'Doctor Who': Is Jodie Whittaker Really Quitting After 3 Seasons?

Jodie Whittaker could soon be leaving Doctor Who according to an article from British newspaper The Mirror, which reported that she was set to leave after three seasons—the average length of a stint as The Doctor.

Per this article, the actor, the first woman to play the role, is keen to take on other roles after nearly five years in the TARDIS.

However, this report has not been confirmed by the BBC. Asked by Digital Spy whether Whittaker was leaving the show, a BBC spokesperson said, "We won't be commenting on any speculation around Jodie's future on the show."

This, of course, is not the denial that many Whittaker fans may have been hoping for, lending credence to the idea that the actor may be on the way out.

Then again, there have been false reports in the past that the actor's time as the Time Lord is coming to an end. In 2019, rumors swirled that Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall were to leave the show. However, then Chibnall issued a very strong denial, telling press on set, "It's 100% grade-A... shall I say nonsense, or shall I say bulls***?" (per Radio Times).

Speaking to Newsweek, Chibnall said, "Somebody told me about six weeks after it happened. You just have to laugh."

The same rumors had previously circulated in 2018, before it emerged that these reports had been down to one bad day on set.

Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who
Jodie Whittaker in "Doctor Who" Season 12. The actor is rumored to be leaving after Season 13. BBC

Though these new reports say that Whittaker is leaving Doctor Who, she is not quite done in the TARDIS yet. It is said that the actor will leave at the end of the upcoming Season 13, whose eight episodes will air on the BBC in fall 2021. Chibnall, meanwhile, is expected to stay on as showrunner and is currently part of the process of finding a new actor to play the beloved sci-role.

So far, six of the 13 actors who have played the main versions of the character have done so for three seasons—William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Peter Davidson, Sylvester McCoy, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi. David Tennant, meanwhile, played the role for three seasons plus a set of four specials.

Among the names rumored to be replacing Whittaker are Death in Paradise's Kris Marshall, Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Gavin and Stacey's Joanna Page—though it should be noted that, like James Bond casting rumors, becoming a bookies' favorite is almost a sure sign that you will not be cast in the role.

If Whittaker does leave this year, she will be the third person to leave the TARDIS crew. In the New Year's Day special "Revolution of the Daleks," Ryan and Graham actors Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh left the show, meaning that as it stands the cast is lead by just Whittaker and Yaz actor Mandip Gill.

The BBC, however, has confirmed that British comedian John Bishop will join the show in the fall as new companion Dan.

Doctor Who Season 13 is coming soon to BBC.