On Sunday, July 16, 2017,  BBC revealed that the next doctor on

The actress will succeed the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, who announced in January that he would exit the show after the 2017 Christmas Special.

While the show has had quite a number of strong female characters like The Master and River Song, Whittaker as the 13th Time Lord is the first time a woman will portray the title character.

The actress is popular for her role in the British crime drama "Broadchurch," whose creator Chris Chibnall is taking over as "Doctor Who" showrunner from Steven Moffat.

Reacting to the announcement, Whittaker 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."

Whittaker playing the 13th doctor elicited excitement from some fans, but opposition from others who insist that the character was created to be male.

Whittaker is expected to make her first appearance in the Christmas Special and take over the role in the following season.