Jodie Whittaker has made her debut as The Doctor in the BBC’s Christmas special episode screened today, becoming the first female actor to portray the iconic science fiction character since the show began in 1963.
She became the 13th incarnation of the Time Lord in a brief appearance after Peter Capadi’s regeneration scene at the end of tonight’s festive episode with her first line delivered in a Yorkshire accent: “Aw brilliant!”
Whittaker is originally from Skelmanthorpe, near Huddersfield, and the cliff hanger ending to the episode will have plenty of fans waiting impatiently for the 2018 series to start next Autumn.
The show will come under the control of new show-runner Chris Chibnall, and there’s already been a change in the technical details behind the show with an “increased cinematic look” expected due to new equipment being used.
With recent special episodes being simulcast in cinemas it would be interesting to see if 2.35:1 cinematic aspect ratio versions of Doctor Who could get screened in future.
Tonight’s Christmas special was called Twice Upon a Time and at first appears to be a low key send-off for Capaldi including, as it did a big call-back to William Hartnell’s own first regeneration.
Stories had already circulated about outgoing show-runner Steven Moffat stepping in to write this Christmas special after Chris Chibnall had indicated he would not be able to start his role and write the special for this year.
With Doctor Who’s coveted Christmas slot in danger Moffatt stepped in to write what ended up a highly affecting send off and the outgoing Doctor, Peter Capaldi – a childhood fan of the show, helped write the regeneration scenes.
It had several call-backs to the original series (and reboot series) for fans – thankfully not too much – and was very much a stripped back story but what a powerful and hugely emotional ending!
What has split the public is the fact that the Doctor will be portrayed by a woman for the first time, but I am looking forward to seeing how Chibnall and Whittaker’s era progresses.
Whittaker will begin her role next year alongside companions Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, and Tosin Cole.