Jodie Whittaker talks 'emotional' final day of shooting Doctor Who
Fans of Doctor Who can look forward to seeing Jodie Whittaker portray the titular character in three special new episodes, starting with Saturday night's "Eve of the Daleks," before the Doctor "regenerates" and she hands off the part to another, as yet unannounced, actor. But Whittaker actually wrapped her role on the time-travel show back in October. So what was it like filming her final day as the two-hearted alien?
"I've shot my version of regen, and it was singularly the most emotional day on set I think I've ever had," says Whittaker. "It's a really bizarre feeling, because it's the best time I've ever had on a job, and I made the decision to leave it, so it's a really strange thing to do to yourself. It feels like you're giving yourself stitches — like, 'Why have you done it?' But… it felt right."
She continues, "It was a wonderfully-celebratory-slash-grief-ridden day that I could spend with the family that I'd made. I suppose the best thing about it is that the episodes are still on. So until they're off, I don't have to really get my head around the fact that it's not my part!"
The other consolation? Past actors who've played the Doctor have a habit of returning to reprise the role, as David Tennant did for the show's 50th anniversary special in 2013. Whittaker says the BBC's recent decision to bring back former executive producer Russell T. Davies as the series' next showrunner means that she, too, may be back one day.
"I'm very lucky he allowed me to have his number," the British actress says of Davies with a laugh. "For all the people to pass the baton to, I mean it's an absolute honor and joy. It's certainly in the safest and most exciting hands, and what a wonderful time for the show. Once you're in [Doctor Who] you never want to leave. I suppose it gave me a bit of hope — like, 'Oh, when you do leave, it doesn't necessarily mean you leave forever.'"
The "Eve of the Daleks" New Year's special premieres at 8 p.m. ET/PT tonight on BBC America. You can watch Doctor Who on HBO MAX, Philo, BBC America (Via Cable/Satellite Provider), and more options. Catch the episode's trailer below.
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