Tasmanians react to Doctor Who naming Thirteenth Doctor as Jodie Whittaker

To the TARDIS: Chelsea Anderson, 10, is one of Tasmania's biggest Doctor Who fans. Picture: Scott Gelston
To the TARDIS: Chelsea Anderson, 10, is one of Tasmania's biggest Doctor Who fans. Picture: Scott Gelston

For the first time in its 54-year history, the BBC’s beloved sci-fi time travel show Doctor Who has a female lead.

British actress Jodie Whittaker was announced on Sunday as the Thirteenth Doctor in a surprise announcement for a show that has traditionally kept the main character male.

The Doctor is an alien character who reinvents themselves through regeneration, while flying through time and space in a big blue police box, chasing the mysteries of the universe.

Taking over from Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi, Whittaker said she was “beyond excited” to be named the first female Doctor in a show all about “hope”.

Reaction to the announcement has been mostly excited to finally see a woman take on the iconic role of the madcap Time Lord with a few misgivings about what direction the show will take next.

One of Tasmania’s biggest Doctor Who fans is 10-year-old Chelsea Anderson. 

Owner of a collection of Doctor Who earrings, books, trading cards, a Cyberman mask and a Matt Smith-era sonic screwdriver, Chelsea has watched all the series since Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor.

Her favourite may be Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor, but when Peter Capaldi announced he was leaving, she said she felt sad.

Of the show’s run of human companions tossed into strange adventures with the Doctor, Chelsea’s favourite is Clara, known as The Impossible Girl.

But with Whittaker stepping into the TARDIS for the future, Chelsea is curious to see what happens.

“I think it will be interesting to see how the Doctor deals with becoming a woman,” she said.