Doctor Who 13th Doctor

Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker makes splashy SDCC debut, showrunner promises ‘new monsters and villains’

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Jul 19, 2018, 4:12 PM EDT

Jodie Whittaker was met with uproarious applause from the audience when she entered Hall H for the Doctor Who panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday.

The Doctor Who panel began with an amusing video in which Whittaker goes to the studio and tries to use the TARDIS to get to Comic-Con, but alas, it's got a "not for personal use" sign on it. So she taxis it, then hops on a plane, then crosses the footbridge by the Bayfront and asks a fan for directions to Hall H. When the film ends, Whittaker walks out onto the stage, much to the audience’s delight.

Splashy debut aside, the panel was very cautious not to reveal too much in the way of details on the forthcoming new season — and that includes a premiere date (beyond the fall). Doctor Who’s new showrunner Chris Chibnall said the new season will consist of “10 standalone stories,” and joked that “these guys” – referring to the cast – “have a lot of new monsters and villains ahead of them.”

Chibnall added that this season is "the perfect jumping-off point for the person in your life who has never watched Doctor Who."

And, okay. They did reveal one new thing: At one point, Whittaker held up the new sonic screwdriver: It's black and smaller and sleek, with an orange crystal on top that emits light. "There is a story to how the Doctor comes upon it," teased Chibnall.

As the panel neared the end, Whittaker emphasized that although this is still the Doctor everyone knows and loves, she will be a bit different this time out. She’s a "pillar of hope, striving for brightness and inclusion,” Whittaker said.