On Sunday July 16, 2017, countless Doctor Who fans gathered around their television screens, not just for the Wimbledon Mens’ Final, but also for the announcement of who would succeed Peter Capaldi in the role of the Doctor. BBC and BBC America shared that the new Doctor would be actress Jodie Whittaker. She will step in as the Thirteenth Time Lord and first female Doctor, following Capaldi’s exit during the 2017 Christmas Special.
In 2005, Whittaker graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a gold medal in Acting. Her many credits include the acclaimed BBC America and ITV drama Broadchurch, Emmy award-winning Black Mirror, Sky 1’s The Smoke, and BBC’s Cranford, The Night Watch, The Accused, and Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet. It’s more than an honor 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,” shared Whittaker.
“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. 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,” added new head writer and executive producer Chris Chibnall.
“Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor,” Capaldi said.
Capaldi wasn’t the only Doctor Who alum who shared their excitement over the casting news. “I was the Doctor and I’m over the moon that at last we have a female lead,” Colin Baker, the Sixth Doctor, said.
Alex Kingston, known for her role as River Song, was on stage at Supercon when the news broke. After the fans shouted the casting news at her, she exclaimed, “Oh my goodness. God I’m always the damn cradle snatcher. Oh, that’s lovely, she's a really great actress, she’s fantastic. Oh, my God, that’s so exciting, it's fabulous!”