Doctor Who drops bombshell with new Time Lord announcement

Jodie Whittaker is the latest incarnation of the Doctor.

Jodie Whittaker is the latest incarnation of the Doctor. Photo: BBC

The internet has been sent into a spin with the shock announcement that iconic science fiction series Doctor Who is about have its first female Time Lord piloting the TARDIS.

While the show’s producers and the BBC left plenty of hints to soften the blow of Monday morning’s (AEST) announcement, many diehard fans reacted with disbelief at the news that Jodie Whittaker will be the thirteenth Doctor.

Whittaker, known to some for her role in the TV series Broadchurch, is the first woman to assume one of television’s best-known roles since the Doctor first appeared on our screens in 1963.

And not everyone is happy.

The 13th Doctor is revealed

The initial reaction to the announcement, revealed in a dramatic ad immediately after the BBC broadcast of the Wimbledon final, was mixed to say the least.

While some fans declared their allegiance to the show was now over, others welcomed the casting decision and ridiculed the objections.

For her part, Whittaker said she was “beyond excited”.

“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.

Whittaker replaces Peter Capaldi, who became the twelfth doctor in 2013 when he took over the role from Matt Smith.

Doctor Who was first aired 54 years ago, but its current incarnation dates back to a 2005 reboot that featured Christopher Eccleston in the title role. He was succeeded by David Tenant in 2010.

This year’s traditional  Dr Who Christmas special will be Capaldi’s final appearance as The Doctor.

His replacement was the subject of intense speculation since news of his departure became public in January.

Among those who had been tipped to take on the titular role included Kris Marshal (Death at a Funeral; Love Actually) and Whittaker, as well as Michaela Coel, Tom Rosenthal (Bridget Jones’s Baby), Tilda Swinton (A-list Oscar winner), David Harewood, James Norton (Northmen), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (due to star in the upcoming Han Solo, Star Wars spin-off) and Olivia Colman (Fleabag).

Actress Sophie Aldred, who played Doctor Who‘s companion, Ace, during the 1980s, said she had met the majority of the 12 male leads who have thus far played Doctor Who.

“I’ve been lucky enough to meet most of the doctors and they’ve all been amazing people. Slightly eccentric in some way … very talented actors,” she told BBC.

“They just have to be a person who (has) really got something different about them.”

In addition to the show welcoming a new leading actor, it will also farewell its lead writer.

Steven Moffat, who is also the show’s executive producer, announced earlier this year that he would soon leave the show.

Moffat told the ABC he had achieved everything he wanted to after six series of Doctor Who.

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