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Television Media Sci-Fi United Kingdom

Doctor Who's 13th Time Lord Announced: Actress Jodie Whittaker (bbc.co.uk) 505

Peter Capaldi, the 12th Doctor Who, had said that he wanted to see a woman replace him in the Tardis, and so did former Doctor Who stars Billie Piper and Karen Gillan. And today it's official: "the 13th incarnation of Doctor Who will be portrayed by an actress," writes Slashdot reader Coisiche -- specifically Jodie Whittaker, who American viewers may remember from her performance as CIA officer Sandra Grimes in the 2014 mini-series "The Assets." The BBC reports: She was revealed in a trailer that was broadcast on BBC One at the end of the Wimbledon men's singles final... She will make her debut on the sci-fi show when the Doctor regenerates in the Christmas Day show... Whittaker said: "I'm beyond excited to begin this epic journey...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... Doctor Who represents everything that's exciting about change."
Doctor Who's new showrunner said the 13th Doctor was always going to be a woman -- and that Whittaker was their first choice. "Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role." Doctor Who #12 added that Whittaker "has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She's going to be a fantastic Doctor." And Will Howells, who writes for the Doctor Who magazine, said "I don't think it's a risky choice at all but if a show that can go anywhere and do anything can't take risks, what can?"

Doctor Who's 13th Time Lord Announced: Actress Jodie Whittaker

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  • by ka9dgx ( 72702 ) on Sunday July 16, 2017 @02:28PM (#54820583) Homepage Journal

    When do we get new episodes? Why isn't there a daily episode? MORE MORE MORE!!!!

  • Jodie Whittaker (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slashnik ( 181800 ) on Sunday July 16, 2017 @02:29PM (#54820587)

    Well she's a fine actress, an inspired choice. We can only wait to see what she does with it

    • Re:Jodie Whittaker (Score:4, Insightful)

      by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Sunday July 16, 2017 @02:47PM (#54820725)

      I just hope Dr. Who treats her as an actual Doctor, not just use her to virtue-signal for SJW cred. Dr. Who's increasing politicization is really getting annoying. It's starting to feel like that guy who brings out his one black friend at every party and points to him to let you know that he's a proper non-racist liberal.

      When characters are naturally gay or black or whatever, that's great. When they're one-dimensional non-entities who just appear from stage-left in every episode just to remind everyone of their gayness and blackness, that's just virtue-signalling. And it's an insult to real gays, minorities, women etc. who are actual real human beings.

      I hope she's a real character. I hope that every episode doesn't revolve around some stereotypical "women's issues" just to trumpet for the thousandth time that this Dr. Who is A WOMAN.

      • by Truekaiser ( 724672 ) on Sunday July 16, 2017 @02:52PM (#54820749)

        Well they seem to be also repainting the police box color to pink, so what do you think will happen?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Missy was a exceptional incarnation of The Master as an evil Mary Poppins. Michelle Gomez proved the character can be gender flipped and still retain credibility.

        • Re:Jodie Whittaker (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, 2017 @03:09PM (#54820845)

          Go rewatch some of the older episodes with the Master and see if you can still say that. Missy was a poor approximation of the Master and the stupid "Master/Doctor" romance thing they tried to shove into that relationship ruined the character.

        • Re:Jodie Whittaker (Score:5, Insightful)

          by iamgnat ( 1015755 ) on Sunday July 16, 2017 @03:23PM (#54820913)

          Missy was a exceptional incarnation of The Master as an evil Mary Poppins. Michelle Gomez proved the character can be gender flipped and still retain credibility.

          Exactly, but they never made a big deal of it so it worked well.

          This last companion, however, was an abomination of SJW-ness. Not a single episode went by without them putting some focus on her liking girls and/or (mostly and) some slavery reference. It was tedious, annoying, helped nothing, and damaged the story lines.

          Cpt Jack's homosexuality was never an issue and it was never focused on. Martha didn't go around constantly commenting about slavery. Bill was also the first female companion (at least since the reboot) that I would not classify as a "strong woman" (mostly due to her being on about slavery and being gay so much). Seemed she needed more rescuing by the Dr than she did rescuing of the Dr like all her predecessors did.

          Hopefully the story will just be "poof, the Dr is a woman" and then it is never mentioned again. If so, it will work well. Based on how they are publicizing it, however, I suspect they are going to work some form of "wait! you're a woman now???" into each episode. That will be a damn shame if that is indeed what happens.

          I agree that there should be a female Dr and by all accounts it looks like she is a good choice. I just hope that the writers and producers don't turn it into disgusting political circus to try to make a point that doesn't need making.

      • I am guessing you haven't been watching Dr. Who or the BBC for the last decade?

