Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker: Jo Martin’s arrival as the Doctor was an “extraordinary moment”

Martin made history as the first Black incarnation of The Doctor.

Jodie Whittaker and Jo Martin in Doctor Who on BBC One

Jodie Whittaker has hailed Jo Martin’s Doctor Who debut as an extraordinary moment for the BBC’s long-running sci-fi series.

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Originally introduced as a character named Ruth Clayton, Martin was later revealed to be a previously unseen incarnation of the Doctor in a series 12 episode titled Fugitive of the Judoon.

As the first Black person to portray the iconic character, it was a revelation that made headlines and fuelled excited discussion among the show’s thriving fan community.

At a virtual New York Comic-Con panel, Whittaker recalled the moment that Martin announced herself to be the Doctor, at a table read of the script before filming began.

She said: “Do you guys remember when we did the read-through for that episode? We all say who we are and who we play, and for us obviously it’s however many episodes in. And she was like, ‘I’m Jo, and I play the Doctor’.

“And for her, and for both of us, it was just this really extraordinary moment because we knew that this room was going to be the only room that knew about this for months and months. And we had to keep all that excitement locked in.”

Jo Martin and Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who (BBC)

Later in the discussion, she was asked by a fan what her reaction to the reveal was and what it was like to work on those groundbreaking scenes with Martin.

“I found it completely exhilarating,” Whittaker said. “And what was wonderful about my Doctor’s reaction in it was that it could sum up how the audience felt… shocked, angry at a point, in the sense of like, there’s a moment where you’re like ‘what is going on?’.

“I know from friends that texted me like, ‘I need answers now!’ There’s like a real need for more and I felt like the whole range that my Doctor went through in that.

“I think Doctor Who continually pushes boundaries and shows us that what we think we know could be a world away from the truth. To be the actor in that is as exciting as being someone sat on the couch going, ‘I’m sorry, what?’.”

Doctor Who is due to start filming on series 13 imminently, but there’s no confirmed date just yet for when the show could return to screens. A festive special will air on the BBC in late 2020 / early 2021.

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Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer and Netflix. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, visit our TV Guide, or find out about upcoming new TV shows 2020.