Jodie Whittaker, Chris Chibnall confirm exit from Doctor Who.

"Our shift is done, and we’re handing back the TARDIS keys," say creative team leading Doctor Who.

Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall are confirmed to leave Doctor Who in 2022.

The creative will exit in a trio of specials, culminating in an epic blockbuster Special to air in Spring 2022 (AU) as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.

Chris Chibnall said, “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. I wish our successors as much fun as we’ve had. They’re in for a treat!”

A six-part Event Serial announced for 2021, and two Specials already planned for 2022, will be joined by a newly-commissioned final feature-length adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor.

“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!”

Jodie Whittaker said, “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.”

Chibnall added, “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!”

31 Responses

  1. I really enjoyed Jodie’s season of Doctor Who, it was a bit like going back to the first Doctor Who when it was designed as a fun way to teach people about science and history. The mental health episode was fantastic and I loved that they explored historical events beyond Victorian Britain or Britain in war. Also loved that they explored contempory sci fi issues. As much as I enjoyed the old Doctor Whos it is could to see it progress, can’t wait to see where they take it next.

  2. Jodie was brilliant but completely undermined by bad writing, bad stories and weird decisions (like people teleporting into the Tardis. I wished she would stay on for the chance to really shine.

    1. Tom Baker; probably because I watched his Dr. Who character the most is why he sticks in the memory better. Tom also had no issues about his fame as Dr. Who and enjoyed his fan base, he has appeared at Comic Con and other events, his last appearance was in the London Film & Comic Con 2018.

  3. I think they should cancel any more series as this series with Jodie whittaker has been awful.Horrible story lines horrible characters especially Jodie whittaker as the doctor who is uncaring about what happens to any of the companions.This has lost so many viewers in ratings and I am not talking in Australia but in the UK where it has plummeted.I consider this series to Peter capaldis dr just while regerating imagining a dreadful reincarnation
    I was looking forward to seeing Jodie whittaker as the doctor but she was very cold and the only warm character was Graham who had little to do and Chibnals really horrid scripts.

  4. It really is time to rest it. Ratings have been nothing special since the Capaldi era and 13 series and at least as many specials over 16 years is a solid second innings.

    Obviously they removed the artificial cap of 13 Doctors but really think it would be better to rest it then when it inevitably gets rebooted a call can be made over whether it is a continuation or a new interpretation.

    1. The deal the BBC signed with Shanghai Media Group back in 2017 was up until Series 15, so there won’t be any end until at least then I would think. Perhaps though to add to my above next Doctor thoughts Jackie Chan could be the next Doctor, it’d please both China and the USA really.

  5. Certainly there are those “critics” who, by this announcement, will say “We won! No more woke writers! No more political correctness! Out with progressive stories!” Meanwhile there are plenty of young children, many of them girls, who saw themselves on screen, who pull on blue t-shirts with horizontal rainbow stripes. They’re the Doctor Who fans of the future.

  6. So frustrating. I absolutely love Jodie as The Doctor but momentum has been lost with far too long between seasons over Capaldi and Whittaker’s tenures, regardless of the writing quality (which I don’t think was been that bad last season). I’d love proper commitment to the show from the show runners and the BBC to get a decent run like Tennant delivered again.

  7. It’s surprising that none of the Doctors last a long time – even Tom Baker only notched up close to 7 years, but most seem to go around the 3 year mark. Is it strenuous, do some get pushed to leave or is it that they just don’t want to be type cast?

    1. Yeah the only other one that has come close was David Tennant at 5 years from 2005–2010, Jon Pertwee was 4 years, of course back in the early days they had 24 minute run times with 25 episode seasons generally broken down into 4 or 6 serial episodes. So where David Tennant had 39 x 45 min = 29.5 hours, Jon Pertwee had 128 x 24 mins = 51.2 hours and Tom Baker had 172 x 24 mins = 68.8 hours they are way ahead of screen time than David (even Peter Davison comes close to David at 69 x 24 = 27.6 hours even though 4 years).

      Ah those were the days when it was on the ABC 6:30pm Mon to Thurs and we’d discuss it at school the next day and hang out for next episode to see if our “predictions” were correct.

      Hmmmm, I seem to have forgotten the point I was going to make with this post, maybe there wasn’t one…hahahahaha.

  8. I’m going to disagree with the negativity from the other commenters! Series 11-12 have been mediocre for me. Slightly more engaging than the early Moffat era.
    Chibnall falls into the same trap with his writing, especially when he’s not a guest writer. That, tied in with the BBC keeping bad writers on the books and not sticking with solid storytellers, meant stories just weren’t engaging.
    Whitaker did the best she could and that should not be forgotten! I hope Yas stays on as companion for a little bit longer.
    Hopefully the next lead writer goes back to the 2005-10 format of 13-14 stories per year, 45min episodes and some doubleheaders.

  9. “She captured the public imagination…”? The abysmal ratings confirm the exact opposite. This backslabbing reads like a political statement after the election candidate has suffered a landslide defeat. And that was the problem with Dr Who, they employed political activists to make it rather than people who know how to make thrilling, original sci-fi. I hope it can recover from this disaster.

  10. So ‘Doctor Who’ is now destined to be a show constantly in transition, the several years that Tom Baker devoted to ‘the Doctor’ is now a distant memory, the actors playing the Doctor Who role could now be called guest stars. In my observation the BBC (BBC America) have been trying to find ever diverse ways to market Doctor Who in America and to some degree what we see on our screens is the end result, the BBC have given themselves a bit of dilemma after Jodie, possibly returning a male character to the main role once again, this will be seized upon by some critics even tough this successful series owes most of its origins to 1950 -60’s sci-fi culture that was written mostly for males.

    1. The BBC is hoist by its own petard at this stage. Cast a man and they’re confirming a female Doctor didn’t work. Cast another woman and they’re being unnecessarily woke. Cast a man and they’re being typically misogynistic. Cast another woman and they’re just reacting to the current-day diversity overkill. Cast a man and they’re pouring scorn all over Jodie. They’ll be damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Makes no difference what they say. They can go with their tightly scripted media releases till they’re blue in the face, but it won’t make any difference.

  11. Chibnall wasn’t a great show runner or SF writer, though he had written for Torchwood and a few Doctor Who episodes. The BBC didn’t exactly help him giving him staff writters from soap operas to assist, peak TV is tough.

    Now the BBC has left itself a tricky problem of what to do next.

    1. Be an interesting choice, while we’re at the 70 plus age could have Roger Daltrey as well, wonder if they’d let Joanna Lumley do it next as well given she did it at Comic Relief in 1999 it’d be an interesting twist. I’ve always thought that Robert Carlyle would be a good Doctor but going back he was tied up with Once Upon A Time and is likely tied up now with Cobra (as Prime Minister Robert Sutherland) if it goes to a Season 3.

    1. Exactly the same with basically every media outlet and franchise in the western world. Tick the diversity / woke boxes and you’re good. I’d list the prime examples here in this response but there’s probably be some algorithm (or another user) that would discover it and shoot it down 😂

      1. At the time they took on the role:
        1 Hartnell 55 2 Troughton 46 3 Pertwee 50 4 T Baker 40 5 Davison 29 6 C Baker 417 McCoy 43 8 McGann 37 9 Eccleston 40 10 Tennant 34 11 Smith 28 12 Capaldi 55 13 Whittaker 35

        Average age at commencement of tenure: 41

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