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Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall to Leave Doctor Who in 2022

Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall will leave their respective roles as the Thirteenth Doctor and Doctor Who showrunner next year (2022).

The pair will leave after three specials, to be shown on New Year’s Day 2022, then in Spring and Autumn 2022.

Before that, we’ll get a new six-part series later this year.

It’s not been revealed who will take over from Whittaker and Chibnall. This is hardly surprising news, however; they’ve been rumoured to be leaving the show for a few months now.

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 is currently writing and producing Doctor Who Series 13, which will air later this year. It will be followed by three specials, the first of which will be broadcast on New Year’s Day 2022, with another later in spring 2022. Whittaker’s final feature-length special, featuring the Thirteenth Doctor’s regeneration, will transmit in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.

Speculation will now turn to who Whittaker’s replacement might be, as Doctor Who approaches its 60th anniversary in 2023. Needless to say, these are rocky times for the franchise: is it really a good idea for everything to change before the big anniversary? I guess we’ll see.

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.

“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!”

(That does sound a bit harsh to David Tennant and Matt Smith, two inspiring Doctors who Chibnall have previously worked with, but there we are.)

Whittaker’s first full episode was The Woman Who Fell to Earth in 2018, also the first episode with Chibnall as showrunner, though he’d written for the TV show since 2007’s 42.

Presumably, this also means companions, Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), and John Bishop (Dan Lewis) will also be departing.

How do you feel about this, DWC readers? Let’s respect those unhappy to see Jodie and Chris leave, as well as those pleased to see some change.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall to Leave Doctor Who in 2022

by Philip Bates time to read: 2 min
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