The announcement of the BBC during the end of a Wimbledon final 2017 that actress Jodie Whittaker would take the title role in "Doctor Who" was received with the mixture of praise and fear that has become common when a woman occupies a role Traditionally masculine.
There was a shower of praise for the progressive casting of the network. Then there were the rules of canons that claim that the character, a humanoid alien traveling at the time known as the Doctor, could not be represented by a woman because the previous 12 were not.
During a time when screen representation in Hollywood is a hot topic, especially when talking about women who represent traditionally male characters such as James Bond, Whittaker serves as a kind of case study. Would the show, a cult classic, succeed with a doctor?
The first reports of Whittaker's Sunday debut indicate that the program will not succeed simply, it will be more popular than ever.
"Doctor Who" is a science fiction series that follows the adventures of the Doctor, who visits several times in the history of humanity, helping both people and other endangered aliens. The BBC originally broadcast the program from 1963 to 1989, and then revived it in 2005. Since then, it has inspired several spin-offs and has grown slowly from the cult classic to the main-must must watch.
The British premiere of Whittaker when the Doctor broke the record of the program for viewers of an episode when he took out 8.2 million of them on BBC One, according to the Hollywood Reporter. (US audiences can see it here: the show airs on BBC America on Sunday nights).
That's approximately 200,000 more viewers tuned to the debut of "The Crown" by actor Matt Smith in 2010 as the Doctor. The program attracted 40.1 percent of British viewers, prompting Express to declare that "the premiere of the BBC series" was essentially that of mainstream television. "
Meanwhile, critics were impressed by Whittaker's performance.
"Through its many incarnations, the program has imagined a universe of infinite possibilities, so it seemed absurd that the Doctor would simply resurrect as a series of white types," wrote Jenna Scherer in Rolling Stone. He added that "like many other women who love 'Doctor Who', I've been waiting for the day when that glow of regeneration from the Lord of Time would fade away to reveal a different type of face than we were used to. "
"The real world is far behind, but when it comes to speculative fiction, we have the science fiction equivalent of a president," he added.
Variety considered the episode, which has registered 90 percent of the Rotten Tomatoes, "impressive." The critic Jeva Lange declared in the Week that Whittaker "will be a great doctor". In fact, it could be the best in a generation. "
Fans, even those who distrusted a doctor, seemed equally in love.
"A beautiful complete reinvention of #DoctorWho" tweeted The writer Paul Cornell. "Very related, realistic, with such character and sense of place. A great new doctor too. And immediately we love all your friends. Drama, scares and comedy for the whole family. Sparkly."
BBC Studios and Mattel have partnered to create a Barbie doll based on their character.
Whittaker's casting came about when Chris Chibnall became the newest producer of "Doctor Who". Chibnall previously worked with the actress in the British crime drama "Broadchurch."
"I always knew that I wanted the 13th doctor to be a woman, and we are delighted to have secured our number one choice," Chibnall told the BBC in 2017. "Your hearing for the doctor simply left us speechless." "Jodie is a super intelligent, fun, inspiring and super intelligent force of nature and will bring wit, strength and warmth to the role."
Whittaker said at New York's Comic-Con on Sunday that, while he thinks his casting is "a step in the right direction," Hollywood still has a long way to go to achieve fair representation.
"I think the glass ceiling is broken?" Whittaker said. "No. Do I think this is a positive step in the direction of equality in representation in the film? Yes. But it's not broken."
In addition, she hopes that her character is not a model for women.
"When I was growing up, there was never a question you would admire as a child," she said. "That's what you did, although you're a girl, there's a little mythology in the sense that you're a hero for a girl, which is not the case, and so I think the wonderful thing about this is being a model to follow for anyone, that the Doctor has always been regardless of gender. "