After over half a century onscreen, Doctor Who is facing one of its biggest changes yet, with Jodie Whittaker set to appear as the first female version of the ever-changing lead character when the series returns this autumn.
And in an exclusive Radio Times interview Whittaker has revealed exactly how much it means to her to be the first woman given the role, hoping that she can inspire female fans as a character they could truly imagine themselves being for the first time.
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“Now it isn’t just attainable for half of the population,” Whittakers says in the latest edition of the Radio Times magazine, which is on sale from Tuesday 17th July.
“The other half can be the Doctor as well. Girls will no longer just think, ‘Oh, I could be a companion.’
“Being the first female Doctor and showing children that their heroes in shows don’t always look the same is a huge honour for me.”
Meanwhile, new Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall has revealed that his decision to cast a female Doctor stemmed from a desire to keep the series up-to-date, citing worries that it could be left behind if it didn’t change and innovate.
“I felt the time was right for a female Doctor – I felt the audience were ready for it, the world was ready for it,” he tells Radio Times.
“I think if we hadn’t done it, we would have been behind the world – and Doctor Who has to be out front leading the world, showcasing all the amazing things out there. So it was never a question in my mind. It was time.”
But despite the momentous nature of her casting, Whittaker says she didn’t feel too pressured reinterpreting the Doctor for a new generation.
“The pressure is less for me because I can only do this my way,” she explains.
“All the rules are out the window! That’s what makes it so fun.”
Radio Times’ special Doctor Who preview issue, including interviews with Jodie Whittaker and the new Doctor Who team, is on sale from Tuesday 17th July