David Tennant says Jodie Whittaker’s gender will be “irrelevant almost immediately” when she starts Doctor Who
“The Doctor can be whatever he needs to be,” the former series star told Stephen Colbert
After briefly touching on the topic last month at San Diego comic-con, former Doctor Who star David Tennant has finally spoken at length about the casting of Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker, the first female actor to take on his former role.
Speaking to Stephen Colbert on the Late Show in the US, the Tenth Doctor actor addressed the slight backlash from certain fans disappointed by Whittaker’s casting, saying that such strong reactions “[happen] every time” due to the passionate nature of the fans, and predicting that Thirteen’s gender would become old news pretty quickly.
“Do you know, whenever the Doctor changes there’s a backlash, because that’s a character people love,” Tennant explained. “So people get very affectionate about the Doctor they knew.”
Asked if such a reaction had accompanied his casting, he added “Oh, sure!”
“They were like ‘Who’s the weaselly-looking guy? Who’s this? I like the last guy. This is not gonna work for me – this show is dead to me. I resign from the internet. Send!
“There was a lot of that. And that happens every time, and that’s because it’s a show that has a lot on enthusiastic followers.”
Still, Tennant said he was confident that his former Broadchurch co-star Whittaker would be great in the role, and that the character’s gender would soon be forgotten – at least as a point of contention, anyway.
“Sure, Jodie is from a different gender than anyone who’s gone before, but that will be irrelevant almost immediately when she takes the part,” he said.
“The Doctor can be whatever he needs to be. It’s about finding the right performer at the right time – and that’s Jodie without a doubt.”
Fingers crossed that when the Thirteenth Doctor is revealed on Christmas Day, the fans will feel the same.
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this Christmas