The internet is still reeling from the announcement of the new lead for Doctor Who yesterday. As you’ve surely heard, Jodie Whittaker has been revealed to be the Thirteenth Doctor, taking over from Peter Capaldi who bows out in the Christmas special. We probably don’t need to point out that she’s also the first actress to take on the previously male-oriented role.
Before the announcement, both men and women were rumored for the part, suggesting that the production team were leaving their options open in casting the role. As it turns out, however, incoming Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall has said, in a statement about Whittaker’s casting, that he always wanted an actress to take the part this time around:
“After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we’re excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor. I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for The Doctor simply blew us all away. Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way.”
Chibnall’s comments gel with something he mentioned a few months ago about wanting to bring “risk and boldness” to the show once he takes over with 2018’s season 11. Completely reinventing the character of the Doctor in this way definitely counts as being bold.
The actress herself has also spoken about becoming the first female Doctor. “I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender,” she said. “The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”
Doctor Who returns for its Christmas special on December 25th, where we’ll finally get to see Whittaker in the iconic role.
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