New Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker has urged fans of the sci-fi show not to be afraid of her gender after she was introduced as the first 'Timelady' on Sunday (16Jul17).
The Attack the Block star's big reveal, in the form of a much-anticipated BBC ad following the network's coverage of the Wimbledon tennis tournament men's final, prompted a flurry of Internet activity, with some hardcore fans upset about the casting of a woman.
"I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender," Whittaker said in a BBC interview. "Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that's exciting about change."
"It feels completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you're told you can and can’t be," Whittaker added. "It feels incredible."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Whittaker beat out actresses like Tilda Swinton and Phoebe Waller-Bridge to become the 13th person to play the Doctor.
"The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one," Whittaker smiled. "To be asked to play the ultimate character, to get to play pretend in the truest form, this is why I wanted to be an actor in the first place... What an unbelievable opportunity."
Jodie has already been given the thumbs up by outgoing Doctor Who Peter Capaldi, who called his successor "a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm", and now her Broadchurch castmate Olivia Colman, who was also a fan favourite to land the role has defended Whittaker's casting, stating, "She’ll do it better than anyone, I’m so proud of her."
"It’s a massive, massive thing that she’s undertaken and she will be great," Colman added. "It's not her job to fly the flag for all of womankind... the creatives have made the decision that part should be a woman and it’s about time."