Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall to leave Doctor Who after trio of 2022 Specials

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Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall will leave Doctor Who after they complete the filming, production and publicity of six Series 13 episodes and three specials.

Filming of the eight episodes which were already planned is set to end in July of 2021, according to John Bishop, who spoke of his involvement as a Doctor Who companion on Sunday Brunch February 14, 2021.

Of the eight episodes filmed during the current production run, six will air starting in autumn of 2021 as a Doctor Who Series 13 six-part Event Special. Two will air as specials on New Year’s Day and spring of 2022.

Mandip Gill (Yaz), Jodie Whittaker (the Doctor), John Bishop (Dan) BBC Doctor Who Series 13 publicity photo

BBC One has now asked for an additional final feature-length adventure, where the thirteenth Doctor will regenerate, to air in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations. It is likely that this additional special will be filmed sometime this summer.

After taking the helm as showrunner in 2017, Chris Chibnall made the groundbreaking decision to cast Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor. Whittaker began filming as the thirteenth Doctor in 2017.

“Jodie and I made a ‘three series and out’ pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast,” Chris Chibnall said in a statement. “So now our shift is done, and we’re handing back the TARDIS keys.”

“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!”

“For me, leading this exceptional team has been unrivalled creative fun, and one of the great joys of my career. I’m so proud of the people we’ve worked with and the stories we’ve told. To finish our time on the show with an additional Special, after the pandemic changed and challenged our production plans, is a lovely bonus. It’s great that the climax of the Thirteenth Doctor’s story will be at the heart(s) of the BBC’s centenary celebrations.”

“I wish our successors – whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose – as much fun as we’ve had. They’re in for a treat!”

The last part of Chibnall’s statement implies many more adventures of the Doctor to come with a new lead actor and showrunner. November 23, 2023 will mark the 60th anniversary of the date the programme first aired.

“In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes,” Jodie Whittaker added in a statement. “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. 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.”

Executive Producer Matt Strevens, who worked alongside Chibnall since the beginning in 2017, will also be leave when all the series and special episodes are complete.

The official BBC announcement included this encouraging note:

“We will announce plans for the new generation of Doctor Who in due course – watch this space!”