Regeneration Incoming: Jodie Whittaker Leaving Doctor Who

Jul 30, 2021

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The moment that many fans of Doctor Who have been waiting for has finally arrived. The BBC announced that showrunner Chris Chibnall and 13th Doctor Jodie Whittaker leaving Doctor Who after this season to pursue new adventures in time and space.

“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, we’re handing back the Tardis keys.

“Jodie’s magnificent, iconic Doctor has exceeded all our high expectations. She’s been the gold-standard leading actor, shouldering the responsibility of being the first female Doctor with style, strength, warmth, generosity, and humor.”

Chris Chibnall

This news is bittersweet for some fans such as myself, who have loved the new Doctor since she first appeared on our screens, melting spoons into her new Sonic Screwdriver. I will not be missing showrunner Chris Chibnall, though; his stories were too convoluted to follow even for me! The duo’s final episode will air in Autumn of 2022 in a trilogy event.

Jodie Whittaker leaving Doctor Who at the end of this season

“…a time and a place to address these issues. I do believe Doctor Who should be one of those places.”

Jodie Whittaker first became the Doctor when she replaced Peter Capaldi in July 2017, and Chris Chibnall took the helm from Steven Moffat.

“In 2017, I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes. I could not have guessed the brilliant adventures, worlds, and wonders I was to see in them. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I’ve learned forever.”

Jodie Whittaker

Their first season on the show centered mostly on moral causes. The usual MO of Doctor Who was to add monsters within a world that others made around us. We are the only moral species attempting to survive in many cases.

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I know much of new Who has been good at shining a mirror back at the viewer when the moment was right. However, we went from “Monster of the Week” with Moffett to the “Cause of the Week” with Chibnall. No longer the hero constrained by our surroundings, we are often the villain that has created the problem with our ignorance and greed.

There is a time and a place to address these issues. I do believe Doctor Who should be one of those places. The only thing is the pacing. Chibnall didn’t let the viewer breathe his first season. Between heartbreak and anger as a whole, there was Jodie’s 13th Doctor marching on as the only comedic relief.

“He did not shy away from this monumental task and made history in the process.”

We enter their second season together with a reveal of true Who fashion, followed by convoluted storylines and plot hooks that went nowhere. I don’t think Chibnall is a lousy writer. His stories in Doctor Who have been exceptional if you look at them one at a time.

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Each one is a story that tries to address some form of injustice or appease the fandom. My issue is when you string them all together. They don’t make for a season of viewing. They are lone episodes strung together in a “wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey” way that this Whovian couldn’t enjoy. I didn’t crave the next episode. Sometimes, new episodes would go unwatched for days.

I will miss her but understand why Jodie Whittaker is leaving Doctor Who.

So, as optimistic as I was when Chibnall was appointed showrunner, I am now happy to see that he is leaving Doctor Who and can continue to cut his teeth as showrunner somewhere else. As for Jodie, what can I say? I will miss her antics. Doctors grow attached to their showrunners, but I wish this time it could be different. I would have loved to see where she could take the role under a master.

As hard of a time as I’ve given Chibnall, he did not have an easy job handed to him. He did not shy away from this monumental task and made history in the process. He will be forever the one brave enough to give the keys of the Tardis to a woman, and she pulled it off beautifully. I can’t wait to see who is next up for my favorite series.

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