Jodie Whittaker’s best TV and movie performances
Jodie Whittaker may be at the end of her time in the TARDIS, with The Power of the Doctor her final episode in the BBC science fiction show – but although the TV series has dominated her career for the past five years, Whittaker has a large and interesting filmography.
Over the past few decades, Jodie Whittaker has appeared in TV shows and movies from many genres; gripping thrillers and tense dramas to period pieces, science fiction and whodunnits.
But what re the top 10 best Jodie Whittaker performances in TV and movies from her career so far?
Well, if that’s a question that interests you, you are in the right place because below is a top 10 countdown of the very best Jodie Whittaker performances.
So, if you are ready, we should begin…
10. Tess of the d’Urbevilles
Although a relatively minor part in this 4-part BBC adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel, Whittaker received praise for her portrayal of Izzy Huett in the 2008 show. A milkmaid who is a close friend and confidant of Tess, Izzy is an important supporting character in the story, and although relatively brief in her interjections with the biggest stars of the show, Whittaker clearly shone as an actor on the up when this programme first aired.
One of Jodie Whittaker’s earliest screen performances, Venus saw a relative newcomer playing opposite veteran actor Peter O’Toole, and not only holding her own but winning incredible praise from critics at the time in 2006. Whittaker’s performance as the grand-niece of an ailing veteran actor played by O’Toole put Whittaker on the map as one of the rising stars earning her a raft of awards nominations including at British Independent Film Awards and a nod at the Critic’s Circle Awards the same year.
Airing in 2008 on ITV, Wired was the first lead role in a major TV series and follows the story of single mother Louise (played by Whittaker) as she finds herself blackmailed by a former employee when they find out that she and her ex-partner stol e a significant amount of money from the bank. Co-starring Laurence Fox, Toby Stephens and Riz Ahmed, this is a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat and has a great central performance from Whittaker.
7. The Smoke
Whittaker played Trish Tooley in this 2014 drama about the firefighters of White Watch and their families and friends. Although this show didn’t run for a long time, Whittaker was noted early on as being impressive in her performance opposite Jamie Bamber, Taron Edgerton and Rhashan Stone. A role that required compassion and gritty realism, it showcased the depth and breadth of Jodie’s talent.
6. Attack the Block
Whittaker’s performance as Sam in Joe Cornish’s excellent Attack the Block from 2011 is another of her most memorable performances. An epic heroine character who challenges the traditional portrayal of those who have become victims, Whittaker plays opposite John Boyega (who makes his first major movie debut in this film) helping to electrify this already brilliant premise of an alien attack on a council estate in South London.
An intriguing ITV series that explores the lives of three families living the same house in three different time periods, the 1960s, the 1980s and the 2010s, the show looks at how they all seem to be connected by the spirit of a girl who went missing in mysterious circumstances in 1968. Whittaker plays a mother grieving for her eight-year-old daughter and offers a gripping performance in this show that also has a Doctor Who connection in the shape of Alex Kingston, that’s River Song to sci-fi fans.
Liam’s Story is one part of the brilliant Jimmy McGovern anthology series, Accused, that was aired on BBC One in 2010. It follows the story of a cab driver played by Andy Serkis (he’s called Liam, and this is his story) who breaks into the house of Emma (played by Whittaker) and becomes obsessed with her. Whittaker quite rightly earned a great deal of praise for her performance in this show where she’s required to show a range of emotions as the story develops.
3. Black Mirror
Jodie plays Ffion Foxwell in The Entire History of You, is widely regarded by Black Mirror fans as one of the most compelling and interesting episodes of Charlie Brooker’s excellent dystopian sci-fi anthology series. Written by Jesse Armstrong (who would go on to create Succession for HBO) this episode explores the idea of what would happen if everything you’ve ever done and said had been recorded, and could be played back. How would that effect a relationship, well – you’ll have to watch to find out. But Whittaker’s performance is central and brilliant.
2. Doctor Who
The first female to take on the role of the Doctor as a regular on the TV series and for many a controversial choice. However, as the Doctor Whittaker brought a new and exciting dimension to the adventures in space and time. Her time on Doctor Who between 2017 and 2022 with Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall at the helm will divide Doctor Who audiences as some felt the writing didn’t always give Whittaker’s character the stories she deserved – but one thing is for sure, the impact of her groundbreaking turn as the Doctor will always be remembered as very special.
As grieving mother Beth Latimer in Chris Chibnll’s excellent whodunnit Broadchurch, Whittaker saw herself at the very heart of one of the most talked about shows on TV. It kept the nation guessing for months, and also acted as a brilliant showcase for the amazing depth and range of Whittaker’s performance. The show was also a place where almost everyone who had or was going to be involved with Doctor Who assembled, with David Tennant, Arthur Darvill and Eve Myles to name but a few. Event television of the highest order with a performance from Jodie to match the magnitude of the show.
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