In the final moments of the Doctor Who Christmas special, Jodie Whittaker made her long-awaited debut as the Thirteenth Doctor. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see her do too much, though, except react with glee as she realized she was now a woman (“Oh, brilliant!”) and react with fear as she fell out of her crashing TARDIS.
So, the question remains: what exactly will Whittaker bring to the role of the face-changing Time Lord when Doctor Who resumes later this year for its eleventh season? Perhaps one of the best people to answer that is David Tennant. Not only a former Doctor himself, but the actor also worked closely with Whittaker in hit crime drama Broadchurch.
Here’s what Tennant told the crowds at New Orleans’ Wizard World Comic Con recently when asked about his colleague’s take on the iconic character:
“I think she’ll bring herself. I don’t mean that to sound as flippant as it did. What Jodie has sort of become known for as an actress, she’s so brilliantly and heartstoppingly emotional, in something like Broadchurch, where she just broke a nation’s heart with this wonderful portrait of this mother and these awful desperate straits. And I think people have often gone to Jodie to break our hearts, because she does it so wonderfully. But if you know Jodie, she’s so funny and rude and she’s got this broad accent, and she’s just sort of fizzes with energy and madness. She’s quite unpredictable and glorious and funny. And I imagine — I don’t know — but I imagine she’ll bring a bit of that, too, and her natural anarchy will be something that the Doctor will enjoy.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that the Thirteenth Doctor will be funny. After all, outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat and the recently-regenerated Peter Capaldi have both described Whittaker’s take on the character as humorous in the past. As Tennant points out though, this is in contrast to Whittaker’s reputation as an actress known for her dramatic chops rather than comedic ones. In fact, the star herself has said in the past how she sees the Doctor as a chance to really stretch her acting muscles in new ways.
From what we saw of her in the Christmas special, Tennant is also right in saying that Whittaker will use her natural regional accent – she’s from Yorkshire in the North of England. She’ll be the fourth Doctor to speak with a non-Southern dialect, after the Scottish Seventh and Twelfth Doctors and the Mancunian Ninth Doctor.
Be sure to catch Jodie Whittaker as she makes her full debut as No. 13 when Doctor Who returns later this year.