Jodie Whittaker leaves Doctor Who after three (most special) seasons on the TARDIS, continuing a tradition from the show’s modern era.
Jodie Whittaker is leaving Doctor who after Season 13 and a series of 2022 specials, meaning one tradition will continue while another is broken. Having regenerated in the TARDIS in 2017 to replace Peter Capaldi, Whittaker has continued in the role of the Thirteenth Doctor throughout full seasons of the show thus far, as well as a trio of New Year’s Day specials. Whittaker isn’t done yet, as he has nine more episodes left, but will then leave the show behind.
As announced on July 29, 2021, Whittaker is leaving Doctor who alongside showrunner Chris Chibnall, under whom he joined the show in the first place. The show’s Chibnall era has been divisive in its approach to canon and continuity, but Whittaker’s version of The Doctor has generally been well received, and rightly so. Of course, it’s an accepted part of the job description that playing the Doctor can’t last forever, but Whittaker’s departure follows a curious trend for actors taking on the role of the Time Lord.
Specifically, Whittaker will leave Doctor who after three seasons, which is the same number that all other modern Who actors have lasted, with the exception of Christopher Eccleston (who was left with only one). Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi had three full seasons in Doctor who along with the usual seasonal specials, while David Tennant, like Whittaker, received a number of additional specials to give him a proper send-off. However, this doesn’t just apply to modern actors, such as various Classic Who stars, including William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Peter Davison, and Sylvester McCoy. There are several reasons for each game, but it means there are enough to make it seem like some kind of rule, and one that Whittaker adheres to.
It’s easy to see why three is the magic number for Doctor who actors. Again, there were varying reasons (Hartnell left due to health concerns, for example), but generally speaking, three seasons give the current occupant of the TARDIS a full shot, without risking the show becoming too much. obsolete, as regeneration is a critical part. of the character of the Doctor. It also makes sense from an actor’s point of view: Doctor who It is a demanding program, physically, mentally, and emotionally, and leaves little room to take on other parts, so a three-year period is likely enough for many to get the full experience and then feel ready to move on. It allows the actor to retire and the show to cool off once more.
Interestingly, however, Whittaker’s departure also occurs alongside showrunner Chris Chibnall, breaking the tradition of the modern. Doctor who it was. Russell T. Davies continued after Eccleston’s departure, instead of joining David Tennant in 2010. Likewise, Steven Moffat stayed after his first Doctor, Matt Smith, left, and only said goodbye alongside Peter Capaldi. . Chibnall and Whittaker, then, are the first showrunner / actor combination in Doctor who since its revival in 2005 to get in and out of the show at the same time, which probably speaks to their close working relationship, as well as the general need for something entirely new after season 13 and the specials.
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