January of 2017 came with a shocking, yet long awaited announcement from Doctor Who front runner Peter Capaldi; the tenth series of Doctor Who would be his last at the helm of the TARDIS. Capaldi, who has portrayed The Doctor since series eight, explained his departure by stating:
“I’ve never done one job for three years. I feel it’s time for me to move on to different challenges. I feel a bit sad but rather wonderful. What a privilege to have done this. You have to be aware of when it’s time to move on. They asked me to stay on — my contract had run out— they asked me to stay. I thought, “I love this but I don’t know how long I can do it and give it my best.” I want to move on to other challenges but there’s never been something that’s more special to me.” (Peter Capaldi/Vanity Fair)
In addition to Peter Capaldi stepping down from his role as The Doctor, it was also announced that the tenth series would be the last for showrunner, writer and producer Steven Moffat. Moffat’s replacement has been announced as being Chris Chibnall, whose notable works include Broadchurch, Torchwood, and the five-part webseries Pond Life.
On Sunday, July 16, 2017 it was announced that Jodie Whittaker would be stepping up to the plate as The Thirteenth Doctor. Whittaker, who is known for her roles in BBC’s Broadchurch , where she coincidentally co-starred with the 10th Doctor David Tennant, and the cult favorite Black Mirror, will be the first ever female Doctor. She stated;
“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey, with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet. It’s more than a honor to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping onward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”
“It feels completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be. “
Whittaker encouraged fans not to be “scared” by the fact that she is female, stating:
“Because 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.” (Jodie Whittaker/BBC)
Fans of the long running sci-fi show are ecstatic, as there have been rumors swirling about the possibility of The Doctor finally being female. Chris Chibnall is known for creating intense female roles, and will surely bring a new dynamic to the show and the new circumstances The Doctor must face. He stated:
“I always knew I wanted The Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for The Doctor simply blew us all away. Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The 13th Doctor is on her way.” (Chris Chibnall/BBC)
Jodie Whittaker is set to make her debut as The Thirteenth Doctor in the much anticipated Christmas special, December 25, 2017.