        For the most part BBC has been good writing characters who may be against the normal stereotype without being preachy about it. There may be some episodes say where the Doctor is in the past and the men in charge will not listen to her, just because the Doctor is a woman. But I expect for the most part I trust that the BBC will make the New Doctor believable like the other ones.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Judging by his they handled Bill, I can't see it being an issue. Davies did tend to make too much of those kinds of issues for them to seem natural, but Moffat is pretty good at it.

      • Re:Jodie Whittaker (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (8691tsaebssab)> on Sunday July 16, 2017 @03:45PM (#54821057) Journal

        Exactly! there is a BIG fricking difference than having a character who simply happens to be "x" than one whose entire reason for being is to be "x". A perfect example of doing it right? Heimdall in the Thor movies. Nobody gives a shit that he is black because he is a well written character who just so happens to be black. He is brave, loyal to his friends, willing to charge in despite extreme danger, one tough SOB. Nobody cares about his skin color because it simply isn't relevant to the story or the character it is simply a trait like being tall or strong which frankly is how it should be if we actually care about people being treated as equals and not objects.

        Contrast this with how Hollywood portrays gay people which is still so cringe its pathetic, they always seem to go full Will & Grace stereotype gay. They can't just let a person be a person who just so happens to be gay, nope its "hey did you know I'm gay? Because i'm totally gay, yup as gay as gay can be uh huh that is me" which I have no doubt we'll look back in 20 years and see this virtue signaling for what it is...as racist as anything Amos and Andy did back in the day because they aren't allowed to just be people,normal folks with thoughts and fears and anxieties like everybody else, nope they have to go "magical negro" only its "super happy gay friend".

        So if its a case of the Doctor simply ending up with a gender swap this regen, looking down saying something snarky and then moving on like "Oh well at least I'm not white haired anymore, it was making me feel dreadfully old" then it will be great....but considering how many times I've seen the word "diversity" thrown in there which in left wing speak always translates to "hey we're gonna be racist/sexist now, gotta fly the flag and show we are loyal to the cause"? I have a feeling we are gonna be in for some serious cringe.

        lets just hope they don't end up killing the show because as we have seen people are REALLY getting fucking sick of being preached at and if the show becomes nothing but left wing politics and virtue signaling? I don't even see hardcore Dr Who fans wanting to tune in for their weekly dose of Who if it becomes nothing but propaganda.

        • Nobody gives a shit that he is black because he is a well written character who just so happens to be black.

          Actually, there was quite a bit of sturm und drang over Heimdall being black. The neo-nazis and "race realists" went apeshit over it and threatened to boycott. 4chan and Reddit forums blew up over a black guy playing Heimdall, and it didn't calm down until well after the movie was out.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Heimdall well written? He is supposed to be the lookout. His one job is to see things coming, and he regularly fails to notice the giant threat literally looming over him.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

        I just hope Dr. Who treats her as an actual Doctor, not just use her to virtue-signal for SJW cred. Dr. Who's increasing politicization is really getting annoying.

        If you can't see that Dr Who has always been "politicized", then you're probably too thick to have ever really appreciated the show.

      • by voss ( 52565 )

        One dimensional characters are bad because they are poorly written not because they are one dimensional in a way you do not like. When you start dropping buzzwords like "SJW" and "Virtue Signalling" you are using them in place of rational argument. Bill Potts was just not a very interesting character , on the other hand I loved the characters of Madame Vastra and Jenny. Im sure some consider the character of Madame Vastra to be virtue signalling but they were in 1893 where women couldnt be "naturally gay"

    • Re:Jodie Whittaker (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Sunday July 16, 2017 @03:40PM (#54821025)

      For the most part I expect the BBC is just trying to get rid of the gender debate. No matter when they would replace the Doctor with a female version there will be controversy. So if they do it now, then they can get rid of the hurdle. If they found a talented actor and have good writers and directors, then things should be fine.
      Being that Capaldi wasn't that popular Doctor (I actually started to warm up with him this season) People are up for a change, back to a more vibrant Doctor.

      • Re:Jodie Whittaker (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mhkohne ( 3854 ) on Sunday July 16, 2017 @04:00PM (#54821139) Homepage

        Being that Capaldi wasn't that popular Doctor (I actually started to warm up with him this season) People are up for a change, back to a more vibrant Doctor.

        Interesting. I have to say I loved Capaldi, and I thought his portrayal was great. Some of the scripts, on the other hand, could have used another go or two round the editor's desk before being OK'd. I'm hopeful the writers will do better by Whittaker.

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

          A lot of the new Doctors have felt like children with no real gravitas. I rather liked the fact that Capaldi did NOT suffer from this. I suspect that this new actress will be more of that same nonsense beyond the mindless virtue signalling.

