For years, 'Doctor Who' has led the way when it comes to the sci-fi genre, but lately has come under fire for what many have called lacklustre episodes and low creativity. With current showrunner Steven Moffat headed out of the door, taking current Doctor Peter Capaldi with him, the room for change is wider than ever before. 'Broadchurch' creator Chris Chibnall will replace him behind-the-scenes, with an announcement coming yesterday that Jodie Whittaker would become the Thirteenth Doctor, and the first ever female in the role.

Acclaimed actress Jodie Whittaker is Doctor 13Acclaimed actress Jodie Whittaker is Doctor 13

It's a decision that has split the fan base, though the majority of those who have stuck by the show throughout the past few years are behind the shift in direction. It's always been made clear in the 'Who' universe that the Doctor is an alien species, who chooses to take the form of a human, whether it be a man or a woman. There have been Time Lords in the past and present who are women, who once were men, and vice versa. And for those who say Time Lord is a male title, it's actually a race, rather than having anything to do with gender. Characters have explained in the past that it's used here as a generic term.

It's clear that bringing a female on board is something Chibnall has wanted to do for some time. Speaking following the announcement that Whittaker would take over from Capaldi in the Christmas special and beyond, Chibnall said: "After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we’re excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor. I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for The Doctor simply blew us all away. Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way."

What's most exciting about these words is the clear adoration Chibnall has for Whittaker. With the two working together on three seasons of critically-acclaimed ITV crime drama 'Broadchurch', their chemistry on set is likely above and beyond that of anybody else who may have stepped forward.

Seeing how all of that plays out will likely ensure one of the biggest television events of the past few years. It's an exciting future for Who fans.

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'Doctor Who' returns for its Christmas special episode later this year, ahead of a whole new series with Whittaker and Chibnall at the helm in 2018.