“Is the future going to be all girl?” asked the Master in the final episode of Doctor Who’s last season. “We can only hope,” replied the Doctor.
Well, it seems it is, as yesterday, the BBC confirmed that 35-year-old Jodie Whittaker would become the first female version of the 2,000-year-old Time Lord, marking a massive sea-change for the show that will return next year with a new head writer as well as new lead actor.
Whittaker won’t be making her Doctor Who debut for another five months (Peter Capaldi will regenerate into her on Christmas Day), but in the meantime, he are six of the new Doctor’s movie roles to get you familiar with the new Time Lady...
Whittaker’s movie debut won her a shower of award nominations, and she easily holds her own against two of cinema’s most experienced thesps – Leslie Phillips and the great Peter O’Toole. She plays Jessie, a brash teen who enters the lives of these two fruity octogenarians when she visits her uncle. But while she's merely an irritation for Ian (Leslie Phillips), Maurice (Peter O’Toole) begins to think he can save her from her hedonistic ways.
Whittaker, then 26, stars opposite Lord of the Rings’ Viggo Mortensen in this 2008 drama about a German literature professor who gets caught up in the rise of Nazism in the 1940s. It’s a juicy leading role for Whittaker, with one review of the time praising her “particular grace.”
Attack the Block
Jo Cornish’s insanely entertaining feature debut appears to have been a launching pad for some of sci-fi’s biggest names. Whittaker stars alongside a pre-Force Awakens John Boyega as a woman trapped in a South London tower block when an army of murderous aliens invade.
Whittaker stars as the wife of a Belfast DJ who brings punk rock to Northern Ireland in this electrifying true-life story. Focusing on the rise of punk band The Undertones, Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn’s movie was described by BBC Five Live film critic Mark Kermode as "an absolute humdinger with real heart and soul.”
Not a big role for Whittaker, but she’s still impressive as the mum of a boy who, along with his ex-con father, has to break Santa Claus out of prison. There’s a lot to love in Christopher Smith’s charming festive comedy, not least a winning turn as Father Christmas from the great Jim Broadbent.
Adult Life Skills
If you missed this delightfully oddball drama at the cinema (and most people did), then do try to catch it on DVD. Whittaker headlines as a twentysomething loner who lives in her mum’s shed and spends her time making videos using her thumbs as actors. "Jodie Whittaker is terrific in the role of Anna,” wrote The Guardian, “whose life has stalled since the death of her twin brother.”
You can see Jodie Whittaker make her debut as the Doctor on Christmas Day.