Jodie Whittaker: The Thirteenth Doctor May Be Female, But It’s Still The Same Doctor Who


In one fell swoop, the Powers That Be made history early last month by announcing Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor in Doctor Who.

It’s a casting milestone that had been long on the cards – at one point, Han Solo actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge emerged as the out-and-out frontrunner – and this Christmas, we’ll see Peter Capaldi hand over the keys to the TARDIS in the festive-themed “Twice Upon a Time.”

But for all of the excitement and often short-sighted furor that Whittaker’s casting has caused, the actress believes that a change in gender won’t have much of an effect on the Time Lord. Chatting to Doctor Who Magazine (via Radio Times), the Broadchurch star stressed that the eleventh series of Who will herald a “brand-new journey.”

I never thought this opportunity would come. It is the first time a woman’s played it, but in a way it’s not a woman playing the part, is it? It’s a brand new body, and the body happens to be female. It’s not about redefining it away from anything that’s gone before, but this is a brand-new journey for me and for everyone. We’re the most civilised civilisation in the universe. We’re billions of years beyond your petty human obsession with gender and its associated stereotypes.

Jodie Whittaker then touched base on Doctor Who‘s cherished legacy, and how each passing Time Lord has brought something a little different to the titular role. That’s a tradition that the actress hopes to honor come 2018, as she told DW Magazine:

One of the best things about the role is that all the other Doctors have brought so many exciting elements to it. It’s brand new each time, and there aren’t those rules in place that say you have to behave like this or speak like that. That’s so liberating and exciting for me as an actor. I have the ultimate freedom in approaching the role – the same freedom that every previous Doctor has had.

Beyond the 2017 Christmas Special, Jodie Whittaker’s first season as Doctor Who is expected to hit the airwaves late next year.