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The latest Doctor Who holiday special, "Revolution of the Daleks," concluded with two members of the fam — Graham (Bradley Walsh) and Ryan (Tosin Cole) — leaving the series. But could the upcoming 13th Season conclude with the departure of The Doctor herself?
Citing unnamed sources, a report from the Daily Mirror is saying that Jodie Whittaker plans to leave the series after portraying the time-traveling alien for three seasons. Per the report, Whittaker wants to follow in the footsteps of her predecessors who typically take on the role for three seasons before bowing out.
“It’s all very hush-hush but it is known on set that Jodie is leaving and they are gearing up for a regeneration,” said one anonymous source quoted by the U.K. tabloid. “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.”
Although the BBC is declining to comment, speculation is mounting, with both Deadline and Variety picking up the report. Other actors to play the role for three seasons before passing the baton include William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi. David Tennant also did three seasons but starred in some additional episodes before regenerating.
Whittaker, the first woman to take on the role in the show’s nearly 60-year run, took over as The Doctor from Peter Capaldi in the Christmas 2017 Doctor Who special "Twice Upon a Time." Her first regular appearance was in the Season 11 premiere, “The Woman Who Fell to Earth,” which aired Oct. 7, 2018.
In addition to Whitaker returning to the series along with Mandip Gill, who plays The Doctor’s companion Yaz, the 13th season will also have actor John Bishop come aboard the TARDIS as a new companion to partake in some fresh adventures in space and time.
The report also claims current Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall will remain on board after the upcoming season and lead at least the first new season with the next Doctor.
The thing is, if Whittaker is indeed leaving the series at the conclusion of the next season, this now begs the question: who will be taking over control of the TARDIS and sonic screwdriver?
The upcoming 13th season, which will only have eight episodes due to limitations brought upon by COVID-19, is currently in production and is set to air later this year.