Jodie Whittaker becomes the 1st female Doctor Who in the series' 54 years

PHOTO: Jodie Whittaker portrays Doctor Who in the BBC series.BBC
Jodie Whittaker portrays Doctor Who in the BBC series.

Meet the new Doctor Who.

BBC America announced Sunday that Jodie Whittaker will take the title role in the iconic series "Doctor Who." She is the 13th actor and the first woman to play the Doctor since the series began in 1963.

Whittaker will replace Peter Capaldi when the series returns for its annual Christmas special. Whittaker, 35, will then star in the new season next year.

Chris Chibnall, the series' new head writer and executive producer, chose Whittaker for the role. The two have worked together since he created the series "Broadchurch," which debuted in 2013 and 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. "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."

In a separate statement, Chibnall explained why he chose Whittaker.

"I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman, and we're thrilled to have secured our No. 1 choice," he said. "Her audition for the Doctor simply blew us all away. Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, supersmart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The 13th Doctor is on her way."

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