In the realm of all things timey wimey, it’s always a big deal when Doctor Who’s Time Lord regenerates. But when the BBC announced the name of the 13th Doctor on July 16, it was especially epic.
When the seminal sci-fi hit airs its 2017 Christmas episode, “The Doctors,” we’ll get a chance to meet the newest incarnation of the Doctor: Jodie Whittaker. The 35-year-old actress is familiar to many TV viewers across the pond, as well as those of us stateside who have taken a liking to the popular British series. But she’s not exactly a household name — or at least she wasn’t until the big reveal. Here’s everything we know about the newest actor to take the TARDIS’ wheel.
1. She’s making history
Perhaps the most noticeable thing about the newest Time Lord is that she is actually a Time Lady. Since the series premiered in 1963, all previous incarnations of the alien time traveler have been male. So Whittaker isn’t just stepping into one of the most iconic roles of all time, she’s also the first woman to lead Doctor Who.
Fans reacted passionately when news broke that Whittaker had been cast. While the majority of fans, young and old, seemed to be thrilled that the series has finally switched it up when it comes to the Doctor’s gender, a few expressed displeasure at the casting news.
For her part, Whittaker is proud to take on the role of the first female Doctor. She told the BBC that joining Doctor Who feels “incredible.” To fans who are nervous about her ability to take the reigns from the last Doctor, Peter Capaldi, she said this: “I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender. Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”