We're back again every Friday to take a look at some of the key pieces of news that were released in the worlds of doctor who and it's spin off shows in the last seven days, and key videos from the account.
Jodie Whittaker IS the 13th doctor
Jodie Whittaker was announced this week as the 13th actor to play the doctor-the first female to take on the role of the legendary character.
The BBC have released a full press release:
The BBC today announced to the world that Jodie Whittaker will be the new Doctor Who.
The identity of the new Doctor was revealed exclusively on BBC One and on social media around the world after the Men’s Wimbledon Final on Sunday 16th July.
She will be the Thirteenth Time Lord and take over from Peter Capaldi who leaves the global hit show at Christmas.
New head writer and executive producer Chris Chibnall who takes over from Steven Moffat on the next series made the decision to cast the first ever woman in the iconic role.
Jodie Whittaker says: “I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet. It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”
Chris Chibnall, New Head Writer and Executive Producer says: “After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we’re excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.
I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for The Doctor simply blew us all away. Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way.”
Peter Capaldi says: “Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.”
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content says: “Making history is what Doctor Who is all about and Chris Chibnall’s bold new take on the next Time Lord is exactly that. The nation is going to fall in love with Jodie Whittaker – and have lots of fun too!”
Piers Wenger, Controller BBC Drama says: “Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor. She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role. She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor.”
Matt Strevens, Executive Producer says: “I’m so thrilled that Jodie Whittaker said yes to playing the Doctor. I’ve been a fan for years and always hoped to work with her. She is an actor of great emotional range and inhabits every role with complete passion and conviction. Just thinking about what she will bring to the Doctor makes me as excited as a kid at Christmas. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Interview with Jodie Whittaker:
1) What does it feel like to be the Thirteenth Doctor?
It’s very nerve-racking, as it’s been so secret!
2) Why did you want the role?
To be asked to play the ultimate character, to get to play pretend in the truest form: this is why I wanted to be an actor in the first place. To be able to play someone who is literally reinvented on screen, with all the freedoms that brings: what an unbelievable opportunity. And added to that, to be the first woman in that role.
3) Has it been hard to keep the secret?
Yes. Very hard! I’ve told a lot of lies! I’ve embroiled myself in a whole world of lies which is going to come back at me when this is announced!
4) Who was the first person you told when you got the role?
My husband. Because I was allowed to!
5) Did you have a codename and if so what was it?
In my home, and with my agent, it was The Clooney. Because to me and my husband, George is an iconic guy. And we thought: what’s a really famous iconic name? It was just fitting.
6) What does it feel like to be the first woman Doctor?
It feels completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be. It feels incredible.
7) What do you want to tell the fans?
I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender. Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.
8) What are you most excited about?
I’m most excited about becoming part of a family I didn’t even know existed. I was born in 1982, it’s been around longer than me, and it’s a family I couldn’t ever have dreamed I’d be part of.
9) How did Chris sell you the part?
We had a strange chat earlier this year where he tricked me into thinking we were talking about Broadchurch. And I started to quiz him about his new job in Wales, and asked him if I could be a baddie! And he quickly diverted the conversation to suggest I should consider auditioning to be the 13th Clooney.
It was the most incredible chat because I asked every question under the sun, and I said I’d take a few weeks to decide whether I was going to audition. He got a phone call within 24 hours. He would’ve got a phone call sooner, but my husband was away and there was a time difference!
10) Did he persuade you?
No. There was no persuasion needed. If you need to be persuaded to do this part, you’re not right for this part, and the part isn’t right for you. I also think, for anyone taking this on, you have to want to fight for it, which I certainly had to do. I know there will have been some phenomenal actors who threw their hats in the ring.
11) What are you going to wear?
Don’t know yet.
12) Is that your costume in the filmed sequence which introduced you as the new Doctor?
13) Have any of the other Doctors given you advice?
Well they can’t because they haven’t known until now, but I’m certainly expecting a couple of calls – I’ve got a couple of mates in there. I’m mates with a companion [Arthur Darvill], I’m mates with a trio of Doctors. I know Matt Smith, Chris Eccleston and obviously David Tennant. Oh! And let’s throw in David Bradley! Four Doctors! So I’m hoping I get some calls of advice.
