Doctor Who Becomes a Woman. First Female Lead Cast in Popular Show [VIDEO]

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Fans of The Doctor are in for a bit of a change as the BBC has announced the latest regeneration of The Doctor will be a woman. Jodie Whittaker will star in the next season. She will be the first woman to play the iconic immortal time traveler. She’ll make her first appearance on this year’s Christmas special.

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Whitaker, 35, is replacing Peter Capaldi. “It’s more than an honor to play the Doctor,” Whittaker said in a statement. “It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”

The teaser for her new role included no lack of suspense. A hooded figure walks through woods.

Something about the posture and walk is not overtly masculine.

There’s even a glowing key and a cameo from the TARDIS.

Whittaker is known for her role as Beth Latimer on the BBC’s Broadchurch. Doctor Who will have a new head writer and producer, too. Chris Chibnall, who worked with Latimer on Broadchurch, will be taking over the helm. He’s not new to the Doctor Who show, though, as he’s written episodes in past seasons.

“I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice,” Chibnall told NPR. “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.”

While the shift to a female Doctor has some Doctor Who purists scratching their heads, the move has been foreshadowed. The fictitious registrations are seemingly random, and can change gender. This last season has toyed with The Master and Missy, two versions of the same Time Lord.

The real question is what this will do to The Doctor’s companion. The show has relied on the sexual tension created between the companion characters and The Doctor. Bill, the latest of the companions, is the first to be a lesbian, which further opens up the nature of the tensions that could be seen with Whittaker’s new Doctor.

The new Doctor will be here in December. No date has been set yet for the official release date of the next season.