Good luck Jodie Whittaker…. you’re probably going to need it.
Today, after the Wimbledon final the BBC announced that Jodie Whittaker will be the new Doctor in Doctor Who. She will be the first woman to take the role of the iconic Time Lord since the show’s inception in 1963. A lot of the fans will be against this. Already there are Tweet storms galore, people saying goodbye to the show forever, how a woman will ruin the show, and who the true fans really are. I’m going to withhold any judgment until we at least get to see her in the role.
The casting of a female Doctor really shouldn’t be a surprise, but I was surprised. Casting a female Doctor is risky, and I didn’t expect the BBC to take that big a risk with a new showrunner coming in. Current showrunner Steven Moffat is stepping aside and Chris Chibnall is taking over for the next season. I really wanted current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, to stick around for a season under the new runner, but it was not in the cards. I fully expected a female Doctor to happen eventually, just not in the first year. I know there have been a lot of hints and seeds planted over the last few years suggesting the next Doctor would be female, and there were numerous hints dropped in the Series 10 finale:
MASTER: Do as she says. Is the future going to be all girl?
DOCTOR: We can only hope.
BILL: But, hey er, you know how I’m usually all about women and, and kind of people my own age.
BILL: Glad you knew that.
- Will Whittaker get a long run as the Doctor?
- Is this just a quick fix to satisfy the fans who were asking for it?
- Will she be quickly replaced?
- Are they setting her (and the show) up to fail?
- Will she be a “sexy” Doctor?
- How will they cast the 14th Doctor?
- Will the companion be male or female?
- How will the stories differ?
- Will they be tailored for a female Doctor? (I hope not actually. One of my favourite things about the show is that in a well written Who story the Doctor should be interchangeable with any of the past incarnations.)
- Will they be a bit more serious and dramatic or will it be played more for humour?
I really wasn’t sure who Jodie Whittaker was, but I quickly checked IMDb and see she was in Attack the Block and played Beth Latimer on Broadchurch… It’s been a while since I’ve seen Broadchurch so I had no idea who that character was until a friend told me she was the “mom of the dead kid”. I did really enjoy her in both roles. She is a talented actress and will hopefully bring something special to her new role.
Jodie Whittaker will be the thirteenth Doctor, and 13 isn’t a lucky number…. Ah well, as with everything with Doctor Who, time will tell….
Again, good luck….Doctor.