Chibnall and Whitaker Departure Confirmed
It’s the news that many fans in Doctor Who fandom have been waiting for. Today, the BBC confirmed that both Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whitaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall will be departing Doctor Who in Fall 2022!
Whittaker will star in a new six-part series later this year, and three specials next year, before she exits. Chibnall, who appointed the actress to replace Peter Capaldi in the role, has been in charge of the BBC One series since 2017.
It has not yet been announced who will take over from Whittaker in the leading role. (Let the speculation begin!)
The 13th Doctor's first episode in October 2018 was watched by 11.5m viewers, but the show continued to hemorrhage viewers as this Doctor’s era wore on.
While certain members of the press, and the BBC themselves praised Whittaker's casting, a very large percentage of fans and critics have criticized the show's recent narrative direction. Newspapers, The Telegraph described recent episodes as "flat, worthy and woke, while The Sun reported viewers were left furious by the show's "unbearable political correctness". Fans frequently complained about the quality of the scripts, especially those written by Chibnall himself as, “weak, bland, incomprehensible, silly, and poor”.
Chibnall is currently writing and producing the next series of Doctor Who, which will air later this year. It will be followed by three specials, the first of which will be broadcast on New Year's Day 2022, with another later in spring 2022. Whittaker's final feature-length special, where the 13th Doctor will regenerate, will transmit in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC's Centenary celebrations.