And the thirteenth Doctor is...

And the BBC has announced that the thirteenth Doctor is... Jodie Whittaker. They did it. They picked a woman. Brava. She'll take over for Peter Capaldi during this December's Christmas special.

I've seen Jodie Whittaker in Broadchurch and the movie Attack the Block, and this is fine with me. Honestly, I was sort of hoping against hope for Sleepy Hollow's Tom Mison, but this is quite cool. We also have the departure of showrunner Steven Moffat and the advent of Chris Chibnall. Will these drastic changes energize the franchise? What do you all think of this development?

Billie
---
Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.

29 comments:

franni1 said...

I don't think I've seen any of her acting, so I'll be waiting with an open mind. It's a good omen as far as I'm concerned that those who have seen her in other roles rate her acting.

Too many people frothing at the mouth in other places about Dr Who not possibly being female, vowing never to watch it again. Let's face it, we had some seriously dire Whos back in the day before the franchise had its temporary death, and I'm willing to believe she will be motivated to be one of the better Doctors.

Lamounier said...

Too many people frothing at the mouth in other places about Dr Who not possibly being female

Is some argument provided for this? Or do they just lay it out as blatant sexism?

Anonymous said...

She was excellent in Attack the Block alongside John Boyega in a pretty thankless role.

Billie Doux said...

Re: the frothing, that reminds me of how some people had a fit about John Boyega, who was awesome in Attack the Block, starring in Star Wars and saying they'd stop watching the franchise. Casting a woman as the Doctor might make some leave, but it might also have the opposite effect on people like me. I stopped watching Doctor Who because I didn't connect to Capaldi's interpretation of the role, but I will absolutely watch the Christmas special and give the new Doctor a shot because they cast a woman.

Poodlerat said...

I'm a little excited and a lot nervous about having a woman play the Doctor. Not because if she doesn't nail it, the fandom's bottom feeders will see it as an indictment of the whole idea of a female doctor, but because I'm worried about how the show itself will treat her. Both with the Master and the General, changing gender caused personality or behaviour changes in a gross, gender essentialist way that I'm not excited to see repeated.

I have nothing against Jodie Whittaker. I thought she did a great job in the first season of Broadchurch, the only thing I've ever seen her in. However, nothing about that performance said Doctor Who to me, so I can't even really get excited about this specific actor taking on the role.

On the other hand, it had to be happen sometime, and Jodie Whittaker might turn out to be awesome. Here's hoping!

Patryk said...

I wonder if the next full-time companion will be a guy then?

Billie Doux said...

Patryk, I'd be fine with that. My absolute favorite companion was Captain Jack Harkness.

Keith Kotay said...

An interesting development--and a real challenge for the actress (the part itself, and the expectations of fans). It reminds me of the protagonist from Steel Beach who changes sex in the middle of the novel. Now, I am fine with whatever gender a person prefers, but the transition within a novel--and the suddenness with which it happened--was quite interesting. Reading "he, he, he" for a long time and then suddenly "she, she, she" was odd; and it said something about me and the way I think about characters in novels. After a few chapters I adjusted, but initially it was a new experience as a novel reader...

The same thing may happen to viewers of Doctor Who. It might be jarring for some people who think of the Doctor as a male character (and who have done so for decades, maybe their whole life). It will be interesting to see how the public reacts. I think it is a great move, but it puts a lot of extra pressure on the actress. Another issue is that certain character traits can provoke different reactions when displayed by different genders. It may not be 'fair', but it's often the case. It would be interesting to listen in on the BBC discussions about how a female Doctor Who should be portrayed...

Also, is River Song okay with this? ;-)

Remco said...

OMG, Jack Harkness should totally come back as a companion. It's the perfect time. I kinda wish they'd have kept Bill around a little longer so we could have seen her reaction to the gender change.

migmit said...

Wow!

Mind blown.

I LOVED Jodie Whittaker in "Venus", where she played alongside legendary Peter O'Toole and absolutely held her own. And her Beverly in "St.Trinian's" gave us quite a few laughs. I hoped she would continue the streak, but then lost sight of her. And now this! As I said — wow.

And, BTW, it's the first Doctor whom I've known — and loved — from before.

I did hope for Gugu Mbatha-Raw, but Whittaker's name never even crossed my mind. I'm not sure who is better; anyway, it's perfect. I'm as happy as a well-fed zombie.

Logan Cox said...

I don't watch Dr. Who, but I remember this actress being very good in the movie Attack the Block. Yay diversity! Now where's our black James Bond?

TJ said...

This is fabtastic news! I will definitely start watching DW again, I didn't like Capaldi's theatrical version of the Doctor. Hope she gets a great companion too:)

Mallena said...

I'm with Billie. I didn't like Capaldi and have been waiting for his departure to re-engage with Dr. Who. I love the fact that it is now going to be a woman. It will certainly be interesting!

An Honest Fangirl said...

I'm cautiously very excited, which I realize sounds like an oxymoron. I'm mostly excited about the fact that we're getting a female Doctor after they've been hinting at it all season. But I haven't seen any of Jodie Whittaker's work, so I'm not quite sure how she'll do. Hopefully she'll get better scripts than Capaldi got most of the time.

I'm honestly more curious to see how this will shape the companion dynamic. Will it still be a female companion? Will we get a male companion? Now that the Doctor is younger again, will we get that sometimes weird sexual tension between Doctor and companion again? A lot of the time, the companion ends up being the one who saves the day, usually through some human aspect that the Doctor doesn't have due to his/her alienness. I would be curious to see if this trend continues, especially if we get a male companion. That could open up some interesting (read: heated) discourse.

J.D. Balthazar said...

