Actress Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall will depart from BBC’s Doctor Who in the fall of 2022. According to BBC News, Whitaker will appear as the Doctor for the last time in the upcoming season (airing later this year) and three specials scheduled to air next year.
Whittaker first appeared as the thirteenth Doctor in 2017, following Peter Capaldi. Chibnall has also been with the series since 2017. As of now, the person who will replace Whittaker is unknown. The Hollywood Reporter also mentions that not only was Chibnall the one who appointed Whittaker for the role, he also cast Mandip Gill (Yaz), Bradley Walsh (Graham), and Tosin Cole (Ryan) in the series as well.
In a statement, Whittaker expressed, “In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes. I could not have guessed the brilliant adventures, worlds and wonders I was to see in them.” She adds that her heart is “so full of love” for Doctor Who, the Doctor Who team, and the series’ fans. She also thanked Chibnall for trusting her with his stories. Whittaker called the Doctor the “best role she’s ever had” and states she’ll “carry the Doctor and the lessons [she’s] learnt forever.”
Whittaker’s departure may not actually be as big of a surprise as the news may seem. The actors who starred as the Doctor before her (David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi) all stayed on the show for three series each, states The Hollywood Reporter. Chibnall himself even said, “Jodie and I made a ‘three series and out’ pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast. So now our shift is done, and we’re handing back the TARDIS keys.”
Chibnall goes on to say that Whittaker’s take on the Doctor “exceeded all expectations.” She upheld her task of playing the first female Doctor with “style, strength, warmth, generosity and humour.” He adds he cannot even begin to imagine working with a more “inspiring” Doctor, so he’s “not going to!”
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