Original Doctor Who companion Carole Ann Ford says she “couldn’t imagine” a female Doctor before Jodie Whittaker

But now she's totally on board for the Thirteenth Doctor's new adventures

Picture shows: The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), BBC publicity image, BD

The casting of Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor caught many Doctor Who fans by surprise last summer, with most viewers expecting the regularly recast role to go to a male actor as it had for the past 50 years.

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One of the BBC sci-fi series’ very first companions was equally blindsided by the move, with Carole Ann Ford – who played the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan in the very first serials of Doctor Who alongside William Hartnell’s First Doctor – revealing in a new interview that she’d never even considered the possibility of a female Doctor during her time on the series.

“I couldn’t imagine it ever happening,” Ford admitted in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine. “It would never have occurred to me unless someone had suggested it.”

However, following Whittaker’s first appearance in the series last December (where she regenerated from Peter Capaldi’s Doctor) Ford says she finds the concept much easier to picture.

“Jodie’s got a very strong presence,” she said. “I saw the moment she arrived and I’ve been thinking about it quite a lot.

“I really would like to meet her,” she added. “Wouldn’t it be fun?! What would I say to her? ‘Hello Grandma!’”

Now that’s a reunion we’d be up for seeing on screen.

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Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this Autumn