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Jodie Whittaker, Chris Chibnall Exiting Doctor Who Next Year

July 29, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Doctor Who Series 10

The Thirteenth Doctor’s run is at an end next year, as Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall are exiting Doctor Who in 2022. The BBC has confirmed that star Whittaker and showrunner Chibnall will leave the show following three specials, which will culminate in a big special next fall as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations. These specials will be preceded by the upcoming season, which will air later this year.

Chibnall took over as showrunner from Stephan Moffat in 2017 and picked Whittaker, who he worked with on Broadchurch, to succeed Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. Whittaker is the first female Doctor in the show’s run. Chibnall also cast Sacha Dhawan as a new incarnation of the Doctor’s longtime enemy The Master and expanded the show’s mythology. Whittaker’s run as the Doctor is the same length as her two predecessors in Matt Smith and Capaldi, both of whom had three-season arcs as the 11th and 12th Doctors, respectively.

“Jodie and I made a ‘three series and out’ pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast,” Chibnall said in a statement. “So now our shift is done, and we’re handing back the TARDIS keys. 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!”

He continued, “For me, leading this exceptional team has been unrivalled creative fun, and one of the great joys of my career. I’m so proud of the people we’ve worked with and the stories we’ve told. To finish our time on the show with an additional Special, after the pandemic changed and challenged our production plans, is a lovely bonus. It’s great that the climax of the Thirteenth Doctor’s story will be at the heart(s) of the BBC’s centenary celebrations. I wish our successors – whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose – as much fun as we’ve had. They’re in for a treat!”

Whittaker said in her own statement, “In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes. I could not have guessed the brilliant adventures, worlds and wonders I was to see in them. 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. I know change can be scary and none of us know what’s out there. That’s why we keep looking. Travel Hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly.”

BBC Drama Director Piers Wenger said, “Over the last four years Chris and Jodie have made Doctor Who history and their time on the show is indelibly marked on our memories. From ‘Rosa Parks’ to ‘Ascension of the Cybermen,’ Chris and Jodie have given Doctor Who some of its most life-affirming and tear-jerking moments to date and we are beyond excited to see what they have in store for us in the new series this Autumn. Jodie’s final adventure to mark the BBC’s Centenary in 2022 is set to be a Doctor Who Special to remember. I’d like to thank them both for their incredible work on the show”