Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall to leave Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 July 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Jodie Whittaker (Credit: BBC)

Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall will be leaving Doctor Who following a trio of specials ending in an epic blockbuster to air in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.

The current showrunner and Thirteenth Doctor have been in charge of the TARDIS since filming for the Thirteenth Doctor began in 2017 but both have confirmed they will be leaving the series at the end of 2022

A six-part Event Serial has been announced for this autumn, and two Specials were already planned for 2022. To help mark the 100th Anniversary of the BBC, BBC One has now asked for an additional final feature-length adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor before the Doctor regenerates once more.

After taking the helm of the show, Chris Chibnall made the groundbreaking decision to cast Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor. He also brought in Tosin Cole (Ryan), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and Bradley Walsh (Graham), and cast the acclaimed Sacha Dhawan as the latest incarnation of The Master, plus Jo Martin as the mysterious Fugitive Doctor, adding new characters, layers and twists to the mythology of the show.

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.

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 added

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.”

Current Director of BBC Drama Piers Wenger added

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

With over a year of adventures to come, the Thirteenth Doctor still has plenty in store for fans.