Peter Capaldi Stepping Down from 'Doctor Who'

Jeff Pfeiffer
Simon Ridgway/BBC America

Some fans—but maybe not some others— of the long-running, beloved, and iconic sci-fi classic Doctor Who were stunned Monday when the show's official Twitter feed announced that Peter Capaldi— the Twelfth Doctor—would be departing the series following the program's annual Christmas special later this year.

Capaldi's casting as the latest to play the time-traveling Doctor was announced in August 2013, and was an eagerly awaited event on social media. The actor was first seen as the Doctor in a cameo during a Doctor Who 50th anniversary special in 2013 called "The Day of the Doctor," before proceeding into the role regularly in the show's 2013 Christmas special, "The Time of the Doctor."

It's been tough going for Doctor Who fans in recent months, as they previously learned that head writer and executive producer Steven Moffatt (also one of the brains behind Sherlock) would be stepping down after this season, too. Capaldi's departure in the wake of Moffatt's may not even be much of a surprise to many.

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Today's tweet had a note of optimism to potentially sad fans, however, as Capaldi is quoted as hyping the cool stuff fans of the series can expect prior to his departure. "I'm not done yet!" Capaldi said.

So enjoy him while he lasts, Whovians. And then let the great guessing game of who will play the next Doctor begin! Will we finally see a female, and/or non-white, or even (gasp!) non-British Doctor? Unfortunately, we don't have a Tardis, so we'll have to wait for time to tell.

Doctor Who, Season 10 expected to premiere Spring 2017, BBC America