Rumors swirl that Jodie Whittaker will soon depart Doctor Who

Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor - Doctor Who _ Season 12, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: James Pardon/BBC Studios/BBC America
Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor - Doctor Who _ Season 12, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: James Pardon/BBC Studios/BBC America /

Rumors are swirling that Doctor Who season 13 could be star Jodie Whittaker’s last run as the Doctor.

Prepare your hearts, Whovians: If the rumors are true current star Jodie Whittaker may not be part of Doctor Who for much longer.

According to British tabloid The Mirror – which should generally always be taken with a grain of salt – Whittaker will depart the TARDIS at the end of season 13, which is currently filming.

“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 Mirror quotes an anonymous insider source as saying.

“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.”

The same source reports that showrunner Chris Chibnall will remain with the series for season 14.

Now, is any of this true? Who can say? The Mirror is not always reliable, but then most rumors about Doctor Who casting rarely are. (Remember when we all thought Kris Marshall was going to play the Doctor?)

But it very well could be true. And there are several reasons why. The most telling aspect of all this is the fact that the BBC declined to comment when asked about the rumors.

“We won’t be commenting on any speculation around Jodie’s future on the show,” a BBC spokesperson told Variety.

And that more than anything else, is the worrisome bone here. If it weren’t true, they’d just say so, as they have in the past. (This isn’t the first time that rumors have swirled that Whittaker was about to jump ship.)  The fact that they’re not saying anything is pretty much a quieter version of yes, isn’t it?

Plus, it makes a certain amount of sense. season 13 – despite its shortened episode count – will be Whittaker’s third full season of Doctor Who, plus a couple of Christmas specials. David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi all turned in their TARDIS keys after roughly three seasons themselves. The role is a demanding one and the series itself involves a lengthy shoot and post-production process. Doctor Who is a lot of work, is what I’m saying. It must wear you out as an actor, no matter how fun it is.

The prospect of Whittaker’s exit just stings all that much harder because she’s the first female Doctor the series has ever had, and it’s basically impossible to feel like we’ve gotten enough time with her. (Insert your own thoughts about whether the show has done enough in terms of character development for her here..) But it feels unlikely that the Fourteenth Doctor will be a woman again, and that makes this potential departure feel all the more like a loss.

But, plus side, we don’t actually know anything for certain yet. And even if it does turn out to be true that the search for Fourteen is on, we still have a full season left with Whittaker’s Doctor to enjoy, and that has to count for something.

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How do you feel about the idea of Whittaker leaving Doctor Who? Sound off in the comments.