Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker Recalls Having Doubts About Leaving The Role While Shooting Her Final Season

The Doctor using her sonic screwdriver
(Image credit: BBC)

If you’re familiar at all with the BBC’s long-running, time-traveling series Doctor Who, then you are certainly used to seeing different faces portray the titular Time Lord. Jodie Whittaker, the current Doctor and the first female star to take on the role, announced earlier this year that Season 13 and the following three specials will end her run as the Doctor. While the decision to leave after three seasons was one apparently made a while back, Whittaker recently revealed that she had doubts about leaving he role behind.

The actress joined the storied franchise at the same time as writer Chris Chibnall, and, according to Entertainment Weekly, the two apparently had a pact to have a three-season run together and be done with the series. True to their pact, the two are exiting the series at the same time after Season 13 finishes up, but Whittaker seemingly does so with some hesitation. Here’s what the actress says when speaking about the uncertainty she felt in leaving the iconic series:

There was a point where I was definitely like, 'Uhh, I don't know.' We started this [season] and I was like, 'I don't know if I'm going to be able to commit to this decision.' Wonderfully, going into it, it didn't feel like either of us were being held to our own conversation. It was still very much, between me and him, a very active conversation.

Taking on the lead role of Doctor Who is a major undertaking. It's a huge responsibility, especially considering how important it is to British culture. At the same time, it's also not a job that you take thinking you'll hold on to if forever. According to Jodie Whittaker, this was something that she had to realize for herself while working on her final season. Here it is in her own words:

But at the point when you're filming and you go, 'Right, what are we doing?,' there was just something about it that was like, 'I think it is the right time.' I know at some point there will be another Doctor, and I feel I can wholeheartedly give them this, through tears, and go, 'Aww, mate, you lucky f---er, you are being given an absolute pearl.' I want people to know that I really did fully throw myself into it and give it all I've got so that I've not shortchanged anyone.

While it’s a little bittersweet to see The Doctor undergo another regeneration, each version of the character brings new life to the series and ensures the story keeps getting told in fresh ways. Jodie Whittaker’s time as the Time Lord isn’t over yet, though, and you can watch her in Season 13 of Doctor Who, as the season premieres this Sunday, October 31.

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.