From the moment Peter Capaldi announced he would stand down as Doctor Who, Reddit threads and devoted fans were in a tizzy. Who would be next in line to step into the thirteenth doctor’s shoes? After months of speculation, it was finally announced yesterday that actress Jodie Whittaker is the next person to play the Time Lord – the first female to ever take the role – but what else should you know about her? Here are five things to know about the woman about to become a household name.
Her early acting days were based on the stage before breaking into film. Born in Yorkshire, Whittaker went to study at London’s Guildhall School Of Music And Drama. On graduating with the gold medal in 2005, she landed a role in The Storm at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Her first film role came soon after, in the 2006 comedy drama Venus alongside acting heavyweights, Peter O’Toole and Vanessa Redgrave.
She’s been in a number of recognisable roles on screen. Remember Anne Hathaway’s best friend in One Day or Rupert Everett’s secretary in both of the St Trinian’s reboots? Yep, they were her. She also had parts in period dramas Tess Of The D’Urbervilles and Cranford.
Her most famous role (so far) was in the acclaimed Broadchurch. Whittaker played bereaved mother Beth Latimer in ITV’s award-winning crime drama. Fact: her co-stars were Olivia Colman, was also hotly tipped to be a favourite for the next Doctor Who, as well as David Tennant, who played the 10th incarnation of the Time Lord.
Whittaker isn’t the first female to officially play the Doctor. That honour goes to Joanna Lumley, who appeared in the 1999 spoof The Curse of Fatal Death — it’s the first time a female Doctor will take the series lead.
She doesn’t want anyone to be scared of her gender. “This is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one,” she said. “There was no persuasion needed. If you need to be persuaded to do this part, you’re not right for this part, and the part isn’t right for you.
Reaction to the news of her casting was divided on social media, but we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the fact that she has a vagina does not mean the series will go to ruins.
Today in grown men crying over alien casting: pic.twitter.com/gqltGVLxOo
— Martin F. Robbins (@mjrobbins) July 16, 2017