It’s fair to say that Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who debut was a bit of a triumph, with her first episode watched by 8.2 million people on the night and fans warming to her new Doctor immediately.
And while she’s only just started in the role, we’re already starting to wonder how long we’ll get to enjoy her Doctor on our screens. Will she be one series and out, like Christopher Eccleston, or stick around for a few years like the more recent Doctors? Or could she even do a Tom Baker and stay in the role for seven years?
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Well, now Whittaker might have given us our first clue about how long she intends to stay in the role thanks to a new interview for Bustle, where the prospect of her future in the Tardis was brought up.
“It seems like such a long time off, that sense of not doing it,” Whittaker said, suggesting that we’ll have a decent amount of time to follow her Doctor’s adventures.
"But the thing that was so brilliant about getting the part, and something I know because I know [David Tennant], is that once you’re in the family, you’re never out.
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“I can be 80 years old and referred to as 'the Doctor' by somebody, and to know that you’re always welcome in that world is extraordinary."
It’s a good point – even when a Doctor leaves Doctor Who, they’re still sort of the Doctor forever. And based on Whittaker’s comments elsewhere in the interview, it seems like she won’t be tired of playing the two-hearted alien any time soon.
"The Doctor, particularly the way [new showrunner Chris Chibnall] has written, is so full of hope and has that amazing ability to continually learn even with this extraordinary hindsight," she said.
"And that’s a life lesson, to never feel like you know the answer. And I think as adults we can often prejudge a scenario... [we're] sometimes closed off to the openness of what could happen, and I think that’s the opposite of the Doctor.
“That’s an extraordinary thing to play,” she concluded.
Fingers crossed she’ll get to play it for a while yet.
Doctor Who continues on BBC1 on Sundays