David Tennant ‘Delighted’ By Jodie Whittaker Casting

David Tennant has spoken of his delight at the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.

Appearing on US chat show The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tennant explained that he couldn’t see any issue with the Doctor’s gender change because the Doctor has never been of any gender to begin with; placing no specific relevance or preference on gender.

Speaking about Whittaker, who Tennant worked with on incoming Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall’s hit series Broadchurch, he couldn’t hide his delight at his friend landing the part.

He said:

“She’s a mate of mine. A couple of days before it [the casting] was announced I get this phone call from her, and she’s in sort of a tunnel of excitement and panic.”

He added that her casting was ‘brilliant’ and that he can’t think of anyone better ‘to join the gang’.

Addressing the controversy from some sections of fandom surrounding her casting, Tennant added that he was similarly berated by fandom when he was cast as the Tenth Doctor, because he was ‘a weasel-y looking guy’.

He added:

“Whenever the Doctor changes, there’s a backlash.

“Sure, Jodie is from a different gender – but that will be irrelevant almost immediately when she takes the part.

“It’s about finding the right performer at the right time, and that’s Jodie without a doubt.”

Doctor Who will return on Christmas Day with Twice Upon a Time on BBC One.

  • reTARDISed

    These comments are not particularly surprising, given that Tennant knows both Whittaker and Chibnall. Would we be exhorted to love the next Doctor quite so much if the next female Doctor were a relative unknown, and thus not in the current DW network (I don’t remember all this pleading on behalf of Matt Smith when he was cast)? The DW network looks almost nepotistic at times. My more pressing concern is: have we found the right showrunner at the right time? If we haven’t, Jodie Whittaker will get the blame (general viewers don’t care who the writer is…). Time will tell, and perhaps it’s time to set aside predictions for how Whittaker will be received until closer to the next series? Otherwise, we have a year of this phony war. Sorry for this rant: perhaps my pessimism is because it’s Friday, and it’s been a long week… (PS. Surely Tennant meant “different sex”? Sex is a biological distinction, whereas gender is culturally-constructed.)

    • DonnaM

      I’m sorry to say this, but the trenches are all in place and I don’t hold out much hope for a ceasefire. How relevant Whittaker’s feminine attributes are going to be (in between the two extremes of opinion where it’s the only relevant thing) will mostly depend on the writers.

      If they don’t reference it after the initial “Oh, this is different!” moment, its relevance might fade. If they use the Vastra/Jenny model of scripting, it probably won’t. If every other episode yells “See! Used to look like a man, looks like a woman now! Nothing to see here! Look, nothing to see!” or go down the lazy route of cheap “hilarious ” lines about the advantages of being in a woman’s form… they’ll be making it relevant themselves.

      Sadly you’re right: if the whole thing is mishandled, the blame won’t all be cast where it belongs, but the issue is one of Chris Chibnall’s making. On his head be it, I say 🙂

      • reTARDISed

        Points well taken. Though when David Tennant was leaving, my wife couldn’t see how anyone could replace him. A few minutes into The Eleventh Hour, it was “David who?” She hasn’t taken to Capaldi, though, and remains unenthusiastic about Whittaker. We find it hard to re-watch many Tennant stories now (too much goggling and gurgling from the leading man, and many scripts that feel undercooked). Isn’t it strange how tastes change? Perhaps there will be a time when I suddenly realise that Chibnall’s scripts sparkle with witty dialogue and clever ideas!

        • DonnaM

          Tennant’s stuff doesn’t seem to have aged well for me, and I generally liked his incarnation: it’s Smith I could never take to. Maybe if the new era isn’t to my taste I’ll look back and decide he wasn’t quite as irritating as I thought…

          I suspect it’s likelier than me experiencing an epiphany with regard to those Chibnall scripts!

        • Jeff Winger

          Show your wife the reaction videos of women and little girls finding out the doctor will finally be a female. Look at their excitement.

          • reTARDISed

            She’s certainly aware that other people are very happy about Whittaker’s casting. It is possible to be glad that others are happy, but not be especially happy oneself by particular news (see also Election results!). I think there are at least four main reactions to news of Chibnall’s appointment and Whittaker’s casting: (1) unfettered delight, (2) happiness at the initial news, followed by disappointment when broadcasting of series 11 starts, (3) unhappiness with the initial news, followed by approval when broadcasting starts, and (4) unfettered disappointment. If Chibnall were so committed to a feminist agenda, perhaps he should resign in favour of a female showrunner?…