The BBC announced over the weekend that Jodie Whittaker will become the 13th Doctor, making her the first woman in history to take the role.
Whittaker is best known for starring alongside a former Doctor Who, David Tennant in Broadchurch. She will make her first appearance as the Doctor this Christmas.
The Broadchurch star follows Peter Capaldi, who took over the role in 2013 and will leave in the upcoming Christmas special.
In a statement after the BBC released a video showing Whittaker walking towards the Tardis, Jodie said:
“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with [new showrunner] Chris and with every Whovian on this planet.”
“It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”
“I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender. Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change.”
“The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”
The news of Whittaker’s casting has divided viewers on social media.
Whilst some have praised the BBC for providing a new role model for girls, others have expressed ‘disappointment’ that a male character has been changed into a female role.
Fans took to Facebook and Twitter to vent about the casting, with one female fan stating:
“No disrespect to the actress chosen but the producers have brought my Dr Who history and memories to an abrupt end.”
On Facebook Nicki Murphy wrote: “I like Jodi, I think she is a terrific actor but I’m sorry, this is an exercise in pleasing the PC brigade.”
“How about writing some new, quality roles for females… this is an attempt to meet some quota!!!”
Oh great a female Doctor Who. What next? Female real doctors? Female pilots? Female scientists? Female sisters and mothers? Female WOMEN?!
— snddoɥ ʞɹɐɯ (@markhoppus) July 16, 2017
#GMB Jody Whittaker great actress but Doctor Who ?? Naaa.! It's a case of trying to pacify the bra burners . Will never watch it again ?
— steve flaherty (@opkonline) July 17, 2017
I hear the female Doctor Who travels 5,000 years into the future and finds we're still congratulating ourselves for giving women lead roles.
— Louis Virtel (@louisvirtel) July 16, 2017