It’s only been a day since the BBC confirmed that Jodie Whittaker (and showrunner Chris Chibnall) will be leaving the time-traveling adventures of Doctor Who behind in 2022, and of course, that means it’s time to look ahead to who could be stepping into the TARDIS next. (Let’s be honest: That’s something people start thinking about way before an exit is announced because the nature of the role and the Doctor regenerating means someone new is always going to be coming in eventually.)
Whittaker stepped into the role of the Thirteenth Doctor in 2017. (She and Chibnall will have both been with the series for three seasons.) Her last appearance will take place in the third of a series of specials set for 2022, with the regeneration taking place in the fall. Based on the history of these regenerations, we should expect to get a glimpse at the Fourteenth Doctor at the end of the regeneration and a tease of the person in action at the close of the special.
Whittaker was the first female Doctor, after 12 men — William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi — piloted the TARDIS.
Already, people are starting to talk about their choice to step into the Doctor’s shoes. Michaela Coel and Olly Alexander are popular choices, with rumors of both being considered going back to before Whittaker’s exit was even confirmed.
Or why not look to the Doctor’s on-screen past? Jo Martin appeared in Season 12 as one of the Doctor’s regenerations (one the Thirteenth didn’t know), and she was so good, we don’t care how much timey-wimey stuff it would require to explain her being the Fourteenth. (Just imagine an “Oh, now that makes sense…” moment.)
But the face of the Doctor can be anyone — male, female, or nonbinary, young or old, serious or funny (though at least a touch of the latter is for the best). Really, the possibilities, like the Doctor’s adventures, are endless! Vote in our poll below to voice who you’d like to see in the TARDIS in 2022.
Doctor Who, Season 13, 2021, BBC America