Karen Gillan Says Jodie Whittaker Knocked It Out Of The Park In Doctor Who


The lack of a Christmas Day Doctor Who special has left the holiday feeling like it’s got a bit of a hole on it. For the benefit of non-British readers, this annual episode has quickly established itself as a tradition, and it gives me a kick to think of the nation gathering around the television with their families to watch an idiosyncratic, strange and generally pretty weird science fiction show about a time-traveling alien in a magic box. I know we’ve got the New Year’s Day episode to look forward to in a week, but let’s face it, it’s just not the same.

Plus, with viewing figures hugely improved and audience satisfaction up, the public has taken to Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor like a duck to water. And so they damn well should have, as it didn’t take her long to prove that she had the dramatic chops to sell that she was the Doctor.

In fact, Karen Gillan, who played beloved companion Amy Pond during the Eleventh Doctor era, concurs with that. Writing in THR’s latest issue, she laid out her thoughts on this latest regeneration as so:

You can’t grow up in the U.K. and not be aware of Doctor Who. You’re practically born knowing what a Dalek is. But whenever there have been rumors about Doctor Who being played by a woman, there was resistance. People would write to the BBC and complain. I thought it was crazy: Who says Doctor Who can’t be a woman? So when I watched this season’s premiere with my mom — she’s a huge Whovian, even before I was on the show — it was emotional.

Jodie Whittaker knocked it out of the park. She has elements of Matt Smith and David Tennant — that manic energy, brain going 100 miles an hour — but she made it her own. And that’s the great thing about the role — it has no limits. It can be played by any race or gender. All you need is a great actor. A great British actor. Or one who can do a convincing British accent.

Gillan has hit the nail on the head here, though I do think that the Doctor should probably always be British. Not that I want to get all sniffily colonial about the whole thing, but the notion of the role being portrayed by a Frenchman, a German or even *gasp* an American, sends shivers up my spine.

The universe may well be full of infinite possibilities and things beyond the realms of human imagination, but throughout all of this, the Doctor really should be British. I mean, if he/she’s not, then what’s next? James Bond rebooted as a CIA agent? Mary Poppins looking after kids in Beverley Hills? Sherlock Holmes being played by an SNL alumni?

Anyways, you can get your next dose of Doctor Who on New Year’s Day, when the special airs and brings with it the return of the Daleks.