It's official: Jodie Whittaker is the 13th Doctor in BBC sci-fi series, 'Doctor Who'! There have long been rumours of the first female Doctor coming to the small screen, but with new showrunner Chris Chibnall on board, they've at last become a reality. The actress will be taking over from current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, who will star in his final episode this Christmas Day. See the new Doctor reveal in the Facebook post below:

Hailing from Huddersfield, Whittaker is perhaps best known for her role in ITV crime drama series 'Broadchurch', which just so happened to be created by new 'Who' showrunner, Chibnall! On the show she played Beth Latimer, the mother of murdered child Danny Latimer, and gave an incredible performance.

For those who may have seen her elsewhere, Whittaker has starred in 'Black Mirror', 'The Smoke' and 'Return to Cranford', with a leading role in upcoming BBC One thriller 'Trust Me'. It's fair to say that her talents haven't gone unrecognised, and now they'll be put to the test like never before as history is made with 'Doctor Who'.

The past 24 hours saw Whittaker surge to the top of bookies favourites for the role, with many taking last minute punts on the star that proved to be well founded. She wasn't the only big female name in contention, with fellow 'Broadchurch' star Olivia Colman also rumoured, as well as Maxine Peake, Hayley Atwell and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Jodie Whittaker is the 13th DoctorJodie Whittaker is the 13th Doctor

The major change is one that will of course divide the fan base. There are some fans of 'Who' who, for some reason or another cannot deal with the idea of having a female lead the show. They say that it's a "gimmick" or being done simply to tick a box. They've had some time to prepare themselves for the news however, as the first official hints at a female Doctor seemed to come in season 10 episode 'World Enough and Time'.

Capaldi's Doctor said in the episode that Time Lords were "the most civilised civilisation in the universe", who were "billions of years beyond your petty human obsession with gender and its associated stereotypes."

With those words, it became clear that whatever direction Chibnall would take in casting Doctor 13, he had no time to appease those who were uncomfortable in allowing a female take the spotlight.

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'Doctor Who' returns this Christmas for a special episode, with a new series set to debut in 2018.