Actress who played the first female Doctor will exit the BBC series after a trio of 2022 specials.

The BBC announced Thursday that Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker will leave the show after appearing in three specials to be screened in 2022. Showrunner Chris Chibnall is also departing the time travel series.

Doctor Who
Jodie Whittaker on BBC's "Doctor Who."
| Credit: Casey Crafford/BBC America/BBC Studios

"Jodie and I made a 'three series and out' pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast," Chibnall said in a statement. "So now our shift is done, and we're handing back the TARDIS keys. Jodie's magnificent, iconic Doctor has exceeded all our high expectations. She's been the gold standard leading actor, shouldering the responsibility of being the first female Doctor with style, strength, warmth, generosity and humor. She captured the public imagination and continues to inspire adoration around the world, as well as from everyone on the production. I can't imagine working with a more inspiring Doctor – so I'm not going to!"

"My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life," said Whittaker. "And I cannot thank Chris enough for entrusting me with his incredible stories. We knew that we wanted to ride this wave side by side and pass on the baton together. So here we are, weeks away from wrapping on the best job I have ever had. I don't think I'll ever be able to express what this role has given me. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I've learnt forever. I know change can be scary and none of us know what's out there. That's why we keep looking. Travel Hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly."

The show's next, six-episode season will air on BBC America later this year. The first of the three specials will transmit on New Year's Day 2022, with another later in spring 2022. Whittaker's final feature-length special, during which her Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate, will air in fall 2022 as part of the BBC's centenary celebrations.

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