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Jodie Whittaker Named 13th Doctor and First Female Lead on ‘Doctor Who’

Lucky No. 13! Jodie Whittaker has been named the first female lead on Doctor Who, the BBC announced on Sunday, July 16.

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The British actress, 35, will become the 13th Time Lord on the sci-fi series, replacing exiting star Peter Capaldi, who will make his final appearance this December in a Christmas special.

Jodie Whittaker
Jodie Whittaker attends the British Independent Film Awards in London on December 4, 2016. Rune Hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images

“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey, with [new showrunner Chris Chibnall] and with every Whovian on this planet,” Whittaker said in a statement, via Variety. “It’s more than an honor 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.”

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Capaldi, who joined Doctor Who in 2014, added, “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.”

The BBC’s announcement, which quickly became the top trending topic on Twitter on Sunday afternoon, came at the end of the Wimbledon men’s tennis finals.

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Whittaker previously starred on Broadchurch, Black Mirror, The Smoke and several miniseries including The Assets and Wired. She will make her Doctor Who debut on the Christmas special later this year before taking over full-time when the new season premieres in 2018.

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