Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker Will Play the First Female Doctor

The wait is finally over! After months and months of speculation, the BBC announced Sunday that Jodie Whittaker has been named the thirteenth Doctor on the long-running science fiction series Doctor Who.

She will take over for Peter Capaldi, who announced earlier this year that he would depart the role after four years and three seasons in the TARDIS. Her first appearance will be in this year's Christmas special, when Capaldi's Doctor will finally regenerate after receiving fatal wounds while battling the Cybermen in the reflective Season 10 finale. Capaldi will be joined by showrunner Steven Moffat, who is departing after six seasons at the helm. Moffat will be replaced by Broadchurch's Chris Chibnall.

"I'm beyond excited to begin this epic journey, with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet," Whittaker said in a statement. "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."

"After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we're excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor," added Chibnall. "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."

"Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker's work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm," said Capaldi. "She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She's going to be a fantastic Doctor."

Whittaker joins a lengthly list of actors who have portrayed the heroic Time Lord over the years, including Matt Smith, David Tennant, Christopher Eccleston, Tom Baker, and Patrick Troughton among others.

Peter Capaldi's 10 best Doctor Who episodes

Her casting is a major milestone for the series. She is the first female to portray the Doctor in the show's 50-plus year history. However, she is not the first person to take over a role from a male actor within the series. In Season 8, the Master, a friend-turned-enemy of the Doctor, regenerated into a woman played by Michelle Gomez. In Season 9, another Time Lord was shown to also regenerate into a woman. Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Agent Carter's Hayley Atwell, and Broadchurch leading lady Olivia Colman were all considered fan favorites to succeed Capaldi in the lead-up to his exit.

Doctor Who ends on a quiet, reflective note as Peter Capaldi prepares to exit

As for how Whittaker feels being the first female Doctor, the actress told the BBC that she's thrilled to be taking on the historic role. "It feels completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you're told you can and can't be. It feels incredible," she told the BBC.

"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," she added. "The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.

Whittaker is best known for her starring role in Broadchurch, opposite former Doctor David Tennant and Doctor Who alum Arthur Darvill. Her credits also include Attack the Block, One Day and St. Trinian's, along with a handful of British mini-series, including The Assets, The Smoke, Marchlands and Cranford.

Doctor Who will return at Christmas.

This article originally appears on TV Guide.com.

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Jul 18, 2017
Moffat has a win, win with his leaving. He can take credit for giving in to the fringe fans by giving them a female Doctor. When the show dies he can say it was not on my watch its Chibnall fault.
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Jul 24, 2017
Actually, Moffat has stated that the whole "Female Doctor" thing was Chibnails decision, not his own.
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Jul 18, 2017
For those who are thinking about leaving the show don’t give you there is still Big Finish. Don’t give up, move on.
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Jul 17, 2017
Hm. After the Master's gender transformation last season this doesn't come as a surprise.
It's also not surprising since the brits have an abundance of prime actresses of all ages, but only a handful prime actors. At least in my humble opinion, but what do I know. So this mostly might come from a necessity rather than an agenda.
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Jul 17, 2017
At long last, a female Doctor. I don't know why so many people are complaining about this. I don't remember nearly as much controversy when Missy was intoduced.

What we have here is uncharted territory, a whole new Doctor, unlike any that came before. And I for one am looking forward to her debut.
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Jul 17, 2017
This is no more than trying to be politically correct by giving into the fringe groups. I have said before that if they wanted a female Doctor or a gay, female, person of whatever color Doctor there were better ways that fans would have support. The Doctor had already used up his number of regenerations. They could have done this without changing the rules on regeneration. He could have ran across another Time Lord and as he was dying he could have passed the keys over using the Time Lord mind connection to pass on his history to her. Steven Moffat will go down in history as the second man to kill Doctor Who along with JNT. As a fan since 1977 this may be my last season. Let’s see how long these fringe fans stay with the show now that they have gotten their female Doctor. My guess they will move on to the next show on their list.
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Jul 17, 2017
Who's JNT?
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Jul 18, 2017
John Nathan-Turner was the ninth and final producer of the series' first run on television. He produced the series from 1980 until it was cancelled in 1989. He finished the role having become the longest-serving Doctor Who producer and cast Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy as the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors. He came up with Baker’s, the 6th Doctor, coat among other things. Many, justly or unjustly blames him for the show being canceled.
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Jul 17, 2017
There aren't many good shows to move onto. Its a well known fact when something exciting comes on tv expect it to be cancelled, while braindead shows like big brother, survivor etc won't end.

I've watched and liked all the Doctors till Capaldi, not a fan
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Jul 18, 2017
You missed my point. They not leaving for a better show. They leaving to the next show to push their agenda. They are not fans they are activists.
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Jul 17, 2017
Add me to the list who give up the doctor after seeing it from the Eccleston year. There is no reason to change the doctor like this. There are so many strong female heroines out there, and more getting created all the time; we don't need a silly change-over like this. Let her be a good companion to another doctor; that would certainly improve what we got this year. While I saw the actress in Broadchurch, and know she is a good actress, this was unnecessary, and I will stick to original unpolitically correct shows. (Call me what you want; I won't be coming back to this story to see it.) Goodbye Dcotor, I've enjoyed this time together, mostly....
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Jul 18, 2017
There always Big Finish. Don't give up. Move on.
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Jul 16, 2017
Well, they wanted a clean slate and a new direction and they are certainly getting it. They are taking a huge risk going in this direction and it could go either way. They might lose viewers, they might gain viewers, they might lose some long timers but get new ones jumping on. Who knows at this point.

