Doctor Who Season 13 has been filming for months now, but much of the sci-fi series' recent headlines have focused on behind-the-scenes reports as opposed to storyline-centric speculation. Several rumors have been floating around regarding Jodie Whittaker's alleged exit following Season 13, and now it would appear Doctor Who's creative team has found the actor who may replace Whittaker once she has officially stepped down. If this latest update is to be believed, It's a Sin star Olly Alexander is not only in the general running for the role, but he's allegedly on the cusp of signing the dotted line.
On the heels of news that Jodie Whittaker's final episodes of Doctor Who will be specials meant to set up her regeneration between seasons, The Sun has reported that It's A Sin star Olly Alexander is hammering out the details with the BBC to become the next Doctor. The report cites an insider who says the alleged official news, as it were, is not that far off from being publicized. Read the quote, and continue for some details about why this may not be the most legit update.
Olly is on the verge of being announced as the new Doctor. Negotiations are at an advanced stage. He’s been heavily promoted for the role by Russell — who he’s worked closely with on other projects. Russell was impressed with his work and felt he was a great fit for the Doctor. It’s definitely happening, he’s just had to keep quiet about it while negotiations were finalised.
On the surface, there's a lot of things that would make sense here. Olly Alexander was the star of the recently acclaimed miniseries It's A Sin, which created by former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies. Davies was showrunner when Chris Chibnall was on Doctor Who as a writer, and the two have worked together quite often. So it's indeed possible that Davies does have Chibnall's ear in that respect, but I am a bit skeptical that Davies' personal promotion alone would automatically scoot Alexander through the door to be the next Doctor.
It's also worth noting that Olly Alexander's name wasn't part of Doctor Who conversations until he got a random endorsement from franchise alum John Barrowman ahead of the latter's recently revived issues. After Barrowman's statement, rumors began to slowly emerge putting Alexander in the central role, which could very well be where all these reports were first sparked. Alexander himself addressed the rumors back in March, stating that Doctor Who was a wonderful show but remaining coy about whether he was actually involved.
While it's possible this report is 100% accurate, with Olly Alexander being set up as the next Doctor for Doctor Who, let's consider a couple of things. The first being that neither the BBC nor anyone on board with Doctor Who has officially announced that Jodie Whittaker will exit the role after Season 13. While that particular rumor does seem to be based in reality, it would be very odd for Whittaker's replacement to be announced before it's confirmed that she's leaving the series.
Another detail to note is that the BBC is generally bad at keeping secrets regarding Doctor Who, but the identity of the "next Doctor" typically isn't one of them, at least this early in the process. Casting reports this far out from a season premiere are almost always wrong, and the more accurate reports don't tend to surface until days before official announcements are made. We don't even have an official date for Season 13's premiere yet, so it feels like any concrete announcement concerning Jodie Whittaker's future status with the show is still a ways off.
Finally, even if there were advanced talks for Olly Alexander to take over as the next regeneration of the Doctor, one would think the earliest that could happen is 2023, which provides for more than enough time for other actors and actresses to enter the replacement conversation. Ultimately, I think it's best to wait and see what is officially announced. Alexander's current schedule does look clear for the coming years, despite his well-regarded It's a Sin performance, but who knows what projects he could get tied up in between now and the end of the year?
As mentioned, Doctor Who Season 13 is still in the process of filming. Those looking to watch episodes anyway can stream the series on HBO Max, but not before reading up on our favorite episodes!