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Doctor Who: 5 Things to Watch to Get to Know Jodie Whittaker

You don't need a TARDIS to see her other work

Amanda Bell

The thirteenth doctor of BBC's Doctor Who has finally been announced, and for the first time, the show will feature a woman in the prized leading role.

Jodie Whittaker has been uncloaked as the new Doctor, and while this will be the first role that earns her household name status, the British actress has been quite busy in her still-young career. Chances are, you may have even seen her prior work on the small and silver screens without considering that she'd be the next one to take over the TARDIS.

To prepare for her debut in the Doctor Who Christmas special, here are a handful of films and television series you can check out to get to know Whittaker before Peter Capaldi regenerates and the actress takes over later this year.

Attack the Block


Attack the Block, Sony Screen Gems

This 2011 sci-fi action film featured Whittaker as a nurse whose mugging is thwarted by the arrival of meteorites that contain alien pods. What started as a street robbery becomes a full-on fight for survival against otherworldly creatures that want to procreate and infest the world with their own species. Whittaker's Samantha becomes an essential element of the world's defense, so the movie is a must-see for anyone interested in getting to see her in action.

Black Mirror


Black Mirror, Zeppotron

Whittaker starred in the third episode of Black Mirror's inaugural season (titled, "The Entire History of You") as Ffion, a woman whose husband's suspicions of her infidelity lead him on a virtual goose chase through an archive of memories that have been made accessible through cranial implants. That futuristic fantasy construct serves as a great primer for what Whittaker can do in sci-fi situations, and her emotional arc in the episode is impressively delivered by the actress.



Broadchurch, BBC America

For all three seasons of BBC America's excellent crime drama Broadchurch, Whittaker starred as Beth Latimer, the mother of an 11-year-old boy who was murdered and who transforms her grief into a new career at a local crisis center. Whittaker's performance has earned her some serious praise from the British television community, including nominations for a Royal Television Society prize for Best Actress and the UK's Crime Thriller Awards for Best Supporting Actress. And not so coincidentally, the new Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall also created Broadchurch, so Whittaker's casting will be a continuation of their already successful working relationship.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles


Tess of the D'Urbervilles, BBC

In this four-hour BBC mini-series adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel, Whittaker starred as Izz Huett, the friend of the title character who's in love with the object of Tess' affection and takes it rather hard when that affection proves to be unrequited. Considering all the time-traveling that will be involved in Whittaker's turn as the Doctor, seeing her in this kind of period piece is helpful in imagining the actress slipping into throwback costuming of different eras.



Venus, Miramax

In this 2006 film, Jodie Whittaker starred as Jessie, a woman who exploits an aging actor for personal gain as part of her effort to become a nude model in the vein of the "Venus" character in "The Birth of Venus." The film was widely revered by critics, most of whom lapped praise on Whittaker's co-star Peter O'Toole, and illuminates yet another part of Whittaker's plethora of screen skills.