“Doctor Who” fans don’t have much longer to wait for the newest incarnation of the Doctor to appear. She, that’s right, the Doctor has finally regenerated into a female form, is premiering in a global simulcast on Sunday, October 7th on BBC!
The Doctor played by Jodie Whittaker, an actress who has both worked on stage at Shakespeare’s Globe, the National Theatre, and on television in “Broadchurch” among others, is ready for new adventures in the T.A.R.D.I.S. So before we all start traveling through time with her, here is a quick interview from when she visited San Diego Comic Con with her new cast to talk about what to expect from the upcoming season.
First, let’s address the biggest idea to come out of this new season; that the Doctor could be a woman. When it was announced it was both celebrated, and by a small but vocal minority dismissed as against standard since all of the previous Doctor’s have been male. (insert hysterical fan boys shock, crying, and yelling here)
While there is no “rule” the Doctor has to be male, some people are upset that this isn’t taking the show seriously – their science fiction, time traveling show, where the hero has two hearts and a magical, sonic screwdriver.
So how does it feel to be the first new female Doctor?
“It was a pretty amazing moment and not one I thought would happen as a girl born in the 80’s. You know, the Doctor did not look like me. So it was a big moment.”
Do you think the gender of the Doctor will impact how you play the role?
“I think it’s interesting because I have never approached a role thinking it as, ‘How would a woman play this role?’ because I just am one. And I don’t know if a guy has ever gone, ‘How would a guy do this scene?’ You just, you just are and it’s your POV.
So essentially, I suppose my energy, my approach to this is coming from a very distinctive place, which feels genderless to me because it’s never been necessarily ingrained to me that there’s a specific way a woman behaves or a specific way a man behaves, but the best thing about the Doctor is I am not playing either; I’m an alien. So, you know, so there are really no rules. And I’ve got two hearts, so I can do whatever I want.”
The outfit of each Doctor is always highly anticipated as it always reveals the personality of the newest incarnation. What was the thought put into this new Doctor’s outfit?
“Without giving anything away, the costume kind of felt as if it could come from anywhere and it should feel like that. Rather than, I didn’t, I think I, me and with Ray Holman, the costume designer, we didn’t want something that felt too neat, I suppose and tailored in that sense.
And I think initially, I might get into trouble for saying this, but I found a picture while I was stalking Chris Chibnull to give me the job, sending him images between auditions, hundreds of images. And one of them that I found on the internet…I don’t know where it’s from or what I Googled, but it was a woman walking with purpose and deep in thought; striding and she had short trousers on, boots, bracelets and a T-shirt and the picture was black and white, so I don’t know what era that picture is from. The woman kind of had hair like mine, which was already in a kind of bob, so it felt… it was just a wonderful”
So for those Doctor Who fans, or the young kids just tuning in, what do you have to say to them on what to expect or take away from the show?
“Your heroes don’t have to tick the same box. Its 2018 and the fact that we are having these conversations and also, you know as a woman, being the front of a show, it will be really exciting when women aren’t treated as a genre and just as a cast member, it’d be great.
You know, if you lead a show, it doesn’t mean it’s for women, which I think always happens within it. So, when you’ve been thrust into a kind of genderless role… this is incredible but it can also, you know, let’s not have this conversation in 2020, hopefully.”
“Doctor Who” premieres in a global simulcast on Sunday, October 7th on BBC America. Check your local listings for times because unlike the Doctor we don’t have a T.A.R.D.I.S. to take us back in time if we miss it!