I wasn't a fan of Capaldi when he started but he grew on me. Hopefully people will give Whittaker a chance before they tune out. Not to mention that the nature of the character makes for an easy fix. If things don't work out she can always regenerate back into a man after a year or so like Eccleston did when he left after one season.


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Jul 16, 2017
This comment has been removed.
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Jul 17, 2017
Seriously, San4anSeesko? If you don't like it, don't watch it. But, wow your opinions are just sad.
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Jul 17, 2017
And you, my friend, are what is wrong with the world (I would also include the person who liked your comment in that category too)

The homosexual agenda is incomparable to the Gender Neutral Equality thing

Plus - in what way is casting a female as the new Doctor comparable to Caitlin Jenner? that was just put in there to cause controversial opinions right???

Cunt
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Jul 16, 2017
It might have been more helpful to point out Chris Chibnall was a writer on Doctor Who and Torchwood. I did have to look it up, as I watch Broadchurch and thought him doing Doctor Who was going to make it decent, but slow and depressing.

Does this mean her companions will primarily be male? Fair is fair.

I've not seen Doctor Who in some time, but I thought his lives were limited. It might have been more interesting for the Doctor to have a final life and then a relative, if one were ledft and fe,male, could have taken over. Remember his granddaughter when the series started? Did they ever revisit that?

I'll be curious to see the ratings on this. BBC America is a male oriented channel. Heaven forbid they ever carry Downton Abbey as they are now showing Sherlock.
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Jul 16, 2017
They revisited the regeneration limit in "The Time of the Doctor" which was the last episode with the Matt Smith. The 11th Doctor confirmed that, since the War Doctor counted as a regeneration and 10 used one but didn't change, he was out of lives. When he was about to die the Time Lords stepped in and gave him a new regeneration cycle.

So Capaldi is basically the first Doctor in this regeneration cycle and there should be quite a few more left.

As for Susan, The Doctor has mentioned her and seems to believe that she is dead. Whether that means she died in the alternate future he left her in or died in the Time War is unknown. However, Jenny from " The Doctor's Daughter" is still out there running around.
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Jul 18, 2017
The Doctor revisit Susan at least twice. Check out Big Finish.
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Jul 16, 2017
Edit: "If one were left and female".
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Jul 16, 2017
only way to ghostbuster it up is to bring Bill back into it. feelings starts to happen and starry eye girl gets jealous and tries destroying the universe.
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Jul 16, 2017
I was really hoping that Jodie was still a redhead. How funny it would have been for the Doctor to realize he was was both female and ginger?
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Jul 16, 2017
Missed opportunity, that would have been great
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Jul 16, 2017
As long as she is not a total Minerva I am sure everything will be fine,
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Jul 16, 2017
I still think it would have been neat to see Michelle Gomez as The Doctor (from Master to Doctor) but as long as the stories are good and the acting is well done, I don't really care who plays The Doctor.
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Jul 17, 2017
I was hoping for the same thing. Missy as the Doctor, it would have been great.
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Jul 16, 2017
Michelle Gomez as The Master is one of the greatest hits of Doctor Who's new era! Also proof that you are right: good stories and good acting will make the show great, regardless of male or female.
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Jul 16, 2017
She's such a great actress and I'm sure she'll be great. BUT, saying that I hope we'll continue to see her in other things as well!!!!!
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Jul 16, 2017
I have no real complaints, but I just always felt like if they wanted the Doctor to be a woman or be black, they could have brought in new characters... but I'm fine with it.

There was also an episode, I don't remember when but I want to say it was Matt Smith's final season, where one of the Galifrey guards regenerated into a female.
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Jul 16, 2017
I still think the doctor should remain a male, if they wanted a female timelord they could have bought Romana or the Rani back.
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Jul 16, 2017
I like the choice. I'm curious to see the new season with the new producer's hand, cause that could make a huge difference. Larger difference than just the Doctor being a woman. Crossing fingers.
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Jul 16, 2017
Yea it isn't so much the person playing the Doctor it is the stories they are given. I think that Capaldi might have been the best actor to do it but what's given the weakest stories when comparing to the previous modern Doctors. I can't wait, I think she is a phenomenal actress.
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Jul 16, 2017
I agree on Capaldi. He wasn't lucky on the materials he got, overall.
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Jul 16, 2017
I can't really say anything about the choice, I don't know the actress and I was hoping for Anthony Head, even if he wasn't a favorite ^^

I just read in the Youtube comment section and it's... devastating how many people cry over the fact that the next doctor is a woman. Personally, I think that she deserves a chance and that it is not the Doctor's gender that makes the show fun to watch. I'm excited to see Miss Whittakers take on the role, even if I don't know her. It's always exciting to get a new Doctor :)
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Jul 16, 2017
Excellent choice, There's a tomboyish quality to her, so the change won't be too abrupt
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