Jodie Whittaker is Leaving ‘Doctor Who’ in 2022

Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker
Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’ Season 12 Episode 10 (Photo Credit: James Pardon/BBC Studios/BBC America)

Jodie Whittaker will finish out her run as the Thirteenth Doctor with the upcoming six episode season of Doctor Who and three subsequent specials set for 2022. The thirteenth series of Doctor Who will premiere later this year, with the first special arriving on New Year’s Day 2022. The second special will air next spring followed by a feature-length special (in which the Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate) coming in autumn 2022.

Writer, executive producer, and showrunner Chris Chibnall is also leaving after the thirteenth series.

Production began on the new season in October 2020 with Whittaker and Mandip Gill (“Yaz”) in starring roles. John Bishop joins the cast playing Dan Lewis in series 13 and Jacob Anderson recurs as Vinder.

Chibnall has been the Doctor Who showrunner since 2017. During his tenure he introduced the world to the first female Doctor and cast Gill as Yaz, Tosin Cole as Ryan, Bradley Walsh as Graham, Sacha Dhawan as The Master, and Jo Martin as the Fugitive Doctor.

“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,” explained Chibnall.

He continued: “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!

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!”

Jodie Whittaker was voted the 2nd most popular Doctor in the series’ history in a poll of fans conducted by Radio Times. Only David Tennant ranked higher.

“In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes,” said Whittaker. “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.”

Director of BBC Drama Piers Wenger commented on the upcoming departure of Whittaker and Chibnall, saying, “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.”

Doctor Who is a BBC Studios production for BBC One and a BBC AMERICA co-production.