Polly Findlay: ‘Jodie Whittaker Doctor Who casting will change our cultural DNA’

Jodie Whittaker has been announced as the 13th Doctor. Photo: Colin Hutton/BBC
by -

Jodie Whittaker’s casting as the 13th Doctor in Doctor Who will “change our cultural DNA”, according to director Polly Findlay.

Findlay directed Whittaker in a production of Antigone at the National Theatre in 2012 alongside former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston.

Following the announcement last week that Whittaker would be cast as the Time Lord, who has the ability to regenerate into different people, Findlay told The Stage: “This is a piece of casting that will change our cultural DNA.

“To see an actor with Jodie’s particular brand of witty, intelligent and confident femininity playing that part will have a profound effect on the way that many kids learn how to see the world, normalising emotional and intellectual investment in a female protagonist in a way that very few other things could.”

Findlay’s comments were echoed on social media by actors including John Boyega, who starred in the 2011 film Attack the Block with Whittaker and was recently seen on stage in Jack Thorne’s adaptation of Woyzeck.

Daniel Mays, who appeared in an episode of Doctor Who in 2011, said:

Hayley Atwell, who studied at drama school with Whittaker, said on Instagram: “Jodie is a proper actor, everyone who knows her knows she will knock this out of the park. Warm, smart and funny as hell. We are in for a treat.”

Before being cast in Doctor Who, Whittaker was known for her role in ITV drama series Broadchurch.