The Thirteenth Doctor learns the hard way nothing is more temporary than being a benevolent Time Lord in the Doctor Who universe, a Radio Times exclusive reveals. Jodie Whittaker, the current holder of the Doctor mantle, is departing the role this year, paving the way for a brand-new incarnation to man the TARDIS and accompany a new generation of would-be human adventurers to the ends of time.
And much like every episode of Doctor Who, the time for Jodie Whittaker on the show whizzed by a little too quickly for comfort. Not that it wasn’t in the cards; David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor from series two to four, cautioned Whittaker against taking the Doctor Who experience for granted, explaining the whole thing would be over before she knew it.
Jodie Whittaker elaborated on what she meant when she said, “…it has gone (quickly). And I remember this was one thing that I really remember David (Tennant) saying to me before, right? Like before I started shooting. He said: ‘This will go so quickly. It will feel like it goes in a whirlwind.’ And it has…And so it’s gone quick, but it’s like so rich, full of wonderful experiences.”
Jodie Whittaker was cast as the Thirteenth Doctor a year prior to series 11, which aired on BBC One in 2018. The Black Mirror star replaced the last Doctor, Peter Capaldi, who was the Twelfth Doctor from series eight to 10. Whittaker is the first female incarnation of the time-traveling alien.
Jodie Whittaker is poised to make her exit as the Thirteenth Doctor on December 5, following a six-episode series 13 beginning yesterday, October 31. The Skelmanthorpe native will be spending her final stint as the eponymous Doctor with Mandip Gill and John Bishop, who play her traveling companions Yasmin Khan and Dan Lewis, respectively. Bishop’s Dan takes over from the Thirteenth Doctor’s original crew, composed of Bradley Walsh’s Graham O’Brien and Tosin Cole’s Ryan Sinclair from Jodie Whittaker’s first two seasons as the Doctor.
Both Graham and Ryan elected to remain on Earth in series 12 special episode Revolution of the Daleks. Jodie Whittaker resumes her travels with Gill’s Yasmin in tow, the young probationary officer being the only companion of Whittaker’s left still willing to explore the timeline. Mandip Gill and John Bishop will be leaving Doctor Who in December alongside Whittaker and head writer Chris Chibnall, who has been running the show since the Broadchurch star signed on in 2017. No word yet on who’s relieving Jodie Whittaker as the fourteenth incarnation of the Doctor. The actress reportedly already filmed her regeneration into the Fourteenth Doctor, so perhaps the chips were already long in place.
Jodie Whittaker made headlines in 2017 as the first woman to play the Doctor after over 55 years of programming. Given the more progressive strides of the 2020s, the next Doctor may also hail from an outspoken minority. Jodie Whittaker’s run already featured a Black, female Doctor, albeit a more ruthless future incarnation. The Fugitive Doctor was played by Holby City’s Jo Martin in series 12 episode Fugitive of the Judoon and she was viscerally off her rocker, with a few Sonic screws loose for sure. And yet we’ve never stopped wondering where she came from and what sort of senseless violence, or overwhelming loss, turned her into something the Doctor would never be. Is the Fugitive Doctor the Fourteenth Doctor? If not, why not?
Series 13 of Doctor Who, codenamed Flux, stars Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor. It will be her final season as the beloved character. Episodes air on BBC One every Sunday from October 31 to December 5. Former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies may be returning to the series as head writer.