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July 29th, 2021 46 comments

Jodie Whittaker / Chris Chibnall to leave Doctor Who in 2022

Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall to leave Doctor Who in a trio of Specials, culminating in an epic blockbuster Special to air in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.

Having been in charge of the TARDIS since filming for the Thirteenth Doctor began in 2017, Showrunner Chris Chibnall and the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, have confirmed they will be moving on from the most famous police box on Earth – and the universe.

With a six-part Event Serial announced for the autumn, and two Specials already planned for 2022, BBC One has now asked for an additional final feature length adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor, to form a trio of Specials for 2022, 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 ‘the fam’ of 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.

Episodes such as Rosa, Demons of the Punjab and Spyfall have thrilled audiences across the globe garnering critical acclaim and award recognition, including two BAFTA Must See Moment nominations, along with multiple National Television Award, BAFTA Cymru, TV Choice, Screen Nation, Hugo, Saturn. and Critics Choice nominations. Under Chris’ tenure, the series has been awarded the Visionary Awards TV Show of the Year, the Canadian Rockie Award from the BANFF Television Festival for best sci-fi and genre series, while Mandip Gill and Vinay Patel were recognised with wins from the Eastern Eye Awards. The 2020 series won Best Science Fiction Show voted for by readers at Radio, beating out competition from The Mandalorian, Lucifer and The Boys, as well as winning both Best Moment and Most Incredible Twist from the Digital Spy Reader Awards 2020, for Fugitive Of The Judoon and Ascension Of The Cybermen. In 2019, the entire current cast and crew were awarded Honorary Doctorates by Sheffield Hallam University for their work on the show.

As the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker stepped aboard the TARDIS to begin filming in 2017. As the first woman to play the iconic role, Jodie has thrilled audiences with her portrayal of the Time Lord, winning the hearts of Doctor Who fans across the globe. Jodie’s multi-layered, warm, funny and inspiring depiction of the Doctor not only created a first in Doctor Who history, but in 2020, Jodie was voted 2nd Most Popular Doctor of all time, coming within a whisker of her friend David Tennant, in a poll of more than 50,000 fans for Radio Times.

Chris Chibnall says

“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 adds

“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.”

Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama says

“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”


  • Dalek Eye Stalk

    August 3rd, 2021 - 3:38pm

    Well, apparently, Peter Capaldi has ruled himself out of coming back for a special. So maybe the 60th anniversary could unite the companions of Doctor Who instead. Classic and new series companions facing a significant opponent, without the help of the Doctor, and only what they’ve all learnt from the Doctor, to help them defeat the enemy.

  • Doctor Stu

    August 2nd, 2021 - 6:09pm

    If the first episode the new showrunner has to write is the 60th anniversary then it would make a lot of sense for them to wheel in RTD (much needed but highly unlikely) or Moffat to write the one off special to take the pressure off and then announce a new runner for series 14. But I feel like if they did that people would dump all over chibnall and Jodie again by claiming they brought a popular writer back to sort out their mess

    But saying that, I just have a niggling feeling in the back of my mind that the 60th anniversary might not even get a proper episode. The crossover from showrunner, the lack of a new Doctor yet, schedules, COVID, the lesser importance of the number 60 when compared to 50 years might mean we don’t even get one. Just some sort of talking heads documentary instead.

    Or even worse, the 60th anniversary might just be a generic episode to kick off series 14. New Doctor, new plot, new monster, new companion but no special event, crossover, multi Doctor story, just a regular episode shown on a meaningful date. I hope not

  • The Moffat Paradox

    August 2nd, 2021 - 12:21pm

    Has to move on because this was/is regression dressed up as progression.

  • Fiona Ting

    August 2nd, 2021 - 11:41am

    It very sad for her since she regenerate from peter but the show need to move on for all the Doctor Who Fans

  • Dalek Eye Stalk

    August 1st, 2021 - 4:35pm

    I reckon they should end the Jodie Whittaker era with her starting to regenerate. Then the credits roll. So we don’t see or know who the next Doctor is straight away. That gives time for the BBC to get the right team, and cast the right Doctor. 2023 then should see a 60th anniversary feature length special only. A stand alone adventure where David Tennant returns as the main Doctor in this one off special. Maybe getting one of the writers of the R.T.D era to write and basically showrun this one off anniversary special. Then a new series proper starts late 2024. With a new Doctor already in place sometime after the Whittaker regeneration.

  • Anonymous

    August 1st, 2021 - 1:44pm

    I’m noticing that they are now calling it a 6-Part Event Serial & not a series with 3 Specials? I’m wondering if they will release all of this together in a Boxset for end of 2022 then jump to Series 13 with the new Doctor for 2023? Given that they had a year with the 10th Doctor & ‘The Complete Specials’ as a Boxset I’m questioning how this will all work out? I can understand the BBC releasing 4 separate DVDs but don’t really want excess DVDs on my shelf when a Boxset will do?

