The BBC has announced that Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall and the Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker are set to depart from the series in a trio of specials.
Having taken the helm of the show in 2017, Chibnall made the history-making decision to cast Whittaker as the first-ever female Doctor. He also brought together Tosin Cole (Ryan), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and Bradley Walsh (Graham) as the new ‘fam’ of adventurous space-exploring sidekicks.
With a six-part Event Serial already announced for this autumn, Chibnall and Whittaker will bow out of Doctor Who with three specials in 2022, including a final feature-length adventure to mark the BBC’s Centenary celebrations, before the Doctor regenerates once more.
Chris Chibnall said: “Jodie and I made a 'three series and out' pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast. 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!”
Jodie Whittaker added: “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. 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.
The first of the three specials will air on New Year’s Day 2022, with another in spring 2022.
The final feature-length special, involving the regeneration of Whittaker’s Doctor, will transmit in autumn 2022 to coincide with the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.