Doctor Who: BBC release teaser for series 13
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Doctor Who has been a staple of British television for over 50 years and has seen 13 actors take on the iconic title role. Jodie Whittaker continued the legacy of the show and became the first-ever female Doctor in the history of the BBC series. Sadly, the star confirmed earlier this year she would be stepping down from the role.
Why is Jodie Whittaker leaving Doctor Who?
Jodie Whittaker made her first appearance as the Doctor in 2017 and has led the series since.
As the first female lead, Whittaker broke new ground for the series and introduced a new generation of fans to the show.
A six-part event special has been announced for this autumn and a previously announced two specials are set to air in 2022.
Now the BBC has ordered a following third, feature-length special to form a trio of specials throughout next year.
The third special will be the last time Whittaker stars in the role, with the star walking away after.
Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall “made a ‘three series and out’ pact”, according to the show’s boss, with the three specials bringing that pact to an end.
As such, Chibnall is also leaving the show as showrunner and lead writer, a role he’s held since Whittaker’s debut in 2017.
Chibnall explained that “our shift is done, and we’re handing back the TARDIS keys”.
The writer added: “[Jodie’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.”
Chibnall previously served on the show as a feature writer, producing some classic episodes such as 42, The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood.
Whittaker released a statement following the news of her departure, saying: “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express what this role has given me.”
The star continued: “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.”
It’s clear that both Whittaker and Chibnall made the decision to leave together after a successful four years leading the series.
Both stars have not revealed what they will be moving onto but Doctor Who will be continuing as usual.
Whittaker’s Doctor will regenerate during the feature-length special in 2022, opening the door for a new star to take on the responsibility of the character.
It has not been confirmed who will be playing the next Doctor, with the BBC likely still in the early stages of casting.
Whittaker’s Doctor leaves behind a strong legacy for the show, being voted the second most popular incarnation of the character, after David Tennent, according to a 2020 Radio Times poll.
The star’s final season is set for release at the end of October – Doctor Who: Flux.
Doctor Who: Flux premieres October 31 on BBC One.
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