Why Jodie Whittaker’s Era Of Doctor Who Will Be So Important
Doctor Who fans have had almost a year to ponder what Jodie Whittaker’s version of the titular character will be like. It was last July when the long-awaited reveal of who the Thirteenth Time Lord would be was made, and it shocked the world over that it was Whittaker, the first actress to take on the coveted role in the show’s 50+ years of history.
Apart from the fact that she’s a talented individual and the right person for the job, the fact that the Doctor is now a woman was seen as a brave but timely move for the series, as it demonstrated that incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall was keyed into the growing desire to see more leading women in sci-fi and fantasy stories. It seems it was always his intention to cast a woman as well, as Whittaker has admitted that she was up against many other actresses for the part.
Even though we have the likes of Star Wars’ Rey (Daisy Ridley) and DC’s Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) already, other central female characters who’ve carried major franchises on their shoulders that are usually male-dominated, the Thirteenth Doctor should offer something different. As great as those two characters are, the Doctor is someone who’s not only brave and adventurous, but also fiercely intelligent and funny and, basically, the all-round greatest person in the universe.
In the latest issue of SFX Magazine, writer Lisbeth Myles argues in her piece about Doctor Who season 11 that Whittaker’s casting is a watershed moment in pop culture for these reasons. She comments that something that’s been “a joke for decades” – Tom Baker first jokingly suggested the idea that his replacement could be an actress in the 1980s – is now a reality. “A woman being unapologetically confident, talkative, and the cleverest person in the room is important,” writes Myles. “The Doctor can do anything.”
The BBC are still keeping exactly what the Thirteenth Doctor will be getting up to under wraps, but we can expect our first look at Doctor Who season 11 to arrive at next month’s Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con, before the new run premieres in October.