The news had already been hinted at, but the BBC made it official last week: Jodie Whittaker, the first female actor to play The Doctor, will be handing over her sonic screwdriver to a new incarnation of doctor at the end of her third season. Exiting along side her is showrunner Chris Chibnall, who said in an interview with the BBC, that he and Whittaker made a pact to do three seasons before handing the reins to a new creative team and cast.
Whittaker, who was cast by Chibnall, is the franchise’s first female doctor, a choice that ruffled a great many feathers in 2017. But as audiences watched the character development and story arcs, the negative voices were drowned by respect and adulation. Whittaker’s Doctor was recently ranked as the second favorite doctor in a Radio Times poll in 2020.
Chibnall’s story arcs opened the door, not just for Whittaker as a female, but for additional doctors of any race or gender, as fans learned about the creation of Time Lords, adding to the mythology of Gallifrey. Chibnall also introduced a Fugitive Doctor, played with great energy by Jo Martin, a Black actress.
The third and final season of Whittaker’s doctor will comprise a six-part series for the fall of 2021, plus two specials and a “final feature-length adventure” in 2022 to close out the 13th doctor’s era. Last season, t
he show bid farewell to two companions last season, grandfather and grandson duo Graham and Ryan (Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole), leaving companion Yaz (Mandip Gill)…and Dan? John Bishop makes his debut as a companion.
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