Anyone following the long-running and hugely popular Doctor Who – which has been a part of pop culture for a staggering 54 years – will know that the lead character, the titular Doctor, can ‘regenerate’. This means that the character has evolved across the decades having been played by a different actor every few years – it’s a technique that has served the show well, splitting it up into distinct eras and moods. This weekend, a huge announcement was made regarding the future of the show – the reveal of the 13th Doctor, who will take up the keys to the TARDIS when 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi bows out in December.
The 13th Doctor is Jodie Whittaker – perhaps best known for roles in Broadchurch and Attack the Block, she is not yet an actor who is as much as household name as Capaldi – but she is one who will be well-known to fans of the popular crime drama, which coincidentally stars 10th Doctor David Tennant – and, according to new showrunner Chris Chibnall, her audition for the role ‘blew (us) away’. Chibnall previously helmed Broadchurch, too – which means that the next series of Doctor Who will certainly be moving in a very different direction.
The Thirteenth Doctor revealed - Doctor Who: Trailer (BBC)
Whittaker’s casting came as her name shot up bookmaker’s rankings in the UK – similarly to how bets placed on Peter Capaldi became commonplace just days of his appointment in 2013. Among those rumored to be taking the role included Kris Marshall, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Tom Rosenthal – all regular fixtures on UK TV, and all having made their mark in largely comedic roles.
The move to cast a female Doctor – the first in the series’ run – is a move that has been rumored for some time, and has been celebrated by many fans online. Whittaker will be setting a whole new precedent for the Doctor – and talk of a Time Lady as opposed to a Time Lord has been rife since his arch nemesis The Master was reincarnated into Missy – a female form – for Season 8. The 10th season of Doctor Who has recently come to a close – but with Capaldi’s swansong awaiting for him in the forthcoming Christmas Special (which will also feature David Bradley as the 1st Doctor), it’s likely that fans will be eager to see what Whittaker and Chibnall can bring to the long-running series on its eleventh run since being revived in 2005.