Jodie Whittaker to Leave ‘Doctor Who’ after Season 13, Now the Next Question Is Doctor, Who?
The first woman ever to embody the titular character in Doctor Who, Jodie Whittaker, will no longer portray the role after its 13th season, as per The Guardians' article of July 29, 2021.
Whittaker joined the long-running series as the regeneration of the previous Time Lord, played by Peter Capaldi, in its 10th season in 2017. She played the 11th and 12th seasons and will reprise her role for its season 13, set to hit the screen in 2022.
But the versatile actress will not return to the show after that. Also, the executive producer Chris Chibnall will quit after the 13th season.
The 39-year-old paid tribute to her Doctor Who team and Chibnall, citing how she could not have guessed the brilliant adventures she got to see in the show.
Referring to the fact that she was the thirteenth doctor in the titular character, she said, "In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes." She then expressed her gratitude for the opportunity and said she would carry the lessons she had learned.
Chibnall, too, talked about the departure and clarified that he and Whittaker had made a ‘three series and out’ pact. Thus, their exit was determined from the start. He even wrote that their shift was over, and they were handing back the Tardis keys.
The showrunner also praised Whittaker, claiming she exceeded the high expectations. He mentioned how she was the gold-standard leading actor, balancing the responsibility of the first female doctor with generosity and humor.
The thirteenth season is the end of an extraordinary trilogy, and, as per BBC, a third feature-length special featuring the thirteenth Doctor would be a part of the "BBC's centenary celebrations."
The eight-episode season 13 was filmed amid the COVID-19 restrictions. It will introduce comedian John Bishop as its new regular character Dan and see Mandip Gill reprising her role as Yasmin Khan.
Who Will Be the New Doctor?
With the confirmation of Whittaker leaving the show in 2022, an inevitable regeneration is bound to happen, raising questions — who would be the new Doctor?
And among the multitude of possibilities, one name on the list is the British musician and actor Olly Alexander.
In June 2021, The Sun reported that Alexander was "thrashing out final details with the BBC" to become the 14th Doctor. His pay negotiations were at an advanced stage.
If the reports are accurate, the 31-year-old singer would be the first openly gay actor to play the Time Lord. However, there has been no confirmation on who is getting the titular character.
English actor William Hartnell played the first Doctor as a frail yet competitive character in its first four seasons from 1963 to 1966.