In all their journeys through time and space, the actors playing the iconic Doctor on Doctor Who have always been men. Now the box that’s bigger on the inside will have a woman at the controls.
Jodie Whittaker, star of hits like Broadchurch and Wired, was revealed as the next Doctor after Wimbledon last night and she is happy to finally be able to talk about it.
“I’ve embroiled myself in a whole world of lies which is going to come back at me when this is announced,” she said, having used the codename “Clooney” to keep the role a secret from her husband and her agent.
“It was the most incredible chat because I asked every question under the sun, and I said I’d take a few weeks to decide whether I was going to audition,” she said of her conversation with Chris Chibnell, the show’s executive producer. “He got a phone call within 24 hours. He would’ve got a phone call sooner, but my husband was away and there was a time difference.”
While there has been some backlash the overall response has been very positive.
Jenny Colgan, an avid fan who has written several novel and audio dramas based on the show, said she was “absolutely delighted” to see Whittaker as the new Doctor. “When I was a little girl I thought I was the only female Doctor Who fan in the world. Now Jodie Whittaker is taking it to a whole new place, and I am absolutely delighted for all of us wee Whoviennes, old and new.”
As for the people unhappy with the change, she said: “People are always unhappy when there’s a new Doctor, that’s just the way of it. Then new stuff happens and it’s brilliant and everyone loves them and they have to leave and then everyone gets sad again.”
Whittaker will take over the role from Peter Capaldi, who has been wielding the sonic screwdriver since 2013 and announced earlier this year that he would step down after this year’s Christmas special.
“Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm,” Capaldi said of his successor. “She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.”
While some Twitter users cried out things like, “No the character is a man not a woman!” and called the choice “political correctness gone mad,” positive tweets poured in, including ones from Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell.
Welcome, Madam #doctorwho.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 16, 2017
Well I never the BBC really did do the right thing and let the Doctor be in touch with her feminine side. As a father of daughters – result!
— Colin Baker (@SawbonesHex) July 16, 2017
This is what Doctor Who has always been there to do. This is what Doctor Who is *for*.
— Paul_Cornell (@Paul_Cornell) July 16, 2017
I'll be able to buy my 5 year old niece Doctor Who merchandise where the woman is at the front. In charge. Not a companion. The Doctor. Fab.
— Susan Calman (@SusanCalman) July 16, 2017
With Comic Con right around the corner, it will be interesting to see if any more news on the upcoming season will be revealed soon. At the very least, we’re sure to see a lot more women cosplaying as the funny woman in the blue box.
Whittaker will make her debut in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special on BBC and BBC America.
[via The Telegraph]