Doctor Who fans are in full celebration mode today. During Sunday night’s episode, “Fugitive of the Judoon,” the Doctor, currently played by Jodie Whittaker, defends a tour guide named Ruth Clayton, played by Jo Martin, from the impending threat of the mercenary police. However, Ruth Clayton isn’t just a tour guide. She’s actually another incarnation of the Doctor.
This means Martin is the first Black Doctor incarnation in the show’s half-century history, and fans are obviously freaking out.
It also means Martin is only the second female Doctor, alongside Whittaker’s current iteration. Martin is a celebrated British actress, known for her role on BBC One’s The Crouches. The Doctor Who creators sneakily cast Martin as another Doctor, and the reveal was straight-up jaw-dropping.
The show seemingly plans to work Martin’s character, Clayton, into the current season’s plot line, which revolves around the destruction of the Doctor’s home planet, Gallifrey.
It’s unclear when Martin’s Doctor character was *the* Doctor in the universe’s timeline. However, fans think she may have been the Doctor long before the First Doctor, played by William Hartnell throughout the 1960s. This belief was formed because Whittaker’s Doctor cannot recall Clayton’s form; therefore, she must have appeared long before Whittaker’s incarnation.
WE HAVE A BLACK DR WHO.— Stephy (@StephanieYeboah) January 26, 2020
THIS IS NOT A DRILL. WE HAVE A BLACK, FEMALE DR WHO!!! https://t.co/hHsZMbrUWo
Needless to say, fans are thrilled with Martin’s casting and can’t wait to find out more about her timeline.
She may be the actual First Doctor, and that’s a super exciting prospect.
And not just any Dr Who! She’s potentially the FIRST doctor predating all others which is massive— Moneer Elmasseek (@MoneerElmasseek) January 26, 2020
Dear @bbcdoctorwho @DoctorWho_BBCA Thank you for finally giving a Black nerd and other black nerdy adults and kids a Doctor who looks like us. You really dont know how monumental this was and how much it made me cry. Please don't let her be the only one ever. #DoctorWho— UzamakiJ (@UzamakiJ) January 27, 2020
The fact alone that we have two female Doctors working side-by-side is also a big deal.
The bottom line is: If you’ve tuned out, it’s time to tune back in to Dr. Who.
Ok so I need to start watching Doctor Who again pic.twitter.com/G3K3QoHnVG— Morgan (@MogranTweets) January 26, 2020
We’re so excited to learn more about Ruth Clayton and see her appear in more episodes this season (and hopefully beyond).