Doctor Who star Jodie Whitaker opens up about being the 13th Doctor: "It’s liberating, but it’s equally terrifying”
Entertainment Weekly’s Comic-Con preview issue decided to bless Whovians and generally everyone excited about the upcoming 13th Doctor by sharing the show's recently added star Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall's views on the long-running and beloved series.
The Black Mirror actress will be succeeding actor Peter Capaldi in playing the 13th official shape-shifting, time-traveling alien and what's even better? She's the first actress to have taken on that role! And as per the signature Doctor style, this time, her human companions traveling through space and time with her will be Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, and Tosin Cole.
Being the first woman to embark upon this journey sure comes with its fair share of challenges and doubts, and speaking about them, Whitaker shared her thoughts with Entertainment Weekly. “There’s no rules, and it’s liberating,” the actress admitted. “But it’s equally terrifying.”
And she wasn't the only one taking up a totally unchartered role as succeeding Moffat in the role of the showrunner is Chibnall, who said that in his mind, it “wasn’t even a question” that the next doctor would be a woman.
“I just felt the time was right,” he said. “I think if the show hadn’t done it, we would have been behind the world, and Doctor Who has got to be out front leading the world and being a great example of all the amazing things that are in the world. So, it wasn’t even a question in my mind.”
The 11th season of Doctor Who premieres this October on BBC and BBC America. So far all that's known of the season is its number of episodes, which is 10 and its premiere timing, which is going to be sometime in the fall, with an hour-long opening episode. The fact that there's a new female Doctor in the form of Whittaker, has, however, been no secret, as she made her debut on the show in the final few minutes of its 2017 Christmas special.
Her introduction had come in the signature 'Doctor Who' style when Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor regenerated. The trick has been in practice to introduce new faces of the famous Doctor ever since the first Doctor (William Hartnell) became Patrick Troughton, 2nd doctor, all the way back in 1996.
But what can fans expect in terms of a brand new Doctor and a new showrunner too? “When it’s all put together in one series I hope it will blow the audience’s minds as much as it blows mine when I read each new script,” Whittaker said in a recent interview with Radio Times. “It’s never going to feel like [other jobs] because it’s this job and it’s amazing. It’s a world away from any part I’ve played before.”