Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker Was Tempted to Stay Put Past Series 13

Doctor Who is back on Halloween with Jodie Whittaker on her final run as the 13th Doctor. One 6-episode season this year, then 3 specials in 2022, then that's it. She's already filmed the regeneration scene, though she said she never met her replacement since the next Doctor hasn't been officially announced yet and thus was not on set. It's probably not much of a surprise that Whittaker said she thought about going back on her decision to leave and stay on as the Doctor.

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The hand of Jodie Whittaker in "Doctor Who: Flux", BBC

"Chris (Chibnall) and I always said we were going to do three series together, but then when you get to it, it's a very different thing," Whittaker told the Radio Times. "Sometimes it was like… 'Are we sticking to this decision?' There's part of me that could absolutely say, 'No, let's keep going! Let's go back on it!' But to give the fans the level that they deserve, there has to be some sacrifice. You have to know when you've done it."

Who can blame her? She seems to have had a lot of fun playing The Doctor. The 3-seasons limit is a modern unofficial rule for actors playing the Doctor, mostly founded on not wanting to be typecast and not wanting to be stuck playing the same role for too long. Tom Baker played the Doctor for the longest period, 7 series, before leaving exhausted and feeling undermined by the producer John Nathan-Turner.

David Tennant was tempted to stay on when incoming showrunner Steven Moffat asked him to consider continuing and previewed the plans he had for the show. Colin Baker was unceremoniously forced off the show when then BBC Controller Michael Grade, who hated the show, effectively fired him. Sylvester McCoy wanted to stay – Story Editor Andrew Cartmel had one more season planned for the 7th Doctor and Ace that would have ended with more revelations about the Doctor's mysterious origins and Ace (Sophie Aldred) becoming the first human to be inducted into the Timelord Academy on Gallifrey.

But like her fellow Doctors, this role will follow her for the rest of her life, which is no bad thing. As Catherine Tate, who played popular companion Donna Noble said, not completely jokingly, future convention appearances are a Doctor Who cast member's pension plan.

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About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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