Jodie Whittaker biography:
Jodie Whittaker graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2005 with a gold medal in Acting. Since then she has worked continually in Film, Television and Theatre. Her TV credits include the critically acclaimed ITV drama ‘Broadchurch’ (for which she was nominated for ‘Best Actress’ for the RTS Television Awards), Emmy award-winning ‘Black Mirror’, Sky 1’s ‘The Smoke’, BBC’s ‘Cranford’, in which she starred opposite Judi Dench and Imelda Staunton, ‘The Night Watch'(BBC), ‘The Accused'(BBC), and ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ (BBC).
Jodie has recently finished shooting ‘Journeyman’ written and directed by Paddy Considine as well as the lead in the new BBC drama series ‘Trust Me’. Her other film credits include ‘Venus’, (which earned her nominations for ‘Best Newcomer’ at the ‘British Independent Film Awards’, ‘Best British Newcomer’ at the ‘Critic’s Circle Awards’ and ‘Best Actress in a Motion Picture’ at the ‘Satellite Awards’), ‘Attack the Block’, ‘One Day’, ‘Black Sea’, ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘St.Trinian’s’, ‘Get Santa’ and most recently ‘Adult Life Skills’ which she Executive Produced as well as starred in which received a number of BIFA nominations.
Jodie made her professional theatrical debut at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in ‘The Storm’. Other theatre credits include playing the title role in ‘Antigone’ at the Royal National Theatre, ‘Bash’ at the Trafalgar Studios ‘Awake and Sing’ and ‘Enemies’ at the Almeida, both directed by the then Artistic Director, Michael Attenborough.
Below you can see a reaction to the thirteenth doctor:
Sixth Doctor Colin Baker was one of the first to express his delight, tweeting "Well I never the BBC really did do the right thing and let the Doctor be in touch with her feminine side. As a father of daughters - result!".
Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy also congratulated the actress "Congratulations Jodie Whittaker!!!!! One small step for Women, one Giant leap for Womenkind!!"
However the fifth Doctor Peter Davison called for an understanding of those resistant to change. "It might be more helpful to be encouraging, and not simply scornful, of fans who are uncertain about change.!!"
Past companions welcomed the change. Janet Fielding, who played Tegan in the 1980's, tweeting "I was zooming round in the #Tardis the yr #jodiewhittaker was born. Never thought then I'd ever see a female #Dr. V excited. Yipppeeeee" while Louise Jameson who played Leela in .the 1970's added "Congratulations to the brilliantly talented #jodiewhittaker Fabulous that we have a female doctor. Squeeeeeeee" . Katy Manning added "12 actors have given their superb magic touch to creating their Doctors & I feel 13 will be a corker good on you Chris Chibnall"
Alex Kingston, who plays River Song in the series, was being interviewed at a convention when the news was announced, and gave her reaction to the crowd. "Jodie Whittaker? Oh my goodness!. God, I’m always the damn cradlesnatcher!"
Press reaction is also overwhelmingly positive with the Telegraph saying the casting could be a boost for the show which has seen its audience decline in recent years. "Forget naysayers insisting that the 54-year-old show’s hero must be a man. Wave away cynics whining that this is “political correctness gone mad”. The casting of a woman will breathe new life into the sci-fi franchise, which has recently struggled in the ratings. Making Who history is a headline-grabbing way to begin arresting that decline. "
Variety also thinks it's about time a woman took on .the role. "Coming from one of the biggest media franchises on the planet, the news that the new “Doctor Who” is female is huge — and almost completely delightful. the fact that Jodie Whittaker has been named the Thirteenth Doctor is cause for celebration. Not only is Whittaker a fine actor — she was fantastic in “Broadchurch” and “Attack the Block” — her casting sends a message."
Time magazine thought it was about timey wimey we had a female Doctor "For many fans, it’s an exciting change that will make the show even more relatable. However, there will undoubtedly be some complaints from fans who can only envision the Doctor as a white male with a British accent. Just call it a miracle that the Doctor can still regenerate at all. In other words, as the Doctor said way back in the beginning, This is who I am, right here, right now, all right? All that counts is here and now, and this is me!”
Opinion is more split amongst fans with many taking to social media to express their disappointment with what they feel is an overly PC decision. However, the reaction of one young fan to the news, reported here on the Huffington Post, summed up the importance of the casting too many.
Finally, The British Prime Minister Theresa May, the second woman to hold that position, is said to be "pleased" that the next Doctor will be a woman, according to her official spokesman.
