Jodie Whittaker quits Doctor Who, as expected after Companions depart the show

; Date: Tue Jan 05 2021

Tags: Doctor Who

The typical Doctor Who pattern is that after a Departure of Companions, it's very likely The Doctor will depart shortly afterward. At the end of Revolution of the Daleks it was shown that not only had two of the Companions left the show, but a new Companion was joining. Two days ago (3-4 days after the airing of Revolution of the Daleks), the Mirror ran a rumor that Whittaker was leaving Doctor Who at the end of Season 13.

In ( The Mirror's article it's said that Whittaker has "told bosses she intends to stick to the traditional rule of leaving after three stints in the TARDIS, like the majority of her predecessors." Therefore, according to The Mirror, Whittaker is leaving the role of The Doctor at the end of the upcoming season, and therefore the BBC is gearing up for a regeneration and a New Doctor.

At this stage it's not certain that Whittaker is leaving Doctor Who. The news is an unverified single source rumor, that happens to fit the strong trend where actors playing The Doctor depart after three seasons. In this case all the news coverage is based on one source, an unverified story in The Mirror.

For example, at the end of the previous season there was a rumor that not only was Whittaker leaving the show, but so was Chibnall. Rumors are rumors and are not necessarily true.

I do have to agree with this comment on the Mirror article:

If I had my way, Jodie would stay and Chibnall would go. I'm sure he meant well but he has been a death knell for this show; just one weak script and bad idea after another. -- @Fudrucker

I haven't been happy with the show during Whittaker's seasons -- but it's not due to Whittaker's performance. In my mind it's the fault of the scripts rather than the actor. For example after the Timeless Child revelation I wrote several postings blasting the whole story line because it was such a bad idea.

Getting back to the rumor -- one detail makes this seem credible. ( Variety Magazine reached out to the BBC for comment, to get this reply:

“We won’t be commenting on any speculation around Jodie’s future on the show,” -- A BBC spokesperson replying to Variety

This is the kind of non-denial that suggests the rumor has truth. Maybe. Kind of.

Since it's likely there will be angry "I TOLD YOU SO" videos on YouTube saying that this is proof of Whittaker's inability to properly play The Doctor ... let's go over some facts, namely the average tenure of actors who play The Doctor.

Doctor Seasons Episodes
First 3 42+39+45
Second 3 43+40+44
Third 5 25+25+26+26+26
Fourth 7 20+26+26+26+26+20+28
Fifth 3 26+22+24 (plus 1 special, 20th anniversary)
Sixth 2 13+14
Seventh 3 14+14+14
Eighth 1-ish 1 episode plus a zillion audios
Ninth 1 13
Tenth 3 13+13+13 (plus specials)
Eleventh 3 13+13+13 (plus specials)
Twelfth 3 12+12+12 (plus specials)
Thirteenth 3? 10+10+8 (plus specials)

Source: Wikipedia

Overwhelmingly the trend has been that actors playing The Doctor to hold the title for three seasons. The big exception was Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor) who is widely regarded to have stayed in the role for too long.

We know that this rumor will cause a bunch of postings and YouTube videos returning to claims that Whittaker should never have been chosen, that she's been a disaster as The Doctor, and that the show is suffering because of her. With all due respect, such people can just stuff it. If Whittaker does depart at the end of this season, it will be in accord with the overall trend of previous Doctors.

In other words that whole line of reasoning is way off base.

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.