On Sunday, BBC named Jodie Whittaker of "BroadChurch" fame the Thirteenth Doctor in “Doctor Who," one of the world’s most iconic sci-fi characters on television. Thirty-five-year-old Whittaker will be the first woman to play the time lord in the BBC1 drama's over 50-year history.
“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey, with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet,” Whittaker said. “It’s more than an honor 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 was quoted as saying in Variety.
Gender disparity is rife in the UK film industry as merely 22 percent of crew members on major films are female, according to a 2014 report compiled by the British producer and writer Stephen Follows. The compilation recorded the gender of film crews, from make-up artists and animators to sound engineers and directors, who had worked on the 100 biggest box-office blockbusters each year since 1994, the Guardian reported.
"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," Chris Chibnall, the show's new head writer and executive producer, told Reuters.
“Doctor Who” was first broadcast in 1963. In the series, the Doctor travels through time in what from the outside appears to be a blue police telephone box, has the ability to regenerate, allowing a variety of actors to play the role.