New Doctor Who report outlines Jodie Whittaker's exit plans

Doctor Who
(Image credit: BBC)

Jodie Whittaker could be stepping out of the TARDIS after three seasons – but the 13th Doctor is reportedly sticking around a little longer than some may have originally expected.

The Daily Mirror has fuelled speculation that Whittaker is shortly on the outs with the BBC series after the news that a Doctor Who annual won’t be featuring the current Time Lord on the cover for the first time ever.

Sources close to the British tabloid say "she will appear in two specials next year before regenerating into the 14th Doctor." An insider adds: "Bosses are staying tight-lipped about what they have planned, but with filming still ongoing they clearly have plans for episodes to be playing out much later into 2022 – so there’s still more to come for Jodie’s Doctor."

With the new season currently filming, it’s likely that a 2022 release date will be followed by a special – and possibly even the traditional Christmas special. From there, a new actor will take over the sonic screwdriver.

That all sets up the 14th Doctor to take the reins ahead of the show’s 60th anniversary in 2023. The series marked its 50th anniversary with a crossover episode, titled "Day of the Doctor", featuring then incumbent Doctor Matt Smith and his predecessor, David Tennant.

No word yet on who – if anyone – will be back for the landmark occasion. The Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, has returned, though – as part of Big Finish’s audio series The Ninth Doctor Adventures. The company has even recently released a clip of Nine in action for the first time since Eccleston departed the show after just one series in 2005.

While speaking to sister publication SFX Magazine, former Doctor Who head writer Russell T. Davies, with tongue firmly placed in cheek, said that It’s a Sin actor Olly Alexander would be a great pick to play the next Doctor.

"Oh stop it! This’ll just be all the headlines. You just want SFX headlines everywhere," Davies joked. "Yes, Olly would make a marvellous Doctor Who. You tart! You enormous tart! The trouble this causes!"

For now, all attention turns to the 13th Doctor’s last foray into time and space. Jodie Whittaker will be joined by usual companion Yas and newcomer Dan, played by John Bishop.

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Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.