BBC confirms Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall leaving Doctor Who at end of 2022

; Date: Thu Nov 18 2021

Tags: Doctor Who

In September, it was announced Russell T. Davies would be returning to Doctor Who as the Show Runner, and that both Chris Chibnall and Jodi Whittaker were leaving Doctor Who, with RTD taking over for the 60th Anniversary special. Reading between the lines told us it was likely the last Chibnall/Whittaker episode would be in the Fall of 2022. Today, the BBC made an announcement about this.

Who knew that the BBC was cool enough to post a Twitter Thread, and to post an announcement like this on Twitter? In any case, it was useful for the BBC to verify the plainly obvious sequence of events in the transfer from Chibnall/Whittaker to RTD and the new Doctor. I doubt many people are surprised by the announcement, since it was so obvious.

Before we analyze this, let's show the tweets.

Why did the BBC bother to announce this? I figured this schedule out on my own. If you like to refer back, see this: Oh my god YES, RTD is back as Doctor Who Show Runner

Basically, it was already known that

  • Russell T. Davies was to return starting on November 23, 2023, which is going to be the date of the 60th anniversary special. We know this date for certain, because November 23, 1963 was the origin date, making November 23 each year the Doctor Who anniversary date.
  • The 2021 season is six episodes, ending in early December.
  • During 2022 there will be three episodes, with the first on January 1, 2022. With a year of specials, it's likely one will be in the Spring, the other in the Fall

Hence, by the powers of deduction, and nothing to do with the Shadow Proclamation, I discerned a huge likelihood that Jodi Whittaker's final episode would be in the Fall of 2022. Further, that episode would end with the regeneration scene.

This made sense, and now the BBC has confirmed this schedule.

And, given that it'll be her final episode, they want Jodi Whittaker to go out with a bang, so they're giving her an epic final episode.

Is anybody surprised? I'm not surprised.

There are some remaining questions to consider.

  1. Who will be the next Doctor after Whittaker?
  2. When will this be announced?
  3. Will there be any episodes in early 2023 or will there be a gap until November 23, 2023? Will there be no holiday special on January 1, 2023?

Oh, that's an interesting thought of a possibility. Suppose they have Whittaker's final episode on November 23, 2022, and the new Doctor starts on November 23, 2023. But, they go ahead and have a Doctor Who special on January 1, 2023. But since The Doctor is regenerating, and there's no officially started Doctor as yet, they could have a Doctor Who episode that does not have The Doctor playing in it.

For example - the Companions could hold an adventure doing things in the "What Would The Doctor Do" frame of mind. Big Finish does a lot of this with The Companion Chronicles series.

One way to do this is - at the end of Whittaker's final episode, the TARDIS disappears on its own, with the Companions outside the TARDIS, and the Doctor inside. That leaves the Companions on their own somewhere, wondering what to do with the situation they're in. That could lead into the story that RTD puts together for November 23, 2023. That episode would start with the TARDIS suddenly reappearing to the Companions, the Doctor is fully regenerated and none of the regeneration process happened on screen, and maybe the Companions are not aware of the regeneration process, so they have to process not only the return of the TARDIS but the fact that The Doctor has a different face.

As for when will the BBC show who the new Doctor will be: They're in no rush to say anything. They could leave it as a surprise for the ending of the episode where Whittaker regenerates.

But, it is unlikely the BBC would have what amounts to a Companion Chronicles episode for televised Doctor Who. So.. we'll just have to wait and see what they do.

Links to the tweets





About the Author(s)

( David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.