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Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker is first woman Time Lord replacing Peter Capaldi as 13th Doctor

Broadchurch actor to play the iconic character

Jack Shepherd
Sunday 16 July 2017 16:03 BST
Jodie Whittaker announced as new Doctor Who

The BBC has revealed Jodie Whittaker will replace Peter Capaldi on Doctor Who, becoming the 13th actor and first woman to play the iconic Time Lord.

Whittaker, 35, is best known for playing Beth Latimer in the ITV drama Braodchurch, along with various film roles, such as St Trinian's, Attack the Block, and Venus.

Much of the conversation beforehand centred around whether Capaldi’s replacement would be a woman, the series 10 finale even hinting at an all-female future.

Other actors to have played the Doctor in recent years include Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith, but a woman has never held the role despite Time Lords being able to regenerate as women (as demonstrated when Michelle Gomez became The Master/Missy).

Whittaker said of taking the role: “I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with Chris [Chibnall, showrunner] and with every Whovian on this planet.

“It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”

Capaldi will play the Doctor once more during the Christmas special, the episode marking Steven Moffat’s last as showrunner.

Chris Chibnall, who created Broadchurch, takes over from Moffat, the upcoming eleventh series marking a reunion between himself and Whittaker.

Chibnall said: “I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for the Doctor simply blew us all away.

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“Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The 13th Doctor is on her way.”

Capaldi said: “Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.”

Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor

The bookies had Whittaker and Death in Paradise's Kris Marshall as favourites to take the titular role, Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge and British comedian Tom Rosenthal close behind.

Whittaker has also had roles in the TV series Black Mirror, Return to Cranford, and The Assets. She was last seen on cinema screens in the British comedy Adult Life Skills.

The announcement was made on BBC One, minutes after Roger Federer defeated Croatia’s Marin Čilić at Wimbledon in three straight sets, taking the prestigious men’s singles title for the eighth time.

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