(LONDON) — Jodie Whittaker is the new Dr. Who, making her the 13th actor and first woman to play the doctor since the iconic U.K. series began in 1963, BBC America announced Sunday.
The 35-year-old British actress will replace Peter Capaldi when the series returns for its annual Christmas special. Whittaker will then be featured when the new season of Dr. Who premieres next year.
Chris Chibnall, the series’ new head writer and executive producer, chose Whittaker for the role. The two have worked together since 2013’s Broadchurch, the Chibnall-created series in which she starred.
“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet,” Whittaker said in a statement obtained by ABC News. “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 always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice,” Chibnall wrote in a separate statement. “Her audition for The Doctor simply blew us all away. Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way.”
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