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Jodie Whittaker Praised by Former ‘Doctor Who’ Star Christopher Eccleston: ‘What Could Go Wrong?’

Her casting has garnered strong reactions, most of them positive.

The Leftovers Christopher Eccleston Season 3 Episode 5

Ben King/HBO

Reaction to this month’s announcement that Jodie Whittaker will serve as the first female Doctor on “Doctor Who” and the 13th overall has been largely positive, though some have objected for totally-not-sexist reasons. Adding to the praise is Christopher Eccleston, who played the Ninth Doctor and more recently starred on “The Leftovers.” In a BBC Radio 4 interview, the actor responded with praise: “She’s working class, she’s northern, what can go wrong?”

Whittaker has also appeared on “Broadchurch” for the entirety of its three-season run and been seen in such films as “Attack the Block,” “One Day,” and “Black Sea.” Peter Capaldi, the current Doctor whose tenure will officially come to an end on this year’s Christmas special, has called Whittaker “a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm”; David Tennant, who starred on “Doctor Who” from 2005-2010, says her taking over the reins will make his former stomping grounds “another show with a strong female lead.”

One alum of the show who seems less excited is Peter Davison, the fifth Doctor. “If I feel any doubts, it’s the loss of a role model for boys, who I think Doctor Who is vitally important for,” he said. “As a viewer, I kind of like the idea of the Doctor as a boy but then maybe I’m an old-fashioned dinosaur — who knows?” He later apologized for his comments.

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