Jodie Whittaker And Chris Chibnall Set Their ‘Doctor Who’ Departure

by Erik Amaya

As we’ve said before, expecting a Doctor Who shake-up every three seasons is a good bet.

The BBC announced Thursday that series star Jodie Whittaker and head writer Chris Chibnall will be leaving the program after delivering three specials in 2022. “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 said in a statement. “I wish our successors — whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose — as much fun as we’ve had. They’re in for a treat!”

Whittaker said, “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 … 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.”

Season 13 was previously said to be an eight episode order — with news out of Comic-Con@Home indicating it would be a season-long story. But the BBC press release states the event story will be six parts while Episodes 7 and 8 form two of the three Doctor Who specials to air in 2022. And additional special, seemingly filming now, was added to the order to round out the Thirteenth Doctor’s era.

Now, of course, the speculation will move on to who will take creative reins of the show and who will be the next Doctor. Expect wild ideas in the weeks ahead. But considering Whittaker’s final adventure is being shot, we’re going to presume a choice as to her successor has already been made. They have to film the regeneration scene, after all.

Historically, the leading actor on Doctor Who spends three seasons (but not necessarily three years) in the role. There are exceptions, of course, with Tom Baker famously sticking around for seven seasons, Christopher Eccleston departing after a single year, and Colin Baker‘s three years as the Doctor amounting to one full season and a severely truncated second.

Doctor Who returns for its event season later this year.

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