Jodie Whittaker will be Doctor Who’s first, full-time female Doctor, and we have five reasons why Whittaker is a great choice.
Outgoing Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat set the stage for a female doctor in the reboot era by giving us The Master in the guise of Missy. Though there were some detractors, by-in-large the fandom embraced Michelle Gomez and her wonderfully cheeky style. Now it is up to incoming showrunner, Chris Chibnall, and our new Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, to make this groundbreaking transition to the next Doctor work.
1. Broadchurch acting chops
Jodie Whittaker has spent the last few years working with Chris Chibnall on Broadchurch. During those three seasons, Whittaker’s character transformed from a women who was broken and angry with grief, to a women who moved on to establish herself in a new career. After the break-up of her marriage, she was the rock that supported her family emotionally. In short, Whittaker has a phenomenal acting range. She can easily navigate complex and layered emotions.
Here’s what Chibnall had to say about Whittaker as his choice: “After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we’re excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor. 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 Thirteenth Doctor is on her way.”
2. Working relationship with Chris Chibnall
Speaking of the new showrunner, their prior working relationship gives Whittaker two advantages. One, Chibnall knows how to write to her strengths after three seasons of working together on Broadchurch. Two, they trust each other. Broachchurch actors were only given pieces of their scripts ahead of time. They didn’t know the exact nature of their character arcs, or where/how each of the seasons would end. This requires an enormous amount of blind faith between the actors and the showrunner. This is absolutely needed on an action-packed, and slightly mad show like Doctor Who where secrets are key.
Anyone thinking it's going to be 'Time Lesbians In Space' sit down and have a cup of tea. It's not. If that's your thing though.. internet
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— Chris Chibnall (@ChrisChibnall) July 17, 2017
As for Chibnall possibly having to persuade her to take the part, here’s what Whittaker had to say: “No. There was no persuasion needed. If you need to be persuaded to do this part, you’re not right for this part, and the part isn’t right for you. I also think, for anyone taking this on, you have to want to fight for it, which I certainly had to do. I know there will have been some phenomenal actors who threw their hats in the ring.”
3. Friends with ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Torchwood’ alums
Whittaker has worked with several people on Broadchurch who are Doctor Who alums. These actors include David Tennant (the Tenth Doctor), Arthur Darvil (Rory), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper of Torchwood). Talk about having a treasure trove of resources! Additionally, Whittaker did the ITV series Marchlands with Alex Kingston (River Song). Each of these three actors has a great perspective on what it’s like to be a part of the Doctor Who franchise, and the impact it has on your life.
4. Master of accents
Some of the funniest moments of Doctor Who involve the Doctor taking on a different accent. Peter Capaldi would use an American carnival announcer voice in order to make a particularly sarcastic point. David Tennant used a standard RP accent for most of Doctor Who, but flipped to his native Scottish accent in ‘Tooth and Claw’ as he poked fun at Rose Tyler’s bad attempts at a Scottish accent.
Born in Skelmanthorpe, Whittaker speakers with a pronounced Yorkshire accent, but that’s not to say she can’t mask it. For Broachchuch, she had to use a Dorset accent which couldn’t be more different from a Yorkshire accent if it tried. She also used an American accent in spy thriller The Assets, and won praise from the A.V. Club for doing so. It will be interesting to see what accent(s) she will use for Doctor Who.
5. Fantastic live performer
Like several of the Doctor Who actors before her, Whittaker has extensive experience on the stage. She knows how to play to an audience and think on her feet. She’s also especially good in interviews where virtually nothing is off limits, such as armpit hair in the video below.
Doctor Who requires a good deal of publicity appearances with live audiences who are highly passionate about their series. Whittaker is in for a trial by fire at San Diego Comic-Con this coming Sunday. She will experience Hall H and 6,000 people armed with their sonic screwdrivers, clapping to the Time-Lord heartbeat rhythm. It will be a make or break appearance for Whittaker. She needs to bring her A-game to wow this crowd. There will be no second chance to make a first impression. We think she’s up for it.
We wish Jodie Whitakker luck as she tackles this new role. Hypable will be watching along with 50 plus years of passionate fans. No pressure, Jodie, no pressure!