British actress Jodie Whittaker was unveiled Thursday as the first woman to play “Doctor Who,” telling fans of the cult BBC series she felt the weight of history — but that gender should be irrelevant these days.
The 36-year-old, who rose to fame in award-winning British drama “Broadchurch”, takes over from Scottish actor Peter Capaldi as the 13th incarnation of the Time Lord.
“I knew, obviously, being the first female it was going to have some extra responsibility thrown in,” she told 6,500 fans at the annual Comic-Con fan convention in San Diego, which hosted the cast’s first news conference together.
“It’s incredibly inclusive, and it also feels, knowing that the fans are all over the world, like this huge Whovian family that you want to be a part of because it’s so supportive and inclusive, and fun.”
Fans were treated last year to a brief glimpse of Whittaker, walking towards the Tardis in a forest, in a clip shown after the Wimbledon tennis final on BBC television.
At Comic-Con, which attracts 130,000 movie, TV and comics fans from around the world, BBC America dropped the first full trailer which opened with Whittaker’s startled expression.
“All of this is new to me,” she says, presumably after just regenerating. “New faces, new worlds. New times. So if I asked really, really nicely, would you be my new best friends?”
There were glimpses of the Doctor with her new sonic screwdriver, some impressive-looking shots of alien worlds and the first look at the Doctor’s new companions Yasmin, Ryan and Graham.