The identity of the new Doctor was revealed on BBC One after the Men’s Wimbledon Final today (Sunday 16th July 2017 if you’re reading this after the fact).
As we reported earlier in the year, the Thirteenth Time Lord taking over from Peter Capaldi, will indeed be a female.
New head writer Chris Chibnall (taking over from Steven Moffat), is reported to have made made the decision to cast the first ever woman in the role.
Actress Jodie Whittaker told SFcrowsnest, “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 added, “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.”
Peter Capaldi commented, “Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.”
Jodie Whittaker’s TV credits include the ITV crime drama Broadchurch, an episode of SF series Black Mirror, BBC’s Cranford, The Night Watch, The Accused, and Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
Jodie’s movie credits include SF horror actioner Attack The Block, One Day, Black Sea, Good Vibrations, St.Trinian’s and Get Santa.
Here’s Jodie interviewed about her new role as Dr Who.
What does it feel like to be the Thirteenth Doctor?
Jodie: It’s very nerve-racking, as it’s been so secret!
Why did you want the role?
Jodie: 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.
Has it been hard to keep the secret?
Jodie: Yes. Very hard! I’ve told a lot of lies! I’ve embroiled myself in a whole world of lies which is going to come back at me when this is announced!
Who was the first person you told when you got the role?
Jodie: My husband. Because I was allowed to!
Did you have a codename and if so what was it?
Jodie: In my home, and with my agent, it was The Clooney. Because to me and my husband, George is an iconic guy. And we thought, what’s a really famous iconic name? It was just fitting.
What does it feel like to be the first woman Doctor?
Jodie: 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.
What do you want to tell the fans?
Jodie: 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.
What are you most excited about?
Jodie: I’m most excited about becoming part of a family I didn’t even know existed. I was born in 1982 – it’s been around longer than me, and it’s a family I couldn’t ever have dreamed I’d be part of.
How did Chris sell you the part?
Jodie: We had a strange chat earlier this year where he tricked me into thinking we were talking about Broadchurch. And I started to quiz him about his new job in Wales, and asked him if I could be a baddie! And he quickly diverted the conversation to suggest I should consider auditioning to be the 13th Clooney.
It was the most incredible chat because I asked every question under the sun, and I said I’d take a few weeks to decide whether I was going to audition. He got a phone call within 24 hours. He would’ve got a phone call sooner, but my husband was away and there was a time difference!
Did he persuade you?
Jodie: No. There was no persuasion needed. 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.
What are you going to wear?
Jodie: I don’t know yet.
Is that your costume in the filmed sequence which introduced you as the new Doctor?
Have any of the other Doctors given you advice?
Jodie: Well they can’t because they haven’t known until now, but I’m certainly expecting a couple of calls – I’ve got a couple of mates in there. I’m mates with a companion [Arthur Darvill], I’m mates with a trio of Doctors. I know Matt Smith, Chris Eccleston and obviously David Tennant. Oh! And let’s throw in David Bradley! Four Doctors! So I’m hoping I get some calls of advice.