BBC responds to female Doctor Who backlash

Britain's national broadcaster has issued a feisty response to Doctor Who fans upset a woman has been cast as the show's latest Time Lord.

The casting of Broadchurch star Jodie Whittaker heralds the first time the fantasy TV series has had a female lead - but there are plenty of diehards who are upset with the change.

Plenty of the criticism thrown at the BBC was blatantly sexist, with hordes of male fans taking issue with show runners over their selection simply because Whittaker bucked the show's history of male leads.

The BBC has since revealed many people sent formal complaints to the network - and it has now explained its decision to cast the "bold and brilliant" actress.

"Since the first Doctor regenerated back in 1966, the concept of the Doctor as a constantly evolving being has been central to the programme," it said.

"The continual input of fresh ideas and new voices across the cast and the writing and production teams has been key to the longevity of the series."

The BBC then dispelled the widespread misconception that the show had not stayed true to its origin story by allowing the Doctor to be female.

"The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey and it has been established in the show that Time Lords can switch gender," the complaint response continued.

"As the controller of BBC Drama has said, Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor. She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role.

"She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor. We hope viewers will enjoy what we have in store for the continuation of the story."

Whittaker has inherited the role from Peter Capaldi, who took on the character in 2013.