The Moment Doctor Who's Jodie Whittaker Truly Felt Like The Doctor

The Doctor Jodie Whittaker Doctor Who BBC America

Jodie Whittaker has officially been cast as the Doctor for quite a while now, but it took some time beyond getting the role before she actually felt like her Doctor Who character. The moment did come eventually, however, and Whittaker was kind enough to break down that magical feeling for CinemaBlend during a press conference at San Diego Comic-Con while still keeping fans completely in the dark about Season 11:

I was thrown into the deep end during the first week of filming that I'm not allowed to tell you anything about, but I had a kind of important speech. Lines to say, and it was early on. Obviously the first take of the first shot is exciting and terrifying, but it is for everyone. Jamie Challenge, who's the director, it was his first take as well, so everyone's nervous. But I think when we moved on from the very first shot and were onto a different angle, I thought, 'Okay, it's tattooed on film forever. And so I'll just be the Doctor.' It was a pretty amazing moment, and not one I thought would happen as a girl born in the '80s. The Doctor did not look like me, so it was a big moment. I've spent a lot of time crying about it. It's been great.

Jodie Whittaker had a pretty hefty scene to shoulder the first week of filming Doctor Who, which involved the actress giving a speech as the Doctor. Many of the Doctor's speeches are often incredibly emotional and revered by fans, so, basically, the pressure was on for Whittaker to give it her all despite her having very little time spent filming her character. Luckily, she wasn't in it alone as director Jamie Challenge was doing his first take as well, and was just about as nervous as she was. The two managed to get through it, and as Whittaker said above, the permanency of the shoot effectively solidified in her mind that she is now the Doctor.

Jodie Whittaker's response is interesting, considering it almost feels like she couldn't accept she was the Doctor until the first take on Season 11 was completed. It gives the impression that while whole world was carrying on about Chris Chibnall's decision to cast Whittaker and sharing their opinion about it, she was still coping with the fact she was about to play a character she looked up to as a child. It was a big moment for Whittaker, who added she did a fair bit of crying (mostly the happy kind, we hope) about it in the time since.

Jodie Whittaker couldn't say what her big speech in Doctor Who Season 11 is about, although it's possible a bit of it is contained within the recently released trailer. In it, Whittaker's Doctor explains the all-new world she's now a part of and asks her new "friends" to join her, so it certainly sounds like inspirational speech territory, and one of those speeches where the writers are subtly addressing the fanbase. It would also make sense Whittaker would film that scene in the first week considering it's the sort of speech that'd be given towards the beginning of the Season 11 rather than later. Of course, things are shot out of sequence on television all the time, so it's entirely possible she's referring to a completely different speech that happens later on in the season.

Season 11 of Doctor Who lands on BBC America later this year. For a list of shows coming to television in the meantime, head on over to our summer premiere guide. For more on Jodie Whittaker, check out what Captain Jack actor John Barrowman had to say about anyone still hating on a woman becoming the new Doctor.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.