Source/Doctor Who News
The reveal did have record viewing figures online too:
The BBC have revealed that the video announcing Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor received over sixteen million views online
The minute-long specially shot scene debuted on BBC One after the Men’s Wimbledon final on Sunday, where just over 5 million viewers saw it. It was also released on BBC social media channels around the world.
The reveal has been watched 9.8 million times on the BBC One Facebook channel so far, with over 2.5 million views on the Doctor Who Twitter account - making it the most successful tweet of all time for Doctor Who.
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says:
To see the overwhelmingly positive response to the news that Jodie Whittaker will star as the Thirteenth Doctor, and know that the reveal has had over sixteen million views online so far, is just phenomenal. It’s exhilarating to see Doctor Who engaging with people on so many different levels and I cannot wait for the audience to see her in action on BBC ONE this Christmas.
The teaser trailer, which debuted on Friday evening before the BBC One 6 O’Clock News, has been watched a further 4.8 million times online.
Source/Doctor Who News
But the BBC have also had to respond to some complaints on the web:
Despite the BBC reporting “overwhelming positive” feedback to the 13th Doctor announcement, the corporation has nevertheless been prompted this week to respond on their official complaints page where “Some viewers contacted us unhappy that Jodie Whittaker has been cast as the new Doctor”.
Their response in full:
Since the first Doctor regenerated back in 1966, the concept of the Doctor as a constantly evolving being has been central to the programme. The continual input of fresh ideas and new voices across the cast and the writing and production teams has been key to the longevity of the series.
The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey and it has been established in the show that Time Lords can switch gender.
As the Controller of BBC Drama has said, Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor. She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role. She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor.
We hope viewers will enjoy what we have in store for the continuation of the story.
Source/Doctor Who TV
We are excited to viewing her in series 11 and in the 2017 Christmas special!
Could Kris Marshall be Jodie's companion?
Even though the early 13th Doctor favourite is obviously now out of the running for the title role, The Sun are claiming that Marshall is being lined up to play the new companion instead.
The report states:
The Death in Paradise star, 44, was an early favourite to replace Peter Capaldi, 59, who quit as the Time Lord in January.
But after missing out on the top role to Jodie Whittaker, Kris is the main contender to succeed companion Pearl Mackie, 30, who is leaving after just one series.
If successful, he may join up with Matt Lucas, 43, who plays the other assistant Nardole.
A source said: “Kris is a big fan of the show and the BBC are a big fan of his.”
Kris, who shot to fame as Nick Harper in My Family, quit Beeb show Death in Paradise this year after four series.
A BBC spokeswoman said there had been no decisions yet on companion casting.
UPDATE: Yahoo reports:
Kris Marshall has denied reports that he is set to replace Pearl Mackie as Doctor Who’s assistant in the popular BBC series.
Speaking exclusively to Yahoo Celeb UK, Kris’s rep has responded to speculation that the actor has landed the role.
Directly referencing The Sun’s report that Kris is the main contender to play the Time Lord’s companion in the upcoming series of the show, the star’s spokeswoman told us: “There is no truth in the rumours.”
Source/Doctor Who TV
Capaldi's salary released
Peter Capaldi was paid between £200,000 and £250,000 for his work on Doctor Who in the previous financial year, according to figures published by the BBC today.
The BBC has been instructed by government to publish the salaries of all on screen staff members who earn more than £150,000 each year, as part of the 2016 charter renewal.
The BBC has 96 staff members who fit into this category with Radio 2 and Top Gear presenter Chris Evans topping the chart with a salary of over 2 million pounds.
The highest paid actor is Derek Thompson from Casualty who earned between £350,000 and £400,000 in the year. The list only includes those working directly for the BBC and not those working on independent productions comissioned by the corporation, such as Sherlock.
The figure just reflects the amount of licence fee money paid to the actor and does not include any money paid by the commercial company BBC Worldwide for any other work undertaken.
Source/Doctor Who News
RIP Deborah Watling
We are sad to report that Deborah Watling, who played companion Victoria, has died aged 69 following a short battle with cancer.
Watling made her name as a child actress, appearing as a regular character in ITV's The Invisible Man series. She then went on to appear in several TV and film roles, but it's for her portrayal as the Second Doctor's companion, Victoria Waterfield, that we will remember her.
