On Sunday, just a couple of days after the Doctor Who special Revolution of the Daleks aired, The Mirror published a story claiming that Whittaker is exiting the sci-fi series after its upcoming 13th season.
The 38-year-old actress has reportedly informed her bosses that she plans to leave the show after three seasons, just like most of her predecessors, including Peter Capaldi, Matt Smith, David Tennant, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, Peter Davidson, and Patrick Troughton.
“It’s all very hush-hush but it is known on set that Jodie is leaving and they are gearing up for a regeneration,” an insider told The Mirror. “Her departure is top secret but at some point over the coming months the arrival of the 14th Doctor will need to be filmed. It’s very exciting.”
While Whittaker is said to be following in the footsteps of her costars Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole who both departed Doctor Who after the Revolution of the Daleks, the source said that Chris Chibnall will remain as the showrunner.
When asked about Whittaker’s rumored exit from the series, BBC told Digital Spy: “We won’t be commenting on any speculation around Jodie’s future on the show.”
Whittaker has yet to personally respond to the rumor, but in an interview with Entertainment Weekly days before The Mirror article was published, the actress declined to discuss whether she will continue playing the Doctor after season 13.
“As far as I’m concerned, right now, I’m the Doctor and that’s taking up everything of me, as an actor,” said Whittaker. “And to think something beyond that, I can’t put my head there, and I don’t want to.”
Back in January 2020, Whittaker said that she “absolutely” adores playing the Doctor. She, however, knows that she can’t play the iconic role forever. “At some point, these shoes are going to be handed on, but it’s not yet. I’m clinging on tight!” she said at the time.
Filming for Doctor Who season 13 started in November 2020 and is due to finish in the summer. The upcoming season doesn’t have a release date yet and unlike the past two seasons which have 11 episodes each, season 13 will only consist of eight episodes.
“We’re thrilled to be back making the show. Given the complexity of making Doctor Who and with new and rigorous COVID working protocols, it’s going to take us a little longer to film each episode, meaning we expect to end up with eight episodes, rather than the usual 11,” Chibnall said in a statement last November. “But rest assured, the ambition, humor, fun and scares you expect from Doctor Who will all still be firmly in place. For everyone around the world, this is a challenging period – but the Doctor never shirks from a challenge!”
In addition to Whittaker, Mandip Gill will also reprise her role as Yasmin Khan in season 13. They will be joined by series newcomer John Bishop who will appear as Dan.