Jodie Whittaker “not allowed” to say how long she signed on for Doctor Who

The Thirteenth Doctor is keeping schtum about her future in the BBC sci-fi series

(BBC/Instagram, JG)

Could we say be saying goodbye to Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor just a few short episodes after we first meet her? Well, probably not – but that’s the question on some fans’ lips after Whittaker was unable to confirm how long she would be starring in Doctor Who.

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Whittaker had been speaking to journalist Chrissy Iley for the Sunday Times magazine; in a longer version of the interview on Iley’s blog Whittaker was asked how long she’d signed up to the BBC sci-fi series.

“I am not allowed to answer that,” she replied.

Now, this is almost certainly just a bit of traditional secrecy from the BBC – there wouldn’t be much jeopardy in a series finale if we knew the Doctor was still in the frame for another two years – but it’s not unheard of for Time Lords to only stick around for a short while before heading off to pastures new.

Just look at Whittaker’s old friend Christopher Eccleston, who’s recently been in the news a lot chatting about his short time on Doctor Who where he appeared in only 13 episodes as the Ninth Doctor.

Still, given Whittaker’s general enthusiasm for the role elsewhere in the interview it seems unlikely she’ll be hanging up her sonic screwdriver just yet, with the actor particularly struck by her trailblazing status as the first female incarnation of the Doctor.

It feels completely overwhelming; as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be,” Whittaker said.

“I went to the audition excited but I always come into the room with the attitude, ‘I sound like this, I look like this but believe me, I can do it’.

“I was going, ‘Please, please tell me, please.’  I had three meetings and a self-take and then they needed more scenes so I had to take another self-take and then a final meeting.

“It’s wonderful and overwhelming and I absolutely love it,” she concluded of the sci-fi series.

“As a family we didn’t watch it except at other people’s houses.  But I was much more aware of it when it came back with Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith.”

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Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this autumn