Despite concerns surrounding Jodie Whittaker’s participation as The Doctor on the longest running science fiction television series ever, she is returning in the role for a second year in 2019.
The BBC has been remarkably tight-lipped about the show and what’s been going on with production and casting decisions, leading to a certain amount of hysteria in headlines as “Jodie Whittaker And Chris Chibnall Rumored To Leave Doctor Who In 2019“, and “Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker, Chris Chibnall Rumored to Exit in 2019“. BBC promotions department take note: in absence of any hard information, fans and fan media will apparently be inclined to make up their own.
Fortunately the BBC did let Ms. Whittaker make an official statement to leading media press, in this case to the Hollywood Reporter: “I really can’t wait to step back in and get to work again,” Whittaker told them. “It’s such an incredible role. It’s been an extraordinary journey so far and I’m not quite ready to hand it over yet.”
Whittaker made quite a splash as the first female Doctor in the show’s 55-year history, and has been joyously received by critics and fans alike. The opening episode of season 11, The Woman Who Fell to Earth, earned 10.9 million viewers in the U.K. after you add in all the non-TV viewing. This made this season’s launch the biggest one for the show since Eccleston’s first episode (Christopher Eccleston’s Rose got 10.8 million, when non-TV viewing was far less of a phenomenon).
The 11th season of Doctor Who draws to a close on Sunday, with the show returning for a New Year’s Day special. Season 12 is expected to start shooting in early 2019.
Fan press did get one important thing right, though: the episodes being produced will not actually air until 2020. We question why the BBC thinks it’s a good idea to take their most valuable property and produce so little of it that there are actually full-year gaps between series.
Doctor Who is a BBC Studios production for BBC One and a BBC America co-production.