It’s taken a very, very long time (billions of years), but the BBC’s Doctor Who will finally be anchored by a woman, after Jodie Whittaker was announced as the 13th Doctor.
Jodie came to prominence in another BBC hit series, Broadchurch.
For those who grew up watching Doctor Who, and later rekindled a new love of the series when it was rebooted in 2005, the announcement marks a major and progressive shift in the show’s evolution. The show’s often had strong female characters, serving as ‘companions’ to the Doctor, who’ve often also contributed to significant shifts in the Doctor’s character and to saving the world multiple times over, but as yet there has been no woman leading from the front.
The move was announced by the BBC overnight with new head writer Chris Chibnall saying Jodie’s audition was incredible: “After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we’re excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor,” he said.
“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 13th Doctor is on her way.”
Jodie said she’s “beyond excited” to begin the journey and says it’s an opportunity to remember everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”
Jodie replaces 12th doctor Peter Capaldi, who followed Matt Smith, David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston in the modern reboot of the series.
Having a woman in the role will no doubt divide some fans — especially those who claim the Doctor has always been a man and therefore can only continue to be a man. But it will also delight and excite other dedicated fans and bring in a new generation of young viewers.