Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker Tardis

Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker says being first female Doctor is equally ‘liberating’ and ‘terrifying’

Contributed by
Jul 12, 2018

Oh, brilliant. In the cover story for Entertainment Weekly’s Comic-Con preview issue, Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall spoke about taking over the long-running and beloved series.

Whittaker succeeds actor Peter Capaldi in playing the eponymous Doctor in the show’s upcoming season, making her the 13th official incarnation of the time-traveling, shape-shifting godlike alien and the first actress to take on the role. Although a nigh-immortal being from the planet Gallifrey, The Doctor always travels with human companions. This time around, the character will be traveling through all of time and space with a trio of companions played by Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, and Tosin Cole.

Doctor Who EW cover

Entertainment Weekly

Since she’s the first woman to play the role, Whittaker told EW she is acutely aware of how the show is headed into uncharted (dare we say, unmanned…?) territory, and how much is riding on her — and the show — as it maps its next course. “There’s no rules, and it’s liberating,” the actress admitted. “But it’s equally terrifying.”

When it came to casting the next Doctor after Capaldi decided to exit the series, Chibnall, who succeeds Steven Moffat as the new showrunner for Doctor Who, said it “wasn’t even a question” in his mind that the next Doctor would be a woman. 

“I just felt the time was right,” he said. “I think if the show hadn’t done it, we would have been behind the world, and Doctor Who has got to be out front leading the world and being a great example of all the amazing things that are in the world. So, it wasn’t even a question in my mind.”

The 11th season of Doctor Who premieres this October on BBC and BBC America.