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Jodie Whittaker will portray Doctor Who on the upcoming season of the cult sci-fi show, the BBC announced on Sunday. The 13th Doctor, who is the first woman to take on the role, will take over for Peter Capaldi when he leaves the show after Christmas.
The Guardian reports Chris Chibnall, Doctor Who’s new head writer and executive producer, saying: “After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we’re excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor.
“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.
“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.”
Many fans had equally positive reactions to Whittaker’s casting.
— John Barrowman MBE (@JohnBarrowman) July 16, 2017
My 8-year-old daughter pumped her fist and shouted “yes!” when the new @bbcdoctorwho was revealed.Think that tells you all you need to know.
— David Owens (@asoundreaction) July 16, 2017
Frankly, the only down side to the casting of #doctor13 I can see is that it confirms that Peter Capaldi really *is* leaving… ☹️
— Gerard Ryan (@looshkin14) July 17, 2017
Still, the new Dr. felt compelled to address those who were critical of the historic pick — touching on the fact that fans have lived through many changes on the show, and having a woman doctor should be viewed as new and different — not fearful.
“I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender,” Whittaker told the BBC after the announcement. “Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change.”