I also had an issue with the Capaldi era, and stopped watching. But more systemic, I haven't loved Who since Tennent, and I think it had everything to do with Moffet, so I'm very excited about such a dramatic change both in show runner and in our main character. I could care less who the next companion is, male/female or even more than one. I'm just happy we're getting something new!

Also, Jodie Whittaker is awesome, she was my second favorite thing about Attack the Block (after John Boyega), and in the one episode of Broadchruch I've seen she was wonderful. I've heard she can do comedy too, so yay a well rounded acting choice.

Here's to an amazing new season!

migmit said...

OK, I feel like I need to add this: I wasn't a fan of Capaldi's Doctor either. He is my third favorite Doctor, with only Tennant standing below him. I have no doubt Whittaker would do a better job; question remains, whether she would be able to surpass Smith and become my favorite doctor.

TheShadowKnows said...

Weirdly, my wife and I only just finished watching the third season of Broadchurch. After only seeing Ms. Whittaker in that series (okay, and Attack the Block, but she apparently made no impression since I didn't remember she was in it until I read this article) it's... difficult to picture her as the Doctor. But I'm willing to give her a shot. Why not?

Mark Greig said...

Nice to see all that build up over the last few seasons didn't go to waste. As excited as I am about Jodie Whittaker being the Doctor, I'm still weary on Chris Chibnall as showrunner. His previous DW work was less than stellar and his other TV work is damn erratic.

Phyllis Strickland said...

I have seen Ms Whittaker only in Broadchurch - not impressed and impossible to picture her as Doctor Who but that doesn't mean she won't be fine in this. Sure do miss Matt Smith. I'm all for John Barrowman/Jack Harkness coming back as a companion. I would absolutely return to watching Dr. Who which requires me to buy a season pass on iTunes!

jencat said...

Jodie Whittaker did a genuinely lovely little indie film recently called Adult Life Skills (including daft/heartrending finger puppetry!) that feels kind of in the style of Who, looking back now. It's definitely worth trying to hunt that out if you want an idea of her playing a less serious but still emotional role (it's so hard to define the range of daftness and high drama DW requires).

It's not the kind of show everyone sticks with all the time anyway - lots of people didn't get on with Capaldi (I keep trying but I haven't been really invested in it since the last major River storyline) and there does seem to be a lot of new interest in it now. It's hard to argue that it needed a bit of drastically new blood and a fresh direction; the quality has always been all over the place from episode to episode, to be fair.

And Alex Kingston got told who was cast while live on stage at a convention yesterday and there's a very cute video of it around the interwebs somewhere where she declares she's a cradlesnatcher again..!

Remco said...

Ha! Regenderation!

Google is lying, I'm totally the first who thought of that.

Billie Doux said...

Remco, you are officially credited with thinking of this first. At least here on Doux. :)

I should add to my previous comment that I like Peter Capaldi and he's a very good actor. I thought he rocked in Children of Earth. I just never connected to his interpretation of the Doctor. David Tennant was "my" Doctor, and Capaldi's was too far away from Tennant's.

And I should also add that I only intend to try the Christmas special and see if I connect with Whittaker. If I do, I do. If I don't, I won't keep watching it just because they finally gave us a woman in the role.

drnanamom said...

I find that I have to give each new doctor time before I can decide if I like them. I was initially pissed when Tennant got the role and then loved him and the same with Matt Smith who is now my favourite doctor and even Capaldi has grown on me. I will have to watch at least half a season before I know if Whittaker will work for me. She'll probably annoy me initially even though I'm thrilled we have a woman Doctor. And yes, please bring back Captain Jack!

Patryk said...

Billie, the Christmas special will probably only contain one scene of her after a regeneration (with only one line I bet) at the very end so You'll have to watch season 11 to see if you connect with her.

Mark Greig said...

I may be in the minority here, but I've loved every moment of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. I know Tennant is the most popular of the modern Doctors, but I always found his acting a little too hammy at times and his Doctor more eccentric than truly alien.

Billie Doux said...

Mark, I know it's been discussed before somewhere in the 40,000 plus comments here on Doux, but it does seem to me that on average, fans of the original sixties Doctor Who, and/or people from the U.K., tend to like Capaldi's Doctor more than people from the U.S. It's going to be interesting to see how this huge change plays out.

And Patryk, yes, I know I'll have to give it more than one episode. I think I gave Capaldi three or four.

Nonei said...

They've been hinting at trying a female doctor since Matt Smith's first episode when he thinks he's a girl. I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with the role as much and as anxiously as every time the doctor regenerates.
The only difference is, I'm worried about how they'll choose to portray the doctor as a female... let's get some good non-stereotypical writing and please no sexual tension yet! Not that I'm against it for the doctor, but it would be annoying for the writers to think they have to go that route just because he's changed genders. Maybe they'll look to "The Good Place" main characters for suggestions, or the relationship between Sherlock and Watson on Elementary.
As a sidenote.... if i'd never seen Tennant in Dr Who, and only broadchurch, he wouldn't have seemed like a doctor who either. But he is one of my favorite doctors.
I have really enjoyed Capaldi. I know a lot of people didn't get behind him and I can see why if you're introduced to the doctor via Tennant and Matt Smith. I first saw Dr Who reruns as a child in the 80s with mainly Tom Baker (who I thought was also Willy Wonka LOL). However, I was introduced tho the first doctor (thank you Netflix) a few years ago and he is actually my favorite.
I'm probably a bit biased though because I worked in old folks homes from the age of sixteen and met my share of entertaining grumpy old men (and women) that I enjoyed bantering with LOL

sunbunny said...

I also loved Capadi. (He's my second favorite new who dr, after matt smith). Especially his relationship with Clara. I found last season very hit or miss and haven't seen much of this season but season ("series") 8 was damn close to flawless for me.

sunbunny said...

sorry for the typos i'm on my phone 😬