Jodie Whittaker 'QUITS' Doctor Who after 3 years on sci-fi show
Daily Mail 2hrs ago
Jodie Whittaker, Jodie Whittaker posing for a photo: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Jodie Whittaker is quitting as Doctor Who at the end of the next series, it was reported last night.

The actress, 38, is said to have told bosses of the BBC sci-fi drama series that she won't return after the forthcoming new season, and that they'll need to start thinking about recasting the role of the Time Lord.

A source told The Daily Mirror: 'It’s all very hush-hush but it is known on set that Jodie is leaving and they are gearing up for a regeneration.

Jodie Whittaker holding a sign posing for the camera © Provided by Daily Mail

'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.'

MailOnline has approached spokespeople for comment. The BBC declined to comment.

The series - which has been on the air on and off since 1963 - typically sees the titular Doctor 'regenerate' every three-four years.

It's said that Jodie - who has also starred in the likes of Broadchurch, Black Mirror and The Smoke during her career - always planned to stick to this rhythm. It is also said she wants to pursue other roles.

a group of people posing for the camera: Current cast: Jodie is pictured with co-stars Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh © Provided by Daily Mail Current cast: Jodie is pictured with co-stars Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh Jodie Whittaker standing in a field © Provided by Daily Mail

In January 2020, she told Entertainment Weekly: 'I absolutely adore [the role]. At some point, these shoes are going to be handed on, but it’s not yet. I’m clinging on tight!' 

Jodie made history when she was announced as the Thirteenth (and first ever female) Doctor in July 2017.

She took the role from the prior star of the show, Peter Capaldi, who played the iconic character from 2014-2017.

Chris Chibnall, who was taking over as showrunner on the series, had worked with her on Broadchurch previously.

Jodie Whittaker looking at the camera © Provided by Daily Mail

He said after she was cast that he had always intended to introduce the first female Doctor, and that she was his first choice.

Of the fact that the Doctor would be female, Jodie said: 'Doctor Who represents everything that's exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.'

She made her first appearance in the 2017 Christmas special, Twice Upon A Time.

Her first full series ran from October-December 2018, with a New Year's one-off at the start of 2019.

Jodie's second season - the 12th of the revived era and 38th overall - aired January-March 2020.

a young man standing in front of a blackboard: Brand new: On Friday, a New Year's 2021 special aired on BBC One, with the next full season set for later this year - presumably with a new Doctor taking over at the end of it © Provided by Daily Mail Brand new: On Friday, a New Year's 2021 special aired on BBC One, with the next full season set for later this year - presumably with a new Doctor taking over at the end of it Of the fact that the Doctor would be female, Jodie said when she was cast: 'Doctor Who represents everything that's exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one' © Provided by Daily Mail Of the fact that the Doctor would be female, Jodie said when she was cast: 'Doctor Who represents everything that's exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one'

On Friday, a New Year's 2021 special aired on BBC One, with the next full season set for later this year - presumably with a new Doctor taking over at the end of it.

The actor to play the role the longest was Tom Baker. He was the Fourth Doctor from 1974-1980, across seven seasons. 

The actor to take on the role for the shortest length of time was Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston who appeared in just one season, in 2005.

Eccleston fronted the show as it was rebooted, following 16 years away from TV screens. Since then, David Tennant and Matt Smith have led the show.

Jodie's first season as the Doctor averaged at almost 8 million viewers across the series, just shy of David Tennant's final turn in the role.

Peter Capaldi wearing a suit and tie: Outgoing: She took the role from the prior star of the show, Peter Capaldi, who played the iconic character from 2014-2017 © Provided by Daily Mail Outgoing: She took the role from the prior star of the show, Peter Capaldi, who played the iconic character from 2014-2017 Jodie Whittaker wearing a suit and tie: Success: Jodie's first season as the Doctor averaged at almost 8 million viewers across the series, just shy of David Tennant's final turn in the role © Provided by Daily Mail Success: Jodie's first season as the Doctor averaged at almost 8 million viewers across the series, just shy of David Tennant's final turn in the role

Her next season dropped to an average of 5.40 million. 

Last year, Jodie joined forces for the first time with ex-stars Tennant and Smith in a reunion for HBO Max, to reminisce together about their experiences on the iconic show.

Detailing the importance of being in a role that has been played by so many other actors, David admitted the show was 'so precious' to him.

'There's an expectation of what it will be like and what it actually is I suppose,' he explained. 'Growing up in Britain you're very aware of Doctor Who as it has been ubiquitous in our lives even if it wasn't on TV.

Jodie Whittaker smiling for the camera: In January 2020, she told Entertainment Weekly: 'I absolutely adore [the role]. At some point, these shoes are going to be handed on, but it’s not yet. I’m clinging on tight!' © Provided by Daily Mail In January 2020, she told Entertainment Weekly: 'I absolutely adore [the role]. At some point, these shoes are going to be handed on, but it’s not yet. I’m clinging on tight!' Jodie Whittaker, John Barrowman are posing for a picture: Groundbreaking: Jodie made history when she was announced as the Thirteenth (and first ever female) Doctor in July 2017 © Provided by Daily Mail Groundbreaking: Jodie made history when she was announced as the Thirteenth (and first ever female) Doctor in July 2017

'So when you realise it's your turn you do kind of know what that means in terms of loss of anonymity, and the fact the first line of your obituary has almost certainly been written but I think that's different to knowing what it feels like and carrying that around.

