Jodie Whittaker Explains How She Deals With Doctor Who Criticism


Doctor Who fans, like many sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, are hard to please. So, though the show is enjoying yet another great era with Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor at the helm of the TARDIS, there’s always been a lot of vocal backlash against the current form of the series. Recently, showrunner Chris Chibnall was asked how he deals with the criticism, with the EP revealing that he simply stays away from all kind of engagement with fan reaction, including not reading reviews.

In an interview with EW, Whittaker herself has been asked the same question, and it seems she takes the same approach as her boss. The actress, who’s not on social media, admitted that she likes to see what the creative fans come up with, but doesn’t believe it’s a good idea to “immerse” herself in all the, as she aptly calls it, “noise.”

“I’ve seen loads of fan art, which I always love. But it’s never been that great for me to immerse myself in noise that you can’t control, good or bad. I think both are a rabbit hole that you shouldn’t necessarily go down.”

Whittaker went on to clarify her thought process here. She explained that the focus for her is to put all her energy into making the show as good as possible, meaning that – for her personally – it’s almost “irrelevant” how it’s received after the fact.

“We know that we work really hard for the show to be the best it can be in this moment. Once it’s out in the ether, how people feel, in a way, is kind of irrelevant.”

Honestly, this is probably the healthiest thing to do. You could argue that perhaps Chibnall, as showrunner, should be aware of what’s working and what is not working for viewers, but Whittaker can only perform the role to the best of her abilities and diving into all the conflicting, sometimes rude and offensive, comments online would be pointless. At least she checks out the fan art.

Doctor Who season 12 reaches its midpoint this weekend with episode 5, “Fugitive of the Judoon,” airing Sunday, January 26th.

Source: EW