"Doctor Who" star Jodie Whittaker, and showrunner Chris Chibnall, will be leaving the sci-fi show, the BBC has confirmed.
The duo have worked in the franchise for three seasons. Whitaker became the first female to play the Time Lord when she was cast in the role in 2017. Chibnall, meanwhile, filled the shoes of Steven Moffat, casting several of the show's stars including Whittaker, who opened up about their exit from the show in a statement.
"In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes. 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," she said, adding that she was thankful to Chibnall 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," she continued. "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 learned forever."
Chibnall explained that when they both joined the show they made a "three series and out pact" and now their shift was done.
"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 humor," he said. "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!"
The 13th season of "Doctor Who" will air towards the end of 2021. There will also be a six-part event serial as well as three specials following in 2022, which happens to be the centenary of the BBC.
"To finish our time on the show with an additional Special, after the pandemic changed and challenged our production plans, is a lovely bonus," Chibnall said. "It’s great that the climax of the Thirteenth Doctor’s story will be at the heart(s) of the BBC’s centenary celebrations."
It has been rumored that "It’s a Sin" star Olly Alexander was in the running to replace Whittaker, but he has denied this, according to Variety.
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