'Thought I was doing it wrong'
Actor Jodie Whittaker says when she watched Peter Capaldi's Doctor Who regenerate into her version on the popular sci-fi series, she panicked thinking she had got the character "all wrong". Whittaker stepped in to play the 13th incarnation of the Doctor in 2018 and is the first female Time Lord in the history of the cult BBC One series.
The Broadchurch star said she had steered clear of watching Capaldi's work on the show to allow herself "freedom" to perform.
"When I saw the episode, where Peter's Doctor regenerates into myself – we were midway through shooting and that was the first time in a long time that I'd been watching it – I hadn't watched it to try and give myself that freedom to step on set," the actor said during Finest Hour on BBC Radio 6 Music. Whittaker said showrunner Chris Chibnall, who earlier worked with her on the acclaimed crime drama Broadchurch, reassured her about the process.
Chibnall wanted the actor to bring a "fresh perspective" to the series rather than emulate what previous actors had already done, she recounted.
"I was like, 'Oh my God, I've done it wrong. I've done it wrong' and we were only like six weeks in and I had seven months left. I came in to work I was like, 'You should have told me, I've been doing it wrong!' They said, 'No, this is the point,' like, 'You know, you aren't supposed to be doing what someone else did'. But all the energy of the Doctor and all the references and the Whovian kind of pearls are in there. And you then take it and run with it. And actually it's much more freeing," Whittaker added.
The actor will return as the Doctor in the 13th season of the series.