When Jodie Whittaker was cast in Doctor Who, it’s fair to say that the news rocked the world – except for those lucky few who already knew she was playing the Thirteenth Doctor ahead of the big reveal.
Those people in the know included actors like David Tennant and Matt Smith who’d previously played the Doctor, all of whom were informed of the casting so they could offer some sage words of advice to their successor.
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And having already heard what the first reactions were to the news from Tennant and Smith, now we can add Whittaker’s direct predecessor Peter Capaldi into the mix, with new showrunner Chris Chibnall recounting how the Scottish actor responded with laughter and grace when the information came to him.
“We set a time, I call him, and as he picks up the phone the first thing he does is giggle, delighted by the madness around it all,” Chibnall writes in the latest Doctor Who Magazine. “I tell him the name.
“He is generous and gentlemanly, of course: ‘Well, she’s a fabulous actor,’ he says.
“He asks if it will be all right to call Jodie and I put them in touch, one Doctor to the next.”
And so, the handover of Time Lord power proceeded as smoothly as ever (well, except that one time Colin Baker wouldn’t film a regeneration scene), with Whittaker grateful for Capaldi’s advice and the former Twelfth Doctor sure that the character was in good hands.
“Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm,” he said in a release just a short while after he found out the news.
“She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.”
From what we’ve seen of her so far, we’d be inclined to agree with him.
“A secret shoot? Will this work?”
In the new issue of DWM showrunner Chris Chibnall reveals the meticulous preparations that went into announcing Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor.
Plus the new TARDIS crew describes filming for Series 11!
DWM 528 is on sale Thursday 26 July ???? pic.twitter.com/PK6qR79AVu
— Doctor Who Magazine (@DWMtweets) July 24, 2018
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this autumn