BBC names first female ‘Doctor Who’

Actress Jodie Whittaker star of the new series
Actress Jodie Whittaker star of the series "Broadchurch" on the BBC America cable channel takes part in a panel discussion at the Television Critics Association Cable TV Summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California July 25, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

July 17, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) – The lead role in British sci-fi television series “Doctor Who” will be played by a woman for the first time in its more than 50-year history, the BBC said on Sunday.

After much speculation over the role, Britain’s public broadcaster said 35-year-old British actress Jodie Whittaker, who starred in the award-winning television crime drama series “Broadchurch”, will play the 13th Doctor.

The news was announced in a one-minute video clip broadcast on television after the Wimbledon tennis men’s final match, showing the actress walking through a forest wearing a long coat and hiding her face with a hood until the final moment.

“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,” said Chris Chibnall, the show’s new Head Writer and Executive Producer.

The Doctor, who travels through time in what from the outside appears to be a blue police telephone box, has the ability to regenerate, allowing a number of actors to play the role since the series was first broadcast in 1963.

Whittaker will replace Peter Capaldi, who took on the role in 2013 amid an increasing clamor that it should go to a woman. His final episode will be the 2017 Christmas special. Previous “Time Lords” include Tom Baker, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant.

Whittaker said it was “completely overwhelming” to be taking on the role and she wanted to tell fans of the series “not to be scared” by her gender.

“As an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be. It feels incredible,” she said.

“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.”

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by David Evans)

  • Resonantg

    Because nothing I said was sexist, just radioactively salty. That was all your interpretation.

  • Steven Strawbridge

    Certainly interesting. Hasn’t been a good Doc since Pertwee/Baker/Davison. She will have to live up to Mary Tamm and Lalla Ward for me to watch. I hope she’s not a blonde.

  • Mr.Jim

    Only one director could possibly save Star Trek.
    J. Michael Straczinski.

  • RURC

    Interesting it seems that OAN is censuring reply’s now.
    Ill say it again.
    I have been watching Dr. Who for 40 years. I really have loved the show. But the last 2 Doctor’s have so embraced the homosexual agenda I almost stopped watching. But with this will will say good by to the Doctor.

    All the homosexual drivel BS that is coming from so many forms of entertainment is sickening. For accounting for less than 2% of the population they sure take up 25% of the television these days.

  • Javin007

    “I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman”…

    This kind of transparent lying is just an insult to your fans. How did you “always know” there ever WOULD be a 13th doctor? “Always knew?” Really?

    Sure. The same way JK Rowling “always thought” of Dumbledore as Gay, and Hermionie as black.

    Can we stop lying about what we “always thought” for the purposes of Virtue Signaling? It’s so transparent, and it’s gross.

  • wc711

    BBC is not serious. Along with being female, she should be black, gay. disabled with a speech impediment. The new Who’s white privilege is so obvious and insulting.

  • RURC

    Thats it after over 40 years of watching Dr Who and putting up with all the homosexual BS in the last 2 Doctors I am done. I will even cancel my BBC America subscription.

    • Javin007

      Woah. Glad I stopped watching it years ago. Was going to pick it up again (really liked the Christopher Eccleston take on the Doctor, but that was the last season I watched). They really went down the homosexual route with the Doctor?

      • RURC

        Christopher was great. But they have brought in so much junk that it is mind blowing. His companion this season is a lesbian. A reoccurring character, Captain Jack Harkness is a flagrant homosexual that tries to get in the Doctors pants and every other male character. There are constant other gay or bisexual characters that come up. The Doctor character is actually married for the last few seasons to Amelia Pond’s daughter, River. How do you wash that one away?

        I dont understand why less than 1% of the population has so much face time on TV.

  • Tim Trader

    Well, I’m always sad to see the current doctor go, but always like the new doctor soon afterwards, so I wish Jodie the best. I do hope they choose a better sidekick when the Bill character is replaced….Karen Gillan was my favorite.

  • Another Deplorable

    In this context, “No Whos is good Whos.”

    • Mr.Jim

      A funny line that works in all dimensions.

