Fans have been theorizing for months on who would become the new Doctor on Doctor Who following Peter Capaldi's announcement that he'd be retiring from the role. There has been no shortage of actors whose names have been thrown into the ring, but now the lucky actor has finally been selected after an extensive casting process. Announced right after the Wimbledon men's final, the 13th person to assume the role of the iconic Time Lord is officially Broadchurch star Jodie Whittaker.
Jodie Whittaker is the 13th -- and first female ever! -- Doctor! Whittaker is no stranger to television and is perhaps best known for her role on the hit show Broadchurch as Danny Latimer's mom, Beth Latimer. Not so coincidentally, that show is from Chris Chibnall, who is also the new showrunner of Doctor Who. Whittaker can also be seen in series like Return to Cranford, The Assets, The Smoke and Black Mirror.
The official Doctor Who Twitter page posted the announcement with a video introducing the first look of Whittaker as the Time Lord. Check it out.
Jodie Whittaker is something of a surprise choice for the role of the Doctor, as her name isn't one that came up a lot in the many months leading up to the reveal, only rising to the top of the heap in recent days. Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge was frequently brought up as a strong potential candidate, as well as actors such as Kris Marshall and Tom Rosenthal. The idea of a woman becoming the Doctor has been a major topic of conversation ever since Peter Capaldi announced that he would be handing off the iconic role to someone new, and Steven Moffat's exit also opened the door for a reversal of tradition. The Doctor's regeneration into a woman was even set up in the Series 10 finale when Capaldi's Time Lord said "we can only hope," when asked if the future would be "all girl."
The Broadchurch actress is well aware of the size and history of the role she'll be undertaking, but she's more than up to the challenge. She's excited to get to work and ready for Doctor Who fans to see what lies in store. Her official statement:
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.
Peter Capaldi and departing showrunner Steven Moffat may be finished with the main series, but the two of them still have one more Doctor Who installment left to go in the form of the upcoming Christmas special. The one-off entry, airing later this year, will not only be Jodie Whittaker's first appearance as the Doctor, but it will also feature the return of the First Doctor, played in the special by David Bradley (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones). And the post-regeneration scenes will be Chris Chibnall's first time guiding the Who-niverse.
This definitely exciting time to be a Doctor Who fan. The show is heading in a new and refreshing direction, so time will tell to see how it all works out. Jodie Whittaker will first be seen as the 13th Doctor in the Christmas special, which airs on December 25, 2017. To see when all the other new and returning shows will hit primetime soon, check out our summer premiere schedule.