For fans of Doctor Who, the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the next Doctor ended months of speculation. Becoming the first female to ever take on the role of a Time Lord (or Time Lady, now), Whittaker has a a lot of expectations on her shoulders. Incoming showrunner, Chris Chibnall, who worked with Whittaker on Broadchurch, said he always knew he wanted a female Doctor, while Whittaker herself said she needed no convincing to audition when Chibnall asked her.
The news has been mainly met with positive reactions, though some were quick to present the tired (and now disproved) argument that the Doctor is ‘always’ male. Current Doctor, Peter Capaldi gave high praise to Whittaker, saying he thinks she’ll be great in the role, while stars from across the years of Doctor Who also took to Twitter to share their own reactions. Arthur Darvill, with whom Whittaker shared many scenes in Broadchurch, praised the news, after Whittaker revealed she couldn’t tell anyone- Darvill and fellow Broadchurch star David Tennant included, and she had been “telling a lot of lies.” in order to keep the secret.
Yes Jodie.— Arthur Darvill (@RattyBurvil) July 16, 2017
YES ? xx— Billie Piper (@billiepiper) July 16, 2017
Absolutely furious. Can't believe they've cast a human to play the Doctor.— Matt Lucas (@RealMattLucas) July 16, 2017
I couldn't agree more. Congratulations Jodie!!!! https://t.co/A3ECBF2bLY— Matt Lucas (@RealMattLucas) July 16, 2017
Well I never the BBC really did do the right thing and let the Doctor be in touch with her feminine side. As a father of daughters - result!— Colin Baker (@SawbonesHex) July 16, 2017
Change my dears and not a moment too soon - she IS the Doctor whether you like it or not!— Colin Baker (@SawbonesHex) July 16, 2017
Now that the casting is finally revealed, we can start looking to the future, thinking about when Whittaker will make her first appearance in the Christmas special, ahead of her first full season, the 11th in the modern era of Doctor Who. The actress has already revealed that she doesn’t know what her outfit will be yet; the clothes she’s wearing in the short reveal video does not denote her final chosen outfit. Then there’s the question of a companion; will a female Doctor have a male companion, or will the TARDIS be entirely female-led? Could Bill decide that space travel with Heather isn’t as appealing as time travel with the Doctor?
Capaldi has been victim of weak writing at times during his run as the 12th Doctor. A change of leadership in the form of Chibnall could mean some new writers, too, as well as keeping some of the old. Writing for a female Doctor will present a new set of challenges as well as a really great chance to take the show in a different direction; something that Chibnall could well do in order to put his own mark on proceedings. While all Doctors are essentially the same person, all have differing personalities, natures and quirks, and Whittaker will be no different in that regard. Hopefully, Chibnall’s choice of writers will reflect all that is great about Whittaker’s acting abilities, as well as all that is great about Doctor Who.
Doctor Who will return to BBC America and BBC 1 at Christmas. Season 11 will arrive sometime in 2018.
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