'It’s a huge privilege and also feels very precious because people love it so much, and it means so much to people all through their lives, you just want to make sure you don't break it. you want it to be special, precious and exciting for the next generation as it was for the old one.'

Matt then chimed in by saying: 'I once had someone shout across the street, and I hadn't shot a single frame, "don't break Doctor Who!"'

Jodie Whittaker and woman posing for a photo in front of a television: Is there a Doctor in the house? Last year, Jodie joined forces for the first time with ex-stars Tennant and Smith in a reunion for HBO Max, to reminisce together about their experiences on the iconic show © Provided by Daily Mail Is there a Doctor in the house? Last year, Jodie joined forces for the first time with ex-stars Tennant and Smith in a reunion for HBO Max, to reminisce together about their experiences on the iconic show

Sharing a similar story, Jodie admitted: 'When I was announced, and you haven't shot anything have you, I got a girl come up to me in a cafe and I was so excited because I was like "it's my demographic", she was sixteen and said, "I really wanted it to be Ben Whishaw!"'

Teasing her over the encounter, Matt claimed 'everyone wanted Ben Whishaw' while David joked that 'he would have been really good.'

Going on to discuss what it's been like in the role, Jodie went on: 'Because I haven't handed off so I’m still in that strange floating space where I own it, I’m not kicked out of the club yet. 

Going on to discuss what it's been like in the role, Jodie went on: 'Because I haven't handed off so I’m still in that strange floating space where I own it, I’m not kicked out of the club yet. 

David Tennant posing for the camera: Gushing: Detailing the importance of being in a role that has been played by so many other actors, David admitted the show was 'so precious' to him © Provided by Daily Mail Gushing: Detailing the importance of being in a role that has been played by so many other actors, David admitted the show was 'so precious' to him Jodie Whittaker et al. standing in front of a television: Matt then chimed in by saying: 'I once had someone shout across the street, and I hadn't shot a single frame, © Provided by Daily Mail Matt then chimed in by saying: 'I once had someone shout across the street, and I hadn't shot a single frame,

'The thing I would say to the next person is the pressure of the history of the show is all made up in your own head, on set all the crew who have transitioned onto the show they are kind of excited and with you to bring something new because that is the beauty of this as a role. 

'You're not supposed to be recreating what someone did you're supposed to take it. There is a pressure and an actor's monologue for a long time, but when you're in your doctor's clothes and you've got your own friends in it feels in a weird way all that pressure disappears because it's yours to play with.'

Talking about handing off the show, David said of his five-year tenure as the Tenth Doctor which ended in 2010: 'You always know that's coming because you know what you're getting into. 

'But it’s like what Jodie says, when you're in it you’re like "yeah this is it, this is my TARDIS", it is quite weird that it carries on without you.

Jodie Whittaker smiling for the camera: Teasing: Jodie said she was approached by a girl who said she wanted Ben Whishaw to take the part when she was first cast © Provided by Daily Mail Teasing: Jodie said she was approached by a girl who said she wanted Ben Whishaw to take the part when she was first cast Jodie Whittaker smiling for the camera: Of her concerns when starting the role, Jodie added: 'The thing I would say to the next person is the pressure of the history of the show is all made up in your own head' © Provided by Daily Mail Of her concerns when starting the role, Jodie added: 'The thing I would say to the next person is the pressure of the history of the show is all made up in your own head'

'I was there on Matt's first day and you're kind of there and then Matt shows up and we say hello and have our photograph taken and then you walk off and they say right next, and the camera swings around to the next one. 

'There this thought of "oh I think for a second I felt indispensable" but then that's how that show works, and then you become part of the history of it.'

Matt then added: 'I've got that picture David and I gave it to my granddad and you're smiling at me as if like "you've got no idea" and I look like I'm peeing myself or something, I just look so nervous. 

'The thing I miss, the one thing is the Christmas special, that's just fantastic. It's a great thing to pass on, it's a great gift to go "good luck, don't be too good!"'

David went on: 'It never goes away, it's 15 years since I did it and I'm here today, it never goes away.'

a screen shot of a man and woman posing for a photo: Discussing what it's been like in the role, Jodie went on: 'Because I haven't handed off so I’m still in that strange floating space where I own it, I’m not kicked out of the club yet' © Provided by Daily Mail Discussing what it's been like in the role, Jodie went on: 'Because I haven't handed off so I’m still in that strange floating space where I own it, I’m not kicked out of the club yet' David Tennant posing for the camera: David gushed about being a part of the show's history: 'It never goes away, it's 15 years since I did it and I'm here today, it never goes away' © Provided by Daily Mail David gushed about being a part of the show's history: 'It never goes away, it's 15 years since I did it and I'm here today, it never goes away'

The trio also chatted about the memorabilia they have from the show, after eagle-eyed fans noticed David had a TARDIS in his garden during his show Staged.

Admitting it wasn't a real one, David said it was made for his kids by their step-granddad who 'got very into [the show] briefly and then they moved on like the fickle heart breakers that they are.'

Jodie said she had a few Funko Pops of the Thirteenth Doctor, while Matt admitted he had two Cybermen from the show.

Showing off the memorabilia to his fellow Time Lords, Matt claimed it was a parting gift which David joked he was 'furious' about given he didn't get given anything.  

Read more
Show More
Latest News