It goes without saying that a new actor taking on the role of the Doctor is a big deal. At a minimum, it means their predecessor has moved on from the show, and as every Doctor is someone’s favorite, this can be a turbulent transition within the show’s fandom. It also comes with a certain measure of legacy and responsibility, a fact which has arguably never been more true than with Whittaker’s assumption of the role. After all, it took fifty-five years before a woman was given the opportunity to take on the mantle of the enigmatic Time Lord.
The sense of responsibility is one that Whittaker herself feels keenly. Speaking to Digital Spy, Whittaker shared a bit about what her casting in the role means to her and what it feels like to embody a milestone:
“This is the defining moment of my life. I feel old enough for it. And I feel like I understand how important it is, and I’m so excited that the role models for young children, boys or girls… or teenagers or adults, come in different forms.
There’s nothing unattainable about me. I don’t look like I’ve been carved out of rock. I don’t sound like I’ve had the extraordinary glamour. For me, knowing what I thought were my limitations as a person and an actor, because this industry is about “You sound like this, you look like this”…. but I’m normal.
And that was exciting to David (Tennant) – it was a superhero he could play. And now it opens it a little wider, to women as well. It’s amazing to be a milestone, but how wonderful if it wasn’t, if it was just accepted. I’m not dissing the moment – it’s fucking brilliant – but hopefully when other people grow up, it’s not so much of a surprise.”
Jodie Whittaker’s first season of ‘Doctor Who’ will begin later this year, during which she will be joined by an array of companions that includes Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, and Bradley Walsh.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more ‘Doctor Who’ news as the season’s premiere approaches.