The BBC announced on July 16 that the next actor to play The Doctor on the network’s show “Doctor Who” will be female actress Jodie Whittaker.
This new casting is a landmark decision since the character has been played by male actors for over 50 years.
The announcement has created a mix of reactions from fans, also known as Whovians, on social media. Some praising the BBC for making a “progressive decision” while others are critical saying that the decision was not made to benefit the show, but to be “politically correct.”
While reactions may be mixed, Whittaker spoke to BBC Entertainment about what viewers may feel.
“I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender,” she said to a BBC Entertainment correspondent. “This is a really exciting time and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change.”
The announcement of who would play The Doctor has been anticipated by fans since January of 2017 when lead actor Peter Capaldi announced that the upcoming season would be his last.
Whittaker’s casting seemed as a surprise to some, but she is using the role as a chance to inspire others.
“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,” she said in the same interview. “It feels incredible.”
Whittaker’s first appearance as The Doctor can be seen on the show’s Christmas special later this year.
To read a previous article written about this casting, check out https://signpost.mywebermedia.com/2017/02/03/we-need-a-doctor-now-more-than-ever/