After a record-breaking debut season as the Doctor, Jodie Whittaker’s tenure on Doctor Who has hit a speed bump. Ratings are down and neither fans or critics are enjoying the new episodes. The given explanation for the ratings slide has been that it’s got stiff competition from reality TV on the Sunday evening time slot. But even as someone who enjoyed season 11, season 12 has been a disappointment.
The opening two-parter was a damp squib and the third episode, “Orphan 55,” is already being spoken of as one of the worst in the revival’s history. Fortunately, “Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror” was an improvement, so let’s hope the rest of the series follows suit.
Anyways, despite these wobbles, it seems that the BBC still has full confidence in Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor. The actress recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the show, where she was asked if she would be returning for season 13 and said:
“Yes, I’m doing another season. That might be a massive exclusive that I’m not supposed to say, but it’s unhelpful for me to say [I don’t know] because it would be a massive lie! [Laughs] I absolutely adore it. At some point, these shoes are going to be handed on, but it’s not yet. I’m clinging on tight!”
This isn’t unexpected, as the pattern for the revival is that each Doctor receives three seasons and then regenerates. Based on that, we should expect to see Whittaker’s Doctor regenerate in the 13th season finale.
One part of the production process that has changed though is the episode count per season. The previous four Doctors all had thirteen-episode seasons, while Whittaker only gets ten-episode seasons. This means that when she closes the TARDIS door for the last time she’ll have had nine fewer adventures than her predecessors. That’s almost a whole ‘missing’ season for her, so who knows, she might get a fourth after all to make up the difference. I suspect that’ll rest on whether Doctor Who can pull itself out of its current slump, though.