  • intimeforthedime

    Damn, after saving the world from so many dangers, done in by political correctness.
    Next we will have a transgender Muslim with a bomb vest as the clothing accesory.

  • Spyridon Mathew Alifrangis

    The last season was reason enough to stop watching this crap. Now an extra reason to stop. Fruck BBC

  • Philip Voida

    How stupid, shall the fates be three nubile men, is Athena now the God of War, Is lady Liberty hiding a phallus? YOU CANNOT BEAT NATURE-STOP ACTING LIKE SPOILED CHILDREN

  • Best POTUS Ever

    our lives are now complete
    DR HUNT the first female whatever no one should care about this trash

  • R A.

    Why America’s Best of course

  • Resonantg

    I’m out. Won’t watch another New Who.

    The series just figuratively stuck a shotgun in its mouth and pulled the trigger with it’s toes.
    It’s too bad though. I really hoped for better once the “Can’t-close-a-season-without-jumping-the-shark Moffat” was out Too bad she’s about to become a horrifying footnote in Sci Fi history.

    So we have a (willing?) sacrifice put on the pyre of Transphilic Post Modernist insanity. Sad.

    Old Who or No Who.

    • RURC

      She will be known as the one that really killed the Doctor.

    • KD

      Neither will I watch. Didn’t watch the last guy that took over for Matt Smith. After the first two episodes with the new guy it was absolutely ridiculous. Notice though she’s the “13TH” Dr. Who. Watch how quickly BBC replaces her with the 14th Dr. I doubt she’ll even last a whole season.

  • AtomicFury

    Oh boy, here we go with the demographic buffet…

  • Dywlf

    Of course, they’re british!

  • RMCS Ret.

    My question is ….. Who cares?

    • Resonantg

      Millions of fans worldwide. For a while, all you’re going to get is fawning astroturfed praise and useful idiots. You’ll learn the real nerdrage once the ratings start coming in, or the memes start rolling. If the Beeb was not a government organization, this stupid business decision would have died in the womb. Yes I get the irony. Its not often you watch a major franchise commit suicide like this.

    • Javin007

      Millions and millions of fans care. Dr. Who has always been a male and had a female love interest. So now they’re going to have to completely change the canon so he’s either “genderless” or “bisexual”. Neither of those arguments belong in a Dr. Who series.

      If they had two brain cells to rub together, they would’ve simply introduced a *new* doctor, explaining that there was a second, female doctor and that neither of them were aware of each other. This new doctor could run into the current doctor in a few episodes to establish the canon and she could have a spin-off (much like they did with Stargate Atlantis). Instead, altering the core canon of the original Doctor is going to destroy the show.

      There’s no reason at all whatsoever for Dr. Who to jump into the middle of these politically correct politics, but now they can’t avoid it.

  • Bob

    We all know the REAL Doc Who is from Somalia and this is clearly racists !!! :O) lolol

  • William Glass

    I guess the “Dirty Harry” franchise will be redone as “Sanitarily Challenged Harriet” (After all, it does take place in San Francisco.)

  • Roy Belcher

    Use to be my favorite series, but after this year change and next years change, well, Dr. Who sucks.

  • claymore cluepile

    can a female Sherlock Holmes be far behind?…..followed by a female Hamlet?

    • Edgarson

      The new Star Trek is going to focus on a female executive officer serving under a female commanding officer. And, they’re going to change the ever-popular testosterone-abundant Klingons. I wonder which of these shows will fail first, Doctor Who or Star Trek? You can get rich giving people what they want, not what you think they ought to want…

      • Javin007

        $10 says they make them lesbian lovers at some point.

      • Mr.Jim

        Star Trek has already failed.
        Time to bring back Babylon 5

  • American Insurgency

    How precious – now the search begins for a transgender immigrant!

    • River

      LOLLOLLOL!!! Dang! Now you KNOW they’ll be looking!

    • jlsharks1

      Is it not so ridiculous, what next.

    • Sonny Shaw

      A black Muslim transgender immigrant form Syria…I hear they are looking to redo Sherlock Holmes next, now that will definitely be interesting to see what combination they will search for that role…

    • Mr.Jim

      The Daleks are all transgender.