The 13th Doctor and her showrunner are exiting the TARDIS. Actor Jodie Whittaker, who joined the show in 2017, is departing with head writer Chris Chibnall after three seasons.
In her statement, Whittaker had this to say: “My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life. And I cannot thank Chris enough for entrusting me with his incredible stories. We knew that we wanted to ride this wave side by side, and pass on the baton together. So here we are, weeks away from wrapping on the best job I have ever had. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express what this role has given me. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I’ve learnt forever.”
Whittaker’s exit marks her as the fifth Doctor to leave the show since its 2005 revival; she is preceded by actors Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi. She is also notable as the first female Doctor in the show’s 50-plus-year history.
Showrunner Chris Chibnall states, “Jodie and I made a ‘three series and out’ pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast. So now our shift is done, and we’re handing back the TARDIS keys.”
He continues, “Jodie’s magnificent, iconic Doctor has exceeded all our high expectations. She’s been the gold standard leading actor, shouldering the responsibility of being the first female Doctor with style, strength, warmth, generosity and humour. She captured the public imagination and continues to inspire adoration around the world, as well as from everyone on the production. I can’t imagine working with a more inspiring Doctor – so I’m not going to!”
The Whittaker-Chibnall era is expected to conclude with a trilogy of Doctor Who specials and a blockbuster event special that is planned to air Autumn 2022.