Surprise! The 13th Doctor is actress Jodie Whittaker, marking the first time a woman has played the lead role in BBC’s Doctor Who. The thirteenth Time Lord will be stepping in after Peter Capaldi leaves the series following the annual Christmas show.
“After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we’re excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor,” said Chris Chibnall, executive producer and the new head Doctor Who writer who decided to cast Whittaker as the 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.”
Whittaker didn’t need to be convinced to take on the iconic role, although she admits to feeling bad about all the lying she had to do after she won the part in order to keep it a secret. “I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet,” stated Whittaker. “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.”
Whittaker also wanted fans to know they shouldn’t be scared by the fact the Doctor is a woman, and she says she expects to get phone calls from four Doctors (Matt Smith, Chris Eccleston, David Tennant, and David Bradley) who she calls friends offering advice. “Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one,” explained Whittaker.
The outgoing Doctor, Peter Capaldi, added, “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.”
“I’m so thrilled that Jodie Whittaker said yes to playing the Doctor. I’ve been a fan for years and always hoped to work with her. She is an actor of great emotional range and inhabits every role with complete passion and conviction. Just thinking about what she will bring to the Doctor makes me as excited as a kid at Christmas. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Doctor Who executive producer Matt Strevens.
Jodie Whittaker Biography, Courtesy of BBC/BBC America: Jodie Whittaker graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2005 with a gold medal in Acting. Since then she has worked continually in Film, Television and Theatre. Her TV credits include the critically acclaimed BBC AMERICA and ITV drama Broadchurch (for which she was nominated for ‘Best Actress’ for the RTS Television Awards), Emmy award-winning Black Mirror, Sky 1’s The Smoke, BBC’s Cranford, in which she starred opposite Judi Dench and Imelda Staunton, The Night Watch (BBC), The Accused (BBC), and Tess of the D’Urbervilles (BBC).
Jodie has recently finished shooting Journeyman written and directed by Paddy Considine as well as the lead in the new BBC drama series Trust Me. Her other film credits include Venus, (which earned her nominations for ‘Best Newcomer’ at the ‘British Independent Film Awards’, ‘Best British Newcomer’ at the ‘Critic’s Circle Awards’ and ‘Best Actress in a Motion Picture’ at the ‘Satellite Awards’), Attack the Block, One Day, Black Sea, Good Vibrations, St.Trinian’s, Get Santa, and most recently Adult Life Skills which she executive produced as well as starred in which received a number of BIFA nominations.
Jodie made her professional theatrical debut at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in The Storm. Other theater credits include playing the title role in Antigone at the Royal National Theatre, Bash at the Trafalgar Studios, Awake and Sing and Enemies at the Almeida, both directed by the then Artistic Director, Michael Attenborough.