It’s not exactly been a quiet week when it comes to Doctor Who news.
On Sunday (25th July), we heard the announcement that the upcoming thirteenth series would be taking the form of one serialised story, with Game of Thrones star Jacob Anderson set to join the cast as recurring character Vinder.
And then on Thursday came bigger news still: the confirmation that Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall would both be stepping down from the show at the end of the new series, after a trilogy of specials.
“Jodie and I made a ‘three series and out’ pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast,” Chibnall explained in a statement. “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,” he added. “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!”
Whittaker added, “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.”
Given the magnitude of the news, we’ve recorded a special extra episode of the RadioTimes.com Doctor Who podcast (above) in which we recorded our initial reactions to the shock news and discuss what it might mean for the future of the show – in series 13 and beyond.
Doctor Who returns to BBC One later this year. Find something to watch now with our full TV Guide.