Ahh, birthdays. Who doesn’t love a day that celebrates you and you alone? Cake, presents, parties and all of the things that come with that special day. But what do you get an extremely old time traveller that already owns the coolest ride in the universe?
An article personally written by me of course! (Should you care to have a personalized article written for your birthday, please send SCIFI.radio $15.)*
Today’s birthday girl is none other than everyone’s favorite Time Lady, Jodie Whittaker. She’s 37 today!
Hailing from the north of England in Skelmanthorpe, West Yorkshire, Jodie was born in 1982. After high school (which is not exactly like the US equivalent. In fact I don’t really understand the British school system at all. I suppose I’ll learn when we have kids) she attended the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Other alumni of Guildhall include Orlando Bloom, Ewan McGregor and Marina Sirtis. Upon graduation in 2005 Jodie was awarded the highest honor offered by the school, the Acting Gold Medal.
Ms. Whittaker made her acting debut, like so many British actors, on the stage. At Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London (I’ve been to see a show there and it was amazing! It’s, of course, not the original theatre, that one burned down in 1613, was rebuilt and then demolished in 1644. The current Globe Theater was built on the site of the original, using the same design. The Globe is actually the only building in the city of London allowed to have a thatch roof due to fire concerns) in the show The Storm. She has since played in four other stage productions.
In 2006 Jodie co-stared in the film Venus and was nominated for several awards, including the coveted BAFTA. One of my personal favorite films starring Jodie Whittaker was 2011 Sci-fi Attack the Block (also starring John Boyega of Star Wars fame and Nick Frost, known for his starring roles with Simon Pegg. If you haven’t watched Spaced, you owe it to yourself to see it). With 25 films under her belt, it’s safe to say that Jodie is a seasoned professional.
But it’s her work in television that has made her the star that she is, in my opinion. Most of us are familiar with the exceptional and unconventional Black Mirror. Jodie starred in the episode The Entire History of You in 2011. From 2013-2017 she starred in the critically acclaimed show Broadchurch as grieving mother Beth Latimer (also starring David Tennant, who portrayed the Doctor in Doctor Who from 2005-2010. Tennant also reprised his role in Broadchurch in the American version of the show, Gracepoint). It was Broadchurch creator and executive producer Chris Chibnall that led Jodie to, arguably, her biggest role to date: The Doctor.
In 2016 it was announced that Steven Moffat would be leaving Doctor Who and that Chris Chibnall would be taking the reins as showrunner. Peter Capaldi, the 12th incarnation of the Doctor, would also leave the show. It was announced in 2017 that the new Doctor would be a female, the first in over 50 years of the show. Jodie Whittaker was chosen personally by Chibnall and thankfully she accepted the role!
I’ve written before about being a female Whovian and what it means to have a female Doctor for the first time. Jodie has taken the job of being the Doctor and done far more for the role than I, or likely anyone else, expected. She has given little girls the world over a role model to look up to. Unlike most superhero movies where the hero fights his or her way out of a situation using weapons or fists, the Doctor shows (and always has, no matter who the Doctor) that fighting is a last resort. I believe that this applies to real life: Think first, fight only if you must.
And so I hope that you’ll join us here at SCIFI.radio in wishing the Doctor, Jodie Whittaker a very happy birthday, and many many more! Thank you Jodie, for being the kind of superhero that this world sorely needs, now more than ever. Thank you for being an inspiration to all of us. We all love you.
Doctor Who will return in 2020.
*Sidney’s only half joking. We could really use your support on Patreon to help keep the lights on and our writers and DJ’s paid, so your donations are certainly welcome. — Ed.
Sidney Fraser is an American transplanted to a new life in London, where she explores fannish and geeky places, events and creations, which she relates in the continuing True and Proper Adventures of Sidney Fraser.