Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker Will Likely Only Last 3 Years In The Role


Jodie Whittaker finally made her proper Doctor Who debut last month in season 11’s premiere, “The Woman Who Fell To Earth”. It’s fair to say she left a big impression, too, with fans everywhere falling in love with her version of the immortal Time Lord. It’s not a pleasant topic to think about when she might have to leave the sci-fi series, then, but it’s something that’ll eventually happen and according to ex-showrunner Steven Moffat, it may be sooner than you think.

Speaking to The Daily Star, the 56-year-old writer, who produced Who from 2008 to 2017, explained that starring as the Doctor is an incredibly demanding job, as having to learn all that dialogue is exhausting and difficult for actors. As such, he believes Jodie Whittaker will only be in the role for three years total.

“I think that’s why they last about three years -– the amount of line learning they have to do,” said Moffat. “I never thought about what Matt Smith had to do until the very end. He put so much work into it.”

So, if Steven’s right, then it’s likely Jodie will stay on for seasons 12 and 13 following this current run before regenerating into yet another new version of the character. And whether that happens to be another woman or a man, it seems it doesn’t make much difference behind the scenes, as Moffat explained the following to The Daily Star:

“The Doctor is very much the Doctor. I know we have different Doctors and we make a great fuss every time we bring in a new Doctor Who, we say this is a whole new approach to Doctor Who. Secretly, it is not. Secretly, it’s just someone else playing it.”

Even after she’s eventually said goodbye to the part, though, Jodie’s made clear that she knows playing the Doctor is a job for life, as her good friend – and former Time Lord – David Tennant explained to her before taking the role that she’ll still be part of the Doctor Who family even once she’s left the show.

“But the thing that was so brilliant about getting the part, and something I know because I know [David Tennant], is that once you’re in the family, you’re never out,” said Whittaker. “I can be 80 years old and referred to as ‘the Doctor’ by somebody, and to know that you’re always welcome in that world is extraordinary.”

While it’s unfortunate that this current version of the Doctor may not last longer than three years, it’s not exactly surprising to hear. I mean, when you put aside outliers like the unusually long seven-year tenure of Tom Baker or the one-episode-only status of Paul McGann, most of the actors who’ve starred on the show have only lasted three seasons.

From William Hartnell to Patrick Troughton, Peter Davison to Colin Baker, Matt Smith to Peter Capaldi, and everyone in between, three years seems to be all that most of them can handle and as such, we fully expect for Jodie Whittaker to put down the sonic screwdriver for good following Doctor Who season 13.