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Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall leaving Doctor Who in 2022

A trilogy of specials will see them off next year

Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker and her companions

Current Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker has announced she’s leaving the sci-fi series. She and showrunner Chris Chibnall will exit after next year’s season 13.

“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,” Chibnall said in a statement. “For me, leading this exceptional team has been unrivalled creative fun, and one of the great joys of my career. I’m so proud of the people we’ve worked with and the stories we’ve told.”

As Chibnall says, the two came aboard the BBC’s flagship TV series together in 2017. Immediately pushing boundaries for the Doctor’s timey-wimey adventures, Whittaker was revealed as the first woman to lead the series in its near 60-year history. With her were companions Tosin Cole as Ryan, Mandip Gill as Yaz, and Bradley Walsh as Graham. Together, they’ve had seasons in 2018, 2020, and have a third due to start later this year.

“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,” Whittaker says. “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.”

The plan was for a six-episode serial this year, then two specials in 2022. This has ben bumped to three specials, to allow the duo have a big sendoff. Chibnall has teased that the upcoming episodes are the “most ambitious” in the Doctor’s history.

We recently got the first trailer for Doctor Who season 13, and the first episode is due sometime in the autumn.