Jodie Whittaker: Who is The New Doctor?

A Doctor unlike any other, she’s already made history as the first female Doctor but who is Jodie Whittaker?

Born in 1982 in Huddersfield, Whittaker dreamed of becoming an actor from an early age. After leaving school at 16, she completed a Btec in performing arts before attending Guildhall School of Music and Drama – where she was joined by Hayley Atwell and Michelle Dockery.

After graduating, she was cast alongside Peter O’Toole in the 2006 movie Venus, where she played an aspiring model who becomes the object of affection for the elderly O’Toole, who received his eighth and final Oscar nomination for the role. The part gave her an early opportunity to demonstrated a grasp of multi-faceted characters when she artfully revealed a darker side to her outward naivety.

From there on out, the parts came thick and fast: she was cast as blond secretary Beverly in the largely forgotten St Trinian’s movies; appeared alongside Viggo Mortensen in The Good, about a German literature professor caught up in the rise of Nazism in the 1940s; featured in Marchlands which told the story of three families living in the same house across separate time periods who are all linked by a young girl who died in mysterious circumstances; and became the object of obsession for Andy Serkis in Liam’s Story in BBC One’s anthology series Accused, co-written by Jimmy McGovern – the series also featured the Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston.

She first caught the eye of sci-fi fans in 2011 sci-fi comedy film Attack the Block where she played trainee nurse heroine Samantha who defends a London housing estate from an alien invasion alongside co-stars John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Nick Frost, who, of course, played Santa Claus in 2014’s Christmas Special, Last Christmas.

In the same year, she appeared in Charlie Brooker’s sci-fi anthology TV series, Black Mirror, in the acclaimed episode The Entire History of You, where she played an unfaithful wife caught in her husband’s technology-infused paranoia.

Whittaker’s highest profile role was undoubtedly Beth Latimer, the grief-stricken but resilient mother in Broadchurch, which was created by Doctor Who’s new showrunner Chris Chibnall, where she appeared opposite the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant.

Speaking of the enormous emotional strain the role put on her, she told The Independent (via The Telegraph) in 2014:

“It was brilliantly difficult. A part like that, where you know, unfortunately, thank God it’s a small percentage of people, but there are people who have [gone through], and do have to go through, something as horrific as that, so you commit to it and throw yourself in, but you know that you are the one who at the end of the day can have a glass of wine and put it to one side.”

The actress has most recently finished shooting Paddy Considine’s Journeyman, as well as new BBC drama series Trust Me.

  • The 13th Dr. Moo

    For Whittaker to be the most prolific Doctor, I’ve run the numbers.

    Ranked by number of stories: TBaker (41) > Smith (39) > Tennant (36) > Capaldi (35) > Hartnell (29) > Pertwee (24) > Troughton (21) > Davison (20) > McCoy (12) > Eccleston (10) > CBaker (8) > McGann (2) > Hurt (1) > Whittaker (0)

    If we allow for thirteen episodes per year (12 in a season + 1 more at christmas) then this means, allowing for no breaks, that she would have to do four seasons and regenerate the following christmas which will bring her total to 52 episodes.
    Her story count would be lower than that, of course, because there will certainly be multi-part stories in there, but I can see her still beating Tom’s record of 41 stories if we get a fourth season out of her.

    • Rick714

      However, if we go by time spent on screen, the rankings shift around as there were many stories with a lot more episodes per story in the classic era. I’ve got a list around here somewhere but it went Baker, Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee, Tennant, Smith, Capaldi, Davison, McCoy, Baker, Ecckeston, McGann, Hurt. I’ll try to dig up numbers but it was fun–I gave NuWho credit for double eps since each ep is usually 44 minutes compared to the 23 minute classic version, so everyone was on equal footing. Some specials and Christmas eps that were over an hour got credit for 3 eps, etc. i thought it was very respectable that Tennant got very close to the big four, having help from more specials and his appearances in SJA as well.

      • The 13th Dr. Moo

        I wanted to try and count the number of individual serials with that Doctor in it, rather than seasons or episodes or minutes on-screen, as it feels like a more fair assessment. TBaker did seven years but only three more stories than Smith who just did four years, Eccleston across one season outnumbers CBaker who did two and a bit and only just falls short of what McCoy did in three.

        • Rick714

          I thought just the opposite—the show has been represented in different formats, times, days, you name it. So I thought the only way to measure how prolific each Doctor was would be to put them all on equal footing and measure them against each other. Otherwise, one story like Love & Monsters counts the same as the war Games and that ain’t right. Here are the “official” numbers:

          Baker: 172
          Hartnell: 134
          Troughton: 132
          Pertwee: 131
          Tennant: 113
          Smith: 101
          Capaldi: 89
          Davison: 75
          McCoy: 43
          Baker: 40
          Eccleston: 26
          McGann: 4
          Hurt: 4

          Adding Sarah Jane herself, as companion and her own show: 138

  • The 13th Dr. Moo

    Sorry guys, there’s been an error and it turns out it was me all along.

    • daft

      Pull the udder one. 😀