Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker Shares The Upside To Her Leaving
Doctor Who actor Jodie Whittaker shares the bright side to her departure as the Thirteenth Doctor. Whittaker joined the iconic sci-fi show in 2017, becoming the first woman to play the role of The Doctor after 12 male versions of the fabled Time Lord. Though some voiced anger over a woman taking over the role, Whittaker earned praise from audiences as well as previous stars such as Christopher Eccleston and Sylvester McCoy for her witty and charming turn as The Doctor. She joined Doctor Who alongside showrunner Chris Chibnall, who now prepares to exit the series with Whittaker ahead of her final episode.
Whittaker’s departure from Doctor Who was announced in July 2021, with Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa confirmed as the Fourteenth Doctor in May 2022. The 90-minute episode featuring Whittaker’s departure as the Thirteenth Doctor, titled « The Power of the Doctor, » will also celebrate the BBC’s centenary, promising a special farewell. With Whittaker’s era serving as a fresh start for the long-running sci-fi show, her unique energy as the Doctor over the past five years will be mourned by both old and new fans. However, with Tenth Doctor David Tennant and Catherine Tate as Donna Noble slated to return for the show’s 60th anniversary special, the series has made it clear that the return of beloved characters – however brief – is possible.
In a conversation with Empire, Whittaker references Tennant’s return as she talks about the bright side of bidding her version of The Doctor farewell. Though she has previously mentioned the emotional nature of filming her final scenes, her comments point to the upside of her exit from the series: She can now enjoy the show as a fan with a new appreciation. Check out what she had to say below:
« I would love to pop back up as the Doctor. This is what I love about the show so much. It’s so unpredictable and exciting. Now I can just watch it with the love and understanding that I never had before. I was brand-new to it. I didn’t understand it. I hadn’t grown up with it. But now I get to embrace it as a Whovian, just like everyone else. »
Whittaker’s heartwarming statement reveals that her relationship with the Doctor Who franchise will continue after her tenure as The Doctor, and her status as a new Whovian confirms that she is eager to return as the character if possible. The series hasn’t shied away from returns of former Doctors in the past, with eight instances of Doctors reprising their roles from both the classic and modern Who runs. There is plenty of precedent for Whittaker’s eventual return as the Thirteenth Doctor. She would likely come back to the franchise for a special event, as has been the case in past returns. However, given Whittaker’s willingness and her Doctor’s groundbreaking installments in the series, it’s possible that she could come back to the TARDIS sooner than fans expect.
Whittaker’s uplifting response here highlights her positivity and genuineness, which she ported over into her tenure as The Doctor. Fans have cherished Whittaker’s run as The Doctor, which proved that the series – historically led by white men – was ready to evolve in terms of gender, racial, and LGBTQ+ representation. It will continue to do so with Gatwa’s term as the first Black Doctor. Doctor Who has managed to maintain its popularity and relevance for nearly 60 years on the air, and fans can expect a thrilling and moving send-off for Whittaker, who helped usher in a new era for the impressive sci-fi series.