Jodie Whittaker: Learning Doctor Who lines was tough

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Jodie Whittaker said she ‘won’t be the last’ female Time Lord (Danny Lawson/PA)

Jodie Whittaker says learning lines for her new role in Doctor Who has been “harder than it sounds”.

The actress, 36, makes her debut as the Time-Lord next month.

She also told Shaun Keaveny on BBC 6 Music that the prospect of being the first Doctor for the viewers who are new to the sci-fi show makes her cry.

Asked about the acting challenges for the high-profile role, she said: “Learning the lines!”

The former Broadchurch star said: “You’re given this wonderful character of the Doctor that has traits throughout the 55-year history that you honour…

“I just have to basically learn my lines, which is harder than it sounds”.

She has steered clear of watching previous episodes.

“I’ve tried as much as I can to soak up the info. You can’t become an encyclopedia on it overnight. (Head writer Chris) Chibnall is, thank God!,” Whittaker said.

Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker and Bradley Walsh attending the Doctor Who premiere (Danny Lawson/PA)
Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker and Bradley Walsh attending the Doctor Who premiere (Danny Lawson/PA)

“I came into the audition process and I said… ‘You’d have to live under a rock if you’ve never seen an episode.

“But I’m not brought up in a Whovian house and it’s not something I’d watched from start to finish. I’ve seen the odd episode…

“Casting a new person, you might as well use their fresh energy,” she said. “When it’s over and I hand over the baton I’m going to watch it from start to finish.”

She told 6 Music: “To be somebody’s first Doctor would be extraordinary… I cry a lot about it because I just find it all so overwhelming and exciting.”

Whittaker helped design her character’s costume, saying: “The most important thing was the use of colour… I love referencing the worlds you’re coming from”.

But she added: “It needed to be comfortable. Often with heroic characters I just think, that looks really sweaty.”

She said she “won’t be the last” female Time Lord and there would be “so many” in future, adding: “It’s an alien, the character has got two hearts.

“I’m not entirely certain that it’s the female bit that makes me unqualified… I think most people have managed to get over that.”

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