New ‘Doctor Who’ star hopes fans don’t fear a female time lord

FILE PHOTO: Actress Jodie Whittaker star of the new series
FILE PHOTO: Actress Jodie Whittaker star of the new 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/File Photo

August 8, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) – Jodie Whittaker, the first woman cast as the lead role of the BBC’s iconic sci-fi program “Doctor Who”, expressed hopes on Monday that fans will embrace her role as a symbol of diversity rather than fear the shift from a man.

Whittaker, 35, breaks a tradition back to the start of the television series in 1963 that the Doctor is a man, traveling the universe as a “time lord” in a telephone box to protect the weak and combat evil aliens.

“I hope, you know, my gender isn’t a fearful thing for the fans,” Whittaker told the BBC, in her first broadcast interview since her casting was announced last month.

“In this world particularly – there aren’t rules and that’s a great thing, you know, so hopefully, hopefully everyone is excited, as excited as I am,” she added.

Her casting was largely viewed positively by fans and commentators but some on social media argued that the role of the Doctor should not be played by a woman. Whittaker said that she had missed the reactions as she was not a social media user.

Ultimately, Whittaker hopes that her casting will help fans of the program to embrace diversity.

“Now we can say to young boys and young girls that the people that you potentially look up to or the characters that you love don’t necessarily have to look the same as before – you know, we can celebrate the fact of differences.”

She told the BBC that she believed getting the role would be “a blessing and a curse”, and expressed the hope that media interest in her personal life would die down: “It’s not very exciting”, she said.

“Doctor Who” is one of the BBC’s most popular scripted programs, and has inspired a devoted fanbase in several countries, with clubs, conventions and fan publications. She will be the 13th Doctor.

Whittaker replaces actor Peter Capaldi, who has played the program’s lead role since 2014. She has previously appeared in British crime drama “Broadchurch”, and British cult film “Attack the Block”, among other roles.

Her casting comes as the BBC deals with the public relations fallout from revelations that it pays its highest profile female on-air talent significantly less than men in comparable positions.

(Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London, editing by Alister Doyle)

  • FistInMouth

    You destroyed any chance you had when you used the word “fear”.
    Apparently the new Dr. is a f’n idiot.

  • Little Shirley

    Typical high handed Liberal talking down to the rest of us. Nobody is “afraid” of a female doctor. We just don’t want a beloved series that I for one have followed since the Third Doctor ruined by privileged weirdos with an agenda. The series has survived other untalented people like Peter Davison who spent his entire tenure with one facial expression. That is the only hope I have for it.

  • CO

    Does it matter or do you need to make a political point ?

  • Jam Jenes

    Fear?

    Actually, I know about who, but never was a fan.

    But, I’m thinking that long time, true fans would be disgusted.

    Like fans of Batman would be if he became a tranny. Which would make him Batmanwoman? Batfag? Batsh&shyit pervert?

  • Susie Que

    AWESOME!

  • famouswolf

    So what’s the problem? Time Lords are shape shifting aliens, right?

  • AshJonson

    Sorry honey, but you’re going to be the death of Dr. Who. Just a fact. Cute though.

  • Another Deplorable

    Fear, no. Repelled into not watching, yes.

    • Another Guy

      I will give it a chance, but my tolerance is wearing a bit thin after having Bill shoved in our faces and what we were sold on a mature Dr ,well, not quite working out as such.

  • Tony Anthony

    I have nothing against a female Doctor Who. My problem is with the writers of the show, It seems for the last 4 years the writing has been so bad, I have stopped watching, and many of my friends who loved the show have stopped.

    • Another Guy

      The music has been quite good though…Clara’s theme and all that. Most notably on the electric guitar.