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Comic-Con 2018: 13 women weigh in on the 13th — and first female — Doctor Who

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 18/07/2018 - Programme Name: Doctor Who Series
The 13th Doctor Who, Jodie Whittaker, second from right, with her three new companions, Mandip Gill as Yas, left, Bradley Walsh as Graham and Tosin Cole as Ryan. The sci-fi series returns in the fall to BBC America.
(Giles Kyte / BBC)

The new cast and creative team of BBC’s long-running “Doctor Who” series made their first public appearance together Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con.

The giant Hall H was packed with fans curious to know more about the new 13th Doctor, played by “Broadchurch” star Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to play the role in 55 years. The series, about a brilliant and funny time-traveling alien, returns in the fall to BBC America.

We talked to 13 women and one man, all of them dressed in Doctor Who-themed costumes, who attended the late morning panel on their opinions about the groundbreaking show change.

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Twin sisters Brigitte Kearney, left, and Michelle Riley, right, with friend Ashley Poinan, center, in line for the “Doctor Who” panel Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con 2018.
(Pam Kragen/San Diego Union-Tribune)
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Brigitte Kearney, San Diego

“I love that the casting in this show is so diverse. When they were ready to announce the 13th Doctor we were all glued to our TV and on the phone together screaming. I think a woman can deliver the empathy and wonder that you want from Doctor Who.”

Ashley Poinan, Fort Collins, Colo.

“I love the idea they’ve cast a woman. I think it fits perfectly for what’s going on the world right now.”

Michelle Riley, Fort Collins, Colo.

“It’s about time. I love the casting of Jodie Whittaker. I don’t want her to be a brash doctor. I want her to be a strong doctor. I have faith in the new showrunner Chris Chibnall. It will be refreshing.”

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Lily Streiff of Los Angeles dressed as the new 13th Doctor in BBC’s “Doctor Who” series at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 on Thursday.
(Pam Kragen/San Diego Union-Tribune)

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Lily Streiff, Los Angeles

“I’ve watched all of the ‘Doctor Who’ shows back to the beginning and I thought it was time. I was pushing for a woman when (12th doctor) Peter Capaldi stepped in a few years ago. When the announcement came, I was overjoyed. And when I saw it was Jodie Whittaker, I was 100 percent on board. She’s a wonderful actress and will do the role justice.”

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Brian Scully of Los Angeles dressed as the 13th Doctor in the Hall H line for the “Doctor Who” panel Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con.
(Pam Kragen/San Diego Union-Tribune)

Brian Scully, Los Angeles

“I’ve always been a fan of ‘Doctor Who’ and everyone always has their favorite Doctor. I never felt I had my Doctor until now. I was raised by a family of women and I think what she will bring to the show has been sorely needed and missed.”

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Mutya Roldan of Los Angeles dressed as the Tardis spaceship in the BBC series “Doctor Who” at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 on Thursday.
(Pam Kragen/San Diego Union-Tribune)

Mutya Roldan, Los Angeles

“I am really excited. I think she will bring a bit more passion to the role. Maybe she’ll be a bit more sensible and emotional. That’s good for the show.”

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Los Angeles residents Katie Aiani, dressed as Doctor Who companion Donna Noble, Athena Marenghi and Suzanne Temple, both dressed as the Tardis space ship, at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 on Thursday.
(Pam Kragen/San Diego Union-Tribune)

Katie Aiani, Los Angeles

“I loved Jodie Whittaker as the actress from ‘Broadchurch’ but I haven’t seen any footage yet of what she’ll be like as the Doctor. I hope she’s not too feminine and they don’t make any inappropriate jokes. I have really high hopes.”

Athena Marenghi Los Angeles

I’m really excited about it. It’s a welcome change. The show really needed a refresh and this is a great way to do it.”

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Suzanne Temple, Los Angeles

“I was really happy when I saw her costume. It’s practical and it’s smart.”

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Lindalee Rose, 10, of Los Angeles, dressed as the 13th Doctor and holding the character’s sonic screwdriver at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 on Thursday. She hosts her own video series “Doctor Who Review.”
(Pam Kragen/San Diego Union-Tribune)

Lindalee Rose, Los Angeles

“I think it’s really good watching ‘Doctor Who’ and I’ve been waiting for a female doctor. I’m so happy it’s a girl.”

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“Doctor Who” fan Ayesha Yoosufani of Austin, Texas, wearing a fez like that sported by the 11th Doctor played by Matt Smith at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 on Thursday.
(Pam Kragen/San Diego Union-Tribune)

Ayesha Yoosufani, Austin, Texas

“I’m thrilled. It’s about time. She will offer a different perspective on the role. I love the sci-fi genre and this series’ history of continuity, and I love how the Doctor’s mission is to help others. I think she’ll be great in the role.”

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Friends Patty Estes of Montana, left, and Susie Prendergast of Orange County, both wearing ""Doctor Who” T-shirts, in the Hall H line at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 on Thursday.
(Pam Kragen/San Diego Union-Tribune)

Patty Estes, Montana

“Why not have a woman? I figured it was coming because there had been so much talk. She’s such a good choice for the role. As a woman, maybe she’ll bring some intuition to the role. All of the other Doctors have been a bit clueless.”

Susie Prendergast, Orange County

“There’s no reason it can’t be a woman. The role of a Doctor isn’t male or female, it’s open-ended. I think the last Doctor was cold and alien and brusque. Maybe she’ll bring more humanity to the role.”

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Violet Kruger of Fullerton, dressed as the 13th Doctor in “Doctor Who,” in the Hall H line at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 on Thursday.
(Pam Kragen/San Diego Union-Tribune)

Violet Kruger, Fullerton

“It’s a new dynamic and I think she will be a new role model for girls. I don’t think they’ve had a compelling story since the 11th Doctor so this can push the story in a new direction.”

pam.kragen@sduniontribune.com


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