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How Doctor Who boss Chris Chibnall tricked us all about not casting a female Doctor

Before Jodie Whittaker was announced in the role, the incoming Doctor Who showrunner suggested a female doctor would be a "gimmick"

Published: Sunday, 16th July 2017 at 3:55 pm

The wait is over: Jodie Whittaker has been announced as the new Doctor in Doctor Who. And it’s somewhat of a surprise casting to Whovians as future Head of Who Chris Chibnall once didn’t seem completely sold on the idea of handing the Tardis controls to a woman.


In an interview back in February this year, Chibnall appeared to step away from the idea of a female Time Lord, saying he wants to avoid a “gimmick” casting. “Nothing is ruled out but I don’t want the casting to be a gimmick and that’s all I can say,” the Broadchurch writer told the East Anglian Daily Times when asked if the new Doctor could be female.

However, after the news broke today that Whittaker was the new Doctor, Chibnall indicated that he’d always planned for a woman to take the part. “I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we're thrilled to have secured our number one choice… The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way,” he revealed.

Peter Capaldi on new Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker: “She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor”

Doctor Who: Did we all miss clues to the first female Doctor?

Jodie Whittaker used a codename to keep her Doctor Who casting a secret

So, was that interview he gave five months ago a red herring designed to stop Whovians discovering the truth? Did Chibnall pull off a trick the Doctor himself would be proud of?

Here’s hoping. After all, if a plot twist like this is Chibnall’s first move as the new head of Who then we’re even more excited for next series.


Doctor Who will return to BBC1 this Christmas.


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