In the minute-long teaser trailer clip, it was revealed that “Broadchurch” actress Jodie Whittaker will make history this Christmas Day as the first woman to play the iconic character of the Doctor on the BBC’s hit series “Doctor Who.”
For those unfamiliar with Doctor Who, the Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. Time Lords have the ability to regenerate into a different body when they die, which explains how the show has managed to run for 54 years, excluding a 16-year hiatus from 1989 to 2005.
Since the late William Hartnell first appeared as the now-cherished show’s title character in 1963, twelve different actors have portrayed the Doctor. Though they have all had different personalities, quirks, catch phrases and styles, every one of them has been a man.
It seems that the BBC has been building up to this reveal for the last several seasons. All through current Doctor Peter Capaldi’s four-year-run, reminders to the audience that Time Lords can change not only their faces but their genders as well have been hinted at.
Whittaker will take over the role from Capaldi in the 2017 Christmas special, set to air Christmas night. This will mark a change not only in the lead actor but the head writer as well. Steven Moffat will be stepping down from the head writing job after six seasons to make way for Chris Chibnall, who has previously written five episodes for the series since 2010.
While many fans are excited for this change to the show’s dynamic, some are concerned about how changing the gender of such an iconic character will affect the show. Whittaker doesn’t seem to be rattled by fan’s doubts.
“It feels completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human…this is why I wanted to be an actor in the first place,” Whittaker said. “To be able to play someone who is literally reinvented on screen, with all the freedoms that brings – what an unbelievable opportunity. And added to that, to be the first woman in that role.”
Whether they’re excited about the change or not, fans will have the opportunity to finally see what a female Doctor will bring to the show on Christmas Day 2017.