Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall will both be leaving the program in 2022, the BBC has confirmed.
Whittaker, 39, was the 13th actor and the first woman to regularly play the long-running series’ main character.
Whittaker paid tribute to Chibnall and the Doctor Who team in a statement, saying, “In 2017 I opened my gorgeous gift box of size 13 shoes. I couldn’t have guessed the brilliant adventures, the worlds and wonders I was going to see there. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I have learned forever.
Chibnall said, “Jodie and I made a ‘three plus series’ pact at the start of this once in a lifetime explosion. So now our shift is over, we are handing over the keys to the Tardis.
“Jodie’s gorgeous and iconic Doctor has exceeded all of our high expectations. She was the benchmark lead actor, taking on the responsibility of being the first female doctor with style, strength, warmth, generosity and humor.
Whittaker will be seen in at least one more series ahead of his departure. The 13th series of the show which was relaunched by Russell T Davies in 2005 is slated to air in the fall and will include eight episodes filmed amid Covid restrictions. Comedian John Bishop will join the regular cast as new character Dan, alongside Mandip Gill reprising his role as companion Yasmin Khan. A trailer was unveiled this weekend.
Whittaker’s cast was first announced in 2017, when she was chosen to follow Peter Capaldi as Time Lord by incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall. Chibnall and Whittaker had worked together on the acclaimed ITV drama Broadchurch.
The change to a female doctor caused audience ratings to surge during Whittaker’s first appearance, but also shocked a vocal minority of fans who objected to the alien changing faces and traveling through time. have a different sex. Viewers have plummeted during both of its series so far. Nonetheless, the 2021 New Years special – Revolution of the Daleks – which featured the return of popular character Captain Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman, was the BBC’s most-watched program that day. Barrowman then became embroiled in a controversy over his behavior on the set of Doctor Who between 2005 and 2009.
BBC drama director Piers Wenger said: “Over the past four years Chris and Jodie have made Doctor Who history and their time on the series is indelibly marked in our memories.
“From Rosa Parks to Ascension of the Cybermen, Chris and Jodie have given Doctor Who some of their most impactful and heartbreaking moments to date, and we’re more than excited to see what they have in store for us in the new series this year. fall.
“Jodie’s latest adventure to mark the BBC’s centenary in 2022 should be a special Doctor Who to remember. I want to thank them both for their incredible work on the show.
Whittaker wasn’t the only woman to play the iconic on-screen role in the series’ history. Joanna Lumley appeared as a Doctor in a 1999 Comic Relief sketch that saw Rowan Atkinson, Richard E Grant, Jim Broadbent, and Hugh Grant also give their take on Time Lord. Jo Martin appeared on the most recent series as the first black person to play Doctor Who, with the script portraying her as a “runaway doctor” and leaving it unclear as to her exact place in the series’ timeline. Some fans have speculated that she may eventually become Whittaker’s permanent replacement.
Doctor Who is the longest-running sci-fi / fantasy show on television, having first aired with William Hartnell as Doctor Who in 1963. DVD and merchandise sales made it the hit. one of the BBC’s most valuable international properties, and there is currently an immersive theatrical production called Doctor Who: Time Fracture set in London.