The tenth season of the Doctor Who revival series ended with Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor on the verge of regeneration and refusing to change. Is that a metaphor for the series? Because after 54 years of men young and old piloting the TARDIS across time and space, the new Doctor is finally going to be a woman. Earlier today, BBC announced that Jodie Whittaker has been cast as the Thirteenth Doctor.
Until recently, Whittaker was starring in the British drama, Broadchurch, but she is also known for her role in Attack the Block, and the Black Mirror episode “The Entire History of You.” This is a major departure for Doctor Who, but not entirely unheard of in the history of the series. In the sixth season of the revival series, it was established that Time Lords could swap genders during regeneration. That led to Michelle Gomez as Missy, the female incarnation of the Master. Given that, this was an inevitable step for the series.
While speaking with BBC, Whittaker revealed that she was originally angling to be a villain on the new series of Doctor Who, before she was asked to audition for the title role. When asked why she wanted the part, she replied “to be asked to play the ultimate character, to get to play pretend in the truest form: this is why I wanted to be an actor in the first place. To be able to play someone who is literally reinvented on screen, with all the freedoms that brings: what an unbelievable opportunity. And added to that, to be the first woman in that role.”
There have been some very angry fanboys and even a few angry fan girls over the news. To those fans, Whittaker left the following message: “I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender. Because this is a really exciting time, and 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.”
This also represents a potential change to the formula of pairing male Doctors with young female companions. If the Doctor is a woman, perhaps she’ll get a male companion for a true reversal in the power structure. Or maybe the Doctor will still travel with a younger woman and form a more sisterly bond. It should be interesting to see where the series goes from here.
Whittaker will make her debut as the Doctor in the Doctor Who 2017 Christmas special; which will be broadcast worldwide on December 25.
Are you excited about Whittaker’s new role as the Doctor? Let us know in the comment section below!