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The (new) Doctor will see you now…

New Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker

Game, Set and a new Match. So now we know. As Wimbledon wraps up quicker than expected, the new ‘Doctor Who‘ has been announced… and it’s….

There’s been some teasing over the last few days and the bookies have had a field-day with flurries of votes on likely and unlikely candidates, but the BBC revealed the true identity of the new incarnation of the Time Lord after their coverage of this year’s Mens Finals at Wimbledon. The BBC had promsied the revelation after the tennis finished and the Mens Final finished quickly, with Riger Federer proclaimed a record-breaking eighth winner in almost record-breaking time (everything done by around 4:00pm UK time)

Some took that ‘Mens Final’ decision as a subtle cue  in advance that the the 13th Doctor would be a woman.

And they were right. For the first time in the show’s history, the main character will regenerate into a woman. Jodie Whittaker, most recently seen in Broadchurch, will assume the role. It’s a unique show, but the idea that Gallifreyans had the ability to change their gender really shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s been established it can happen and actually happened on the series before – if never to the main character. The Master became ‘Missy’ – played by Michelle Gomez – and there were various other transitions that were mentioned or featured in the mythology to other supporting characters.

Meet the Thirteenth Doctor #DoctorWho

Posted by Doctor Who on Sunday, 16 July 2017

It was pretty much a given that responses to the casting decision would be divided whatever happened and whomever was chosen – Who fandom is nothing but vocal in their opinions on every aspect of the long-running sf series,  But previous incarnations of the Doctor, though often deliberately different than the one before, have all gone on to be largely accepted… and there’s the long-running observation that however radical the differences, the cycle of ‘The new one won’t be as good as the current one’ quickly goes around the full  degrees of acceptance until it’s time to change again.

“After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we’re excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor…” said Chibnall in a prepared statement. 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.”

“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,” said ‘Number 12’ Peter Capaldi.

Whittaker had seen a flurry of last minute bets in the last 48hrs, but many thought she was still an unlikely choice. Jodie, a versatile actor, will make her first formal appearance at the end of the next Doctor Who special to be broadcast on Christmas Day and then in the next run of episodes to be seen in 2018, under new showrunner Chis Chibnall who also helmed Broadchurch.

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