About time! Jodie is the first female Doctor Who
JODIE WHITTAKER last night made TV history by being named as the first female to play Doctor Who — and she urged diehard fans not to switch off over the gender swap.
After months of speculation over who would replace Peter Capaldi, 59, the actress — best known as Beth Latimer in ITV’s Broadchurch — was unveiled as the 13th Doctor.
‘I want to tell fans not to be scared by my gender, because this is a really exciting time,’ she said.
‘Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes. This is only a new, different one, not a fearful one,’ the 35-year-old added.
And Whittaker, who starred in 2011 sci-fi flick Attack The Block with Star Wars actor John Boyega, has no worries about taking on one of TV’s most iconic characters.
‘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,’ she said.
She also revealed keeping a lid on her casting had been tough.
‘In my home, and with my agent, we talked about “The Clooney”,’ she told the Radio Times. ‘To me and my husband, George is an iconic guy. It was fitting… especially given the fact he played a famous doctor too.’
A teaser shown after the Wimbledon men’s final gave viewers their first glimpse of Whittaker as the Time Lord.
The BBC had tried to exterminate rumours the Doctor would regenerate as a woman — but new boss Chris Chibnall confirmed it had been his plan from the outset. ‘I always wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our No.1 choice,’ he said.
Capaldi, who will bow out of the Tardis during this year’s Christmas special, said he was happy to be handing over his sonic screwdriver to Whittaker.
‘She is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm,’ he said. ‘She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part.’
Social media went into meltdown once the news broke. And many devotees lapped up yesterday’s landmark announcement — as the part has been played by male actors since the BBC1 series made its debut in 1963.
Author Jenny Trout posted a video clip showing her daughter watching the BBC trailer where Whittaker was unveiled as the Time Lord — it captured her screaming with delight as she realised the show’s creators had broken the mould.
The clip quickly clocked up more than 8,000 retweets and 26,000 likes, with many commenting they had been moved to tears at the little girl’s joy.
While many people criticised the decision to cast a woman in the role, show fan Charlie hit back at cynics, tweeting: ‘It’s not realistic that The Doctor is a woman!
‘Yeah, God forbid a show about an alien who can change his face is unrealistic.’
Another wrote: ‘Incredible. Women are Ghostbusters. Women are superheroes. Women are Doctors.’
And another devotee said: ‘Think of all the little girls who are going to be inspired! Very cool.’
Author: Tom Stichbury