Jodie Whittaker’s about to take over the TARDIS as the era of the Thirteenth Doctor properly begins with Doctor Who season 11, arriving next month. But the actress has now admitted that she isn’t traditionally a big fan of the sci-fi institution, as she didn’t grow up watching it.
Whittaker’s comments came out during an interview with Marie Claire. The star, known for roles in the likes of Broadchurch and Black Mirror before getting the coveted Doctor Who job launched her into the stratosphere, said that she expected she’d have to do a mighty marathon of all existing episodes of the series to catch up. However, showrunner Chris Chibnall encouraged her to come to the role fresh.
“Doctor Who wasn’t something that was on TV in my house when I was growing up, so I thought I’d have to cane it before the first audition and watch every single episode. Thankfully, Chris [Chibnall, the producer] said, ‘I don’t want you to. I want you to come in with fresh eyes and bring what you would do in this environment.'”
The actress has said as much on a previous occasion, too. Whittaker admitted last year that the show only “sparked [her] interest” when it came back in 2005, citing the eras of David Tennant and Matt Smith, in particular, as ones that she enjoyed. She also said at SDCC this summer that Tennant was her favorite Doctor. That’s not really a surprise, either, when you remember that the pair are old friends.
Funnily enough, Whittaker’s position as a casual viewer is more like Smith than Tennant. The latter – much like Peter Capaldi – was a hardcore fan since childhood who made it his dream to play the Doctor. Smith, however, hadn’t really watched the series until he got the part of the Eleventh Doctor and set about familiarizing himself with the Time Lord’s adventures.
As Chibnall apparently said, though, this new era of Doctor Who is what matters, and yesterday finally brought us the official reveal of season 11’s release date. If you happen to possess a TARDIS, you can jump ahead to Sunday, October 7th and watch the premiere, titled “The Woman Who Fell To Earth,” right now. Or, like the rest of us, you can continue counting down the days until Whittaker makes her proper debut.