Finally! After sitting through an eternity of Wimbledon and post-Wimbledon chat tracking Roger Federer like a wolf through a series of corridors, the BBC unveiled the actor who will be playing the next incarnation of The Doctor, and we’re delighted that the awesome Jodie Whittaker has been given the key to the TARDIS.
Here’s the video again:
Genre fans will know Whittaker from her role as Sam in Joe Cornish’s Attack The Block and Ffion in the exceptional Black Mirror episode ‘The Entire History Of You.’ Other highlights include a superb lead performance in last year’s brilliant indie drama Adult Life Skills, her break-out role opposite Peter O’Toole in Venus, and she’s been consistently excellent in Chris Chibnall’s crime saga sensation Broadchurch. So yes, we’re very excited that she’ll be joining Who’s new showrunner in the TARDIS, as you can probably tell from all those superlatives we used.
Here are some nice quotes from the press release:
Whittaker said, “I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet. It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”
Chris Chibnall said: “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.”
Whittaker will be stepping into the role during the Christmas Special at the end of the year, which will also feature David Bradley as the First Doctor, as teased in Series 10’s finale. A Q&A included in the press release revealed that she doesn’t know what her costume’s going to be yet (that’s not it in the teaser), and that she knew she wanted the role from the first time it was brought up.
“There was no persuasion needed,” she said. “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. I also think, for anyone taking this on, 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.”
When asked why she wanted the role, 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.”
We’re obviously very sad to see the end of Peter Capaldi’s run as The Doctor following a tremendous series, and we’ll miss his relationship with Pearl Mackie’s terrific Bill Potts.
However, there is nothing that we don’t like about this announcement. Jodie Whittaker is absolutely brilliant and we cannot wait to see what she does in the role. If some viewers feel like the BBC has pissed on their chips by not casting a man as The Doctor and are deciding to bail, well, that’s their loss. Roll on Christmas.
Doctor Who will return on 25 December for the Christmas Special. Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.