Jodie Whittaker is about to say goodbye to Doctor Who, but she doesn’t want the farewell to be permanent, and she isn’t shy about saying so. In a recent interview, Whittaker talked about her emotional parting with the franchise. But she also said she’s hopeful she won’t be gone forever.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Jodie Whittaker said that returning showrunner Russell T. Davies did something that gives her hope she’ll get to reprise the role of the thirteenth Doctor at some point — he gave her his phone number. “I’m very lucky he allowed me to have his number,” Whittaker told EW. She added that once you’re a part of Doctor Who, “you never want to leave.” Getting Davies’ phone number, she said, gave her “a bit of hope” that she’d one day return to the series, if only briefly.
Of course, in a franchise so concerned with time travel, there’s no reason why Jodie Whittaker couldn’t make a couple of brief returns to the story. Doctor Who has a long history of bringing its different versions of the Doctor together, particularly on anniversary episodes. The tradition dates all the way back to 1972’s “The Three Doctors” in which the first three actors to play the Time Lord — Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton, and William Hartnell — appear. In another example, Matt Smith made a cameo in the premiere episode of Peter Capaldi’s time as the Doctor. Not to mention that 2013’s “The Day of the Doctor” brought together Matt Smith, David Tennant, and even briefly Tom Baker, who played the fourth Doctor.
There is likely at least one former Doctor Who actor who may very well hope to never see Jodie Whittaker play the character again, though probably not for any negative feelings toward the actress. Back in August 2021, Peter Capaldi — who played the twelfth Doctor — said that he had no interest in ever reprising the role. Capaldi said he wasn’t a fan of stories featuring more than one Doctor, arguing that the more of such stories that are made, “the less effective they are.” The comment was one of a number of public criticisms Capaldi made of the franchise that some speculated got the actor booted from the Doctor Who audio drama Timejacked.
While fans have yet to see Jodie Whittaker’s regeneration for Doctor Who, she told EW she has already filmed the scene and that the day it was shot proved to be “singularly the most emotional day on set” she’d ever had. Whittaker went on to say, “It’s a really bizarre feeling, because it’s the best time I’ve ever had on a job, and I made the decision to leave it, so it’s a really strange thing to do to yourself. It feels like you’re giving yourself stitches.” She added that as strange as it felt to step away from the series, that it also “felt right.”
So far, the identity of the actor replacing Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor has been kept under wraps. While there have been plenty of fan-castings — including Whittaker herself, who has nominated Lydia West (It’s a Sin) as her successor — no one has let the name slip just yet. The thirteenth Doctor still has two more episodes before the baton is passed to number fourteen.