On Friday, BBC announced plans to reveal the identity of the new star of Doctor Who after Sunday’s Wimbledon final, with fans eagerly awaiting news of who’ll be taking over the TARDIS from exiting star Peter Capaldi.
The revelation came in a one-minute video, above, in which a cloaked figure is seen walking in a forest, eventually removing the jacket’s hood to reveal Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor on the long-running sci-fi series. The British actress has appeared in such UK series as Broadchurch and Adult Life Skills.
Whittaker, 34, is the first female ever to be cast as the time-travelling Doctor in the history of the show, which first hit the airwaves back in 1963.
As fans know, the Doctor is an immortal Time Lord with the ability to regenerate into a new physical incarnation at the moment of death, which has led to 12 previous actors taking on the role.
“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with [showrunner] Chris [Chibnall] and with every Whovian on this planet,” Whittaker said in a statement. “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.”
Added Chibnall, who’s taking over showrunning duties from Steven Moffat (Sherlock): “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.”
Outgoing star Peter Capaldi also shared praise for Whittaker in a statement: “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.”
Fans have long been calling for a female Doctor, and the reaction on Twitter was beyond enthusiastic.
Whittaker also received kudos from Broadchurch co-star Arthur Darvill, who starred as one of the Doctor’s companions on earlier seasons of Doctor Who.
© 2017 Entertainment Tonight Canada, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.