The future is female, at least on the cover of Entertainment Weekly's Comic-Con preview issue, which features Jodie Whittaker of Doctor Who front and center. Whittaker's casting and take on the character will also feature prominently at the BBC America Doctor Who panel at SDCC.
Whittaker takes over duties as the 13th Doctor on Doctor Who later this fall. She becomes the first woman to land the role, one traditionally and previously held by men. Whittaker is now the iconic time traveling Time Lord who travels through space and time on a series where the main character regenerates into a new actor every several years. However, her casting was not without controversy.
In spite of that controversy, though, Whittaker is taking over the cover of the Comic-Con edition of EW. The issue of the magazine also features a story that delves into the decision that went into casting Whittaker, as well as what fans can expect on the new season, which will premiere this fall. Whittaker, along with the other new cast members on the series, will make their first panel appearance at this year's SDCC to promote the new season.
Although the BBC's decision to cast a woman in the role surprised many, the series hinted that it was possible that a Gallifreyan could regenerate into a different gender with the introduction of the villainous Missy, who was once known as the Master. In Capaldi's last season, the show continued to drop hints that a woman Doctor could very well be on the way. The 12th Doctor even said as much when he stated, "The future is female."
In addition to a new Doctor, other changes are in store for the series. New showrunner Chris Chibnall will step up to take over the series from Steven Moffat. New actors who will portray the Doctor's companions are part of a diverse group that includes Bradley Walsh (Law & Order: UK), Tosin Cole (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Mandip Gill (Hollyoaks). New composer Segun Akinola will take over musical duties once assigned to Murray Gold.
Much is changing about the show, but the beauty of Doctor Who is that it is always about the same character, even when that character wears a different face. Although fans tend to hate so much change all at once, the very theme of the series is all about change. To quote 6th Doctor actor Colin Baker: "Change my dears and not a moment too soon - she IS the Doctor whether you like it or not!"