  • Doctor Stu

    July 31st, 2021 - 4:48pm

    I’m sad to see her go as well to be fair. She probably ranks very low of all the Doctors for me and there’s not a single episode of series 11 that I’d sit all the way through a second time, series 12 gave me a few episodes here and there id watch again, but even all that aside, I’m still going to be sad to see her go. It’s so weird XD

  • Anonymous

    July 31st, 2021 - 4:03pm

    Personally I’m sad to see her go, I’ve loved her doctor. Not even going to bother looking at the comments. It’ll be to depressing seeing the usual suspects.

  • Derek John Angell

    July 31st, 2021 - 1:05pm

    I hope they resolve the Timeless Child thread. Hopefully they will finally sever the Doctors blood relative status to the Time Lords and Gallifrey once and for all. I mean the show has been portraying a character that is over and above those pompous tyrants for decades- with the exception of perhaps Colin Baker`s interpretation, LOL.

  • Pats86

    July 30th, 2021 - 5:53pm

    If I had done what John Barrowman had I would be sacked instantly and rightly so as should anyone, that said he did apologise and hopefully his career is not over.
    But I don’t want to see him on Doctor Who ever again, not because of his conduct but simply because like Jodie his acting is naff and the show will be better off without both of them.

  • Dalek Eye Stalk

    July 30th, 2021 - 5:48pm

    I think the BBC need a showrunner that can at the very least get Doctor Who back in the style to how it was with the RTD and Moffat era’s. Something more recognisable as Doctor Who, that would return much of fandom to the show, and the general public. Maybe just for a season of two just to get The show back on track. I’d suggest Mark Gatiss would be ideal.

  • Doctor Stu

    July 30th, 2021 - 3:59pm

    If people have no sympathy for barrowman then they need to start going after Billie piper, eve miles, Gareth David Lloyd, David tenant, burn Gorman etc. etc. everyone who laughed and gave it back as good as it was given. If jokes in a friendship group that nobody found offensive can get a man fired and shunned worse than Noel Clarke then there’s no hope for this fragile world.

    But regardless of all that, it seems like they did in fact film 8 episodes, told us that fact. And then the Beeb decided to chop the last two episodes off and just show them in 2022 because there’d be no doctor who that year in the lead up to and hopefully preparation for the 60th anniversary. It seems a bit lazy, so they become less ‘special episodes’ and more ‘the last two episodes of the series’. The only real special episode it looks like is jodies last episode as it more than likely hasn’t been filmed yet.

    It makes the chances of a New Years special a bit dim as well as I really think the special 3 episodes will be made up of the last 2 remaining episodes of series 13 and then jodies exit. So that leaves no room to squeeze a New Year’s Day special in between. Unless the first episode shown in 2022 is shown on January 1st, then it would technically fall into the ‘2022 specials’ label.

  • The Moffat Paradox

    July 30th, 2021 - 3:53pm

    Here’s an idea BBC to restore faith in your wears and; God forbid. viewing figures. Come up with a good series that’s non agenda complicated set in the Who universe again like Torchwood but not set ,mainly anyway, on earth or necessarily the here and now.

    A series in which a motley crew of characters without a Tardis in sight are in the thick of an epic war for their lives.


    Maybe even throw in Movellans as well.

  • RPG74

    July 30th, 2021 - 2:36pm

    I personally have no sympathy for Barrowman-he’s brought it on himself, as far as I’m concerned. But let’s not get into that, Doctor Stu. It could send this thread to a dark place.
    I was merely speculating on the possible reason for the Beeb cutting two episodes this year. It’s equally possible that the decision to delay and rejig episodes, is a direct result of Chibnall and Whittaker’s decision to leave.

  • Doctor Stu

    July 30th, 2021 - 1:20pm

    I hope if John Barrowman did film an episode they haven’t banned it that’s ridiculous. Jokey antics that were public knowledge and that made people laugh, join in and joke around back and nobody had a problem with now all of a sudden get a man fired and blacklisted just because a few people on Twitter want to get on their high horse

  • The Moffat Paradox

    July 30th, 2021 - 12:57pm

    Of course it doesn’t mean that (while I think its a necessary condition) just because they’ve gone, unless the retconning of further than Hartnell can be later plot excised and forgotten about, that the PC/Woke nonsense that’s been the source of so much consternation/fan polarisation doesn’t remain.

    “The Return Of The Wokeions” like a title for a Classic Who story would sum it up,