Who, the BBC reported. The announcement was made by a trailer that aired during the broadcast of the Wimbledon men’s tennis match this morning as well as through the official Doctor Who Twitter account.
— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) July 16, 2017
Whittaker’s 13th Doctor will follow Peter Capaldi, whose 12th Doctor has been on air since 2013 and will leave after this year’s Christmas special episode. The British actress is best known for her role as Beth Latimer, mother to the murdered Danny Latimer, on the UK drama Broadchruch. She has also starred in Black Mirror and films such as Attack the Block and One Day.
Recently, fans of Doctor Who have called for the next Doctor to be played by somebody other than a white male, which has been the case since the show’s beginnings since 1963. The decision to bring on Whittaker signals that the popular sci-fi series is willing to embrace its fans wishes and grow beyond its more formulaic ways. Many British actors took to Twitter to celebrate the casting news and publicly combat outcries by disappointed fans who claim that the casting of a woman in the role of the Doctor sullies the series.
So proud of Jodie Whittaker. She’s going to be awesome !!!
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) July 16, 2017
Jodie Whittaker is an incredible actress, an amazing person, and I’m so glad she’s the new #DoctorWho
— Riz Ahmed (@rizmc) July 16, 2017
Yes and yes and yes .. great actress and YES !! About time https://t.co/G9wIjl5vBO
— lena headey (@IAMLenaHeadey) July 16, 2017
When asked to comment over some of the outcry, Whittaker told the BBC, “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.”
Whittaker went on to enthusiastically describe how it feels to be the first female Time Lord for Doctor Who: “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.”