The Doctor and her wife: Doctor Who stars Jodie Whittaker and Alex Kingston meet at Comic Con

New Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker has met her on-screen wife Alex Kingston.

Whittaker is the first woman to take on the lead role on the sci-fi show, which has long established that Time Lords can change gender when they regenerate.

The change in gender wouldn’t be much of a barrier for the Doctor’s omnisexual wife River Song, played by Alex Kingston, who appeared opposite David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi in the role.

Kingston made her probably-final exit from the show in 2015 episode The Husbands of River Song, but the two stars met at Comic-Con San Diego this week.

BBC America’s official Doctor Who Twitter account had shared a photo of the pair, captioning it “The Doctor and her wife”.

However just a few minutes later the message was deleted – and replaced with a different caption.

It reads: “Jodie Whittaker meets the Doctor’s wife, Alex Kingston.”

The change to the message to remove the phrase “her wife” angered some LGBT fans of the show.

They took to Twitter to complain about the decision, questioning whether the broadcaster was “uncomfortable” with the marriage between the two now-female characters.

The BBC’s UK-based Twitter feed also posted the photo, with the caption “Look who Jodie bumped into at San Diego Comic Con!”

Whittaker’s first season as the Doctor is set to air this autumn. It’s not expected Kingston will reprise her role.

Speaking to the Radio Times about her new job, Whitaker said: “There’s the chiselled superhero that we’re used to seeing and we’ve all grown up with, but Doctor Who has never been that, which is wonderful. It’s attainable in so many ways.

“And now it isn’t just attainable for half of the population. The other half can be the Doctor as well.

“Girls will no longer just think, ‘Oh, I could be a companion.’ Being the first female Doctor and showing children that their heroes in shows don’t always look the same is a huge honour for me.”

New showrunner Chris Chibnall said: “I felt the time was right for a female Doctor – I felt the audience were ready for it, the world was ready for it.

“I think if we hadn’t done it, we would have been behind the world – and Doctor Who has to be out front leading the world, showcasing all the amazing things out there. So it was never a question in my mind. It was time.”