Doctor Who Doctors both young and old have been delighting in the fact that Jodie Whittaker will be stepping into the TARDIS as the 13th Doctor — the first female one — in the franchise later this year, perhaps none more so than David Tennant. The tenth Doctor, and Whittaker’s co-star in the popular British crime series Broadchurch, has already praised the casting as signaling “another show with a strong female lead,” but while appearing on The Late Show earlier this week, he expounded a bit further in how “delighted” he is that the lead is no longer a man. “She’s a mate of mine. A couple of days before it was announced I get this phone call from her and she’s in sort of a tunnel of excitement and panic,” he explained. “But it’s brilliant. I can’t think of someone better to join the gang and be poised to take it to a whole new level. It’s great.”
Tennant isn’t surprised that Whittaker faced some backlash for taking on the Doctor, mostly because he, too, experienced a fair bit of pushback when his casting was revealed after the departure of Christopher Eccleston. However, he believes it’s less to do with gender and more about someone brand-new inhabiting the iconic role. “Whenever the Doctor changes there’s a backlash because that’s a character that people love, so people get very affectionate about the Doctor they knew,” he said, recalling that people would write things about him such as: “Who’s the weasely looking guy? Who’s this? I like the last guy. This is not gonna work for me. This show is dead to me. I resign from the internet.” As for the fact Whittaker is, gasp, a woman? “That will be irrelevant almost immediately.” Allons-y!