Jodie Whittaker has announced that she will be handing over the TARDIS keys in 2022, paving the way for the Fourteenth Doctor.
We all change – when you think about it, we’re all different people all through our lives. And this is certainly true for our favourite Time Lord, who will once again regenerate in an “epic blockbuster special” in autumn 2022, which will coincide with the BBC’s Centenary celebrations. This will hasten the arrival of the Fourteenth Doctor, who hasn’t been revealed yet.
The news that Jodie Whittaker would soon be making way for the Fourteenth Doctor came shortly after Series 13’s first trailer, which teased a couple of new companions in the shape of John Bishop and Jacob Anderson, and the promise of a returning baddie. Showrunner Chris Chibnall also confirmed that Series 13 would be all one story, making it one of the longest Doctor Who adventures of all time.
And speaking of Chris Chibnall, he won’t be around to oversee the introduction of the Fourteenth Doctor, as he has announced that he will be stepping down from Doctor Who at the same time as Whittaker.
“Jodie and I made a ‘three series and out’ pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast,” said Chibnall. “So now our shift is done, and we’re handing back the TARDIS keys.”
He added: “Jodie’s magnificent, iconic Doctor has exceeded all our high expectations. She’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. I can’t imagine working with a more inspiring Doctor – so I’m not going to!”
As for who would be stepping up as the Fourteenth Doctor, Chibnall was tight-lipped, saying simply: “I wish our successors – whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose – as much fun as we’ve had. They’re in for a treat!”
Jodie Whittaker said: “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. So here we are, weeks away from wrapping on the best job I have ever had. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express what this role has given me. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I’ve learnt forever.
“I know change can be scary and none of us know what’s out there. That’s why we keep looking. Travel Hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly.”
As Whittaker points out, wrapping on her final batch of Doctor Who stories is merely “weeks away,” so it could be that the Fourteenth Doctor has already been cast, and they could find themselves inside the TARDIS sooner than they think.
But how long will it be before we learn the Fourteenth Doctor’s identity? Well, back in March 2005 (when Christopher Eccleston announced his departure) his successor David Tennant was unveiled within a matter of weeks. Tennant’s replacement Matt Smith, however, wasn’t revealed until two months after he announced his departure. And the same thing happened when Smith left – he revealed that he was leaving in June 2013, and Peter Capaldi was unveiled in the August.
There was, however, more of a delay when Capaldi left. He announced his departure in January 2017, and Jodie Whittaker was unmasked as his replacement some seven months later. This delay may have had something to do with the fact that a new showrunner was coming in, and indeed the same thing is happening this time. So we may have to wait until the end of the year to find out who the Fourteenth Doctor is.
In the meantime, if you’re feeling nostalgic and want to look back on some of the Thirteenth Doctor’s most popular episodes, you could always re-watch 2017’s ‘The Woman who Fell to Earth,’ ‘The Ghost Monument’ and ‘Rosa,’ which are the highest-rated of her era.
Otherwise, the new series of Doctor Who is scheduled to arrive this autumn and will consist of six episodes. There will then be three more specials in 2022 which will coincide with the BBC’s Centenary.
And at the end of this trilogy, viewers will finally get their first look at the Fourteenth Doctor.
Who would you like to replace Jodie Whittaker? And what are you looking forward to most in the upcoming Doctor Who series? Let me know in the comments below.
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