Jodie Whittaker Reflects On Leaving Doctor Who After Next Season

For most of this year there were rumors that Jodie Whittaker is leaving Doctor Who, with multiple reports saying that the upcoming season 13 will be her last. This made sense, as in line with every Doctor since David Tennant, Whittaker will have played the part for three runs and is due a regeneration.

In July, it was finally confirmed, with both Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall stepping down for a new Doctor and returning showrunner Russell T Davies. Now, in a new interview with the Radio Times, Whittaker says the choice was a tough one:

Chris [Chibnall] and I always said we were going to do three series together, but then when you get to it, it’s a very different thing. Sometimes it was like… ‘Are we sticking to this decision?’ There’s part of me that could absolutely say, ‘No, let’s keep going! Let’s go back on it!’ But to give the fans the level that they deserve, there has to be some sacrifice. You have to know when you’ve done it.”

We’ve heard similar stories from previous Doctors. Most say it’s a very intense experience being cast as the Doctor and dominates your life on and off-screen, though almost all of them don’t want to leave the stage as the curtain falls. Whittaker continued:

“When it’s my last day of shooting, that will certainly feel as if a huge part of my life is over. But as far as being the Doctor, I get to drag it out for as long as they put the episodes on for.”

Fortunately for her, that could be a while yet, as this year will bring a new six-episode season. There are two specials planned for 2022, and one final feature-length adventure intended to mark the BBC’s centenary. Beyond that, it’s the show’s 60th anniversary in 2023, which will be met with a fresh Doctor and one of the most highly regarded showrunners in the show’s history making a comeback.

Here’s hoping we get some hints as to how Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate soon. I’m not expecting an announcement of her replacement until some time next year, though there are already rumors building about who might be occupying the TARDIS next.

After some wobbles in recent years, the future looks bright for Doctor Who.