It’s the end of an era for Doctor Who, even if we might not see the ramifications of it for quite a while. Jodie Whittaker, the 13th Doctor, has filmed the end of her time as a Time Lord—but she doesn’t expect to know her replacement for a while.
Earlier this week, the BBC officially confirmed that both Whittaker and Mandip Gil, who plays companion Yaz on the series, had wrapped filming on the show. While this could’ve just been for the upcoming season, Doctor Who: Flux, speaking on The Graham Norton Show the actress confirmed that her half of her regeneration had also been filmed. This also indicates that Whittaker has finished filming the series of specials set to air during 2022, leaving the path forward to a new showrunner and 14th Doctor in the year of Who’s 60th anniversary. “They are never going to tell me who it is [that’s replacing me],” Whittaker said on the talk show (via Radio Times). But while she’s not met the new Doctor, she has indeed said farewell to her own. “We filmed some scenes [for the regeneration], but the new Doctor wasn’t there,” Whittaker continued. “I wasn’t there for Peter [Capaldi], and I only met him months later when I passed him in the street!”
One Doctor Who crew and an actor filming one side of a Doctor’s regeneration, and another with a new actor filming the other months later, is not uncommon in the sci-fi series history, especially when an actor’s exit coincides with a new showrunner and production team moving in. As Whittaker herself noted, her side of the regeneration from the 12th Doctor was shot well after Capaldi had shot his own sequence; a separate group from Steven Moffat’s production team came in to shoot Matt Smith’s first scene as the Doctor during David Tennant’s farewell. Quite infamously, Colin Baker’s dismissal as the Sixth Doctor lead to the actor refusing to return to film his regeneration in “Time and The Rani,” leading to an... unconvincing disguise for incoming Doctor Sylvester McCoy.
So while it’s not unusual, it’s nevertheless the beginning of an end for Doctor Who’s current era. Doctor Who season 13, titled Doctor Who: Flux, will begin on October 30 on BBC One and BBC America—with the six-part series confirmed this week by the BBC to have been penned almost entirely by outgoing showrunner Chris Chibnall, with episode four co-written by “The Haunting of Villa Diodati” scribe Maxine Alderton. Returning director Jamie Magnus Stone and Azhur Saleem directed the series.
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