Following this past weekend’s Doctor Who New Year’s special, Jodie Whittaker officially only has two more episodes to go as the current custodian of the TARDIS. The actress broke new ground back in 2017 when she became the first woman to be cast as the Doctor, but now it’s almost time for her to hand over her sonic screwdriver to the as-yet-unknown fourteenth incarnation of the Time Lord.
Except Whittaker isn’t ruling out a return as the Thirteenth Doctor down the line. In fact, she’s outright hoping for it, maybe even in the near future. While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the outgoing star revealed that she’d exchanged phone numbers with incoming showrunner Russell T. Davies, which she’s taking as a sign that she’s not necessarily saying goodbye to the role forever.
“I’m very lucky he allowed me to have his number,” Whittaker said with a laugh. “For all the people to pass the baton to, I mean it’s an absolute honor and joy. It’s certainly in the safest and most exciting hands, and what a wonderful time for the show. Once you’re in [Doctor Who] you never want to leave. I suppose it gave me a bit of hope — like, ‘Oh, when you do leave, it doesn’t necessarily mean you leave forever.'”
Whittaker hopped aboard the show with EP Chris Chibnall, and both are leaving at the same time after the third of this year’s trio of specials. In Chibnall’s place, former producer Davies — who previously helmed the show from 2005-10, overseeing Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant’s tenures — is returning to the fold. His era will officially kick off with Who‘s 60th anniversary special in 2023.
Given that the show’s next form will start with a big birthday bash, it’s not out of the question for the special to feature some past Doctors, much like the 50th anniversary spectacular. So there is the potential for Whittaker to come straight back and team up with her successor for the 60th. Could she and Davies exchanging numbers signify that he’s got something like this cooking?
It’s too early to tell right now, but we do know that auditions for Doctor No. 14 are underway. Jodie Whittaker’s penultimate Doctor Who episode, “Legend of the Sea Devils,” arrives sometime in the spring.