The time has finally come. This Christmas, for the first time in the 54-year history of “Doctor Who,” the Doctor will regenerate as a woman.
That woman is Jodie Whittaker, whose casting was revealed on BBC on Sunday following the Wimbledon men’s final.
In recent years, whenever an actor playing The Doctor announced he was leaving the show, a vocal group of “Who” fans have called on BBC to cast a woman to fill in the role.
When Peter Capaldi announced his departure earlier this year, Whittaker was one of the names thrown around by fans as a possible dream replacement. So who is she exactly?
1. Her first break came thanks to Peter O’Toole
In the 2006 drama “Venus,” she played Jessie, an aspiring model who poses nude for Maurice, an elderly artist played by the legendary Peter O’Toole. When Maurice reveals his attraction to her and calls her his “Venus,” Jessie is at a loss at whether to indulge him or push him away.
2. She’s best known for crime drama “Broadchurch”
Whittaker is best known for her performance in the on the British crime drama “Broadchurch,” which ran for three seasons and aired its final episode this past April.
Whittaker played Beth Latimer, the mother of an 11-year-old boy whose murder sets the events of the series into motion. The show followed Beth’s struggle to cope with her son’s death, which leads to her splitting with her husband.
3. “Broadchurch” is a real bridge to “Doctor Who”
“Broadchurch” gave Whittaker connections to both the past and future of “Doctor Who,” as she was joined in the cast by David Tennant, who played the lead detective investigating the Latimer murder in the series and previously played the Tenth Doctor on “Doctor Who” from 2006-10.
The show was also created by Chris Chibnall, who previously wrote episodes for “Doctor Who” and created “Torchwood,” an adult spinoff for the series. Whittaker’s reign as the Thirteenth Doctor will also mark a passing of the torch in the “Who” writer’s room, as Chibnall will replace the departing Steven Moffat as head writer for the series.
4. “Attack the Block” already gained her a cult fan base
Whittaker is no stranger to cult sci-fi hits. She starred in Joe Cornish’s 2011 sleeper phenomenon “Attack the Block,” playing a nurse trainee whose mugging by teenage hoodlums (led by future “Star Wars” hero John Boyega) is interrupted by an invasion of space aliens.
5. We have to wait till Christmas to see her at Time Lord
Whittaker will step into the TARDIS for her first season in 2018, and will make her first appearance as the Doctor at the end of this year’s “Doctor Who” Christmas special. Titled, “The Doctors,” the special will see the Twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, take his final adventure before regenerating into a woman for the first time.
Joining Capaldi on the journey will be the First Doctor, who was played by William Hartnell back in the 1960s and will be played by “Game of Thrones”/”Harry Potter” alum David Bradley (who played Hartnell in a TV biopic about the origins of “Doctor Who” called “An Adventure In Space and Time”).