In the season’s opening episode, “The Woman Who Fell to Earth,” the Doctor has regenerated once again. It’s a phenomenon that began in 1966 when the original actor suffered from health problems and had to be replaced. Off and on over the last 50 years, a dozen different British male actors have taken on the role of the Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey.
Until now. Whittaker, as the 13th Doctor, doesn’t realize she’s female until a police officer calls her madam. “Sorry, half an hour ago I was a white-haired Scotsman,” she says, referring to Peter Capaldi, who portrayed the 12th incarnation of the popular two-hearted alien hero.
Here’s a baker’s dozen (no pun intended with Tom Baker, the actor who played the fourth Doctor) of Whittaker’s sometimes witty, sometimes profound, quotable moments:
- “Don’t be scared. All of this is new to you, and new can be scary. Now we all want answers. Stick with me — you might get some.”
- “There’s this moment, when you’re sure you’re about to die, and then…you’re born. It’s terrifying. Right now, I’m a stranger to myself. There’s echos of who I was and a sort of call towards who I am. And I have to hold my nerve and trust all these new instincts, shape myself towards them.”
- “I’ll be fine, in the end, hopefully. Well, I have to be, because you guys need help, and if there’s one thing I’m certain of, when people need help, I never refuse. Right? This is gonna be fun.”
- “Sonic screwdriver. Well, I say ‘screwdriver,’ but it’s more multipurpose than that. Scanner, diagnostics, tin opener. More of a sonic Swiss Army knife, but without the knife. Only idiots carry knives.”
- “Enough questions. You lot, you love to chat, I get it. Lots to do. I’m working on it all….Give me nine minutes, a bit of quiet, and I’ll be ready to roll. Scout’s honor.”
- “Don’t worry. I’ve got a plan….Well, I will have by the time we get to the top.”
- “It’s a work in progress, but so is life.”
- “These legs definitely used to be longer!”
- “…’cause we’re all capable of the most incredible change. We can evolve while still staying true to who we are. We can honor who we’ve been and choose who we want to be next.”
- “Bit of adrenaline, dash of outrage and a hint of panic knitted my brain back together. I know exactly who I am. I’m the Doctor. Sorting out fair play throughout the universe.”
- “I carry them (the Doctor’s family) with me, what they would have thought and said and done, made them a part of who I am. So even though they’re gone from the world, they’re never gone from me.”
- “I’m just a traveler. Sometimes I see things need fixing, I do what I can.”
- “It’s been a long time since I’ve bought women’s clothes.”