2018 will give us the milestone that is Jodie Whittaker taking over the role of the Doctor, the first time the character’s been played by a woman. While that’s something that’s rightly being celebrated by fans, it’s not like Whittaker will be the first leading lady the show has ever had. Ever since the sci-fi icon came back in 2005, Doctor Who has been home to a whole host of talented actresses who’ve played the Time Lord’s friends and foes, and this new featurette from BBC America offers a minute-long celebration of some of the best.
For starters, the past decade has given us three of the best ever Doctor Who companions in the form of Karen Gillan’s Amy Pond, Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald and Pearl Mackie’s Bill Potts. Though they all ostensibly filled the same role on the show, to anchor the Doctor to Earth and keep him in check sometimes, each of them brought something fresh to the series, too, as the actresses themselves remind us in the interview snippets featured in the video above.
And while Whittaker might be the first female Doctor, she’s definitely not the first actress to play a previously all-male role on the show. Back in 2014, Michelle Gomez landed the part of the Master, the Doctor’s nemesis, who now goes by Missy. As the actress says in the featurette, Missy paved the way for the Thirteenth Doctor as having “the first female Time Lord means that anything can happen.”
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Of course, whether any of these women will be back for a guest spot opposite Jodie Whittaker’s time-traveller at any point is unknown. Anything’s possible in Doctor Who though and a couple of them have been very open about wanting to return. Namely, Karen Gillan couldn’t be a bigger fan of Whittaker’s casting and Gomez has said she would consider sparring with another Doctor as Missy.
Time will tell if either of them get a chance to return, but if one thing’s for certain, it’s that Doctor Who season 11 hits screens this October.