BBC broke the internet when they announced this morning the casting news for the next season of Doctor Who. The Doctor, most previous played by Peter Capaldi, will now be represented by Jodie Whittaker, who is best known for her roles in Broadchurch and Attack the Block alongside current Star Wars actor John Boyega.
Of course, the news has polarized Doctor Who fans. Over the past few years, there has been a major online movement to cast a woman in the role of the Doctor. However, there are a number of Doctor Who purists who are disappointed by the casting, feeling that, in a show centered around a time-travelling alien who can regenerate into a new body once they die, the idea of a woman Doctor is unbelievable.
Unfortunately, much of the backlash isn’t all that civil, with many naysayers using outright misogyny to denounce the news. Which, in my opinion, is unfortunate as Whittaker is a talented actress and is sure to bring her own flair to the role.
Regardless of your feelings on the matter, the casting of Whittaker marks a new direction for the show, as not only will this season bring on a new Doctor, but also a new show-runner as well, with Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall taking over for Steven Moffat.
As has been the tradition, Whittaker will officially take over the role in the Christmas episode.
The news was announced in a promotional trailer that played after the Wimbledon men’s singles final. Watch the trailer below.
You can also read more about the announcement, including a short interview with Whittaker, on BBC’s website.
Will Jodie Whittaker’s take on the Doctor be as lovable as David Tennant’s, as memorable as Matt Smith’s, or as short lived as Christopher Eccleston’s? Only time will tell, but personally, I’m excited for the gender swap.
The BBC announced today live around 2pm EST that the sonic screwdriver will be passed from Matt Smith to BAFTA and Oscar award winning Scots actor Peter Capaldi. Capaldi, 55, is perhaps best known for his role as foul mouthed Malcolm Tucker on the comedy series The Thick of It. The Scottish-Italian actor (hence the last name) is poised to take on the mantle this Christmas following Eleven’s “death” during the special.
Capaldi is not too far removed from The Doctor; he was featured in 2009’s Torchwood: Children of Earth as John Frobisher and played the Pompeian marble merchant (historically a banker) Lucius Caecilius Iucundus who ran into the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble in the 2008 Series 4 Episode 2 of Doctor Who “The Fires of Pompeii” which also notably featured a young pre-Amy Pond Karen Gillan as a priestess sentry.
And here’s Karen for old time’s sake:
Capaldi marks an interesting change for the character, or rather a return to form after three younger (and younger and younger) incarnations by being a more mature actor and is rather a jump up from the barely 30 years old Matt Smith who was bestowed the title of Doctor at the very young age of 26. Matt won skeptical fans over quickly with his portrayal of Eleven’s quirky Peter Pan boyishness, exuberance, actual real-life gawky clumsiness and quirky demeanor. On the flip side Matt further won people over with his serious acting chops with Eleven’s inclinations towards temper tantrums and an unmitigated anger, world weariness and sadness that were at times the scariest and the saddest the Doctor has ever been (Or as fellow staff writer Jen would say Matt is the “Goddess of tears” for Eleven’s frequently wet face).
Fans have already taken warmly to the choice of Capaldi citing visually he echos other past Doctors and the older more mature actor brings the series back to a status quo that somewhat mirrors William Hartnell and the Doctor’s first companion, Susan which is pretty appropriate for the 50th Anniversary year. What this means for the twelfth Doctor’s personality is or how he’ll treat Clara, the first companion to continue on through a regeneration since Rose Tyler onwards in Series 8 has yet to be unseen or told but Eleven’s bubbling anger issues and mood swings may be a clue. We’ll have to see come Christmas following Nov.’s 50th Anniversary special which pairs Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman with David Tennant and Billie Piper.
Do you think they picked the right actor? I’m excited. What do you think?
Until next time!
Staff Writer/The Doctor