CHRIS CHIBNALL AND JODIE WHITTAKER TO LEAVE DOCTOR WHO IN A TRIO OF SPECIALS
CHRIS CHIBNALL AND JODIE WHITTAKER TO LEAVE DOCTOR WHO IN A TRIO OF SPECIALS, CULMINATING IN AN EPIC BLOCKBUSTER SPECIAL TO AIR IN FALL 2022, AS PART OF THE BBC’S CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
New York – July 29, 2021 – Having been in charge of the TARDIS since filming for the Thirteenth Doctor began in 2017, Showrunner Chris Chibnall and the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, have confirmed they will be moving on from the most famous police box on Earth – and the universe.
With a six-part season announced for the fall, and two specials already planned for 2022, BBC One has now asked for an additional final feature length adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor, to form a trio of specials for 2022, before the Doctor regenerates once more.
After taking the helm of the show, Chris Chibnall made the ground-breaking decision to cast Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor. He also brought in ‘the fam’ of Tosin Cole (Ryan), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and Bradley Walsh (Graham), and cast the acclaimed Sacha Dhawan as the latest incarnation of The Master, plus Jo Martin as the mysterious Fugitive Doctor, adding new characters, layers and twists to the mythology of the show.
Episodes such as ‘Rosa’, ‘Demons of the Punjab’ and ‘Spyfall’ have thrilled audiences across the globe garnering critical acclaim and award recognition, including two BAFTA Must See Moment nominations, along with multiple National Television Award, BAFTA Cymru, TV Choice, Screen Nation, Hugo, Saturn and Critics Choice nominations. Under Chris’ tenure, the series has been awarded the Visionary Awards TV Show of the Year, the Canadian Rockie Award from the BANFF Television Festival for best sci-fi and genre series, while Mandip Gill and Vinay Patel were recognized with wins from the Eastern Eye Awards. The 2020 series won Best Science Fiction Show voted for by readers at Radio Times.com, beating out competition from The Mandalorian, Lucifer and The Boys, as well as winning both Best Moment and Most Incredible Twist from the Digital Spy Reader Awards 2020, for ‘Fugitive Of The Judoon’ and ‘Ascension Of The Cybermen’. In 2019, the entire current cast and crew were awarded Honorary Doctorates by Sheffield Hallam University for their work on the show.
As the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker stepped aboard the TARDIS to begin filming in 2017. As the first woman to play the iconic role, Jodie has thrilled audiences with her portrayal of the Time Lord, winning the hearts of Doctor Who fans across the globe. Jodie’s multi-layered, warm, funny and inspiring depiction of the Doctor not only created a first in Doctor Who history, but in 2020, Jodie was voted 2nd Most Popular Doctor of all time, coming within a whisker of her friend David Tennant, in a poll of more than 50,000 fans for Radio Times.
Chris Chibnall says “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, and 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 humour. She captured the public imagination and continues to inspire adoration around the world, as well as from everyone on the production. I can’t imagine working with a more inspiring Doctor – so I’m not going to!
“For me, leading this exceptional team has been unrivalled creative fun, and one of the great joys of my career. I’m so proud of the people we’ve worked with and the stories we’ve told. To finish our time on the show with an additional Special, after the pandemic changed and challenged our production plans, is a lovely bonus. It’s great that the climax of the Thirteenth Doctor’s story will be at the heart(s) of the BBC’s centenary celebrations.
“I wish our successors – whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose – as much fun as we’ve had. They’re in for a treat!”
Jodie Whittaker adds: “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. My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life. And I cannot thank Chris enough for entrusting me with his incredible stories. We knew that we wanted to ride this wave side by side and pass on the baton together. So here we are, weeks away from wrapping on the best job I have ever had. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express what this role has given me. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I’ve learnt forever.
“I know change can be scary and none of us know what’s out there. That’s why we keep looking. Travel Hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly.”
Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, said: “Over the last four years Chris and Jodie have made Doctor Who history and their time on the show is indelibly marked on our memories. From Rosa Parks to Ascension of the Cybermen, Chris and Jodie have given Doctor Who some of its most life-affirming and tear-jerking moments to date and we are beyond excited to see what they have in store for us in the new series this Autumn. Jodie’s final adventure to mark the BBC’s Centenary in 2022 is set to be a Doctor Who Special to remember. I’d like to thank them both for their incredible work on the show.”
Blake Callaway, GM of BBC AMERICA, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to have worked with Chris and Jodie as they ushered in a new era of the Doctor Who franchise, breaking new ground with one of TV’s most iconic heroes and bringing longstanding fans, and new viewers alike, three remarkable seasons. We’re very proud to be a part of a series that, fifty-seven years later, continues to reinvent itself, surprise and delight fans around the world.”
