The July 16 announcement by BBC of the 13th Time Lord in 'Doctor Who' being a woman, was met with both praise and criticism. The praise was because of the casting of 'Broadchurch' star Jodie Whittaker. The criticism was because of the Doctor's gender change. The actress, who missed out on public reaction to her casting, hopes that viewers embrace this feminine incarnation of the Time lord.
As per a Reuters report, Jodie Whittaker, who will be the first female Time Lord, told BBC, "I hope, you know, my gender isn't a fearful thing for the fans." Referring to the fact that the possibilities in the world of 'Doctor Who' are unlimited, she said, "In this world particularly - there aren't rules and that's a great thing, you know, so hopefully, hopefully everyone is excited, as excited as I am."
The "anything is possible" fantasy-land of 'Doctor Who' is indeed a perfect place to embrace growing diversity in the entertainment industry across the world. Addressing the issue of diversity, Whittaker said, "Now we can say to young boys and young girls that the people that you potentially look up to or the characters that you love don't necessarily have to look the same as before - you know, we can celebrate the fact of differences."
Whittaker had earlier told BBC 6 Music, as noted by The Guardian, said that it has been a blessing and a curse to miss out on social media reactions to her casting as the thirteenth Doctor. "I've missed a lot of the fun stuff, and probably the bad stuff, because I'm not on any type of social media and never have been.
She added though, "If I get sent something it's a mate screen-grabbing something, and they obviously edit. But there's an amazing video of a young girl watching it and finding out that it's [the Doctor] being played by a girl. Seeing things like that are really amazing."
About landing a most coveted role, Whittaker said, "It was incredibly emotional because my entire life, as a child, all I ever wanted to be was be an actor, and I wanted to do it because I wanted to play pretend, and that is the ultimate," adding, "I'm about to play an alien, a time lord. And that as a girl? Who knew? That's incredible and really emotional because of that."
Chris Chibnall, who is the new head writer and executive producer of 'Doctor Who,' had also wrote and created the British crime drama television series 'Broadchurch' which starred Whittaker. He said of the actress, "I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman," adding, "We're thrilled to have secured our number one choice."
As noted by The Hollywood Reporter (THR), Actor Colin Baker, who played the sixth Doctor tweeted that "the BBC really did do the right thing and let the Doctor be in touch with her feminine side." Tracy-Ann Oberman, who played the part of Yvonne Hartman in the second series of 'Doctor Who,' said, "A generation of young Whovians who will now know that as a female in the Universe you don't have to be the assistant."
Jodie Whittaker replaces Peter Capaldi who has inhabited the role of the Time Lord since 2014. Watch the teaser below.