Doctor Who Headed For Cancellation By The BBC?

Could Doctor Who be nearing cancellation? Recent rumors have it that BBC could be taking the iconic show off the air sooner than later

By Doug Norrie | Published

jodie whittaker doctor who

Doctor Who has been around for what feels like forever. And if it feels like forever that’s because, well it has been forever in the world of television programs. It’s the longest-running science fiction series of all-time with the Guinness Book of World Records stamp just to prove it. But after almost 900 episodes we could see the end of the good doctor once and for all. Rumors have it that the BBC is considering finally calling it quits on the show. A rumor sure, but we could be seeing the end of a cultural phenomenon when it comes to programming. 

Now, of course, this comes from a YouTube video by Nerdrotic who’s channel isn’t exactly full of positivity around any number of shows. There are a lot of things listed as “Doomed” on there so we might be able to walk back from the cliff a little bit about Doctor Who. He claims that the cancellation of the show is “on the table” so I suppose we need to take that for what it’s worth. 

Doctor Who first came on the air all the way back in 1963 and had a 23-year run that spanned 652 episodes and seven Doctors. That alone was a remarkable run not enjoyed by almost any other show in history. But in 1989 it was canceled by the BBC due to declining viewership and some production issues. That “hiatus” lasted about 16 years before it came back in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor. He lasted a single season before David Tennant who lasted three seasons. And of course, he was followed by Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, and now Jodie Whitaker. 

jodie whittaker doctor who

It’s worth noting that Doctor Who’s Series 12, which had it’s finale back in March, received the lowest ratings of the show since 2005. It averaged a little over five million viewers per episode. The reviews were mostly positive, sitting at 78% on the Rotten Tomatometer. But if the eyeballs aren’t there then it does stand to reason that the BBC could consider just discontinuing things and maybe give it some breathing room. Like years ago, there could just be a little fatigue with the character. 

As of right now, Doctor Who is set to return for its Series 13 but there’s uncertainty around who is going into the TARDIS. Jodie Whittaker isn’t confirmed for the show right now with some rumors out there that Michael Sheen could take over in the titular role. If that happened we’d be on Doctor number 14. But again, the uncertainty certainly doesn’t help quell any of the rumors about the show’s demise. 

If that is the case then the Christmas Special, “Revolution of the Daleks” which aired on January 1st would be the last time we saw Whitaker on Doctor Who. It would have been a short, but solid run as the first female in the role. I’m sure we will get additional news about this over the course of the year with BBC deciding which direction to take the iconic show.