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The BBC has announced that the 13th Doctor Who will be a female

Category: Industry News, Employer Focus

Jodie Whittaker, the 13th person to play Doctor Who and the first female to play this role.

After months of speculation, the 13th person to play the iconic Time Lord, Doctor Who has been announced as Jodie Whittaker, the first female star to take on the BBC1 drama role. 

Jodie has recently starred in the ITV crime drama, Broadchurch, where she played a very different role to the one that she is about to embark on. This announcement marks an exciting time for the show, as the first-ever female Doctor questions gender stereotypes and breaks down the barriers that have surrounded a traditionally male-dominated role.

The shows new head writer and executive producer, Chris Chibnall said: “I always knew I wanted the 13th 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 13th Doctor is on her way.”

Despite the criticism that the casting decision has received, there has been an overwhelmingly positive response to the news, with many of the shows fans excited to see what Jodie will bring to the role. Jodie is excited to put her own stamp on the character of Doctor Who, who has been played by a different person after each regeneration. It was only a matter of time before we welcomed a female Doctor to our screens, Jodie says that it is “overwhelming, as a feminist” to be the next Doctor.

Jodie said: “I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with Chris and 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. I can’t wait.”

There is hope that this casting choice will pave the way for other females to have the opportunity to take on what was previously a traditionally male-dominated lead role.

Emily Cook, editorial assistant at Doctor Who magazine, said: “I am very excited about this […] Having a female Doctor is really exciting and significant. I cannot wait to see what she does with the role and where she takes the show. She is younger than Peter Capaldi and, being a woman, she will have a different approach to the role. It’s completely new territory for the show and that is very exciting.”

Erica Lear, the social secretary at the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, said: “I think it’s very brave but she is a brilliant actress. I did not expect it but I think it’s brilliant. My only wish was that we have a good actor and that is what we have.” However, even Lear has seen the divide in opinion over the new female Doctor and has commented, saying that: “It will spark debate and split fandom; there will be lots of people not happy with the decision but it’s up to the new series to change their mind.”

Despite the mixed reviews on the casting, we think that this is a step in the right direction for encouraging diversity into the film and TV industry and are looking forward to the new series.  

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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