BBC bosses have hit back at complaints from viewers over their decision to cast Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor Who.
Jodie’s casting as the first female incarnation of the Doctor was broadly welcomed by fans and many of the show’s former stars.
However, a vocal minority of fans were angry at the decision and complained to the BBC that the Doctor is no longer an exclusively male role.
In response to the complaints, BBC representatives issued a statement in which they assured viewers the 35-year-old actress is “destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor”, reiterating the words of Piers Wagner, the Controller of BBC Drama.
“Since the first Doctor regenerated back in 1966, the concept of the Doctor as a constantly evolving being has been central to the program,” they explained. “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.
“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.”
After the announcement, disappointed fans took to Twitter, with many writing that they would no longer watch the show or that a female Doctor was “not going to work”.
In response to the criticism, Jodie told the BBC, “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.
“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.”
The actress will take over from current Doctor Peter Capaldi in a special Christmas episode airing later this year (17).