David Tennant Says Jodie Whittaker’s Gender Will Be “Irrelevant”

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There’ve been a broad range of reactions to the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor, the first woman to play the part in Doctor Who‘s half-century on TV. While there are definitely a number of extreme opinions floating around, Steven Moffat has claimed that most fans love the decision. Even if that’s not entirely true, it would seem that many of the stars of the show are on board with having a female Doctor.

After all, ever since the announcement that Whittaker would be portraying the character, a number of people involved with the sci-fi series, both past and present, have congratulated the actress – including Peter Capaldi, Colin Baker, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant. In fact, it’s the latter who’s now spoken up once again on the situation, addressing the controversy head on while making a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Firstly, the actor pointed out the obvious, which is that whenever a new Doctor’s chosen, there’s always some sort of backlash.

“Do you know, whenever the Doctor changes there’s a backlash, because that’s a character people love,” Tennant explained. “So people get very affectionate about the Doctor they knew.”

Asked if he saw a backlash as well, Tennant revealed that he absolutely did.

“They were like ‘Who’s the weaselly-looking guy? Who’s this? I like the last guy. This is not gonna work for me – this show is dead to me. I resign from the internet.’ There was a lot of that. And that happens every time, and that’s because it’s a show that has a lot on enthusiastic followers.”

Doctor Who: David Tennant Says Jodie Whittaker's Gender Will Be "Irrelevant" Once She Starts

Finally, touching on Jodie in specific, Tennant noted that it’s really just about finding “the right performer at the right time,” regardless of their gender.

“Sure, Jodie is from a different gender than anyone who’s gone before, but that will be irrelevant almost immediately when she takes the part,” he said. “The Doctor can be whatever he needs to be. It’s about finding the right performer at the right time – and that’s Jodie without a doubt.”

Fans will get their first look at Whittaker as the iconic character in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, which will see Peter Capaldi pass the baton (well, sonic screwdriver) onto her. Her first full season in charge is then likely to air in autumn 2018, at which point she’ll really get to show us what she can do in the role.

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