The future is female.
Jodie Whittaker has been revealed to be the 13th Doctor on the BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who, making her the very first woman to portray the iconic role. The news was revealed after the men’s Wimbledon finals on the BBC, with the Doctor Who social-media accounts following soon after. “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.” She will be replacing Peter Capaldi, who will bow out of the Whoniverse and regenerate at the conclusion of the 2017 Christmas Special.
Whittaker, a 35-year-old British actress from Yorkshire, is perhaps known best for her leading role in the crime drama Broadchurch alongside former Doctor David Tennant and Olivia Colman, as well as her other television roles in Return to Cranford, Black Mirror, Marchlands, and The Smoke. Her film credits are also varied, and include St. Trinian’s, Good, and Attack the Block. “Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm,” Capaldi added in an additional statement. “She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.”
In addition to Whittaker as the Doctor, the new season of Doctor Who will debut a brand-new showrunner. Chris Chibnall, who already worked with the actress on Broadchurch, will be replacing the long-running showrunner Stephen Moffat, who is exiting after a handful of seasons. “I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice,” Chibnall explained. “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.”
Numerous former and current Doctor Who stars have taken to social media to express enthusiasm over Whittaker’s casting.