Is there a Doctor in the house?
THERE’S A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE…
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.