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First woman Dr Who a hit with Aussie fans

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July 17, 2017

British actress Jodie Whittaker is the new Doctor Who and the first female to play the iconic role.

Australian fans of Doctor Who have given the thumbs up to the long-running sci-fi TV show's decision to appoint a woman to star as the famous time lord for the first time.

British actress Jodie Whittaker, 35, was unveiled by the BBC overnight as the 13th Doctor, making her the the first woman in the show's 50-year history to take on the role.

Fans of the show in Australia took to social media to praise the Doctor's gender switch.

"Welcome to the Whovian family Jodie! Yes! A female Doctor. Bring on Christmas," Joy bellz tweeted.

Whittaker is best known for her recent role in the BBC drama Broadchurch, in which she played Beth Latimer, the mother of a murdered boy.

She'll take over from the hugely popular Peter Capaldi when he farewells the series in the program's annual Christmas special.

There had been enormous amounts of speculation about who would take over from Capaldi, leading to division among some fans about whether it was time for a female Doctor.

Adam Richard, co-host of the ABC's Whovians program tweeted: "I'm very excited about Beth Latimer taking control of the TARDIS!"

Members of the Doctor Who Club of Australia largely welcomed the switch to a woman Doctor.

"Welcome to the TARDIS, Doctor. I hope you enjoy your stay, which I also hope is a long one," Stephen Coppins wrote on the club's Facebook page.

However fellow member Judith McGuinness criticised the decision.

"In casting a 'classy Anglo Blonde female' the BBC is not moving forward quickly enough, maybe too reluctant to compromise the inclusive diversity that has been their agenda?," she wrote on Facebook.

Whittaker may have already picked up some tips about the Tardis from her Broadchurch co-star David Tennant, who served as the Tenth Doctor between 2005 and 2010.

"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," she said.

Whittaker also urged fans sceptical about a woman taking on the role not to be scared.

"Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that's exciting about change," she said.

"The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one."

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