British actress Jodie Whittaker, 36, made her public debut on Thursday as the first female “Doctor Who,” saying that casting a woman to lead the long-running sci-fi television series was inevitable.

Jodie at San Diego’s annual Comic-Con pop culture gathering which attracted well over 6,000 fans mentioned that playing the role of the extraterrestrial being who explores the universe in the time machine and spacecraft known as the Tardis was “really liberating.”

Jodie is the first woman and the 13th actor to play “Doctor Who” since the show first began airing on Britain’s BBC network in 1963. Tradition has it that when a new actor takes on the part of the character, the old, damaged time traveler regenerates into a new body.

“It’s 2018. It’s the direction that (the show) was always going to go in,” Jodie said. “Obviously, it’s the first time there has been a female Doctor. But the Doctor is regenerated every time … so there is only a slight difference.”

Jodie is famous for playing a grieving young mother in the British television crime series, Broadchurch. “It’s such an exciting world to be in. It’s brand new every single day for me. There is no role I have ever played that has, or will ever, come close to this. It’s an absolute joy,” she exclaimed.

The new season of “Doctor Who” has been casting privately for months, but the BBC on Thursday released the first trailer in which Whittaker’s Doctor Who says, “All of this is new to me. New faces, new worlds, new times.” Its premiere date is not yet clear.

Executive Producer Chris Chibnall said writing for a woman had presented no special challenges.

“You don’t write the Doctor any differently because she’s a woman, the line of the Doctor continues. It’s just a brilliant new actress playing her,” Chibnall said. We’re really waiting for this grand premiere. As they say, what a man can do, a woman will do it even better. You’re the judge.#Rewordit

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