Jodie Whittaker hopes a female Doctor will not be headline news again

Katie ArcherContributor
(BBC)
(BBC)

Jodie Whittaker has said when she joined Doctor Who she worried about holding back gender equality in casting, but hopes a woman being given the Timelord’s role will no longer be headline news.

The Broadchurch star was the first woman to be cast as the Doctor in its 50-year history when she joined the BBC show in 2018.

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It was huge news at the time, with the question of a female Doctor having arisen many times in recent years, but Whittaker says she hopes another woman taking on the iconic role would not be newsworthy next time.

Talking to The Big Issue about her current role, she also admitted that signing up to star had come with a huge weight of responsibility.

She said: "I feel like I've been accepted as the Doctor. There was a pressure. If I'd have been a guy in this role I'd have only been representing my own casting as an individual.

"But it felt like I could hold people back if nobody liked what I brought to the Doctor."

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Fans of the series are known for being vocal in their preferences for actors cast as the Timelord, but Whittaker said that she hoped just being a woman would not be reason for debate any more.

She said: "The gender question is now going away. Hopefully it won't make the news next time."

Recent actors to have starred in the role before Whittaker include Peter Capaldi, Matt Smith, David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston.

The Doctor usually travels alongside one female companion, but Whittaker’s casting came with a trio of companions played by Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill.

She is the 13th Doctor and will return for series 12 of the show on New Year’s Day with a two-part episode that features guest stars Stephen Fry and Sir Lenny Henry.

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