      • Loved Capaldi as the Doctor. Just a shame the scripts he had to work with were steaming dog turds.
  • I am excited about this! They needed to do something new and fresh. This should work well and Jodie is a fantastic choice.

    My only complaint about Doctor Who (all BBC shows actually) is they don't make enough episodes per season.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, 2017 @02:47PM (#54820727)

      My only complaint about Doctor Who (all BBC shows actually) is they don't make enough episodes per season.

      Because, unlike Americans, they know it will turn to shit if they make too many.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        The real reason is that British TV shows tend to be written by the show creators, a relatively small team. In the US the creators outline the plot and characters, but most of the episodes are written by others. Lots of others in fact, and different groups for each episode.

      • Because, unlike Americans, they know it will turn to shit if they make too many.

        Moffat did a good job of turning the show to shit during Series 6 and 7 and the fiftieth-anniversary specials.

        And wouldn't you know it -- he's Scottish.

    • My only complaint about Doctor Who (all BBC shows actually) is they don't make enough episodes per season.

      If you think they don't make enough, then they're making just the right amount.

      Always leave the audience wanting more.

  • Notice how within the mere announcement of a female Doctor Who, the people doing the announcing have pushed a gender issue narrative.

    This isnt in response to anything public. The public didnt know yet. The announcement is telling us that the producers are insisting that there be this "controversy."
  • I know, they don't have to screw this up. But this seems like a cheap gimmick. I'm not familar with the actress. Does she have a body of work that would lend itself well to playing a Doctor? On the plus side I don't expect them to try and go all action hero-y with her. I always hated it when the Doctor got violent.
    • What was the body of work of Tom Baker (who I still consider the best Doctor)? It's a sci-fi/fantasy show that historically (though not since the 2000s reboot) ran on a pretty low budget. Capaldi and Smith probably are the best actors if you're judging by resume, but I didn't find Capaldi all that good, though Smith did seem to fit better.

      • True, but Baker fit the character. e.g. an amusing old fuddy duddy. I don't really want to see the character reinvented. Usually when companies do that they try too hard with writers that can't pull it off and it just goes to hell in a handbasket. Dr Who's tough to write already since the solutions are suppose to be non-violent. In writing violence it the easiest way to resolve a plot, but usually the least interesting unless you've got a huge budget.
        • I don't really want to see the character reinvented.

          You're pretty much watching the wrong show. the character has been somewhat invented every time a new Doctor comes along. At least that's how it was in the 80s or 90s.

        • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

          Tom Baker wasn't old when he started.

  • Not sure... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, 2017 @03:24PM (#54820919)

    I'm a gay man who hates seeing gay characters hammered in to a show just so they have a gay character -- Sulu in the last Star Trek movie being an obvious case in point.

    So I'm not sure about changing the Doctor to a woman just because the BBC need more diversity. To me, the Doctor is a male character, and I think should remain so. It's seems like feminism going to far (again?). (Jodie even said herself that she is a feminist).

    With Missy, they introduced the idea of a male Time Lord regenerating as a woman, so it's been obvious for some time that this was coming. I'm just not sure I like it.

    It happened to Thor too, so.I'm guess James Bond will be next.... Sigh.

    I've nothing against woman and strong lead woman characters, it's just changing something because it's the "in thing" or because they feel they have to that does my head in. Like, should Wonder Woman become Wonder Man? Should Aunt Beru become Uncle Stew in the next version of A New Hope just so Star Wars can have a gay parent couple?

    We'll see once we see her as the Doctor. I may change my mind. But for now, I'm not sure...

  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedyNO@SPAMtpno-co.org> on Sunday July 16, 2017 @03:30PM (#54820953) Homepage

    The Doctor was never about his gender, so switching it up shouldn't be cause for alarm.

    However, as another poster mentioned, let's just hope this doesn't result in the writers going on a full "Patriarchy" writing binge, where the Doctor saves women from the evils of men in every episode.

    There's so much potential for fun with the gender switch, I just hope they exploit that instead of going all "WOMENZ RULEZ THE WORLDSS!@!!!!1".

  • The question on whether the Doctor is capable of regenerating into a woman has been one of those little mysteries about the character that has gone on for decades. He was originally male and every single time he regenerated he came back as another man. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, war, 9, 10, meta-crisis (yes, it was sort of a cloning rather than a regular regeneration, but it still cost a life and was part Donna so it could have justifiably have gone either way), 11, 12 - that's 13 regenerations in a row, all men.

  • This show has been going downhill for sometime, no surprise that they are trying a female doctor now. I mean it worked so well for the Ghostbusters reboot, surely it will be a smashing success for Dr. Who. I have my serious doubts that any actor, male or female could rescue this show.

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