Doctor Who star and showrunner Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall to leave the show in 2022 after the next series and three upcoming specials.
The first female actor to play the Time-Lord will bow out in Autumn 2022 alongside current showrunner Chris Chibnall.
In the announcement, the BBC stated that the upcoming series of episodes set for release in Autumn 2021 will now only be six episodes, rather than eight.
This can be expected due to the fact that the show has been in production since October 2020 and has been affected by COVID film regulations.
Since taking over the show in 2017, the show has been mainly negatively received with low rating figures across the three series. Whittaker’s latest episode, which aired in January 2021 garnered a consolidated audience of 6.3 million.
Speaking of her departure, Jodie 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 knows what’s out there. That’s why we keep looking. Travel Hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly.”
During their tenure, the show has seen a large collection of stars including Sir Lenny Henry, Alan Cumming, Charlotte Ritchie, Stephen Fry, Julie Hesmondhalgh, and is set to introduce Jacob Anderson as the upcoming character Vinder.
I Will Always Remember The Day The Doctor Was Me
The upcoming series will see six consecutive episodes telling one larger story, following the latest viewing trend to binge an entire show’s series in six digestible parts. The series will be followed by three specials, with the first airing on New Year’s Day 2022, the second in spring 2022, and the third in autumn 2022 alongside the BBC’s Centenary celebrations wherein the Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate.
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.”
Chris Chibnall concluded: “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!”