Belfast Telegraph

Jodie Whittaker: The gender question is now going away

The first female Doctor is returning to screens on January 1.

Jodie Whittaker returns as the Doctor (Ian West/PA)
Jodie Whittaker returns as the Doctor (Ian West/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker has said that the “gender question” is finally going away.

The actress, 37, took over the Tardis in October 2018 as the first female Doctor.

She told The Big Issue magazine that she felt “pressure” upon taking the role.

However, she said viewers had come to accept her as the first female Time Lord in the show’s five-decade history.

She told the magazine: “What’s so incredible about playing the Doctor is that fearlessness.

“Knowing the outcome could be devastating but doing it anyway, swimming out and not saving anything for the swim back. That is really extraordinary…

“I feel like I’ve been accepted as the Doctor. There was a pressure. If I’d have been a guy in this role I’d have only been representing my own casting as an individual. But it felt like I could hold people back if nobody liked what I brought to the Doctor.

“The gender question is now going away. Hopefully it won’t make the news next time.”

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Sir Lenny Henry (Steve Parsons/PA)

The 12th series of Doctor Who returns to screens on January 1 with a two-part episode. Guest stars in the forthcoming series include Stephen Fry and Sir Lenny Henry.

Whittaker said she was inspired by the younger generation, especially teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The Broadchurch star, who is the 13th Doctor, said: “What we should do going forward, and what I feel I need reminding of, is take huge inspiration from the groups of young people who are putting their voices out there and articulating what we grown-ups can’t.

“We have Greta putting herself at risk of criticism to say what needs to be said to move us forward – and we as grown-ups can take inspiration from a united massing of non-violent protest and voice. It’s inspiring.

“However deflated we feel, throughout history, people have come together and got over massive hurdles. The one we potentially can’t get over is climate change. So how can our generation think we shouldn’t be listening to the next one? I mean, they’re the ones that have to deal with all this.

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Greta Thunberg (Ben Birchall/PA)

“You are never too old or too young to give advice. So you need to be able to receive it from any age group. The new year needs to be open ears and open hearts. Don’t lose hope.”

The Big Issue, sold by vendors to lift themselves out of poverty, is available to buy from December 23 across the UK.

PA

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