Outgoing Doctor Jodie Whittaker has opened up about filming her final scenes on Doctor Who, revealing that shooting her regeneration was the “most emotional day” she’s ever had on set. After stepping into the Time Lord’s shoes in 2017, Whittaker is set to exit the TARDIS sometime this year. While her final two specials have yet to air, production on them has already wrapped up, meaning that the actress has personally already said goodbye to the part.
While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Whittaker discussed how emotionally draining leaving the role behind was, admitting that it was a “bizarre feeling” to know that she was the one to blame for putting herself through such a tough parting of the ways.
“I’ve shot my version of regen[eration], and it was singularly the most emotional day on set I think I’ve ever had,” she said. “It’s a really bizarre feeling, because it’s the best time I’ve ever had on a job, and I made the decision to leave it, so it’s a really strange thing to do to yourself.”
Whittaker went on to say it felt like “giving yourself stitches”, but at the same time, she ultimately knows that she made the right call in leaving the series at this time.
“It feels like you’re giving yourself stitches – like, ‘Why have you done it?’ But … it felt right.”
With the world at large not yet having seen her regeneration into the as-yet-unknown Fourteenth Doctor, Whittaker is clinging on to the fact that she’s still the Doctor for the time being.
She added: “It was a wonderfully-celebratory-slash-grief-ridden day that I could spend with the family that I’d made. I suppose the best thing about it is that the episodes are still on. So until they’re off, I don’t have to really get my head around the fact that it’s not my part!”
This New Year’s Day’s special, “Eve of the Daleks”, kicked off Whittaker’s final year on the show. In the absence of another full season, a trio of specials — including “Eve” — are tasked with wrapping up Thirteen’s story arc in style. And, going by hints in the recent episode, it looks like we can potentially expect the Doctor to come out as LGBTQ+.
As for who’s taking over from her, auditions for Doctor No. 14 are currently underway. Whittaker’s personal choice for her replacement is It’s a Sin actress Lydia West, a suggestion that incoming showrunner Russell T. Davies has admitted he likes the idea of. So we’ll just have to see how that plays out.
Doctor Who returns this spring with “Legend of the Sea Devils.”