By Clark Collis
Updated January 30, 2017 at 06:19 PM EST

Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi has announced that his upcoming third season on the long-running time-travel series will also be his final one.

“The big thing about it for me is that it will be my last,” the Scottish actor said on BBC Radio 2 earlier on Monday. “This will be the end for me. I feel sad. I love Doctor Who. It’s a fantastic program to work on and it’s been a huge pleasure to work with a family, really. I can’t praise the people I’ve worked with more highly. But I’ve always been somebody that did a lot of different things. I’ve never done one job for three years. This is the first time I’ve done this and I feel that it’s time for me to move on to different challenges.”

Capaldi said that he had been asked to stay on and continue in the role after the end of his current contract but declined to do so. “I just thought, I love this, but I don’t know how long I can do it and give it my best,” he said. “And if I’m not giving it my best, I don’t want to do it. I want to move on to other challenges.”

Capaldi revealed that he was still filming the current series and had yet to shoot the scene in which his Doctor — a two-hearted alien from the fictional planet of Gallifrey — would begin the process of “regenerating” into one played by another. He also said that the last time fans would see him as the Doctor would be “Christmas ’17,” which suggests that a new Doctor will be introduced during this year’s special Christmas episode.

Speaking about the upcoming season Capaldi added, “We’re doing epic stuff! I’m still not done yet.” The new season of Doctor Who, the first to costar Pearl Mackie as the Doctor’s new “companion” Bill, is set to premiere this spring.

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