On the day that Jodie Whittaker was announced as the Thirteenth Doctor, I decided to pen an open letter to her, from the Who community.
First and foremost, congratulations! You’ve done it. You’re the envy of actors and actresses up and down the land; you are, forevermore, the Doctor. It won’t be long before you’re gracing our screens as the two-hearted brave Time Lord when you inevitably show up at the end of the 2017 Christmas Special, and I for one cannot wait.
I’ve read and re-read your brief interview about your reaction, your hopes and your dreams for your time as the Doctor, however long that may be (and personally, I hope it’s a really long time), and I think it’s safe to say that you’re going to go down a treat. I adored you in Broadchurch, and I can’t wait to see you playing a totally different character and having fun doing it. From the sleepy little town of Broadchurch to the infinite possibilities of time and space; the universe is well and truly your oyster.
You’re ushering in an entirely new era for the show; and it would appear that it’s going to be all change. We have yourself as the new Doctor, we have Chris Chibnall taking over from Steven Moffat, who’s been the show runner for seven years, there’s rumours of a new title, a new logo, a new TARDIS and of course, a new companion or two. None of that really matters though Jodie, because to be quite honest, the vast majority of the public is going to be watching because of you.
From the interview that was released, it seemed as if you have a decent grasp of what’s to come; not in terms of filming commitments and the like, but the baggage that being the Doctor inevitably brings. Assuming your first series airs in 2018, you will have a show with around 55 years of lore on your shoulders. Don’t let that faze you though. You’re going to be brilliant. Just be bold and different and unique, and most importantly, you, whilst respecting those actors who proceeded you. Oh, and a little personal thing from me, please keep the Yorkshire accent. As a fellow Yorkshire person, I’d really appreciate it.
Get ready to defeat the Daleks, make the Cybermen scream in terror and make the universe a safe place. In the eyes of a whole new generation, you will be the protector of Earth from the horrible monsters. I know you’re going to kick ass.
Some of this pales in comparison though to what I’ve already seen; I’ve not mentioned it in this letter yet, and I doubt it will come as a surprise to you, but you are indeed a woman. A lady. A female. You, the Thirteenth Doctor. I genuinely couldn’t care less that you’re a female; the Doctor has said multiple times in the past series that Time Lords have transcended petty gender stereotypes, and I think that’s brilliant. To me, the Doctor isn’t a man, or a woman, or even a person. The Doctor should be an embodiment of the most pure ideology ever. Never be cruel or cowardly. Never give up, never give in. Even in the darkest of days, the Doctor will go out of their way, whichever incarnation, to find a speck of light; and then they cling onto it and spread it throughout the cosmos. As I’ve said, to an entire new generation, that honour and responsibility is yours.
I’m aware that there’s been quite a lot of backlash from the announcement that you’re the Thirteenth Doctor, but that shouldn’t worry you in the slightest. The people who are in uproar that you’ve been cast as the Doctor are the people who need to heed the Doctor’s message. No matter what age, gender, sexuality, race, religion, creed, colour, shape or species you are; as long as you’re true and honest and decent, you are accepted in the Doctor’s eyes. Sometimes those who try and push us away are the ones who need us most.
Honestly, considering I love to write, I’m terrible at ending letters, so I’ll leave you with this. Jodie Whittaker, the first person from Yorkshire to fly the TARDIS, you rip through that vortex and be as brilliant as you can be. You are a hero for millions around the world already, and we’ve only seen you remove your hood and walk in the woods. As you’re aware, your life is forever changed, but I know that you’re going to love every second of it.