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‘Doctor Who’ Showrunner to Press: ‘Shut the Hell Up’ About Jodie Whittaker Backlash

Outgoing “Doctor Who” showrunner Steven Moffat blames the media for what he says is a false narrative about backlash against the casting of a woman in the show’s title role.

“There has been so many press articles about the backlash among the ‘Doctor Who’ fandom against the casting of a female Doctor,” Moffat said Sunday at Comic-Con. “There has been no backlash at all. The story of the moment is that the notionally conservative ‘Doctor Who’ fandom has utterly embraced that change completely — 80 percent approval on social media, not that I check these things obsessively. And yet so many people wanted to pretend there’s a problem. There isn’t.”

Jodie Whittaker will take over the role of the Doctor from Peter Capaldi beginning next season. Whitaker will be the 13th actor to portray the character, and the first woman.

“Doctor Who” fans, Moffat said, “are more excited by the fact that there’s going to be a brilliant actress playing the part than the fact that she’s a woman. It’s been incredibly progressive and enlightened and that’s what really happened. I wish every single journalist who is writing the alternative would shut the hell up.”

Whittaker’s casting was the target of misogynist vitriol on social media, but has been defended by most connected to the show — including Moffat, who is handing over showrunner and executive producer duties to Chris Chibnall.

Capaldi, who will make his last appearance as the character in the show’s upcoming Christmas special, also praised Whittaker’s casting.

“I just wanted to say that I think Jodie’s going to be amazing,” Capaldi said. “I spoke to her the other day and she’s so full of excitement and so full of passion about the show. She really, really loves the show, and she’s a brilliant actress. So it’s really thrilling to know that it’s in the hands of someone who cares for it so deeply. And is going to do really, really exciting things with it. She’s a great choice, as far as I’m concerned.”

BBC also used the Comic-Con panel to premiere this December’s “Doctor Who” Christmas special trailer. The sneak peek shows Capaldi stuck in time alongside a second Doctor played by David Bradley. The trailer can be viewed below.

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