Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker reveals she did crane jump stunt as city celebrates made in Sheffield Swiss Army Sonic

Jodie Whittaker did all her own stunts in the first episode - including this death-defying leap 60ft up between two iconic cranes in Sheffield.
Jodie Whittaker did all her own stunts in the first episode - including this death-defying leap 60ft up between two iconic cranes in Sheffield.

Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker has revealed she did all her own stunts in the first episode including that death-defying leap 60ft up between two iconic cranes in Sheffield.

And Sheffield City Council‏ were thrilled when the 13th Doctor made a new Sonic Screwdriver tool - now a Swiss Army Sonic - out of Sheffield steel. They tweeted: "We're reyt proud that the fabulous new #DoctorWho handmade her all new sonic Swiss army knife with Sheffield steel. What a superb opening!"

WATCH ON IPLAYER: Missed the first episode of the new series - now Sundays, 6.45pm - or want to watch again? Check it out now on the BBC iPlayer - CLICK HERE.

The first episode, The Woman Who Fell To Earth, sent social media into meltdown as it was screened globally at the same time and fans gave a huge thumbs up to Whittaker's performance as the first female doctor and with a Yorkshire accent.

She says she is proud of herself and described the early morning experience during her first week of filming as 'amazing' and 'euphoric'.

But she admitted the incredible crane stunt was 'nerve-wracking' and added: "I absolutely bricked it".

It was her first alien showdown as the new and 13th Doctor at the top of the two permanent cranes at the side of the M1 motorway, near Meadowhall shopping centre.

The cranes, already a popular landmark know to millions of people who have driven past them over the years, are also famously lit up every year for the festive season.

But the cranes which tower above the HTC (Harrington Tower Cranes) yard and are now set to be the most famous cranes in the galaxy - certainly among Whovians, or Doctor Who fans.

Other Sheffield locations featured in the episode included Tinsley viaduct, Sheffield United's Bramall Lane ground and city skyline.

The city also got a huge mention when the Doctor makes a new updated version of her Sonic Screwdriver - now called her Swiss Army Sonic - which she makes in a city steel factory, using melted down cutlery and exclaiming it is: "Now with added Sheffield steel".

She also delivers an anti knife crime message saying the futuristic tool, which helps her right wrongs as she time travels throughout the universe, is more of a Swiss Army Knife without the knife adding: "Only idiots carry knives'.

The Doctor tells her new companions Bradley Walsh, 58, newcomer Tosin Cole, 26 and Leeds girl Mandip Gill, 30: "I say screwdriver but it's more multi-purpose than that. Scanner, diagnostics, tin opener, more of a Sonic Swiss Army Knife."

A toy plastic replica, which lights up and has its own brand new diagnostic sound, is already for sale as a new generation of girls and balls fall in love with the geeky new Doctor.

The new Swiss Army Sonic made with Sheffield steel

The new Swiss Army Sonic made with Sheffield steel

Whittaker, aged 36, from Skelmanthorpe, who has kept her own accent for the role, said of her stunt work: "They needed someone who was daft enough to jump between two cranes and I absolutely bricked it.

"This was like three days in, four o'clock in the morning, week one and obviously I was trying to be really cool in front of all the crews so I said yeah, yeah I'll do it.

"But actually it was amazing and the wonderful thing about the Doctor is that it's all about self belief in so many ways. You don't have these outlandish or other worldly skills. Physically you have a body like anyone else and it can and can't do certain things - but that kind of faith to just leap was really euphoric.

"I was obviously on a wire - we were about 60 feet up...pretty high. But it was all safe. It felt like there was nothing about it that wasn't safe. It is just nerve-wracking and it's not something you do everyday. But I love the pride in watching it knowing I did do it all."

She added: "In episode one that's all me. I'm really proud of that.

"There are a couple of moments where it was not deemed appropriate that I chucked myself out of somewhere.

Brave new Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker clings to the Sheffield crane 60ft up after making the leap on a wire

Brave new Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker clings to the Sheffield crane 60ft up after making the leap on a wire

"We have a really amazing stunt coordinator and my stunt double, Belinda, is amazing. So there are moments where it needed a professional.

"But in this it didn't need a professional."

Tosin Cole, who plays dyspraxia suffering companion Ryan Sinclair, quipped: "We're not just going to like forget the fact that I did my own stunts? I dropped my bike over and over again. I just want to let people know how difficult it is to try and act like you can't ride a bike and throwing yourself off the bike."

Jodie laughed and replied: "And the BAFTA goes to ..."

Showrunner Chris Chibnall, a lifelong Doctor Who fan who had lived in Sheffield, was aware of the cinematic qualities of the city and he wanted to base the new season there with Whittaker as the 13th Doctor.

He said: "It feels really important to connect Doctor Who to Sheffield. You'll see it again during the series and yes I wanted particularly with a new Doctor to ground it in a home and Sheffield is the home for this series of Doctor Who.

"I had lived in the city for a year I knew how cinematic it was but I knew how awesome the people were as well and actually a load of Sheffield characters felt really fantastic for me. It just gives you that a different humour and people saying it as it is.

Doctor Who's new Swiss Army Sonic toy version in shops now and likely to be on lots of Christmas wish lists

Doctor Who's new Swiss Army Sonic toy version in shops now and likely to be on lots of Christmas wish lists

Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker with new Swiss Army Sonic on top of the Sheffield cranes

Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker with new Swiss Army Sonic on top of the Sheffield cranes

New Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker jumped between the two iconic cranes in Sheffield in the first amazing episode

New Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker jumped between the two iconic cranes in Sheffield in the first amazing episode