'Doctor Who': Jodie Whittaker to leave in 2022

Doctor Who - Jodie Whittaker to leave in 2022
An of an era — Jodie Whittaker is leaving Doctor Who. (Image credit: BBC)

Jodie Whittaker will be leaving Doctor Who after three specials in 2022, the BBC has confirmed.

The BBC has today revealed that Jodie, who made TV history as the first woman to play the Time Lord, will be departing the show in a third special set to air next year. 

This new special will be a final, feature-length adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor before the legendary time-traveller regenerates once again.

Talking about her time in Doctor Who, Jodie 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 know what’s out there. That’s why we keep looking. Travel Hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly.”

Doctor Who - The Doctor and "The Fam"

Jodie Whittaker (centre) has played the Doctor since 2017. (Image credit: BBC)

In the same announcement, it was also revealed that Chris Chibnall, the current showrunner, will also be departing Doctor Who at the same time as Jodie Whittaker.

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 unrivaled 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!”

Doctor Who returns this fall for a six-part season, with three specials set to follow throughout 2022. A teaser for the new season has just been released.

Martin Shore
Staff Writer at WhatToWatch.com

Martin is a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.