passing the tardis
The Doctor is out.
Jodie Whittaker is set to exit the popular British sci-fi series Doctor Who, the BBC has announced. She was the first woman to portray the lead character of the Doctor since the show's debut in 1963 and will be leaving after three seasons. Showrunner Chris Chibnall is also stepping down alongside Whittaker in 2022.
Doctor Who follows a time traveling alien who can change their appearance via a "regeneration" process, which allows the show to swap out the lead actor every so often while retaining the same continuity. Whittaker's impending exit opens up the question of who the next actor to take on the iconic role will be. No announcement has been made, but some names that have been floated include Michaela Coel, Kris Marshall, Kelly Maconald, Richard Ayoade, Michael Sheen, and Jo Martin. Martin was already introduced as an incarnation of the Doctor, the first to be portrayed by a Black actor.
Olly Alexander has also been rumored to be in talks for the role, though he has denied those reports, with his agent saying he is "focusing on his music, for the time being." Another popular pick among fans is Hayley Atwell, but she said in 2017 she wasn't interested.
Whittaker was introduced as the 13th Doctor in 2017 following Peter Capaldi's departure as the character. She's set to return in a new season later this year, followed by three specials in 2022, the last of which will serve as her swan song.
"I don't think I'll ever be able to express what this role has given me," Whittaker said. "I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I've learnt forever."