The role of the Doctor is one of the biggest jobs on TV, so you can imagine that there’s a long and arduous audition process to find the right person for the part on each occasion. That’s definitely true in the case of Jodie Whittaker, the newly-regenerated Thirteenth Doctor, as she’s revealed that she had to go through months of auditions before she was declared as the new face of Doctor Who.
While speaking with Doctor Who Magazine, Whittaker recalled her jitters on her first day on set playing the Doctor. In response to a question about what showrunner Chris Chibnall thought of her initial performance, she clarified that he’d become used to her by then as he’d guided her through such a long process beforehand.
“I mean, it was the first time he’d seen me as the Doctor in costume, on the set, but we’d rehearsed, and before that I’d been through a few months of auditions.”
Whittaker also recalled the few words of advice that Chibnall gave her on that first day: to trust her acting instincts. ‘“They’ve been right so far,”‘ the actress quoted him as saying, ‘”and they’ve got you here today. Just remember that.”’
She then went on to discuss the short video that accompanied her announcement as the new Doctor. The promo – featuring Whittaker hidden beneath a hood until her reveal at the end of the piece – was watched by millions across the world and instantly caused an international sensation. The real reason for it, though, was to pre-empt an expected leak once Whittaker first travelled to set.
“If I’d been seen in Cardiff, being taken to Roath Lock, it would have been very obvious that I was playing the part. So they announced it the day before.”
The actress is currently knee-deep in filming Doctor Who season 11, alongside her co-stars Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole. Whittaker’s previously promised that the new run will blow fans’ minds when it arrives at some point this autumn, and we can only hope that she’s right.