Heavily rumoured for some time now, the news that Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall will be leaving Doctor Who next year has finally been confirmed by the BBC. It’s official that Series 13 will be Whittaker’s last, and will consist of just six episodes. (Speaking on the Doctor Who panel at SDCC@Home last weekend, Chibnall announced that the new series will be structured as a multi-part story, with recurring characters instead of one-of guest spots.) It will welcome back Mandip Gill in the role of Companion Yaz, alongside newcomer John Bishop as Dan.
Whittaker’s Doctor won’t regenerate at the end of the forthcoming six-episode series, but after a further three Specials, which are due to air in 2022. The first will air on New Year’s Day, the second will follow in spring of next year, and the final Whittaker special is due to air in autumn 2022, to tie in with the BBC’s Centenary celebrations, it’s been confirmed. There’s currently no word on who’ll be replacing her in the role, or who will step into Chibnall’s showrunner shoes, but expect plenty of speculation on that in the coming weeks.
Here’s Whittaker’s statement, courtesy of the BBC:
“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. 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.
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.”
And this is what Chris Chibnall had to add to the announcement:
“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!”
Who would you like to see replace Chibnall in the executive producer chair? Share your thoughts below.
Doctor Who Series 13 will air on BBC One and BBC America this autumn.