Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall will be leaving the show in 2022, the BBC confirmed.
Whittaker, 39, was the thirteenth actor and the first woman to regularly play the title character of the long-running series.
Whittaker paid tribute to Chibnall and the Doctor Who team in a statement that read: “In 2017 I opened my wonderful gift box of size 13 shoes. I couldn’t have guessed the brilliant adventures, worlds and wonders I was going to see in them. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I have learned forever. “
Chibnall said: “Jodie and I made a ‘three sets and out’ pact between us at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime explosion. So now that our turn is over, we will return the keys to Tardis.
“Jodie’s magnificent and iconic Doctor has exceeded all of our high expectations. She has been the leading actress of reference, assuming the responsibility of being the first doctor with style, strength, warmth, generosity and humor. “
In social media posts, the BBC said the pair were leaving “in a trio of Specials, culminating in an epic blockbuster to air in the fall of 2022 as part of the BBC’s centennial celebrations.”
Whittaker will also appear in one more series later this year before his departure. The thirteenth season of the show that was revived by Russell T Davies in 2005 is expected to air in the fall and will consist of eight episodes filmed amid Covid restrictions. Comedian John Bishop will join the regular cast as new character Dan, alongside Mandip Gill reprising his role as partner Yasmin Khan. A trailer was revealed over the weekend.
Whittaker’s casting was first announced in 2017, when incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall cast her to follow Peter Capaldi as the Time Lord. Chibnall and Whittaker had worked together on the acclaimed ITV drama Broadchurch.
The change to a female doctor caused a surge in viewership when Whittaker first appeared, but it also upset a minority of fans who objected to the time-traveling, face-changing alien having a different gender. Viewers have drifted away during his two series so far. However, the 2021 New Year’s Day special Revolution of the Daleks, which featured the return of the popular character Captain Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman, was the most-watched BBC show that day. Subsequently, Barrowman became embroiled in a controversy over his behavior on the set of Doctor Who between 2005 and 2009.
Piers Wenger, director of the BBC drama, said: “For the past four years, Chris and Jodie have made Doctor Who history and their time on the show is indelibly marked in our memories.
“From Rosa Parks to Ascension of the Cybermen, Chris and Jodie have given Doctor Who some of their most heartwarming and moving moments to date, and we are beyond excited to see what they have in store for us in the new series. this autumn.
“Jodie’s latest adventure to mark the BBC’s centenary in 2022 will be a Doctor Who special to remember. I would like to thank you both for your amazing work on the show. “
Whittaker hasn’t been the only woman to play the iconic on-screen role in the show’s history. Joanna Lumley appeared as the Doctor in a 1999 Comic Relief parody which saw Rowan Atkinson, Richard E Grant, Jim Broadbent and Hugh Grant also give their opinions on the Lord of Time. Jo Martin appeared on the most recent series as the first black person to play Doctor Who, and the story casts her as a “runaway doctor” and is unclear where exactly she fits into the show’s timeline. Some fans have speculated that he could ultimately become Whittaker’s permanent replacement.
Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction / fantasy show on television, having first aired with William Hartnell as Doctor Who in 1963. Sales of DVDs and merchandise have made it one of the most valuable international properties in the world. BBC, and there is currently an immersive theater production called Doctor Who: Time Fracture running in London.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism