Sunday afternoon, the BBC revealed Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor on the internationally popular series Doctor Who, which airs in the United States on BBC America.

The actress becomes the 13th Doctor and the first woman to take on the iconic role. She replaces Peter Capaldi, who announced in January he would be leaving the series after four years.

Capaldi's final appearance as The Doctor will be in the Doctor Who Christmas Special, airing in December.

Whittaker is best known for her roles in the British film Attack the Block and the TV series Broadchurch, which paired her with former Doctor Who star David Tennant and upcoming Doctor Who executive producer Chris Chibnall.

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When asked about what she has to say about being the next Doctor, Whittaker said, It's very nerve-wracking, as it's been so secret!"

As new executive producer, taking over the reins of the long-running series from Steven Moffat, Chibnall selected Whitaker as the new Doctor.

"I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman and we're thrilled to have secured our No. 1 choice," he said, assuring fans that "The 13th Doctor is on her way."

Whittaker urged fans with any apprehension "not be scared by my gender, (because) Doctor Who represents everything that's exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one."

In an April interview with USA Today, Capaldi said that the doctor could "absolutely" be a woman and/or a person of color. "Why not?" he said. "I think that would be a very likely thing to have happen. A very good thing, too."

On Sunday, Capaldi said, “Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm (who's) going to be a fantastic Doctor.”

USA Today contributed to this report