Jodie Whittaker Makes Her Doctor Who Debut as Peter Capaldi Exits

Whittaker is the first woman to play the lead character in the decades-spanning series

By Chris Harnick Dec 26, 2017 2:21 PMTags
Dr. Who, Jodie WhittakerBBC

There's a new Doctor in the TARDIS. Jodie Whittaker made her debut as the Thirteenth Doctor in the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special that featured Peter Capaldi's farewell. And what a debut it was!

This is the first time the Doctor has been portrayed by a woman.

"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," new Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall said in a statement when Whittaker's casting was announced. "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."

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And of course because this is the internet, some people had issues with the Doctor being played by a woman. Viewers took to the BBC complaint section to voice their displeasure with the casting. The network, whose arm in the United States is BBC America, perfectly shut down the haters and said:

"Since the first Doctor regenerated back in 1966, the concept of the Doctor as a constantly evolving being has been central to the programme. The continual input of fresh ideas and new voices across the cast and the writing and production teams has been key to the longevity of the series.

"The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey and it has been established in the show that Time Lords can switch gender.

As the Controller of BBC Drama has said, ‘Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor. She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role. She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor.'
We hope viewers will enjoy what we have in store for the continuation of the story."

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Whittaker also had a message to fans.

"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," Whittaker previously said. "The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one."