Peter Capaldi, the 12th actor to play the Doctor, made a dramatic departure as the character regenerated, per Doctor Who mythology, into a new incarnation. Whittaker arrives just as the Doctor’s TARDIS time machine blows up, leaving her in free fall as a “To be continued” slate ends the special.
The new batch of “Doctor Who” adventures with Whittaker is expected to bow by the end of 2018. The series is also undergoing a change behind the scenes as “Broadchurch” creator Chris Chibnall succeeds Steven Moffat as showrunner. Capaldi had limned the character since 2014. The casting of Whittaker was unveiled in July.
The arrival of the first female Doctor Who is a fitting end to a year in which gender discrimination and other issues have been front and center in entertainment, politics and culture. The significance of Whittaker’s debut was not lost on “Doctor Who” fans, who hailed the 13th Doctor as a landmark moment for TV. Fans also had kind words for Capaldi’s portrayal of the iconic character and his parting words for his successor: “Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.”
The sheer joy and happiness I felt by Jodie Whitaker's first appearance as the first female Doctor only goes to show how important female representation is AND how far we have to go. So excited for 13! #DoctorWho pic.twitter.com/QnIRGgdDMG
— Paige Smolen (@pagsmo) December 26, 2017
— Karen Hallion 🎃 (@Khallion) December 26, 2017
— Chloe Marie (@CleoChlo) December 26, 2017
— Old, but Pretty™ (@DannyDangerOz) December 26, 2017
— Meryl #FreeThemAll (@merylnyc) December 26, 2017
— Jamie ✨ (@jamiecourtier00) December 26, 2017
Watch the clip below: