American actress and illustrator Jasika Nicole has been confirmed to play the part of time traveling Doctor Who after Matt Smith departs the role in 2014. She will portray the 12th Doctor in this incarnation of the long-lived Time Lord, the first woman as canon and will be the first American tapped for the role. Most recently Nicole is best known for her co-starring turn on the American science fiction television The wildly successful science fantasy television program Fringe, in which she played the character of an FBI agent with a scientific bent and served on a crack team of investigators of the odd and paranormal. Jasika Nicole is expected to bring new verve and a refreshing direction to Doctor Who.
Doctor Who has been a staple of British TV since the early 1960s. Syndicated internationally, the show about an exiled Lord of Time has seen a resurgence in recent years, particularly among the audiences of the United States where the show has enjoyed high-ratings on BBC America and the SyFy Channel.
Executive Producer of the Doctor Who series Steven Moffat reported that the transition of The Doctor to female from male was long overdue if controversial. “Bringing the Who franchise to the modern era is a regeneration for the character beyond the usual one familiar to fans. As followers of the show are aware a woman incarnation of the Doctor has been done once before, though it was only for a brief few moments for a charity special. As wonderful as Joanna Lumley is she didn’t count! With Jasika Nicole in the role there will be brand new concepts and and will be just as adventurous, scary and humorous as ever. But none of us working on the new incarnation of the Doctor will forget what makes the character great and interesting. Further, long-time fans will not be disappointed because yes, the Daleks make an appearance. But the first adventure for the new Doctor is the surprising fact that Gallifrey is no longer locked in a time vortex!”
In a telephone interview actor Jasika Nicole was brief about the project due to contractual obligations, however she revealed some choice plot twists: “The Doctor will absolutely have a serious romance. I can not reveal who my co-star is yet but I’m told he is a strong, handsome actor that everyone knows and is perfect for the part.” Jasika Nicole revealed one other aspect of the Doctor, that of her secret past: “The Doctor is always portrayed as this mysterious Demi-God. Steven has penned this wonderful, exciting series that humanizes this all-powerful alien. The Doctor is actually given a name in the show, I’m told she never really had one before. She also acts like a Physician in more than just the title. She’s called The Doctor for a reason. Her mission is to journey through time and space with a crew of volunteers treating humanity’s illnesses brought on by invading aliens. The show will be very human and relevant and have a great message.”
Jasika Nicole admits before being offered the part of the Doctor she was not very familiar with the show. “I’ve watched more than six hours of DVD’s so I can get caught up with Doctor Who. They are so exciting! There were even a few times where I “hid behind the couch” as they say.”
The new Doctor Who begins filming in 2013 for a Christmas 2014 special.