TV & Movies

Why People Think Jodie Whittaker Might Be Leaving Doctor Who

Rumours suggest that the upcoming series could be her last.

by Sophie McEvoy
jodie whittaker as the thirteenth doctor in doctor who new year special
BBC Studios/James Pardon

Set to premiere sometime in 2021, Series 13 of Doctor Who will see Jodie Whittaker take on the title role for a third year. But as has been the case with previous iterations of the Doctor, there's always the possibility that this series could end with a regeneration. David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi ended their terms as the Doctor after three years, so will the thirteenth doctor follow this tradition? Is Jodie Whittaker leaving Doctor Who?

The Doctor's regeneration is mostly kept under wraps until the time inevitably comes, but the rumours of Whittaker's exit stem from a report by the Mirror where an "insider" alleges that the actor is looking to play roles outside Doctor Who. "It's all very hush-hush but it is known on set that Jodie is leaving and they are gearing up for a regeneration," the insider told the newspaper. "Her departure is top secret but at some point over the next coming months the arrival of the 14th Doctor will need to be filmed. It's very exciting."

In response to this claim, the BBC issued a statement (via Digital Spy) saying that they "won't be commenting on any speculation around Jodie's future on the show," which is understandable.

Whittaker recently spoke about her future on the show, implying that she isn't planning on stopping anytime soon. "I know that in my life, this is one of the best things that will ever happen to me and the best times that I will ever have on set," she told Entertainment Weekly, speaking of the recent departures of Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole. "This job is this thing that is untouchable. There'll be a million other amazing experiences, hopefully. But if I do this for 20 seasons I know my first time as the Doctor was with this family as this four and this is our time." She added:

"As far as I'm concerned, right now, I'm the Doctor and that's taking up everything of me, as an actor. And to think something beyond that, I can't put my head there, and I don't want to."

As for what this series of Doctor Who will entail, Walsh and Cole's characters are set to be replaced with a new face — none other than Liverpudlian comedian John Bishop. Introduced briefly at the end of the New Year's Day special, Bishop will play a character called Dan who "becomes embroiled in the Doctor's adventures," according to the BBC, and will face "evil alien races beyond his wildest nightmares."

Ecstatic to be joining Whittaker and Mandip Gill for the next series, Bishop describes his role as "an absolute dream come true," per BBC News. "If I could tell my younger self that one day I would be asked to step on board the Tardis, I would have never believed it," he said. "I couldn't wish for better company than Jodie and Mandip."