Following the announcement in July that Jodie Whittaker will play the first female incarnation of the Doctor in BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who, fans around the world have desperately scrabbled to learn anything at all about the mysterious new Time Lord taking over world-saving duties this year.
Details surrounding the new Doctor are scarce – for now – but we’ve put together a list of the few facts we DO know about the future Tardis owner.
Each incarnation of the Doctor from William Hartnell to the present day has had their own unique personality and quirks, while still maintaining the core nature of the character – and from what outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat says it sounds like Whittaker is no exception.
“In such a tiny moment, she’s given us the Doctor we’ve always known, but in, to say the least, a new way,” the writer said. “We are in for a very exciting run.”
At the moment, though, there are no specifics on how Whittaker’s Doctor compares to previous incarnations. Still, given Peter Capaldi’s Doctor was an older and occasionally grouchy figure, it stands to reason her characterisation might be a little lighter as a reaction.
Fans are also hoping that Whittaker’s Doctor will keep the actress’ native Northern accent, with a whopping 85% of RadioTimes.com readers believing Doctor 13 should hail from the UK’s upper regions. Still, we won’t know what decision the BBC have made on that until the 25th December, when Whittaker says her first words as the Time Lord.
There’s no sign of outgoing Doctor Peter Capaldi’s sonic glasses, but the new Time Lord’s recently-revealed outfit includes deep blue trousers and socks, light brown braces and a black shirt with yellow, green and red stripes. And to top it off, the costume comes with a swish large grey coat, with the same coloured stripe pattern on its edges. And check out those earrings!
A far cry from the black hoody seen in Whittaker’s announcement video, the outfit is a typically colourful and eccentric look for the Doctor – and it’s chock-full of references and callbacks to previous Doctors, as we explain in more detail here.
Will Jodie Whittaker get a new Tardis?
Included in Jodie Whittaker’s costume reveal was the new design for the exterior of the Tardis, with the Doctor’s time-travelling Police Box getting a bit of a makeover including a new sign (white on black, in keeping with some designs of the Tardis from the 1970s), new handles and a new paint job. To see a more in-depth look at all the changes, you can read our breakdown here.
Matt Smith introducing the current version of the Tardis interior
And given these exterior changes, it stands to reason that a new Tardis interior set is incoming as well, though as of yet we don’t know when that will be announced, or the reasoning for the redecoration given in the series (sometimes depicted as a result of great damage to the Tardis, sometimes as the Doctor’s personal taste).
“The new Doctor is going to need new friends,” showrunner Chris Chibnall said in a statement. We’re thrilled to welcome Mandip, Tosin and Bradley to the Doctor Who family. They’re three of Britain’s brightest talents and we can’t wait to see them dive into brand new adventures with Jodie’s Doctor. Alongside them, we’re delighted that Sharon D Clarke is also joining the show.”
Jodie Whittaker said: “I am so excited to share this huge adventure with Mandip, Tosin and Bradley. It’s a dream team!”
Bradley Walsh added: “I remember watching William Hartnell as the first Doctor. Black and white made it very scary for a youngster like myself. I was petrified but even though I’d watch most of it from behind the sofa through my fingers, I became a fan. I then queued up for ages to get into the Carlton picture house in Watford to watch the great Peter Cushing appear as the Doctor in a full length feature film made in glorious colour. Am I thrilled to be part of this whole ground breaking new dawn for the Doctor?? Oh yes!”
Mandip Gill said: “I am over the moon to be joining the Doctor Who family. This is an iconic show with an amazing fanbase and I look forward to everything that brings. Certain roles seem unattainable and this is one of those, so much so I didn’t believe it to be true for the first few weeks. To be working alongside the likes of Jodie, Bradley and my old friend Tosin is thrilling. This show is worlds away from the work I’ve done previously and that’s the part that excites me the most.”
Tosin Cole said: “I’m grateful and excited to be a part of this journey with the team. I’m looking forward to jumping in this Doctor Who universe.”
How long will Jodie Whittaker’s first series be?
It’s been revealed that the new series will mark a slight change to Doctor Who’s series format, with the recent trend for twelve 45-minute episodes per series scrapped in favour of ten 50-minute episodes (with the first of these extended to 60 minutes to fully introduce the new characters).
When will the Thirteenth Doctor first appear on screen?
Moffat will write the half of the scene where current Doctor Peter Capaldi begins the process of regeneration that brings him a new body, and Chibnall will take over when the regeneration to Whittaker’s Doctor is complete.
This mirrors the introduction of Matt Smith’s new Doctor at the end of 2010 New Year’s Day episode The End of Time part 2, which saw Moffat take over in the final scene from then-showrunner Russell T Davies in the same way.
Presumably Whittaker will spend her first moments on screen reacting to her regeneration and newly-female appearance – and according to Steven Moffat, who’s actually seen some of the footage, it’s rather good.
“Doctor Who has an amazing future, and I’ve seen part of it,” he said recently.
“I’ve seen Jodie’s first scene as the Doctor, and trust me we are in for a thrill ride. She is already brilliant.”
Sadly though, the rest of us will have to wait until Christmas to find out for ourselves exactly what it’s like. Just one more present to open under the tree.
When will Jodie Whittaker’s first full series of Doctor Who be on TV?
After making her Christmas 2017 debut, Whittaker will have to wait a while before beginning time-spanning adventures in earnest, as it has been revealed her first full series won’t air until autumn 2018.
Still, we’re sure it will be well worth the wait. And in the meantime we have so much still to learn about her…