Doctor Who is a BBC Studios production for BBC One and a BBC AMERICA co-production. BBC Studios are the international distributors for Doctor Who.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Chris is currently writing and producing the thirteenth series of Doctor Who, consisting of six episodes which will air later this year. It will be followed by three Specials the first of which will transmit on New Year’s Day 2022, with another later in spring 2022. Jodie’s final feature-length Special, where the Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate, will transmit in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.
Chris Chibnall took over as Showrunner in 2017. Across his and Jodie’s time on the show, a Who’s Who of stars from stage and screen have guest starred, including Alan Cumming, Goran Visnjic, Charlotte Ritchie, Dame Harriet Walter, Mark Addy, Sir Lenny Henry, Phyllis Logan, Stephen Fry, Nikesh Patel, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Siobhan Finneran, Shobna Gulati, and Chris Noth.
Matt Strevens, Executive Producer will also be leaving the TARDIS when all Special episodes are complete. Matt has worked alongside Chris since the beginning of Chris tenure in 2017.
The most recent story, Revolution Of The Daleks was the BBC’s most watched show of New Year’s Day 2021, based on 7 day consolidated figures.
“Spyfall Part One” was one of the most watched episodes of any drama among the 16-34 demographic in the calendar year 2020
Doctor Who has been in production with Jodie at the TARDIS helm, and filming under strict COVID protocols, since October 2020. Alongside Jodie, Mandip Gill reprises her role as Yaz.
John Bishop will be making his debut as Dan Lewis in series 13, which will air this autumn on BBC One. Jacob Anderson has also been confirmed as appearing in a recurring role as Vinder.
With over a year of adventures to come, the Thirteenth Doctor still has plenty in store for fans. We will announce plans for the new generation of Doctor Who in due course – watch this space!
About Doctor Who
Doctor Who, produced and distributed by BBC Studios, is one of the longest running series in the world, spanning 57 years and winning over 100 awards. This British brand has a huge global following, with over 10 million fans across social platforms and over 200 million video views on Facebook and YouTube. Doctor Who has fans in over 239 territories and has been honoured by Guinness World Records as the longest running science-fiction series in the world. Doctor Who reached a third of the UK population during Series 12, is BBC America’s number 1 series and is a top 20 drama on ABC in Australia.
Doctor Who has partners spanning the consumer products, publishing, audio, live events, gaming and apparel industries, having sold over four million Sonic Screwdrivers, twelve million action figures, eighteen million DVDs and one million tickets to live events.
About BBC Studios
BBC Studios, a global content company with bold British creativity at its heart, is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group, supporting the licence fee and enhancing programmes for UK audiences. Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen and beyond, its activities span content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries across both its own productions, and programmes and formats made by high-quality UK independents. Award-winning British programmes made by the business are internationally recognised across a broad range of genres and specialisms, with brands like Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing with the Stars, Top Gear, Doctor Who and Bluey. BBC Studios has offices in over 20 markets globally, including ten production bases in the UK and production bases or partnerships in a further seven countries around the world. The company, which ordinarily makes around 2000 hours of content a year for both the BBC and third parties including Apple, Netflix and Migu, is a champion for British creativity around the world. It is also a committed partner for the UK’s independent sector through a mix of equity partnerships, content investment and international distribution for programme titles.
About BBC AMERICA
BBC AMERICA is a hub of innovative, culturally contagious programming including the Peabody Award-winning series Killing Eve starring Golden Globe® and SAG® Award-winner Sandra Oh and Emmy® Award-winner Jodie Comer. The network is the definitive television home and co-producer of the most iconic natural history series including Planet Earth II, Blue Planet II, Dynasties, Seven Worlds, One Planet and upcoming Meerkat Manor, Eden (w/t), Frozen Planet II and Planet Earth III. BBCA transforms every Saturday into Wonderstruck, a weekly 24-hour destination for wildlife and wonder. A joint venture between AMC Networks and BBC Studios (the commercial arm of the BBC), BBCA’s influential shows such as Doctor Who, Orphan Black, and Luther, have attracted critical acclaim and earned Emmy® Awards, Golden Globes®, Peabody Awards, Critics’ Choice Awards, NAACP Image Awards, TCA Awards and more. New programming coming this fall and winter includes Top Gear, Animal Babies, The Graham Norton Show, CripTales, Doctor Who: The Faceless Ones animated special, Baby Chimps Rescue, Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks, The Watch and more. BBCA is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile.