Earlier today, the BBC announced that Jodie Whittaker will take over from Peter Capaldi as the star of the long-running science fiction show, Doctor Who. Whittaker is the first woman to play the titular Time Lord. But what else do you need to know about the 35-year-old Brit?
She’s spent plenty of time with the new Doctor Who showrunner.
Whittaker is best known for playing the role of grieving but resilient mother Beth Latimer on the British crime show Broadchurch where she costars with David Tennant, who previously played the lead role on Doctor Who. An even more important Who connection? The creator of Broadchurch, Chris Chibnall, is the new executive producer of the science fiction show and the person responsible for casting Whittaker as everyone favorite’s Time Lord. The third season of Broadchurch is currently screening on BBC America.
She’s no stranger to science fiction.
Whittaker starred in the 2011 sci-fi comedy Attack the Block, about aliens invading a housing estate in South London. The actress’ costars included future Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor John Boyega and Nick Frost, who played Santa Claus in 2014’s special Christmas episode of Doctor Who. Whittaker also appeared in the 2011 Black Mirror episode, “The Entire History of You,” set in a world where technology allows people to play back their memories.
She got her big break working with Peter O’Toole.
Shortly after graduating from Britain’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Whittaker was cast in the 2006 comedy-drama Venus, which costarred acting legends Vanessa Redgrave and the late Peter O’Toole, who secured his eighth and final Oscar nomination for his performance.
She was in an Oscar-nominated film.
Whittaker appeared in short film Wish 143, about a 15-year-old boy with cancer, which was nominated for Best Live-Action short at the 2011 Academy Awards.
She will take over the role of Doctor this Christmas.
Whittaker will debut as the Doctor in this year’s special Christmas episode, which BBC America will broadcast on Dec. 25 and will find Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor regenerating into Whittaker’s new iteration of the character. The Rachel Talalay-directed episode will be a swan song for both Capaldi and current showrunner Steven Moffat. “It’s my show up to the point Mr. Capaldi regenerates,” Moffat recently told EW. “Then it passes to Chris Chibnall, and he worries about the last section.”
Watch the video in which introduced Whittaker as the new Doctor, below.