The first episode of Doctor Who was aired in 1963 and, despite going through numerous relaunches and regenerations, it remains a firm favourite in the British television landscape. Whether you’re a super fan of the Time Lord or have just dabbled in the adventures in the Tardis now and again, a change of Doctor is always big news. But this latest regeneration may be a bigger deal that most as Jo Martin has been revealed as Doctor Who, marking the first time a black actor has taken on the character in the show's 57-year history.
Over the years, there’s been 13 different actors in the role of Doctor Who, one of the most prestigious in the biz. After it was announced that Ruth Clayton would be starring in the Fugitive of Judoon episode, which aired on Sunday Jan. 26, the actor tweeted that it was a “dream job” and she couldn’t wait.
However, fans were left stunned as Sunday's episode unfolded and it was revealed that Martin’s character Ruth was actually another version of the Doctor. Rather than being a future Doctor, Martin appears to be one from the past; one that has been cut out of the memory of Whittaker’s Doctor.
Don't worry if that all sounds a bit confusing — time travelling isn't easy to get your head around.
Fans were left with lots of questions after the Fugitive of Judoon. It isn’t clear whether Martin will take over the mantle from Whittaker, as we now know for sure that the Broadchurch actor has signed on for another season. How the pair will co-exist on the show will be a matter of working out where Martin’s Doctor fits within the timeline of the Time Lord. (As I said — it's all very confusing).
Fans of the show have pointed out that it’s perfectly possible that the Doctor would bump into former or future versions of themselves, but Martin and Whittaker's characters don't recognise each other at all. Considering Martin’s character didn’t know what the sonic screwdriver is and had a much more traditional-looking Tardis, some viewers speculated that she be a Doctor from the very early years of the show.
There’s so much mystery surrounding Martin’s Doctor and how this new character will fit into the wider series, but I for one can't wait to find out more.