July 12, 2018 at 05:10 PM EDT

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New Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker uttered just one-and-a-half words (“Aw, brilliant!”) after Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor regenerated into the Broadchurch actress’ Thirteenth iteration of the time-traveler on last year’s special Christmas episode of the BBC’s sci-fi show. To be honest, that didn’t really give much indication as to the nature of Whittaker’s Doctor, beyond the fact that she was clearly excited at finding herself in female form, the first time this has happened to our two-hearted alien in the show’s 55-year-long history.

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So, what can viewers expect from Whittaker’s Doctor when the show returns to BBC America this fall?

“Well, I would say that it’s hopeful and fizzing with wonder,” Whittaker said, when EW visited the set of Doctor Who in Cardiff, Wales, earlier this year. “I have absolutely shot myself in the foot for any ADR, because I get in there, and realize I speak at a hundred miles an hour. If a plane goes over I’m like, ‘Are you kidding?’ I’ve got to try and match that speech of ‘Di-didda-di-didda-di-didda’? But essentially I think the big theme is hope.”

Alexei Hay for EW

Whittaker’s assessment of her Doctor was echoed by both showrunner Chris Chibnall and by the actress’ costar Mandip Gill, who plays Yasmin, one of the titular character’s new companions, and compared the Thirteenth Doctor to Matt Smith’s version of the part.

“She’s incredibly lively, she’s funny, she’s warm, she’s inclusive, she’s energetic,” said Chibnall. “She’s the greatest friend you’d ever want to have as your guide around the universe.”

“She has a similar energy to Matt Smith’s Doctor,” said Gill. “Very high energy. Jodie has that about her Doctor.”

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