Jodie Whittaker, who plays the 13th Doctor in sci-fi series Doctor Who, wants to continue playing the character after the upcoming finale. Whittaker’s time as the Doctor is coming to an end, as is Chris Chibnall’s time as showrunner, with her regeneration episode The Power of the Doctor.
The Power of the Doctor will mark the end of Whittaker’s tenure as the lead of the long-running TV series, before she is replaced by a new actor, as is customary. That new actor will either be Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa or previous Doctor David Tennant (it’s complicated, trust us).
Given that we know Whittaker’s time is up, the big question for the finale is what kill her, and what will happen to her companions Yaz and Dan. From the trailers for the episode, we know that the Doctor’s arch-nemesis The Master is orchestrating a plot to erase her from time, but that raises more questions that it answers. Either way, one thing is for certain: the 13th Doctor is going to die.
Now, speaking to Radio Times ahead of her departure, Whittaker has shared her desire to continue playing the Doctor after the finale. The actor said “I said to [new showrunner] Russell T. Davies, ‘Don’t ever think of it as being too soon.’ If I’m not asked back, I will be devastated. I know it might need to be a few years, but Russell knows – I’m going to be like a little terrier at his heels.”
Of course, Doctor Who fans will know that Whittaker isn’t re-auditioning for the job. She’s referring to traditional multi-Doctor episodes, which are the rare instances where a previous version of the Doctor returns for an episode.
These started back in 1973 with the episode ‘The Three Doctors’. While it might seem confusing to have more than one Doctor in an episode, it actually makes perfect sense thanks to the time-travel mechanics of the show. Other more recent examples of multi-Doctor episodes are ‘The Day of the Doctor’ and ‘The Doctor Falls’.
Whittaker is right to say that there will likely be a sizable gap between her finale and her next appearance though. This is typical, as it gives a new Doctor some breathing space before the time-travel shenanigans kick in and they’re reunited with previous versions of themselves.