After first setting foot in the TARDIS way back in 2017, Jodie Whittaker is about to travel out of the time vortex for the final time in this weekend’s Doctor Who special, which will see the Thirteenth Doctor meet her end. This marks the conclusion of one of the boldest eras in the show’s 60-year history, then, as Whittaker’s groundbreaking tenure has been typified by its dedication to being different.
Case in point, last year’s miniseries Doctor Who: Flux, a six-episode season that served as the first serialized multi-part epic since the classic show ended in the 1980s. While speaking with Digital Spy, Whittaker reflected on the experimental effort, admitting that it was nerve-wracking to make as the actress had to get her head around shooting such a complex storyline that involved so many intertwining timey-wimey elements. As she recalled:
“Well, I was scared when it aired. It clarified quite a few things, because when you are learning The Doctor about five times – I was like: ‘Right. Which Doctor am I in this one? Which timeline am I on this?’ I couldn’t for the life of me… It got explained to me nearly every day, and I was always like: ‘Can you just remind me where I am right now, and which version of myself I am? Am I time, am I this?’ So seeing it all work – I was like: ‘Oh, thank God for that.'”
Whittaker was keen to stress that she loved the finished product, but it seems her overriding memory of the experience of making Flux is one of being overworked as she had to operate on all fronts. She continued:
“It was amazing. It was really brilliant. I’m just really glad that you couldn’t tell that I was just dragged in all directions. I mean, I was, and I was meant to be. But as the actor, I was a bit like: ‘Sorry, can someone explain this to me?'”
Flux concluded with a lot of big questions still unanswered, so hopefully. we’ll get a few of its plot threads belatedly tied up in the incoming special, airing as part of the BBC’s centenary celebrations. Thirteen has her work cut out for her in the episode, what with the Master, the Daleks, and the Cybermen all coming for her, but at least she has a couple of old friends returning to help her out.
Don’t miss Doctor Who: “The Power of the Doctor” on BBC America this Sunday, Oct. 23.