Doctor Who shook the internet today. BBC announced the show’s first female Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, after Wimbledon on Saturday night, EST.
Jodie Whittaker takes over for the departing Peter Capaldi. Capaldi’s Doctor is expected to have his final adventure in the TARDIS in this year’s Christmas special. In addition to Capaldi leaving as The Doctor, Stephen Moffat will be leaving his role as showrunner of the series which has done for the past five series.
Whitaker is the first woman to take on the role after twelve previous regenerations as a male actor.
WHAT WE KNOW
Here’s everything we know about how Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall will do as both The Doctor and showrunner:
Chibnall has hinted he’ll be going with a writer’s room approach as opposed to the standard submission format.
Whittaker and Chibnall have worked together before on Broadchurch for ITV channel to widely positive reviews on the series.
Jodie Whittaker said in a statement about her casting that “I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet. It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”
Fan reactions to the announcement of the new Doctor are mixed. Online reactions range from giddily supportive to fans claiming they’ll no longer watch the series. Doctor Who fans have debated the idea of a female Doctor for years since the series returned to airwaves in 2005.
Female Time Lords have appeared on Doctor Who before. This will be the second time that a major character has changed genders. Michelle Gomez took over the role of The Master (now known as Missy) from the widely popular John Simm, who appeared in the Series 10 finale, presumably setting the stage for Whittaker to take over the role of The Doctor.
The level of success Whitaker’s Doctor will enjoy remains to be seen. Regardless, she has certainly landed a prominent place in the global pop culture lexicon.