‘Doctor Who’ has its first woman Doctor

The BBC on Sunday revealed Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor for hit series “Doctor Who.”

She will be the first female lead for the sci-fi series on the U.K. public broadcaster. Current lead Peter Capaldi will leave his role after this year’s Christmas special.

Whittaker, 34, is from Yorkshire, England and has appeared on such shows as “Broadchurch” and in comedy film “Adult Life Skills,” which she also executive produced and which got several British Independent Film Awards nominations.

Whittaker recently finished shooting “Journeyman,” written and directed by Paddy Considine, as well as playing the lead in new BBC drama series “Trust Me.”

Her other film credits include “Venus,” which earned her nominations for best newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards, “Attack the Block,” “One Day,” “Black Sea,” “Good Vibrations,” “St. Trinian’s” and “Get Santa.” Her theater credits include the title role in “Antigone” at the Royal National Theatre, along with roles in “Bash,” “Awake and Sing” and “Enemies.”

The BBC had on Friday announced that it would unveil the new Doctor after the men’s Wimbledon final, taking fans by surprise. Among the various names thrown out by bookies as contenders for the “Doctor Who” lead role have been the likes of “Fleabag” creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Death in Paradise” actor Kris Marshall and even Tilda Swinton.

Capaldi first stepped into the Tardis in 2013 and is set to leave at the same time as showrunner Steven Moffat exits the show.

Earlier this year, Pearl Mackie was tapped to play the first openly gay companion to the space-hopping series, which is one of the most popular shows for BBC Worldwide.

New writer and executive producer Chris Chibnall who takes over from Moffat made the decision to cast the first woman in the iconic role.

“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet,” said Whittaker. “It’s more than an honor 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.”

Said Chibnall: “After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we’re excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor. I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice. 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.”

Capaldi said: “Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.”

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, said about the casting news: “Making history is what “Doctor Who” is all about and Chris Chibnall’s bold new take on the next Time Lord is exactly that. The nation is going to fall in love with Jodie Whittaker – and have lots of fun too!”

This story originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter

[Photo: Getty]