Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall to leave ‘Doctor Who’

Jodie Whittaker

Actor Jodie Whittaker will leave the iconic sci-fi program Doctor Who next year, and showrunner Chris Chibnall will also be departing from the long running series.

Whittaker took over the lead role of the thousand year old Time Lord in 2017. Since the show made it’s debut in 1963 multiple actors have played the role as the character is able to regenerate and take on a new persona at the end of each lifespan. Whittaker is the first woman to play the role.

“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. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I’ve learnt forever.” Whittaker said of her time on the series.

Writer Chris Chibnall took over running the show in 2017 and cast Whittaker in the lead role, following the departure of Peter Capaldi. The writer and his muse had previously worked together on three series of the murder- mystery Broadchurch. 

“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, we’re handing back the Tardis keys.” Chibnall said of their decision to leave.

“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.”

The shows 2021 season was recently announced as an one long story spread over eight episodes. Something that has not previously been done on the long running series. The new series will feature comedian John Bishop as a new companion, while Game of Thrones star Jacob Anderson joins the show in a significant role.

Whittaker and Chibnall will still be with the show beyond the current series, in 2022 a series of three special episodes in planned to bring the current Doctor’s story to a close. It’s not the first time to show has opted for a series of specials, David Tennent’s time in the role also came to a climax with a series of movie length special episodes.

During his time guiding the show Chibnall has dramatically changed the back story of the central character. Aside from having a female actor take on the role for the first time, he also brought in a storyline that suggests the Doctor may not be a Time Lord and their life may include many more regeneration than previously understood.

During the show’s most recent season Jo Martin appeared as another version of the The Doctor who had not previously been encountered.

Speculation of who will next take on the iconic role has already begun with Martin’s name being tossed into the ring alongside Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Kris Marshall, Richard Ayoade and I May Destroy You actor Michaela Coel.

One of the favourites to take on the mantle is Years & Years singer Olly Alexander. Alexander’s name has been linked with speculation about the series future since former show runner Russell T Davies commented in an interview that he thought Alexander would be perfect for the role. The pair collaborated on the acclaimed series It’s a Sin. 

OIP Staff

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