The companions aren’t the only new aspects of the show this season. Along with the new Doctor comes a new sonic screwdriver — created and welded together by the Doctor — and a new outfit. Whittaker spends most of the episode in the tatters of the clothes that Peter Capaldi’s Doctor was wearing when he regenerated, before popping into a shop to find her new iconic outfit. The most important part of it?
“It’s got pockets!” Whittaker said to a cheering audience. “Doctors can’t not have a pocket!”
Whittaker also revealed that in the scene where the Doctor leaps from one crane to another, she wanted to do her own stunts. They filmed the scene on day two of the shoot, and Whittaker noted that it was “terrifying and exhilarating and everything it should be to work on Doctor Who.”
When it came time for the audience Q&A, the common thread was the impact of having a female Doctor for the first time in the show’s history. The panel addressed the negative backlash that came with the announcement of a woman being cast as the Doctor. For all of them, it was easy to ignore the negativity because there were so many positive responses about the news.
“I think sometimes the angry voices can often seem the loudest, but they’re not the most representative,” Whittaker said. “It’s a bigger noise than it actually is.”
Strevens added that the numbers back up her statement. The day after the big reveal on national TV, he went over to the BBC offices, where he learned that the worldwide response on social media to the announcement was 83% positive.
When asked for any advice that the first female Doctor would give to women around the globe, Whittaker wanted people to know that, “We have a voice, and we are entitled to be listened to. And it’s scary sometimes and we sometimes have to unite to have the bravery to use it, but let’s use it.”
The audience was also shown the trailer for the next episode, “The Ghost Monument,” and a sneak peek at the rest of the season, which Chibnall noted that no one had seen before yesterday. The peek revealed a plethora of guest stars that will be appearing over the course of the next nine episodes: Mark Addy, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Shane Zaza, Shobna Gulati, Shaun Dooley, Brett Goldstein, Josh Bowman, Siobhan Finneran, Lee Mack, Lois Chimimba, Susan Lynch, Hamza Jeetooa, Art Malick, Susanne Packer, Vinette Robinson (who Chibnall later revealed is going to be playing Rosa Parks in episode 3), Amita Suman, Ben Bailey Smith, Phyllis Logan, Alan Cumming and Chris Noth.
As the panel was wrapping up, it was announced that Mattel had been working on a surprise to announce at NYCC: a collectible Barbie version of the thirteenth Doctor. The doll, dressed in the Doctor’s iconic new outfit, went on sale at midnight at Hot Topic.
Doctor Who airs Sundays at 8 PM EST on BBC America in the U.S. and stars Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill.