Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker has confirmed she will be leaving the sci-fi drama next year, along with showrunner Chris Chibnall.
Both star and showrunner will bow out following a six-part series set to air later in 2021, two specials already planned for 2022, plus one final feature-length adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor, which will also mark the BBC’s centenary next year.
Jodie Whittaker, 39, took over the TARDIS in 2017 as the first female Doctor, breaking a major barrier for the long-running show.
The next Doctor is yet to be announced but many Whovians are crying out for another trailblazer: the first openly LGBT+ Time Lord in the TARDIS. Here are just a few stars we’d like to see take over.
Sharon D Clarke
Sharon D. Blake (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)
Yes, stage legend Sharon D Clarke has already appeared in Doctor Who (as Graham’s late wife Grace). But that didn’t stop Capaldi, who guest-starred in 2008’s “The Fires of Pompeii”, did it?
The owner of three Olivier Awards, Clarke is as seasoned an actor as they come, and according to the Guardian’s chief theatre critic Arifa Akbar, “emanates personality in every role she plays”.
Rebecca Root. (Sam Irons)
Rebecca Root joined the Whoniverse in 2020 as Tania, a companion to Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor, in a Doctor Who audio drama.
She became the first trans companion in the series history, but at the time Root said she had set her sights even further.
“I don’t think it’s any secret in the media world that I would love to have a chance to play the Doctor myself,” she admitted to PinkNews.
“Certainly before Jodie Whittaker took over I was hinting very heavily to showrunners that I wanted a stab at that role.
“Never say never though, I’d still like a shot at the TV version, but suffice it to say that being a part of the inner circle of the TARDIS crew is an honour and a treat.”
Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty)
The acting great would be the oldest Doctor to take over the TARDIS – but frankly, it’s a crime this hasn’t happened already.
T’Nia Miller (Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)
Another actor who’s already proven their chops in Doctor Who (at this point, name a British star who hasn’t been in it), The Haunting of Hill House star T’Nia Miller has a special place in the show’s history.
Michelle Gomez’ Missy is often credited with paving the way for Whittaker’s Doctor, but it was the General, who in 2009 was played by Miller, who was the first Time Lord to change gender on screen.
“It was ground-breaking because it was the first time we’d seen another Time Lord hell into another person – you know, as the Doctor does – and she was going to be female,” Miller told Digital Spy.
“She was going to be a Black female. So that was super-exciting for me.”
Elliot Page. (Instagram)
Yes, he’s American, but just imagine it.
Though it was recently confirmed Elliot Page would continue to play Vanya in The Umbrella Academy, we see no reason why he can’t jump ship to steer the TARDIS in 2021. And, what’s more, we don’t know a better person.
Years and Years frontman Olly Alexander was rumoured to be in “advanced talks” to replace Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who.
The star was personally championed for the role by former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies after they worked together on It’s a Sin.
Sadly his agent later stepped in to dispel the rumours, saying: “I’m afraid I have to exterminate this speculation… As nice as it is to see interest in this story regenerate, it just isn’t true.”
We can still dream though!