"It's more than an honour to play the Doctor,” Whittaker said in a statement about becoming "the 13th Doctor." "It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: Hope. I can't wait."
Whittaker takes over for Peter Capaldi, who spent the last three years manning the TARDIS as the "12th Doctor." The actress has previously featured in Attack the Block, Black Mirror and the British crime drama Broadchurch, where she co-starred alongside "10th Doctor" David Tennant.
Broadchurch's creator Chris Chibnall was recently named the new showrunner for Doctor Who, one of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.
"I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman and we're thrilled to have secured our number one choice," Chibnall said in a statement. "Her audition for the Doctor simply blew us all away. Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The 13th Doctor is on her way."
Capaldi also praised the casting of Whittaker, who will be "regenerated" as Doctor Who. "Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker's work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm," the actor said. "She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She's going to be a fantastic Doctor."
Whittaker's first Doctor Who episode is expected to air later this year. BBC also shared a minute-long promo announcing Whittaker's casting: