For most of this year, fans have fully expected Jodie Whittaker to leave Doctor Who, with reports saying that the upcoming season 13 will be her last. If true, then in line with every Doctor since David Tennant, Whittaker will have played the part for three runs. Unfortunately for the rumormongers, though, there’s been no confirmation of Whittaker leaving and no unveiling of a replacement as of yet.
In fact, it’s now looking like she may remain in the role for longer than anticipated, as an insider report in British newspaper The Daily Mirror says she’ll be the Doctor through 2022.
“As ever bosses are staying tight-lipped about what they have planned, but with filming still ongoing they clearly have plans for episodes to be playing out much later into 2022, so there’s still more to come for Jodie’s Doctor.”
The thinking is that as season 13 has faced multiple delays and had its episode count cut due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the finale of the Thirteenth Doctor’s story shouldn’t be rushed. If this report is true, we may see the eight 2021 installments followed by a Holiday Special, then two more mini-movies that’ll air in late 2022 (one of which will likely serve double duty as the 2022 holiday episode).
This format wouldn’t be entirely new for Doctor Who, either, as David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor wrapped up his run with five special outings linking the fourth and fifth seasons. The plan should also give Whittaker’s Doctor the space to tell a decent regeneration story and lay the groundwork for the BBC to begin hyping up the Fourteenth Doctor. Who that’ll be remains unknown (though there are a couple of names floating around), but we’ll have more on that as it comes in, so stay tuned.
For now, though, Doctor Who will return with a season featuring a gaggle of classic monsters later in 2021. Let’s hope for a release date soon.