Is Jodie Whittaker leaving Doctor Who? Rumours explained, what the BBC said - and who next doctor could be

Rumours suggesting the actor could have quit from the long-running sci-fi series, but who might replace her?

Monday, 4th January 2021, 12:11 pm
Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor in the New Year's Day's special episode of Doctor Who, Revolution of the Daleks (Photo: PA)
Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor in the New Year's Day's special episode of Doctor Who, Revolution of the Daleks (Photo: PA)

Jodie Whittaker has quit Doctor Who and will leave the show at the end of the next series.

That's according to reports by the Daily Mirror, who claim the 38-year old intends to follow in the footsteps of her predecessors by stepping down after three series at the helm of the Tardis.

Both Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi – who Whittaker replaced to become the first woman to take on the role in 2017 – played the Time Lord for only three series; other Doctors to leave after three runs include William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Peter Davison, and Sylvester McCoy.

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Whittaker has previously said just thinking about leaving the show made her cry and preempted it would be her 'most devastating moment' (Photo: Andrew Toth/Getty Images for New York Comic Con)

Whittaker’s possible departure as the 13th Doctor comes following the news that co-stars Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole had departed the long-running BBC One sci-fi drama at the end of the New Year special, Revolution Of The Daleks.

Here is everything you need to know:

Is Jodie Whittaker leaving Doctor Who?

According to the Mirror, one insider said: “It’s all very hush-hush but it is known on set that Jodie is leaving and they are gearing up for a regeneration.

Comedian John will join the cast of the BBC1 show as Dan in the next series (Photo: PA)

“Her departure is top secret but at some point over the coming months the arrival of the 14th Doctor will need to be filmed. It’s very exciting.”

Insiders reportedly said Whittaker – who once said just thinking about leaving the show made her cry and preempted it would be her “most devastating moment” – is keen to take on other roles.

What have the BBC said?

Despite the reports, the BBC have refused to confirm or deny the rumours of Whittaker’s departure.

A spokesperson has simply said: “We won’t be commenting on any speculation around Jodie’s future on the show.”

When will the next series of Doctor Who be released?

Filming on the current series of Doctor Who began filming in November 2020 and is due to finish this summer. It will air in the autumn.

The BBC have said it will be shorter, with only eight episodes due to Covid-19 restrictions affecting production.

Announced as a new addition to the show following the New Year special was comedian John Bishop as new character Dan, who “becomes embroiled in the Doctor’s adventures”.

“Travelling through space and time alongside the Doctor and Yaz, he’ll face evil alien races beyond his wildest nightmares,” the BBC said.

Bishop has already begun filming his role, but TV bosses have kept his signing under wraps until now.

Programme boss Chris Chibnall said: “It’s time for the next chapter of Doctor Who, and it starts with a man called Dan. Oh, we’ve had to keep this one secret for a long, long time.

“The character of Dan was built for him, and it’s a joy to have him aboard the Tardis.”

Who could replace Whittaker?

Whittaker’s departure will once again open up the role of the Doctor and prompt questions about a successor.

My Family and Death In Paradise star Kris Marshall has been linked with the role of the Doctor for a number of years and is favourite to replace her, according to Coral.

The bookmaker’s John Hill told the Daily Mirror: "Kris Marshall has been popular over the last few days with leading bookmaker Coral to play the next Doctor Who where he is odds-on at 1-2 in the betting with the firm.”

According to Hill, Phoebe Waller-Bridge is second best to replace Jodie at 3-1, and Coral is also offering odds Homeland actor David Harewood and Friday Night Dinner’s Tom Rosenthal as potential successors.