The former Children’s Laureate has described her Doctor Who adventure as “a dream come true”.
Last year, it was announced that Jodie Whittaker would take on the iconic starring role of BBC One’s Doctor Who.
Speaking about playing the Doctor, the critically-acclaimed actor said: “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.
“This is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change,” she said, adding: “The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”
Now, the sci-fi show has unveiled its team of writers and directors for the new series – and showrunner Chris Chibnall has expressed his excitement at the enormous wealth of talent at his disposal.
“We have a team of writers who’ve been working quietly and secretly for a long time now, crafting characters, worlds and stories to excite and move you,” he said.
“A set of directors who stood those scripts up on their feet, bringing those ideas, visuals and emotions into existence with bravura and fun.”
Chibnall added: “Hailing from a range of backgrounds, tastes and styles, here’s what unites them: they are awesome people as well as brilliant at their job. (It matters!) They love Doctor Who. And they’ve all worked above and beyond the call of duty in an effort to bring audiences something special, later this year.”
Ed Hime (Skins), Vinay Patel (Murdered By My Father), Pete McTighe (Wentworth) and Joy Wilkinson (The Life & Adventures of Nick Nickleby) are among those writers stepping aboard to steer the first female Doctor’s journey through space and time.
Perhaps even more excitingly, though, is the fact that former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman has climbed aboard the TARDIS, too.
That’s right: Blackman – who has written over 60 books for children and young adults, including the Noughts and Crosses series of novels, and her book Pig-Heart Boy – has penned an episode for Whittaker’s Doctor.
“I’ve always loved Doctor Who,” she said. “Getting the chance to write for this series has definitely been a dream come true.”
Meanwhile, Sallie Aprahamian (Teachers) is stepping behind the camera as a director for the show.
“I watched the First Doctor from behind the sofa through my fingers, frightened and exhilarated,” the critically-acclaimed director has said. “I was really delighted, as a fan and as a director, to be invited to work on the first female Doctor’s series. What a brilliant time to be on the show!”
Joining across the series her will be Jennifer Perrott (The Ravens), Jamie Childs – who directed Whittaker’s reveal as the 13th Doctor – and Mark Tonderai, who has worked on The Five, Impulse, Lucifer, Gotham, Black Lightning, George RR Martin’s Nightflyers and Jennifer Lawrence thriller House at the End of the Street.
Tonderai says: “What was really crucial in my decision to direct the show was Chris Chibnall. I’m a huge fan of his and I like the way he sees the world. He has this ability to entertain and also deliver truths – questions, too – about who we are. And he does it all with a hint of a smile.”
The 11th season of Doctor Who will premiere on BBC One in the UK and BBC America in the US this autumn.