After more than 50 years, two separate TV series, countless showrunners, hundreds of radio dramas, and more than a dozens of men in the leading role, Doctor Who has finally a brought a woman in the title role – and you can watch her regeneration, seen in yesterday’s Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor Christmas special, in its entirety (along with Peter Capaldi’s final moments as the Twelfth Doctor.
We’ve known Jodie Whittaker was taking over the role of the Doctor on Doctor Who from Peter Capaldi since July. We’ve seen the teaser of her running through the woods, given thumbs up to her super Mork-like costume, and searched IMDB to get a better handle on her three new companions. But in yesterday’s Christmas special, we finally – FINALLY – got to see the new Doctor in action.
Whittaker’s turn in the episode is super-brief. Most of the hour is focused on the Twelfth Doctor and the First Doctor (Game of Thrones‘ David Bradley, doing his uncanny William Hartnell portrayal from the Adventure in Space and Time docudrama) about to regenerate into new incarnations. Both men are reluctant change with the Twelfth Doctor, in particular, being wearing of nearly two millennia of existence.
But both do it! And Capaldi goes out with the kind of big, bold monologue that made his Doctor captivating even when the stories sometimes weren’t. It’s a sweet capper to Capaldi’s bittersweet final season, but as good as Capaldi’s final moments were, I’m not going to lie, Whittaker’s first moments were more exciting for me. But you can see for yourself, because the whole sequence — from Capaldi’s farewell to Whittaker’s arrival – can be watched right here:
This is the first time the Doctor, a notoriously brash, brusque, egotistical know-it-all, will be played by a woman (Joanna Lumley’s brief turn in the 1999 Doctor Who parody/special The Curse of Fatal Death does not count), which is a type of hero women rarely get to play. So even just this brief glimpse of her, spying her reflection and realising she’s on her way to a new adventure before being cast out of the TARDIS in an accident, is a squee-worthy thrill.