Doctor who’s 13th incarnation as a Time Lord is in the form of a woman – film and TV actor Jodie Whittaker.
The choice has not gone down well in some quarters, with thousands of series devotees griping about casting a female Doctor across social media.
Besides the fact Whittaker is a woman, critics are also complaining about her past nude roles and that she was had ginger hair in the immensely successful TV series Broadchurch, in which she played a social worker.
Much of the debate has focused on why producers have taken more than 50 years to cast a woman in the lead role of the sci-fi classic.
The programme first hit the screens in November 1963, and despite a break between 1989 and 2005, has enthralled fans as the Doctor has battled with trademark wit and ingenuity against alien foes.
Nude roles on screen
During that time, he has shared his Tardis time machine with a retinue of young, female assistants, but the lead has always remained a male preserve.
Jodie Whittaker, 39, from West Yorkshire, has starred on stage and screen in a range of roles, from TV thrillers to film comedy in a rehash of St Trinian’s in 2005.
She has stripped nude for several roles, including Venus and The Smoke.
“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with writer and producer Chris Chibnall and with every Whovian on this planet. It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait,” she said.
Outgoing Doctor Peter Capaldi praised the casting choice.
Individuality and charm
“Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor,” he said.
Capaldi is scripted to play the Doctor until Christmas 2017 and Whittaker will immediately step into his shoes.
“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,” said Chibnall.