Doctor Who’s surprising admission
While she'd love a sonic screwdriver of her own in real life, Jodie Whittaker is more than happy with what fantasy and Doctor Who has brought her so far.
The 13th Doctor returns to mark her third anniversary as a Time Lord, with the fuss over the first female in the role having long died down.
The 38-year-old Yorkshire actress endured her fair share of criticism during her debut adventures through time and space, but Whovians or not, everyone is glad to see her back this New Year.
As the title suggests, Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks also sees the return of some iconic baddies, of the hide-behind-the-sofa type.
Talking to The BINGE Guide, Whittaker admits that even she gets scared by some of her close encounters, even after two full seasons and three Christmas specials of alien-busting.
Without giving any spoilers, the new series picks up where season 12 left things, she reveals.
"This is one of the first times The Doctor is away from the gang. She has no idea about what is going on Earth so we are in a position where The Doctor is alone in this prison while the gang are together on Earth."
While the return of the Daleks will thrill diehards, Whittaker says The Master has been her favourite villain so far.
"Just because the writing and the length of scenes for me and Sacha (Dhawan) were just brilliant. We would have four or five pages of stand-offs. I love his trickery, his revenge and how he is so quick to switch on you. I found all of that incredible."
She adds: Playing The Doctor, with all of these classic villains and monsters, is amazing but The Master and I have our own relationship and our own experience."
Looking back over her three years in the job, Whittaker recalls her first days on set.
"I remember my first big speech on a bloomin' crane," she reveals with a laugh. "I was completely obsessed with the health and safety of the crane. Once we went and we realised it was all right and me and Tim Shaw weren't going to fall off, we got into it. It was pi**ing it down [raining] too. It was really Welsh weather … everything about it was epic."
The long breaks between filming new seasons and the Christmas specials are "such an emotional thing" she says, "waiting to all come back together with a group of people you love. It really does make you incredibly nostalgic and incredibly grateful that we have this extraordinary thing to come back to. You miss the banter and the emotional rollercoaster of the whole thing. Every time you come back to shoot you think you know what you are in but then you see it on screen with the music and all of the post-production, it ends up being elevated on a level you can't imagine."
Her fan encounters are also on another level.
"Do you know what happens to me?" she offers. "It's brilliant … people make things for me. I love stuff like that and I love how creative the fans are. In every walk of life, there's Whovians. I love the unexpectedness of it all, the unexpected warmth and how uniting it is. We have this forever connection because of what the show means to them, to me and everyone on the show."
One-time Doctor, David Tennant, has said the most gut-wrenching scenes he filmed as The Doctor were his last ones - a prospect Whittaker is too emotional to face.
"If I even think about leaving, it makes me cry," she says. "When it happens, I can pre-empt that it will be my most devastating moment."
She still regards her first episode as the most special in her career: "It was an incredible way to jump into this adventure. The way the character enters through the train but also continues in Peter Capaldi's Doctor costume until the end is how my Doctor arrived as part of the family. Emotionally, that is the episode that is the most special to me."
And her greatest lesson from the Doctor?
"That love and hope transcends time and space. That's a big lesson to learn in these challenging times. I think that is the thing that is a wonder to play and I hope, the older I get, that I don't lose that in life - that light at the end."
* Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks, streaming on ABC iView.
Originally published as Doctor Who's surprising admission