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BBC television unveils first female ‘Doctor Who’

LONDON — British actress Jodie Whittaker was unveiled Sunday as the first woman to play “Doctor Who,” telling fans of the cult BBC science fiction series they should “not be scared by my gender.”

The 35-year-old, who starred in the British award-winning drama “Broadchurch,” will take over from Scottish actor Peter Capaldi later this year as 13th incarnation of the Time Lord.

Fans were treated to a brief glimpse of Whittaker, walking towards the Tardis in a forest, in a clip shown after the Wimbledon tennis final on BBC television.

Following the announcement, Whittaker said “it feels incredible” to take on the role.

“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,” she said.

The adventures of the doctor — a time travelling, humanoid alien who traverses the universe — have maintained a loyal following since they were first aired in 1963.

The first episode of Dr Who aired in 1963, and the series was developed by Sydney Newman, the son of a Russian-Jewish immigrant father.

Daleks in various colors, 2010. (CC BY Melinda Seckington, Flickr)

Daleks in various colors, 2010. (CC BY Melinda Seckington, Flickr)

The Doctor’s arch-enemies, the Daleks, were created by Terry Nation, who said he based them on the Nazis.

The time and space traveling doctor from the planet Gallifrey is thought by some to be an analogy for the archetypal wandering Jew, who goes around the galaxy doing his version of “tikun olam” (perfecting the world).

Whittaker anticipated

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