The character travelled with the Doctor from Season 4 and Season 5, though sadly, most of her episodes are now missing, with only Tomb of the Cybermen and The Enemy of the World available in their entirety. Despite this, Watling has regularly been part of the Doctor Who community, appearing in Dimensions in Time and The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, as well as appearing at conventions and Doctor Who related events.
Deborah Watling was diagnosed with lung cancer just six weeks ago. She will be missed and our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.
Source/The Gallifrey Times
RIP Trevor Baxter
Baxter graduated from RADA in 1951 and had an illustrious career on stage and screen, appearing in David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre and performing with the RSC, and touring Shakespeare in South America. As well as being an actor, Baxter was a keen playwright, with plays including Lies, Office Games and Undertakingall. He also adapted plays from such greats as Oscar Wilde, with a national tour of Dorian Gray in 2003 and Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime in 2005.
Trevor Baxter was a much loved actor and his character too was much loved within the Whovian community. Members of Big Finish, with whom he worked closely, have shared their thoughts on Baxter.
David Richardson said:
“In the nine years that I knew and worked with him, Trevor Baxter never stopped laughing. Even when he first joined Big Finish for the Companion Chronicle The Mahogany Murderers, he was not a well man, but his illness never seemed to dampen his joy of life. He loved reading - he didn’t own a TV but read books on his Kindle voraciously. He loved classical music, and could talk about it with passion and at length. He was a hugely intelligent man with great taste, and yet he never made you feel uncomfortable if you didn’t match his intelligence or taste. It was simply a joy to listen to him talking passionately."
"He also loved Jago and Litefoot, which kept him busy in the final years of his life, and he would listen to every single episode in every single release off the press, and write to me and tell me what he loved (which was usually everything). He adored working with Big Finish, but most of all he adored his co-star Christopher Benjamin, who he would tease mercilessly throughout every hour of every recording day. Those precious days (I think there might have been 60 of them) that I spent in their company were some of the happiest of my working life."
"Sometimes we would be crying with laughter, tears streaming down our faces, at the glorious badinage between takes. I will always remember Toby, our studio engineer, turning towards me during a break and saying, ‘I absolutely love Trevor. I’ve never met anyone else like him. He’s unique’ That’s how we all felt, and feel."
"Such a sad day. Doctor Who has lost one of its legends, and we’ve lost a dear friend.”
Jason-Haigh Ellery said:
“I was always impressed by Trevor, a man with an opinion and a decisive way of giving it. It became a running joke that if I cancelled the Jago and Litefoot series he would have nothing to live for. I don’t say that to be flippant but just to show his determination and his wicked sense of humour. He will be greatly missed by us all at Big Finish.”
"Dear Trevor. What a spirit, what a brain, what entertainment… and what a friend and colleague. Lover of life and books and art, thoughts and ideas; the first person I knew to own a Kindle!"
"From the time I worked with him in the theatre - to the 6 splendid years I spent with him on Jago & Litefoot. You lightened our lives; and how lucky and privileged we were that you gave all your energy and talent to that splendid creation Professor George Litefoot. I can’t think of a more brilliant epilogue to a long and brilliant career. RIP Trevor. Heartbroken."
“I was lucky enough to have been in on a number of recording sessions on the last few Jago & Litefoot sets, where meeting Trevor was never less than a pleasure and an inspiration. He'd hold court in the Green Room about all sorts of subjects, and it felt like he'd devoured every book there was, often looking at me and asking, "Oh, dear boy, have you read..." and having the tact not to look disappointed when I often said, "um... no". Indeed he'd then bring you up to speed with an accuracy most of my university tutors lacked, and welcome you into the conversation. His relationship with Christopher was warm and fun, and they were a double act as much behind the microphone as in front of it, providing many of my happiest Big Finish memories. It's incredibly sad news that I won't experience that again. Thank you so, so much Trevor.”
Video of the week
Let's not overshadow series 10 in the excitement of the new doctor announcement so look back and comment with this great video!
The Fan show
Christel Dee and Luke Spillane react to the announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th doctor this week.
As next week we are at LFCC for the weekend, we shall report to you on Thursday 27th July instead of the Friday where we shall look back at San Diego Comic Con with new Christmas special info.
Hello. I'm Lewis Moon. This is the blog with all the doctor who news as well as MLMA updates.
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