Jodie Whittaker to step down as Doctor Who

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

Jodie Whittaker and showrunner, Chris Chibnall have confirmed they are leaving Doctor Who as part of a “three series and out” pact.

They will step down following 3 specials, including an "epic blockbuster” which will air in the Autumn of 2022, to mark the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.

Chris Chibnall joined the show in 2017 and took the decision to cast Yorkshire actress, Whittaker as the 13th Time Lord, but importantly the first female one.

“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,” he explained.

“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!”

Whittaker added:

“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,” she said.

"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.”

The BBC had already ordered a 6-part Event Serial for this autumn and 2 specials had been planned for 2022. However, a further, final feature-length adventure is now planned before the Doctor regenerates once more.

“Over the last four years Chris and Jodie have made Doctor Who history and their time on the show is indelibly marked on our memories. From Rosa Parks to Ascension of the Cybermen, Chris and Jodie have given Doctor Who some of its most life-affirming and tear-jerking moments to date and we are beyond excited to see what they have in store for us in the new series this autumn,” said Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama.

"Jodie's final adventure to mark the BBC's Centenary in 2022 is set to be a Doctor Who Special to remember. I’d like to thank them both for their incredible work on the show.”

Executive Producer, Matt Strevens, will also be leaving the show.

Doctor Who is a BBC Studios production for BBC One and a BBC America co-production. BBC Studios are the international distributors.

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