Sixth Doctor Colin Baker was one of the first to express his delight, tweeting "Well I never the BBC really did do the right thing and let the Doctor be in touch with her feminine side. As a father of daughters - result!".
Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy also congratulated the actress "Congratulations Jodie Whittaker!!!!! One small step for Women, one Giant leap for Womenkind!!"
However the fifth Doctor Peter Davison called for an understanding of those resistant to change. "It might be more helpful to be encouraging, and not simply scornful, of fans who are uncertain about change.!!"
Past companions welcomed the change. Janet Fielding, who played Tegan in the 1980's, tweeting "I was zooming round in the #Tardis the yr #jodiewhittaker was born. Never thought then I'd ever see a female #Dr. V excited. Yipppeeeee" while Louise Jameson who played Leela in .the 1970's added "Congratulations to the brilliantly talented #jodiewhittaker Fabulous that we have a female doctor. Squeeeeeeee" . Katy Manning added "12 actors have given their superb magic touch to creating their Doctors & I feel 13 will be a corker good on you Chris Chibnall"
Alex Kingston, who plays River Song in the series, was being interviewed at a convention when the news was announced, and gave her reaction to the crowd. "Jodie Whittaker? Oh my goodness!. God, I’m always the damn cradlesnatcher!"
Press reaction is also overwhelmingly positive with the Telegraph saying the casting could be a boost for the show which has seen its audience decline in recent years. "Forget naysayers insisting that the 54-year-old show’s hero must be a man. Wave away cynics whining that this is “political correctness gone mad”. The casting of a woman will breathe new life into the sci-fi franchise, which has recently struggled in the ratings. Making Who history is a headline-grabbing way to begin arresting that decline. "
Variety also thinks it's about time a woman took on .the role. "Coming from one of the biggest media franchises on the planet, the news that the new “Doctor Who” is female is huge — and almost completely delightful. the fact that Jodie Whittaker has been named the Thirteenth Doctor is cause for celebration. Not only is Whittaker a fine actor — she was fantastic in “Broadchurch” and “Attack the Block” — her casting sends a message."
Time magazine thought it was about timey wimey we had a female Doctor "For many fans, it’s an exciting change that will make the show even more relatable. However, there will undoubtedly be some complaints from fans who can only envision the Doctor as a white male with a British accent. Just call it a miracle that the Doctor can still regenerate at all. In other words, as the Doctor said way back in the beginning, This is who I am, right here, right now, all right? All that counts is here and now, and this is me!”
Opinion is more split amongst fans with many taking to social media to express their disappointment with what they feel is an overly PC decision. However, the reaction of one young fan to the news, reported here on the Huffington Post, summed up the importance of the casting too many.
Finally, The British Prime Minister Theresa May, the second woman to hold that position, is said to be "pleased" that the next Doctor will be a woman, according to her official spokesman.