Jodie Whittaker’s time as the Doctor is coming to an end.
Whittaker, the first woman to play the titular Time Lord in the long-running British sci-fi series Doctor Who, is leaving the show in 2022 along with showrunner Chris Chibnall.
In a statement announcing her departure from the role and the series, Whittaker paid tribute to Chibnall, the whole Doctor Who team, and the fans.
“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,” said the 39-year-old actress. “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.”
While Whittaker didn’t mention any particular reason for her decision to step down from the role, Chibnall’s statement revealed that he and Whittaker actually made an agreement to leave the show together after doing three seasons.
“Jodie and I made a ‘three series and out’ pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast,” said Chibnall. “So now our shift is done, and we’re handing back the Tardis keys.”
Chibnall, who has been in charge of Doctor Who since 2017, went on to praise Whittaker not only as an actress but also as a person. He said: “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 humor 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!”
The six-episode Doctor Who season 13, which is the third season to star Whittaker as the Doctor, will premiere later this year. Whittaker will continue playing the role for three more specials next year before officially vacating the role.
The first special will be broadcast on New Year’s Day 2022, with the second one going on air later in spring 2022. The final special, where Whittaker’s Doctor will regenerate, will be out in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.
There’s no word yet on who will take over the role of the Doctor from Whittaker.