Jodie Whittaker Makes Her Debut As the 13th Doctor
The BBC has just released the trailer for season 11 of the critically acclaimed series, Doctor Who. In it, fans see the first glimpse of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor. Whittaker is making history as the first woman to play the Doctor in the series, which spans over fifty years. She is following Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor.
The trailer opens with the newest regeneration waking startled. Whittaker narrates the entire trailer, saying, “All of this is new to me. New faces, new worlds, new times. So, if I asked really, really nicely, would you be my new best friends?”
Whittaker’s voiceover introduces us to another new aspect of the show: three new companions. Traditionally, The Doctor has only one companion, with the exception of Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor, who had married companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams (portrayed by Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, respectively). [Ed. note: Actually, no… there is plenty of precedent for the Doctor having two or three companions at once. The first Doctor, in fact, had three: granddaughter Susan Foreman’s schoolteachers, Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton, joined them on adventures.]
The new companions are Mandip Gill as Yasmin, Tosin Cole as Ryan, and Bradley Walsh as Graham. These three are also unusual since Gill and Cole are people of color and Walsh is older. In past seasons, the Doctor generally had white female companions, with occasional diversity in select episodes. One exception was Martha Jones (played by Freema Agyeman) who accompanied David Tennant’s 10th Doctor. [Ed. note: Let’s not forget 12’s companion, Bill, who was not only a non-white woman but a lesbian.]
Sharon D. Stone is also confirmed as an undisclosed recurring role.
Changing It Up
It looks like the show is trying to step up its diversity, but that’s not the only thing they’re changing. Chris Chibnall is replacing showrunner Stephen Moffat for the upcoming season. Stephen Moffat took over when Matt Smith came on board, replacing Russell T. Davies.
The new season will also be only ten episodes, but with an extended run time of 50 minutes per episode.
The official release date is not confirmed, but the new season will air in fall 2018.