BBC Boss Promises ‘Radical’ Change for ‘Doctor Who’ After Jodie Whittaker Exits

Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, Gia Re, Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who Season 12
Ben Blackall / ©BBC-America / Courtesy Everett Collection

Doctor Who will be getting a “radical” regeneration when the Thirteenth Doctor departs the TARDIS in 2022.

In July, it was confirmed that Jodie Whittaker (who plays the current Doctor) and current showrunner Chris Chibnall are leaving the popular sci-fi series next year. This will provide the creative team an opportunity to shake up the series, and, according to a BBC Director, big changes are afoot.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Wednesday, BBC’s Director of Drama Piers Wenger said, “As with any change of Doctor and showrunner, we’ll be radical […] Change is ahead.”

It is not yet known who will step into Whittaker’s shoes or take over Chibnall’s role as showrunner. The Broadchurch writer has said that he is not involved in the decision process regarding his replacement, stating that picking his successor is “way above [his] pay grade.”

Doctor Who‘s six-episode 13th season is slated to premiere in late 2021, and some changes are already expected. While Chibnall’s era of the show has been marked by a more episodic, ‘monster-of-the-week’ approach, the departing showrunner has promised one long continuous story for the upcoming season.

“It’s definitely the most ambitious thing we’ve done since we’ve been on the series,” Chibnall teased at the San Diego Comic-Con @ Home panel earlier this year.

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Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor will be regenerating in a special airing in the fall of 2022.

On her departure, Whittaker said in a statement, “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.”

Doctor Who, Season 13, TBA, BBC America