Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker and lead writer Chris Chibnall will leave Doctor Who after a final trilogy of specials in 2022, the BBC have announced.

Having taken control of the TARDIS in 2017, Whittaker’s Doctor has so far starred in two full series of the show, Series 11 and 12, with Chibnall in the main scripting seat for them both.

Series 13 is on the way this autumn, and we now know that it will consist of six episodes – less than usual, due to COVID restrictions – which will form one epic story. Whittaker’s Doctor will be joined on her travels by returning companion Yaz (Mandip Gill) and newcomer Dan Lewis (John Bishop).

There will also be several new recurring characters appearing across the episodes, including Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm off of Game of Thrones) as Vinder, plus some returning monsters – appearances from the Sontarans and Weeping Angels seem to be on the cards.

After this, we’ll see the Thirteenth Doctor off with three final specials – one aired on New Year’s Day 2022, one sometime in Spring 2022, and a final, feature-length special in Autumn 2022, which will be part of the BBC’s centenary celebrations.

Of the decision to leave, 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. I wish our successors as much fun as we’ve had. They’re in for a treat!”

Whittaker added:

“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. I know change can be scary and none of us know what’s out there. That’s why we keep looking. Travel Hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly.”

This may be sad news to fans of the incumbent Doctor, but when one Doctor’s story ends, another begins – the BBC have promised that “the new generation of Doctor Who” will be announced soon…

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