Whovians are going to have to say goodbye to a Doctor once more — and sooner rather than later.
Jodie Whittaker, who plays the Thirteenth Doctor, and Chris Chibnall, who serves as showrunner, are leaving Doctor Who in 2022. Both have been with the show since 2017. As for what we have left with both of them, there’s the six-part season coming this fall and two specials planned for 2022 (January 1 and the spring). BBC One has now set an additional, final, feature-length adventure for Whittaker’s Doctor for fall 2022 before the next regeneration, at which point a new face will take over the role.
“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. My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life. And I cannot thank Chris enough for entrusting me with his incredible stories,” Whittaker said in a statement.
“We knew that we wanted to ride this wave side by side and pass on the baton together. So here we are, weeks away from wrapping on the best job I have ever had. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express what this role has given me. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I’ve learnt forever,” she continued. “I know change can be scary and none of us know what’s out there. That’s why we keep looking. Travel Hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly.”
“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. Jodie’s magnificent, iconic Doctor has exceeded all our high expectations. She’s been the gold standard leading actor, shouldering the responsibility of being the first female Doctor with style, strength, warmth, generosity and humour. She captured the public imagination and continues to inspire adoration around the world, as well as from everyone on the production. I can’t imagine working with a more inspiring Doctor — so I’m not going to!” Chibnall added.
“For me, leading this exceptional team has been unrivalled creative fun, and one of the great joys of my career. I’m so proud of the people we’ve worked with and the stories we’ve told. To finish our time on the show with an additional Special, after the pandemic changed and challenged our production plans, is a lovely bonus,” he continued. “It’s great that the climax of the Thirteenth Doctor’s story will be at the heart(s) of the BBC’s centenary celebrations.”
Whittaker was the first woman to play the Doctor when she stepped aboard the TARDIS in 2017. She followed William Hartnell (1963–66), Patrick Troughton (1966–69), Jon Pertwee (1970–74), Tom Baker (1974–81), Peter Davison (1982–84), Colin Baker (1984–86), Sylvester McCoy (1987–89), Paul McGann (1996), Christopher Eccleston (2005), David Tennant (2005–10), Matt Smith (2010–13), and Peter Capaldi (2014–17).
Doctor Who, Season 13, TBA, BBC America