“There’s so many references,” the Thirteenth Doctor actor said at the San Diego Comic-Con according to Deadline. “You’re never going to have a Doctor Who series without references to things that have gone before. So, I obviously have done enough research to know what I’m talking about.”
But although future episodes are likely to be crammed with callbacks, Whittaker hinted we can expect many refreshing changes to the show – not least the Doctor’s unprecedented regeneration.
“For the first time, the Doctor regenerates, but regenerates in this completely brand new way, which is really liberating,” she said. “For me, now approaching the part it’s really liberating because there’s no rules for me in this way. Also, it’s a perfect job for any actor because even though there’s the 12 previous shoes that you’re filling, you’re able creatively to make it your own.”
Whittaker added: “No season of Doctor Who is like the previous in many ways and neither is a new Doctor. Coming at it with fresh eyes was helpful in so many ways because nobody knows the character before born into this new body.
“I just wanted to, I suppose, use my newness in myself to be able to bring that energy to the show.”
New showrunner Chris Chibnall has called Doctor Who series 11 “the perfect jumping-on point for that person in your life who has never watched Doctor Who”, but added that “there’ll be little things here and there” that long-term fans will love and recognise.