After months of speculation, the official Twitter account for Doctor Who has announced that both Chris Chibnall, the current showrunner, and the actress behind the thirteenth incarnation of the titular character are leaving the BBC’s popular sci-fi series in 2022.
The show’s crew is currently busy filming season 13, where Jodie, alongside Mandip Gill and newcomer John Bishop, will embark on their most ambitious adventure yet. After the tumultuous finale of season 12, “The Timeless Children,” and learning that the Doctor is not Gallifreyan, the latest incarnation of the character now faces an identity crisis and has to unravel the mystery sitting at the heart of the Time Lords’ treacherous lie.
But whatever Chibnall has planned for this particular story arc, it seems as though the EP has to wrap it up in the upcoming run. Indeed, the duo is saying goodbye to Doctor Who next year. Whittaker still has a shortened season of 6 episodes to film, and then, the cast and crew will return for 3 feature-length specials that conclude her story in 2022.
Whittaker herself has addressed the announcement with a statement, saying:
“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. 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.”
Chibnall also revealed his thoughts, adding:
“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.”
Over the past few months, we’d heard numerous reports that Whittaker was leaving Doctor Who after her third outing, with speculation running wild among Whovians as to who might replace her. Now, it seems that the showrunner is also retiring after only four years. Considering the fact that his predecessor Steven Moffat stayed on for ten years, though, this decision is peculiar, to say the least.
Still, six one-hour episodes and a trilogy of specials, which will supposedly consist of a linear narrative and do away with one-parters, should be enough to bring the Thirteenth’s story to a satisfying conclusion.