Jodie Whittaker is likely stepping down as Doctor Who sooner than later. But one thing we know about the time-traveling titular character is that the vacancy never stays open too long. There have been enough TARDIS folks over the years to know that if one actor moves out of the role, someone else is willing to step up. And that looks like the case with the latest rumors speculating that Kris Marshall is a frontrunner to land the role moving forward.
This Doctor Who rumor follows months of questions about what is happening with the popular BBC show. It was put out there in January that Jodie Whittaker was quitting the show and would no longer be playing the role following this next season. That has yet to be officially confirmed by the studio, but all signs are looking like she’s done with the role moving forward with Kris Marshall stepping in.
Kris Marshall taking over for Jodie Whittaker is mostly a rumor at this point but would make some sense. He’s best known for his role as Humphrey Goodman on BBC One’s Death in Paradise. He appeared on four seasons of the show as the lead investigator. More recently he had a smaller role on ITV’s Sanditon. While not a household name he does have a few films in pre-production like Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break and Father Christmas is Back.
Jodie Whittaker was cast in the titular role back in 2018 as the Thirteenth Doctor and was the first female to take the lead. When it’s all said and done, it looks like she will have made it for three seasons in total. She will have been part of Series 11-13 in the Revived Era of the character. Her third season is set to debut some time this year after being reduced from 10 episodes to eight. Pandemic-related delays pushed back production with a release date not yet finalized. It could make for an interesting season especially if we know that Whittaker won’t be reprising the role.
Doctor Who has been on the air in some form since all the way back in 1963. It’s taken a number of different forms and dealt with all manners of story. It had a steady run from its original air date until the late 1980s. But then it went on about a 15-year hiatus until Christopher Eccleston took over as the Ninth Doctor. There were a few more iterations until Jodie Whittaker eventually stepped in for Peter Capaldi.
Whether Kris Marshall (or someone else) takes over for Jodie Whittaker or the show is ultimately canceled remains to be seen. There could be a lot riding on how this next season goes with viewership and reception. The last season scored the lowest ratings and viewership since 2005 and there could be some fatigue around the character. Maybe recasting helps push some life into things, or we could just be ready for a break. The stakes could be high for Doctor Who as a whole. Maybe Jodie Whittaker just sees the writing on the wall.