Way back in 2018, BBC One shook up the fan base of one of the longest-running British sci-fi franchises by announcing that the nigh-immortal Time Lord called the Doctor, will “regenerate” into a female form for the 11th series in the revival of “Doctor Who.” In context, previous Doctor actor Peter Capaldi passed the torch to actress Jodie Whittaker, the current “13th Doctor” who has travelled from one adventure to another aboard her TARDIS for three series under a new creative team. However, after the present 13th series concludes so will Whittaker’s time headlining “Doctor Who.” But there are still some specials airing next year.

BBC tells us that Jodie Whittaker is now sure to retire from the role of the titular Doctor from BBC One’s “Doctor Who” after completing the post-series specials that will follow the conclusion of the current show. Leaving with her from the production is current executive producer Chris Chibnall, who replaced Steven Moffatt in 2018 in time for production of the 11th series with Whittaker. The two apparently have an informal agreement to exit the long-running show at the same time, and the network confirmed as such Thursday, July 29.

In interview, Chibnall notes that he had a “once-in-a-lifetime blast” working on “Doctor Who” with Whittaker in the role, although they also promised each other “three series and out.” In his words, the EP remarked, “So now our shift is done, and we’re handing back the TARDIS keys.” It was Chibnall who made the last push to recast the Time Lord as a female, and he described Whittaker’s casting as exceeding all expectations. “[Jodie] captured the public imagination and continues to inspire adoration around the world, as well as from everyone on the production,” adds Chibnall. “I can’t imagine working with a more inspiring Doctor – so I’m not going to!”

In the “Doctor Who” main character’s regeneration as characterized by Jodie Whittaker, the time-and-space-travelling alien was portrayed as being light-hearted, with a more pronounced inventive streak, highly valuing her friendship with her various human companions aboard the TARDIS, and prioritizing non-violent solutions to most problems. The actress herself has begun to make her farewells to the fandom saying, “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.”

“Doctor Who” series 13, the third and final series featuring the 13th Doctor, will premiere on BBC UK and BBC America sometime later this year. It will carry on through to 2022, to be followed by the specials which would, in keeping with tradition, conclude with the Doctor regenerating to a new, yet undecided, actor.

Image courtesy of Variety