Is there a Doc­tor in the house?

THERE’S A DOC­TOR IN THE HOUSE…

Total Film - - Film -

There was no per­sua­sion needed,” says Jodie Whit­taker of re­plac­ing Pe­ter Ca­paldi as the Time Lord in the BBC’s long-run­ning drama Doc­tor Who. “If you need to be per­suaded to do this part, you’re not right for this part, and the part isn’t right for you. You have to want to fight for it, which I cer­tainly had to do. I know there will have been some phe­nom­e­nal ac­tors who threw their hats in the ring.”

A trailer broad­cast on so­cial me­dia and on BBC One, af­ter the Men’s Wim­ble­don Fi­nal on Sun­day 16 July, re­vealed the Hud­der­s­field-born ac­tress as the Thir­teenth Doc­tor, end­ing six months of spec­u­la­tion since Ca­paldi an­nounced his plans to de­part with the Christ­mas spe­cial.

Whit­taker is the first woman to take on the iconic role, and while her se­lec­tion en­raged a pocket of tweet­ing menin­ists quick to point out this ex­trater­res­trial with two hearts and the abil­ity to re­gen­er­ate is a time LORD, not LADY – who’s ever heard of such non­sense? – any­one fa­mil­iar with Whit­taker’s work knows it’s a smart de­ci­sion. Whether in film (At­tack The Block, Adult Life Skills) or TV (Black Mir­ror, Broad­church – op­po­site Tenth Doc­tor David Ten­nant), she never fails to demon­strate the heart, strength and fas­ci­nat­ing idio­syn­cra­sies the part de­mands.

“Her au­di­tion for The Doc­tor sim­ply blew us away,” says new head writer and ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Chris Chib­nall. “Jodie is an in-de­mand, funny, in­spir­ing, su­per-smart force of na­ture.”

For her part, Whit­taker is aware of the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties that come with the role, and is, frankly, stoked. “It feels com­pletely over­whelm­ing, as a fem­i­nist, as a woman, as an ac­tor, as a hu­man,” she says. “I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gen­der… 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.”

ETA | 2018 / JodiE WhiT­TAkEr dE­buTs in doc­Tor Who nExT yEAr.

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