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Jodie Whittaker named the first female "Doctor Who"

Actress Jodie Whittaker will become the next actor -- and the first female -- to star as the universe-trotting Timelord in the long-running BBC science fiction series "Doctor Who."

Whittaker will become the 13th Doctor in the show's history, taking over for current star Peter Capaldi at the end of this year. Capaldi has starred on the show since 2013, and was the 12th actor to fill the Doctor's shoes since the series made its debut on British television in 1963.

The announcement was made on Sunday, in a short video in which Whittaker reveals herself stepping toward the Tardis, the Doctor's teleportation device.

Whittaker previously starred in the British crime series "Broadchurch" and in the films "Attack the Block" and "Adult Life Skills."  Other film credits include "Black Sea," "Ashes," "Good Vibrations" and "One Day."

Whittaker told the Radio Times she hopes the show's fans won't be "scared by my gender.

"Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that's exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one," she said.

Whittaker also said no persuasion was needed for her to accept the role. "If you need to be persuaded to do this part, you're not right for this part, and the part isn't right for you."

In addition to Capaldi, actors who played the role on TV were William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston., David Tennant and Matt Smith.

Peter Cushing also played the role in two theatrical features in the 1960s. 

Colin Baker, the 6th Doctor, tweeted his delight at the announcement: 

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