For generations, Doctor Who has brought out the Whovian geekdom of UK fans, and subsequently those across the world.
Since 1963, the show has followed the adventures of a centuries-old Time Lord who goes only by the Doctor, as he travels space and time in his blue police box-disguised TARDIS (time and relative dimensions in space) with his many companions. Over the years, he’s regenerated numerous times, allowing new actors to step into the role, continuing the tradition with the modern interpretation of the show that premiered in 2005.
Although his companions throughout the series have steadily maintained a diverse representation (including Bill Potts, the recent queer female companion of color, portrayed by Pearl Mackie), all 12 Doctors throughout the series has been played by men. That all changed during the recent Christmas special, when the first female Doctor was introduced.
Update: I was also not emotionally prepared for Peter Capaldi to leave. But I am so excited to see what Jodie Whittaker does with the role!
— Alexa Peyton (@AlexaPeyton) December 26, 2017
After rumors of Tilda Swinton and Phoebe Waller-Bridge being cast, Jodie Whittaker was announced for the role a few months ago. This came after Bill suggested the Doctor regenerate as a woman during the season 10 finale.
“I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender,” Whittaker told the BBC. “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,” she continued.
“It feels incredible.”
Ignore the haters. The people who have a problem with a female Doctor Who also have a problem with female doctors.
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) December 26, 2017
Although the Christmas special was Whittaker’s first episode as the 13th Doctor and first female Doctor, it was also Mackie’s last episode as the Doctor’s companion. So unfortunately, we won’t likely see the Doctor in a queer relationship any time soon. Too bad, because we were really shipping them.
But never forget, this isn’t exactly the first female Doctor. Joanna Lumley of Absolutely Fabulous fame appeared as the Doctor in a skit for Red Nose Day 2007:
Watch the clip from the Christmas special below, in which Jodie Whittaker makes her debut as the first female Doctor: